Server 2003 NTFS errors on SAN drives

Posted on 2010-09-16
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
We have just installed a dothill SAN solution on our CC3 network. All worked well initually but now we keep getting NTFS errors in event viewer about the other drives that are located on the san stating that the drives are corrupt and unreadable. this has caused windows server 2003 explorer to crash and slow the server down it has also stopped the configured drive showing any of our user areas located on the mapped SAN drive  any ideas would be gratefully recieved
Question by:Dad-of-Mook
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:George Sas
ID: 33689878
You could at first try to call the guys that sold you the SAN and ask them for support.
This seems to be a SAN related problem more than a windows. So maybe the hardware is simply defective.

Author Comment

ID: 33690114
Hi GeoSs, everything is coming back as normal on the SAN, the drives are showing as status is all ok etc. we have contected the SAN via ISCSI initiator and forced to use basic disks instead of dynamic because of the connection, would this be the cause?
LVL 55

Expert Comment

ID: 33690708
Check that you haven't presented a LUN to more than one server, that'll cause corruption pretty quickly unless you've got some clustering software.

Basic disks are best, nothing wrong there.
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Author Comment

ID: 33691946
HI Andy, could you elaborate on your answer, as the Luns are showing on both servers if fact the whole SAN is showing up in Disk management with each mapped lun showing as a volume. were are using ISCSI initiator to connect to the SAN.  What is clustering software sorry if i sound a bit thick but im picking up on someone elses work.
LVL 55

Accepted Solution

andyalder earned 500 total points
ID: 33692123
Can't have the LUNs being seen by two servers, NTFS is not a shared filesystem unless you're using Hyper-V or Windows clustering.

What will happen is that one server will write something to the disk but delay writing everything at once as it can cache it in RAM; then the other server comes along, not know about what the other server has cached and write to the same area of disk which will result in corruption. This caching is easily demonstrated, turn off a disk when it's in use and you will get a "lost delayed write" error message.

What you have to do is go to the Dot Hill configuration and select which hosts are allowed to see what LUNs, it should be under something like "host mappings".

If you need two servers to access the same LUN as a pair of fileservers for example you can only do that with expensive software such as Quantum StorNext, or MS clustering but that's active/passive. Clustering software allows arbitrated access to a shared LUN, for example a two node MS cluster has one node active using the LUN and the other node passive ready to take over if the first node fails, the two server nodes talk to each other through a heartbeat network connection so they know the state of the other and avoid bith accessing the LUN at the same time.

Author Comment

ID: 33693199
Thanks for the quick rsponse Andy, this is making more sense now! currently the we have 2 Luns mapped on the san drive for our 2 servers user areas 900 pupils so split a-m n-z servers respectivly. so we have created the 2 luns on the SAN,  server 1 H: server2 H: when you go into disk management it shows both drives no matter what configuration has been set also asking to allocate the drive to the server. i will have a look at the drive maps and see if we can stop the servers from seeing all of the luns

Author Closing Comment

ID: 33796291
Thanks Andy whilst its was not the definitive answer it pointed me in the right direction. The Luns had been mapped to allow everyone read write access which meant its was showing on all servers. your answer pointed me to change the read write/access so only the Luns pointing to that server could be seen.  

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