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Migration of Mirror Set out of WHS 2011 into Server 2011 RRS feed

  • Question

  • Good morning and thank you in advance for any help or direction in this matter.

    I have a WHS 2011 server that had the OS drive fail.  In the machine was a mirrored array I had created that were/are both functioning correctly.

    Until I can get the WHS 2011 server rebuilt, I was going to move the mirror array into a secondary server here, which is SBS 2011.  I understand the underlying architecture of WHS 2011 and SBS 2011 are alike, I just want to make sure that I would run into no issues moving the mirror array over.

    I currently have the mirror array in the SBS 2011 machine, and Disk Management sees the two drives as 'Foreign' and is asking if I want to import.   Will I adversely effect any of the data on that mirror array if I import it into SBS 2011?  Is there 'no going back' once I migrate it?  Or should I be able to replace it in the WHS 2011 machine once I have the OS drive rebuilt?

    And if anyone can please refresh me, I have not done a procedure like this in I don't know how long.  The Import function in SBS 2011 will NOT wipe the data correct?  I am expecting the data and drive structure will be kept on the Import process as I am not 'Initializing' the drive(s).

    Thank you again for any time and help in this issue.  I appreciate your time.

    -Andrew

    CMS

    Thursday, November 15, 2012 6:15 PM

Answers

  • I have configured and used many dynamic disks with Windows systems.  When you move a dynamic disk of any kind (striped, mirrored, spanned, single) to another system the disk must be imported. It's a common and expected behavior.

    One of the reasons that I use dynamic disks in Windows (instead of motherboard-based RAID solutions such as Intel's) is for this portability.  I have never had any kind of problem doing this, but of course I cannot guarantee anything for you. 

    I would ensure that BOTH disks are installed correctly to the on-board SATA controller and are visible to the BIOS and in Disk Manager.  They should be marked as 'Foreign' in Disk Manager.  Do not try to import only one of the mirrored disks.

    Before you proceed, see the section under importing foreign disks here:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc771775.aspx#BKMK_4

    • Marked as answer by James Xiong Friday, November 30, 2012 1:30 AM
    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 11:24 AM

All replies

  • Assuming that it's a software mirror ( not a RAID) If the mirror isn't broken you should be able to read a single disk on a W7 machine. You should also be able to connect the mirror to your new WHS build. Not sure about the import function!

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.


    Thursday, November 15, 2012 8:34 PM
  • Good afternoon.  Thank you for the reply.  Yes, it is just a software mirror created within Disk Management on the original WHS 2011.  I am aware that I can read one of the volumes from any win7 client, my thought was though, that I may just NOT rebuild the WHS, and consolidate the servers by permanently keeping this mirror in the SBS 2011 server.

    The Import function is what SBS 2011 wants to do under Disk Management.  The drives are currently not active, however they are seen, from within Disk Management.  My concern was that I would somehow harm the data by using the Import function on the mirror from within Disk Management in SBS 2011.  If this Import function will do nothing more than make the mirror available and functioning correctly, then I would leave the array in there permanently.

    If, however, the Import function has a likelihood of damaging or destroying the data, then I will just choose to access the data from another client, back it up completely to another media set and then replace the mirror in a new WHS 2011 build after I would replace the failed OS drive.

    Preference at this point would be to successfully Import the mirror into SBS 2011 and leave it there.

    Thank you for your time and direction.

    -Andrew

    CMS

    Thursday, November 15, 2012 9:29 PM
  • As I said, I don't know but I would be inclined to back up your data before you try anything that has any chance of destroying it!

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    Thursday, November 15, 2012 9:39 PM
  • On Thu, 15 Nov 2012 21:39:47 +0000, Phil  Harrison wrote:

    As I said, I don't know but I would be inclined to back up your data before you try anything that has any chance of destroying it!

    I'm with Phil. Importing a foreign disk set should be a non-destructive
    operation but one never knows...


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Forefront Identity Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Another megabytes the dust.

    Friday, November 16, 2012 2:05 AM
  • Good Morning Gentlemen,

    I certainly appreciate the feedback.  Kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place here.  I mirrored the data for redundancy so I would not lose data.  But with the OS drive in the WHS 2011 server dead, I have no current way to get to the mirror set of drives without putting them SOMEWHERE.  I read more in the help section of importing disks in Disk Management in SBS 2011, and the things it makes clear are the following:

    1.) import disks from a single machine at a time, not multiple machines.

    2.) keep sets of disks to be imported together during the process

    There is no mention that data would be damaged, or lost during this process.  No large 'WARNING' section on doing this.  Seems like a pretty straight forward process.

    I did take one of the mirror drives and slave it into a Win7 machine, and Disk Management in the Win7 machine said the drive was 'invalid' but did offer me the option to import it.  HOWEVER, it is also clear that if I import ONE of the disks in the mirror set, there will be no way to put the mirror back together without formatting and redoing the setup.

    Currently the drives are back in my SBS 2011 machine and waiting on being imported.  I have not found any other information in my searches that give me any more indication that I will not have an issue with this. 

    Has anyone actually stepped through this process before?  Your input would be valuable.  Thank you again.

    And thank you Paul and Phil for your insight and input.  Certainly appreciated.

    -Andrew

    CMS


    • Edited by Javad0g Friday, November 16, 2012 5:12 PM
    Friday, November 16, 2012 3:56 PM
  • I have configured and used many dynamic disks with Windows systems.  When you move a dynamic disk of any kind (striped, mirrored, spanned, single) to another system the disk must be imported. It's a common and expected behavior.

    One of the reasons that I use dynamic disks in Windows (instead of motherboard-based RAID solutions such as Intel's) is for this portability.  I have never had any kind of problem doing this, but of course I cannot guarantee anything for you. 

    I would ensure that BOTH disks are installed correctly to the on-board SATA controller and are visible to the BIOS and in Disk Manager.  They should be marked as 'Foreign' in Disk Manager.  Do not try to import only one of the mirrored disks.

    Before you proceed, see the section under importing foreign disks here:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc771775.aspx#BKMK_4

    • Marked as answer by James Xiong Friday, November 30, 2012 1:30 AM
    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 11:24 AM