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HELP - update critical computer from single SATA to RAID

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by inthefrey, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. inthefrey

    inthefrey Moved on...

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    okay,

    SO, I've got this Pentuum D 3.2 in my control room. All of my remote control programs and utilities are on it. Well, it $#!+ the bed today and is boot-cycling when it gets to the MUP.sys. (I have read all the threads on XP-Pro boot cycling)

    This is the 2nd time in a year for this. There are countless hours of configuration and work on this drive. Last time I fixed it with <chkdsk /r>(No, there isn't a backup - yes, I'm a dumb @$$)

    What I would like to do is install a RAID on this computer to add a layer of redundancy.
    (If I can get the drive to boot one last time) How I do copy it to the RAID I'm going to install in this machine?

    Any help greatly appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2010
  2. Isaiah1412

    Isaiah1412

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    Boot from a rescue disk (http://www.ubcd4win.com/ is a good one, but there are many) and recover all your important data to another drive. Wipe and reload with RAID.

    Its possible to turn add RAID to a system after install, but the system has to be running reliably first. Yours is already suspect. Salvage what you can and nuke the site from orbit, then start over. Its the only way to be sure.

    Not the answer you wanted to hear, but the best one.
     

  3. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    I agree..

    You didn't learn your lesson the first time, you hopefully will this time..

    IGF
     
  4. Linux3

    Linux3

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    Go out and buy a quality RAID controller. Q Logic or Adeptec would be my choice. Buy 2 new disks.
    Remove your suspect drive
    Install the RAID controller and 2 new drives.
    Boot into the RAID BIOS and configure the new disks as RAID 1, mirror.
    Reinstall the suspect disk as a no boot drive. BIOS boot order.

    Get a good disk copy program that you can boot from. Boot from the copy program and see if you can copy the suspect disk to the RAID disk. The 2 drives should appear as only one drive at an OS level.

    Don't use a RAID controller on the MB, if it has one. These RAID controllers are to a real RAID what a win-modem is to a hardware modem.
    Check your RAID status often, how else will you know if you lose a drive.
     
  5. inthefrey

    inthefrey Moved on...

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    You know, when your kids ask you dumb questions, you tell them the answer and then they ask, "Why?" And you answer, "..Because I've done it before and it'll do this IF you don't do that!...."

    Well, I tell my 22-year-old son all the time that he reallly needs to backup his data.....

    Thank you God for the lesson....
     
  6. Sgt. Schultz

    Sgt. Schultz Annoying Member

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    RAID is designed to protect against one thing: disk failure ... it does not protect against file corruption, software failure, operator error etc ... and while RAID solves some problems, it isn’t a substitute for a backup.

    This won't help now but it sounds like you need to image your drive. This isn't a backup solution either but since you have "countless hours of configuration" a image will allow you to recover your system, bringing you back to your starting point.

    Ideally you would do a new/clean install of the OS, all of your programs and updates, configure it to your liking and then create the image. Now if for any reason you have a problem, say the hard drive fails or simply want a “clean” OS you can use the image discs and in less than 30 minutes you’re back in business.

    Of course you need to start a backup strategy of some type, personally my data is not included in the image … I store all of it, and my e-mail, on a second hard drive and I religiously backup all of it.
     
  7. inthefrey

    inthefrey Moved on...

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    Update:

    I went out and bought 3 new drives and a 2-station USB drive bay. (will be used later to clone the other drives on "critical" computers in my facility.)

    Here's the plan.
    I'll format one of the new drives I bought in the drive station. Then I'll plug-in the bad (cold) drive. Then, I'll fire up Norton Ghost and see if it'll let me "see" both the trouble drive and the new one. **this may be an excercise in futility**. In the past I have brought several drives back from the grave long enough to clone them by cooling-down the external case with freeze spray (air duster turned upside down).

    If it works, and I can get a clone out of it, I'll have a reliable drive to transfer to the RAID1 I'm installing. (other 2 new drives)

    Question:

    Anybody know of a bootable drive copy utility that will run from a USB drive stick? This computer I'm working on allows you to boot from USB.
     
  8. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Only thing I'm aware of, is Clonezilla. It is Linux based however, so you'll have to do some reading to do what you want.

    http://clonezilla.org/
     
  9. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    I just realized their instructions to put Clonezilla on a USB drive, suck.

    Try this...

    Download the CD ISO that is mentioned above, and use this program to unpack the ISO to a thumb drive and make it bootable.

    http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/

    After you download the ISO, click "Disk Image" and use the button to navigate to the ISO file you downloaded. Finally,, before starting, make sure your USB drive is the target drive, and not another drive on the system.

    IGF
     
  10. Sgt. Schultz

    Sgt. Schultz Annoying Member

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    Yes, both Ghost and Acronis True Image.
     
  11. Linux3

    Linux3

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    But no RAID controller......
    Silly plan I think.
     
