Converting Dynamic Disk back to a basic disk

Discussion in 'Windows Server' started by Saral6978, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. Saral6978

    Saral6978 Guest

    This is my situation - I have an old HP storageworks attached via SCSI cable
    to an HP Proliant DL380, Windows 2003 SP2. When the storageworks got
    migrated to this server, I accidentally converted the array to a Dynamic
    disk. I have since removed all data from this volume, and the only thing
    left is the System Volume Info and Recycler folders (hidden folders). I
    understand the first step in converting back to basic is to delete the volume
    itself (using Disk Mgmt). I attempt this step and I get the following
    warning:

    "The volume storage (E:) Simple volume is currently in use. To force the
    deletion of this volume, click Yes. Warning, forcing a deletion might cause
    unexpected errors in the application that is using this volume. Do you want
    to continue?"

    I am not sure if I will have negative consequences upon doing this. Would
    deleting the volume prevent my server from booting up since the current
    partition style is MBR? I'm afraid if this volume goes away I'm going to
    have a problem. I have confirmed that if I physically detach the
    storageworks from my server, my server doesn't boot, so I'm sure it's looking
    for the MBR, right? Do you think that I can safely delete the volume and
    convert to basic disk and that it will somehow reset it so my server is not
    looking for this array upon reboot?

    I would like to re-use this storage works, just want to get it back to basic
    and reformatted and not have my server be dependent upon it being connected
    to boot up.

    Thanks for any help! I wish I had a test server I could try this on, but I
    don't...

    Sara
     
    Saral6978, Oct 16, 2008
    #1
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  2. Saral6978

    Saral6978 Guest

    So, no one has any idea ithat f I say "yes" to the warning about deleting the
    volume and then converting to a basic disk, that it will successfully remove
    the MBR config and allow my server to boot normally without trying to look
    for this array? I guess I figured this would be easy enough for people to
    answer or someone has done this in the past...any help would be
    appreciated...It's just this is a production server and I'm leary of just
    trying it without some opinions on the matter.

    Thanks in advance!

    Sara
     
    Saral6978, Oct 17, 2008
    #2
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  3. I suspect you're not getting any replies because no one reading your post
    has ever tried this. Their replies would be pure guesswork, which is not
    really what you're after. In the absence of any independent confirmation you
    may have to perform some tests to simulate your scenariou while leaving
    yourself a back-out path. You could, for example, physically disconnect the
    dynamic disk and check if the machine still boots.

    By the way, there is no such thing as an "MBR partition style". "NTFS" or
    "FAT32" are a couple of partition styles. "MBR" is the master boot record.
    There is just one of these on each disk, and it controls the boot process.
    The MBR of a disk with NTFS partitions is the same as that of a disk with
    FAT32 partitions.
     
    Pegasus \(MVP\), Oct 17, 2008
    #3
  4. Saral6978

    Saral6978 Guest

    Actually - if you are in Disk Mgmt, and right click on the Disk in question
    (DISK1) and go to Properties, in the "volumes" tab, it states that the
    Partition style is "Master Boot Record (MBR)". That's where I got that term
    from.

    Also, like I mentioned in my first post, if I physically disconnect the
    HPStorageworks array (DISK1), my server DOES NOT boot.

    That's why I'm reluctant to delete the volume then convert to Basic disk,
    because I'm afraid if I reboot, the server will not be able to boot back up
    because it's looking to the MBR on this drive, as well as the one on DISK0.
    I dont' WANT it to look at the one on DISK1, and I'm hoping that by deleting
    the volume and converting it to basic would somehow change it so the computer
    knows not to look there.

    I really have no way of testing this. I mean, if I convert the disk back to
    basic and it doesn't work and my server doesn't boot, well, I'm unsure how to
    proceed. I've thought about booting to my HP Startup disk and using the hp
    array utlity to delete that particular HP storageworks array...However, I'm
    thinking if the server didn't reboot after converting to basic, I could then
    boot to the HP disc and then delete that particular array and maybe that will
    then allow the server to boot. The only good thing is that this server only
    hosts one application. The actual data is is on a NETAPP device, so I guess
    if it got hosed I could try and start completely over and rebuild and
    reconfigure everything.
     
    Saral6978, Oct 17, 2008
    #4
  5. *** I see what you mean. However, this panel confuses me.
    *** What exactly happens? How far does the boot process go?
    *** Have you tried booting with a Windows boot diskette?
     
    Pegasus \(MVP\), Oct 17, 2008
    #5
  6. Saral6978

    Saral6978 Guest

    Unfortunately, I can't remember how far it got, but only as far as the POST
    screen - never anything further. Basically, I think it just sort of hung
    there when looking for the arrays, I don't even remember an error...This
    server happens to be at my remote site so there is no way at the current
    moment to recreate the issue. I wouldn't do the conversion to basic anyway
    without being onsite, and I'm not going onsite for a couple of weeks, but I
    wanted to research the issue ahead of time to see if anyone had any similar
    experiences but I guess not. No, I haven't tried a boot disk. And, if I'm
    being honest, I'm not sure what commands I would run anyway for a problem
    like this if my server didn't boot because of a missing array.

    It's probably going to be one of those things where I just have to do it and
    then pray... :) I appreciate your response, though.
     
    Saral6978, Oct 17, 2008
    #6
  7. Saral6978

    alex Guest

    you can do it with the old ghost for dos (the last version). Do a clone
    image to an other disk and then reapply the image to the original partition
     
    alex, Sep 12, 2009
    #7
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