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How to add Intel Raid drivers to Windows 2003 Server SBS without a re-install ?

Posted on 2011-10-14
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2016-10-27
I have a server with Windows 2003 SBS.

When it was installed (not by me) there was no RAID set up and it was just installed as a single drive server.

So.. I bought 2 new larger HDDS.   I want to now put in the 2 new disks and set them up as a mirror, then clone the original boot disk onto the new mirror array.
All this, I can easily manage.

But of course the OS will not boot and will BSOD because it does not have the Intel RAID drivers.   So ideally I want to add these drivers to the original boot disk before cloning it.

I can't seem to do this by normal methods (Add new Hardware or right clicking on the .inf files and choosing 'Install').    Nor can I install the Intel Matrix Storage manager because it says I dont meed the minimum requirements.  

So.. how can I add the drivers to my Win2003SBS so that it will boot once cloned ?

Re-installation of the OS isn't an option because it's just too much hassle as this is a business server and it would need Exchange setting up again etc.  

Surely such a seemingly simple thing is possible somehow.
Question by:dwinder
  • 5

Expert Comment

ID: 36972340
U want form Hardware or software raid ?

U can simply clone out the image first then insert the new disk reform the Raid then clone it back.

Author Comment

ID: 36972353
The RAID will be set from the BIOS and configured after POST when you press CTRL-I to go into the RAID menu and Create the Array.

I'm not really sure what you mean with the 2nd line of your post.

Expert Comment

ID: 36973681
As noted above you need to clarify exactly how you are creating your RAID. Is this software or hardware? Is this an onboard RAID controller or did you add a card. Also how are you cloning the drive?

Assuming a hardware raid card you should be able to install the card and drivers in your existing  installation then make the clone and move to the new configuration. Here is a link to another post that might be of some help


I am a bit concerned about how you are planning to image the machine. It is typically not an easy thing to restore an image to new hardware. You might want to look at Backup Exec System Recovery (I think they changed the name of the latest version). This would allow to create a hardware agnostic image that can be installed on new hardware. If needed you can add the RAID drivers when restoring the image. They have a fully functional 60 day trial which could be used to accomplish the task.

Finally have you looked at the Intel Storage manager matrix documention? Here is a link to a supermicro pdf that might help.


I skimmed it and it seems to contain some info that may apply to your situation. Assuming you have the right version of Storage Manager for your hardware you will need to make sure that RAID support is enabled in bios. Maybe that is why you are getting the incompatible hardware error.

Author Comment

ID: 36973855
pmckenna11:   This is an onboard RAID controller.    No additional RAID cards necessary as the board supports the Intel RAID on the motherboard.

I cloned the drive with Acitve Disk Image.

I am enabling RAID support in the bios as this is how I created the mirror array.   The system isn't booting because it doesn't have the RAID drivers installed.

Backup Exec System Recovery sounds like a plan and in fact today I borrowed Acronis Backup and Restore with Universal Restore from an IT colleague of mine who uses it in his company.   So I have this for the weekend only and am trying it out.   I think when I come to restore, Universal Restore might let me put in the RAID drivers so that the system can boot.  Failing that I have your suggestion to fall back on.

So it's not that I'm really restoring to new hardware, Im restoring to the same hardware (same server) only in a RAID configuration.

Simply put I want to make this single disk server more secure by cloning the boot disk to a raid array and booting off that.  Making it boot after that is the tricky part as I can't work out how to have the RAID drivers installed.
I hope that has cleared things up a little more.

Thanks for you replies and I will let you know soon how I get on with Acronis B&R.

Author Comment

ID: 36982568
OK so I tried Acronis Backup & Recovery with Universal Restore but to no avail.

1) I backed up the Boot disk to an image with Acronis

2) Inserted 2 new HDDs and set them up in mirror formation.

3) Inserted the drive containing the image

4) Booted from the Acronis Boot disk (created with Inteal Raid drivers included).

5) Acronis saw all 3 disks but said that the disks in the mirror array were not initialised.   I chose not to inisitalise them

6) Set all my restore options and told Universal Restore to add the Intel ICHR7 Raid driver when it restored.

7) When done I  removed the Acronis boot disc and the HDD containing the image leaving only the Mirror array

8) After the bios screen and the raid gui, the computer did not boot.  It just stuck on a flashing cursor.

As a last resort I chose to break the mirror in the RAID GUI and then it said that it needed to be rebuilt so I told it to do that.
Of couse it does that from inside the O/S so after I exitied the RAID GUI, it started to boot into the O/S.
I prayed.

Then it crashed with a bluesceen (BSOD) of 0x0000007B.    

I thought the whole purpose of Uninversal Restore was to allow you to restore to new hardware.   This isn't even that !   Its just a new mass storage device that it has to boot off.  Other than that its the same box.   So I dunno why this hasn't worked.   Maybe I'm missing something stupid.

I guess I can try the trial of Symantec System Recovery (Backup Exec) as recommended pmcKenna11.     I fear now I will get the same result.

Surely there has to be a way to 'upgrade' from a single drive to a RAID array on the same hardware.
There has to be some way to get the drivers in there.   Unless something else is stopping it from booting.

Lastly... I have to ask this because I'm not sure.....  Acronis when it restores allows me to restore the MBR and the Image.   I chose both because that is what was the default.
Will restore the MBR be a cause as to it not booting after the restore ?   Can I do without restoring the MBR ?
And Acronis refers to something about keeping or creating a new NT but I don't know what that is.

Sorry for the long post but I needed to get all the details in.

Accepted Solution

dwinder earned 0 total points
ID: 37027174
OK, I have sorted this out myself (do I award myself the points ? :) )

Basically Acronis Backup & Restore did the trick but I HAD to enable Advanced View on the boot disk when restoring so that the option to 'Add these drivers anyway' appeared and I could force specific RAID drivers into the new restored OS.

Also you restore the backup image to an already created mirror array, telling Acronis to restore to the first disk in the array (Both the MBR and the Backup).
Then you reboot and to into the RAID GUI after the BIOS beep.     Do NOT delete the array but choose the option to 'Restore Disks to Non-RAID'.  Split the 2nd disk away from the 1st one (that contains the new restore).  This splits the disks and then it will ask you for a disk so the array can be rebuilt.  
You now choose the same disk you just disconnected to connect back to the 1st disk and the GUI will say 'Degraded / Rebuild'    when you then exit the OS will boot up (takes a looong time) and after you install the RAID drivers in Windows which it likely asks for it will start rebuilding the mirror to the other drive.   Install the Intel Matrix Storage program to finalise.     Done.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 37052349
Chose my own answer as the solution so others would know there was a solution to this scenario.
Question has a verified solution.

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