Moving around mirrored drives

Hi,

We have a Compaq Proliant ML370 G3 with 4x36GB SCA-80 hot swappable SCSI drives running on Windows 2000 Server + Exchange server 2000. The drives are configured as dynamic disks in the AD disk management and are mirrorred as such:

[SCSI ID 0] Empty
[SCSI ID 1] [Disk 1] System (C:)
[SCSI ID 2] [Disk 2] Mirror of System
[SCSI ID 3] Empty
[SCSI ID 4] [Disk 4] Data + Exchange (D: E:)
[SCSI ID 5] [Disk 5] Mirror of Data + Exchange

I wanted to add 2 more 146GB drives in the empty slots but as soon as I plug in a drive in the ID-0 slot the system seem to want to boot from that hard drive and I get the invalid system disk error. The drive in ID-3 shows up no problems.

I'm assuming that the boot drive need to be on the first available SCSI ID, is this a correct assumption?
In that case it would make sense to move the system drives down to ID-0 and ID-1 but I'm concerned with Windows not liking that especially that the mirroring is done in Windows and not using the Compaq RAID utilities. Do I have to do anything prior to moving the drives or will it just work by reconfiguring the settings?

Thanks in advance for your help
marishalAsked:
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andyalderCommented:
Can you confirm whether there is a RAID controller in the server or not. this will make a big difference as to whether you can simply move the disks about. A copy of boot.ini will also help.
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marishalAuthor Commented:
andyalder,

Thanks for the question. I've never actually looked inside the server since I took over however the device manager shows that the server has 2 x Compaq Integrated Dual Channel Wide Ultra2 SCSI Controllers. I have tried installing the Compaq Array Configuration Utility for Windows 2000 but it wouldn't install and the error message that I got was that "The software does not need to be installed on this system". So I know for a fact the system has a SCSI controller but I can't install the Raid GUI software and during POST I don't get prompted for a special key sequence that will get me into some sort of a raid configuration. It just spins the disks and displays the disk and their assigned SCSI IDs. Your question did not occur to me before, is it possible for a server to have SCSI controller without any RAID functionality?

The current Boot.ini is:
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Server" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Mirror Disk 2000 Server" /fastdetect

Thanks again for your help
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SysExpertCommented:
That could well mean that this is a Software Mirror , done in Windows via the Disk Manager, not via hardware.

Slow, , but it works.

You may need to break the windows Mirror and rebuild.
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marishalAuthor Commented:
So by breaking the windows mirror the contents of each disk will remain intact, right?
If I then move the Windows disk into position 0 it should boot no problems?
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SysExpertCommented:
Since they are mirrored, you automatically have a spare, so you are going to have to test.

Yes it should work.

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andyalderCommented:
It's quite a  mess; I wouldn't touch it without a guaranteed backup and some monetary guarantee which could either end up as getting a full day's pay for perhaps 10 minutes work in exchange for fixing  it however long it takes.

We are told that bays 0 and 3 are empty and yet boot.ini suggests bays 0 and 1 have disks in them, mirrored with windows software RAID. I guess it's possible to count the wrong way or the numbering on the chassis is backwards.

It *is* possible to make that boot.ini match the fault description including disk positions but it involves retro-fitting a hardware RAID controller and presenting the logical disks to the OS in a stupid way. You can make a RAID controller present 4 logical disk as 0,1,2,3 when the disks are in slots 1,2,4,5 but why?

And yes, the ML370G3 was shipped with or without RAID controller depending on what you ordered; onboard non-RAID SCSI is/was included so you could put a tape drive in it.

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marishalAuthor Commented:
Sorry about the delay guys but it was only jsut today that I came around to trying out andyalser's suggestion.
So I have moved the system mirrored drives to position 0 and 1 (bottom positions) and started the system and it came back ok.
I did get a message indicating that Windows finished installing new devices and that need to restart, presumable because the drives changed position.

After the second restart I inserted the 2 new drives and Windows did recognized the drives as new. Even though the Disk slot positions got shuffled Windows kept all the drive names the same including any existing mirroring settings, which might indicate that Windows somehow binds the Disk serial# or other unique identifier and use that to track the drive no matter where it's inserted in the SCSI.

So thanks andyalder and everyone else for your help.
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marishalAuthor Commented:
Sorry about the delay guys but it was only jsut today that I came around to trying out andyalser's suggestion.
So I have moved the system mirrored drives to position 0 and 1 (bottom positions) and started the system and it came back ok.
I did get a message indicating that Windows finished installing new devices and that need to restart, presumable because the drives changed position.

After the second restart I inserted the 2 new drives and Windows did recognized the drives as new. Even though the Disk slot positions got shuffled Windows kept all the drive names the same including any existing mirroring settings, which might indicate that Windows somehow binds the Disk serial# or other unique identifier and use that to track the drive no matter where it's inserted in the SCSI.

So thanks andyalder and everyone else for your help.
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