Booting Directly from Mirror after losing Primary

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup_deployment (More info?)

I lost the primary drive in a mirrored system (Win2K SP3). My mirrored drive
was an identical make & model, but a different SCSI controller (different
manufacturer, even). I was able to use a fault-tolerant floppy to boot from
the mirror drive, but I had to place the SCSI controller driver on the floppy
and rename it to NTBOOTDD.SYS. I then installed a second, identical
controller (having learned my lesson!) and hard drive, and re-mirrored the
drives successfully.

My question is, how do I now get Win2K to boot from the hard disk without
needing the floppy anymore? When I try to do that, I assume it is still
trying to use the driver from the original controller which, of course,
doesn't work, but I can't figure out how to remedy the situation, nor can I
find anything on my TechNet.

TIA -

--
- Mark
7 answers Last reply
More about booting directly mirror losing primary
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup_deployment (More info?)

    Hi,

    Was this a hardware mirror, or software mirror?

    Mark C. Walton wrote:

    > I lost the primary drive in a mirrored system (Win2K SP3). My mirrored drive
    > was an identical make & model, but a different SCSI controller (different
    > manufacturer, even). I was able to use a fault-tolerant floppy to boot from
    > the mirror drive, but I had to place the SCSI controller driver on the floppy
    > and rename it to NTBOOTDD.SYS. I then installed a second, identical
    > controller (having learned my lesson!) and hard drive, and re-mirrored the
    > drives successfully.
    >
    > My question is, how do I now get Win2K to boot from the hard disk without
    > needing the floppy anymore? When I try to do that, I assume it is still
    > trying to use the driver from the original controller which, of course,
    > doesn't work, but I can't figure out how to remedy the situation, nor can I
    > find anything on my TechNet.
    >
    > TIA -
    >


    --
    Gerry Hickman (London UK)
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup_deployment (More info?)

    It was a software mirror...AFAIK, there is no way to do a hardware mirror on
    separate controllers...

    "Gerry Hickman" wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > Was this a hardware mirror, or software mirror?
    >
    > Mark C. Walton wrote:
    >
    > > I lost the primary drive in a mirrored system (Win2K SP3). My mirrored drive
    > > was an identical make & model, but a different SCSI controller (different
    > > manufacturer, even). I was able to use a fault-tolerant floppy to boot from
    > > the mirror drive, but I had to place the SCSI controller driver on the floppy
    > > and rename it to NTBOOTDD.SYS. I then installed a second, identical
    > > controller (having learned my lesson!) and hard drive, and re-mirrored the
    > > drives successfully.
    > >
    > > My question is, how do I now get Win2K to boot from the hard disk without
    > > needing the floppy anymore? When I try to do that, I assume it is still
    > > trying to use the driver from the original controller which, of course,
    > > doesn't work, but I can't figure out how to remedy the situation, nor can I
    > > find anything on my TechNet.
    > >
    > > TIA -
    > >
    >
    >
    > --
    > Gerry Hickman (London UK)
    >
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup_deployment (More info?)

    In article <0A40659F-BBD2-4931-9641-853480A2C222@microsoft.com>,
    MarkCWalton@discussions.microsoft.com says...
    > I lost the primary drive in a mirrored system (Win2K SP3). My mirrored drive
    > was an identical make & model, but a different SCSI controller (different
    > manufacturer, even). I was able to use a fault-tolerant floppy to boot from
    > the mirror drive, but I had to place the SCSI controller driver on the floppy
    > and rename it to NTBOOTDD.SYS. I then installed a second, identical
    > controller (having learned my lesson!) and hard drive, and re-mirrored the
    > drives successfully.
    >
    > My question is, how do I now get Win2K to boot from the hard disk without
    > needing the floppy anymore? When I try to do that, I assume it is still
    > trying to use the driver from the original controller which, of course,
    > doesn't work, but I can't figure out how to remedy the situation, nor can I
    > find anything on my TechNet.
    >
    > TIA -
    >
    >
    if it was a software mirror ... i had this situation and was booting
    from floppy for months as I couldnt find the right way back ... fix boot
    fix mbr, copying files from floppy back to hdd .. all attempts failed -
    i didnt do the in place upgrade reinstall which i think would have
    solved it as I had new servers due and was very glad to simply take the
    server offline and rebuild it for another site!
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup_deployment (More info?)

    Mark C. Walton wrote:

    > It was a software mirror...AFAIK, there is no way to do a hardware mirror on
    > separate controllers...

    OK, I just wanted clarification.

    Basically software mirrors (as prescribed by Microsoft) are not really
    mirrors at all, in that the Intel boot code is missing on the shadow.

    That's my understanding anyway.

    If it was an old broken computer I didn't care about, I'd be tempted to
    try marking it as Active in FDISK or hacking it with a sector editor,
    but I wouldn't do this on a computer I cared about.

