FireWire Raid1 Solution on Windows 2003 Errors

Hello All:

I was recently dumbfounded when I saw that I had only 1GB left on my email server's HDD. This scared the begeezus out of me, and forced me to look into extra storage options. When I opened the email server I saw that there was no space left on the RAID array and with much to my dismay, it being a weirdly designed case, there was no space to put in a regular IDE drive either!

So, I posted on a couple of forums and listservs and what have you, and got back 3 different options:

1) SATA External RAID
2) FireWire 800 External RAID
3) Buy an Internal RAID and ducttape/velcro the HDDs to the case

Now, Firewire 800 was my solution on the sense that a) it was cheap, b) it was available right then and there. So I went and bought:

1) Adaptec 4300 FireWire PCI Card
2) 2 200GB WD 8MB Buffer IDE HDD
3) 2 External FireWire HDD cases

After I put the HDDs together in the case, and installed the Firewire card in the server, I plugged everyone in seperately and started up Windows 2003.

Windows 2003 saw the drives NOOOO problem! Now came the part on making it a RAID1 conf.

So I went to Disk Management, and saw my drives there, when I went to "Convert to Dynamic Disk" I saw the option was grayed out. After much research I found this article:

which shows you how to enable firewire's to do dynamic conversion. After that registry tweak, I got it to enable the option nooo problem. Now, I went and converted to dynamic and WALLA! It was available as dynamic.

Now, I went to Add a "New Volume" and chose "Mirrored" but as soon as I did that, on the bottom windows gave me a pop-up windows saying:

"FT Orphaning Error, one of the drives failed redundancy, and will not be available" then after that on the diskmanagement the famous yellow warning sign appears, with huge lettering "FAILED REDUNDANCY"

So,... After all this am I stuck AGAIN?!?! Is there no person out there that did this successfully that can help me out?


P.S. I also tried hooking the HDD's via serial and parallel settings. meaning, I lugged one case to the other, and that case to the machine. Result: No change. When I tried jumper settings: "by default I made them both master, then I tried master w/slave, and master/slave." Result: No change.

I AM STUCK PEOPLE! I AM ASSIGNING 1000  POINTS TO THIS QUESTION (I will give 500 to correct solution, and just reward another 500 to another question so you get a total of 1000 points)! I NEED THIS ASAP!
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I have never tried this but you could try using 2 firewire cards one for each disk.

The reason i sugest this is because a mirror will be read/writing to both disks at the same time giving you delayed access speeds causing windows to belive the volume can no longer be accessed. Having 2 firewire card may stop you sharing the firewire bus.

Hope this helps
ITKnightMareAuthor Commented:
ermm... the card has 3 firewire entrances on it.?? In system manager they are showing as 2 seperate devices (the HDDs)'

Are you sure about that?
They might be two seperate hdd is system manager but they are sharing the same bus on the firewire card. even the three seperate ports on the card will share the same bus.

This is just a sugestion i have not tested it

Have you tried right clicking on the volume(s) and repairing them in the disk manager?  Windows should be able to regenerate the raid.  That is, if the drive still shows up.  It dosn't sound like a connection problem since you've tried re-attaching the drives.  However, you could have a bad cable, unless you have already tried replacing them.

I hope we can help, no one likes failed hard disks =o\

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ITKnightMareAuthor Commented:
Trust me I HATE failed hard disks... LAdies and Germs in any event. I gave up on this soln. Instead I just got approved to go buy:

1) PCI ATA Raid card
2) Shielded Copper strengthened 36 in. IDE cables.

So I am just gonna keep the extrenal cases and  plug directly to the RAID card.

Oh well :)

Thanks for all the help, and I am going to share the points between floored1585 and terrygreensill.

Have a great day guys!

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