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iSCSI LUN share between Windows 2003/2008 corrupting files.

Posted on 2011-09-19
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
In our haste to get a failed server up and running we have managed to get two separate servers talking to the same LUN on a storage device with disastrous results.  Both a WIndows 2003 server and Windows 2008R2 server are connected to the same shares with the same security.  This has caused some kind of discrepency that now has files unreadable or corrupted, some by one, but not the other and vice versa.  We have tried committing to one server or the other, but files end up missing, or unreadable.  Currently all users access through Windows 2008R2 mapping, while the temporary Win2003 server remains connected, but not accessed.

The backups may not be of any use, as they were pointing to files they couldn't read.

It seems like everytime I "touch" a file, from one server or the other, the file becomes corrupted.  I'm assuming there's something very wrong about 2003/2008R2 both connected to the same folder share?

I'm in real trouble with this one gang.  Lost files, corrupted data, no backup...

I did run a chkdsk on the Win 2008 server and that only seemed to make matters worse.  I've left out many details, and specifics, just because I'm not even sure where to begin or where the problem lies.
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Question by:MCHCPAnalyst
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setasoujiro earned 500 total points
ID: 36562866
Ok , you should NEVER access a LUN with 2 machines , this said:
you disconnected server 2003 from the LUN correct?
now run a chkdsk /f again.

Also , do you have any shadow copy running on the LUN?

try to do some test restores from backup and see what this does.

I would also suggest to try and clone the LUN before doing anything else, in cse something goes even more wrong you still have the cole
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Author Comment

by:MCHCPAnalyst
ID: 36563188
Quite right about the LUN on two machines, but that's another story.

These are good suggestions and will take some time.  I'm currently getting what I can backed up to avoid any further corruption.  I'll probably have more clues tomorrow.  Sorry to leave you hanging until then.

Thanks!
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Author Comment

by:MCHCPAnalyst
ID: 36563306
I'll just add to clarify.  No shadow copy, no more space on the SAN for cloning.
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Expert Comment

by:setasoujiro
ID: 36564926
no i mean use something like Acronis, and clone to external USB from windows
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Author Comment

by:MCHCPAnalyst
ID: 36567623
Just an update:  I spent most of the night manually moving files to plain vanilla storage on another server, a very tedious process when things are smattered with corrupt files.  But it insured I at least had the bulk of the files before proceeding.

Came in this morning remembering my storage device offered a small trick.  I'm currently backing up what is available from the SAN to an external USB disk, but I'm able to utilize functionality built into the storage device for the external offload of data, no VSS required.  It's about the only interesting feature I've seen from my Cybernetics MiSAN - but that's another story.  It's about .5TB so it's going to take some time.

Sorry to have to move so slow, but I'm erroring on the side of caution as much as possible.
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Author Comment

by:MCHCPAnalyst
ID: 36581664
I've recovered the lion's share of files through backups, but still have data corruption to deal with on many files.  I am convinced the issue is that Win2008 and Win2003 were simultaneously accessing files.  I'm vaguely aware that security is quite different for these OS's.

I'm still unable to run a chkdsk until I have made a copy of the copy straight out of the storage device, it's taking an inordinate amount of time - 36+hrs using DriveXML and only 43% complete.  Had to cancel, need something faster.  With NTBackup (faster for some reason?) I immediately get a <drive>\$secure is "corrupt and unreadable" error but the backup goes on.  I want to make sure I can restore the storage-direct-copy before attempting any repairs or disk checks, so again I'm dead in the water until that is complete.  Until then, I'm going to try and repair the files I have restored from backups.

I'm going to award the points and move on to this issue.  Thanks for the help!
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Author Closing Comment

by:MCHCPAnalyst
ID: 36581675
This is effectively the only thing you can do without going into forensics.
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