Capacity Expansion on RAID 5 Array

I recently replaced the 4 18GB drives one at a time in my HP NetServer with 73 GB drives. The capacity shows up as the original 54 GB. I check the drives with disk manager and no additional unused space appears. How do I get the unused space to appear so I can create another volume or expand an exiting one?

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Try going into Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Logical Disk Service and see how the computer sees your current drive layout.

I might be off-base here, but just looking won’t hurt anything.


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  • Lonflor
    Have you tried inside manager to check the hard disks
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  • Paul144hart
    If you have a StorArray RAID driver, you'll need to first delete the volumes in the BIOS config tool. The chip set has its own non-volatile memory. Then add the volumes again at the new capacity.
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  • Poppaman2
    Sorry to be the bearer of somewhat unwelcome news: I can state with total confidence (having performed support work for a RAID controller manufacturer) that the ONLY way to expand capacity by utilization of larger hard drives in a RAID 5 array controlled by a hardware RAID controller (as oppoosed to the Operating System) would be to make a complete and verified backup of your entire system (including system state on the Windows platform) to some other medium (external hard drive, tape), create a RAID 5 volume set with new or newly initialized hard drives (achieving the larger volume size you desire) and then restoring the filesystem to the newly created RAID set. When you replace a drive in a RAID 5 set, even with a larger drive, only the size of the initial (original) volume is utilized. It is possible to create LOGICAL drives in the unused space on your new hard drive(s), but this is NOT suggested, as failure of one hard drive containing multiple active logical drives will cause a RAID 5 array to fail to an unrecoverable state if two or more drives (physical or logical, it makes no difference) drop off the controller or are marked as failed. You can expand a RAID 5 set by addition of more drives, but again, only the capacity of the original disk(s) - the size chosen/utilized at the initial RAID set creation - will be used. Paul
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  • Mschoenb2005
    I assume that you are using a Hardware RAID controller on your HP Server. This Controller is currently configured to use 4 18GB Drives. If you replace an 18GB drive with a 73GB drive the Controller will rebuild it as an 18GB drive. The only way around this issue is to Backup your server, replace the drives, reconfigure your Disk Controller with the new larger disks and then restore your Server. If your using a Software RAID controller you may be able to dynamically resize your Volumes but you would have to look at that software see if this option is available. Hope this helps. If there is a better way to do this I'd like to know.
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