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Replacing an existing system boot drive on Windows 2000 Server

Kapusta
Kapusta asked
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I have a Windows 2000 Server 1U server that has a 5 year old 40gb IDE drive in it.  I'm amazed that the drive has lasted this long.  But I fear its days are numbered, even though there's no signs that anything is amiss.  A good dose of paranoia is not always a bad thing.  To that end, I would like to replace the existing 5 year old drive with a new one.  However, I want to avoid having to reinstall W2K server from scratch and go through all the updates and configuration and since I'm hosting 5 dozen domains on IIS on this server (i.e. drive).  What would be the best way to replace the drive and keep the down time and reinstallation of software and reconfiguration to an absolute minimum?

Thanks.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
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Commented:
I'd mirror it.  Get a new drive.  install it.  Convert the C: drive to a dynamic disk, then mirror it.  Leave it running as a mirror - (you really should have RAID on it anyway).  If the new or old drive fails, you'll be protected.

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Commented:
>> Convert the C: drive to a dynamic disk, then mirror it.

Drive C (disk 0) is already a dynamic disk.

Mirroring the drive does not allow me to remove the drive, however.  Mirroring the drive simply allows the server to keep on running should this 5 year old drive fail.

I want to swap drives, not add a second drive as a backup.

Yeah, yeah, I know, I should have a second drive as a backup.  But I'll worry about that once I get the primary drive 0 replaced with a new drive.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
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Commented:
So - THINK ABOUT IT!  MIRROR the DRIVE.  Then break the mirror by removing the old drive and you have an EXACT copy of the drive on a brand new disk.  Swap controller ports and it should boot right up - and if it doesn't you can still use the old drive and try to figure out what do to.

But why not keep the old drive in their with the new in a complete and functional mirror?  Don't know about you, but I've had 5 year old disks continue to work fine for years and brand new disks that were DOA or died within months.  Don't make the mistake of NOT using RAID.

Commented:
Do this:  Ghost the boot drive to an image, then restore the image to a new drive.  That's how I'd do it.  Or just ghost it straight to the new drive which is way quicker.  Ghost will allow you to expand the partition size on the destination drive during the operation.
 
Good Luck, Travis

Author

Commented:
>> Ghost will allow you to expand the partition size on the destination drive
>> during the operation.

Norton Ghost does not work with Windows 2000 Server.  I have Ghost.  It only works with 2000 Pro and XP.  And it has never created a clean mirror ready to reboot in all the many times I've tried this with an XP machine.   Ghost is fine for making backups, but not precise mirror images of drives that can be swapped.

Author

Commented:
>> Don't make the mistake of NOT using RAID.

Isn't the mirroring that is available from W2K Server's Disk Management panel considered RAID?

Commented:
Hi Kapusta,

If you  do the ghost from the ubcd4win cd, it will work.  But what you need is ghost version 8 to add to the ubcd4win.

I do this all the time with 2000 server, 2003 server, even Netware Servers.  But another prog to use is bootitng, from www.terabyteunlimited.com

It's trickier, but will also do the imaging.

And where the heck is rindi?  He'd be chiming in about acronis, which you can image with the trial version.

- Travis

Commented:
Also, if you are making a ghost image that is going on another machine, not the same one, you have to use the sysprep utility from microsoft to reset the activiation period and the hardware detection to allow for different hardware config. Even if they are the exact same type of pc from the same vendor this is often necessary.

- Travis

Commented:
Also, the ubcd4win has other built-in drive image transfer utils that would work for you too.  

- Travis

Author

Commented:
>>ubcd4win

What is ubcd4win?  I've never heard of it.  You write about it as it its common knowledge.