    It's been a long time since I read up on this, but I remember at the
    time deciding I'd _never_ use the Windows built-in "RAID" options.

    This is not to be confused with "Dynamic" volumes, which work great on
    Data partitions.

    --
    Gerry Hickman (London UK)
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup_deployment (More info?)

    Hi Gerry -

    Yes, well, I'm moving away from the Windows mirroring as time & resources
    allow, but for now I'm stuck with it on most of my servers.

    The complaint I've always had with hardware RAID, as I alluded to, is that I
    can't mirror on separate controllers, so if a controller goes down, you've
    had it. I also recently had a hardware RAID controller go bad and spew some
    garbage onto my disks, making BOTH the primary and the mirror unreadable
    simultaneously (so obviously the mirroring was still working flawlessly!).
    Luckily my backup was good, but even so, it was scary.

    I thought I read somewhere that Windows 2003 DOES mirror "everything" and
    this isn't a problem anymore, is that not the case?

    Anyway, I don't think the problem is that the disk isn't active (a la
    FDISK), because the server will try to boot from the disk (as defined in the
    BIOS) but I immediately get a disk read error - obviously because Windows
    doesn't "understand" the disk because it was originally installed onto the
    old controller & disk. Also, the partition table seems fine because it all
    looked normal in Disk Management - I was able to easily break the mirror and
    re-establish it onto the replacement disk.

    I've thought of running Repair from Setup - then I could hit F6 to load the
    driver when it starts - but is the repair procedure "smart" enough to then
    install the driver onto the disk?

    I guess the basic question becomes, where does Windows look to for the SCSI
    driver when it starts from the hard disk? I poked around on some of my other
    servers and can't figure it out. It seems you are in a Catch-22, because it
    can't read the disk without the driver, yet it can't load the driver without
    reading the disk. That means to me that somehow when Windows is first
    installed, somehow it stores the necessary code somewhere that it can read it
    first in DOS mode or something. Does that make sense?

    Thanks for your help,

    - Mark

    "Gerry Hickman" wrote:

    > Mark C. Walton wrote:
    >
    > > It was a software mirror...AFAIK, there is no way to do a hardware mirror on
    > > separate controllers...
    >
    > OK, I just wanted clarification.
    >
    > Basically software mirrors (as prescribed by Microsoft) are not really
    > mirrors at all, in that the Intel boot code is missing on the shadow.
    >
    > That's my understanding anyway.
    >
    > If it was an old broken computer I didn't care about, I'd be tempted to
    > try marking it as Active in FDISK or hacking it with a sector editor,
    > but I wouldn't do this on a computer I cared about.
    >
    > It's been a long time since I read up on this, but I remember at the
    > time deciding I'd _never_ use the Windows built-in "RAID" options.
    >
    > This is not to be confused with "Dynamic" volumes, which work great on
    > Data partitions.
    >
    > --
    > Gerry Hickman (London UK)
    >
  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup_deployment (More info?)

    Anyone, feel free to jump in here....

    "Mark C. Walton" wrote:

    > Hi Gerry -
    >
    > Yes, well, I'm moving away from the Windows mirroring as time & resources
    > allow, but for now I'm stuck with it on most of my servers.
    >
    > The complaint I've always had with hardware RAID, as I alluded to, is that I
    > can't mirror on separate controllers, so if a controller goes down, you've
    > had it. I also recently had a hardware RAID controller go bad and spew some
    > garbage onto my disks, making BOTH the primary and the mirror unreadable
    > simultaneously (so obviously the mirroring was still working flawlessly!).
    > Luckily my backup was good, but even so, it was scary.
    >
    > I thought I read somewhere that Windows 2003 DOES mirror "everything" and
    > this isn't a problem anymore, is that not the case?
    >
    > Anyway, I don't think the problem is that the disk isn't active (a la
    > FDISK), because the server will try to boot from the disk (as defined in the
    > BIOS) but I immediately get a disk read error - obviously because Windows
    > doesn't "understand" the disk because it was originally installed onto the
    > old controller & disk. Also, the partition table seems fine because it all
    > looked normal in Disk Management - I was able to easily break the mirror and
    > re-establish it onto the replacement disk.
    >
    > I've thought of running Repair from Setup - then I could hit F6 to load the
    > driver when it starts - but is the repair procedure "smart" enough to then
    > install the driver onto the disk?
    >
    > I guess the basic question becomes, where does Windows look to for the SCSI
    > driver when it starts from the hard disk? I poked around on some of my other
    > servers and can't figure it out. It seems you are in a Catch-22, because it
    > can't read the disk without the driver, yet it can't load the driver without
    > reading the disk. That means to me that somehow when Windows is first
    > installed, somehow it stores the necessary code somewhere that it can read it
    > first in DOS mode or something. Does that make sense?
    >
    > Thanks for your help,
    >
    > - Mark
    >
    > "Gerry Hickman" wrote:
    >
    > > Mark C. Walton wrote:
    > >
    > > > It was a software mirror...AFAIK, there is no way to do a hardware mirror on
    > > > separate controllers...
    > >
    > > OK, I just wanted clarification.
    > >
    > > Basically software mirrors (as prescribed by Microsoft) are not really
    > > mirrors at all, in that the Intel boot code is missing on the shadow.
    > >
    > > That's my understanding anyway.
    > >
    > > If it was an old broken computer I didn't care about, I'd be tempted to
    > > try marking it as Active in FDISK or hacking it with a sector editor,
    > > but I wouldn't do this on a computer I cared about.
    > >
    > > It's been a long time since I read up on this, but I remember at the
    > > time deciding I'd _never_ use the Windows built-in "RAID" options.
    > >
    > > This is not to be confused with "Dynamic" volumes, which work great on
    > > Data partitions.
    > >
    > > --
    > > Gerry Hickman (London UK)
    > >
  7. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup_deployment (More info?)

