Resizing your system disk

So, here is the scenario I was faced with last Friday;

I was asked to look at a development servers (HP Proliant DL380 G6)(in other words – get it working and updated) as one of our key applications was throwing errors and the development system was required for testing.  The development server had not been touched/updated in a few months and I knew there were a couple of outstanding issues on the system already.  I tried to log into the system and I was presented with an authentication issue.

The plan:
Update all the drivers to the latest HP Support Pack, install any missing Microsoft security patches and resize the C: drive as there was only 600MB free, which is not a lot when you are running Windows Server 2008 (not R2).

Analysis:
There is one array containing 6 x 146Gb disk, there are 4 logical volumes ; c: d: e: f: – C is RAID 5 and the rest are RAID 50.

Problem:
There is not enough space on the C: drive to install any updates, there is no way to resize the logical C drive as all the remaining logical disks are located after the system disk.

What I did and what I experienced:

First of all, I couldn’t expand the C: drive after I had shrunk the logical drive next in the list (D:) within the array configuration utility.  I then moved all the data from D: and F: onto E: and backed up E: to tape. (D and F were small in size)

I deleted each of the logical disks D, E and F and then tried to resize the C drive.  To my surprise the option to expand the logical drive was not there.  So… I deleted this logical drive also.

Now I have a server with 6 blank disks and no array configured.  At this stage I realise that I am really going the long way about fixing the server.   I start again from scratch, I add two additional disks, I create an array with 2 disks (RAID 0 – mirrored) and run a BMR (Bare metal recovery) on the C drive from the most recent backup – thankfully our development systems are included in our backup plan).

The restore was successful and the server came back but needed to be removed and re-added to the domain – its trust with the domain was broken.
The server was added back to the domain (following the steps below):

  1. Login to the server with a local administrator account
  2. Add the server to a work-group and restart the server
  3. remove the server computer account from the domain
  4. Add the server back to the domain and restart the server

Once the server was accessible again, I needed to add back in the additional disks.  Then I was ready to do another restore, of the date from the 3 remaining drives.

the process does sound very long winded but I am highlighting all the areas that other may fall victim to.  #1 rule: make sure you have recent backups

So, now I have a working system, on the domain, with newly resized disks and enough space on the C drive to install the necessary OS (Operating system) security updates and the latest drivers.

I ran into another issue while updating the drivers – that is that the NIC drivers installed but the devices came up with the error “This device cannot start. (Code 10)”.  This caused more grief as I was working on a server in a remote location but thankfully I had iLo access.  I had to download the latest firmware for the NIC and mount the folder that contained the drivers through iLo. This folder was then presented to the server and I could continue with the firmware update.  This paragraph of work took me nearly a day with all the playing around with driver versions, as I ended up installing 4 different versions until I realised it was a firmware issue.  Just in case you find yourself in a similar situation.

The server is finished and is fully patched with the latest security updates and drivers.  There is now over 50GB of free space on the system disk.

2 comments

  1. Just wanted to say thnkas i knew this trick back before but i forgot about it luckily i found ur website n might i add that ur one patient person the number of people asking the same thing again n again i would hope they just read and look for answers first before asking ibs’s last blog post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *