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  • SBS 2003 disk with bad sectors

    Hi there,

    Thanks in advance to all who reply. I have a client with a Dell PE1800 running sbs 2003. The server has three 146GB disks. (One disk is taken offsite each month after it is Ghosted and then brought back and swapped every 4 weeks) They have a tape backup and also once a week do a Ghost backup from disk 0 to disk 1. All has been fine until this week. They reported that Ghost was failing at approx 80%. When I investigated and ran the Dell DSET diagnostics, it turns out that disk 0 has developed some bad sectors.

    At the moment the OS boots fine and all data is still accessible. If it had not been for Ghost, the bad sectors would not have been identified and the system may have continued to work until a major crash. What I am looking for is the best method to migrate this data to another disk so I can dump the bad drive. Is there a best method already detailed somewhere?

    At the moment they have:
    1 x 146gb disk 0 with bad sectors
    1 x 146gb disk with 80% ghost
    1 x 146gb disk with perfect Ghost image but data is 1 month old.

    Many thanks.

    John.
    Last edited by Ghostbuster; 18th June 2010, 08:27.

  • #2
    Re: SBS 2003 disk with bad sectors

    Is RAID involved at all?

    If so, just replace drives one at a time

    If not, I recommend you run chkdsk (check the switches) to mark bad sectors
    Ghost to another drive (external)
    Replace failed drive (consider at least RAID 1 if you have the option)
    Re-ghost
    Tom Jones
    MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
    PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
    IT Trainer / Consultant
    Ossian Ltd
    Scotland

    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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    • #3
      Re: SBS 2003 disk with bad sectors

      Originally posted by Ossian View Post
      Is RAID involved at all?

      If so, just replace drives one at a time

      If not, I recommend you run chkdsk (check the switches) to mark bad sectors
      Ghost to another drive (external)
      Replace failed drive (consider at least RAID 1 if you have the option)
      Re-ghost
      Thanks Ossian,

      No RAID involved. I ran chkdsk yesterday evening remotely. The OS could not do it without a reboot as files were in use so I could not see the results. I have requested that the client does a Ghost using the -FRO switch so I will see how that progresses and if sucessful, I will dump the old disk.

      Cheers.

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      • #4
        Re: SBS 2003 disk with bad sectors

        I know an 1800 would almost definitely be out of basic warranty, but contact Dell, get them to send you a replacement disk.


        might cost.. but it'll resolve the situation
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        • #5
          Re: SBS 2003 disk with bad sectors

          Originally posted by tehcamel View Post
          I know an 1800 would almost definitely be out of basic warranty, but contact Dell, get them to send you a replacement disk.


          might cost.. but it'll resolve the situation

          Hi tehcamel,

          They have three disks in total. Disk 0 is the O/S disk which also contains all the data. Disk 1 and disk 2 are used for Ghosting on a regular basis. Disk 2 is kept offsite and disk 1 is in the machine. They ghost from disk 0 to disk 1 weekly and then each month disk 2 is brought in and swapped with disk 1.

          The issue is with the OS disk andf the bad sectors. I can use wither of the two remaining disks but Ghost will not complete an image to either disk 1 or disk 2 because of the bad sectors.

          In general, is there an MS best practice solution for a customer that has a failing disk but it is still booting and all of the data is intact. I do not want to have to wipe a frest disk and start from scratch and move data etc. Can the AD and all other stuff not be migrated and restored?

          Cheers.

          John.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: SBS 2003 disk with bad sectors

            1. contact dell, arrange a replacement drive. Get them to send it out, not send a tech
            2. schedule downtime
            3. ghost disk0 to NewDisk
            4. Remove Disk0, replace it with newdisk
            5. Send Disk0 to dell. (They ask you to send back the faulty disk)
            6. continue as normal.


            so what you've done, is replaced your faulty disk, with a brand new, known good disk., You haven't had to reinstall, or reformat, or do anything but place the freshly created ghost iamge on the new disk.


            Seems to me to be the best way forward....

            There's probably various other permutations of that scenario above as well.
            Basically though, use your ghost image on a new drive, use the new drive to replace the old drive, continue as normal
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            • #7
              Re: SBS 2003 disk with bad sectors

              That'll get you up and running again, but I would strongly recommend you implement RAID for proper redundancy as soon as possible.
              Gareth Howells

              BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

              Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

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              • #8
                Re: SBS 2003 disk with bad sectors

                Originally posted by tehcamel View Post
                1. contact dell, arrange a replacement drive. Get them to send it out, not send a tech
                2. schedule downtime
                3. ghost disk0 to NewDisk
                4. Remove Disk0, replace it with newdisk
                5. Send Disk0 to dell. (They ask you to send back the faulty disk)
                6. continue as normal.


                so what you've done, is replaced your faulty disk, with a brand new, known good disk., You haven't had to reinstall, or reformat, or do anything but place the freshly created ghost iamge on the new disk.


