Nitrousman
Contributor
Contributor

Added more SAS drives to my DL 580 G4 server how do I get ESX 3.5 to see it?

I've expanded my Array by adding 2 more SAS drives and expanding the raid 5 array on the controller so it now see's the drives as part of the storage in the HP array utility but when the ESX server boots up I don't see the extra 300GB of storage. What am I missing in getting the ESX server to see the added storage? As far as the array controller is concerned it see's the extra space as part of the logical drive. Thanks for any help.

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26 Replies
kjb007
Immortal
Immortal

You can not expand a VMFS filesystem. If you have partitions available, then you can create a new partition with the new space, change the type to fc (vmfs), then you can create an extent and add it to your existing vmfs. To make it simpler, you can reinstall ESX, and in the partitioning choose to accept and leave existing vmfs filesystems alone, and use the new available space to create a new partition for you. For ESXI, you have to do a repair install to keep your existing vmfs.

-KjB

VMware vExpert

vExpert/VCP/VCAP vmwise.com / @vmwise -KjB
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Nitrousman
Contributor
Contributor

So if I expanded the logical drive using HP's utility can I still do the repair and utilize the additional drive space?

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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

The problem is that you have now a larger disk, with free space... but without any partition free to use this space.

Andre

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Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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depping
Leadership
Leadership

Just wait for vSphere Smiley Happy

Duncan

VMware Communities User Moderator | VCP | VCDX

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Nitrousman
Contributor
Contributor

So will I not be able to use the added space and end up having to smoke the entire server with all my running images so I can rebuild it?

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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

Yes, sorry.

You save your data, and reinstall with new partition schema.

Anyway to be sure verify with fdisk (go with SSH on ESX).

If you see partition 1,2,3,4 fill then you have not chance.

Andre

**if you found this or any other answer useful please consider allocating points for helpful or correct answers

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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Nitrousman
Contributor
Contributor

Well if that's the case then I may have to look at HyperV in the future since it appears to be able to recognize when a logical drive is expanded.

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bulletprooffool
Champion
Champion

Have to disagree here, if the space is available to the hist, you can add ity to the ESX host.

When attaching storage such as a MSA70 to an ESX3i host, ESX will not automatically format it or create the relevant partitions automatically. This can however be done from an SSH connection - using the following instructions.

1. Log on to the console or use putty to connect to the ESX host remotely. If you have not created a user for yourself you will not be able to log in through putty.

2. SU to root. This must be done using the su - root command. If you do not use the - then you will not get root's path and thus get error messages that say that commands cannot be found.

3. Run fdisk -l. This will give you a list of all of your current partitions. This is important because they are numbered. If you are using SCSI you should see that all partitions start with /dev/sda# where # is a number from 1 to what ever. Remember this list of number as you are going to be adding at least one more and will have to refer to the new partition by it's number.

4. Run fdisk /dev/sda. This will allow you to create a partition on the the first drive. If you have more than one SCSI drive (usually the case with more than one RAID container) then you will have to type the letter value for the device you wish to create the partition on (sdb, sdc, and so on).

5. You are now in the fdisk program. If you get confused type "m" for menu. This will list all of your options. There are a lot of them. You will be ignoring most of them.

6. Type "n". This will create a new partition. It will ask you for the starting cylinder. Unless you have a very good reason hit "enter" for default. The program will now offer you a second option that says ending cylinder. If you press enter you will select the rest of the space. In most cases this is what you want.

7. Once you have selected start and end cylinder you should get a success message. Now you must set the partition type or it's ID. This is option "t" on the menu.

8. Type "t". It will ask you for partition number. This is where that first fdisk is useful. You need to know what the new partition number is. It will be one more than the last number on fdisk. Type this number in.

9. You will now be prompted for the hex code for the partition type. You can also type "L" for a list of codes. The code you want is "fb". So type "fb" in the space. This will return that the partition has been changed to fb (unknown). That is what you want.

10. Now that you have configured everything you want to save it. To do so choose the "w" option to write the table to disk and exit.

