Backing up and restoring Windows 2003 DC/Application Server on same hardware

Hi experts.
Recently we purchased an HP Proliant ML150 G3 server. I configured 2 SATA HDD in a hardware mirror and installed Windows 2003 R2 SP2. I configure it as a DC, Antivirus server, WSUS and SQL server. One day I notice mirror isn't working properly and it actually is as if it was not configured at all. Tried to fix it, without much success and after 2-3 hours tech support from HP I was told that I would need to reconfigure mirror at startup again and this would cost me OS and everything else. Now, I don't want to lose all data on the disk. Basically, I want to be able to recreate the mirror and then restore the entire original configuration and at same time not mess up my AD. What's the easiest way to go??!! I am thinking about Acronis, but I have a bad experience with it. Alternatives?
Thank you.
cembiIT Asked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

ryansotoCommented:
No No Acronis is the best out there IMO.  I have imaged plenty of servers with perfect success (knock on wood)
I would image your machine to say a network share or backup HD, something like that.
Now rebuild your mirror then image your machine back to the mirror.  It will work fine.  Make sure that windows has the drivers or you will be SOL.
I would turn the raid controller on and have it all plugged in and such and device mgr sees it.
This way when you image back to the raid card windows has the drivers to start the OS from the card.
0
James MontgomeryCommented:
To be honest in your position i would use acronis... i have used it countless times without flaw! What was your experience.

Other options (apart from obvious 3rd parties like symantex)

Window ASR (a bit grissley, last resort)

P2V - use vmware convertor (free). and p2v move. rebuild server and migrate back. Something like platespin powerconvert....
0
Jay_Jay70Commented:
got my vote too if it helps, acronis is fantastic...or there is livestate from symantec
0
cembiIT Author Commented:
OK, thank you guys. Acronis seems like the common recommendation. I might have not used it properly before, therefore was not very impressed.
Now, which version of Acronis should I use?
Is the trial version enough?
Do I need to demote the machine from DC before doing the image?
Is there a chance for a conflict in AD after restore?

JimboEfx. I was thinking of using VMware convertor doing a P2V first, however I was curious to know how V2P is done.

 
0
ryansotoCommented:
The latest version is fine.  I dont think you can use the server version as a trial.
You dont need to demote the DC before hand.  When you do a restore of AD the timestamp on the 'failed' machine will be older than the already running machine.  The running machine will know to push its records to the old machine.
0
yolamCommented:
What is your current version of HP array configuration util? It can extend and modify RAID level(I am not sure can it from RAID 0 to RAID 1) anyway, check it out first before using acronis. Good Luck
0
cembiIT Author Commented:
yolam, HP array config util is the latest, but it doesn't even detect SATA RAID controller. I went through it with HP support.

I will try Acronis and let you guys know about the results.
0
James MontgomeryCommented:
V2P usually involves either 3rd party products to perform the imaging process in the reverse direction and perform a driver replacement exercise.

VMware have generic advise here:
http://www.vmware.com/support/v2p/index.html

The following vendors are worth a look:
http://www.platespin.com/
Their powerconvert product is legendary...

Acronis!
http://www.acronis.com/enterprise/products/ATIES/

Of course you could always standard migrate in the reverse direction.

