dynamic disks on vista or software raid 0

#1
Hello there
I'm new here, just registered. I was searching a lot for my problem, and I found helpful ppl with knowledge on this forum... so I hope you can help me.

I have two SATA II HDDs; when I had only win xp I converted them into dynamic disks, made couple same-sized partitions on each, and then I created striped volumes which are software RAID 0. After this was done, XP was booting fine, I moved my page file to one of the striped volumes... well it worked fine and fast.

I decided to have dual boot system: vista+xp
After installing vista on one of partitions on dynamic disk, then reinstalling, then deleting all partitions and installing vista after xp, then xp after vista, and so on many times, I figured out that vista wouldn't install if it's system partition is on the dynamic disk. If I install it on the basic disk, it works ‘till I try to convert it to dynamic disk again. Right after conversion it to dynamic, vista boot loader doesn't start, giving me only weird command-prompt-like looking set of commands.

Is there any way to make vista work on the dynamic disk so I will be able to create striped volumes? I was trying to avoid using vista boot loader directly, but looks like XP boot.ini won’t work with vista, so it looks like there is no way to avoid using boot loader... or is there?

It’s a big minus to vista, if there is no way to have vista on dynamic drive – xp can work there without any problem

please help
thanks
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#2
Hello sanek_a and Welcome to NeoSmart Technologies. :smile:

Well i dont know much about the Vista RAID issue but i can say this.

No the boot.ini for XP can not load VIsta. Yes you do need the Vista bootloader to boot Vista. I dont know if GRUB would help or if NeoGRUB would help you here either. But i know that the BCD is at least required from my knowledge to boot Vista.

As for the RAID issue could it just be that Vista is not recognizing your RIAD config? I mean if you installed it that way it should see it after you installed. The BCD shouldnt have gotten corrupted that quickly.

Vista SATA RAID corrupted boot - Google Search

It seems this is a common issue. Mostly related to Vista needed the drivers for hte RAID configuration.

PS. I think it is dynamic. :wink:
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#3
Hello & welcome to NST, sanek.

Alex is right, it's simply a matter of getting Vista to recognize the needed drivers *at boot time*

By default, Vista only enables the bare necessities during boot. If it thinks it doesn't need a driver, it won't load it (this was part of the attempt to make good on the 6-second boot promise).

I had this issue just the other day when switching from IDE to AHCI mode for my SATA drive; the solution is described by MS here: Error message when you start a Windows Vista-based computer after you change the SATA mode of the boot drive:


At any rate, have you tried this:
Create a small, NTFS, primary, active, non-dynamic partition at the start of the drive - this will be the boot partition.
Install Vista to a different partition, and convert it to dynamic?

That way the system disk won't be a dynamic disk.

Addendum:

What version of Vista are you running? From the MS website:

Note: Only Windows Vista Enterprise and Windows Vista Ultimate editions support dynamic disks.
 
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#4
thank you, guys for your replies.
I probably wasn't clear enough: I don't have any raid drivers as I don't have raid controller at all.
Key frase was: "I created striped volumes which are software RAID 0"; it's windows managed raid, no drivers needed. I did it on XP and I want to do same on the vista. However, to do this, i need to convert basic disks to dynamic first. if this would be done without problem, I'm sure that I would be able to create striped volumes (software raid 0). Unfortunally, there is a problem. Vista can convert system drive into dynamic, and it looks fine at first: I can create any type of volume, change them, run anything I want on vista, but only untill next restart. because next time vista tries to start, vista boot loader is not found.
I can also start vista istallation on dynamic disk. It will copy and install everything. It will ask me for my name, computer name, and other stuff you have to choose during istallation; and then it won't find boot loader during restart in the very end of insallation :frowning:

Addendum:

At any rate, have you tried this:
Create a small, NTFS, primary, active, non-dynamic partition at the start of the drive - this will be the boot partition.
Install Vista to a different partition, and convert it to dynamic?

That way the system disk won't be a dynamic disk.


What version of Vista are you running?
I have ultimate, it should work fine (in theory)

I don't think it's possible to have one basic and one dynamic partition on the drive. if you convert disk to dynamic, you convert whole HDD, with every partition and logical drive on it.

