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  • Dynamic disk problem XP Pro SP2

    Hello,
    I have a "new" second-hand Dell Precision 650, dual Xeon, hyperthreading, 1GB ECC RAM, three U320 hard drives.

    I have had constant problems trying to make dynamic drives. There is always an error message telling me the operation cannot be completed. It's an available command, but it won't work. Naming the drives always occurs at some stage in a series of reboots by Explorer seeing the drive(s) and asking if it should be formatted.
    The information is near the bottom of this page, with one relevant image, viz.: http://mattoid.com/data/Life/TimeLin..._line_2007.htm

    Nowhere on the Dell or Microsoft or Adaptec sites have I come up with any answer to this problem, or even notification that it existed.

    Could anyone with any knowledge of why this should happen let me know?
    Regards,
    Paul
    [email protected]

  • #2
    Re: Dynamic disk problem XP Pro SP2

    What is the reasoning behind making the drives Dynamic?
    1 1 was a racehorse.
    2 2 was 1 2.
    1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
    2 2 1 1 2

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Dynamic disk problem XP Pro SP2

      Hello,
      If they aren't dynamic I can't use them in a RAID array, or spanned or whatever.
      Paul

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Dynamic disk problem XP Pro SP2

        The RAID option was removed from XP unless you use a hack. I would suggest you get a RAID controller for that purpose. Using software RAID puts a load on the processor. Hardware RAID uses the controller leaving the processor to do it's job without the extra overhead. RAID cards are now very cheap if you are only after RAID 0 and RAID 1. I can get an ITE 8212 (I think) card here in OZ for AUD$50. Works pretty well too. RAID 5 is a bit more expensive for a single channel and a lot more expensive for a 2 channel.

        ITE: http://www.ite.com.tw/product_info/P...uct_info_2.asp

        Promise also do RAID controller but I haven't used them myself.

        Adaptec I have used and and like. http://www.adaptec.com/en-US/_common/br_host/

        Oops, just noticed you have SCSI drives. Guess the controller price has just increased somewhat. This Dell does support RAID 0 and I would suggest eBay for an appropriate RAID controller. (Don't like RAID 0 myself though)
        1 1 was a racehorse.
        2 2 was 1 2.
        1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
        2 2 1 1 2

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Dynamic disk problem XP Pro SP2

          Hello,
          I have several RAID cards, spares, both Adaptec and Compaq, and I may use one in this box. However, I am more likely to use them in the servers elsewhere on my network.
          What I asked about was dynamic disks, which this box will not allow.
          There are several reasons why I would like to have this facility, not necessarily related to RAID.
          I have never had a computer in at least the past decade that would fail in this regard.
          So, at this point, I have found no root cause.
          Regards,
          Paul

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Dynamic disk problem XP Pro SP2

            Hello,
            Here's one good reason why I want to cure the problem: I received a 147GB U320 drive off eBay. It was set up as dynamic when received.
            Therefore, the Dell Precision would not recognise it. I couldn't change to basic disk, and had to remove it, place it in another computer, format and change to basic there.
            When replaced in the Dell it was recognised in Disk Management, but could not be imported or in any way altered.
            Reboot time again. Eventually recognised by Windows Explorer and reformatted, renamed and I am now copying the files that were on the smaller drive that this one is replacing.
            But, what a total fubar to have to go through just to have a drive work.
            Regards,
            Paul

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Dynamic disk problem XP Pro SP2

              I've had bad experience doing RAID mirroring on Windows Server... I'd highly recommend getting a hardware RAID controller.
              It's very usual that the disks get out of sync because the O/S can't keep up writing and reading from both drives at the same time, specially if they are different models.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Dynamic disk problem XP Pro SP2

                Originally posted by dickins_paul View Post
                ...
                But, what a total fubar to have to go through just to have a drive work.
                You would have had to "Import foreign disk" because when you move a dynamic disk from one computer to another this dynamic disk is flagged in Disk Manager as a foreign disk, so you gotta import it first, thus bypassing that fubar.
                Best wishes,
                PaulH.
                MCP:Server 2003; MCITP:Server 2008; MCTS: SBS2008

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Dynamic disk problem XP Pro SP2

                  Hello,
                  Don't think that I don't know about importing foreign disks, because I've done this a thousand times.
                  This computer, that is referenced in the earlier posts on this subject does try to import a drive. It never does it correctly, and only if the disk is determined by Windows Explorer to be a basic example. I am waiting for two SCA/68 pin adapters to arrive to determine if two more drives are seen by Explorer.
                  I have placed them in an ML570 and reverted to basic for both. They are now in the Dell awaiting connections. Two other 73GB U320 drives that came last week were placed in an eServer hot-swap bay and were immediately recognised at boot up, and in Disk Management; where they were formatted and named and were, as most if not all SCSI drives are when new, dynamic.
                  Another person who has a Dell Precision 650 has had a problem using SATA drives, and having them in the machine, on an adapter, screwed the SCSI drive recognition. Given the links between SATA, SAS and SCSI I'm not surprised.
                  The Dell Precision is a picky box, methinks.
                  I could not buy anything other than fully qualified, in this case Crucial ECC PC3200, RAM. Stuff I bought that I thought would be fine simply is not good enough. That's another story.
                  It is a fact, as I have previously mentioned, that a new SCSI drive is more often than not manufactured and set up as dynamic, otherwise Windows won't enable it to do certain tasks. This page has some relevant information: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/3234452/en-us

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Dynamic disk problem XP Pro SP2

                    This, quoted from this MS page: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308424/ , is also relevant:

                    If you upgraded from Windows 2000 to Windows XP, you can extend simple and spanned volumes only if the volume is created on a dynamic disk in Windows XP. Simple or spanned volumes that result from a basic to dynamic disk conversion in Windows 2000 cannot be extended.

