Add a drive to a RAID 5 without destroying the data

9860 pts.
Tags:
Microsoft Windows
RAID
RAID 5
RAID Array
Storage
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2008 R2
Can you change the amount of drives in a RAID 5 array? For example we now have 6 136 GB drives in our RAID 5 array. Can we add one more drive to the array as either a hot spare or actually part of the array? Currently the array uses all 6 drives.

Software/Hardware used:
Windows server 2008 r2

Answer Wiki

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Adding it as a hot space should be pretty easy. Just put in the drive, open the array cards utilities (might require a reboot and going into the cards bios) and marking the new drive as a hot space.

Adding it as a part of the array may be harder (if it is possible). Not all RAID cards allow you to do this. If it does again open the utilities for the card and tell it that the new drive is a part of the array. The data will then be re-striped across all the disks, and parity will have to be recalculated. This will take a long time to add drive to RAID 5

If the card doesn’t support adding another disk into the array then you’ll need to backup all the data, break the array recreate it with the new disk, and restore all the data.

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  • Karl Gechlik
    [...] 6. Don’t fret, Mr. Denny says it should be pretty simple to add a drive to a RAID 5 without destroying the data. [...]
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