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How to resize RAID 5 on Windows Server 2000/2003/2008 without reinstalling?

Do you encounter the problem that system C: drive running out of space on your RAID 5 array? Do you want to resize RAID 5 partition to solve this low disk space problem without installing Windows again? Do you know the reliable way to resize RAID 5 partition without destroying any data? Don't worry, in this article I'll tell you how to resize RAID 5 partition on Windows Server 2000/2003/2008 in minutes and no data loss.

Real problem on RAID 5 array configuration

I have a Dell Poweredge 4300 that I setup using a RAID 5 config. The C:\ drive has little space left (<750Mb) and I would like to find something that can successfully re-size the partition without losing data as this is a production server. Have any of you re-sized a RAID 5 successfully, and if so; what software was utilized?

Help. I have a Dell 2650 Server running a RAID-5 Array with one 50Gig drive partitioned in to a 4Gig C: drive and a 30Gig d: drive, the rest is the hidden utilties partion. C:/ is running out of space, is there any way to resize c: in this config.? If so how?

Many Windows Server users have the similar problem on RAID 5 array, in fact this problem is easy to be solved. For better understanding RAID-5 array and how to resize RAID 5, I would like to introduce some information of RAID 5, you may also jump to the end to see how to resize RAID 5 partition with partition magic server.

Brief Introduction of RAID 5

As one of the most popular RAID levels, RAID 5 stripes both data and parity information across three or more drives. It is similar to RAID 4 except that it exchanges the dedicated parity drive for a distributed parity algorithm, writing data and parity blocks across all the drives in the array.

This removes the "bottleneck" that the dedicated parity drive represents, improving writing performance slightly and allowing somewhat better parallelism in a multiple-transaction environment, though the overhead necessary in dealing with the parity continues to bog down writes. Fault tolerance is maintained by ensuring that the parity information for any given block of data is placed on a drive separate from those used to store the data itself. The performance of a RAID 5 array can be "adjusted" by trying different stripe sizes until one is found that is well-matched to the application being used.

Generally speaking, RAID 5 needs some powerful logic processing capabilities to control the simultaneous operation of several hard disks and to write data and parity information across all disks in the stripe set. The latter function does not require a particularly complex architecture, but as transfer rates increase, the process of writing parity data on the fly increases CPU overhead accordingly.

How to resize RAID 5 partition?

If there are several virtual partitions on this RAID-5 array and there is free space on any of the data partitions, you can simple resize one RAID 5 partition to shrink it and then extend the system partition.
Tips Don't break the RAID array, just operate like resizing partition on physical hard disk.
Backup the important files, as no partitioning software can guarantee the security 100%.

If there is no free space on all virtual partitions on the RAID 5, you have to add another disk to this RAID 5 array. After that, the new disk space will be displayed as Unallocated at the end of the virtual disk, and then you can extend C: drive.
Tips If you need to add new disk before resizing RAID 5 partition, you have to make sure the RAID controller has the feature to re-configure RAID without data losing.

Step by step instructions to resize RAID 5 partition

Step 1, Launch Partition Magic Server, you'll see all disks and partitions that connected to your Server and free space, used space and other properties of each partition.

Resize boot partition

Right-click the data partition and select "Resize", in the pop-up window, drag the left border rightwards to shrink it.

Shrink data partition

There will be some Unallocated space behind the system partition.

Unallocated space created

Step 2, Right-click the system partition and select "Resize", in the pop-up window, drag the right border rightwards to hold the Unallocated space.

Extend system boot partition

Click "Apply" to proceed, done.

Partition resized

Now you have a "new" Server that can be used for a long time again.

For enterprise users, Unlimited Edition allows unlimited installation within your company to save time and money.

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