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Dynamic Disk data recovery for mobo replacement

Hi All again!!

Windows 2000 machine used as a server with two dynamic hard drives and the motherboard is bad. I need to backup the data so I can format and reload with the proper drivers for the new board. Problem is I do not have a Windows 2000 machine available to see the data. XP basic disk machines cant see the date and the Ghost I tried would not open. The Ghost seemed to be successful due to all the files it created, and it showed a FAT32 partition plus a NTFS. There is about 38GB to backup.

Thanks Again!

Clint Stewart
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clintstewart
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clintstewart
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2 Solutions
 
llefebureCommented:
XP (home and pro) can read any disk format that 2000 can. If you hook up the drive to an XP machine, is it even seeing the drive? Check in Computer Management, Disk Management, and look for this other disk. Maybe it saw it but just didn't give it a drive letter.

Make absolutely sure you have the data before you wipe that drive clean. You might want to just buy a new hard drive for the clean OS, just so you don't risk losing the data.

As usual, getting full (and tested) backups would have been good, but make sure you do this in the future.
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clintstewartAuthor Commented:
The disks are visible in Disk Management but will not allow me to active them. It appears that the customer may have had a mirror Raid of some type. As the drives have nearly identical partition information and though they show up as 2 separate physical drives with 2 partiitions each in the lower portion of the Disk manager, they only show up as two unassigned partitions in the upper portion of the manager. When I try to activate them they just say failed and won't do anything after that.

What I primarily need is just some way to recover and backup this data, what would be the best choice of action for this? Also, the drives are making some unhealthy sounding noises; so the less stress is applied to them the better. If I can't access the files directly at the moment, is there atleast some way I might be able to reliably and safely clone or ghost these drives to secure the data? Already I've had odd results(see above) with norton ghost with these drives, is there some special way to ghost or clone dynamic(and possibly raided) drives?

Thanks in advance,
Clint
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llefebureCommented:
You don't want to mark the partitions as active. That just sets the bootable partition number in the master boot record.

Since you can see the partitions, can you assign a drive letter to any of them? Even without a drive letter assigned though, it should tell you the partition size, file system, and if it is healthy. Does it say any of that?

If two of the partitions were in a RAID-0 at the windows level, then ghost isn't going to have a clue what to do with it. Both have to be fully functional, with windows running so it can do the RAID operations, to read the data. If they were in a RAID-1, then you should be able to mount the partition off either drive without the other drive even being there.
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clintstewartAuthor Commented:
Where it would normally say 'Healthy' it just says "Failed" for each partition, other wise except for the fact they are red and have big X's on their icons eveything in the lower portion of the window looks normal for the drives. The activation is activating the physical drive, not the volumes on it. The only option I get for the volumes in Disk manager is to delete them.
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llefebureCommented:
By it saying failed, that tells me that it probably had some RAID setup on there. If this was a 2000 server, then that was probably it. Windows 2000 Pro and XP home/pro cannot do RAID, so they probably can't piece things together for you.

If you can use ghost to back up the data, then you can use ghost explorer to open the image file and extract the data you want.

If things are looking really bad, such as possible partition corruption, you might be looking into some kind of file recovery software.
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clintstewartAuthor Commented:
One of the first things we tried was to open the image in Ghost Explorer, we see a Fat32 and NTFS/HPFS(s) partition. Clicking on one of the partitions just results in a 'NTFS and image all partitions cannot be edited." error. The more I look at the makeup of the partitions the more I'm thinking this might be a Raid-0 setup, any definative way I could verify that?

Thanks,
Clint
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llefebureCommented:
Well I don't believe your boot partition can be RAID-0, so do you have at least 2 partitions on one of the drives? That should be a good indicator.

If you have only 1 partition on a drive, and there is ~7 MB of free space at the end, that indicates it was converted from a basic to dynamic disk with that partition already on there. It seems to gain that free space upon conversion for some reason. If there is no free space, the volume was created on the dynamic disk. Both disks would have needed to be dynamic to establish any form of RAID in windows, but you will almost always install windows while it is just a basic disk. Thus the conversion has to happen in there somewhere.

If you it was a RAID-0, you might want to get a server OS so you can read the data in its native form. You could install Windows 2000 or 2003 server and read the data. If you don't have access to a server, just download a trial copy of 2003, as that will work fine for ~180 days, which is long enough to do a data recovery. I'd install the OS on some other drive, so you don't touch your originals with the data on them.
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clintstewartAuthor Commented:
Thanks llefebure for the info. We will try that Monday and get back to you.

Thanks,
Clint
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r-kCommented:
If you had RAID-0 you can still try to reconstruct your data with Raid Reconstructor from:

 http://www.runtime.org/raid.htm

try the free trial version first.
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clintstewartAuthor Commented:
Thank to both of you we will be able to access the data.

Clint
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r-kCommented:
Thanks and good luck.
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