Unable to Boot after Dynamic Disk Mirror


E

Eric Phillips

Hi All!

I have a bit of a problem. I currently have several Windows 2003 servers,
each is running on a single 120 gig IDE disk. I have had a hardware failure
and lost one of my servers, although I had the proper backup and was able to
restore within 24 hours, I have purchased five new identical 120 gig IDE
hard drives that I will use for software RAID1. I have read much about, but
never personally used dynamic disks with RAID1 mirroring, so I am testing
the situation first on a test server.

I installed the second hard drive, booted into Windows, converted both disks
to dynamic, then established the mirror. (with all necessary reboots in the
middle) Then after the mirror was created and synced I rebooted and had the
two seperate entries in my boot.ini as I expected. The machine booted and
worked like a charm. Then as a test I removed the original hard drive while
the computer was off, simulating the hard drive blowing up. So I then put
the other hard drive in place of removed hard drive and was able to boot
without a problem. Then I went into computer manager and removed the
missing mirror, all seemed well. So I then rebooted and now am unable to
get back into Windows.

I still get an OS selection screen with the "Windows (default)" and "Boot
Mirror C: - secondary plex" options. If I pick Windows (default) the server
sits there for two seconds then reboots. If I pick the mirror I get
"-Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration
problem. Could not read from the selected boot disk." If I boot off the
Windows 2003 CD and go into the recovery console it examines the hard drive
then comes back and says "The path or file specified is not valid." If I go
through the Windows 2003 setup to the part where you pick a partition it
does see my 7 gig system, and larger data volumes, labeled as Dynamic
volumes.

The only thing I could find through the MSKB is:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;227364

But I don't quite understand what it is saying... It almost looks like the
recovery console can not read dynamic volumes, but I can not possibly
imagine that would be so.

Does anyone have any suggestions or hints on what I could do next? I am
afraid to roll dynamic volumes and software RAID1 out to my servers now, I
know a hardware RAID solution would be better, but cost was the primary
concern when speccing these servers out; and I am curious how to
troubleshoot a dynamic volume now.

Thanks in advance!

Eric Phillips
 
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