NT4 Software to Hardware Raid on BOOT disk

Posted on 2003-02-25
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-01
I have an NT4 PDC / DHCP / Fileserver which currently operates off of an NT4 mirrored disk set (SCSI).

I have 2 18GB SCSI disks with dual partitions (C:, D:).  C: contains the bootimage (which is mirrored) and the OS and D: contains the shared databases.

I Need to upgrade the NT4 Software RAID to a HARDWARE RAID using an adaptec SCSI Controller.

From my understanding, the adaptec controller will re-initialize the drives while setting up the new array (level 1).

How can I change from software to hardware without re-installing windows and all apps.

I do have a DDS4 Tape backup and Veritas Backup Exec.
Question by:Nick_Niti
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 8017922
Um, is this like asking how to format a partition without erasing anything?

I think best is backup data, make HW change, Install applications, restore data. In that order.
LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 8017976
(personally, I don't RAID like that anymore, relying on backups, and using entire drive to max storage available. Too often you lose a little RAID and you lose it all, so given the downtime, I don't see so much the advantage, such as for mirroring files that never change)

Author Comment

ID: 8018040
is there a way just to preserve the c: partition of these disks, or easily move it a third disk used for boot/os only?

With the exception of the OS all the data on the mirror is HIGHLY dynamic (A large pharmacy database system)

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LVL 56

Expert Comment

ID: 8019307
>I do have a DDS4 Tape backup and Veritas Backup Exec.

Backing up is easy, now is an excellent time to test your restore procedure :-)

SunBow, raid 0 isn't just for relyability, two heads are better than one and if you have a good controller it will read data from which ever disk gets there first.

Expert Comment

ID: 8022007

Your real problem is not backing up and restoring but adding the drivers to make the system recognize the new hardware and boot.

Windows NT will need the drivers in order to recognize the SCSI controller and hard disk(s)

-  The safe option is do a back up of your data, install the new hardware and install the OS with your applications, then restore the data.  It will take time but you will be ok.

-  You can add the drivers first, shutdown the system and  try to pair one disk from the mirror set with a blank one and see if you can rebuild it from there instead of creating the set.


Author Comment

ID: 8025176
Would it be possible to

Break the NT Mirror
Ghost SCSI boot drive to an IDE machine
USE IDE machine as a temp PDC
Intsll raid card in original machine
Ghost IDE Machine back onto NT machine


1) Break NT Mirror
2) Install SCSI Controller + 1 Drive from mirror in temp machine
3) Boot temp machien as PDC
4) Install Raid controller on old machine
5) Ghost Temp machien to raid machine

Accepted Solution

heskyttberg earned 225 total points
ID: 8030572

Not quite as you propose, that is a BAD idea.
1. Tell users they might lose their home dirs for a few hours, or do it at night.
2. Install the IDE machine as BDC.
!!! DO NOT GHOST !!!
3. Copy everything you want to keep from PDC to the IDE based BDC.
4. Promote BDC to PDC.
5. Kill the SCSI server that is now BDC.
6. Install RAID card and connect discs to it. Make sure you have the driver floppy for NT.
7. Go into raid card BIOS or boot any utility floppy create the mirror set. I'd recommend you use mirror on a PDC.
8. Install NT, press F6 (I think..), insert floppy. Install as BDC.
9. Copy back everything you previously copied to the IDE machine.
10. Promote the newly installed BDC to PDC.
11. Kill the IDE machine.
12. Done, go out and have a beer if done at night that is, :).

If you try ghost remember that when installing the SCSI ghost onto an IDE machine you might actually not have and IDE device driver in that ghost.

It's also BAD to ghost a PDC, you can try but I wouldn't do it + hardware can be diffrent and NT dosen't autdetect anything.

/Hans - Erik Skyttberg

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