Server 2003 with software mirroring

Got a problem with an old server I was hoping to do a simple P2V on and would appreciate some advice on physical mirrored disc issue.  I normally deal with proper systems with RAID controllers, SAN connected storage etc. so an OS software based mirrored drive is thankfully not something I have had to deal with since hardware has been available to do the job...

This server had been there on a site for many years (alongside a Windows 2000 SBS and Windows 2003 SBS on different LAN's) all of which I have been working to migrate their users off.  This was running a system for their CAD users that has now been replaced with a new version but the old system needs to be kept for reference purposes, I am loathe to even reboot it at the moment while errors show with the mirrored drives, I have tried running a P2V using Disk2VHD and had a non bootable result and backups are basically non existent.  I will get a file level backup of the data files and kicked off native NTBackup but considering the P2V output I am not convinced of any other backups until I can restore them of course.

Windows 2003 R2 SP2 on physical HP server.  Appears to be have 2 x Adaptec SCSI cards and 2 x 136GB SCSI discs using software mirroring.

Disk 0: 136Gb drive partitioned to C: and D: with small 31Mb partition before C:  Dynamics disc, Status: Online (Errors)
Disk 1: 136Gb drive partitioned to C: and D: Dynamics disc, Status: Online (Errors)

In Disk manager both drives show Online (Errors) and both drives show options of "Reactivate disk" in the menu.Disk Manager output
Disk Manager output
DISKPART> list volume

  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  -------
  Volume 0     D   PTC          NTFS   Mirror       107 GB  Healthy    At Risk
  Volume 1     C                NTFS   Mirror        30 GB  Healthy    At Risk
  Volume 2     E                       CD-ROM          0 B  Healthy


Open in new window

From the VHD / VHDX made from the server loaded into HyperV it does not boot, looking at the drives booting from OS disc into recovery mode it shows two partitions as I would expect.  I tried to VHD and VHDX with and without shadow copy with same results.

Inside the VM in recovery manager (from a 2012 R2 ISO, diskpart LIST disk shows):

Disk 0   Foreign    136Gb    0B free    Dynamic disc

LIST partition shows:

Partition 1 Dynamics Data    29Gb
Partition 2 Dynamic Data    106Gb

LIST volume shows nothing except the DVD.

SELECT partition 1 (or 2) shows:

Virtual Disk Service error:
The pack is not online.

I am guessing that it is looking at wrong disc to virtualise.   If I can get a good backup then I will try restoring onto new VM or but would appreciate opinion on best way to deal with the software mirrored disc issue and whether you think that may be issue with doing the P2V?


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Steve KnightIT ConsultancyAsked:
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Did you get above error after p2v and in virtual machine?
U get this error on live physical box itself?
You can try reactivate disk and it should come online hopefully as this errors are caused because of I/O and if errors are temporary
If u have working backup it will help
Steve KnightIT ConsultancyAuthor Commented:
Thanks, the live physical box and physical discs is the image showing need to re-activate discs.  On the attempted VM the OS did not boot at all and drives show up but no volumes.

I have never done software mirroring on recent versions of Windows and online searches seem to provide conflicting results which is why I was asking -- is it normal for BOTH discs to ask to be re-activated for instance and if the aren't mirroring properly and I activate the wrong one..

I don't work for this company, third party tasked with support and was wanting to get a bootable VM ideally before I did anything to the physical box.

Will check out the NT backup I kicked off when I can get a remote session on later to see if that worked.
Steve KnightIT ConsultancyAuthor Commented:
Hmm, bit happier now.  Had a look on there and unlike the previous attempt this time from recovery console I was able to do IMPORT on the Foregin shown discs in DISKPART this time and can see the volumes then.   It won't boot still and looks like the Disk2VHD has imaged the second disc which does not seem to have the boot partition details so that may be easily fixable now - normal bootrec commands etc. don't work but if I can find a 2003 R2 image there or transfer them one hopefully I can repair it.
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Steve KnightIT ConsultancyAuthor Commented:
Though main issue.... would still like to know more specifically about the mirrored drives both showing needing re-activation?
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Look this article from Microsoft:

"A dynamic volume's status is Healthy (At Risk).
Cause: Indicates that the dynamic volume is currently accessible, but I/O errors have been detected on the underlying dynamic disk. If an I/O error is detected on any part of a dynamic disk, all volumes on the disk display the Healthy (At Risk) status and a warning icon appears on the volume.

When the volume status is Healthy (At Risk), an underlying disk's status is usually Online (Errors).

Solution: Return the underlying disk to the Online status. Once the disk is returned to Online status, the volume should return to the Healthy status. If the Healthy (At Risk) status persists, the disk might be failing. Back up the data and replace the disk as soon as possible. For instructions describing how to bring the disk back online, see Reactivate a missing or offline dynamic disk."

"To reactivate a missing or offline dynamic disk
Using the Windows interface

Open Computer Management (Local).

In the console tree, click Computer Management (Local), click Storage, and then click Disk Management.

