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Can software Mirror be used on another computer safely?

Posted on 2014-07-29
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Last Modified: 2014-07-30
I have a Windows 2003 server that has a data partition comprised of two SATA drives in a RAID 1 Software Mirror. I will be taking one of the drives out of the server and attaching it to a PC for the purposes of transferring data from it. When the transfer is complete I will reconnect the SATA to the server and power it back on. I will not be powering on the server until the drive is reattached. I don't anticipate any issues but welcome your experiences and advice. Should work fine right? Thank you.
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Question by:CanOfWorms
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by:Joshua Grantom
Joshua Grantom earned 167 total points
ID: 40227625
Theoretically it should be fine. Why don't you just connect the 2 computers to the same network and transfer them over that way? Is it at a different location?

What about an external hard drive? 1 TB drives are cheap these days and you do not risk breaking the software RAID
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by:CanOfWorms
ID: 40227650
One of the drives in the mirror is failing making accessing the data from the mirror painfully slow. I can not transfer/backup the data in the state that its in. I must get the good drive alone and backup the data (because there is no current back of the data yikes!) before I proceed with a repair.

I know this method should theoretically work but have never tried it myself. Because there is no backup this is live data and I don't want to chance it. I am hoping someone here might have done this in the past and can share. :)
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by:Joshua Grantom
ID: 40227657
What Mirror Software is being used?
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by:andyalder
andyalder earned 166 total points
ID: 40227780
Windows software mirroring presumably.

After splitting the mirror and mounting one disk on a PC to effect data recovery the timestamps on the files will be rewritten so the disks will no longer be in sync. Even if you just read files Windows will write to the disk since it doesn't have a native read-only option. They can't be combined again into the same mirror although you can wipe one out and use it to create a new software mirror.
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Author Comment

by:CanOfWorms
ID: 40227792
That scenario should be acceptable. When I reinstall the disk I do not plan on recreating the mirror. So as long as Windows will accept the disk back, even if its as a foreign disk that is fine. Also fine for Windows to bring it back as a broken mirror. As long as I can share folder from it until the server gets replaced.
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Author Comment

by:CanOfWorms
ID: 40227795
Also, yes. Using the native software mirror ability in Windows Server 2003.
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Steve earned 167 total points
ID: 40227842
yep. if you are using windows mirroring you can remove the drive and copy it on another machine (ive done it). make sure you connect it to the same location in the original server though!

*Note: always take backups where possible just in case. you don't want to risk dropping the good disk etc :-)
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Author Closing Comment

by:CanOfWorms
ID: 40229813
I have been able to mount the broken mirror disk into a PC and transfer the data. I would like to mention that in my case when I broke the mirror the disk that had bad blocks was kept the original drive letter designation and the good disk received a new drive letter. Trying to view the drive on the original server in explorer resulted in an error "incorrect function". Thanks for the help here.
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