Windows SBS2003 won't load SAS HDD

Posted on 2012-09-13
Last Modified: 2014-04-11
HP Proliant ML350 SBS2003 Server with hot-swap SAS drive capability but only had 1 SAS drive in use. RAID was not in operation, so hard drive was Basic (not dynamic). Wanted to introduce a second drive and set up a software RAID using Windows Disk Management. So went into disk Management & changed the drive from Basic to Dynamic, which then required a re-boot.
Unfortunately, upon re-boot, it only gets as far as the "Windows Server 2003" banner screen for a few seconds, then keeps re-booting over again. Safe mode gives same results. Decided best course is to wipe this drive, re-load operating system & start over again, but before proceeding I need to get some data off. So took a clean drive & installed SBS2003 then slotted in my original drive... but although it sees it's there, it doesn't show it up as an actual drive. Did some searching and found a utility which can convert it back from being a dynamic drive to a basic drive, but before trying this, I want someone to reassure me that won't wipe the data off it!!.. or if it will, then is there any way I can get to the data? Surely the fact it gets a little way in loading Windows proves the Windows files are intact, and so presumably the other data is too, but how to get at them?
Question by:laurencoull
    LVL 30

    Accepted Solution

    The data should be intact,but you can never say never.
    LVL 46

    Assisted Solution

    Personally I wouldn't trust some utility you download with must be the only copy of your data. Do the right thing invest in some backup technology. Backup first, then try to convert it back.  

    Nobody can promise you that any arbitrary package doesn't have a bug in it.  this is an in-place operation. It is just nuts to do something like that on your only copy of the data and trust that it will work.  

     What if I knew 100% that the program is perfect and never failed in a billion attempts and told you so.   MUrphy's laws dictate that your system will have a power surge and fry the disk drive. ;)

    So backup first just in case. It is the right thing to do.

    Author Comment

    Well the utility worked a treat and I'd highly recommend it to anyone in this situation.
    I forget what it's called now but will find out & post the details incase anyone's interested.
    But what annoys me is why the conversion to dynamic messed up the OS in the first place? I did another identical conversion on the same opsys yesterday (after backing up!!) & it went like clockwork!

    Author Comment

    It was called TestDisk. Anyone any thoughts on why the conversion to dynamic messed up the OS in the first place?

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks guys, I got all my data back 100%. Guess we'll never know what caused it to mess up as it did but never mind, it's all good now.

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