On tuesday evening at about 6:45pm i started on the seemingly annual raid expansion, whenever i start to run out of data storage on my server i simply buy another 2tb hitahchi drive off of ebay throw it in and expand the array it works great everytime so far.
disclaimer: always do a backup before attempting any kind of storage changes you never know what may or maynot happen
lets jump back about 8 months ago i decided to take my 9650se-8lpml raid controller and swap it for the 9650se-12ml only difference being one supports 8 drives and one supports 12 drives so all i had to do was swap the controllers and plug my 4x 2tb hitachi drives into the new controller everything was recognized correctly i ran through the settings and made sure everything was good.
back to today, i got a text from my server letting me know that the array had finished migrating at 8:05am for a total of about 60 hours to migrate in the 5th drive. Awesome! now i get to go into widnows disk management and extend my partition to take up the now blank space. i got into the disk management and i noticed it added a new disk. ok… maybe it has to reboot… reboot the machine.. same thing. i also noticed in the controller information it was showing two volumes, one the size of the original array 5.46TB and another for the new disk added 1.82TB.
Well i do some reading and i see that 3ware will break up a raid into smaller disks for older operating systems to recognize with a feature called auto carving.. i go to the controller settings and look what is enabled. auto carving.
ok so there has to be a way to merge them right? nope cant find any documentation that suggests a way to undo an auto carved volume. so i went ahead and disabled auto carving and now im backing up new information that hasnt been backed up yet and starting all over, im going to have to delete the unit and rebuild a fresh raid 5 with all 5 disks.
what did i learn from this whole thing? always double check settings and know what each setting actually does, i didnt know what auto carving was when i was running my settings check.