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Add second SCSI hd for Raid 1

Posted on 2004-10-19
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Hello,
I have a department server running Win Std Srv 2003 that serves 35 users. It is my domain controller, file server and also spools a plotter and printer. Its specs are as follows: SuperMicro Intel SE7500CW2,Dual Xeon 2.8 mhz with 1gig of ram, onboard LSI Logic 53c101-66 controller with additional Adaptec AHA 2940U pci SCSI controller. Seagate  ST3336607LW HD, Seagate 6340 tape drive and CD-Rom. It has been in service about one year and I would like to add a matching Seagate SCSI drive to add a bit of redundancy. I have looked at KB Q302969 which talkes about adding a second drive but don't know if this is the best way to go. My current HD is formatted 4gig/OS and 30.18/Data. If I use the softare version of RAID 1 will it mirror both OS and Data? Would you go Software or Hardware RAID?
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Question by:NetworkGuy04
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masterbaker earned 250 total points
ID: 12352884
I would avoid software RAID like the plague.  It just doesn't work as well as you think it should.  A hardware RAID can be much easier to manage.  If a drive fails, you can replace it and the RAID controller will take care of re-mirroring the drive.  This is just my personal opinion (backed by experience with software RAIDs that failed and caused major headaches for me and my supported users).

The problem is, how do you switch to a hardware RAID without completely re-installing the server.  Is the onboard LSI controller a RAID controller?  Is the drive currently connected to it?  If so, you may be in luck.  You could use Symantec Ghost or a similar package to get a complete image of your drive.  I'd also highly recommend a full tape backup as well, just in case.

Now install the new drive and configure your hardware RAID1 set.  Then restore the image and hopefully everything just works.

If you have to add a new RAID controller, you should add it and install the drivers BEFORE you image the server with Ghost.  This makes sure the drivers will be loaded and should hopefully make the conversion work without having to do a repair with the Windows server CD.

Just my $0.02.

Jeff
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by:avdm
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by:NetworkGuy04
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Ok You have talked me out of using the Software RAID. Now I am thinking about adding two drives, a 9gig for the OS and a identical SCSI ST3336607LW. Could I use the tape backup/recovery to copy the OS from the existing drive to the new 9gig? Or will I have to reinstall the OS plus all file shares, printers ect?

Thanks
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by:masterbaker
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Well, what I would do is use Ghost or a similar package to get a complete snapshot of the system before you pull the drive and add in your RAID.  Before you do the backup, I would add the RAID controller and install the drivers, but don't configure the disks or anything.  Now take a backup of it.  Then remove the existing drive, add the new drives, and create the RAID.  Restore your drive image on the RAID array and see if it boots.  If not, you may need to boot from the Windows CD and perform a repair.  When it prompts to install additional drive controllers (F6 at bootup), make sure to hit that button and insert the driver disk for your RAID controller.

The problem is that sometimes Windows doesn't boot up when you change the underlying hardware.  Going through a repair will allow it to reconfigure itself for the current hardware without overwriting the data, file/printer shares, domain info, etc.  It just gets the OS updated.

Jeff
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