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Windows Thread, Upgrading the Hard drive in the domain server in Technical; Hi all I work in a small school where we tend to do most things in house because of the ...
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    Upgrading the Hard drive in the domain server

    Hi all

    I work in a small school where we tend to do most things in house because of the budget and the size of the school. Before the school reopen in about two weeks time, I would like to change the current disks in the domain server because of lack of volume space and not enough money to buy a new server so I'm looking for some one who is more knowledgeable in this area, who will do it along with me. I've never done this before so I would like do it as learning post.

    The server operating system is Windows 8 R, and we might need a biger external HDD to copy to, etc.

    Please contact me if you're interested to plan the implemetation.
    Last edited by tushan; 16th August 2012 at 11:23 AM.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Is it setup in a Raid config?

    What does the server do and how many others do you have?

    Thanks

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    Thanks for getting so quickly. Yes , the server is configured in RAID 5, 3 HDDs. It is a domain controller that holds the data, shared areas, and perform othe server roles like DHCP, DNS, etc.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Do you have any other servers?

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    Yes we do: we have 1 RM nas server, 1 Exchange server, and 1 SIMS server. Is it ok to give email if you want to discuss further or phone number???

    Many thanks

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    Basically, if you have a server with 3 drives in the Raid Array, and it has spare drive slots you can add more drives to the server and in most cases increase the size of the raid array using the utility the manufacturer provide, depending on other facotrs you can even do this through a utility in Windows (on most HP servers you can).

    Check whether drives are hot swappable or not as well, because you might be able to add drives while the server is on and do it all that way which you may be more comfortable with. Have you bought the drives already?

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    Hi Chandler

    The server that I'm trying to upgrade the volume space have 5 slots in total. 2 of the slots has two drive in RAID 1 for system programs whilst the remaining 3 were configured in RAID 5, for data areas etc. They are not hot swappable.

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    depending on the data thats stored on their will determine if and where it can be moved. you may have to use a pc as a temp location to move data to or build a server on to address the issue. You dont have enough slots for expansion so ypur options may be to purchase external storage to expand the current storage, e.g msa if using a hp server.

    Look into what is being used and if some data can be archived/deleted.

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    Sadly, usually the case is that should you take out 1 disk then try to rebuild the array using a bigger drive, the bigger drive would get truncated down to the same size as your old drive was.

    This would mean your only choice would be to backup all your data (at least once, probably twice for the most important stuff) and then remove all 3 drives at once, put in bigger drives, copy all the data back and check all the permissions.

    Use something like Robocopy or Xcopy to maintain the permissions on the data, otherwise you will have an even bigger job to do.

    I assume you have looked at all the alternatives and this is the only solution? Also 3 new hard drives are probably very expensive, have you priced them?

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    Hi

    I've looked at other options and believe, changing drives is the cheapest. so I'll like to go ahead.

    Many thanks

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    Well you know the procedure, backup (retaining permissions), replace the 3 drives, make a new bigger drive, copy back data and re-create/ check sharing permissions. Quite easy to do just very time consuming.

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    Thanks for your advise.

    Many thanks

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    Is this for the data drives or the OS?

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    Got a copy of Ghost laying around? As long as it is version 11, you should be able to boot the machine up using WinPE and using Ghost32, make an image of the entire volume and dump it somewhere remote. Place your new drives and dump the image back down with Ghost and it'll resize the partition to fit the new space. Windows should be none the wiser the next time it boots. If for some reason this fails, you can always put the original drives back into place. I've used this process to migrate a lot of Windows systems, desktop and server alike to bigger disks.
    Last edited by Duke5A; 24th August 2012 at 08:49 PM.

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    Duke5A

    Thanks very much for your piece of advise. With yours and everyones advises, I should be able to summon courage to do it. I guess I'm just scared of failure and in case rvrything went drastically wrong, there won't be no one to turn to.

    Many thanks for your kind advise.

    Regards

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