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Issue with Windows 2008r2 on a RAID 1

Posted on 2012-03-26
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I have a server board running a Tyan S2891 that has an on board NVidia nForce Professional 2200 board.  The Raid 1 is Healthy with two 80 GB drives from Western Digital and is set to Boot.  There is also an expansion card for the RAID controller to control 8 additional drives that are setup in a RAID 5.

The BIOS has all four on board SATA ports turned on, the NVidia Raid controller activated with SATA 0 and 1 enabled.  The BIOS has the mirror as a bootable selection.

When I get to install Windows 2008, it shows both drives.  I select load driver and choose the 64 bit 2008 driver.  It appears to install, but when I come back I don't see the mirror, I see drives 0 and 1.

I have selected drive 0 and run the install, but the system doesn't boot, No OS found.

I'm sure there is something I am missing.  I am new to server builds so any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Question by:regosnell
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by:Syed_M_Usman
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if the system is new you can try below
why dont you disable or unplug additional controller and intall OS? once done add MPIO drivers in win 2008 and check your drives? if susceed plug additional raid card and try...
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by:regosnell
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The system is not new, it's an old server we are rebuilding for another purpose.  All drives are new to the system.

Can you explain the MPIO driver in Windows 2008?

The expansion RAID card is not set to boot so I don't think that's really involved in this.
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by:andyalder
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I'd still install without the extra card in, Windows installer is not good at picking on the right disks to install onto when multiple media is available. After install if it works you can put it back in.
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by:Syed_M_Usman
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Understanding MPIO Features and Components
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee619752(v=ws.10).aspx

i do agree with you, but you can try...
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by:regosnell
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Am I interpretting MPIO right that it's like a softwre RAID?
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by:andyalder
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MPIO doesn't come into it, you don't have anything dual-pathed.
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by:regosnell
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andyalder

So you would remove the extra raid card, turn off the builtin raid controller that controls the
four on board SATA ports, install the OS to one single drive (adding the RAID driver before starting the install) and see if the single drives boots (BIOS will be told to boot of off drive instead of array).  If it does, enter the BIOS, turn the RAID Controller back on, enter the RAID software and reset the Array.  Back to the BIOS and allow the Mirror to be booted to.  Then see if the system boots.  (Test fo course both drives).  If it boots, add in the expansion RAID card and rebuild my 8 disk RAID 5 array.

Do I have that right?  If so, will the software of the onboad controller tell me that it is rebuilding the drive?

Thanks again
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by:andyalder
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No, I'd remove the additional card, leave the onboard RAID turned on and perform the install and see if that behaves itself first. Then add the second controller later on.
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by:regosnell
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Thanks.  Should Windows 2008 show the mirror before, after, or not at all when having the driver loaded?
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by:andyalder
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Windows shouldn't know it's mirrored since that's done by the hardware, it should just see one disk although you have two disks in RAID 1.
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by:regosnell
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So if doing the install I see two disks then there's an issue already, right?  Becuase when I do the install I see two 80 GB drives.
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regosnell earned 0 total points
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We have it resolved.  We did two changes and then Windows 2008 R2 actually already had the appropriate RAID driver.

1)  Changed the stripping size to 4K to match NTFS for the onboard RAID
2)  in the BIOS, add boot for add-in cards (odd that the on board controller required that.

After that Windows 2008R2 saw a single drive and during installation got activity lights on both of my drives in the RAID 1 array.

Thanks everyone for your help.
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by:andyalder
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Did you do all that with the addon board in or out?
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by:regosnell
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I kept the addon board in it's place
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Author Closing Comment

by:regosnell
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Able to resolve on our own, but very appreciative of the help I recevied today.
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