Dynamic disk ghosting?

Posted on 2004-11-12
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
We have two dynamic disks currently giving us some problems, and we need to migrate to new hardware.  As I understand, ghosting a dynamic disk that is mirrored is supported whereas ghosting any stripes is not.  The two hard drives are setup as follows using windows disk management:

DISK0   [------8GB MIRROR-------] [+++++66.5GB STRIPE+++++]
DISK1   [------8GB MIRROR-------] [+++++66.5GB STRIPE+++++] [********93.5GB BASIC*********]

Making three partitions, redundant C (8 GB), Raid 0 D: (133 GB), and basic E: (93.5 GB).  So shouldn't partitions C and E be ghosted and D be xcopied (xcopy source:\* dest:\* /X /E /H).  Wouldn't this get all information and security and be fine to work with?  Woud there be any dependancy issues with switching hard drives using file copy and ghost?  Would windows not like the new partitions seen all as basic from the hardware raid, when it is configured for dynamic disks?  Thanks
Question by:cdesimone

    Author Comment

    Also, does win2003 recovery console support dynamic disks?  (I am assuming it does) and wouldn't this be the best place to xcopy? (because I don't want any processes such writing to the drive and making inconsisent data, and locked files)?  Would an xcopy be sufficient to take all data from the D partition (it is not bootabe)
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    I'll tell you what I do when dealing with data recovery problems involving raid/stripe configurations since they also have to deal with data copying.
    Forensic copy done sector by sector on an individual hdd regardless of the logical data layout.
    Software that does the magic - "Media tools pro 2003" available at
    Copying is done sector by sector (including reverse cloning!!! -starting from the end of the drive - great when beginning sectors of the hdd are bad) , partition and data size/layout is being duplicated entirely.  
    Unlike ghost it will work even when bad sectors are present.
    Program also does partition repair/secure wipe/data recovery/imaging in compressed format. I couldn't live without it!

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the information, but fortunately, I am pretty sure that the hard drive controller on the drive is going bad, and not the physical disk, so it will be a hit or miss on copying.  I have ran chkdsk on it with secotr scan and it reports no errors.  In addition, when it locks, the drive makes no noise and computer locks hard....  

    Do you have any suggestions on the data copying procedure, assuming that the physical disk is good and ghost will work with the dynamic mirrors and basic disks?
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    Well if you're sure it's the HD controller, if you've got a spare drive of the exact same type, you can MAYBE try the slightly insane option of pulling the board off the spare and putting it on the bad drive.  but you'll have to make sure both boards are exactly the same.  (note you can't use the board from the working drive in the stripe set as that would defeat the purpose)  

    Just a crazy suggestion

    LVL 15

    Accepted Solution

    Lets start with the hardware you use. Do you use any SCSI adapters?
    Also, did you verify the compatibility of the Ghost along with any RAID support?
    As for Xcopying... The Recovery Console has a GREAT utility called 'diskpart' where it can access drives off line and treat them; in reply to your question: you can 'add' a mirrored drive to a specified disk thus creating a full backup of the 'E' drive, as you suggested...

    It seems to me you know RAID but still, if you need additional info, just yale...

    Symantec's info on RAID controllers and Ghost:

    DiskPart utility:

    Good luck


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