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IBM, eserver xSeries 345, 8670 boot from more than two logical disks

Posted on 2008-11-13
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
our server has two raid 5 arrays, each one has 3 disks
server is an IBM eserver xSeries 345 type 8670
hardware raid controller is IBM ServeRAID 6i+ Controller
on the first array there are two logiacl disks, praimary partiton C and primary partiton D
the second array is one logical drive, primary partiton E and logical partiton F
I Installed a second windows 2003 server standard edition on partiton E
I am trying to change the startup sequence in bios to enable boot from E (second array, first primary partiton)
the problem is that in bios startup option I get only two disks to boot from, hard disk 0 and hard disk 1
which refers to C and D (two primary partitons on the first array)
how can I select to boot from the third logical disk ?
is there a limitation to boot from only two hard disks in our hardware ?

thank you very much


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Question by:eranpsh
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exx1976 earned 2000 total points
ID: 22954004
The BIOS only sees HD 0 and HD 1 because that is how they are being presented by the RAID card.  You have two arrays, hence two HD's.

HTH,
exx
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Author Comment

by:eranpsh
ID: 22954183
exx1976 thank you very much for your reply,
I thought that HD 1 in bios refers to second logical drive in array 1
I will try the installation tomorrow and boot from it by selecting HD 1 in bios
btw
is this means that I can not select in bios to boot from the second logical drive (primary partiton D) in array 1 ?
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by:exx1976
ID: 22954210
Huh?  I'm not following..

If you're trying to make a multi-boot system, you should edit the boot.ini file..

Here's a half-decent explanation of how to do so.

http://mirror.href.com/thestarman/asm/mbr/bootini.htm

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Author Comment

by:eranpsh
ID: 22954480
Thanks allot for your effort, indeed I am familiar with the boot.ini option, I guess I am a bit confused regarding the "bios" "hardware raid" "logical drives" issue
if I understand you correctly then indeed in order to boot from the second logical drive in array 1 I can do that only by editing the boot.ini and not directly from bios
my goal is to boot from bios directly to the second array and your answers are grately helpfull to me.
this is my first question here and thanks to your help I am very glad I signed in.
I hope tomorrow after a succesfull testing I will accept your solution
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Expert Comment

by:exx1976
ID: 22954567
Correct, to boot from the second logical disk on Array 0 or Array 1 you would need to modify boot.ini

The BIOS can only see the physical arrays (as presented by the RAID controller), not the logical disks you have created on them.
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Author Comment

by:eranpsh
ID: 22961743
I installed windows 2003 server standard edition on partition E (Array 1)
I could boot to it using the boot.ini that was updated accordingly
but when I choosed in bios startup order to boot from HardDisk1 before HardDisk0 I got a blinking cursor
I used the recovery console to get back to my E:\Windows
the output of the MAP command was:
E:\NTFS \Device\HardDisk0\Partiton1
F:\NTFS \Device\HatdDisk0\Partiton2
D:\NTFS \Device\HardDisk1\Partiton1
C:\NTFS \Device\HardDisk2\Partiton1

I executed the commands:
Fixboot E:
FixMBR \Device\HardDisk0\Partiton1
exit
after the reboot
again, a blinking cursor...
so I switched back in bios to boot from HardDisk0 before HardDisk1 and now I can only boot to my second installation using the windows boot loader menu

what am I missing here?
why cant I boot from HardDisk1 ?
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Expert Comment

by:exx1976
ID: 22961967
When you chose E: as the boot disk in the BIOS, it screwed up the functioning of boot.ini.  Why?  Because E: was now being presented as C:, F: was not being presented as D:, and vice-versa.

You really shouldn't be screwing with the BIOS for tryign to do that.  boot.ini is the only Microsoft-supported way or having a multi-boot system (that I'm aware of, anyway).

If you REALLY need that many different OSes, or different versions, or whatever, you should start looking at virtualization.   ESXi 3.5 is a free download from what I've heard recently...


HTH,
exx
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Author Comment

by:eranpsh
ID: 22970061
yes, thanks to you I think I finaly got it
when a new windows installation is being preformed on a second disk, the boot.ini on the first disk is being updated accordingly. however,  on the second disk there is no boot.ini and also no ntdetect and ntldr files.
so in order to boot directly from the second disk (by changing the startup order in bios) there is a need to copy ntdetect and ntldr to that disk and create a proper boot.ini.
I tested it succesfully on a pc (no hardware raid) but in order to test it on the server I will have to wait until the week end and then hopefully I will accept your solution.
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Expert Comment

by:exx1976
ID: 23016473
Updates??
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Author Comment

by:eranpsh
ID: 23093584
yes, sorry
I have not been able to test it yet, although I am quite sure that indeed Hard Disk 1 in bios represents ARRAY 1 and not the second primary partition in ARRAY 0, I would like to test it on our machine before I accept your solution.
BTW, the reason that it is important for me is because I need to install a second os on ARRAY 1 and eventually use it as the server primary os (instead of the older one in ARRAY 0)
I was planned to do it last week but it got postponed, I expect that I will do it in two weeks
Thanks and sorry for the delay
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Expert Comment

by:exx1976
ID: 23095865
This question has already been open for 3 weeks.  Just close it and if you run into other problems, post a new one.  I'm going to stop monitoring this one now.
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Author Comment

by:eranpsh
ID: 23361753
I am sorry for the delay, I could not test exx1976 solution yet on our server, and I dont want to accept it before actually trying, I really hope I can test it soon
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Author Closing Comment

by:eranpsh
ID: 31516523
Thnaks allot for your help and sorry for the long delay
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