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SP3 breaks Software RAID Hack!

Last response: in Windows XP
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May 9, 2008 10:14:40 PM

I have been using this hack: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/windowsxp-make-raid...

for some time quite happily, then quite stupidly, installed WinXP SP3 today, and it lost my mirrored array!

I attempted to re-apply the hack and no joy. Luckily, I could break the mirror, and I have access to my data on a single Drive (I feel for anyone who may have done the same on a RAID 5).

Can anybody confirm that this hack does not work Post SP3 and its not me messing up the hack application?

.. Currently backing up all data that was safely mirrored as a RAID 1.. would love to get this mod back.

-Steve
May 25, 2008 6:37:45 AM

Hi steve,
I agree WinXP SP3 overwrites dmadmin.exe, dmboot.sys, and that the old SP2 files will not work.
Unfortunately, you need to modify the new versions of the files. With a Hex editor perform the following edits:-

dmboot.sys
Find :- 74 00 54 00 79 00 70 00 65 00 00 00 57 49 4E 4E 54 00 00 00 53 45 52 56 45 52 4E 54 00 00 00 00
Replace :- 74 00 54 00 79 00 70 00 65 00 00 00 53 45 52 56 45 52 4E 54 57 49 4E 4E 54 00 00 00 00 00 00 00

dmadmin.exe
Find:- 73 65 72 76 65 72 6E 74 00 00 00 00 6C 61 6E 6D 61 6E 6E 74 00 00 00 00 50 72 6F 64 75 63 74 54
Replace:- 77 69 6E 6E 74 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 6C 61 6E 6D 61 6E 6E 74 00 00 00 00 50 72 6F 64 75 63 74 54

dmconfig.dll stays the same as SP2

I think that this works but still have to confirm for sure.
Hope this helps.
Roy.


May 26, 2008 10:03:06 PM

You're better off with a hardware RAID solution... much more reliable in the long run and you won't have to worry about Windows Update hosing your array. Pretty much all new motherboards have some sort of RAID built-in nowadays.
Related resources
June 7, 2008 7:50:06 PM

Confirmed.
I had the software RAID hack with SP2 and upgraded to SP3. I am mirroring (RAID1) an IDE to a SATA. After installing SP3 my computer had a BSOD with stop error 0x0000007B (0xf7c46528, 0xC00000034, 0x00000000, 0x00000000).

The system was stuck in a continous reboot.

I ran chkdsk /r, didn't work
Then I ran bootcfg /rebuild, didn't work

Then I used recovery console & replaced the following files with the raid hacked versions that I used for SP2:
C:\Windows\System32\dmadmin.exe
C:\Windows\System32\dmconfig.dll
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\dmboot.sys
C:\Windows\System32\dllcache\dmadmin.exe
C:\Windows\System32\dllcache\dmconfig.dll
C:\Windows\System32\dllcache\dmboot.sys

I probably didn't need to copy dmconfig.dll, but I did anyways.

After copying the files my system was able to boot into windows.

My Raid1 mirror is working correctly as well.
June 26, 2008 9:23:54 AM

Confirmed.

I had the same problem!!!

Can anyone explains me how i can break the mirror so i can backup the data?

Thanks
September 5, 2008 1:56:56 PM

Great job roy2000! I wanted to use raid 1 on my fileserver running xp sp3 and implemented the original hack. It worked just fine until i rebooted - my raid-volume was inactivated and had to be reactivated to get online again! Quite annoying to have to run diskmanagement at every reboot, even if it doesn't happen that often. This updated hack seems to have done the work! Thanx! :) 
October 7, 2008 12:53:54 AM

I just wanted to confirm that roy2000's fix does work. It got my raid 5 back up and running without any lost data.
October 7, 2008 6:29:35 AM

Hardware RAID anyone??
November 5, 2008 5:36:09 PM

There's a much easier way to do this, though I have to say thanks to Roy2000 for providing the new changes you need to make.

1) Have the 3 hacked files ready on the root of your C: drive
2) Extract the SP3.EXE file using 7zip to C:\SP3
3) Delete C:\SP3\i386\dmboot.sy_
4) Run C:\SP3\i386\update\Update.exe and install SP3 normally
5) At some point you will be prompted that dmboot.sy_ is missing and asked to provide a new location, point it at C:\
6) Reboot and let Windows boot normally. Go through the post-SP3 nagging about Automatic Updates etc.
6) Reboot again and boot into Safe Mode
7) Replace dmadmin.exe and dmconfig.dll into C:\Windows\system32 and C:\Windows\system32\dllcache
8) Reboot and boot normally.

I have just done this on an SP2 system where the OS partition was a RAID1 mirror, at no point did I have to break or repair the RAID.

You may be tempted to copy over dmadmin.exe using the same trick, but it doesn't work, it fails security validation. For some reason dmboot.sys passes despite being modified!
November 5, 2008 5:38:58 PM

Just to clarify, sorry, the 3 hacked files need to include the SP3 versions of dmboot.sys and dmadmin.exe. If you don't have these from another PC, then use EXPAND.EXE to decompress them from C:\SP3\i386 after you extract the service pack.
March 15, 2009 5:37:16 AM

anyone get this to work with xp pro x64 sp2?
March 15, 2009 7:10:50 AM

Do people really have something against hardware RAID? It solves the issue of software updates breaking your array. Even if you have an older motherboard that doesn't support it out of the box... an add-in card can be had quite cheaply. It would be a hell of a lot better than relying on a software solution that can be broken at Microsoft's slightest whim.