                Seems to me to be the best way forward....

                There's probably various other permutations of that scenario above as well.
                Basically though, use your ghost image on a new drive, use the new drive to replace the old drive, continue as normal

                Thanks tehcamel,

                My problem is with step 3 of your suggestion which is what I tried to do originally but Ghost will not complete the image because of the bad sectors on disk0. The client was supposed to do ghost with the -FRO switch at the weekend and I am still waiting to see how they got on but my normal contact is out today and wont be back until tomorrow morning.

                Thanks again for your help.

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                • #9
                  Re: SBS 2003 disk with bad sectors

                  use scandisk to try and repair the sectors as well.
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                  • #10
                    Re: SBS 2003 disk with bad sectors

                    Why would you use this method? I am sure all this swapping of disks that were not designed to be swapped contribute to your troubles - and the down time is unneccessary IMHO.
                    As others have said, use RAID 1 (mirror) - with Hot-Swap, if desired - and backup to external USB disks, which are not expensive these days. Rotate the USB disks for off-site and life will be simpler....
                    TIA

                    Steven Teiger [SBS-MVP(2003-2009)]
                    http://www.wintra.co.il/
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                    • #11
                      Re: SBS 2003 disk with bad sectors

                      Originally posted by teiger View Post
                      Why would you use this method? I am sure all this swapping of disks that were not designed to be swapped contribute to your troubles - and the down time is unneccessary IMHO.
                      As others have said, use RAID 1 (mirror) - with Hot-Swap, if desired - and backup to external USB disks, which are not expensive these days. Rotate the USB disks for off-site and life will be simpler....

                      Thanks for your reply teiger. Even though the disks are "hot swap" disks, I agree that you would imagine the swapping would have an effect on the MTBF (More the bumping around of the drive while away from the server than the hot swap process itself) but it is actually disk0 that has developed bad sectors and that has never been removed from the system. There is actually only one swap and that happens every month so only 12 times a year. The are always two disks in the machine at any one time. The reason they use Ghost is so they can get back up and running instantly in the event of a complete failure of disk 0 and then restore any missing data from tape. If they delete a file in error, they can restore them faster from the Ghost drive than from tape as well which they like. In the event of software or registry corruption stopping the server booting, not mirroring the drives gives them a bit more protection as only one drive would be corrupt. I do agree that a RAID 5 scenario would be better but this is a client I inherited with their system already in place and times are tough so selling them a new system or redoing their server from scratch is not a runner unless they have no other choice.

                      Cheers.
                      Last edited by Ghostbuster; 22nd June 2010, 16:08.

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                      • #12
                        Re: SBS 2003 disk with bad sectors

                        raid 1 with shadow config is much easier!

                        Run chkdsk /r for a full check
                        Your eventlog will show you the results if a reboot is necesary(which is necesarry because of the pagefile);
                        Please give points where appropriate

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                        • #13
                          Re: SBS 2003 disk with bad sectors

                          Insted of Hot swap drives... just use USB?

                          Its been years since a need for a hot swap drive to be used as offsite storage/back up, and its not the best idea becuse Windows can not correctly dismount the drive before removal.

                          As everyone else has said, I would recommend a RAID 1 with Shadow copy, tape backup, and a Month 1 TB USB hard drive backup. Just slam everything on it(use a basic snapshot ult to grab the OS drive), and worry about it never :P.

                          That will give them exactuly the same recovery options as before, except single file recovery will be much simpler, recovery for a dead drive will be instant and seemless, and if the server burns down, you have a 1TB drive to store more then a single image file.

                          Wofen
                          Good to be back....

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                          • #14
                            Re: SBS 2003 disk with bad sectors

                            I have to add to this as in normal circumstances a ghost solution is more of a DR solution and not a backup solution. Tape Backups can have a longer append life so you can go to a file that was deleted 3 weeks ago and still recover it relatively easily if you have the right tape.I would recommend using a backup solution to tape over and above your imagine solution. Also keeping in mind this is probably a good time to try get them to upgrade to sbs2008 with a new server and backup solution. Keeping in mind a RAID 5/ Mirror.

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