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ML110 G5 SATA software mirror failed won;t boot to secondary drive

 
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Occasional Advisor

ML110 G5 SATA software mirror failed won;t boot to secondary drive

Hi,

Have an ML110 G5 Windows 2003 R2 SP2

Software mirror onto two 250GB SATA drives.

The #1 drive is reporting predicted failure so I need to replace it.

I shut down to remove the suspect drive in order to replace it and try to boot from just the #2 drive.

But the server will not start, it just POSTS and then re-starts over and over, doesn't get as far as trying to boot.

I've tried connecting the cable from #1 to #2 and it makes no difference.

I reconnect the suspect drive back to cable #1 and the good drive back to cable #2 as per original config...now boots up OK.

Drive #1 will boot on its own, why won;t drive #2 ?

Do I need to do anything before I try to do this ?

What if drive #1 had failed completely, how would I be expected to boot up using only drive #2 ?

J
6 REPLIES 6
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Occasional Advisor

Re: ML110 G5 SATA software mirror failed won;t boot to secondary drive

OK,

Set up the exact same scnario on a regular SCSI based system and this works exactly as I would have expected..

Remove the SCSI primary boot drive and the system seamlessly boots to the secondary SCSI drive..

Why isn't this happening on the SATA drives in the ML110 G5 ?

Are SATA drives handles differently ?

Not having a USB floppy drive to hand doesn't help regards Fault Tolerant Boot floppy.

Can I boot to a USB flash drive instead ?
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Occasional Advisor

Re: ML110 G5 SATA software mirror failed won;t boot to secondary drive

OK...I've got a USB Floppy Disk drive and have created a Fault Tolerant Boot Floppy disk..

..now I can boot from the Mirror shadow.

So now how do I go about replacing the Mirror primary boot drive ?

At the moment the SATA drive in port 2 is now seen as Disk 0 in the OS and the removed SATA drive which was connected to port 1 is now seen as Disk 1 and is missing. Failed redundancy..

Is it just a case of getting another SATA drive and connecting it to SATA port 1 and then reactivitaing the mirror ?

How would this make the system bootable from SATA port 1 without using the boot floppy ?

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New Member

Re: ML110 G5 SATA software mirror failed won;t boot to secondary drive

Hi James,

It's been a while since you asked the question, but thought I'd try asking...

You said that it is a software mirror. That would probably mean that it works differently from the hardware mirror in that it is probably not replicating the whole drive. Is there a chance that it's missing the boot sector?

That could be why you can't boot with it.
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Frequent Advisor

Re: ML110 G5 SATA software mirror failed won;t boot to secondary drive

I thing that's the problem, software RAID replicates data to the second drive as shadow of the oryginal drive, there are propably no partitions on the drive so the is no way to have any boot options from the drive. So far you can only boot from the FDD, try to recover data to new SATA1 drive, it sould have normal partitions so it will have a bootable one, if not assign ACTIVE flag to the system partition with any partition manager.

And sugest to your firm manager that you need hardware raid ... much easier and relayable :D
When you are giving points It's like saying Thank You :-)
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Occasional Advisor

Re: ML110 G5 SATA software mirror failed won;t boot to secondary drive

Hi Guys,

The original spec was all built around cost, competing with a load of really low quotes, so didn't have any choice I'm afraid.

We've sorted it out now.

It never was recoverable despite being able to do exactly the same thing on a small Dell server and it working faultlessly.

Also as I may have mentioned above we setup another ML110 G5 amd did an identical installation to the small Dell server, needless to say that this didn't work either.

So it's a quirk of the HP ML110 G5 by the looks of things, if you just do a regular install and software mirror then it's not going to be able to boot from the shadow mirror drive without a fault tolerant floppy.

Have since tried this out on a number of different small servers SATA and SCSI based.

SCSI always works OK.

SATA sometimes does sometimes doesn't, depends on the make and model, probably the firmware revision of the BIOS as well.

Try it yourselves, I've now loaded more Windows Server 2003 software mirrors than you can shake a stick at.

All the Microsoft documentation hints that it doesn't always work and is not an ideal solution.

Thanks for the help anyway, and yes you are correct, it's all to do with the boot sector...or lack of it..

Jim.
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Frequent Advisor

Re: ML110 G5 SATA software mirror failed won;t boot to secondary drive

Buy RAID CARD ... it's not so expensive ... much more, you can get that money for better disaster recovery after this crash/HDD problem.
When you are giving points It's like saying Thank You :-)