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Thread: Can I RAID1 & Dual Boot/XP?

  1. #1
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    Can I RAID1 & Dual Boot/XP?

    I run a system configured with 2 120GB Seagate SATA
    drives and these are setup in a bootable, RAID1 configuration on drive C. Another 160GB IDE drive also has WinXP-Home,, drive F, but I (generally) don't boot off this drive. I want two independently bootable drives with the OS, if possible.
    1. Is this configuration safe or does the OS get 'confused' between the OS/boot components on the two drives? I have ran this way before, but I've had problems (which may be unrelated). I am little concerned that my WinXP-Home OS is on two separate drives as WinXP-Home generally doesn't support dual boot configurations. To create the dual-boot system, I disconnect the IDE drive (already has WinXP-Home) & install WinXP on my SATA-RAID1 drive & boot off RAID1
    drive.
    2. I have had problems recently, with NTFS.sys being corrupted on RAID1 array, which forced reformat of RAID1 drives. RAID1 redundancy didn't help as I had to format. MS Knowledgebase article suggests this could happen. So RAID1 has redundancy provided there is a physical drive failure, but not so well if the SW/OS fails? Comments?

    Thx. Scott
    Last edited by smartin22; September 6th, 2003 at 22:02 PM.
    Core2 2.40GHz, 1066 FSB; MSI 975X Platinum V.2 975X , BIOS 7.5; 4x1GB Corsair DDR2-800; 600W Zalman Heatpipe; 1x250 GB Seagate SATA-2 + 2x750 GB Seagate SATA-2, RAID1 + 1x 750GB Seagate SATA-2; 2x SONY DRU-830A DVD/CD Combo; MSI GeForce 8600 GTS; Samsung 245BW; VISTA-Ultimate

  2. #2
    Succeded in braking Windo TZ Veteran Dehcbad25's Avatar
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    I am not completely sure that I understood what you want. Lets see, you want to be able to boot from the RAID array where you install Xp, or from the other 160GB drive with XP home, right?? So you want to have the os boot choice at start up. If this is what you want to do, you can use a boot manager (or boot loader)
    I don't know which one are the good ones, since I use XP pro and W98.
    I know LILO is one, and also Partition Magic has one included called PQMagic. If this is what you want to do, maybe the guys here at the forum know other boot loaders so you have more options

  3. #3
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    Independently bootable drives

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I am not completely sure that I understood what you want. Lets see, you want to be able to boot from the RAID array where you install Xp, or from the other 160GB drive with XP home, right?? So you want to have the os boot choice at start up. If this is what you want to do, you can use a boot manager (or boot loader)
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Your comments are correct: I want to boot from the RAID1 drives, but I also want the option to boot from the 160GB drive. In past, I handled this by 1st installing XP on the 160GB drive; then disconnecting it from the IDE and thus WinXP doesn't "see" the 160GB drive. I then load XP onto the RAID1 array and later reconnect the 160GB drive. This seemingly worked OK & allowed me to have two independently bootable drives; but perhaps it isn't the right thing to do? I had several crashes and my NTFS system ended up being corrupt. THis leads me to question whether/not WinXP can exist on two drives independently without the aid of partition magic or something like that.

    Thx.

    Scott
    Core2 2.40GHz, 1066 FSB; MSI 975X Platinum V.2 975X , BIOS 7.5; 4x1GB Corsair DDR2-800; 600W Zalman Heatpipe; 1x250 GB Seagate SATA-2 + 2x750 GB Seagate SATA-2, RAID1 + 1x 750GB Seagate SATA-2; 2x SONY DRU-830A DVD/CD Combo; MSI GeForce 8600 GTS; Samsung 245BW; VISTA-Ultimate

  4. #4
    Succeded in braking Windo TZ Veteran Dehcbad25's Avatar
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    It can, but you shouldn't install XP that way. What happens is that when you disconnect the drive where you installed XP first, you make the RAID as the primary.
    What you have to do is, Install XP first in the drive (or RAID) that is going to be your choice to boot from.
    Then run the other XP instalation and install it in the other drive.
    I have 2 XP instalations at work this way.
    I am not sure what you want to acomplish working like that. Dual boot is usually to take advantage of features that the other OS doesn't have. I don't see any reason why to install 2 XP
    I did only because my first OS instalation wasn't working well, and I had been too lazy to unistall it yet
    Now, if you already have made the instalations probably the best option is for you to install a boot loader, or manually edit the boot.ini file in your primary partition of the Active drive. Be carefull thought, doing this could make your systems unbootable if you put the wrong settings.

    So, for your question, YES, XP can exist in 2 drives (or partitions) without the aid of any boot loader, but the OS itself. But the first OS has to be present in the second OS instalation

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    EFC found a good article about setting up a switching mechanism to let you switch from one OS to another. It seemed like a very simple and cheap modification, that would let you switch from one OS to another very easily.


    http://www.techzonez.com/forums/show...6768#post26768

    Have a look at the link above for details. It would then let you boot your RAID, or restart, flip the switch and boot to your 160GB hdd..

    but I don't think you will be able to access files from the other with this method.