Right-click the disk marked Missing or Offline, and then click Reactivate Disk.
The disk should be marked Online after the disk is reactivated."
In other words reactivate the drives and perform the hard drive scan with hardware vendor made tool. Plus run chkdsk /f on all volumes.
Steve KnightIT ConsultancyAuthor Commented:
Sounds logical, I was just wary about kicking it off until I'd got a working backup / VHD of it.  I'm hoping once I can get a 2003 R2 ISO downloaded there to do a repair of the VHD I made it will boot OK, will try tomorrow along with restoring MS backup made of it to another VM.

Once I've at least got a backup, looks like it possibly hasn't had a full backup in many years, I'll do that.

noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Oh man, if the data on the server is important then you should do backups regularly on daily or weekly basis. There are many third party tools which do this easily such as Ghost, Paragon, Acronis, Shadow Protect and many others.
Steve KnightIT ConsultancyAuthor Commented:
Well it's not my server... and the data is historic now, live data has been migrated to new system but historic data they need to lookup on this.  I knew it was a mess but not had admin password until recently to look properly.  Agreed on the backups of course!

I really would like VHD to boot on HyperV before I re-activate those discs on the physical box if I can, so going to hold off - I tried a 2003 and 2012R2 boot into recovery mode with no luck so far - diskpart very limited in 2003 recovery console it seems.  I'm going to try W2003 R2 DVD in the morning, ISO left transferring to the site at the moment.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Or you can use a tool called Hard Disk Manager 15 from Paragon which can convert the OS from physical drive to virtual machine for ESX or for Hyper-V directly. The feature is called P2V Copy.
Steve KnightIT ConsultancyAuthor Commented:
Issue has changed today...power outage overnight previous day and this server... not on UPS... powered off and comes back in continuous booting cycle, much the same as my P2V stopping after the acpi driver.

I got a VM to this stage through using a 2016 disc and importing in recovery console the dynamic drives from VHD image and robocopying them over to a bkank drive.  Together with fixing mbr, boot sector etc. it boots as far as it does.

Sadly as it seems to do the same as the physical server I've got to try and track down issue, maybe dodgy driver.  Not sure I need anything else from this question now (unless you have any helpful hints on that!) but will leave open for few days if that is OK.


noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
So your physical system is not booting still, did I get it correctly? Have you tried the Safe Mode?
Steve KnightIT ConsultancyAuthor Commented:
Yes, physical and virtual both do the same... boots part way and drops back to start again.  Safe mode stops after it has loaded acpitabl.dat

Fails at (well after) acpitabl.dat
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Seems the file system is corrupt or the registry is bad. Do you have a backup where you could restore the software hive?
Look this article:

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Steve KnightIT ConsultancyAuthor Commented:
Yes I've seen that one too.... sadly the server hasn't been rebooted for at least a year I think so unlikely to have one from before it last booted, the "last known good" option was no use too of couse.  I've only been looking at it for a week or so and took my own Windows backup and Disk2VHD though I have found some much older Windows Backups so going to see if the drive was backed up then etc .  Probably worth trying to boot it with a software hive file from a fresh 2003 install too for starters, will do on VM to start with,  want the physical box gone anway and saves sitting onsite in a titchy server room and easier to undo!

Appreciate the suggestions, will see what I can get working tomorrow or over weekend.

noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
With VM attempts you have one trap - the Windows 2003 does not have drivers for virtual hardware. And this will fail to start till you adjust the driver hive of the registry to new hardware.
As a member of EE with over 3Mio points you are obliged to get free of charge a version of Paragon Hard Disk Manger 15 Premium Edition. Which has a conversion feature and even better - P2P Adjust OS wizard on a bootable WinPE. Which you can boot the VM with and do adjust features. Plus it has Boot Corrector tool on the same WinPE which you can use to fix the partition boot record etc.
Write them an email and request a copy. It will save you a lot of time and nerves.
Good luck Steve.
Steve KnightIT ConsultancyAuthor Commented:
Thanks, interesting, didn't know of that benefit to EE member, have had access to earlier versions of their software.  Have P2V other 2003 OK to HyperV etc. though quite possibly been lucky with combinations of hardware.  I prefer starting new OS and migrating cleanly over where possible.

noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Since Windows 7 the HAL is not so demanding as it was on XP or 2003. And with Windows 10 it is much easier.
Steve KnightIT ConsultancyAuthor Commented:
Well I've got it working... Well the VM anyway but bothered about the physical machine as needed to do it remotely.


Create install of Windows 2003 R2 on virtual disc. Add second disc as D drive
Load these along with second set of discs with actual server image on.
Boot to 2016 recovery console
Use that to connect with dynamic discs and then robocopy across the files and registry files over the new is install.
Pull back registry files from ms backup.
Boot from 2003r2 dvd and do repair installation.
And now have bootable VM to clean up of of drivers and apps etc. In the normal way.

I'll check back and award points when on pc later out tomorrow. Appreciate all the comments and suggestions along the way!

Steve KnightIT ConsultancyAuthor Commented:
See comments above.  Physical server issue was probably a driver update or similar that did not agree with the server, virtualising issues compounded by dynamic discs with errors etc.
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