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Install operating system on new server after configuring hard disks as mirror array

Posted on 2007-07-30
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I recently purchased a new IBM server with 2 x 250 GB hard disks.  I am having some difficulty now in configuring this server.  Here is what I have done so far.

When I boot the server, I enter the Adaptec RAID Configuration Utility and then use the Disk Utility to perform a low-level format on each of the drives.  Then I created my mirror array.  This appears to have been done successfully because the array shows status "Optimal" and both drives are "healthy".

(Secondary question:  Once I have configured my array, there are two options I am confused about.  One is to "Enable the Write Cache", and the other is "Make the Array bootable".  Should I be doing either of these steps?)

Then when I insert my Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 CD into the drive, the machine then starts the setup program and begins copying the necessary files into memory.  Then once all files have been loaded into memory, it then says "Press Enter to continue loading Windows . . ."  When I do this, it immediately returns with a message saying "Windows did not find any Hard Disk Drives . . ."

Can someone explain what I am doing wrong and why I cannot get this machine to install the OS?

Thanks for your help.
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Question by:DanielAttard
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Expert Comment

by:thur6165
ID: 19593546
You'll need to get the SCSI driver from the manufacturer of the RAID card in order to load the drivers during the windows install so that the drives can be seen.  This is one of the first things that come up during the windows install on the bottom.  Press F6 to load SCSI drivers.  Be prepared to use a floppy drive to do this.
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Author Comment

by:DanielAttard
ID: 19593583
Thanks for the suggestion, but this is a new IBM server, and it does not have a floppy disk.  I tried using your suggestion, and it does indeed ask for SCSI drivers from a floppy disk.  Not sure what to try next.

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Expert Comment

by:thur6165
ID: 19593636
Enable write to Cache will increase performance but greatly increases the risk of data loss.  I would recommend not using it in a standard server setup.  If you have a card with a onboard battery backup and the server is connected to a UPS then your on the way to being ok with this setting, but still.

You can make the array bootable.  Thought that would have been the default setting.
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Author Comment

by:DanielAttard
ID: 19593652
Thanks again.  I will make the array bootable and try again.
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Expert Comment

by:thur6165
ID: 19593680
Make sure the "Make array bootable" setting is enabled and hope that R2 included these drivers natively.  Never had much luck in that department.  Only option after that is to run out and get a usb floppy drive.  Good to have around the server room, not many server come with the floppy these days but its still needed to do some things.

Some firmware updates
ASR boot disk
and ofcourse loading SCSI/RAID drivers for a windows install.

Hopefully your local stores carry them, otherwise you'll have to order online.  GL
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Accepted Solution

by:
andyalder earned 2000 total points
ID: 19593763
Didn't you get a copy of IBM ServerGuide setup and install CD with it? Boot from this and select to install Windows and it sorts out the drivers for you. There's an .ISO on their web if you can't find it.
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Author Comment

by:DanielAttard
ID: 19594891
Thanks Andy.  You da man!  You fixed my problem.  I was using the IBM ServerRAID Support CD instead of the IBM ServerGuide CD that you pointed out.

Thanks for the help.
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 19594999
The ServerGuide CD doesn't put the ServerRAID management component on after you install Windows with it so you'll have to install that afterwards if you want to look at or change the RAID configuration with the server online.
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Author Comment

by:DanielAttard
ID: 19595034
Thanks for the tip!
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