  6. #6
    Techzonez Governor Super Moderator Conan's Avatar
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    Can't you choose which drive to boot from in the BIOS without having to physically disconnect the IDE cable? With regard to corruption, I suggest using memtest86 to test your RAM for errors and adjusting memory voltage in order to pass the test error free. I had issues with corruption while installing Windows due to inadequate voltage settings.

    http://www.memtest86.com/

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    Conan-

    Your are thinking logically, like I was, but I learned the answer to your question is "no." WinXP doesn't easily support dual installation of the same OS. If you try to install a 2nd WinXP OS on a different drive/partition, the system always "sees" the 1st and tries to reinstall. And if you force it (I don't exactly how I did this, but I did), then what happens is WinXP is installed on both drives, but it installs the boot file on only one drive! The end result is you boot off one drive and run the OS off either. So your primary drive fails, you have an OS on the other drive, but you can't boot it and it pretty much unusable. This happened to me; even though I had a perfectly good OS on a drive, I could't force the boot files on so I had two drives, two OSs, but no boot files. I ended up reformatting. The next time around, I thought I'd be clever: I'd disconnect the SATA drives so the OS wouldn't know there was another OS available. And Installed a 2nd OS, complete with the boot files on the IDE drive. This worked, except I question is reliabily since about 30 days later, I had corrupt NTFS.sys file.

    Make sense?

    Scott
    Core2 2.40GHz, 1066 FSB; MSI 975X Platinum V.2 975X , BIOS 7.5; 4x1GB Corsair DDR2-800; 600W Zalman Heatpipe; 1x250 GB Seagate SATA-2 + 2x750 GB Seagate SATA-2, RAID1 + 1x 750GB Seagate SATA-2; 2x SONY DRU-830A DVD/CD Combo; MSI GeForce 8600 GTS; Samsung 245BW; VISTA-Ultimate

  8. #8
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    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    From David:
    I am not sure what you want to acomplish working like that. Dual boot is usually to take advantage of features that the other OS doesn't have. I don't see any reason why to install 2 XP
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ha. You live in good world, where WinXP works, has no errors, and you never have to reinstall or reformat! In my "chicken little" world, I live in fear that I will wake up and WinXP/drives won't be working and I'll need to do something NOW. In those cases, I'd like to be able to just switch OSs (From the BIOS) and move to my backup. This way I'd still be up and running and I could sort out the problems/restore later.

    This has happened to me a couple times. And even though I run bootable RAID1, it isn't 100% redundant, either. If it is a HW problem, fine; but if you have a corrupt OS, then the corrupt OS is duplicated to both drives and the redundancy won't help you. I have not seen that stated directly, but that is my experience and it seems logical; correct me if I'm missing something. My solution: be capable of running two OS's. However, owing to my last failure, I questioned the wisdom of running duplicate OSs. I ended up with a corrupt NTFS.sys file and couldn't help but wonder if my duplicate OS's contributed to that. Pls also see my post to Conan, above.

    Let me confirm: You have no problem running duplicate OS's on two different partitions? And you don't use "partition magic" or one of the other boot-loader programs? Presumably you install the two OSs, as I do, by disconnecting one of the drives and installing on the other?

    Thx for the comments.

    Scott
    Core2 2.40GHz, 1066 FSB; MSI 975X Platinum V.2 975X , BIOS 7.5; 4x1GB Corsair DDR2-800; 600W Zalman Heatpipe; 1x250 GB Seagate SATA-2 + 2x750 GB Seagate SATA-2, RAID1 + 1x 750GB Seagate SATA-2; 2x SONY DRU-830A DVD/CD Combo; MSI GeForce 8600 GTS; Samsung 245BW; VISTA-Ultimate

  9. #9
    Head Honcho Administrator Reverend's Avatar
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    Originally posted by smartin22
    I ended up with a corrupt NTFS.sys file
    You may have been able to fix it by running the sfc /scannow command.

