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Mirror process fails when mirroring system volume

Posted on 2005-04-02
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Last Modified: 2010-07-27
Hi, I have an IBM eserver 206 with 2 identical 160gb SATA HDs and SBS 2003 installed and I'm trying to software mirror the system volume. I've converted disk 0 and disk 1 to dynamic and both are healthy. Disk 0 has a 9.77gb system voume. The problem is when I try to mirror the system volume it goes through the whole resynching process fine, then disk 1 reverts to unallocated and the system volume label says Online (Errors). I can reactivate the system voume and it corrects the errors. Help!
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Question by:robgill
7 Comments
 
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2hype earned 2000 total points
ID: 13688654
Your Secound Hard Drive Might Be faulty.
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Expert Comment

by:ccomley
ID: 13689428
I agree with 2hype.

To test it, break the mirror, then format the second disk up as a separate disk, test-copy a bunch of files to it, etc., and see if it behaves OK for a day or two. I bet it won't. If it does, delete the partition off it and try again on the mirror...

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Author Comment

by:robgill
ID: 13691005
Maybe it is a faulty disk - seems strange though, considering it's brand new. Is there any other way of testing the integrity of the disk, apart from Windows error checking which says it's fine? Copying files to and fro doesn't seem very scientific really, and I'd like to 100% sure it's a dud before buying another one - and 100% sure it's fine (even if the mirror succeeds) before trusting my co's data to it.
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Author Comment

by:robgill
ID: 13691144
From MS: 'You can create mirrored, striped, spanned and RAID-5 volumes using a combination of MBR and GPT disks, but the MBR cylinder-alignment restriction may cause some difficulties in creating mirrored volumes. Always mirror the MBR disk to the GPT disk to avoid cylinder-alignment difficulties'

So maybe this is my problem. I've now converted Disk 1 to a GPT dynamic disk (unallocated) but when I try to mirror disk 0 I get the message 'You cannot mirror the current boot volume on another disk with a different partition style'
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Expert Comment

by:scdavis
ID: 13692061
Rob,

Stop focusing on higher-layer tools.  

Focus on analysis.  Sure, it's new.  Sure, it's shiny and not yet covered in filthy dust.

Most hardware that'll fail will fail in the first 2-3 months, in my experience.

Gee Whiz.  A Dead $160 HDD that's under warranty?  I've received dead $50,000 alpha servers.  

Figure out which part it is -- by using the simple tools advocated (above) -- and get on with it.  

-- OH, and don't use software mirroring!  For christ's sakes!  $500 gets you hardware that does it, hot-swap!  

Software mirroring *SUCKS* and *IS STUPID* and *SUCKS*.

Only tools use software mirroring, in my opinion.  No offense intended -- just hoping you self-educate and use hardware when and where hardware expendature is appropriate..


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Author Comment

by:robgill
ID: 13697172
Hi scdavis,

I've taken ccomley's advice and copied files to and fro, and reformatted it and tried to mirror again. The disk behaves fine apart from reverting to unallocated and breaking the mirror the moment it's finished resynching.

I've read up a bit about software mirroring and I believe that for my small company it provides sufficient redundancy, and cost is an issue.

You tell me to focus on analysis - that's what I'm trying to do! I'm trying to analyse if the disk is faulty or not, or if there's another reason why I can't mirror it.

Oh, and the company's a recent start up, I'm a partner and cashflow is all important - 160 bucks is almost a week's salary for some of our employees (in Spain)!
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Expert Comment

by:scdavis
ID: 13849629
robgill,

Please don't take my ranting as a personal insult -- it's not meant like that.

Heck, I have one client that is using software mirroring (installed by me).  

The Windows 2003 server software mirroring isn't horrible..  if the first drive fails, you can actually boot from the 2nd drive -- without all the MBR? fussing and whatnot that NT4 required.


I do still believe that doing RAID with software is silly, however.  You're making backups to some other (offline) device, right?

Your problem is bizarre.  Nothing else is logged?  That scares me.  I wouldn't trust that machine/installation with my data.

I'll admit -- I'm useless to you.  I've got no good advice for you -- other than be very dilligent about backing up that machine.


Good luck,
-- Scott.
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