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Moving bootable array between machine - sorry, I know it's been asked before

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RSextonFL
Advisor

Moving bootable array between machine - sorry, I know it's been asked before

I know this has been addressed numerous times before as I've done the searches and read the results, but I have to say for as many times as I have done this myself, I have one coming up (possibly) that has my butt cheeks as tight as they can get just for thinking about possible outcomes.

 

  Source server is an ML370 G2 with four active drives in one partition (bootable) and the destination server has not yet been selected but I am looking hard at an ML370 G4 but really any newer / faster server would be fine as long as the process works.

 

  Can anyone explain how this is even possible without the HAL of the OS crapping out?  When moving bootable PC drives from one machine to another, many times the HAL craps out and you have a non-booting machine.

 

  Really, I would be tickled pink to hear one or more say they have done the exact move from the exact models to another ML370 G4 or other, but I'd also like to hear from those who have made the attempt and for whatever reason it failed and what was done about that when that came up.

 

  Should I move forward with this, and it works then great, but if it bombs and the drives going back in the original G2 don't work, I would really be in a pickle I'd not be prepared to be in.

 

  The OS in question is the SBS003 and the backups are shown as good, but to have to rebuild from these backups would require more time than allocated for the process and would most certainly create a situation where the entire company was down in the form of IT and they like so many others, NEED "IT" whether they want to believe it or not.  However, a normal failure of some sort is generally more acceptable than an IT generated failure such as making this move and it bomb.

 

  Would anyone care to put in their two cents of what they have done and what has worked as well as what has not worked?

 

  I promise, I have done this exact move several times (different hardware) and each time the worst to happen was the OS needed to be activated again.  However, there is more at risk on this one than previous.  The most recent was from an 1850 to a 6400R and I've done that twice at two separate locations which is where the re-activation came from.  One of them needed it and oddly, the other did not.

 

  I am certainly open for suggestions should someone have one for a destination server, but it seems to me from my own research that the ML370 G4 is the last to support the U320 drives and of course that would be a requirement since I hope to move the drives to the new (to us) server.

 

  Thanks for any input, and really sorry for posting nearly the same thing that has been posted so many times before.

  Robert

6 REPLIES

Re: Moving bootable array between machine - sorry, I know it's been asked before

The optional storage controllers for HP ProLiant ML370 G2 Server and HP ProLiant ML370 G4 Server differ. ML370 G2 server has Integrated Dual Channel Wide Ultra3 SCSI Adapter and option for Compaq Smart Array 5i Controller Option Kit. ML370 G4 Server has Integrated Dual Channel Ultra320 SCSI Adapter Smart Array 6402 and Smart Array P600 Controller.

 

If the storage controllers were both Smart Array Controllers, and also the same model, then the hard drives may be swapped among servers. Information in Raid Information Sector (RIS) gives the RAID information and the Smart Array controller takes configuration information and records the array. In this process, no data is lost.

 

As the option storage cards differ, there may not be an easy way as simple as swapping drives to other server and yet having data intact.

 

 

Regards,

 

Vijayasarathy

I work for HPE
Views expressed herein are my personal opinion and is not the views of HPE
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RSextonFL
Advisor

Re: Moving bootable array between machine - sorry, I know it's been asked before

Vijayasarathy, Thank you very much for your reply, but it is a bit discouraging…

 

Can I be more specific and state that the existing ML370 G2 server is using the onboard Smart Array 5i as you pointed out and we boot from this device. Likewise, the server I have my eye on ML370 G4, but have not yet purchased has the (291966-B21) Smart Array 641 controller.

 

Are you saying that because one has a not in use Dual channel Wide Ultra3 scsi adapter and the potential replacement is integrated dual channel U320 adapter, this will not work?

 

In this case, we are currently booting off the integrated 5i controller and after the move (if you say it will work and I am able to get the server I have my eye on) we would be booting off the 641 controller.

 

If your saying this is NOT POSSIBLE, would you be able to tell me a server in which this would be possible without having to reload Operating Systems as we are not yet ready to upgrade that, but it is on the list of things to get done. The G2 server is struggling to keep up with demand with the majority of the struggle on slower disk access and from time to time not enough CPU. If the server had enough CPU the idea of upgrading the raid controller was on the table, but the need for more CPU from time to time comes up.

 

Thanks,

Robert

 

gregersenj
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Moving bootable array between machine - sorry, I know it's been asked before

You will need to update most drivers. System chipset, NIC's and RAID controller need new drivers.

 

Most importent is the RAID controller.

The Smart Array controllers is data compatible, but not driver compatible.

So a SA6xxx will be able to read data from an older array. But you must install a new driver.

SA 5xxx and 6xxx might be driver compatible (I'm not sure).

 

In the past, we did upgrade to newer smart array controllers.

To do that:

Install new controller, do not attach to disks.

Leave old controller in, attached disks.

Boot on the old controller.

Install driver for the new controller.

shut down.

Move cables to new controller.

Remove old controller.

power on.

set new controller as boot controller.

 

Beware Old Smart Array Controllers was parallel SCSI, latest id generation 6 (6xxx)

New is Serial SCSI (SAS) - P and E modles

 

If you move to newer Generation, you most likely will have to update more drivers.

 

The HAL should not be a problem, it is running on standard Microsoft HAL AFIK.

In the past however, with NT, Compaq did use their own HAL.

