Add Hot Swappable SAS Drives to Dell PowerEdge R720

Need more disk space on your Windows 2012 Server (Datacenter Ed., or similar Win OS) storage space?  If you have additional empty drive slots available, there is an easy solution.

To add additional hot swappable SAS drives to PE R720 … you would need to add more storage to the server, if there are extra drive slots. No need to get into old fashioned RAID S/W or access special menus. Hot swaps mean the bezel front cover of the Dell Server can be removed, and the drives can simply be inserted. They light up automatically, and can now be configured within Dell OpenManage software.

– Manually insert the drives: in this example, 4 SAS, 3 for RAID 5, 1 for Dedicated hot spare
– Download latest Dell OpenManage, install
– Open Dell OpenManage web interface
–  Verify the Physical disks show
– Go to Storage, then to PERC H710P (Embedded), or similar …
– Go to Connector, Enclosure, Physical disks – are the new ones there?
– They should say READY under the new drives, as below
SAS Drvs
– Under available tasks, for ea. drive click ‘blink’, then ‘execute’ if server is accessible – this verifies you are working on the correct drives. Now ‘unblink’ the suckers  ;>
– Open Virtual Disks, note the new disks are not part of a virtual disk yet, but previous virtual disks should be listed.
– Open “Go to the Create Virtual Disk Wizard”
– Use “Express Wizard”, Raid 5, label it appropriately, like “2nd Raid Storage”, accept size default
– Check box under “Assign Dedicated Hot Spare”
– Hit Finish, then verify the new virtual disk was created. One more easy step …

– Finally, open Computer Management + Disk Management tool

– They need to be used to formally add  or introduce the new disks to the Windows 2012 operating system – an “Initialize Disk” (GPT) prompt should come up, select ok
– Look for the ‘Unallocated’ Disk (Disk 3 or 4, depending on your scenario – should be on the bottom): right click over ‘unallocated – New Simple Volume’, hit Next, accept default size, assign a drive letter of your choice, edit label (optional) to something like, “EXTRA STORAGE”

-Otherwise defaults are usually good, finish up and voila,  oodles of additional storage space to use!


2 Replies to “Add Hot Swappable SAS Drives to Dell PowerEdge R720”

  1. This is one of the best written, most concise and to the point, and accurate how to’s I have ever read/used. Flawless throughout.
    Can’t thank you enough for this.

    1. Thanks, Ron, I appreciate it! I enjoy the writing part, at least when I have time. And I like when sites or blogs have concise pages myself, so I thought I would do the same.

      I also just love these Dell PowerEdges!

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