rebuild unity with one drive

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Apr 23rd, 2008
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Custome rhas a MCS7825H-3.0, running 5.0 on Win2000.

We need to rebuild it to get it on Win2003 in order to partner with their exch 2007.

Looking for a fail-back position, the thought came up about unpowering one of the mirrored drives and doing the rebuild on one drive only.

There is no platform disk for this model so we will be using the cisco operating system win2003 disk.

Has anyone tried this and did it work?



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carenas123 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 06:03
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I never tried it but I'm willing to bet that it will not work.

rvincent Tue, 04/29/2008 - 06:24
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we pulled the power from one of the drives and ran the install. Had a problem in the middle of the unity setup (not related to drives) and were able to go back in and power up the unpowered drive while unpowering the drive we were installing to and unity came back up fine with pre-rebuild configuration.

Subsequently, we reran the rebuild using the one drive and were successful.

Our one issue is the array configurator is not letting us change to raid 1 - sees it as raid 0. May be some kind of issue with age of array and win2003(??).

customer wants to set as dynamic disk but I don't know if cisco-unity would balk at it. trying to get answer from cisco now.


Tommer Catlin Tue, 04/29/2008 - 07:40
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Cisco has no problem if you want to install Windows 2003 manually rather than using the platform disc. The Platform disc really just automates the process of installation. It's not a "custom" version of windows like "Cisco OS"

rvincent Tue, 04/29/2008 - 07:50
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we ended up doing just that. Installed 2003 with customer CD and Unity install was successful.

Our only issue is trying to put the raid 1 back. the old 642 array controller is not allowing us to change from raid 0 to raid 1. customer wants to configure as dynamic disk but i'm not sure if that's ok wiht Cisco.


Tommer Catlin Tue, 04/29/2008 - 07:53
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Oh yeah, you cant do that. You have to build the array BEFORE you install 2003. Basically you do the following:

- use the HP disc that came with the server or download from HP

- it will boot up and go into the RAID array program gui to build it how it choose.

- once the Array is mirrored, THEN you install the Windows 2003 OS.

If it's already installed, there is no way to turn on RAID 0+1.

rvincent Tue, 04/29/2008 - 07:58
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when we did the rebuild, we removed pwr from one of the drives, so install was done w/ one drive only.

customer says setting it as dynamic instead of basic will allow software mirror (??).

Are you familiar with this and is it ok for unity?



Tommer Catlin Tue, 04/29/2008 - 08:19
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If I recall, you can convert it to a dynamic disc, but only after you build the RAID first. RAID is RAID, there is no magic tool to covert a single drive to RAIDX unless you build it from the scratch. Windows does not allow you to do this because of ITS built or underlying architecture.

Basically, if you have RAID 0 (2 drives mirrored) you can click on Computer Management, Drives and see the mirror. Then you can right click on it and check Dynamic.

Honestly, Im not sure what they are going to benefit from it. It's probably some picky windows guy that has his/her ways with disk arrays. Are they projecting some huge growth on Unity server where they need to add disk space to it? That would be the only reason to do this.

Found on the web for you:

Windows Dynamic Disks: Solution or Problem?

Windows 2000, XP, as well as 2003 and 2008 Server employ dynamic disks, a software-based technology that is similar to RAID. Often used on server operating systems, dynamic disks perform similarly to 'real' RAID arrays. Windows software enables low-level support of these disks instead of the chips on the computer's motherboard.

Dynamic disks allow upgrading computer hardware at any time without trouble. Everything is fine until you switch the operating system. Dynamic disks created in Windows 2008 Server are not recognized in prior versions, and RAID 5 dynamic disks are not recognized in Windows XP. As such, dynamic disks are more of an issue rather than a solution to RAID incompatibilities.

Basically, go with RAID, its a better and safer technology.


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