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RAID 1 Mirror Creation stops on Windows 2003 Server

Posted on 2009-07-08
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
I've got a Win2003 domain controller with 1 dynamic disk and 2 partitions.  The drive is SATA and only 80GB.  I bought a 1TB drive and installed it.  When I boot, Windows sees it in Disk Manager, I have converted to Dynamic, and is unallocated.

I'm simply trying to activate a RAID 1 Mirror of the old drive (both partitions eventually) on the new one.

I've followed the instructions here:
http://www.netadmintools.com/art439.html

I select the 1st partition and click create Mirror.. I select my new disk.. and it automatically shows a resized partition matching my old original...

I get to the part about creating the mirror... (top part 4) and get the error as described "Logical Disk Manager could not update the boot file ...."  I click OK as the instructions state..  and I see the old drive and new drive turn red.. and in each box it states RESYNCHING...  it sits for about 5 seconds, never gives me a %... and then stops.

The main drive goes back to almost normal - it shows "Healthy (AT RISK)" until I Reactivate Disk.  Then it goes back to usual...

The new RAID drive simply reverts back to unallocated.

Why won't the RAID Mirror build?  What could cause this to occur?  What could or should I try? I'm completely puzzled here.  Thanks for your time!
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Question by:sdpcmedix
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by:rhandels
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Do you get any events in the event viewer that we can work with?? Or any other errors when trying to get the RAID 1 fixed??

Also, normally i would always suggest to use a hardware RAID1  specifically on a DC.
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by:sdpcmedix
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Hi rhandels,

There seem to be no other errors at all.  That's what's mystifying me..  I don't know where to look now.  I'll do another check of the system logs and all other logs.

To clarify in a way, the RAID never "broke" it was never fully set up.  This was my first attempt to setup a software RAID figuring something was better than nothing.  It's our company's main server and the old IT guy never even made a backup of the system.

I do have a RAID card from SIIG, but in trying to install that, it would hang after posting while booting up.. so I've got questions written to them to help troubleshoot if their card is bad.

I'll take screen shots and will time the delay before it stops.  I'm completely puzzled.

I agree with you - it would probably be far better to get the hardware RAID working, but I was hoping to have something to fall back on until I could get that up.

Did I miss any steps in preparation?  I mean, everything in that write-up seemed to be working up until it just stops.

Thanks for your help!!
~ Katt
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by:rhandels
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Hey,

First off, the guy who did the administration before you should never be able to touch a server anymore :) :) :) (just kidding)..

I looked at the article and it looks like they are trying to recover from 1 disk to another disk doing some extra steps with the new disk you are using.. If i look at the Microsoft link below it looks like it actually needs an unpartitioned new disk an which you'll build the new raid..
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/32343

Also, creating a hardware RAID from 1 single disk is always very very tricky.. You need to make sure that the RAID controller does get the idea that you would like to build up the RAID from the allready existing disk.. I do know not all RAID controllers love that idea.. I have done this once by using an image of the RAID0 disk you have now, created a new RAID1 wuth 2 new disks and restored on the image on the RAID1.. To be honest i never thought that i would be able to pull that one off, still i managed to succeed there.. Though i wouldn't really suggest it as a best practice :) :)
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by:sdpcmedix
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Hey Rhandels,

I didn't read the article with the thought of copying exactly what they were doing... but I figured, if setting up the RAID was as simple as adding the new drive, telling the old drive to MIRROR... and let it do it's thing - I'd be in business. It sure seemed logical.

That's what I did originally... was installed an unpartitioned SATA drive, converted it to Dynamic, and then went about selecting MIRROR on the old drive.  Since it didn't finish and reverted back, I was hoping somebody could enlighten me where I missed a step somewhere.  The old drive has 2 partitions 10GB and ~60GB... the new drive is a 1TB.. which should work, right?  I mean, the mirroring seems to create a partition to match the 10GB one..   Could it be that 1TB is too big?  I heard RAID1 SATA has a limit of 2TB.  So that shouldn't be an issue.  Ugh.

Should I even bother with a software RAID at all?  Or should I focus entirely on getting the hardware RAID working?

I see your idea as another possibility.  I have 2 extra drives I could use.. so you're saying, make an image of drive0, set up the RAID hardware, using drive1 and drive2, and then put the image on drive1 and then replace drive0 with the new RAID set?

Forgive me, as I'm very new to RAID.  Would I set the RAID hardware up using the RAID bios, and THEN go about adding the image to disk1?  I used Acronis Server to make images of disk0 part1, and part2.  What order should I use to get the image onto the new disk1?

Thank you so much for your help!  =)
~ Katt

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rhandels earned 125 total points
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If you ask me i wouldn;t bother taking any time in setting up a software RAID< but that;s just my opinion.. I would always go for a hardware RAID..

"I mean, the mirroring seems to create a partition to match the 10GB one..   Could it be that 1TB is too big?"
Nope, it should automatically revert back to the size of the disk you are trying to mirror. It's somewaht of a waste of space, but that's all..

"I see your idea as another possibility.  I have 2 extra drives I could use.. so you're saying, make an image of drive0, set up the RAID hardware, using drive1 and drive2, and then put the image on drive1 and then replace drive0 with the new RAID set?"
Yes, that's what i'm saying :) Only make sure to have a really really good backup of your old solution, if anything goes bad on you you'd still have a fallback..

"Forgive me, as I'm very new to RAID.  Would I set the RAID hardware up using the RAID bios, and THEN go about adding the image to disk1?  I used Acronis Server to make images of disk0 part1, and part2.  What order should I use to get the image onto the new disk1?"

No problem,were here to help.. :) First create the image of the old drive, remove the old drive, instal the 2 new ones, set up your RAID 1 and then restore the image to that RAID1 config, those are the steps you should be taking..

Good luck and please let us know if you need more help :)
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by:sdpcmedix
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Thank you VERY MUCH!  I've decided to follow your instructions and simply go for the physical RAID1.  I'm in the process of making a good image and then will create that on the new drive to mirror with a physical raid controller.  Crossing my fingers and VERY THANKFUL for all your time and thought on this.  ~ Katt
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