                    Often, having had small drives, I have needed to span them to create useful space. Of course, given that I have servers and storage systems, the fact that one drive on one spanned set fails is immaterial.

                    And, I repeat, all I am trying to do is determine why a Dell Precision 650 won't live with a dynamic drive!!!

                    Regards,
                    Paul

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Dynamic disk problem XP Pro SP2

                      Hello,
                      The problem becomes more like a curse.
                      I received the two SCA/68 pin adapters today. I added them to the drives and started up the computer.
                      Drives not present in Windows Explorer.
                      Drives failed format demanding reboot because they were not enabled. Not true, the drives, like all others in the box, are definitely enabled.
                      Two reboots, one for each drive, following requests to format in Windows Explorer, and these two basic drives are currently fully operational.

                      So, it's a problem somewhere between Disk Management, Windows Explorer, &/or the Dell. Ridiculous situation.

                      But, at least I won't be adding more drives in this box for a while, assuming the life SCSI drives afford the user.
                      Regards,
                      Paul

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Dynamic disk problem XP Pro SP2

                        Hello,
                        A possible cause of this problem is maybe a result of the drives used.
                        This is from Google Groups for comp.sys.sun.hardware, where the following was written:

                        "Ebay. http://stores.ebay.com/The-Best-Deals-Anywhere <--- I've bought
                        all mine at this dealer. Price depends on the other bidders. Shipping
                        is always $15.99 with no combined shipping discount though if you order
                        multiples you can contact them by email to get the ORDERS combined into
                        a single payment and they will box them in a single package. I paid
                        under $60 each total with shipping.

                        They are refurb Fujitsu drives that come back showing up as "ModusLnk"
                        drives. Under Linux the 73GB drive shows as "ModusLnk MXJ3073SC800600X
                        5704" and the 147GB drives show *ONLY* "ModusLnk" with no serial/model
                        number. I need to play with that a bit as it's giving me fits
                        identifying the drives. Hot-swap is twitchy because drive
                        identification is VERY slot specific when they show no identifying
                        serial numbers for udev to pick up on.

                        I can't find any info on ModusLnk. Full drive refurb right down to the
                        firmware though."

                        I have discovered in my Microsoft boxes, especially the Dell Precision, that these drives can cause problems because they lack model and other recognition enablers. These are drives that the seller states are particular Fujitsu model designations in the eBay listings. When one receives the drives, either ModusLnk or Qualitas is shown as labelling, and nothing other than that, except in one machine, the eServer, is shown in hardware. The only drive in the eServer that gave me a problem was a ModusLnk with no identifier. The other two ModusLnk 73GB U320 drives had a model designation, and gave no problems. The one that did could not be kept dynamic, and kept giving me a name illegal when trying to access it under Windows Explorer. When I changed it to basic, it worked fine. The opposite to what my problem was in the Dell with the U320 147GB drives. Disk drive designations for the two machines are shown graphically at the bottom of this page: http://mattoid.com/data/Life/TimeLin..._line_2007.htm

                        Fascinating, if this is the main reason I've had so many problems. Note that one Maxtor in the Dell was a problem.
                        Regards,
                        Paul
                        Last edited by dickins_paul; 30th September 2007, 00:37. Reason: correction

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Dynamic disk problem XP Pro SP2

                          Hello,
                          The following is what I placed on the Dell forum today:

                          "Thank you for your reply.
                          On my mattoid page I have updated the information regarding ModusLnk drives, four of which I received today.
                          These are U320 SCA 147GB nominally Fujitsu.
                          They replaced some smaller drives in one of the server's cages, and I had no problems at all to import them through Adaptec Ctrl-A setup and with Disk Management in Windows after boot-up.
                          The computer runs W2kAS with all updates.
                          It would therefore seem likely that it is the Dell itself &/or its relationship with XP Pro SP2+ that has the root problem regarding dynamic and other drive problems.
                          I shall, when I find another U320 147GB drive, install it and see what happens: these drives give a model number, or at least they showed that in the Adaptec part of the boot-up, and also a revision number which I have not seen in other of my computers, even those with array possibilities."

                          I am, therefore, no nearer to discovering the cause of the problem with the Dell Precision 650/XP and drive set up.
                          Regards,
                          Paul

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Dynamic disk problem XP Pro SP2

                            Again posted on the Dell Workstation forum:

                            START
                            Hello,
                            I have reserved another Dell Precision (a fool for punishment?) at the same store I bought the one under discussion.

                            Given that I had a new unused 36GB U320 in hand, which I am selling to another Precision 650 owner, I took it down to the store. We placed the drive in my reserved machine, and, after fixing an error with ID numbering, the machine started up cleanly.

                            Now, this is the sole proviso, it is a Windows 2000 machine. But, it recognised the drive, which was immediately formatted and named, and it was a dynamic drive out of the box.

                            Seemingly, my original 650 has a flaw, that I cannot cure. When it's brought home, the second machine will be updated to XP Pro, and then we'll see if it still can natively accept U320 dynamic drives.

                            END

                            Regards,
                            Paul

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Dynamic disk problem XP Pro SP2

                              Please keep us updated on the outcome. This is becoming interesting. Thanks.
                              1 1 was a racehorse.
                              2 2 was 1 2.
                              1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                              2 2 1 1 2

                              Comment

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