 

BR

/jag

RSextonFL
Advisor

Re: Moving bootable array between machine - sorry, I know it's been asked before

 

  Thanks for the input!  I will post my findings if the information is wanted for others.

 

  Gregersenj,

  The main problem I am having is the current raid controller can't be moved since it's part of the system board.  However, if the replacement server raid controller will work in a normal PCI slot (I don't know the answer to that) then I could move that raid controller to the existing server (unplugged) so the drivers can be installed.

  Optionally, I could bring yet another PCI Raid controller with me that will fit in the replacement servers slots and the existing server to install the drivers and then update the system again with the replacement server raid controller once moved.  Yeah, this is getting deep. 

 

  Really, I have done this numerous time and aside from having to re-activate windows once, never had any issues.  However, this will be the first time the operation of the server was critical and blowing up the system is not a good thing to do.  In the past if I had to rebuild the server other than time required it was no big deal, but I simply won't have that much time before start of business and that is with starting on Friday afternoon.  Rebuilding is not something I'd want to do right now.

 

  In looking at the processor difference the replacement has 4 cores each and I am hoping the SBS 2003 does not blow up over that.  I know the newer OS's are all licensed on the number of processors.  The good news however, is that the replacement server is substantially faster and more powerful.  This is the Premium version of SBS, but ISA was removed for another reason but the server is running so slow that adding ISA now would kill it.  The data throughput of the existing server is not doing what it should.  Using HDTune it struggles to get 50 meg a second, so the upgraded and much faster performance of the U320 card should have a very noticeable difference to the end users as well as overall performance.

 

  I am going to start the process and get the replacement paid for and shipped as long as it's still available, and I might attempt to simply move the drives to find out if the two RAID controllers are in fact driver compatible first.  If not I can move the drives back and use a third raid controller to migrate the set with (Ive got a 5300 in production I could use and a upgraded u320 (6400?) that is intended to replace the 5300 that I can take with me, or come back and get if needed.  Hopefully.  :-)

 

  I will report my findings so that others willing to take this risk can learn from the success or failure of others.

 Thanks so much for the input.  It will take a couple weeks as I am sure it will take a good week just to get the replacement here and that process has not yet been started, but hopefully will be done today, but it needs to be packaged for shipping so it probably won't ship today.

Robert

RSextonFL
Advisor

Re: Moving bootable array between machine - sorry, I know it's been asked before

For those following this, the installation is scheduled for today. So I should be updating this over the weekend as I expect when getting back, I will be going to bed since I start my day around midnight est.

Gregersenj, on that other issue, perhaps I should have asked about how loud. That still bothers me. :-( But thanks for the help! :-)
Robert
RSextonFL
Advisor

Re: Moving bootable array between machine - sorry, I know it's been asked before

Well when I got there on Friday, there was a failed drive on the G2 server and I had read not to attempt a move on an unhealthy array. So we moved it to early Sat morning where the drive completed rebuilding about 6:30 PM on Friday. I did not get there until just after noon and was gone by 2:30 PM on Friday.
Saturday was a different story. I wanted to know if it was driver compatible and while the array started to boot and saw the os as the windows splash screen did come up, about 10 seconds later so did the BSOD.

So here comes Plan B by Gregersenj. the RAID controller from the G4 would work, so I put that in one of the 66mhz slots of the G2 and powered it up. No post, no nothing. Take out the 641 and it booted right up. Errr.. So much for plan b, but something you don't know and I did was there there had been many events related to those slots on this server for years, but since they were not in use, we let it go. Well the problem now is that I needed those slots and now they don't work. So, time to come up with a plan C which is a modified plan B.

I have had a parts server there for years and over the years we pulled parts from it as needed, but I grabbed the parts G2 and started swapping over the needed things. I failed to get enough fans as the first boot told me this and shut back down. I swapped over two more fans and the server booted. Note: It also booted with the 641 Array controller, but there was an issue where making sure the right cable is plugged into the right slot as I had trouble "seeing" the array, but once the cable was connected to the correct location everything was fine. The smartStart I brought would not boot on the G2, so thankfully the F8 prompts allowed me to select as boot device.

The device manager showed the 641 without restarting, so I shut it back down and moved it all to the G4. The G4 booted but hung on the "preparing network connections" for more then 2 hours. I really did not want to power it off and wanted to let it run overnight, but I did. I rebooted back in safe mode with networking and started the cmd file for the latest csp. While that was running I watched for a network adapter and once it was installed, I set the IP's. Once done, I told it to restart.

This boot also scared me like it would hang at the preparing network connections, but it went on past. I got logged on and everything looked great, except that I did have to reactivate the OS (SBS 2003 Premium with ISA removed for now), but unlike the last time this was needed, it gave me three days. The last time I saw this I either activated then or it shut down, but on that one I did not yet have internet so it was by phone only). Anyway, I did the activation and everything seems fantastic! For those wondering, we do have the RETAIL version of SBS 2003 and it does allow moving from one machine to another. This is why the retail is worth it! :-)

Anyway, Gregersenj, I am not sure I would have done these steps had I not heard from you. It was not your steps verbatium, but had I done yours from the start, we would have never known if the two were "driver" compatible and now we know!

For anyone else wanting to do this move, I say go for it! It was not bad at all, but I was there pretty late and later than I expected. I had lunch about 2:00 PM so from 7-2.

Gregersenj, I will mark your solution (again) as accepted! Thanks!
I am very relieved about this as it had bothered me as I did put my butt on the line had it not worked! :-)
Robert