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RAID5 Upgrade

By napark ·
I am upgrading my company's NT 4.0 server to a RAID5 array from it's existing software mirror done from within Disk Administrator. Is it possible to use a third-party disk imaging utility such as Ghost or Drive Image to quickly clone one of the mirrored drives to the newly initialized RAID5 array? Would this be the best way to restore my data from the old drive to the new array?

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RAID5 Upgrade

by timwalsh In reply to RAID5 Upgrade

Problem 1. Disk Image does not support imaging servers. You must purchase PowerQuest's enterprise-level product: DeployCenter 5.0 ($200.00+).

Problem 2. Norton Ghost 2002 does not support server OSes. You must purchase Symantec Ghost Corporate Edition ($320 minimum purchase for 10 licenses).

There are other disk imaging packages out there, but you will need to contact the publishers to ensure they work with a server OS.

Problem 3. Most disk imaging software that I have seen bootsto DOS to apply the image. Since you are using a SCSI (RAID) adapter, you would need DOS drivers so that DOS would properly recognize and interact with the array.

Problem 4. If you are able to surmount problem 3, and if the SCSI drivers for theRAID adapter are NOT installed prior to you imaging the drive, the array may not be bootable because NT doesn't have the proper drivers.

What I'm saying here is not that what you want to do is undoable, but that it may be easier and less expensive to just reload the OS.

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by napark In reply to RAID5 Upgrade

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by bcross In reply to RAID5 Upgrade

Since your mirroring your NT drives, the data is the same on both drives. The problem to surmount depends entirely up how your SCSI disk's are handled. On most current server platforms, the SCSI adapter loads it's own bios, so if you boot to dos, itWILL SEE a SCSI partition without any special tools ASSUMING the adapter loads a bios. Now, with that in mind, most current imaging applications support NTFS. Ghosting your NTFS partition should be very easy. I have Ghosted RAID5 NFTS paritions in the field using a bootable Ghost diskette. Just make sure you break your mirror first.

Assuming you can get an image of your data, you then run into this:

Your new RAID5 card must handle the RAID5 via the CARD and not software. This is usually how most common RAID5 cards that are worth paying for handle things. The disks are connected to the card, and the card has it's own BIOS. You configure a "container" inside the card's bios during POST and the card boots it's own bios. This is not howall cards work, but again, I'm assuming you aren't working with bottom of the barrel stuff, because if you are, then you've bought problems and you would be better off not trying this at home.
Now, if your card handles the container as a single volume, and boots a BIOS for that volume, it will show up as a single partitionable drive. It should be easy to just drop the image in right? Well it might, but what you could run into is NT thinking it's still being controlled by your previous SCSI adapter, which it will find missing. This could cause a bluescreen upon boot. Usually that's what happens when you Ghost an NT server and do something like swap motherboards on it. The point of an image is to work with the exact same hardware. NT might not like it.

Since it will take you only a few extra minutes to attempt a drive image, I suggest that if you feel like your hardware works in the manner I just described, give it

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RAID5 Upgrade

by bcross In reply to RAID5 Upgrade

(continued from above) a try and see if it will work. Worst case, you'll have to do an OS reload. If you feel like the cost of an imager that will work justifies the possibility of saved time then it is worth a shot. Like I said though, do it with areload plan in mind. Make sure you have a valid backup (although the data will remain on the old mirrored disks anyway). Good luck!

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by napark In reply to RAID5 Upgrade

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by napark In reply to RAID5 Upgrade

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