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How to Resize RAID Partition without Data Loss?

Question: Our server is a Dell PowerEdge 860 running Windows Server 2003 with a RAID 5 configuration. The RAID 5 array consists of three 250GB SAS disks. There are two partitions, C: drive is only 30GB for system, and partition D: is 435GB for data. Now C: drive is running out of space, and I want to shrink the data partition and make the system partition larger. How do we resize RAID 5 partition?

Have you encountered the above situation? If so, the best solution is to resize RAID partition rather than recreate the entire RAID array. In fact, there ware two ways to solve low disk space on RAID partition:

Solution 1: Resize RAID partition on existing array - shrink other RAID partition to generate unallocated space, and then add unallocated space into low disk space RAID partition. Apply this method.

Solution 2: Add disks to RAID array - After adding additional disks to existing RAID array, there will be a block of unallocated space at the end of the disk (This method only applies to RAID 0 and RAID 5). Apply this method.

What is RAID?

RAID, acronym for Redundant Array of Independent (or Inexpensive) Disks, is a storage technology that employs two or more drives in combination for fault tolerance and performance. RAID is now used for computer data storage schemes that can divide and replicate data among multiple physical disk drives. RAID configuration is used frequently on Servers and is increasingly being found in home and office personal computers.

There are number of different RAID levels giving different trade-offs of protection against data loss, capacity, and speed, including RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 2, RAID 3, RAID 4, RAID 5, RAID 6, and RAID 10 (1+0). Among them, RAID 0, 1, and 5 are the most commonly implemented. Each scheme provides a different balance between two key goals: enhanced data reliability and improved input/output performance.

Partition Magic Software helps you resize RAID partition

As Partition Magic alternative, Partition Assistant is a magic and award-winning RAID Partition Manager Software with enhanced data protection technique to resize your RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 partition, especially for system drive, without data loss.

As mentioned above, there are two solutions to resize RAID partition, please choose either of them based on your own conditions.

Method 1: Resize RAID partition on existing array.

Step1: Launch Partition Assistant Server. Right click on D partition and select "Resize Partition" in the drop-down menu.

In the pop-up window, drag the left slider bar rightwards (shrink RAID partition).

Step2: Click "OK" to return the main window, there will be some unallocated space behind system partition. Then, select C drive and drag the right slider bar rightwards (extend RAID partition).

Step3: Now you can preview the extended system partition and check pending operations. To save all changes, you need to click "Apply" on the toolbar.

Method 2: Add additional hard disks to existing RAID array.

Step1: Insert one or more new equal-size hard disks to the existing hardware RAID array and reconfigure RAID to expand array capacity.

Step2: After the Step1 is done, launch Partition Assistant Server. You will find there will some unallocated space at the end of the disk. Then right-click on C drive and select "Merge Partition" in the drop-down menu.

In the pop-up window, select C drive and unallocated space in the partition layout.

Step3: Click "OK" to return the main window and you can preview the unallocated space has been merged into C drive. Click "Apply" button on the toolbar.

The user interface of Partition Assistant is easy to manage and pretty straight forward. It is designed to focus on operation accuracy and safety which enables you to resize your RAID partitions without losing data by dragging & dropping the mouse on the disk map. All partition changes can be previewed before they are performed. At the same time, this program works well with all the hardware RAID levels, such as RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, and supports all types of RAID Controllers, including IDE RAID Controllers, SCSI, SAS, S-ATA RAID Controllers, serial ATA host Controllers and devices. Choose the right version of this product by comparing editions or Free download this RAID Partition Manager software to have a try before you buy full version.

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