Server Restore after replacing an S300 controller with an H700 controller

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Server Restore after replacing an S300 controller with an H700 controller

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Objective:  Replacing an S300 controller with an H700 controller, and restore system.

Server Configuration: T310, S300 controller, single RAID-5 virtual disk made up of 4, 450 GB 15K drives, and SBS 2008.  The new controller is an H700.  The RAID-5 disk map shows a 47 MB "Unknown" partition, 3 GB primary partition that used by the "Recovery" volume, 202 GB primary partition that is used by the C: "OS" volume, with the remainder of the virtual drive being taken up by an extended partition, with used by the D: "DATAPART1" LOGICAL Volume.  (E.G. Typical Dell server configuration from the factory.)

Backups:  I have 2 MS backups and 2 StorageCraft ShadowProtect backups.  Both are supposed to be able to do a bare metal restore.

Concerns:
1.  On major OEM servers, there is always at least one partition that is not backed up, because it cannot be.  In this case there is at least one 47 MB "Unknown" partition.  So there really is not such thing as a bare metal restore in a situation like that.  I would assume that partition is made when you boot and start the setup with the Dell Documentation and Driver Disk?
2.  How do you get the new partitions to be exactly the same size as the originals during restore?  From what I read, you cannot restore to a smaller partition, even if there would be plenty of free space if you did.  Thus, if I would make the "OS" partition say 20 megs smaller, then I wouldn't be able to restore the "DATAPART1" volume and vice-versa.  All of my restores in the past have been to larger volumes, so I never had that problem.

Thoughts:
- Use diskpart to shrink the C: and D: a few GBs first, and then get new backups?

Thanks!

All Replies
  • First off; add the H700 to the server, and let Windows (still on the S300) add the drivers for the H700. This way the drivers will already be part of the OS when you restore onto a raid container on the H700 (instead of possibly running into issues because Windows may not have the H700 drivers natively and therefor cannot boot up from the H700). Now you do another backup (so that your latest backup already has the H700 driver).

    Then you remove the S300 and the drives (mark which is connected to which bay or plug on the cable(s), and then find a (cheap) 2TB SATA drive and do a test restore after making the 2TB drive a single disk raid 0. If the bare metal restore works (as in; the OS boots and comes up fine), then you know your backup is good enough to do a real restore from.

    The reason I suggest this is because the raid 5 from the S300 cannot be migrated to the H700, so unless you have other drives to put the restore on, this test run allows you to verify the restore without losing the data from the 4 450GB drives.

    If the restore doesn't work as intended, you know you can put the S300 and those 4 450's back in and have the system back in production while you look into other restore options.

    Member since 2003

  • "First off; add the H700 to the server, and let Windows (still on the S300) add the drivers for the H700. This way the drivers will already be part of the OS when you restore onto a raid container on the H700 (instead of possibly running into issues because Windows may not have the H700 drivers natively and therefor cannot boot up from the H700). Now you do another backup (so that your latest backup already has the H700 driver...Then you remove the S300 and the drives (mark which is connected to which bay or plug on the cable(s), and then find a (cheap) 2TB SATA drive and do a test restore after making the 2TB drive a single disk raid 0. If the bare metal restore works (as in; the OS boots and comes up fine), then you know your backup is good enough to do a real restore from."

    That sounds like a great idea.

  • Currently, I only have hot-swap cables for the H700.  I did find the cables I need on Amazon and eBay. 

    I installed the H700 tonight during a window I could have the server down.  When I booted, it took a long, long time on the BIOS screen until I hit F2.  Then it went into the BIOS.  I didn't change anything, and then went out and booted into Windows.  On subsequent boots, it didn't hang in the BIOS anymore.

    Windows detected the controller for which it had no driver.  I then installed the H700 that I had downloaded from Dell earlier.  I received an error that they it could not verify where the driver came from or something like that.  The driver loaded.  However, while the server ran fine, OpenManage would no longer load and said it had a communications error.  That was a disconcerting, so I removed the H700 because I was concerned that having the S300 and H700 present at the same time was affecting communications and stability.