    Mark C. Walton wrote:
    > Anyone, feel free to jump in here....
    >
    > "Mark C. Walton" wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Hi Gerry -
    >>
    >>Yes, well, I'm moving away from the Windows mirroring as time & resources
    >>allow, but for now I'm stuck with it on most of my servers.
    >>
    >>The complaint I've always had with hardware RAID, as I alluded to, is that I
    >>can't mirror on separate controllers, so if a controller goes down, you've
    >>had it. I also recently had a hardware RAID controller go bad and spew some
    >>garbage onto my disks, making BOTH the primary and the mirror unreadable
    >>simultaneously (so obviously the mirroring was still working flawlessly!).
    >>Luckily my backup was good, but even so, it was scary.
    >>
    >>I thought I read somewhere that Windows 2003 DOES mirror "everything" and
    >>this isn't a problem anymore, is that not the case?
    >>
    >>Anyway, I don't think the problem is that the disk isn't active (a la
    >>FDISK), because the server will try to boot from the disk (as defined in the
    >>BIOS) but I immediately get a disk read error - obviously because Windows
    >>doesn't "understand" the disk because it was originally installed onto the
    >>old controller & disk. Also, the partition table seems fine because it all
    >>looked normal in Disk Management - I was able to easily break the mirror and
    >>re-establish it onto the replacement disk.
    >>
    >>I've thought of running Repair from Setup - then I could hit F6 to load the
    >>driver when it starts - but is the repair procedure "smart" enough to then
    >>install the driver onto the disk?
    >>
    >>I guess the basic question becomes, where does Windows look to for the SCSI
    >>driver when it starts from the hard disk? I poked around on some of my other
    >>servers and can't figure it out. It seems you are in a Catch-22, because it
    >>can't read the disk without the driver, yet it can't load the driver without
    >>reading the disk. That means to me that somehow when Windows is first
    >>installed, somehow it stores the necessary code somewhere that it can read it
    >>first in DOS mode or something. Does that make sense?
    >>
    >>Thanks for your help,
    >>
    >>- Mark
    >>
    >>"Gerry Hickman" wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>Mark C. Walton wrote:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>It was a software mirror...AFAIK, there is no way to do a hardware mirror on
    >>>>separate controllers...
    >>>
    >>>OK, I just wanted clarification.
    >>>
    >>>Basically software mirrors (as prescribed by Microsoft) are not really
    >>>mirrors at all, in that the Intel boot code is missing on the shadow.
    >>>
    >>>That's my understanding anyway.
    >>>
    >>>If it was an old broken computer I didn't care about, I'd be tempted to
    >>>try marking it as Active in FDISK or hacking it with a sector editor,
    >>>but I wouldn't do this on a computer I cared about.
    >>>
    >>>It's been a long time since I read up on this, but I remember at the
    >>>time deciding I'd _never_ use the Windows built-in "RAID" options.
    >>>
    >>>This is not to be confused with "Dynamic" volumes, which work great on
    >>>Data partitions.
    >>>
    >>>--
    >>>Gerry Hickman (London UK)
    >>>

    Do you have a utility partition of any sort on the original drive? The
    reason being is that when you create the dynamic mirror through disk
    management, you only mirror the volumes that Windows uses. If you have a
    utility partition at the front of the drive (like most HP, Dell, and
    otther OEMs do), the offset to teh actual mirror is not correct. This
    can be fixed with something like diskprobe if you're feeling up to the task.

    If you didn't have the utility partition on the original drive,
    something else may be going on.

    Try updating your boot.ini to correct the rdisk entry to point to the
    second disc.

    As for installation, if by "DOS mode" you mean textmode, then yes, the
    OS stores a copy of the driver loaded in textmode and it gets copied to
    the correct location during GUI mode install.

    Does this help?

    ---
    TopHat
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