It's horses for courses. In this instance acronis for image and restore seems sensible. Universal restore means you can restore onto disimmilar hardware (physical or virtual) note universal restore is a licensed feature.
0
cembiIT Author Commented:
I have created an image in Acronis Echo Server and stored it on a USB HDD. Also, created a CD boot media. For some reason when trying to boot from CD I receive "Unable to run boot menu". I try a different CD and it comes to Acronis screen and it just freezes there. What could be the problem? I have not yet though created the hardware mirror, as I wanted to test the backup first. Any ideas?
Thx
0
ryansotoCommented:
When you downloaded the imaging software the boot cd should have come with it.
I would do this - start the application while the server is running then you have the option to create a boot cd.  Create the boot cd this way then after you made it -
Pwer the server down and unplug all items from the server except the essentials like your back  up hd that stores your image, keyboard/mouse/etc then try and boot from the cd again.
0
cembiIT Author Commented:
The server where Acronis is installed doesn't have a CD writer, only a regular CD-ROM. Therefore I installed the boot loader software on another PC and created the disk from there. It should work, I tried the disc on a laptop and booted up perfectly. Now, another strange thing is that when I log into the server and try to open Acronis, it freezes up for a moment and then goes off the screen. I tried a repair , still the same. It is driving me crazy as it has taken the whole day. Could there be something seriously wrong with the hardware????
0
ryansotoCommented:
So when you try and run the program locally it bombs out?  You said you were able to make an image earlier...
For giggles can you unplug the external hd and see if booting to the cd works?
0
cembiIT Author Commented:
This is the detailed situation. 2 SATA HDD are connected onboard and are to be configured on a mirror RAID. Now it happens that when I try to restart the server, it looks to boot up from the network. When I disconnect the second HDD, it reboots fine. Now, I reconnect second HDD again and reboots fine. It occurs randomly. Acronis, now that the second HDD is reconnected, is working properly and yes I had a successful image before. Still the problems remains booting from the Acronis rescue media. The 4th CD still tells me "Acronis loader: Unable to run boot menu. Press enter to continue." Then "Not enough conventional memory." The server has 2GB RAM. This is with the external hdd disconnected.
0
ryansotoCommented:
Very strange I havent seen that issue.
You can create a bartpe cd and load the acronis plug in.  This will allow you to add drivers for yoru hardware.  This should take care of you.
http://www.acronis.com/enterprise/support/bartpe/
0
cembiIT Author Commented:
Thanks ryansoto. I am a bit confused as to how BartPE and Acronis integrate with each other. I Created the BartPE cd and server booted fine with it. However, I am not sure on how to proceed from here. BartPE interface doesn't have any Acronis options. Any ideas?
0
ryansotoCommented:
BartPe is its own beast to boot a machine from.  What you do is now add the acronis plug in to the Bartpe disk.
So this will give you the bootability function and then with the acronis plug in you will have the restore/cloe/etc functions to get the job done

http://www.acronis.com/enterprise/support/bartpe/

You will need to log in and then download the bartpe plug in.  I have never created the cd with the plug in but there should be instructions on how to do so.  As you already created the beartpe disk(which is the most difficult) adding trhe plug in shoul dbe a small feat.

Sorry that the standard boot disk didnt work, you must have some weird hardware.  Knock on wood - I have never come across a machine where the standard boot disk didnt work.
0
cembiIT Author Commented:
Yes, agreed, but bartpe plugin is automatically installed with Acronis 9.1. However when I try to add it to bartpe installation Pe Builder and I direct it to BartPE folder on Acronis installation folder, it doesn't find anything and it is looking for a .cab file. What a pain.
0
ryansotoCommented:
You have to download the plugin its not installed automatically.  I just downloaded it its about 11mb.  If you have an email I can email it.  It comes in a zip file then you can extract the zip file and click the plug in button and add that downloaded folder
Testing now
0
ryansotoCommented:
I see what you mean sit tight
0
ryansotoCommented:
OK after you install Bartpe then download the plug in.
Now extract the downloaded plug in say to yoru desktop.  Drag those files to the deafult installation path of bart pe.  Place the files here
C:\pebuilder3110a\plugin\bartpe

Now go into bartpe program go to add and down at the bottom instaed of the cab file choose all files then you should be able to select acronis.inf
You will see acronis true image in the list
Hit close.
Now in the main window make sure to select your source files (I chose the dvd drive where I put in my 2003 cd)
I thne output to my desktop for the .iso
I will burn the iso in a second and test booting and see what happens
0
ryansotoCommented:
Bingo!!!!!