Commented:
www.ubcd4win.com

It's the ultimate boot cd for windows.  Sorry, to me it's common, but I forget that my evangelism for this unmatched tool hasn't spread the word completely yet.  It's a bootable CD that runs Windows XP.  It gives you network support and 32 bit access to all the system resources (speed), and comes with a huge array of utilities built-in and support for adding just about anything else you may need.  It takes a couple of hours to make one, but, once you have the creation process all set up, you can modify or add to it and make an updated one in minutes.

- Travis

Author

Commented:
>> THINK ABOUT IT!  MIRROR the DRIVE.  Then break the mirror by removing
>> the old drive and you have an EXACT copy of the drive on a brand new disk.

Your statement that I will have an EXACT copy of the drive is not true.  I just tried this, and it failed miserably.  Here's the deal.  Once I break the mirror I then go from having two "Drive C"s to one Drive C (drive 0) and one Drive D (drive 1).  Now, when I power off the computer, and remove drive 0 from the computer, and place drive 1 in its place (and yes, I changed the slave jumper so that drive 1 is now the master), and rebooted, Windows generates a multitide of errors.  Before I can even log in, I get the following errors:

Windows Internet Name Service

WINS could not start due to a missing or corrupt database. Restore the database using WINS manager (or wincl.exe found in the Windows 2000 Resource Kit) and restart WINS. If WINS still does not start, begin with a fresh copy of the database.


When I close that window, I get another error:

Limited Virtual Memory

Your system has no paging file or the paging file is too small.


When I close that window, I can then login.  But things are a mess when I look at my Desktop.  There is no drive C.  Only drive D appears.   When I try to access the Disk Management tool via the MY COMPUTER > Right Mouse click > Manage  ... I get a error:

MMC

Snap-in failed to initialize
Name: Computer management

This is exactly what I feared would happen.   It's not a simple matter of creating a mirror and then breaking the mirror.

Can anyone assist in fixing this mess?

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The above will work... but I don't know why you would do that which would take 3 times longer than ghosting.

A ghost boot disk that boots to DOS has no idea what operating systems is installed, and I have used it to ghost Server drives Dozens of times. The Windows version might not work on server, but it can make a boot disk from any PC you install it on. Unplug the CDROM, hook up your new drive to the CD cable, boot of the Ghost Floppy, Ghost drive 0 to drive 1, replace the old drive with the new one, plug CD-ROM back in, and that is the fastest way you can possibly do what you are asking.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
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Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
You want to do that when you DON'T WANT DOWNTIME.  Such a procedure requires, at worst, 3 reboots but ghosting could require hours of time offline to create the ghost image.

Commented:
The GHOST will do the job for you easy.

More Info: http://enterprisesecurity.symantec.co.uk/products/products.cfm?productid=317

It works fine with windows 2000 pro and server as well.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
Further, if you don't have it already, you need to buy it whereas this method costs $0 for software - and when done right, takes all of 15 total minutes of user time.

Author

Commented:
I prefer leew's suggestion since it requires no down time (although I have not been able to successfully test his solution).  I will try mirroring the drive again and removing the mirrored drive in the next 24 hours.

Author

Commented:
>> Then boot up with the old disk - you should get errors about the
>> broken mirror but ALL SERVICES should be running fine.

Actually, no errors occur when rebooting from the mirrored drive which has been yanked as the mirror and made the primary.  I just got around to testing this and it seems to work fine.

>> Then break the mirror in Disk Management with the new disk REMOVED
>> from the system.  Finally, power off, then SWAP the new drive for the old
>> drive and repeat the procedure.  

Well, for anyone taking notes, after you have mirrored the old drive and removed the old drive and replaced it with the new drive, (and leave the old drive off the system), you will need to DELETE the mirror, then delete any volumes on the OFFLINE (missing/old) drive, then remove the OFFLINE drive from the Disk Management console.

Author

Commented:
>> you have to use the sysprep utility from microsoft to reset
>>the activiation period and the hardware detection to allow for different hardware config.

Where does one find this sysprep utility for Windows 2000 Server?  I could envision myself migrating the drive to a new system sometime in the future.
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