    =========== Please Read The Forum Rules ===========

  10. #10
    Succeded in braking Windo TZ Veteran Dehcbad25's Avatar
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    I see, that is similar to the method that Dell uses for it powervault systems, thought I can quite understand Dell mind on that yet, since the programs you install won't be installed in both.
    The end result is that if you have a problem, you end up having to reinstall the needed programs before being able to anything else. But that is another story.
    For what you are trying to acomplish I think that the easiest way would be to do an image of the OS in the clean state. Then if you need to restore the system you can isntall that image in the other drive.
    Now
    Let me confirm: You have no problem running duplicate OS's on two different partitions? And you don't use "partition magic" or one of the other boot-loader programs? Presumably you install the two OSs, as I do, by disconnecting one of the drives and installing on the other?
    Yes, I have no problem running duplicate OS (it is even the same version) in 2 different partitions, and I don't use any boot loader.
    No, I didn't install the OS like that. I never disconnected any of the drives when I installed the other OS. Actually, you can't disconnect logical drives
    What I did was:
    I installed XP pro in the drive with letter C, then I installed the OS in the drive with letter E (since the partition was made after the set up, the CD-ROM has letter D).
    Now, what I was trying to do was to fix a problem with the OS in drive C, it didn't fix when I did the reinstall and that is why I installed in E, so I could at least use the PC for a few days.
    Then I erased the WINDOWS folder in C, and reinstalled Xp in C, so now when I boot the computer I have the OS choice to load WINDOWS XP Profesional or WINDOWS XP Profesional, but the first is on C drive, the second in E drive.
    Does it make sense??
    I just exlained all the process that I did, just to show I didn't use anythin extra. It is not needed to delete the windows folder. I was just trying to fix a previous problem, but I didn't have time to work on it, so I install another copy of the OS in the other drive, so I could pass by a couple of weeks. This was my computer at work, not home, so I had less time to play around. Otherwise I would never installed a seocnd OS even.
    Now, there si 2 bad point of having 2 XP OS (or 2 MS OS for that matter).
    One, if the OS is the same, it is more likely that it is dead space, because you will only work with one.
    You will be able to switch fast to the other OS in case you need it, but it will be as a brand new OS, so havng an image is a lot better.
    The other bad point is that you can still access the system files for that OS, so you might accidentally delete files, or progrmas might use the incorrect folder, depending of which OS you are using. At least different OS have different files version.

  11. #11
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    Quote:
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Yes, I have no problem running duplicate OS in 2 different partitions. I installed XP pro in the drive with letter C, then I installed the OS in the drive with letter E (since the partition was made after the set up, the CD-ROM has letter D). Now, what I was trying to do was to fix a problem with the OS in drive C, it didn't fix when I did the reinstall and that is why I installed in E, so I could at least use the PC for a few days. Then I erased the WINDOWS folder in C, and reinstalled Xp in C, so now when I boot the computer I have the OS choice to load WINDOWS XP Profesional or WINDOWS XP Profesional, but the first is on C drive, the second in E drive.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    David-

    Thx for the details. Your experience is different than mine. I can't help but think you may have the file "boot.ini" only on drive c, meaning you only have one boot file, but two OSs. This was most certainly my case when I installed the OS without disconnecting the 1st drive. Let me explain. The 1st time, I did this, I installed XP on drive c. No issue of course. Wanting on OS on drive F, I then installed XP, and I remember I had to somehow selected partition "F" and it wasn't a completely clear process. But I somehow managed to make it work, adn I had two OSs. HOwever, I realized later that while I had OS on each drive, C and F, the boot files were ONLY on drive C; my little book says this should be the case, too, but of course I didn't read this detail until too late. If I disconnected C (or if I wiped C clean, which is what I did--stop laughing!), I was unable to boot. But my OS was still on F, just without the necessary boot file and I couldn't force the boot.ini file onto drive C. I thus resolved the issue by reformatting & 1st installing the OS on drive C; then disconnecting drive C and installing an OS independently on drive "F." Thus, I forced a situation where there would boot.ini would reside independently on both drives. I was happy, but when I had probelms a month later, I wondered if what I had done was partly responsible for the problems. Hence my inquiry.

    My guess is thus that you have the boot file only on drive C, but two OSs. Or Perhaps XP-Pro works differently than my XP-Home? Also a possibility. I hope I've made sense.

    You answered by question and the details, helped. THX. I also took your advice, and rather than run two OSs and manage all the assorted issues, I just used Norton to make a copy/image of my drive and this will serve as my backup.

    Thx again for you time and the detailed reply. Comments on this are also welcome.

    Scott
    Last edited by smartin22; September 11th, 2003 at 03:37 AM.
    Core2 2.40GHz, 1066 FSB; MSI 975X Platinum V.2 975X , BIOS 7.5; 4x1GB Corsair DDR2-800; 600W Zalman Heatpipe; 1x250 GB Seagate SATA-2 + 2x750 GB Seagate SATA-2, RAID1 + 1x 750GB Seagate SATA-2; 2x SONY DRU-830A DVD/CD Combo; MSI GeForce 8600 GTS; Samsung 245BW; VISTA-Ultimate

  12. #12
    Succeded in braking Windo TZ Veteran Dehcbad25's Avatar
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    Glad that you could get the issue resolved or at least an alternative.
    Yes, I only have one boot.ini in C, and not in E where I have the other OS. With the explanation that you posted I can understand what was your problem, and you came up with the right explanation.
    Sorry it took me a while to answer, but I had been without computer for a while and hence disconnected from the world
    but always happy to help

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