Create the image like i stated above then when bartpe boots go to

go>>system>storage>Acronis
Then you will get the acronis screen to run the restore
0
cembiIT Author Commented:
ryan, I did a different way but you gave me the idea. As I said before, BartPE plug in is installed with Acronis 9.1. Therefore I did not need to downloaded separately, just copied the contents of BartPE to the default installation path of bart pe.I rebooted and Acronis is there. Now, basically all I need is just restore image from external HDD, right? The problem is that it doesn't seem like BartPE has detected the onboard connected discs. When I try to select the HHD to restore to all I see the external HDD. Could it be that I need to supply drivers for the onboard SATA controller while BartPE is booting???!!!!
0
ryansotoCommented:
Yes the reason you dont see your disks is because the boot cd doesnt have the drivers for your raid controller/sata controller.
F6 it then supply the drivers and your dislks should show up to restore.  let me know how it goes
0
cembiIT Author Commented:
ryan, it's not working bro. Loaded SATA drivers on CD as per bartpe, it doesn't see anything. Loaded drivers doing F6 during startup, still the same. Very frustrating. At this point seems hopeless. What if I make an NT backup of everything and then reinstall Windows and restore the backup, would this work???!!! If yes, is there anything to keep in mind while doing it?
Thx
0
cembiIT Author Commented:
Also, would it be better to just reinstall Windows and then restore Acronis image from within Windows? Would that work?
0
ryansotoCommented:
Well if I remember right you said you made an image and it worked?
If not ntbackup will work fine just do a FULL backup.
Yes reinstalling would be fine then run a restore once windows is operational.

Sorry for all the headaches - normally ATI is a rock solid product and booting isnt an issue.
Just make sure to do a backup on everything.  Not only wold I make an nt backup I would also manually copy the files to a backup hard drive or something like that
0
cembiIT Author Commented:
I am also thinking of getting a new RAID controller as it seems that the onboard one is troublesome.
If I do an NT backup and restore, will the applications be restored properly and working? Never done an NT backup for appliactions, only for data.
Thank you.
0
ryansotoCommented:
NT backup is really meant for only data backup not an imaging system, restoring application to working states.
Your idea of a new raid card is a good one.  Get a familiar one and you will be golden, something like a Perc.  
Let me know if I can help more
0
cembiIT Author Commented:
Ok, here's the point I'm at right now. I have installed an Adaptec 1220S SATA RAID card. I have attached a formatted SATA drive to it and am trying to restore the Acronis image. Basically I am restoring the partition as ACTIVE, is it correct? But the new drive has E: as drive letter. I am guessing this will make it non bootable, correct? Should I change the letter to C and how can I do that?
Any quick answer will be big help. Thank you.
0
ryansotoCommented:
Its probably restoring it to E because you have other disks in the system.  If you set it to the primary image the machine then when it reboots shut it down and remove all other drives (if any)
Then in BIOS make sure that you have this card set to boot.  You should be fine
0
cembiIT Author Commented:
ryan, thanks again. The options for restoration are Active, Primary, Logical. Do I choose Active or Primary? Active would allow for it to be bootable, correct?!
0
cembiIT Author Commented:
The C letter is taken by the USB drive where the Acronis image is located.
0
ryansotoCommented:
Active and thats fine if the USB is taking the c drive.  When the cpu boots it will know what to do.
I have the same 'issue' when I load an image.
0
cembiIT Author Commented:
Cool, it is restoring now, I will let you know the result. Thx.
0
ryansotoCommented:
Nice!
Now you installed the card while the machine was shut down then booted on the single drive right?
Because if you just stuck the raid card in and then moved the HD's over to it and then boot windows wont have the drivers for the card and will not boot.
0
cembiIT Author Commented:
ryan, good point. I wanted to test this restore and see how it works before configuring a Mirror on the Adaptec card. Therefore, I just connected one of the SATA drives that is destined to be in this RAID. This is just a test before I proceed with the real thing. Now it seems that most likely I won't be able to boot from this drive since Adaptec drivers are not installed on the image. After restore I would connect the drive to the onboard controller and boot from there.
However, I noticed that the server won't go past BIOS when Adaptec is on and onboard controller is enabled, for some reason I can only boot from one or the other, so as of this moment the onboard controller is disabled.
Now, how do I go about having drivers installed on the image so I can boot from Adaptec?!
Thx.
0
ryansotoCommented:
The onboard sata or raid controller?

