HELP PDC unrecoverable....

Posted on 2003-03-07
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-13
I have PDC and BDC. This morning for reason still undertermine my main server (PDC) boot sector is damage i think it unrecoverable.... My PDC was supposed to be running with a RAID controller to mirror 2 80 gig HD. I dont understand why both of its booth sector is trashed....  Its supposed to be backup if something like would happen... I tried removing the HD and puting it to one of our workstation as slave. The HD is working fine but the network files weren't there. Does this mean i can't recover our network files? And how can I restore my PDC? Im also hestitant to bring down the BDC im afraid this is a virus or some sort and the same might happen to my BDC...  HELP!
Question by:BATUSAI
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Expert Comment

ID: 8086873
This one is very tricky :

I have faced the same thing. What I did ( actually twice ) with two customers is the following :

Just try this : Take a Windows NT pc, even with a Workstation installed on it, then install the scsi card from the server in to the pc. Boot up and install the drivers if nescessary. Then add the drive to your system. Even though the boot sector is missing, wich it doesn't need because you are booting from another disk, you can read the data. Copy all files to another disk, preserving the normal drive letters ( example, create a folder called backup, and then a folder called 'c' to keep all the data of your C: disk and make a folder called 'd'  for the d: disk etc.. you know where this is going :) ). When copied all the files, take the other SCSI disk, put it as only drive in the workstation and start setup of Windows NT server. Be sure that your install partition is the same size as wbefore the crash. When he has finished with the first part ( after copying the files, before the first reboot. ) Just shutdown  the pc. Now you have a bootable windows disk, and it is time to restore. Put now the workstation disk back in together with the halfly new installed windows nt server, create the additional drives using disk manager. Delete in explorer ( do not delete the partition ) all the files that are on the c: disk of your SCSI disk except the root partition, there the only file you should delete is the boot.ini! Then copy all the files back to their original partitions. copy the boot.ini to the first partition, and put the scsi card back in the server, connect the newly recovered disk in it, and boot. When booted break the mirror , check your data integrity and apply Service Pack 6.0a to your installation. When everything is ok, format the second scsi disk, and recreate the mirror.

you can e-mail me for more details ( tcollier@entraxx.com )

Hope this will work.

Author Comment

ID: 8087466
Thank u for ur response.
I forgot to tell you that both my servers are running windows 2000 server with service pack 3. I already tried installing one of the harddrive to another workstation, hoping some of save data inside. Unfortunately the directory was missing. Is it because of the AD security? I made some quick reading about restoring the PDC. But most articles recommend demoting the PDC then reinstalling OS. how can this be if the PDC is already trashed?      
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 8089265
First, if both of your servers are Win2k and they are DCs then they are not PDC BDC. They are equal. The first one that you made a DC has the FSMO roles. If you demote this one than it will hand off the roles to the next server and this will become the Master. That will save your AD (users, security settings, schema). As for your network files please be more specific. Are they data files? Or are they just AD files?

I would love to help you but I am unsure of what you are missing. Need more info.

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Author Comment

ID: 8091546

im sorry for the misinformation, Lets say that I have 2 SERVER A and B. How can I demote server A? I cannot even pass the BOOT STOP ERROR message. I already followed the suggested steps from the said error message and nothing has changed. The network files im referring are DATA files.

hoping that you can shed light to this situation...


Author Comment

ID: 8091646

im sorry for the misinformation, Lets say that I have 2 SERVER A and B. How can I demote server A? I cannot even pass the BOOT STOP ERROR message. I already followed the suggested steps from the said error message and nothing has changed. The network files im referring are DATA files.

hoping that you can shed light to this situation...

LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 8091934
Explain your Hardware RAID setup better please.

Also when you slaved the drive to the workstation and you saw no data files do you mean no files at all? In otherwords a blank looking disc.

Author Comment

ID: 8099575

My Raid card as i know is a SCSI card who's primary function is to mirror two 80gig HD. The company's contractor said it was setup to create an instant back-up or an exact replica of the HD, if one of HD may fail.

Unfornately both of the HD failed. Do you think this was a virus?

When i transfered the HD to another workstation. I changed its preferrence to slave in order to access the HD. Actually there were i think system folders and files inside. Like winnt folder and others, what was missing was my files. To be more accurate the shared directory containing the files used and utillize by clients served by this server.  

Accepted Solution

SimonL-UK earned 450 total points
ID: 8102677
Hardware mirroring occurs transparently to the OS - the OS will effectively see only 1 disc.  If all the files are missing off both the discs, then either:

1) someone has deleted the network files (which would be duplicated on the secondary disc)
2) A virus has trashed your disk (which is unlikely has only the network files are missing)

3) A trashed bootsector I don't think would be copied

I would first check the event log on the SCSI RAID card to see what has happened...
Look for:
1) failed drive
2) drive anomolies

If you have mounted the supposedly good disc in another machine and you can access it no problem, I would suggest that you:

1) Put the working disc in the server
2) Check that it boots

If it boots:
1) rebuild the mirror with an additonal disc
2) boot into the OS and run checkdisk
3) Restore the missing data from tape (You did do nightly backups I hope) restoring directory/file permissions
4) Reboot the server which will re-establish the shares

If it does not boot:
1) Put a second disc in the system and establish a mirror
2) Rebuild the server and join it to the domain with the original server name
3)Restore the missing data from tape (You did do nightly backups I hope) restoring directory/file permissions

LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 8106561
Wow Simon I am impressed.

I suggest you do what Simon says. Sorry I havent had time to really diagnose your problem Batusai, so stick with Simon.

Good luck :)

Pcbrat aka Dawne

Author Comment

ID: 8132504
SimonL-UK :

You have any suggestion for any data recovery software?

Expert Comment

ID: 8135036
For recovery, dependant on the importance of the data, you can either:

1) Send the disk to a 3rd party who specialises in data recovery or
2) To name a few of the good software packages:
R-Studio by rtt
EasyRecovery Professional by Ontrack
Zero Assumption Recovery

I hope you manage to get your DC back up and running with all your data!


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