Data!

Seems we have a lot of it. In fact, I feel like we’re going through hard drives like potato chips. [Okay – not quite that fast, but still!]

We finally filled up our actual data drive which was 1.5 TB of storage. That’s our personal data plus software images and such, not virtual machine storage or anything like that. So, I purchased a new 2TB drive to extend our data partition. I previously had 2 1.5TB drives mirrored and I needed to take that storage and convert it to a RAID 5 array using those 3 disks. Now, I tried to find a 1.5TB disk but couldn’t, so I just took the next size up, and turned off the file server. I put the disk in and found that I couldn’t just create a new Windows Storage Space and then convert it from “simple” to “parity” mode. You need a reformat to do so. My RAID card can do this, but it’s a pain to manage and I don’t like the way it works, so I decided to destroy the old disk and build a new one fresh. Once I copied all the data off [and I barely had a enough room!] I destroyed the array and mounted the disks as separate drives to be managed by Windows.

All was well until I decided to reboot.

The RAID software kept locking up on me, so I booted into the BIOS and configured the disks directly, then attempted to boot. Got a flashing cursor. Nice.

After a couple of hours, I was finally able to properly order the disks and fix the boot partitions [even though nothing had changed on those drives!] and it booted normally.

Now, I have created a new storage pool of “parity” mode using those three disks which equates to almost 3TB of redundant storage. I lose 500GB of storage due to the fact that the new drive is bigger, but when I add additional disks in the future, I could reclaim that space.

The data is now being copied back – it might take all day.

On another note, one of the other hard drives on which I stored my virtual machine configurations failed a couple of months ago. Now, I just bought a replacement 2TB drive and stuck it back in and the array nicely rebuilt itself back. However, I was sitting here with this bad disk thinking “I wonder if there’s some warranty…”

Sure enough, there was! The drive will be sent back to the manufacturer and then I can add it to the new storage pool to increase the amount of available space.

Okay. Enough geeky stuff. Back to work.

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