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March 24, 2003—In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY

2. FAQS

  • Q. What's the Diskpart utility?
  • Q. How can I use Diskpart to extend a volume?
  • Q. How can I use Diskpart to create a mirrored disk?
  • Q. How can I use Diskpart to create a RAID 5 set?

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Windows & .NET Magazine Connections: Win A Florida Vacation
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4. CONTACT US

  • See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

1. COMMENTARY
(contributed by John Savill, FAQ Editor, jsavill@winnetmag.com)

This week, I explain the Diskpart utility that comes as part of the "Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit" and "Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Resource Kit." Specifically, I tell you how to use Diskpart to extend a volume, create a mirrored disk, and create a RAID 5 set.


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2. FAQS

Q. What's the Diskpart utility?

A. Diskpart is similar to the MS-DOS Fdisk utility, which lets you create and view partitions from the command line. However, Diskpart does much more than Fdisk. In addition, the Diskpart UI matches the graphical interface of the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Disk Management snap-in.

Diskpart is part of the "Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit" and the "Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Resource Kit." (Microsoft includes Diskpart as a core utility in Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP.) You can download the tool for free from Microsoft's Web site.

To run Diskpart, type

diskpart

at the command prompt, then press Enter. Rather than relying on command-line execution, you actually run commands inside the Diskpart environment. When you're finished, type

exit

to leave the Diskpart environment. For example, the screen might display

   C:\Documents and Settings\john>diskpart

   Microsoft Diskpart version 1.0
   Copyright (C) 1999-2001 Microsoft Corporation.
   On computer: TRINITY

   DISKPART> exit

   Leaving Diskpart...

   C:\Documents and Settings\john>

during a Diskpart session.

Q. How can I use Diskpart to extend a volume?

A. You can use the Diskpart utility from the "Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit" or the "Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Resource Kit" to extend an existing volume by performing the following steps:

  1. Download the Diskpart utility from the Microsoft Web site, then install it on your computer.
  2. Go to Start, Run, then type cmd to start a command-line session.
  3. Type diskpart to start a Diskpart session.
  4. Type list volume to list the current volumes. The list will look like
       Volume ### Ltr Label Fs Type       Size  Status   Info
       ---------- --- ------------------- ----- -------- -------
       Volume 0   C   NTFS Partition      10 GB Healthy  System
       Volume 1   D   Data NTFS Partition  9 GB Healthy  Pagefile
  5. Type select volume <volume number></volume> to select the volume you want to extend.
  6. Type extend to extend the selected volume. If you don't pass any parameters, Diskpart will use all unpartitioned space on the current disk. Alternatively, you can type extent size=<size in mb> disk=<disk number></disk></size> to set a size and disk to use for the extension.
  7. Type exit when you're finished.

You can extend only volumes created on a dynamic disk, not volumes created on a basic disk that you've upgraded. If you try to extend volumes created on a basic disk, you'll receive the error "Diskpart failed to extend the volume. Please make sure the volume is valid for extending."

Q. How can I use Diskpart to create a mirrored disk?

A. You can use the Diskpart utility from the "Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit" or the "Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Resource Kit" to either create a new mirrored disk or mirror an existing disk. (Be aware that Windows XP doesn't support mirrored disks.) To create a new mirrored disk, perform the following steps:

  1. Download and install the Diskpart utility from the Microsoft Web site.
  2. Go to Start, Run, then type cmd to start a command-line session.
  3. Type diskpart to start a Diskpart session.
  4. Type list disk to list the current disks. The list will look like
       Disk ### Status Size  Free    Dyn  Gpt
       -------- ------ ----  ------- ---- ---
       Disk 1   Online 28 GB 6621 MB *
       Disk 2   Online 12 GB 12 GB   *
       Disk 3   Online 29 GB 29 GB   *
  5. Type select disk 2 to select disk 2 as the disk on which you want to create the mirror.
  6. Type create volume simple size=100 to create a new volume.
  7. Type add disk 3 to add disk 3 as the new disk that will become the mirror.

To add a mirrored disk to an existing disk, perform the following steps:

  1. Download and install the Diskpart utility from the Microsoft Web site.
  2. Go to Start, Run, then type cmd to start a command-line session.
  3. Type diskpart to start a Diskpart session.
  4. Type list disk to list the current disks. The list will look like
       Disk ### Status Size  Free    Dyn  Gpt
       -------- ------ ----  ------- ---- ---
       Disk 1   Online 28 GB 6621 MB *
       Disk 2   Online 12 GB 12 GB   *
       Disk 3   Online 29 GB 29 GB   *
  5. Type select disk 1 to select disk 1 as the existing disk that you want to mirror.
  6. Type list partition to list the current partitions. The list will look like
       Partition ### Type         Size    Offset
       ------------- ------------ ------- ------
       Partition 1   Dynamic Data 10 GB   32 KB
       Partition 2   Dynamic Data 6001 MB 10 GB
       Partition 3   Dynamic Data 6001 MB 16 GB
       Partition 4   Dynamic Data 6621 MB 21 GB
  7. Type select partition <partition number></partition> to select the partition for which you want to add a mirrored disk.
  8. Type add disk <disk number></disk> to add a new disk, which will mirror the disk you selected in Step 5.

Q. How can I use Diskpart to create a RAID 5 set?

A. A RAID 5 set consists of data spread across three physical disks, of which one can fail without causing any data loss. To use the Diskpart utility from the "Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit" or the "Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Resource Kit" to create a RAID 5 set, perform the following steps:

  1. Download and install the Diskpart utility from the Microsoft Web site.
  2. Go to Start, Run, then type cmd to start a command-line session.
  3. Type diskpart to start a Diskpart session.
  4. Type create volume raid size=<size in mb> disk=<disk numbers></disk></size> where is the amount of space you want to use from each disk (in megabytes) and are the numbers of the disks that you want to use in the RAID 5 configuration. For example, create volume raid size=6000 disk=1,2,3 creates a RAID 5 set that's 12GB (i.e., 6000MB x 2) across three disks (one-third of the space is used for fault tolerance).

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS
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