Server Restarts when Connected to RAID

Hi All,

I've spent all day trying to rebuild my server - and after 5 hours managed to get it to start accepting the restore CD.

Basically - I have 2 hard drives connected to a PCI Dell SAS 5 Host Bus Adapter. I was having so much trouble with Windows detecting a drive when I was trying to use the restore CD, so I disconnected everything and plugged 1 dive into a SATA port on the motherboard. Finally everything started to install. With everything setup on HD1, I disconnected it and plugged in HD2 to format it clean; which was successful.

With everything seeming to go to plan, I reseated the PCI adapter, connected up the HDs and powered on. The dives were detected in the boot-up BIOS run, and then you see the SBS Splash Screen loading - but after 2 seconds, the machine just reboots.

Where have I gone wrong with the RAID device. I was hoping it would use HD1 (in slot 1) to boot, and see HD2 sitting there empty.

Anyone have any ideas?

Many Thanks,

Pete
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PeterHingAsked:
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MotoCrazyCommented:
Do you have a RAID BIOS to check that the drives are there? My RAID BIOS for instance will allow me to rebuild a broken array. If I had to replace a drive in the mirror, I can either use the utility within the OS to rebuild, or do it from the RAID BIOS.

I would also have a look at your boot.ini file. Should be able to edit it from the recovery console. The OS was installed thinking that the boot partition was on SATA1:
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows Small Business Server 2003" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

but now that you have moved the disk to a different controller, you may have to change it. This is a SCSI controller you are talking about, isn't it? I am researching what it should be set to right now, but it might be something along the lines of:
scsi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows Small Business Server 2003" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

Note the "multi" changes to "scsi" to reflect being on the SCSI controller. The sample I posted would point the system to boot from the first device on the SCSI controller.
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scrathcyboyCommented:
like any SATA raid, the SATA RAID drivers provided by the manufacturer of the RAID device or mobo MUST be installed into the OS, such as XP or 2003 server BEFORE the system can see the RAID array and boot from it.  YOur symptoms -- the BIOS can see the RAID, but after a few seconds, it reboots -- tells me that WINDOWS does not have the RAID drivers installed on the NEW installation that you just did, on the single SATA drive.  You have to get the drivers for the RAID array, put them on a floppy disk, and when you are installing the OS to WHATEVER disk you are installing to, you MUST have the floppy in the drive, and press F^ as you are booting from the CD to specify extra drivers.  Then point the install to A: floppy, and it will see the RAID drivers.  Install each one until they are ALL installed, lave the floppy in.  Now continue the OS installation, and leave the floppy and CD in until everything is finished.  Then the system will see the RAID.  This comes about because versions of windows prior to VISTA have NO NATIVE support for SATA RAID
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scrathcyboyCommented:
typos -- You have to get the drivers for the RAID array from the MFGs website, put them on a floppy disk, and when you are installing the OS to WHATEVER disk you are installing to, you MUST have the floppy in the drive, and press F6 ....
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MotoCrazyCommented:
You are absolutely correct about the drivers scrathcyboy, but if he gets to the SBS splash screen, wouldn't that seem as though the drive was recognized? Whether on RAID or not? If he has not yet set the drives to run a RAID array, I would think it should still boot to the one drive. Moving it to a SCSI controller after install may cause problems though.

I have read before that it is possible to install OS onto a single SATA drive, install the RAID drivers from within the OS, then later add a second SATA drive and mirror it. I have not tried to verify, but it seems possible (without moving the drive to a different controller that is).

Just a thought Peter, if you hook up ONLY the drive that you installed to, on the PCI adapter, will it boot? If only the one drive connected still reboots, I think again the BOOT.INI is wrong.
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MotoCrazyCommented:
Was just looking around.... is this the card you are using?
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Networking_Communication/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=biz&cs=555&sku=310-8285

It says "non-RAID"  ????
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scrathcyboyCommented:
Yes, it is possible to install OS onto a single SATA drive, but it only works on some MBs that treat the SATA as an extension of the IDE bus -- kinda stupid, as SATA is serial and IDE is parallel ... but, oh well.

As for any RAID, I know of absolutely NO SATA RAID array that was even conceived of when XP and 2003 were designed. So ...

"install the RAID drivers from within the OS, then later add a second SATA drive and mirror it."

Yes that is possible.

To answer your other part about the SBS -- the answer is no, it is not loading, because at this point --

"but after 2 seconds, the machine just reboots.  Where have I gone wrong with the RAID device. I was hoping it would use HD1 (in slot 1) to boot, and see HD2 sitting there empty."

Not possible.  The RAID array that he previously had is remembered by the RAID controller, and unless he goes into the controller BIOS (if on the MB it is an extension of the MB BIOS) and BREAKS the RAID, the array will always be seen as a RAID by the BIOS and OS, and it will fail, no matter what.
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scrathcyboyCommented:
so I guess the solution is, break the raid array in the BIOS -- you will lose everything on the second disk, then see what happens ....  some RAID BIOSES are wierd, they will wipe out both drives when you break the RAID, others won't.  It russian roulette to some degree ....
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MotoCrazyCommented:
I know that my RAID BIOS, when breaking an array, WILL in fact wipe the partition info (dumb). I was able to slave the good disk and recreate the partiton and backup data though. I don't remember the name of the program I used though. I have it saved on my desktop, but the PSU fried and took the mobo with it (waiting on RMA from NewEgg).
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scrathcyboyCommented:
I need to correct what I said above, I should have added some stuff after, "this is possible." --

"install the RAID drivers from within the OS, then later add a second SATA drive and mirror it."

Yes that is possible, but only if you are talking about RAID 1 and the controller does not initialize both drives as soon as you make a RAID.  Unfortunately, the common ones do, like Adaptec and HP and Dell, and as you experienced, so does yours.

-----------------------------

PETE, this is why you should always have a "backup drive" of the system setup and data on a single drive.  What I tell clients is, make your setup more or less as you want it on an IDE drive, boot from it, make the RAID among the SATA drives, clone the IDE to the RAID array, then pull out the IDE and keep it as an enduring backup.  Never rely on a RAID alone !!!
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sifueditionCommented:
I think MotoCrazy has a good point here.  The SAS5i is a non raid controller.  The PERC5i is a raid controller.  This will make a huge difference in the way this is expected to behave.  Secondly, installing to the disk from an integrated port, the data will not be expected to be accessible when you boot that same drive from either controller.  It is more possible from the SAS5i to install from a sata port and then connect the drive, but it would not be a designed function of the controller.  Until we can know which card we are talking about, we cannot be sure what steps you will need to take.  Another note, there is also a SAS5i/r which is different from either of the previous two controllers mentioned but will have the same design limitations.
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