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disk management  / system reserved space

Posted on 2011-03-17
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a server with two drives unmirrored.
 Drive0 has only a system reserved space (100 mb)
(system, active, primary partition)

Drive 1 has the data and OS
( boot, page file,crash dump,primary partition)

These are Basic disks.  You can see from the image that there is room for both on one disk.
With the intention to mirror the drives, what process do you reccomend ?

My thoughts are to set the drives as dynamic, and mirror "c:" from disk1 to Disk0, breaking the mirror,  removing the info on disk1 and then remirroring  both partitions to disk1.

Does this seem logical or is there a better way?

NOTE: the server is being image backed up by a Zenith BDR device daily, so there is no real requierment to mirror the drives.


 disk management gif
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Question by:atredo
9 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:atredo
ID: 35158932
In pre attempting the mirror, it appears they no longer need to be dynamic.
Is this possible in 2008 R2 ?
 attemp to mirroe baskic disk
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LVL 7

Accepted Solution

by:
Todar earned 250 total points
ID: 35159134
Hi Atredo,

It seems like an optional scenario, except for the need to tell the Windows Boot Manager where to find the partition to boot. The Boot Manager reads this information from a database called Boot Configuration Data. The Boot Configuration Data is a firmware-independent database for boot-time configuration data. It replaces the boot.ini that was used by NTLDR. The Boot Configuration Data is  currently reporting "Disk 1" partition 1 as the boot partition that would need to be changed to "disk 0" partition 1 otherwise it would not boot.


The Boot Configuration Data may be altered using a command-line tool (bcdedit.exe), by using Windows Management Instrumentation, or with third party tools like EasyBCD that allow more advanced configuration and support for non-Windows operating systems. ( I recommend EasyBCD-I have used it many times without any problems)

So, you would need to create the mirror, change the boot device with EaseyBCD (my suggestion - use what you are comfortable with) then break the mirror.

Also, not that there are many reasons to want to switch back, but know that once you change a disk to "Dynamic" it can not be changed back. (Just in case there is some reason you might want it to be basic again afterwords)
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:Piloute
ID: 35159637
Hi,

Some thoughts of mine...

Ask yourself what is the PURPOSE of the mirroring you want to achieve...

1) software RAID is slooooow...compared to a controller card. A basic $100 RAID controller does much better than any workstation software. I mean, if you bought a recent windows, you probably can afford also such a piece of hardware.

2) once one of your disks died, are you able to hotplug another disk and dynamically reconstruct your RAID array if your system is on the drive ? I don't know enough windows capabilities in this area but I'm sure most of the RAID controllers are able to do it.

3) why putting a system on a RAID array ? You should probably thing of mirroring things that might wear out a hard drive, such as volumes that support lots of writing... Let's say documents. Oh, sorry, I'm  a linux guy, and I think Windows does lots of writing even in the system folders...

Cheers,
P
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Author Comment

by:atredo
ID: 35159642
Thanks for the information Todar. I will check out the EasyBCD and also BCDEdit.exe
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Author Comment

by:atredo
ID: 35159745
Piloute: I inerited the server in this state. It does not have a RAID controller, and frankly Its too much effort and down time to deploy raid now. Your suggestion has merit. thank you. I do not deploy servers without hardware raid... ever!  It's just not logical to set up a system with software mirroring. All those interrupts, Ram, whatever, go to waist and slow the efficiency of the server down.

I will mirror this one just to get he partitions on the same drive and have a backup.

Wish I could purchase a large server with raid 5 or 6, run vmware, virtualize this server and move it over.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:Piloute
ID: 35160143
welcome. as I said, these were some thoughts... :)

Good luck !
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Author Comment

by:atredo
ID: 35160211
Todar: I installed EASY BCD on the server, ran it, and backed up the boot loader settings to c:\bcd\EasyBCD Backup (03-17-2011).bcd

Could you kindlt steo me through this utility. Just nerveous using a util on our DC / FS that I never rean before.



There is one entry in the Windows bootloader.

Default: Windows Server 2008 R2
Timeout: 30 seconds
Boot Drive: E:\

Entry #1
Name: Windows Server 2008 R2
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
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Author Comment

by:atredo
ID: 35160240
It looks as though the system is already booting to the partitinon i am mirroring the data to.
Will I need to to even change the boot file?
 
Capture3.GIF
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LVL 46

Assisted Solution

by:noxcho
noxcho earned 250 total points
ID: 35163797
Best if you fix this issue before mirroring. Otherwise you bind your feet with ugly ropes.
Get to the System Reserved partition and copy from there Boot folder and BootMgr file to C: drive.
They should just in root of C:
Then set this C: drive active in disk management.
After that turn off the server and remove disk 0. Try to boot the server - most possibly it will complain about missing bootmgr file but if you have Windows 2008 R2 DVD at hand it is easy to fix. Boot the server from this DVD - run startup repair and in few minutes the system boot records will be updated.
Another method is using EasyBCD Edit program: http://neosmart.net/dl.php?id=1
Copy the Boot folder and BootMgr as instructed. Set the partition active. Then go to EasyBCD - and update the record the way that your OS is booting from C: drive.
Then turn off the server and remove the first drive. Connect it as slave to another machine and remove the 100MB partition.
This option is using some third party tool to free up space on disk 1 in front of C: drive. Then copy there 100MB partition. Update partition boot record (BCD) with the same tool and boot into Windows which is now completely running on single HDD.
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