You shouldnt have any issues with the onboard sata controller and the new raid controller being installed at the same time.
Just make sure when you install the raid card that in BIOS the first boot device is still set to the sata drive and all other can be disabled.  You may also need to disable 'other boot devices'
Then start the machine it should boot no different than adding in a second NIC card or something like that.  All we want to do it get your system booted on the normal sata setup with just the raid hardware installed.  Let windows find the new hardware and then use the disk to install it.
0
cembiIT Author Commented:
ryan, it's not working. Image was restored, but server doesn't boot from the restored disc. I am soooo frustrated. The drive letter was D, if it matters.
0
ryansotoCommented:
This is on the raid card I assume....

It still boots normally when up to the standard controller right?
0
cembiIT Author Commented:
ryan, it boots normally from either Adaptec or onboard controller when connecting the original disc (the one the image was made from). I restored the image on the other disc and that's where it is not booting through either controller. I see an error right past BIOS saying "Resource error. There is a conflict at # 0B" (something like that). But I don't think this is the problem. I remember I had this same experience with Acronis a while ago. I don't know if I'm doing anything wrong, the procees is straightforward.
0
ryansotoCommented:
OK thats starge because it is avery straight forward processs.
OK here is what I would try.
1.  Insert second disk and boot normally from the first hard drive (make sure your new controller is installed so windows will detect it and you can install the drivers).  I think this is the issue.  After BIOS loads ( also assume you see the scond BIOS screen for the raid card?)
2.  After step one is done shut down and remove the raid card.  Boot again with 2 hd's.
Use the clone disk function and clone disk 1 to disk 2.
3.  Shut down and remove disk 1.
4.  Insert raid card and reboot.
5.  Turn off all onboard raid controllers and you could even turn off the sata controller if you wish.
6.  Configure the new controller and make this new disk apart of a raid 1 array. (hopefully it wont want to wipe the data)  If it doesnt  then proceed.  The system should now boot.

If it doesnt my assumption is the wrong drivers are installed.  Right after BIOS loads it now looks to the controller and drivers to start loading the OS.  If you have the wrong drivers installed or no drivers installed then you will have boot issues.

If this doesnt work then I woudl again make sure your image you made had the raid drivers on it.  If it doesnt then the process wont work.

Another alternate idea -
Again make sure your image has the right drivers for the raid card.  You could hook up your second disk to the raid card and configure the array.  Use the CD and boot from the CD and see if you can load windows.  Youw ill need to put the raid drivers on a floppy or usb drive for windows to install during the load from cd process.  Once windows is loaded you can load acronis and then proceed with a restore.

0
cembiIT Author Commented:
ryan,
I installed a fresh Windows on the second disk via Adaptec raid card. Installed Acronis on it and tried to restore the backup. When I click on any button in Acronis, it deosn't do anything, it disappears off the screen. Same if I switch from adpatec to the onboard controller. Any ideas???!?!!
0
ryansotoCommented:
How are you restoring the image?  Over the network?
I noticed with some machines I have to use an external hard drive.
So I would try putting the image on an externla drive plugging in the externla drive and then seeing if you can restore from external drive rather then network.
0
cembiIT Author Commented:
I have been using external HDD all the time, however the problem I am having is that Acronis doesn't even work. As soon as I click on a button it hesitates and then disappears from screen. Next restart of server, it brings up a message saying "Acronis needed to close....blahblahblah".
0
ryansotoCommented:
Wow and your using the latest build I assume...
No wonder why you didnt use it the last time.  So right when you bring the application up it pretty much just locks and then when you hit a button it goes away and thats it....?
0
cembiIT Author Commented:
Exactly. Latest build also.
0
ryansotoCommented:
At this point I would call Acronis - you have done more then your share and know how the application works.  I do not know why its bombing out at this point.
0
cembiIT Author Commented:
I already wrote to them. It will take a couple of days for them to contact me, more wasted time.
0
ryansotoCommented:
I believe you can call them if you purchased a support option.
0
cembiIT Author Commented:
This is the trial version, no support.
0
cembiIT Author Commented:
I ended up reinstalling everything. Acronis software didn't help much.
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Storage Software

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.