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Booting from software mirror non-responsive

Posted on 2007-10-02
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Last Modified: 2010-04-19
I have a windows 2000 SBS with a pair of non-raid scsi hard drives set up as dynamic disks and windows mirroring. running. When I boot the server, I get the option to boot from the main or the mirrored drive (as defined in boot.ini). However, when I select the boot from the mirrored drive, I do not get the windows startup, just a blinking cursor. The drives are identical and the mirror appears to be working properly. I have tried going into the scsi setup utility and set the boot to ID 1 (from ID 0), but it would not boot this way, either.

I recently had a failed primary drive in this configuration with the same problem, and although the data was OK on the mirrored drive, I could not boot from it, either. After reinstalling the OS and copying the data to the new drive and setting the mirror again, I will be back in the same situation as before. What am I missing?
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Question by:Rich
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Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 20003781
I would test without the primary drive and see if this works, as well as making sure that the boot.ini is correct, and that the partition is set to active.

I never did like the software mirroring .....


I hope this helps !
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Expert Comment

by:PUNKY
ID: 20003811
Could you please list your boot.ini here?
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Expert Comment

by:lnkevin
ID: 20005983
Check this Microsoft article. It shows you the trick to boot your mirror disk:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/925581

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Author Comment

by:Rich
ID: 20006149
Here is the boot.ini file:
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINNT
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINNT="Windows 2000 Server - disk0" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINNT="Windows 2000 Server - disk1 - Mirror" /fastdetect

In looking at it myself, I am not sure why it says partition(2). The Graphical layout in the Disk Managment snapin shows it listed first, with a small (55MB EISA Configuration) volume (no label) listed second on Disk0 and a same size (55 MB Unallocated) partition listed second on Disk1. That is the only difference between the two disks that I can tell.
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Expert Comment

by:lnkevin
ID: 20006438
Are they both connect to the same controller on one cable?
If not, try to change the value of rdisk on the second line to 1 instead of 0.

In looking at it myself, I am not sure why it says partition(2)....

Your first partition could be the EISA and of course C: is number 2

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Expert Comment

by:lnkevin
ID: 20006452
Check this link if you want to know more about boot.ini structure

http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000492.htm

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Author Comment

by:Rich
ID: 20006576
The disks are SCSI disks on the same cable, so rdisk(x) should always be 0 (according to the info at the link you sent). They are at SCSI ID 0 and 1, which is correctly set in disk(x) parameter.
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Expert Comment

by:lnkevin
ID: 20006872
recently had a failed primary drive in this configuration with the same problem...

You need to read the below Technet to be sure your mirror is in place. If you did not set it to mirror correctly, break the mirror and reset it.

http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver/en/library/72c7fdee-97d5-4476-bc5e-a859d8b49a931033.mspx?mfr=true

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Network_Data_Support earned 2000 total points
ID: 20007000
software mirrors do not copy the MBR to the second disk!!!!!!!!!!

so if the primary disk fails completly you will not be able to boot as there is no MBR

use hardware mirrors
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Author Comment

by:Rich
ID: 20007164
Makes sense. That is what happened the first time. So is there no way to manually copy/create a MBR on the second mirrored drive? I guess I would have to wonder what the point of the mirroring is.

Any suggestions for an inexpensive hardware solution? I already have a SCSI 160 controller, which does not appear to have RAID capability.
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Expert Comment

by:Network_Data_Support
ID: 20007298
go for a adaptec card if its just raid 0,1 and 5 1 channel can pick em up for just  over £100

you can build a MBR to the second disk but it is a mission and all has to be done at low level

my advice is get a adaptec or similar card and hardware raid it mate much better.
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Author Comment

by:Rich
ID: 20007755
Thanks for all comments. It is amazing to me that the Windows Mirror does not create an MBR, since auto/manual failover to reboot onto mirrored drive seems to me to be critical. I will be looing into Adaptec card.
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Expert Comment

by:Network_Data_Support
ID: 20007818
yep is not good i have been there mate its ok if the primary is not completly dead and you can boot to the mirror but other then that not good
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