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Win2K MBR problem, can't boot


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#1 artm

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 07:56 AM

Setup:
Win2K SP4
Adaptec 4805SAS RAID6, 1TB
Partitions:
C...Win2K SP4 boot
Logical...with D, E, F, G, H, I, J, T, U


Problem: Lost power to system and will not reboot into Win2K. Adaptec BIOS installs, sees controller and

drives with no Smart errors. Then a blank screen with a blinking cursor, top left corner appears and remains,

never going further.

Booted with original Win2K CD, installed Adaptec driver (F6), select repair installation without ERD, cannot

locate Win2K installation.

Can get to RC and see files. Ran chkdsk /f, did not report errors. Now running Clonezilla to copy data off the

entire array (all partitions) onto USB drive.

I have Partition Magic Rescue Disk (boot floppy), Parted Magic, Barts PE and Hiren's (all boot CD's), with

several MBR tools on it, but am unsure as to which tool to use. Have read to perhaps start with Win2K's

fixboot and fixmbr.

Also, I wouldn't mind trying to upgrade with a WinXP SP2 slipstreamed CD - if that's a viable option. The

Adaptec driver works on XP as well.

So, right now Clonezilla is still running for 9 more hours.

Any help desparately appreciated!


-Arthur



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#2 SpywareDoctor

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 10:47 AM

Where's your backup?



#3 artm

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 04:23 PM

Backup of what? The entire array? I do have a backup that's a week or two old and I'm also backing it up now with Clonezilla. So, losing my data is not the issue.

 

Speaking of Clonezilla, I was afraid the array wouldn't be recognized much like Windows setup doesn't recognize it without a driver. Well, Clonezilla is Linux based and it worked beautifully. I have used it often to backup drives/partitions but never on this RAID system.



#4 technonymous

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 12:13 AM

Check that IDE or AHCI is set. Sometimes that's all it takes and a couple reboots.



#5 artm

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 07:37 AM

AHCI has always been set.

 

Update: Clonezilla successfully copied all partitions of the array onto a USB drive. I cannot say enough about this excellent program. It recognized the array immediately, has a simple interface as well as an advanced version and does the job EVERY TIME. I have used it often on non-RAID systems but this ws the first time on my main, RAID system.

 

When I was in RC I ran fixboot once. I did not reboot into Windows but instead ran Clonezilla, thinking it's safer that I backup the array now before attempting anything further that may cripple it. When Clonezilla finished I rebooted into Win2K successfully.

 

Of course, this is the best outcome but I would have liked to continue with troubleshooting and determine details of the problem (as well as the solution).



#6 Sneakycyber

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 07:54 PM

Just to recap, Ran Fixboot in RC (RC= Recovery Console) fixed the booting problem? Clonezilla was able to copy all data off the raid with no problem what Raid type was it?


Edited by Sneakycyber, 17 April 2014 - 07:55 PM.

Chad Mockensturm 

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#7 artm

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 08:15 PM

Correct, FixBoot was the only command I ran in RC.

 

The array was a 4 drive, 1TB, RAID 6 under an Adaptec 4805SAS controller.

 

I used a Clonezilla boot CD to copy the entire array onto USB. Clonezilla recognized the array as a single drive so I did a mirror of it. I could have copied individual partitions but there's no point in just doing that.



#8 JohnC_21

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 08:23 PM

Just a question. So by mirror, do you mean you used the sector by sector backup option of Clonezilla (using dd command)?



#9 artm

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 08:47 PM

If the "dd" command is part of the "advanced" mode then no, I always use the beginner mode in Clonezilla.

 

I selected disk-to-disk backup.which I believe does perform a sector mirror.Because it is a RAID mirror the USB will not boot as a normal bootable drive.



#10 JohnC_21

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 09:02 PM

That's pretty interesting you were able to clone your RAID setup using the beginner mode. From what I have read.

 

Sector-by-sector transfer involves accessing the disk directly and copying the contents of each sector, thus accurately reproducing the layout of the source disk (in advanced options)

 

File-based transfer, (as opposed to sector-by-sector transfer,) involves opening all files and copying their contents, one by one. It requires the cloning utility to have a knowledge of the file systems on the source disk. The target disk's layout may not resemble that of the source disk.

 

Because Clonezilla recognized the file system, it used the File-based transfer. Sector by Sector is used when the file system is not recognized. Pretty impressive that Clonezilla was able to accomplish this.



#11 Sneakycyber

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 09:19 PM

Thanks for the confirmation. I haven't used clonezilla before I will definitely look into it now.

Chad Mockensturm 

Systems and Network Engineer

Certified CompTia Network +, A +


#12 artm

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 09:24 PM

If you go here to look at screen shots of Clonezilla:

 

http://clonezilla.org/screenshots/?in_path=/00_Clonezilla

 

I performed the "standard" procedure, which I call beginner, not going into shell mode. I did a "device-device" backup, which, as I noted, always makes a bootable disk if the original is bootable and an exact copy - even empty sectors.So, this is sector-sector mirroring.

 

I'm not sure Clonezilla cares about the file system in such a backup, I don't think it does. All it shows are the drives it sees. What was impressive was that it recognized an array as a drive without additional drivers. Now, it may have installed standard SATA drivers from the CD, but Windows setup can't do this (it needs the Adaptec driver on floppy).

 

So, it appears that as long as the RAID controller BIOS boots up successfully that may be all you need for a backup/mirror program to recognize the array.

 

Of course, the ultimate test would be to then restore the array from USB but I don't have enough spare drives to test this out - I suppose I should have done so when I first created the array as an exercise to convince myself that everything works as it should ni case of an issue.

 

In fact, I recommend that if you're starting out with RAID to create a test array and go through the basic tests to familiarize yourself with the corrective procedures. Remove a drive, do a rebuild, backup/restore with Clonezilla, swap controllers, etc. Yes, I purhased two identical controllers and installed the same BIOS version just in case one fails.

 

Of course, I was eager to setup the array that I didn't really familiarize myself with all of this. I have gone through single drive failures and swaps without a problem. Never had a double drive failure, thankfully, but I am prepared with a RAID 6.



#13 artm

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 09:40 PM

Thanks for the confirmation. I haven't used clonezilla before I will definitely look into it now.

 

I suffered through Ghost, several versions before learning that version 2003 is best. Even so, Clonezilla is more intuitive and simply works better. I have used it to backup several drives in laptops and systems and in every case I can swap in the copy without issues.

 

It's a life saver.

 

Another program I use that backs up and restores Windows registries and system files is ERUNT. It also is free, like Clonezilla. I simply run it to copy all the important files. As long as I can get into RC I run the command to restore I am good to go. I have several backups ready to restor at any moment. This is especially good practice to run it before installing any major programs adn certainly before installing any "suspicious" ones.


Edited by artm, 17 April 2014 - 09:40 PM.


#14 technonymous

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 08:35 PM

Another tip is to go into the virtual memory and give it a range like 400-2048. If you allow Windows to manage it then it uses a range IE: 2048-8096 etc. If you give the starting range low then it remains low untill it's needed. This will help with the large backups. Also, disable the hidden hibernation hiberfil.sys by going into the CLI and typing powercfg -h off. The hiberfil.sys will vanish after that. That right there can easily shave off 10 gigs off the backup. Be sure to put a readme.txt file in there though stating that the hibernation was disabled on the backup.


Edited by technonymous, 19 April 2014 - 08:35 PM.





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