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Problem replacing mirrored hard drive

Posted on 2006-07-17
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
This is my first experience with a mirrored hard drive, so please be gentle.  I consider this an urgent question because this is our HR server, and is responsible for paychecks and the such.  I can't afford to not have a backup.

My company's HR server (Win Server 2003) has a mirrored hard drive (with two partitions, C: and F:) that failed.  The second hard disk came up with the error:

"Failed redundancy"

When I put in a new hard drive (same make and model) and right clicked on C: in Disk Management I was given the option to Repair.  This generated a new mirror on the new hard disk.  The F: also has the message "Failed redundancy" but there is no option to repair the mirror.  It is my understanding that I need to "break" the mirror and then just create a new one on the new hard disk, but the option to break the mirror is also grayed out.  What do I do?

For reference, when I right click on F: here are the options I have:
-Open
-Explore
-Mark volume active
-Change drive letter and path
-Format
-Resynchronize mirror (which I tried and it just generates "Failed redundancy" again)
-Delete volume
-Properties
-Help

Thanks!
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Question by:magicspringsadmin
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Accepted Solution

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arnold earned 500 total points
ID: 17126567
Are you using Software RAID or are you using a RAID Controller?

Lost redundancy means that one of the mirrored drives is lost which you already know.

You may have inadvertantly made the whole disk into the Mirrored partion for the C drive.  This would not occur if there was a RAID controller involved.  What you need to do detach the new drive from the C partion.  partition the new drive to mach the partitions on the existing one for C and F and then attach the "C" partition on the new drive to the existing C drive mirror and then do the same for the F drive.
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Author Comment

by:magicspringsadmin
ID: 17126973
No, we haven't invested in RAID yet.  Hopefully soon.  In disk managment I show the new hard disk with the C partition and there is still an undefined partition on the hard disk that matches the size of F.
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LVL 78

Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 17128196
Have you tried to define the undefined partition to match the Current F drive size and see whether that enables you to add it into the mirror set of the current F partition.  Or what happens if you right click on the undefined partition?  Does it provide an option to repair the raid there?
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LVL 78

Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 17129483
Also, did you remove the bad drive from the F drive's configuration?
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Author Comment

by:magicspringsadmin
ID: 17148431
It won't give me the option to define the unpartitioned space as a mirror for F: since there is already a mirror established.  Even when I remove the bad hard disk I don't get that option.  It looks like I need to find a way to break the F: mirror, but as in my inital post I can't figure out how to do that.
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Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 17150023
Break the C mirror.  Define the two partitions on the replacement drives but do not format them.  Then add the drive to C and to F.
http://www.tomshardware.com/2001/09/06/raid_without_additional_hardware/
http://www.netadmintools.com/art439.html
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Author Comment

by:magicspringsadmin
ID: 17150270
This still begs the question, how do I break the existing F mirror so that I can make a new one?

Just in case I'm not making this terribly clear:

HardDisk0 (main drive) |---- C: ----| |---- F: ----|
HardDisk1 (new drive)  |---- C: ----| |------------|
HardDisk2 (old mirror)  |------------| |---- F: ----| (Failed Redundancy)

I am looking for how to break the existing F: mirror so that I can make a new mirror on HardDisk1.  See the original post for available options when right clicking on F:.
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LVL 78

Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 17151328
Starting at the bottom of Part 4 and continuing to Part 5 of the netadmintools.com link provides the answer.

Right click on the F: drive and select the remove mirror option which should be there..
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Author Comment

by:magicspringsadmin
ID: 17155624
I know it should be there, and that is the problem.  I don't have the option to remove or break the mirror.
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Author Comment

by:magicspringsadmin
ID: 17406201
I was eventually able to solve the problem using your tips.  Thanks!  Sorry it took so long for me to give out the points, I forgot about the post for a while.

Dave
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