Need to know Windows NT Server 4.0 SP6's RAID

November 28, 2010 at 12:41:16
Specs: Windows NT Server 4.0 SP6
I need to know what was the software-only RAID driver that Windows NT Server 4.0 SP6 used?

I need an F6 Windows Setup startup disk that will have the native windows-included RAID driver to recognize the RAID drives I set up once I was in windows.

Thanks!


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#1
November 29, 2010 at 12:09:23
You are mixing hardware raid with software raid.

If you are rebuilding the server you will want to re-software mirror when you are up on the first drive.

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#2
November 29, 2010 at 12:32:15
No. I had two 40gb drives mirrored, using windows nt server's own software-only RAID which was configured through the managment console, once in windows. I only need to find out what software driver it is that windows was using so that I can make an F6 RAID setup startup disk so that the partitions can be read, and I can then reset my administrator password on the system. Do you know what the native software-RAID driver they used was?

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#3
November 29, 2010 at 16:01:24
I will repeat myself. You are confusing hardware raid with software raid.

Only hardware raid has a driver you install using f6. Software raid is a combination of ftdisk.sys and window registry entries. You can not load via a driver a software raid array.

Proper procedure is to disable the shadow drive to get booted up.
That's the first step, getting back into the system.

Once you have accomplished that you have to wipe the shadow drive so its blank, readd it to the machine and then redo your software mirror.

Not doing as described will result in blue screens of death if you try adding the drive back without wiping it clean.

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#4
November 29, 2010 at 18:10:51
I know the difference between hardware and software RAID. There was NO RAID CONTROLLER in my system ever. Only Mirroring RAID setup in the managment console.

I need to access the partitions that windows setup finds. It finds them, but cannot read them, because they are RAID encoded. That's why I asked about what driver windows used in its native mirroring software RAID. Because if I know the driver to tell it to load to read it, then I can access the partitions and use password reset software to reset the Admin password and then the problem is solved. I don't want to do a complete reinstall of everything, that's what I'm trying to avoid. I have no blue screens of death. Can you help me figure out how to access the RAIDed partitions and use password reset software to reset the Admin password ?


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#5
November 29, 2010 at 18:12:26
you can message me directly at on yahoo instant messenger: nascardriver33

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#6
November 30, 2010 at 08:24:46
I understand very clearly the difference between hardware and software raid. I am also very clear you don't have a hardware raid controller. I am also very clear that there is no f6 software raid driver. As I said before there is ftdisk.sys and registry entries which makes the software raid array.

If you can't read one of the disks from a boot cd its because they are not mirrored but stripped. You should have no problem using knoppix or bartpe to view the contents of a mirrored drive.

You won't be able to view a stripped drive because it takes reading both disks to assemble the information unlike raid1 which has everything on each disk. This is also true with spanned disks [volume set]

There is no fault tolerance with either of these.

You have no other admin account on the server? Only administrator?
Do you have this system backed up? If you break the raid0 or volume set you lose everything. Be careful.

BTW you should remove your email address unless you just like being added to the WWW spam list.

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#7
November 30, 2010 at 11:36:41
OK. They're definitely not striped, they were definitely mirrored RAIDed drives. I've disconnected them so I could play around with one of them, but I'll have to redo that drive completely, I tried reinstalling stuff and wiped most of it out I believe, but I think maybe it still has my data on it possibly. So I'm down to one drive w/original files on it. The windows setup reads the partitions on the drive, and their names, but cannot access/read them because it's RAID encoded. Unfortunately I never set up any other accounts that I can remember on it other than Adminstrator. The Guest account says it's been disabled. The system loads up and runs just fine if I can get the password for it, it boots to the logon screen, and loads whatever drivers it does to recognize the data on the RAIDed partitions. I need it to recognize the Mirrored partitions in the windows setup system so that I can use password reset software to fix the problem, is the bottom line. I appreciate your trying to help me. I think it would be a lot better if I could talk to you verbally about it. Is there a phone # I could call you on? Thanks for the tip about the email address on here... I took it off...

-Randy


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#8
November 30, 2010 at 12:43:05
Sorry I do this as I have spare time at work.

Since you don't have access to the drive I would suggest the following.

Make the drive you took out of the mirror set the primary drive/bootable and install NT to it. Do at least sp3 or better if you do sp 6.
Then go into disk management and see what it says concering this drive.
Report what you see

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#9
November 30, 2010 at 13:29:27

I'm not sure where you're going with that... what are you trying to suggest with telling me to do this? I'm trying to avoid doing a reinstall of the system... is there a way you know of to break the RAID 1 set and remove the raid from the drive from DOS, so that the password reset software can read the partition afterwards?


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#10
November 30, 2010 at 15:06:41
What I am suggesting is a reasonable course of action given your criteria.

You need to install NT so you can access the formerly mirrored drive. Which hopefully you can then access to run the password software.

The problem isn't just the mirror but the fact the disk is dynamic. This is why you need NT at the same service pack level you had before to try to access the disk.

You are pretty well out of recovery options here especially since there appears to be no backup.

Ideally the newly install NT on the former shadow drive will see the primary formerly mirrored drive successfully so you have access. If that fails you would see if the option in disk manager of "import foreign disk" is available. After that you are at the end of the road.

Something to consider, though this should have been done with the shadow drive, is using utilities to convert from dynamic to basic again. Usually this is a destructive [wipes out all data] but I have been seeing references online to software that can do a nondestructive conversion.

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#11
November 30, 2010 at 15:11:04
yeah, worst case I can gain access that way, but unfortunately I can't reset the password that way I don't think, except during boot, as the programs I have to do that all run at computer boot-up...

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#12
November 30, 2010 at 15:31:11
any idea how I could delete the raid info from a dos prompt w/o deleting the data, so that the password reset software would be able to be used, since it would then be able to read the partitions?

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#13
December 1, 2010 at 08:24:55
Again it isn't a matter of the raid info. It's being a dynamic disk that is the problem. I outlined a possible solution of converting to basic. Then your software would have access.

Might want to consider cloning this remaining drive before you make any more changes.

If you are just after data the NT install will accomplish that.

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#14
December 1, 2010 at 08:36:31
So here's the deal: Last night on another drive I installed Windows Server 2000. I was then able to view the 2 existing partitions on the drive, one RAID, one non-RAID. I copied everything off the non-RAID partition. The other RAID partition looked like all jibberish/cryptic files that must be encoded, as I couldn't do anything but look at the crazy characters it had for folder names listed. Is that what you're talking about converting back to basic? Disk Administrator had an option I believe to convert to basic, but like you said, I want to do a non-destructive conversion, if that'll allow me to view the contents properly vs. wiping it out... Do you know names of any utility that'll do that or break the RAID set maybe to allow me to view and backup the contents? What about cloning the drive? Don't think I can clone that partition in its current condition... can I? If so, what program would I use for that?
Thanks!

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#15
December 1, 2010 at 10:57:03
Glad you got access.

You eliminated dynamic disk as a barrier. If that partition was mirrored you should be able to read it just fine now. Mirroring doesn't change the files or encrypt them.

Think about it. If you did a software mirror and the other drive died with the results you now see, what good would mirroring be?

Mirroring is not your issue. Disk corruptions/encryption appears to be the issue.

I would suggest that now you have drive access run some data recovery software to see if you can access the files/data.

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