Breaking a mirror and using the mirrored drive to boot from

Posted on 2005-03-03
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-12
I am using Windows 2000 Server SP 4, and I have 2 physical drives installed.  Drive 0 has a drive C, which is mirrored to drive 1.  I wish to retire (remove) Drive 0 and replace it with Drive 1.  I tried the following, but am running into problems.  I broke the mirror between the two drives.  I then turned off the PC, removed Drive 0, and set Drive 1 as the Master.  I then boot up the PC (in Safe Mode or Regular...it doesn't make any difference in respect to the problem...) and I am prompted to login.  I login, and after several seconds, an error message window appears, telling me that "Your system has no paging file, or the paging file is too small."  The message also has details on how to create a paging file, etc...  The problem is, once I click the OK button and close this error/warning, I am then automatically taken back to the login window.  In short, Windows knows what the problem is, tells me how to fix the problem, but in typical Microsoft manner, doesn't give the user any opportunity or details on how to change the paging file considering Windows takes you immediately back to a login window.

Any ideas on how to get the formerly mirror drive to act like the primary drive?

Question by:Softtech
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LVL 67

Expert Comment

ID: 13455674
Can you reverse this process?  I mean, is drive 0 still good?
If so, place everything back to normal - then simply alter your boot.ini file to point to drive 1 on boot up.

Author Comment

ID: 13455701
>> is drive 0 still good?

I'm not sure what you mean by "reverse this process"?  If I stick drive 0 back on, and make it the master, and leave drive 1 out of the picture, then everything works fine.  It's simply the mirrored drive that won't get past the login window.

>> then simply alter your boot.ini file to point to drive 1 on boot up.

You've lost me.  Drive 1 will no longer be drive 1 when the original drive 0 is removed and replaced with drive 1 (which now becomes drive 0).

Author Comment

ID: 13455712
I believe the problem has something to do with Windows saving not the drive letter, but some physical characteristic about the boot drive into the Registry, hence Windows is all befuddled when it finds a different physical drive then was last recorded in the Registry as the boot drive.  I think this is the problem, but I don't know how to fix this.
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LVL 67

Expert Comment

ID: 13455732
Okay - sounds like drive 0 is ok?

Put drive 0 back in and boot up.
Granted, you'll be using it with the original setup.  But now change your boot.ini file to point to the second drive (drive 1).

[boot loader]
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS     <--------change this line to point to 2nd drive

LVL 67

Assisted Solution

sirbounty earned 225 total points
ID: 13455750
Whoops - this might explain it a bit better (arc paths):

Depends on your disk - IDE or SCSI - on which item you need to change...

=======from the 2nd link==========

ARC (Advanced RISC Computer)  Name Syntax in BOOT.INI
BOOT.INI specifies operating system boot partitions using a special ARC (Advanced RISC Computer) name. The ARC name syntax in BOOT.INI is either:

  scsi (a)  disk (b)  rdisk  (c)  partition (d)

multi (a)  disk (b)  rdisk (c)  partition (d)

where a = the adapter number (starts at 0), b = the device address on the SCSI bus (always use 0 when "multi" is coded), c = the hard drive number on the adapter when "multi" is coded (starts at 0; always use 0 when "scsi" is coded), and d = the partition number on the specified drive (starts at 1).

Author Comment

ID: 13455862
You've lost me again.

I've put both drives in the machine once more as you suggested.  The drives are back in their original positions.

The boot.ini file for drive 1 is identical to the boot.ini for drive 0.  Both of the boot.ini files have:

default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Server " /fastdetect

So what am I supposed to change?

Author Comment

ID: 13455865
The drives are IDE, by the way.
LVL 67

Expert Comment

ID: 13455866
Is it IDE or SCSI drives you're using?
LVL 67

Expert Comment

ID: 13455877
Oops - you beat me...LOL
So, change your boot.ini to read:

default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Server " /fastdetect

and it should read from drive 1...

Author Comment

ID: 13455891
>> and it should read from drive 1...

Yeah, but there won't be a "Drive 1" once Drive 1 replaces Drive 0 and Drive 0 is put on the shelf.

Author Comment

ID: 13456011
>> So, change your boot.ini to read:
>> default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\

I changed the boot.ini on drive 1 so that all of the rdisk(0)'s now read rdisk(1).  I then turned off the PC, removed drive 0, set drive 1 as the primary master, turned on the PC, and was greeted with an error message:

Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem.  Could not read from the selected boot disk.  Check boot path and disk hardware.

Accepted Solution

ddrdan earned 600 total points
ID: 13458555
try this registry change:

Change from:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Winlogon\Userinit:Reg_SZ:C:\WINNT\system32\userinit.exe
Change to:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Winlogon\Userinit:Reg_SZ:userinit.exe

Author Comment

ID: 13459432
>>  try this registry change

Your suggestion is not clear.  For one, there is only one active Registry when  Drive 0 and Drive 1 are in the same computer.  Remember, currently the mirror has been broken, hence even though there may exist a Registry hive on Drive 1 (the ultimate new replacement drive for Drive 0), there is no way to make changes to the Registry on drive 1.   Using Regedit obviously will affect drive 0.  But since drive 0 is going to be removed and placed on the shelf, making a Registry change to drive 0 is useless.

Removing drive 0 and replacing it with drive 1 (which now becomes drive 0), as I've described repeatedly above, doesn't allow the user to get past the login window.  So how can you change the Registry on a drive that you can't even log on to?

The only way that you are going to get a Registry change to occur on the old drive 1 is to have both drive 0 and drive 1 on the same PC, and reattach the mirror, THEN make changes to the Registry on drive 0 (which will since the drives are mirrored will make drive 1's up-and-coming Registry contain the same change) and then break the mirror, then remove drive 0, replace it with drive 1, and see what happens.

Is THAT what you meant to say?


Assisted Solution

CompassIT earned 150 total points
ID: 13463140
Hi, Once again put all back as it was in it's original state before any chnages - mirrored. Cause what I can gather is obviously when breaking the mirror the page file remains on drive 0 and leaves you with your problem.

I have not done this myself yet, but it's worth a try. What you might be able to do is once booted in change your page file size to 0. This will obviously slow down performance, but it might sort your paging problem which it previously was looking for on drive 1.

Once your page file is set to 0 and you reboot windows will create a temporary page file of 20mb if I remember correct. Now break the mirror and use drive 1. Try and let's see.


Assisted Solution

lightningstalker earned 225 total points
ID: 13463716

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