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NT 4.0 Broken Mirror

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by Lavcat, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. Lavcat

    Lavcat Master Guru

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    I'm running NT 4.0 Server with a mirror set. Everything seems to be working fine. However in Disk Administrator the status of each partition is shown as "Broken". The only option available in the Fault Tolerance menu is "Break Mirror".

    Something tells me that if I select "Break Mirror", something very bad may happen. How can I rebuild the mirror set or at least recover one bootable, working drive?

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Watcher

    Watcher Ancient Guru

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    Not familiar with NT 4.0 but some common questions to ask and answer are: How many hard drives? How many partitions? Hardware Raid controller or Software raid? Has one of the hard drives failed? Have you run a check disk? Are you able to disconnect one of the hard drives and replace it and rebuild the array?
     
  3. Lavcat

    Lavcat Master Guru

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    Thanks. Two hard drives on the same SCSI controller. Four primary partitions: one FAT, three NTFS. Software RAID. Check disk finds no errors. No idea yet if one drive has failed.

    I have Seagate diagnostics but I am afraid to run them yet, at least until I've done backups.

    Looking through the system log the mirroring seems to have had a problem for around a year and a half. Typically I reboot only a couple times a year. The system works. I try not to ask too many questions.

    Tomorrow is not a work day for me and after I back things up I plan to take the system apart and see what's what. I do have a spare disc.
     
  4. Lavcat

    Lavcat Master Guru

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    Sometimes things are better when you don't take them apart. I now seem to be looking at a hardware problem.

    Fortunately I have spare motherboard, spare memory, spare disc, spare floppy drive, spare keyboard, spare mouse. What I don't have is a spare power supply, at least not one that I trust. (So far I've found four power supplies in my junk pile -- but there is probably a reason why they're there.)
     

  5. Watcher

    Watcher Ancient Guru

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    Glad to know you were able to isolate the issue. Let us know what it turns out to be?

    Guide on Raid Failure and Restore

    https://www.drivereasy.com/knowledge/intel-raid-failed-broken-on-windows-repaired/

    I'm sure there are more articles to read online or even videos. < Refers to TestDisk



    There might be documentation on the Motherboard website.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  6. Lavcat

    Lavcat Master Guru

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    I had to replace a bad power supply before I could work on the mirror problem. I ran Windows diagnostics as well as low level diagnostics from the SCSI controller. Nothing could find a problem with either disc. The older of the two is about 15 years past its warranty.

    I used Disk Administrator to convert the mirror array to individual discs. Then I rebuilt the mirror array from scratch. Now everything shows healthy. I still have to test that I can successfully boot from either disc but that can wait until tomorrow.
     
  7. Lavcat

    Lavcat Master Guru

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    I have tested. I can boot and recover from either disc of the mirror being disconnected. It still takes a little effort if the primary boot disc is damaged. But no big deal.

    Thankfully the problem is resolved.
     
  8. Watcher

    Watcher Ancient Guru

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    Good Job. There are times it takes more time and more effort to get things up and running again. I find that as long as you can make an image of a hard drive then you can try different approaches until you are able to find the best solution.

    You may want to investigate a way to flag when the mirror reports an error conditions exists. It was fortunate you caught the issue before complete system failure.
    You may also want to back up the mirror on a regular basis so if it does completely fail you will be able to restore the image and be running much quicker.
     
  9. Lavcat

    Lavcat Master Guru

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    Thanks. I do backups but I don't know how to make an image of an NT disc. I've thought of trying Macrium Reflect, which I have on my Windows 7 and Windows 10 systems.

    Somewhere I read that one could make an NT image by breaking an NT mirror set and putting one of the two drives on the shelf. I have not tried it but it makes sense that this might work.
     
  10. Watcher

    Watcher Ancient Guru

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    That makes perfect sense. Since both hard drives are duplicates of each other then pulling one of the hard drives would give you a backup of the OS configuration and programs installed. The downside is that this is a manual operation with the safest way to perform this operation by turning off the computer. This is not the ideal way of keeping your server up and running.

    Remember, this is not a replacement for any data that is being stored on the OS mirror. That data requires a program or procedure to protect that data that should not be a manual operation.

    A quick Google search for image programs:

    https://www.winimage.com/winimage.htm
    https://forum.acronis.com/forum/acronis-true-image-home-forum-older-versions/nt40-workstation

    I prefer Acronis however I have never used it on NT4. The Acronis mentioned in the post is an much older version while Winimage seems to be current and supported. You may want to give both a good read to see which one you may want to try.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019

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