Storage

Avoid iSCSI problems with Windows Server 2003 with these two tweaks

If you've created file shares on Windows Server 2003 that exist in iSCSI targets, these shares may not automatically reconnect at the next boot. In this Windows Server 2003 tip, learn about two changes you can make to correct this problem.

Thanks to the inexpensive nature of iSCSI storage, many organizations are seriously considering the technology for their next storage area network (SAN). However, as you're probably aware, any new technology typically requires certain tweaks to fix unresolved problems or issues.

Let's look at one problem you might encounter when using iSCSI. If you've created file shares on Windows Server 2003 that exist in iSCSI targets, these shares may not automatically reconnect at the next boot. In order to correct this problem, you may need to make two changes.

First, it's important to understand that the creation of file shares is a part of the Windows Server 2003 Server service. However, the Server service starts before the iSCSI Initiator does. That basically means that the system is trying to put the cart before the horse—the Server service can't create file shares for the iSCSI Initiator if the iSCSI Initiator isn't available.

Without the iSCSI service, the Server service can't start file shares. Therefore, you need to make the Server service dependent on the iSCSI Initiator. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. On the server experiencing the problem, open a command prompt by going to Start | Run.
  2. In the Open text box, enter cmd, and press [Enter].
  3. Enter sc config LanManServer depend= MSiSCSI, and press [Enter].

This fixes the first part of the problem, but you're not finished yet. You also need to make sure that your iSCSI volume connections are persistent. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Start | Control Panel, and double-click the iSCSI Initiator.
  2. On the Initiator Settings tab, click the Bind Volumes button, and click OK.

Your volumes should appear as you expect after the next reboot. For more information, check out Microsoft Knowledge Base article 870964.

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