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Access files on Raid 5 disks after W2K BSOD

Posted on 2011-05-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
A bit of background:
HP ProLiant ML530 G2 - Windows Server 2000
Approx 8 years old, no backups for approx 4 months (despite ArcServe software saying otherwise)
6 x Ultra320 SCSI hard disks, 3 per logical disk
One disk failed - replacement was installed and Windows BSODed when starting back up

Now when I the server tries to boot normally I get the error message:
"LSASS.EXE - System Error, security accounts manager initialization failed because of the following error: Directory Services cannot start. Error status 0xc00002e1. Please click OK to shutdown this system and reboot into directory services restore mode, check the event log for more detailed information."

When I try to log in to DSRM it will not accept the password for the local machine (which was set to be the same as the domain admin password at time of install).

I have tried a repair installation of W2K server which gets 2 3rds of the way through before encountering same lsass error as above.

Have created a BartPE disk with array controller drivers loaded but cannot see the hard disks.

I have tried inserting a 7th blank SCSI disk and loading the SmartStart software to try and create a new partition where I can install a fresh copy of Windows, however SmartStart has no option to recognise the new disk (not that I can find, anyway.  Also not sure if this would be a good idea or at all possible).

What are my options?  Can anyone suggest either a way to access the files on the drives, or bypass the W2K lsass/DSRM issues?

I do have other old servers I can move the hard disks to, one by one, to see if I can access them from another install of W2K or W2K3, but will this 'break' it further?

Would gladly give 5000 points if I could!
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Question by:fourthgen
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by:Ravakl
ID: 35713422
I dont have expirience with HP ProLiant ML530 G2 ....
As I understand with "6 x Ultra320 SCSI hard disks, 3 per logical disk" you mean that you have two RAID5.
Please try to  move the SET of HDD's to another server with w2k installed with the SAME RAID controller. Boot W2K and reas your RAID.

Another option: you can try to put 7-th HDD and start Ghost. If you can see all volumes you can clon your bad volume to 7-th HDD than put this drive to another server and read your data.
 
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by:bigeven2002
ID: 35713426
Hello,

If I am understanding correctly, you have 2 logical disks, so you have 2 Raid5 arrays?  Is the system and your data on the same logical disc or is the system on one and the data on the other?

When you replaced the bad disc was there an option at boot to press Ctrl + A for SCSI utility?  There should have been an option to rebuild with the new disc.

As for the Directory services restore, check this article:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/258062

Are you able to boot to safe mode with command prompt?  If so, this article my help for resetting the DSRM password:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322672
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by:bigeven2002
ID: 35713438
This may also help:
http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=231600

Did you change your local admin password after setting up Win2k?  The DSRM password does not change with the local admin password change so it will be the absolute original password that was used to setup the machine.
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Author Comment

by:fourthgen
ID: 35713452
Wow! Thank you both for such speedy replies!

bigeven2002 - Yes, 2 raid 5 arrays.  One contains Windows and a few data files, the other (added a couple of years lata) purely data.  Safe mode with command prompt asks me for the password to log in to Windows and will not accept it.  Infuriating, since Domain and DSRM passwords were set to be the same when the server was first built 8 years ago and have never been changed/reset.

Ravakl - I will try using Ghost first of all, but could you please clarify:
If I have another server, already built as W2k with it's own raid card, do I install the ML530 raid card as a secondary card, and add all 6 drives back in as they were in the original server?

Thank you!
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Author Comment

by:fourthgen
ID: 35713475
Sorry bigeven2002, forgot to mention - when the server booted after the replacement disk went in there were two options:
F1 to continue, and rebuild the array (or something to that effect)
F2 to carry on without rebuilding and accept data loss (also, not exactly this, but thereabouts)

I pressed F1, Windows started to load normally, then BSOD not long into 'applying settings'

I have replaced disks this way before and the array always seemed to rebuild itself quite happily in the background while Windows is running, without having to go into any utilities.
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by:bigeven2002
ID: 35713513
Thanks for the update.  Ok just to clarify, when prompted to login for safe mode, are you selecting the computer name or the domain from the "Log on to" field on the login screen, or does it even ask?

This may be a long shot, but a 3rd party boot utility (other than BartPE) might help to reset the password:

http://www.petri.co.il/forgot_administrator_password.htm
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by:pukyplay
ID: 35714644
for older windows installation it is beter to use CIA commander, bootable cd (doesent work on newer windows (win 7,server 2008)
http://www.freedownloadscenter.com/Utilities/Misc__Utilities/CIA_Commander.html
or use hirensbootcd
http://www.hirensbootcd.org/download/


for damaged raid you can use this software (if all other fail)
http://www.runtime.org/raid-recovery-windows.htm

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Author Comment

by:fourthgen
ID: 35715100
Morning all, many thanks for your input so far.  

puckyplay do you have an alternative download location for the CIA Commander - error 404 when I try from the link above.  Am trying the HirensBootCD now.

Also, the array controller in the server is a Compaq SmartArray 5312-128, I have tried adding the drivers to Widows boot CDs such as BartPE but they will not show any hard disks.  Some Linux boot CDs seem to load a generic Adaptec 9xxx driver however still do not list any disks when it comes to scanning for a Windows installation.

Am I missing something?  Do I need to add more drivers other than just the array card?  Or how would I go about adding the correct drivers to the Linux boot CDs?
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by:bigeven2002
ID: 35715924
Ultimate Boot CD may also help.  I am beginning to think that your backplane may be going bad.
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by:_
ID: 35716994
pukyplay -- just a heads-up, posting links to "cracked" software (sounds like sirens) is against EE policy.
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by:Ravakl
ID: 35719514

1) You can  try to clon your RAID arrays with Ghost to two separate IDE HDD's if Ghost can recognize RAID arrays. And then play with images. You can take out RAID controller and try to boot on this server from IDE HDD's. You can connect IDE clon to another PC ant try to recover information.

2) You can put ML530 raid card to another server as secondary card. Boot from Primary, install the drivers for secondary and try to recover the data. But I prefer do this not with original RAID arrays but with the clon HDD. Please verify that ML530raid card uses ondisk raid configuration information. Because with some old raid controllers there are controller based raid. I mean that now with all new RAID controllers you can replace controller and the new one will read raid configuration from HDD's. But in your case if RAID array configyration information is saved on controller you have to connect your raid array to another server  with the same controller.

But as I say , I prefer to create clon on original server and than play with the clon's on this or another machine.
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by:pukyplay
ID: 35721907
thank you coral47 for reminding me ,my mistake, Cia Commander is not a freeware
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by:TroyHrehirchuk
ID: 35722387
Have you tried to run spinrite against the array http://www.grc.com/intro.htm this will scan for low level hard drive defects and refresh all the data on the array/drives with the experiences I have had in the past the program does a very good job on windows 2000 installations fixing issues like you are describing.
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Accepted Solution

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fourthgen earned 0 total points
ID: 36166312
Thanks for everyone's input on this and apologies for seemingly abandoning the question - in the end the hard disks were sent to a specialist data recovery firm who retrieved approx 80% of the data.
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by:bigeven2002
ID: 36168188
Thanks for the update.  Glad you were able to recover most of it.

Cheers!
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Author Closing Comment

by:fourthgen
ID: 36300484
Really appreciated the suggestions but couldn't make any of them work!
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