Thoughts, information and reflections about technology

Repartitioning a Dell Poweredge T-300 Server using Gparted

One of our clients had purchased a Dell Poweredge T300 server. It came with the operating system partition sized at 12GB. The entire drive was 1 TB. 12Gb is hideously small.

Because of some legacy software they use, we had to re-letter the extended partition from D to G.

As an emergency measure, I had tried moving some of the log files to the extended partition.

The first Dell tech suggested downloading and running Extpart.ext from Dell after running complete backups.

They only had about 60 GB of data and apps but I did 4 sets of backups. (I realize that is a little paranoid but I did them to different media and used MS Backup and another backup app. )

When I called Dell Support again, that tech said that they were having issues with clients who had used extpart. Supposedly it was built for Server 2000 and the later releases of Server 2003 were experiencing instability after an Extpart repartition. He suggested trying Gparted which is the Gnu Partition Editor. It is a free download.

If you are running Windows, you need to download the iso image since that has a linux based OS on it. You then boot to the Gparted CD.

The app first goest through a bunch of command line displays. It asks for the language and then you put in a 0 for an auto launch.

Once the GUI was loaded, it was fairly easy to use. The first task was to move the extended partition to the right. The app said 1 1/2 hours.. OK.. Then when it finished the first pass, it came back with 4 1/2 hours remaining. OK, time to send out for Pizza.

At the end of 4 1/2 hours, it was time to reboot and run it again. I had to then lop off the left side of the extended partition which was unalocated. There was no telling how long that would take. Would it be another 4 hours or 1 second.. WOW.. it was 1 second.

The next step was to reboot and try to extend the primary OS partition. That was another 3 second operation.

Now for the moment of truth… Reboot and see if we get the OS back. During the reboot CHKDSK ran. OK. Reboot again… This time I got a “Directory services Error”

Back to dell support. We started working through things and suddently the light went off. Early in this post, I mentioned that I had re-lettered the extended partition and also moved the log files to that drive.

After the repartitioning, the G Drive had reverted back to being a D drive. I went into Computer Management/Disk Management and Relettered D to G.

One last reboot. The OS came up perfectly. It was the moving of the log files and re-lettering interaction that had screwed things up.

So, we now have a reasonable 150 GB for the primary operating system partition. Great.

If you are ordering a server from Dell, Make sure that you have them make the primary OS partition large enough. Their tendency is to make it as small as possible for some insane reason.

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One Response to Repartitioning a Dell Poweredge T-300 Server using Gparted

  • At least yours is 12. I have some PE1800s with 4GB system drives. They not only made the partition that size but separate raid containers of that size. I have 3 raid containers in there now.. the last and biggest no longer used. I am going to try to delete the 230gb partition that is not used, move the 4gb partition to it and flag that container as bootable. HOPEFULLY it will not blow up in my face and I can delete the 4gb container. Having your main directory services server with only 500mb of disk space free is hell.

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