How do I increase RAID 5 capacity?
“I built a 200GB RAID 5 array, and it's running out of space and some data is stored on it. Now I want to upgrade RAID 5 drives to larger capacity. Can I upgrade RAID 5 drives to larger capacity by adding extra drives? How? If yes, is it possible to do this while the RAID array is running?”
About RAID 5 drive
RAID 5 is one of the most common RAID configurations; it evenly balances data reads and writes. Compared with RAID 1 and RAID 10 configurations, it offers more usable storage. On the other hand, it provides performance equivalent to RAID 0. In one word, the RAID 5 combines the better efficiency and performance of the different RAID configuration. To create RAID drives, there must be three hard disk drives in minimum (no maximum).
The RAID 5 drive strips data and parity bits across different disks. Namely, when you write data to a RAID 5 drive, the OS will calculate the parity and writes that parity into the drive. So it is very tolerant of single-disk failures. In the case of RAID 5 drive failure, it can be rebuilt with the parity data that is not kept on a fixed single drive.
2 Ways: upgrade RAID 5 drives to larger capacity without data loss
As the basic volume that pops out low disk space warning, the RAID 5 drive space can also be eaten up gradually with more data being stored into. Thus, you will also need to increase RAID disk space. This can be easily done with AOMEI Partition Assistant Server, which comes with a professional dynamic disk manager for both Windows PC and Server users.
With it, you can upgrade raid 5 drives to a larger capacity by extending it with available free space or adding another hard disk. Both of the two methods won’t damage the existing data on the RAID 5 drives. Now, you can free download its Demo version and take a look at how to upgrade RAID 5 to bigger hard drives via the 2 ways.
Way 1. Upgrade RAID drive with existing free space
If there is free space on the dynamic disk (no matter whether it is adjacent to the RAID 5 volume or not), you can use apply this way. Or you can shrink dynamic volume to get such space.
1. Run AOMEI Partition Assistant Server, click "Dynamic Disk" to launch the dynamic disk manager window.
2. Right-click one of the RAID-5 volume slices, and select "Resize/Move Volume".
3. In the pop-out window, drag the RAID 5 drive to increase its space using the unallocated space, then click “OK”.
4. Now you can preview the RAID 5 volume has been expanded. To execute it, click “Commit” on the toolbar.
Way 2. Upgrade RAID 5 with a larger hard disk
If there is no free space in all other virtual drives on the RAID 5 array, you can add a new larger hard disk to this RAID 5 array. It will be shown as unallocated space at the end of RAID array, then you can extend RAID 5 with the new disk space. Please remember you should convert the new disk to dynamic disk in advance.
1. Launch AOMEI dynamic disk manager. Click “Add Drive to RAID”.
2. In the new window, select the RAID 5 volume you want to expand. Then, click "Next".
3. Tick the new disk you plan to add to the RAID 5 array. Then, click "Finish".
4. Click "Commit" to execute the pending operation.
After reading this post, you must know how to upgrade RAID 5 drives to larger capacity without data loss in Windows PC and Servers. The recommended dynamic disk manager also comes with many other great functions to help you manage dynamic disk and volumes such as: remove drive from RAID, extend dynamic system volume, extend mirror volume, etc. For Enterprise users, AOMEI Partition Assistant Unlimited Edition is highly recommended that supports unlimited usage within one company.