I seriously can't believe that people still entertain this as a solution. For God's sake people, switch to something with better performance and higher reliability.
March 15, 2009 12:14:11 PM

It solves the issue, but only until your motherboard dies, if you can't get a replacement with the same controller then bye bye data.

For big corporates this isn't a problem, the big expensive RAID controllers tend to be around for a long time and the chances are they'll have multiple servers all to the same spec so in a worst case scenario they can put the disks in another machine. For consumer level gear neither of these are true. Your best hope is that someone is selling your board on eBay.

Also on most consumer motherboards the "hardware" RAID you have isn't hardware RAID at all, it's a combination of software RAID built into the controller BIOS followed by software RAID built into the driver. Any performance gains are purely down to how well written and well maintained the drivers are. Anyone remember all the boards with the HPT370 RAID controller built on back in the days of the original Athlon?
March 15, 2009 2:43:07 PM

Plus with a Software raid you can raid 1 individual partitions on different sized disks, so if I have a 250Gb disk and a 500Gb disk I can Software Raid 1 all my info from the smaller disk to the larger one. Can someone explain how to accomplish this hack on x64 xp?
March 21, 2009 7:43:52 AM

Hello Lum- I have a question, I have XP PRO SP3 and I want to remove WMP11 and replace it with WMP9,and get rid of Silverlight, can I edit the SP3 disk like you said about the software raid hack
Anonymous
January 27, 2010 7:06:44 AM

Zoron said:
Do people really have something against hardware RAID?


YES! I spent a lot of time making SIL3132 to work properly as RAID1, trying different HDDs, drivers etc. It does not and probably never will. It is in permanent rebuild and hands up the system with BSOD when coming to 100%.
April 18, 2011 12:09:42 AM

I actually *do* have a hardware RAID controller...

...except I've had to go through the painful experience, to learn most consumer grade hard drives *no longer* play nice with these, even in RAID 1!

I've already been aware that both WD and Samsung have intentionally neutered their drives - the TLER function is disabled - but I tried to gamble and use Hitachi drives...

...no joy. The drives would still fail to respond to the controller (doing internal maintenance), so the controller threw them out as "faulty". Of course one could just rebuild the array, but when I'm taking about a 1 TByte big array, this can take an aggravatingly long time.

...so that's why I've fallen back on software RAID.
February 4, 2012 4:03:28 AM

Lum said:
There's a much easier way to do this...
1) Have the 3 hacked files ready on the root of your C: drive
2) Extract the SP3.EXE file using 7zip to C:\SP3
3) Delete C:\SP3\i386\dmboot.sy_...


This does not work for the version of SP3 that Microsoft is hosting now. When the installer sees the missing file it aborts the installation with no option to search for the missing file.
February 5, 2012 2:54:02 AM

To simplify the mod posted by Roy2000 I will offer it in hex strings that are directly searchable and updateable. To be clear, there is NO CHANGE in these strings from the earlier thread by Patrick Schmid
"Unleashing RAID 5 Under WindowsXP", November 19, 2004.

dmboot.sys
Find Hex: 74005400790070006500000057494E4E540000005345525645524E5400000000
Replace : 7400540079007000650000005345525645524E5457494E4E5400000000000000

dmadmin.exe
Find Hex: 7365727665726E74000000006C616E6D616E6E740000000050726F6475637454
Replace : 77696E6E74000000000000006C616E6D616E6E740000000050726F6475637454

dmconfig.dll
Find Hex: 4C414E4D414E4E54000000005345525645524E540000000057494E4E54000000
Replace : 4C414E4D414E4E540000000057494E4E54000000000000005345525645524E54

Remember to apply the modifications to copies of these files, not editing these files while running the OS, to prevent regression by Windows automatic self-repair.

Remember to use Windows Recovery Console to replace the original files with the patched files by booting off of the Windows XP CD, waiting for the drivers to load, and selecting "R" for Recovery, then copying the patched files from a floppy to the system drive.

Remember to replace the patched files in both locations (live copy and the DLL cache) to prevent automated regression by Windows automatic self-repair:
copy a:\dmadmin.exe c:\windows\system32
copy a:\dmconfig.dll c:\windows\system32
copy a:\dmboot.sys c:\windows\system32\drivers
copy a:\dmadmin.exe c:\windows\system32\dllcache
copy a:\dmconfig.dll c:\windows\system32\dllcache
copy a:\dmboot.sys c:\windows\system32\dllcache
February 5, 2012 4:47:02 AM

After testing the manual patching method for this software RAID hack for Windows XP 32-bit version in February 2012 I found that it still works.

For RAID 1, once the mirror is completely generated, the mirror is stable and is not broken on reboot. Rebooting prior to completion of the initial sync / generation will cause the mirror to be broken on reboot, requiring manual start of the regeneration process.

Thank you, Microsoft, for keeping this option open.
!