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Server 2008R2 Enterprise Replacing System OS & Boot Partion

Posted on 2013-05-24
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Last Modified: 2013-06-10
Our Server 08 Enterprise VM host has the the OS and boot partition on a SATA enterprise drive, we recently purchased a couple SAS drives and want to relocate the boot partition & OS partition to the SAS RAID 1. There has to be a way to accomplish this without reinstalling everything. Ideally it would be nice if this could be done online with minimal downtime.

currently the SAS Array is unformatted. Do I do an image restore onto the blank array via Server Backup?

I've included a couple of screen snapshots of the array config, and disc manager. In disc Manager disk0 is the SATA drive we want to decommission; and Disk2 is the logical drive (array) we want to be the new boot drive. I've tried ghosting, but the software doesn't see the logical drive (array); just the SATA drive.
Screen capture of the Array configuration
Disc Manager screen capture illustrating disc0 (SATA) to be replaced with Disc2 New Boot and OS partitions

I'm stumped.  Taking the system down for an extended period of time would be a costly venture.  So if that can be avoided, that would be great.  Oh, it's on a HP Proliant ML350 G6, utilizing the onboard P410 controller 512mb BBWC. Would the HP Advance Pack (for this controller) be worth the 400 bucks?  I'd rather purchase another cage and more disc for the 400 bucks. :)

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.




Sincerely,
Mark
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Question by:MarkThomasLee
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Expert Comment

by:Amit
ID: 39195482
You need a down time for this. Do it during the weekend off business hours.
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by:MarkThomasLee
ID: 39195562
thank you for your response.  

I guess I'm not being real clear, How do I transfer the boot partition and the OS partition to another drive?

Ghosting doesn't work because the several variant ghosting products don't recognize the SAS array, just the SATA drive.

Thank you in advance
Mark
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 39195599
Suggestion: use a sata boot drive and move the virtual machines to the sas drives

You will have to do a reload anyway since the system won't boot from the SAS drives as is.. it needs drivers and so forth.. virtualize the machine you have now.. strip out the hyper-v role and install a barebones minimal installation of server with hyper-v i.e. server_core  (you could even use just the hypervisor itself (Hyper-V standalone)
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by:MarkThomasLee
ID: 39195764
Hmm. Okay I guess I'm still not clear on what I'm trying to accomplish. I have just the OS on the sata drive. I want to ditch the sata drive and have just the OS on the disc2. The VM's are already on the other array. I don't want to reinstall the OS, other software, and import the VM's

Basically I want to slip the sata out and the sata back in its place. I can shrink the partition so the partitions are the same size. Is there imaging software that I can install drivers so the array would be available?

Thank you for your response.
M
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noxcho earned 500 total points
ID: 39196513
Get a copy of Paragon Hard Disk Manager 12 Business and install it on this sysem. Then in this app run Drive Copy and clone your HDD to disk2. It will do the cloning in Windows. So no downtime. When finished simply tun off machine remove old drive and make the new one as first boot. Start machine from new drive.
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 39196556
I realize what you want.. BUT BUT the drivers for the SAS array are NOT in the boot image what I gave you was the simplest solution.. image to a virtual machine/vhd (p2v) and run everything virtually..

Rather than trying to get it to boot afterwards  even if you did a backup/restore to the SAS drives

.. as you said most imaging products don't have the drivers available.. the operating system has to have the drivers as well in order to BOOT!!

What I suggested involved little or no rebuilding . image  install hyper-v (server or dedicated) restore to vhd and run.. All you have to do is install a bare-bones server with hyper-v role or just the free hyper-v 2012 operating system.

It is the simplest solution rather than rebuilding your server from scratch for what gain? probably minimal to none.
Can you explain what bottleneck you're trying to eliminate here?
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by:noxcho
ID: 39196811
He can install drivers fr SAS contoller and then clone his system to disk2. Do you think it will not work?
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 39196882
My concern is the boot process i.e. bootmgr when it is trying to pass to the operating system, so the o/s can load.

Going from IDE to AHCI is easy (a registry change lets you use AHCI after installing using IDE mode controllers.. as a test he could just use imagex and winpe by injecting the drivers dism /add-driver  into winpe and then using imagex /capture to capture an image of the drive and then imagex /apply to place the image. then with the O/S install or recovery disk fix the boot sector (bootsect.exe_and then bcdboot x:\windows to add the correct bcd entries ... its worth a shot.
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by:noxcho
ID: 39196909
Yes, but if he already configured the RAID, installed drivers in Windows for that RAID and now clones the source drive to his SAS config then Windows has already the drivers. He does not need WinPe for that. Hard Disk Manager can do cloning in Windows.
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by:MarkThomasLee
ID: 39197829
Thank you Gentlemen,
what I'm trying to accomplish here is redundancy for the OS drive, and increasing the performance of the OS.  The SATA is only 1.5mb SATA drive.  the two SAS drive are 6.0mb drives. I have caching capabilities on the SAS array controller that doesn't exist on the SATA bus. I'm not understanding why Virtualize a virtual machine host.  Call me thick, but I don't understand.

The OS drive is running, System Center 2010, and the hyper V role that's pretty much it.  The Guest OS is a customer based system monitoring solution, and the other VM is SBS 2011 for internal use.

I've tried imagex and winpe trying to virtualize a windows 7 to a VM in Windows 8. I made a complete hash of it.  So I'm a little afraid to do the imagex on a production box.

what I'm getting here, from reading this dialog, is that some significant changes have been made from Server 03 to Server 08 when it comes to the boot partition. I guess I don't really understand how all that works (maybe that's why I messed up the windows 7 box so badly.

I looked into the paragon solution, it looks intriguing; however, what I want to avoid (and couldn't tell by the literature) is running an additional disc management layer (permanently) in order to accomplish what I'm trying to accomplish.  Does the Paragon HDM business insert itself as an additional layer?

I guess it's not as simple as doing a backup and restoring to another drive. ha ha.. :)
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by:noxcho
ID: 39197939
No additional layer. It will install and work like clonezilla. The benefit is - you do not need to go offline for cloning. In other words you will take exact mirror image of your running configuration to that RAID set. And it is realtime cloning process. The tool will use Ms VSS to take snapshot of your OS and data layout and reproduce it on target disk. The the data will be transferred there. It is like upgrading your old disk with new one.
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Author Closing Comment

by:MarkThomasLee
ID: 39235294
I haven't tried it yet, little low on funds, and other tasks have taken a priority.  but from what I've read about the product, it does appear to do exactly what I'm looking for. Thank you.
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