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Convert Software to Hardware RAID

Posted on 2010-08-30
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Our HP hardware RAID controller died in an ML350-G3.  I managed to hook up a SATA drive and restore the OS to the system - worked fine.  As there was going to be a delay in getting a replacement controller, I inserted a 2nd SATA drive, set them up as dynamic drives and then created a software mirror - this has been working fine for a number of weeks

I now have the replacement RAID controller & have set up a fresh mirrored blank array on two SAS discs.  Any ideas what will happen when I clone (Norton Ghost) the SATA software raid OS onto the SAS array?  Will Windows (SBS2003) have a hissy-fit because there are no dynamic drives?  I also have the option to use Symantec System recovery but I suspect it too will try to bring over the dynamic drives.

Any pointers before I try this?

Thanks, Ian
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Question by:blueskycomputing
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by:Krzysztof Pytko
Krzysztof Pytko earned 100 total points
ID: 33557968
I'm not sure if it would work. I would suggest to create ASR diskette and full server backup. Then restore it from ASR diskette. I think it's more secure. But remember also about FULL SERVER backup :)

Create ASR diskette
http://www.windowsitpro.com/article/windows-xp2/how-can-i-create-an-automated-system-recovery-asr-backup-.aspx

Restore ASR backup
http://www.ehow.com/how_5183410_restore-asr-backup.html
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by:dlethe
ID: 33557993
Yes.  Don't waste your time.
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by:FDiskWizard
ID: 33558116
Ugly stuff. You could call HP if it has a service contract. Just tell tech support what you did and if they have any recommendations... It can't hurt. They are well versed in SCSI controllers and what they are capable of.
What's on this server? Could you possibly just shut it down, build the new array from scratch, and migrate data from the stand alone disc?
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andyalder earned 150 total points
ID: 33558195
You can break the mirror and convert back to basic, MS say you can't convert from dynamic to basic and then give instructions on how to do exactly that here - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/913964

Be sure you've got a good backup first of course although you'll have a probably good copy of the data on the disk you've got from splitting the mirror.
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Best Practices: Disaster Recovery Testing

Besides backup, any IT division should have a disaster recovery plan. You will find a few tips below relating to the development of such a plan and to what issues one should pay special attention in the course of backup planning.

 
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by:Casey Herman
ID: 33558287
Interesting bit there. Your clone would be seamless if that trick works. I would get a good backup, go with andyalder's method to fracture and revert to basic.

Just my .02
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by:blueskycomputing
ID: 33558569
Thanks everyone for swift replies.  

Andyalder: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/913964 says that "This process works only if you have not used any one of the new features of dynamic disks. These features include extending a partition or using software redundant array of independent disks (RAID). " so I'm wary of trying it, although I probably will once I've tested my restore points!

I've just tested Norton Ghost and it won't see my new array, so that's out.  Am now testing Symantec System Recovery, as I have nothing to lose other than time.  If it fails I can revert back to my software RAID and startover again.
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by:andyalder
ID: 33558759
It's referring to RAID5 in that article plus mount points and dynamic extension ; mirroring doesn't really use advanced features of dynamic disks, especially after the mirror is broken.

ASR ought to work OK too, so will normal backup/restore.
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Author Comment

by:blueskycomputing
ID: 33559524
Have just restored using Symantec System Recovery to the new SAS array - took around 20 minutes and the server has rebooted fine with no meddling.  In disc management, it's now showing as a basic discs - no mention of dynamic discs - strange but I'm obvioulsy glad it's worked in this way.

Thanks for the tips - I'm going to have a play around with making & breaking software RAID arrays now on a test server to see what happens.
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Author Closing Comment

by:blueskycomputing
ID: 33559574
Will report back once I've broken & repaired a software mirrored RAID as per andyalder's advice
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