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Imaging a Windows OS

Posted on 2008-10-19
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hello, my problem was this, I was given a brand new Dell PowerEdge 1950 to work with. It has the perc6i raid controller. The server came with 80GB drives and we had some people install a few things on them and then decided to upgrade them to 160GB drives.

So my plan was this, put the 160 in, sync the array put the other drive in sync it again then grow the partitions all is well... NO didn't work that way. It limited me to the 80GB because that is what the array was built at and the perc6i will not allow the array to grow on the fly. So what I had thought was create an array with the 160's because when you create an array it wipes the data. So create the array, then take the 80 GB use Ghost 4 Linux, duplicate the drive and its partitions and put the 160 in then grow the partition all is well... NO. It creates a dupe of the drive partitions and all but when I go to boot from it, it gives me the "ntoskrnl.exe missing or corrupted" and I read that this was an MBR problem but I looked at the boot.ini file and it looks exactly the same as the old drive. HELP! any help would most appreciated.  
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Question by:belowzerotech
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jannepm earned 500 total points
ID: 22752067
You didn't mention if the solution can cost you money or not. Anyway, I'd suggest you take a look into one of the Acronis products (ether a True Image Echo Enterprise Server or Workstation version). They support RAID and are able to put the image back on different size.

So, your plan would be the following:

1) Now when you have the 80GB discs and everything is working, create an image with Acronis
2) Backup and if possible, test that the restoration works
3) Remove your current array, create the new array with 160GB discs
4) Use the Acronis to restore your 80GB image. Acronis will automatically expand the size, so now everything should be up and running with 160GB discs


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by:belowzerotech
ID: 22753195
See that is what I am not following, "supports RAID" as far as I know with G4L I am doing a bit level image of the disk similar to the Acronis solution. Essentially what I am doing is just taking the 80GB drive data copying it exactly over to the 160 and bam should work, but no. The issue is when it boots to windows it tells me that exe is missing or corrupted. What is the difference between imaging software that does and does not support RAID?

Thanks for the help -Billy
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by:Andrej Pirman
ID: 22753868
Try running "fixboot" and "fixmbr" from installation CD, choosing Recovery Console to boot into command prompt. Your boot partition is probably just misalligned, so it needs to be fixed.
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by:scrathcyboy
ID: 22753987
"nd the perc6i will not allow the array to grow on the fly."

No raid controller works that way.  Any new disks added to the array are limited in size to the other disks in the array -- that is STANDARD.

So far, you have done everything wrong.  This is the RIGHT way to do it.  You need a spare drive for this.  Put the spare drive of 80 GB on the secondary controller and jumper it slave.  Boot from a disk that will give you access to the file system -- either a CD drive, or another primary disk with just the OS on the disk.

Copy all data in the raid array to the Secondary slave disk while the array is not the boot disk.  You can use XCOPY for this, or robocopy, or recent XX copy software.

Shut down. Now remove ALL the raid drives and put the new ones in, all 160GB.  Boot, Copy the backup drive into the new array after making it at 160gb, and then fixboot on the RAID on 2nd reboot.

Everything works.  Good luck
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by:igor-1965
ID: 22755569
Everyone is right but let me just try to explain it / reword it for Billy:

1. Get a good cloning software. I personally think Symantec Ghost (http://www.symantec.com/business/products/purchasing.jsp?pcid=pcat_infrastruct_op&pvid=865_1) is / still the best investment for $39 at a time of financial crunch :)

2. Install it on your workstation (you just need a Standard Tools) and prepare bootable CD. Alternatively, prepare BartPE and copy Ghost32 and GDisk32 to it.

3. Bootup server with this CD and create the image of the server system partition (NOT disk, as you did).
    a) eigther save image to a network share or run Ghost CastServer on your workstation and have it to capture the image
    b) no need to image other partitions - you could just backup / copy them.

4. Replace HDDs and remove / recreate RAID and create the necessary logical drives.

5. Again, bootup server with the CD you used in step 3. Run GDisk32 and create MBR and partitions on the logical drives you create at the previous step. Make the system partition active. Run Ghost32 and reimage this system partition with the image you created at step 3.
 
6. Reboot the server
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by:belowzerotech
ID: 22755659
Scrathcyboy: I am kind of confused by some of your wording. On top of it all how can I jumped the drive as slave when it is a dell poweredge with sata drives? I mean I am no idiot when it comes to technology as I work for a data center. I don't understand how my transfer at the bit level did not work. And you Said secondary raid controller... You mean create a seperate array? Please elaborate a little please and thank you.

And thanks to all for the help so far as I am looking at all possibilities.
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by:FS_mania
ID: 22766416
Just an option:
I usually use Paragon Drive Copy Professional to migrate, copy with resize all data and applications from one hard disk or RAID to another (bigger one).
Thanks.
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by:jimmymcp02
ID: 22779032
How about using clonezilla to clone your drives and rezise the partition

http://www.clonezilla.org/
http://www.linux.com/feature/115208
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by:belowzerotech
ID: 22782111
I am going to try to do that tonight as I have not tried to use clonezilla yet. I will let you know.
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by:jimmymcp02
ID: 23222453
Any luck with our suggestions?
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