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Going from single disk OS to RAID1 OS with hotspare

Posted on 2008-10-21
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Last Modified: 2013-12-01
Have a IBM x3400 7975-E1G server installed on a single disk with Windows Server 2003 R2

Need to apply RAID1

My plan:
1. Hotplug two new disks at the same size as the old one
2. While running. Create the array and RAID1 on the two new disks.
3. Reboot the server on a Acronis or Ghost CD and clone from the old single disk to the new RAID1 array
4. Shutdown the server and remove the old disk
5. Boot the server and have it to boot from the new array
6. When Windows is running again hotplug the old disk and make it a hotspare

What do you experts think of this plan?

Especially point 5 im not sure about how to get it to boot from the new array?
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Question by:TANGLAD
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by:noxcho
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Actually your plan is good and effective.
First configure RAID and then use Copy Partition option. Do not copy entire single HDD to RAID.
I've used Drive Backup 9.0 from Paragon to transform from RAID5 to RAID1 via Boot CD copy. Successful copy was done when Copy Partition feature was used.
As the copy is completed restart server and change in BIOS (or call Boot Menu with F pressing) and boot from RAID configuration. There should not be any problem in such simple task.
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by:Callandor
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If you image the whole disk and not just the partition, it will include the bootsector and that should be restored when you perform step 3. This is necessary in order to boot from the array.  Your procedure is fine, and in addition you have the old disk as a backup when you get to step 5.
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by:TANGLAD
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Thanks guys. I would like to ask you noxcho, why you would prefer to copy partitions instead of entire disk?
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noxcho earned 250 total points
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Hi TANGLAD,
in my very case RAID structure record was put into very beginning of virtual drive (RAID) and cloning entire HDD (let us call it virtual drive) from one RAID to another simply replaced the structure of new RAID. This caused problems but new copy that was done partition per partition did resolve the problem. The mentioned Boot Sector was created by Drive Backup 9.0 automatically during system partition copy though I did backup it for case of emergency so to restore to new drive if needed.
Anyhow there is a Boot Corrector tool in Drive Backup boot CD and with its help you can play with boot order as you wish - change drive letters in system registry, update MBR, edit Boot.ini, Update Partition Boot Record etc. So full armory pack.
In short, cloning entire RAID (detected as single HDD in Windows) failed. And cloning partitions one by one did resolve the problem.
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by:Callandor
Callandor earned 250 total points
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Maybe Drive Backup does things differently than Ghost and Acronis?  I have used Ghost and Acronis and imaging the whole drive was necessary to capture the boot sector.  You also need to have Ghost 9.0 or later or Acronis 8.0 or later to work with RAID arrays.
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by:TANGLAD
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Noxcho: What you say makes good sense to me but I hate to play with Driveletters, Partition Tables, Bootsectors and stuf.

Callandor: If Ghost and Acronis can clone the entire disk without crashing the array that would be the easiest way I think. Have you tried Ghost/Acronis on both singledisks and RAIDs?

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by:noxcho
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I did not use Acronis or Ghost (its oldest version yes, but not recent one). DB9.0 did resolve all well.  And Boot Correct is a tool called "must have" for any other case. It comes on Boot CD so you can use it when needed. Simple interface with clear explaining of each point you select.
Hope my posts were helpful.
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by:Callandor
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I have used both Ghost 9.0 and Acronis 8.0 on both single disks and RAID - both work well.  Prior versions of Ghost do not work with RAID.
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by:TANGLAD
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Tried today.

Coudn't use disk to disk clone with neither Ghost or Acronis because on the original disk there was three seperate arrays with one partition on each. So the OS and Ghost and Acronis sees 3 disks in the server even though there is only one.

So I had to create three RAID1 arrays on the two new disks and then clone one virtual disk at a time. Then I removed the old disk and booted up in OS on the two mirrored disks. Didn't have to change anything in controller og BIOS

I then hotplugged the old disk and removed the three arrays on it and then made it a hotspare for the three arrays on the two new disks.

Thanks guys for the discussion.
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