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Server 2008 Move System to New HDD

I have a Server 2008 Machine with repeated problems with a software mirror on the system drive (C:).  I have added a 2 channel raid controller with a hardware mirror that I would like to move the system disk to -- looking for a solid way to do this without a rebuild.  Recommended software or tactics please.
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mackinop
Asked:
mackinop
1 Solution
 
John KratzerCommented:
Once you have set up the 2 chanel raid with it's drives you can clone the origial drive to this using any of several cloning tools.

Personaly I like to use gparted.  It is a linux boot disk that you can use to replicate and edit disk partitions.

http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php

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owner66Commented:
clonezilla is another popular one
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DavidPresidentCommented:
Cloning *probably* won't work.  A hardware RAID controller typically saves a few MB of addressable blocks for metadata.  I.e, the "new" RAID1 will be slightly smaller than the original RAID1.  

Also, for what it is worth if your software mirror is having problems, you can pretty much rest assured that a hardware RAID controller will be much worse, as the native windows RAID1 is much more tolerant and forgiving then the typical RAID controller.   Personally, if your plan involves using the same disk drives, then I would take the effort to determine & resolve root cause first.  Otherwise you'll probably just lose everything, especially if drives are going offline intermittently.

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mackinopAuthor Commented:
I tried clonezilla, but could not get an image to copy to the raid controlled drives.  


I have new 500 GB WD black drives.  I don't trust the old drives enough to re-use in any mission critical role.  
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DavidPresidentCommented:
What RAID controller.  This is important. The WD blacks aren't qualified to run on many RAID controllers.  Also, if you are using a fakeraid controller like an intel matrix, then be aware that the "work" is done by a device driver under windows, so it is rather pointless to even try cloning (plus it wouldn't work anyway due to the metadata).  

You may have to just use something like acronics that resizes the partition as well.
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mackinopAuthor Commented:
Promise Fasttrack TX2300 controller.  I'm pretty sure WD Caviars are compatible?  

Can someone point me to a procedure for figuring out the size mismatch issue?  
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DavidPresidentCommented:
Well, actually it may not be all that compatible.   Refer to the online doc
http://www.promise.com/support/download_file.aspx?rsn=103&m=205®ion=en-US

Some caviar drives are listed, but not all of them. I don't know all the P/N off top of my head, but the ones I do recognize are enterprise or nearline, not desktop versions.  If the controller REQUIRES enterprise class disks (many do), then you will likely lose data, and have the RAID break and rebuild, die, break, rebuild, die .. a vicious cycle.   The firmware on enterprise disks is tuned for different error recovery logic/retries and specs, and if you put the wrong kind if disks behind either software or hardware RAID, then it just won't be stable WHEN you get bad blocks.

Curious ... is the problem you are having now?  If so, and you have a disk with the desktop firmware, then you're probably wasting your time changing controllers, it WILL get much worse.
Please post exact model # of disk you have so I can look into it.

You might also want to read this paper I wrote that addresses part of this ..
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Misc/A_2757-Disk-drive-reliability-overview.html

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mackinopAuthor Commented:
I was using different disks in the Windows Mirror  (Seagate).  Since I broke the mirror, the system is fine, but not redundant obviously.  I have used the Fastrack/WD black combo in another server and it has been rock solid -- simplicity and reliability are important to me as my server admin duties are part time.  

I recognize that there may be some drive timeouts when using desktop HDD, but I have not seen that on my other system running the same hardware.  

Again, I was hoping to find a procedure to move the system (C:) drive from a simple SATA controller to a SATA RAID controller that I can mirror.  
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mackinopAuthor Commented:
Any other suggestions?
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mackinopAuthor Commented:
In the end, I did a fresh install of Server 2008 with a different raid controller and a Raid 5 setup.  I used the   WD Blacks btw -- they seem to be working well in a RAID 5 setup.  The Fastrack TX 2300 does not support Server 2008 (or vice versa?).  
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mackinopAuthor Commented:
Hardware compatibility with the controller rather than the drives was the issue.
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mackinopAuthor Commented:
Problems remained until I did firmware update on RAID controller.  LSI 9690 SA  had problems with Server 2008 R2 until I updated firmware to code set 9.5.3, version 10.00.021.  I tried two controllers, both had issues, updated both, and now both seem to be working well.

Download firmware here:
http://www.lsi.com/support/products/Pages/3ware%209690SA-8I.aspx

Installed updated firmware for 9690 SA, prom0008.img using the 3DM2 console (login as admin, go to management, controller settings, select the right controller, and use "update firmware" with the .img file.
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