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Best Solution to Expand Raid 5 Partition on Windows Server Without Data Loss

Updated on Dec 06, 2018 by Jean to Partition Master

Download EaseUS Windows server partitioning software to expand/extend RAID 5 array completely without losing data. Learn how to resize RAID 5 partition by extending or shrinking freely.

What Is RAID 5

Generally speaking, RAID 5 uses a form of the strip with parity to maintain data redundancy. A minimum of three drives is required to build a RAID 5 array, and they should be identical drives for the best performance.

With that information in mind, here is an example of how a RAID 5 array would work. Each row in the chart represents a physical block on the drive, and each column is the individual drive. The numbers in the table represent the data blocks. Duplicate numbers indicate a duplicate data block. A "P" means a parity bit for two blocks of data.

The parity bit shifts between the drives to increase the performance and reliability of the data. The drive array will still have better performance over a single drive because the multiple drives can write the data faster than a single drive. The data is also fully redundant because of the parity bits. In the case of drive two failing, the data can be rebuilt by the data and parity bits on the two remaining drives. Data capacity is reduced due to the parity data blocks. In practice the capacity of the array is based on the following equation where "n" is the number of drives and "z" is the capacity:

(n-1) z = Array Capacity

In the case of three 500 gigabyte hard drives, the total capacity would be (3-1) x 500GB or 1000 gigabytes.

Hardware RAID 5 implementations can also have a function called hot swap that allows for drives to be replaced while the array is still functioning to either increase the capacity of the drive or to replace a damaged drive. The drive controller then takes time while the array is running to rebuild the data array across the drives, which is a valuable feature for systems that require 24x7 operations.

Below is the screenshot of RAID 5 helping you get a better understanding visually before you expand it.


Advantages of RAID 5 Partition

There're several shining points of RAID 5. The typical advantages are:

The increase of storage array performance
Full data redundancy
Ability to run 24x7 with hot swap

Due to its excellent reliability and performance, RAID 5 is preferred by high-end Windows Servers users, especially Window Server 2003 users.

The Necessity to Expand RAID 5 Partition Easily and Safely

Generally, the purpose of expanding the RAID 5 partition is to maximize the performance of server computers by having more disk space on it.

Here're two cases regarding computer users' demand to expand RAID 5 partition:

1. I have just added a new drive to my existing RAID 5, and then it seems to be out of place. It's apparent that I need to expand my RAID 5 partition for further usage. Well, easy operation is appreciated.

2. I want to create new drives to my current RAID 5 array which is, however, too full to hold more disks. I know I need to expand it. But I still dare not to operate it for fear that I might destroy the valued data on the server.

You may have come across such situations and have the same concerns. Undoubtedly, easy operation and the safety of data are the key points that IT administrators care about when expanding their RAID 5 partitions. Considering these requirements, EaseUS improved its award-winning server partition software - EaseUS Partition Master Server Edition with enhanced compatibility with all levels of hardware RAID, including RAID 5. This program is specially designed to help Windows Server users expand RAID 5 partition easily and safely.

The Best Solution to Expand Raid 5 Partition on Windows Server Without Data Loss

As mentioned above, EaseUS Partition Master Server Edition provides the best solution to expand RAID 5 partition on Windows Server since the data is completely protected when extending RAID 5 partition with this program and all operations are pretty easy to perform.

Below are the steps to use this reliable RAID 5 expanding software - EaseUS Partition Master Server Edition to expand it on Windows Server without data loss.

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 Server 2016 is supported


Step 1: Launch EaseUS Partition Master

Run partition manager software

Step 2: Free up space to extend partition

If the hard drive has enough unallocated space to extend the target partition, jump to Step 3 and continue.

If not, free up space first:
1. Right-click on a partition next to the target partition and select "Resize/Move".
2. Drag the partition ends to free up space, leaving enough unallocated space behind the target partition, click "OK".

Free up space to extend partition

Step 3: Extend partition

1. Right-click on the target partition and select "Resize/Move".

Resize target partition

2. Drag the target partition handle into the unallocated space to extend partition.

Add space to the target partition

Step 4: Keep all changes

Click the "Execute Operation" button and click "Apply" to keep all changes.

Keep all changes for extending partition

Besides expanding RAID 5 partition with the Resize/Move partition utility built in EaseUS Partition Master Server Edition, you can also repartition your RAID 5 without destroying any data with other powerful functions provided by this program. The features include: copy partition, copy disk, format partitions, convert partitions, explore partitions, merge partitions, etc.