11. Because the drive is being used by the console OS you will probably get an error that says "WARNING: Re-reading the partition table failed with error 16: device or resource busy." This is normal. You will need to reboot.

12. To reboot the server type "reboot" at the prompt.

13. Once you have rebooted you can now format the partition VMFS. DO NOT do this from the GUI. You must once again log into the console or remote in through putty.

14. Once you have su'd to root you must type in "vmkfstools -C vmfs3 /vmfs/devices/disks/vmhba0:0:0:#" Were # is the number of the new partition. You shoulder now get a "successfully created new volume" message. If you get an error you probably chose the wrong partition. Do an fdisk - l and choose the number with the "unknown" partition type. Note: IF you have more than one SCSI disk or more than one container the first 0 may need to be a 1 as well.

15. Go to the GUI and in configuration/storage select refresh. You should now see your new VMFS volume

then log back on the community and award points Smiley Happy

One day I will virtualise myself . . .
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Nitrousman
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for the info but I can't seem to get fdisk to work. These are SAS drives and when I view the partitions they show up as dev/cciss/c0d0p7 and fdisk won't run when I put it as fdisk dev/cciss. When I added the 2 drives I used HP's array utility and expanded the 1 logical drive by addind both of the new drives. When I go into the GUI now it actually shows the correct drive size of 683.51GB but the extent only shows 402.54GB. When I click add extent nothing shows up in the list. Where should I go from here? Thanks.

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kjb007
Immortal
Immortal

For fdisk, you need /dev/cciss/c0d0

-KjB

VMware vExpert

vExpert/VCP/VCAP vmwise.com / @vmwise -KjB
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Nitrousman
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks but now I get as far as it telling me there are no free sectors available when I try to create a new partition. What next?

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kjb007
Immortal
Immortal

There in lies the problem. If you could create the slice, you could add an extent, and increase your storage. Since you extended the disk after the partition table and the extended partition was built, the new space is not recognized by fdisk. This is why you have to rebuild ESX, to reset these values to include the additional space that you added at the end of the disk. You could try to modify the partition table yourself, but it is dangerous. You will have to remove the partitions in the extended area, re-create the extended area, then re-create the removed partitions with the boundaries that were existing previously. It's much easier to run a repair install, retain your settings and your VMFS partition, and have that fix your size problem.

-KjB

VMware vExpert

vExpert/VCP/VCAP vmwise.com / @vmwise -KjB
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Nitrousman
Contributor
Contributor

Is the repair install run from the ESX install CD, you just select new install instead of update and from there it will give you the option to do the repair install? Thanks.

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kjb007
Immortal
Immortal

Yes, you will need the install cd. During the install, it will ask whether you want to leave vmfs alone. Just answer yes, and follow through the wizard.

-KjB

VMware vExpert

vExpert/VCP/VCAP vmwise.com / @vmwise -KjB
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Nitrousman
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks, I'll give it a try here shortly when I can shutdown the server. Do I use the original CD or the ESX 3.5 Update 4 CD I installed a few weeks ago?

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kjb007
Immortal
Immortal

Use the Update 4 cd you used last.

-KjB

VMware vExpert

vExpert/VCP/VCAP vmwise.com / @vmwise -KjB
Nitrousman
Contributor
Contributor

It shows the free space but won't allow me to allocate it. It keeps saying the my partitions are to large to fit within the constraints I've specified, you will manually need to configure partitions. What am I missing now?

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kjb007
Immortal
Immortal

Is this in the wizard? The only partition that you need to keep is the vmfs. All of the other ones can be removed and recreated as needed. Also, in the free space, can you create a vmfs on it, and check the box to make it primary?

-KjB

VMware vExpert

vExpert/VCP/VCAP vmwise.com / @vmwise -KjB
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Nitrousman
Contributor
Contributor

Yes this was in the wizard. I tried making it primary also and I get the same error. I don't think it liked me expanding the RAID 5 array with the HP utility. At this point I don't think I have any other choice but to wipe the server and rebuild it from scratch. I have about 12 VM servers running on it so I have a lot of data to move.

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