I thought for a minute that I can do what you suggested. However, instead of another partion on the same drive, I would use very small HDD (third one :smile: ). However, now I'm not sure that this will work: boot loader is in system 32, right? then it will be on dynamic partion no matter what, won't it? or I missed anything?
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#5
Ah, I understand what you're saying now (the last bit about being able to install Vista to a dynamic disk really helps :smile:)

OK, can you set it up so that your *boot* drive is the *Vista* drive which is also a dynamic disk?

The moment you get into Vista, run EasyBCD | Useful Utilities | Power Console:
Code:
bcdedit.exe /set {current} device boot
bcdedit.exe /set {current} osdevice boot
The above is assuming the Vista bootloader can't find the Vista installation. If it's actually that the Vista bootloader itself isn't found, we'll need to do something else. The exact error message you get on reboot would help clear that up.


Addendum:


I thought for a minute that I can do what you suggested. However, instead of another partion on the same drive, I would use very small HDD (third one :smile: ). However, now I'm not sure that this will work: boot loader is in system 32, right? then it will be on dynamic partion no matter what, won't it? or I missed anything?
No, the bootloader is in a folder called "BOOT" on the boot drive.

However, it all depends on exactly what error you get. If the bootloader cannot be found, that would solve the problem. If the bootloader cannot find Vista, it won't.
 
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#6
thanks
error message says that the bootloader cannot be found

can boot folder be moved to another drive after installation? (I understand that copy/paste won't help here)
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#7
The boot folder can be moved to another drive, but it *must* be the active partition on the drive you boot from.

Addendum:

What happens if you keep your Vista DVD in the drive, boot from the DVD (in the BIOS), but *DO NOT* press any key when asked to press any key to continue?
 
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Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#8
Now here is my question. I understand what you are trying to do. I understand what you are saying. But this is what i am pondering.

"I created striped volumes which are software RAID 0"; it's windows managed raid, no drivers needed
Are you even Sure Vista is capable of such a thing? It is software managed but by which software? Via Windows? How do we know that the RAID configuration wasnt chagned from XP to Vista and that is why this is not working?

From what i am seeing on a google search is that the soaftware RAID for Vista is not what it was like for XP. For Vista it is more hardware based than software and that could be why you are running into this issue.

From what i am seeing it is this that is causing the issues you are experiencing here. Unless my searches are all wrong, which they could be. It seems that the software RAID support in Vista is different than it was in XP.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#9
Well Dynamic Disks *are* software-controlled raid. The "dynamic" part of it is the software RAID controller, and ships with Windows (and has since 2000).

He's creating a _new_ striped dynamic disk, and it's not booting.

The concept of Software LVM/RAID via dynamic disks (whether striped or mirrored) has not changed since it was first introduced. IT is the same in XP and Vista.
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#10
Okay i get that now kinda. But he talks about how he installs Vista then converts it. Wouldnt that be what is corrupting Vista boot? I mean it would be like swtiching XP fiel system from Fat32 to NTFS wouldnt it?

Just trying to figure out this whole RAID thing. I never liked it and have to get used to working with it.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#11
Well, converting Windows 98 from FAT32 to NTFS doesn't stop it from booting :smile:

I'm actually wondering what happens if he tries to repair the Vista bootloader with the recovery center after it fails to boot.
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#12
Cool now we are getting somewhere. :tongueout:

In theroy it should fix this issue. Of course in theory it shouldnt occur. But we all know how well theory plays out in PC usage.
 
#13
I'm actually wondering what happens if he tries to repair the Vista bootloader with the recovery center after it fails to boot.
it just doesn't work. it finds vista intallation, then it tries to repaired it, gives message that's all finished, but nothing changes in the boot process.
the only way to get vista back, is to delete all partitions, create new one, and install vista there. but when you delete all partitions, disk is not dynamic anymore

you can skip all this raid thing, as this will be done only after I will be able to boot vista on dynamic disk.(if I ever will) There is no raid now.


...and thank you again for trying to help me :smile:

did I miss any question? I think Computer Guru answered most of them :smile:
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#16
Automatic repair only worked once for me when I was running basic IDE disks only :lol:
Don't let that get you down :tongueout: