Boot device not available

I am having a boot problem with a Windows 2000 server and I have been on it for about 24 hrs. I am tearing out what little hair I have left.

Quick synopsis: Dell SC 430 Server (5 yrs old) w/software mirror (Raid 1). Until 12 hrs ago I was able to boot from either of the mirrored drives, now when I attempt to boot I get "boot device not available." The hardware is working b/c I can see,read & write each of the drives when I boot my partition manager CD. I have tried a zillion different BIOS settings, played with the boot order etc. The weirdest thing is that when I put one of the drives in a different machine (workstation of similar vintage) I get the same error. Boot.ini looks good, and I have done FIXMBR & FIXBOOT. On one of the drives I have even zapped and reloaded the entire partition from a backup image done two weeks ago.

A few hours ago I tried the Win2k Recovery  Console and ended up with a blue screen saying "Inaccessible boot device."

I am very puzzled and very tired.
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Might want to try and boot without the raid and see what happens. Use another drive. Possible bad drive.

Reset Bios on computer and Raid control, but appears you have a bad drive.

Can you try reinstalling the OS+application and then performing a restore from a backup.
web_trackerComputer Service TechnicianCommented:
hmm at first I thought maybe the raid controller was bad but you said that you get the same error message when you put this drive in another system. This may indicate that you may have a bad drive. Run a full diagnostics on the raid drives.
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
If you can read and write to the drives, it sound like the boot track has gone bad.  It isn't used for normal read/write operations.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
You have Partition Manager CD - how does it should your system partition? Active?
You will get that error in another system if the disk controller is not the same chipset.  Put one of the drives into another system as a secondary drive and run scandisk with the surface check option.  Also do a virus scan.  Then try booting your server with only one drive installed.  I have seen this kind of problem if the two mirrored drives are out of sync(broken mirror).  Once you get the server booted on the cleaned up drive you can add the other drive back into the system.  

You will need to delete the partitions from the second drive before adding it back in so the system knows that the mirror is broken.  Then do a rebuild of the mirror.  Be sure to use the correct drive as the source drive.

You may end up testing both drives if the first one does not work.  It is possible that only one drive will work properly.

This is a software mirror so it isn't actually running on a RAID controller, correct?
espod17Author Commented:
I solved this myself a day ago. The problem was, as seems logical, with both BOOT.INI and which partition was active.

Somehow one of the HD's that I had successfully booted lost its Active partition setting, and since I don't fiddle with hard drives like this very often (about 2x per year), I wasn't looking for that.


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espod17Author Commented:
Figgered it out myself..
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Like I suspected =))
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Windows 2000

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