HP DL180 G6 Convert single-disk SBS2008 to RAID1

Posted on 2013-11-12
Last Modified: 2016-10-27
We've just taken a new client on and we're rather alarmed at the state of their SBS2008 server.

Not only is it running Exchange 2007 with 20 odd mailboxes, but it has no backup solution and more alarmingly - Is configured on a SINGLE SATA HDD.

As you can imagine, this is quite frankly terrifying - We need to migrate this over to a RAID solution. It's a HP DL180 G6 chassis so it has an onboard RAID controller ready to go but isn't currently enabled.

We've done this successfully before with Windows 7 but never attempted it on a live working server for very obvious reasons!

Can anyone suggest a tried/tested way of performing this? I know it's not going to be something that's officially supported - I'd imagine the steps to go something like this:

1) Attempt to pre-install the RAID controller drivers inside SBS2008 in it's current state
2) Power down machine, remove original single-SATA HDD
3) Create RAID1 array
4) Clone partition from original HDD's to both RAID1 member drives
5) Magically boot into SBS2008 from the RAID1 logical drive

I know I'm aiming high with this one.. but any help would be appreciated. I've already googled the crap out of this issue and it seems like there are too many 'should work's.

Worst case scenario is simply to re-attach the original HDD and switch back to non-RAID mode I guess but this definitely needs to be addressed. Backup, format/reinstall is simply not an option I'm afraid or that would be the first port of call!

Thanks in advance :o)
Question by:UncleVirus
LVL 19

Expert Comment

ID: 39641311
before I even start messing about with the server. I would clone the server in some way so if anything breaks you have a get out pass.

The reason I ask you to have another backup is I personally had a situation where turned the server off and it won't come back on and the hard disk just died.

Once, you have got a backup in hand then you are going in the right direction.

I would get brand new drives, create a RAID in question and then clone the data back.

Make sure you tell the client about realistic down time with pros and cons.

Good luck.
LVL 35

Accepted Solution

Kimputer earned 500 total points
ID: 39641323
You're correct about the "should work" part. To make it "definitely will work", you need to invest in Acronis TrueImage Server (from the top of my head somewhere around the 800$ region).
First make a full drive image to a USB device (could be done live, but I prefer powered down running from a TrueImage CD).
Then remove SATA, setup RAID1. Now boot again from CD, restore the image from USB, target the RAID1 as destination. Now this is the part that makes it work. Enable Universal restore. Have another USB drive ready with the RAID drivers unpacked. Let Universal Restore options point to it, add the option to search the whole drive by itself.

Now the image will be restored, and at the end, it will fix the drivers making your server boot without problems. All drive letters should also be the same, as you're image will be partitioned the same.

Author Comment

ID: 39641327
Hey buddy, we've taken an Acronis TIB of the system as it stands for data restoration should things go downhill very quickly...! We've since configured Windows Server Backup on a daily basis too, as a matter of course.

Will do, thanks for the advice. Could anyone shed some light on the specific process?

I've got as far as finding this little excerp from a forum:

1) Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\
2) Tweak the atapa/iaStor/iastorV/intelide/msahci settings as necessary.

I've got my hands on the RAID drivers but as the controller is running in ATA/Native mode, NOT RAID mode - I can't install them as the storage controller isn't visible in device manager. Ideally, I need to 'preinstall' them *manually* :-/
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Author Comment

ID: 39641419
Sorry just seen your additional comment (Posted whilst I was replying!)

We have an in house copy of True Image Server - The universal restore functionality didn't occurr to me! I'll give that a go and report on my findings. Thanks for the re-assurance guys :)

Kind regards
LVL 35

Expert Comment

ID: 39641427
Please note Universal Restore used to be an paid add-on in earlier versions. If you don't have it, you have to buy a new TrueImage version (now just called Backup & Restore).
LVL 46

Expert Comment

ID: 39643224
You can adjust it to new configuration with Paragon P2P Adjust OS feature available on their Boot CD of Rescue Kit. Works smoothly.

Author Comment

ID: 39643250
Hi Kimputer, we have acronis backup and recovery 11.5 with the add-on module so will give that a bash :-)

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40015469
FWIW this is 100% possible.

Acronis Backup & Recovery 11.5 has a module called 'Universal Restore' which will allow you to image a machine, and then restore it to literally ANYTHING. In the end I restored it to a RAID1+0 setup with a few extra disks. Hope this helps someone in the future.

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