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Merge two simple volumes into spanned volume without data loss

    Question

  • Current setup:

    Windows Server 2008 DC Edition with 6x5TB iSCSI LUNs (via a QLogic HBA). Each LUN is a GPT Basic Disk with a single primary partition formatted NTFS.

    I would like to combine the six 5TB LUNs with roughly 4.5TB of data each into a single spanned volume. I know I can convert the basic disks into dynamic disks which will convert the primary partitions into simple volumes - and I know that my iSCSI LUNs can be Dynamic volumes since I am using a HBA. What I would like to do after the disks are converted to simple volumes, is combine them into 1 large spanned volume without losing the data on each of them.

    If I had available space I could move the 4.5TB of data from each of the LUNs to a temporary location, then delete the volume and then extend onto the unused space. But I don't have the available space and moving that much data will take days. Also, the LUNs are hosting very large VHD files (600GB-1TB each) so trying to move a few files here or there isn't possible. Is it possible to combine two NTFS formatted simple volumes into a single spanned volume without any data loss?
    Jeff Graves, ORCS Web, Inc.
    Thursday, December 03, 2009 8:41 PM

Answers

  • Not in a support way

    Each volume has NTFS meta data such as file name, what directory the file resides in, and the disk/volume clusters where the file resides. To do what you are asking, the NTFS meta data on the two different volumes would have to be "merged" - instead of two Master File Tables, you want one

    Dilip
    www.msftmvp.com and VHD tools at www.VMUtil.com
    • Marked as answer by David Shen Friday, December 04, 2009 7:02 AM
    Thursday, December 03, 2009 11:29 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Not in a support way

    Each volume has NTFS meta data such as file name, what directory the file resides in, and the disk/volume clusters where the file resides. To do what you are asking, the NTFS meta data on the two different volumes would have to be "merged" - instead of two Master File Tables, you want one

    Dilip
    www.msftmvp.com and VHD tools at www.VMUtil.com
    • Marked as answer by David Shen Friday, December 04, 2009 7:02 AM
    Thursday, December 03, 2009 11:29 PM
    Moderator


  • I would like to combine the six 5TB LUNs with roughly 4.5TB of data each into a single spanned volume.

    Ok, and how long do you think chkdsk will run if you get NTFS corruption on you 30TB NTFS volume

    I do understand that the volumes are only storing large VHD files, but still a 30TB volume will take considerable amount of time to do various maintenance operations, such as chkdsk, backup and (hope you never have to) restore.

    If you have carefully weighted all this, then you can create your extreme large volume.
    But conversion is out, it will be a -backup-CreateSpannedVolume-restore- operation.

    rgds,
    Edwin.
    Friday, December 04, 2009 1:17 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the follow-ups guys. It sounds like I'll need to find some temporary SAN space for this. Edwin, for reference, there's only a total of about 30 files total - each partition has unique directories and unique file names, etc. Also, these are iSCSI LUNs being served up from the same SAN and running on R5 disk groups, so I am not concerned about data loss from that perspective. Lastly, it's hosting backup data - so there's no need to worry about a restore operation as we're not backing up the backup data.
    Jeff Graves, ORCS Web, Inc.
    Friday, December 04, 2009 2:45 PM