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Boot Order of Array Drives

 
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Boot Order of Array Drives

Hi,

I have a Prolient ML530 (SN#D035FPR1K085) that is using a Smart Array 4200 Controller. The Array was originally setup with four(4) 18.2Gb Drives set as a RAID5 on Array A (Drive1). This Drive has our OS and our Apps on it.

Now, I need to change this array to a Two Drive mirrored set of 18.2Gb Drives with our OS & Apps on it. To do this, I have added a single 72Gb drive and made it Array B (Drive2). I have used Ghost to image the OS/Apps over to this drive. I have modified the boot.ini and I can successfully boot this drive.

My plan was to then rebuild the Array A with two drives mirrored and re-image the OS back.

However, when I shutdown and remove the drives from Array A and then re-boot, the OS will not boot from Drive2.

What steps do I need to take at this point to accomplish my mission? I want to make sure I have a bootable system before I monkey with the Array A drives (other than detaching them from the chassis).

From what I understand, the 4200 will only boot from Drive1. So how do I change the Drive ID's to make Drive2 be Drive1? Is there anyway I can change the Boot Order to boot Drive2 without having to mess with the Array.

I'm being real cautious with this because this is the first time I have gotten real deep with the Array Configuration Utility and this server can not be down.

Any advice, direction or encouragement is more than welcome.

Thanks,

Doug
"It's just a box of rain..."
9 REPLIES
Janine Bertolo
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Boot Order of Array Drives

Hi Doug;

Although this is not a supported method of replacing the OS, it should work.

What symptoms do you get when you boot to ArrayB? The 4200 controller should boot off whatever system-drive it finds first, regardless of what ID it has.

Maybe it's your boot.ini causing the problem?

By removing ArrayA, you have essentially made ArrayB the first drive again. Have you edited boot.ini back to its original state?

It's worth a shot.

Cheers,

Janine
To get results you've never had before, try something you've never tried before.

Re: Boot Order of Array Drives

Hi Janine

Thanks for the rapid reply...I haven't really removed Array A. I just pull the drives before I boot up so that during boot it fails on Array A but Array B is OK. It then asks me to select F1 to continue with no array support or F2 to continue by failing Array A but bringing up Array B. When I do this it says it can not find an OS - press any key to continue.

Now are you telling me I should remove Array A??? If so what is the best way to do this so I am sure I can boot to Array B??? Again, I'm a bit reluctant to do away with Array A not knowing I have a bootable system off of Array B. Can Array A be rebuilt if all else fails??? I have a 3-4Hr downtime window that I can work on this server, but I can't lose it.

Thanks again for the help,

Doug
"It's just a box of rain..."

Re: Boot Order of Array Drives

Hi Janine

Thanks for the rapid reply...I haven't really removed Array A. I just pull the drives before I boot up so that during boot it fails on Array A but Array B is OK. It then asks me to select F1 to continue with no array support or F2 to continue by failing Array A but bringing up Array B. When I do this it says it can not find an OS - press any key to continue.

Now are you telling me I should remove Array A??? If so what is the best way to do this so I am sure I can boot to Array B??? Again, I'm a bit reluctant to do away with Array A not knowing I have a bootable system off of Array B. Can Array A be rebuilt if all else fails??? I have a 3-4Hr downtime window that I can work on this server, but I can't lose it.

Thanks again for the help,

Doug
"It's just a box of rain..."
Janine Bertolo
Honored Contributor

Re: Boot Order of Array Drives

Hi Doug;

No, I'm not saying you should do anything different than you already are with your hardware configuration.

When I referred to *removing Array A* I meant physically sliding the drives out of the bays as you have.

If you're getting the *cannot find OS - press any key* message, the controller is booting off the
ArrayB drive and can't find the system files.

My question is about your boot.ini on ArrayB and what drive it is pointing to. ArrayB's boot.ini should be the same as the one on ArrayA. Now that the controller can't find ArrayA, it sees ArrayB as the primary drive.

That's my guess. My forte is NetWare so I'm a little rusty in Microsoft-speak and boot.ini - forgive me.

Janine
To get results you've never had before, try something you've never tried before.

Re: Boot Order of Array Drives

Thanks Janine,

Not sure here...the files/drive on Array B is identical to that on Array A since it is a ghost image and not a mirror. It has the ntldr, ntdetect.com and Boot.ini.

I have modified the Boot.ini on both drives to give me the alternate boot partition on Drive2 (Array B) as well as being able to boot from Drive1 (Array A). I can begin booting on Array A and select the boot partition on Array B and it works fine.

However, when I shutdown and remove the drives from Array A and come back up it doesn't seem to be looking at Array B after Array A has failed to begin the boot sequence.

Any other thoughts???

Doug
"It's just a box of rain..."
Terry Hutchings
Honored Contributor

Re: Boot Order of Array Drives

There is no way for this to boot off of array B. The array controller will only boot off an array A.

If you have physically removed the drives which are from array A you may be able to get it to boot from the other array, BUT it will require going into the Array Configuration Utility and deleting array A. Once that is done this will change array B into array A.
The truth is out there, but I forgot the URL..
Janine Bertolo
Honored Contributor

Re: Boot Order of Array Drives

Hi Doug;

Try this:

Remove all drives by sliding them out of the drive cage and run a system erase from SmartStart or floppy.

This will erase the NVRAM on the server and the array controller configuration.

The actual array set information is held on the hard-drives themselves, and because they're not attached to the controller, they will not be erased.

Once done, try booting off the single array B drive on its own.

It's worth a shot, and will not cause any data destruction.

If it doesn't work, just pull out the drive, run another erase with no hard drives and put your ArrayA back where it was.

The controller will pick up the logical drive information from the ArrayA drives and you'll at least be back where you started.

Cheers,

Janine
To get results you've never had before, try something you've never tried before.

Re: Boot Order of Array Drives

Ok Janine...

I got it to work...this is what I did.

I removed all of the drives and used System Erase. I then rebooted and inserted my Array B Drive. The system came up but would not boot. I went into Array Configure and it told me that Array B was fine but Array A was broken. So obviously it was reading the array information off of the Array B Drive.

So, I took a leap of faith here. I shutdown the system and removed my Array B Drive (VERY IMPORTANT because it's the backup image and system erase will erase it's information). I then put two of the drives from my Array A back in(again, I wanted to build a two disk mirrored set for the OS). I then did a system erase. It erased all of the system configuration which was a little disconcerting. I then rebooted and ran SmartStart, allowing it to go through and rebuild the system. After reboot, I ran Array Configuration and created my mirrored set and saved it.

So at this point I had a functioning system with no OS.

Now here's where the trick came in...I rebooted and inserted my Array B disk. The system recognized it as the original Array B and mounted it allong with my new Array A. I was able to boot into Ghost and Ghost the image from that disk back to my Array A drives. After that, I rebooted and my OS came up fine.

Now that's one for the knowledgebase.

Thanks to everyone here for their input...it was extremely helpful.

Thanks,

Doug
"It's just a box of rain..."
Janine Bertolo
Honored Contributor

Re: Boot Order of Array Drives

Yay Doug!

Good job; glad it worked for you.

Janine
To get results you've never had before, try something you've never tried before.