how do i avoid the 'inaccessible boot device' error when i upgrade my single disk win2k server to raid 1?

Whatever i do, i get a blue screen "inaccessible boot device" stop error, when trying to boot the raid set.

I have installed the raid card alongside existing disk controller, to ensure drivers are available for when the raid is started. The raid controller is clearly showing in device manager, and has no problems. From within windows I only get the option to build the array by 'clear'(ing) both disks, which the manual clearly states erases data from both disks. So not an option, since i want to mirror the first disk in the set.

So i reset and build the array using the controllers' bios program. This takes about 2 hours, after which i reboot, and get the inaccessible boot device error again.

Does raid only actually work for a clean install? The documentation insists that i can build one up from an existing disk, but i cant figure out how (except by hacking the registry boot id's to the extreme).

Its almost as if an empty raid controller, and a controller with a configured array, are seen by windows as a different devices. perhaps a 3rd disk is needed.... i dunno, it sucks.

Please dont give me the 'press F6 on setup' solution, as this isn't a fresh install, and i have no intention of doing a fresh install :) before asking here, i did extensive searching on the problem, but only met it in context of fresh installs...
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Have you checked this

Will this help

Have you tried clean install or repair of windows 2000

Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
How to Move a Windows 2000 Installation to Different Hardware;en-us;Q249694

STOP 0x0000007B" Error After Moving Windows 2000 System Disk to Another System;en-us;Q271965
"After you move the system (boot) disk to a backup computer, you may receive the following message on your Windows computer when you try to start the backup computer:

***STOP: 0x0000007B (0xF741B84C,0xC0000034,0x00000000,0x00000000)

The registry entries and drivers for the mass storage controller hardware in the backup computer are not installed in Windows.

For integrated device electronics (IDE) controllers, there are several different chip sets available, such as Intel, VIA, and Promise. Each chip set uses a different Plug-n-Play (PNP) ID to identify it.

The PNP-ID information of mass storage controllers for the backup computer must be in the registry prior to startup for Windows to initialize the correct drivers. " 

Hope this helps


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MrSpleefAuthor Commented:
lucf: I saw that article, but i actually have the drivers for the raid card installed alongside the existing sata controller it will be replacing. Since this is a migration of the boot disk from single drive to raid 1, the raid controller must be empty of drives (or 1 drive max in non-raid mode). It seems as if the boot information needed to avoid the error is NOT about the controller card, but the raid array itself. And is therefore a chicken and egg situation :) Unless i add a 3rd drive as the boot drive, but then the array config/drivers would go the single (boot) drive, and thus leave me no better off....

sunray: that article is not for this case, and i already said a clean install isn't an option :)

I guess solving this is my mission for the day. I need to learn a solid method since i have a live customer site where the exchange database is damaged, and is currently configured to use software raid. This is another reason why clean install is not an option. If i can find a safe method for my office's (relatively) unimportant server, then this will pay-off for the customers (very) important server.

Still seeking an answer for just a migration from single disk to raid, as opposed to moving a disk to 'new hardware' (its only a disk controller, not a mobo change). Thx
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Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
have you taken a look at the boot.ini file. You might have to modify it so it can start from the right location.

What kind of Raid controller are you using?

I have used both Promise and DupliDisk controllers and they both have a well documented procedure for "Installing controller on an existing operating system" in the manual.

MrSpleefAuthor Commented:
adaptec SATA RAID 1210SA

there is a system documented in the adaptec manual too, only it doesnt work :)
1. I found this article in the Adaptec web site, which might be related to the long time you said it takes to build the array: "Extended RAID 1, build times when using the Adaptec ATA RAID 1210SA"

2. I would try to start up in Safe Mode, delete all related drivers, and follow the manual again.

3. The only thing that looks strange to me is that you can connect the hard drives to the controller before you install the drivers. from what I saw in other controllers you have to install the drivers and only then you connect the hard drives to the controller.

Hope this helps.

If you are doing the tests on a non critical system you may do as instructed in the manual:
"While the array begins building, you can exit the ARC utility, allow the operating system to start up, and use your computer during the build."

But note this: "Caution: Do not turn off the computer during the build. If you do, your drives may become unusable."

If you crash - at least you saved some time.
MrSpleefAuthor Commented:
Its not a raid creation problem. The raid card also has its drivers properly installed and showing as such in device mgr. It also has 2 hard drives connected in non-raid (JBOD) mode. In this configuration everything works fine, even booting off one of the disks. The problem is that on creation of the raid 1 array (which completes successfully in the adaptec bios) windows 2000 wont recognise the array, even though the controller drivers are installed. The raid array itself is seen as a single logical disk device, just like a normal non-raid disk is seen in addition to its controller hardware.

It is with this raid device itself (not the raid controller) that windows has a problem with and causes the error. One possible solution lies with creating the raid array before a new installation of win2k, doing the F6 procedure to add the drivers (presumably for both the controller and the array) and then noting the registry additions caused by the raid array (not the controller) and copying them to the existing system im trying to upgrade.

I hope the question is clear now, and that it has nothing to do with raid creation times, nor the raid controller drivers.

The quest continues....
I wouldn't recommend the registry maneuver - seems too dangerous.

You could try asking the Advantec support team at

MrSpleefAuthor Commented:
I haven't closed question because no answer provided yet. However I am currently trying something. If i software mirror my single disk with the hardware raid (so 3 disks in total) all driver info is written to both disks. Currently server is running in this 3 disk mode, but this w/e I will disconnect the single drive, and hope i tricked win2k into allowing me to boot off the raid set.

I will then award the points to the most helpful answers.

Hope this is ok?
Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
I really think you should take a look at my first comment.
MrSpleefAuthor Commented:
Ok the software mirror did the job! I left it running with the raid array on one side of the software mirror, and the single boot drive on the other. I did try editing boot.ini to add an extra windows boot, and kept restarting machine until i got no error for booting off the raid set. But when i removed the single drive, the new boot.ini entry no longer worked, but the existing one did! So in fact modifying the boot.ini didn't actually achieve anything.

Simply put, the software mirror was the key principle in achieving the upgrade from single disk, to a raid mirror. Id offer it myself as a final solution for others, but i haven't yet taken out the old sata (non-raid) controller, that the single disk was booting from. I confess its lack of courage, and i have the result i wanted which was upgrading an existing single disk server to fault tolerant raid, without having to do a reinstall of windows 2000 server.

i'm a bit lost as to who to award the points to. So i shared them among all for effort :)
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Windows 2000

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