  12. Linux3

    Linux3

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    No, no, no.
    Build your RAID.
    Add the suspect drive after.
    Boot Ubuntu Linux
    Open a terminal
    Use dd to copy suspect disk.
    Assume your RAID is /dev/sdb
    Type this in the terminal: cat /proc/scsi/scsi
    Find out which disk is which...
    Assume your suspect disk is /dev/sdc
    dd if=/devsdc of=/dev/sdb bs=40960000 <enter>

    It sounds like your problem is not a corrupt file but rather a corrupt disk.
     
  13. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    My dd experience is limited, but I think you missed a forward slash
     
  14. Linux3

    Linux3

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    As usual you are correct sir.
    The command is:
    dd if=/dev/sdc of=/dev/sdb bs=40960000 <enter>
    dd in file = device sdc, out file = device sdb, block size = 40960000, for the block size use any big number to speed things up.

    When you copy an entire disk with dd you get the partition table and boot header and everything.
    So if you are copying a 250 gig disk and the output disk is a 320 gig it becomes a 250 gig. The upside is it's usually very good at getting everything off a failing disk.

    At work when we would get say 5 or 6 new workstations it isn't worth setting up a new kickstart image for so few systems so I would configure one with all the customizations and apps and such and then just use dd to clone the drive onto the other systems. Don't need to format or partition the target drives and it usually takes around 15 minutes to clone a 80 gig drive. Cool tool.
     
  15. MavsX

    MavsX The Dude Abides

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    there is some good stuff in this thread. lots of life lessons
     
  16. inthefrey

    inthefrey Moved on...

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    Well, not to worry.

    I built the RAID1, created a new volume and formatted it.

    When I plugged in the suspected bad drive, it made a sound similar to a clothes dryer full of silverware.:upeyes:

    * probably the heads bouncing off the platters *

    Been working on this for 11 hours.

    As the good Dr. would say, "It's dead Jim"

    AT least I have a fresh new RAID1 now to install my fresh copy of XP-Pro.

    then, the the software...
    Crystal Computing remote uplink control software
    Encoder control software
    Device management software
    DVB analyzer software
    Wireshark
    VLC
    VNC
    ...and about a dozen other programs.


    Then, spend the rest of the week getting updates, reconfiguring all the com programs and searching through emails for license files and keys.
    THEN MAKE A BACKUP DRIVE

    I guess all the computers in the facility will get backup image drives now.


    Moral of this story?

    If you depend on it, it fails, and it's not backed up, the only one you have to blame is yourself. No Excuses.

    SO, after speaking with my manager, I'll be giving the company some free time this weekend making sure all the critical systems are cloned. (I'm salary) He says, "after this, we really need to spend the money"

    Then I get this email from the CTO saying next week I'll be installing modules in all the critical systems for off-site backup. (I gues somebody else got chewed-out.) I know of 6 systems in HIS plant that are not backed up...:supergrin:


    Extremely good lessons here - I'm sure I'm the only cocky IT person that has tempted fate and lost.:whistling:

    Thanks for all the good tips, utilities and links though. This will all help on the other systems.

    If I look on the bright side, I get to spend some money securing and upgrading now.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2010
  17. MavsX

    MavsX The Dude Abides

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    are you using software raid (in the bios) or a raid card?

    Make sure you search and find the correct raid viewer utility. report back with what your using..i got some tips for ya
     
  18. inthefrey

    inthefrey Moved on...

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    Intel ICH7 chipset RAID1 (software) selected from the BIOS.

    I really don't have an option on this machine for a RAID controller card. It is a 1RU in a rack and the only PCI riser has a sound card stuck in it.

    Super-Micro
    mobo is a PDSLM-LM2
    http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/PD/E7230/PDSML-LN2.cfm
     
  19. MavsX

    MavsX The Dude Abides

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    it's cool man. All of us would love to have a hardware based raid setups. Sometimes we can't fit the card, or more often than not the cards are just too expensive.

    Well just so you know sometimes with the bios raid setups they can screw up and tell you that the drive failed, when in reality the drive is fine. It might have just "timed out", then when you tell the raid software to 'set as normal", it rebuilds the array, which can take half a day and make your raid 1 setup really slow in the meantime. On a raid 5 array it can take days. And this is all because the software thinks the drive is bad, but it just times out so the software turns the drive off.

    Anyway, I'm not sure what you need. You will probably need some sort of version of the intel storage manager matrix software. I've got that. I was using the newest version for a few months but it kept telling that my raid 1 or my raid 5 had failed drives in it, and as it turns out it was telling me that all different drives were going bad. Turns out it was some problems with the software, i ended up trying and going with a version that was older and have been rock solid ever since. It sucked too, when it would say the drive was bad, it would make my raid 1 super slow, i couldn't even browse the web. Until it finished rebuilding..and the raid 5 was jacked up too.

    So yeah. Just look up that software you can load it up and view the details of the arrays. Since the bios raid options are pretty minimal. All you can do in the bios is like create and delete.

    i hope this helped.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2010