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Make mirror drive primary

    General discussion

  • Here's the step-by-step I used when the primary drive failed completely on my software RAID 1 installation of Windows Server 2016. This will not work if you have not mirrored both the "reserved" and drive C: partitions. All you need to do this, is a Windows 8.1 installation CD or higher. If you have the installation media bootable from a USB drive, that will work too.

    1) Remove primary boot drive from computer (The one that failed)

    2) Unplug the secondary mirror drive from the SATA port and plug it into the SATA port the primary (failed) drive was plugged into.

    3) Using a Windows 8.1 or higher CD, boot the computer  “as if” you are installing the OS from the CD. (It does not matter if you use a different CD from the OS installed. You will not be installing anything from this CD.)

    4) Select the option to repair your computer

    5) Select Troubleshoot, then Command Prompt. Note your click path to get to a command prompt may be different, depending on what startup disk you use. (Windows 8.1 or higher)

    6) enter DISKPART and press enter get get into the disk partitioning utility.

    7) Enter LIST DISK and this will show you a list of the hard drives installed in the computer. DISK 0 will be the working mirror drive that we will make the active primary drive for this computer.

    8) Enter SELECT DISK 0

    9) Enter LIST PART to list the partitions on the disk.

    10 The partition you want to make active is the one that has an offset value of exactly 1024KB. For the purposes of this guidance, we will assume it is partition 2.

    11) Enter SELECT PART 2

    12) Enter ACTIVE

    13) Enter EXIT to exit the disk partitioning command line utility.

    14) Remove the installation CD you used from the CD drive. (This is important!)

    15) Boot the computer, and when the boot menu appears manually select the secondary plex as the drive to boot. Let the operating system start and then log on if necessary.

    16) Press CNTL-R, enter “control” (without the quotes) in the run box and press enter or click OK to open control panel.

    17) In control panel select System

    18) On the left, select Advanced System Settings.

    19) Under the Advanced tab click on the settings button in the Startup and Recover section.

    20) In the default Operating System pull down menu select the secondary plex drive. Then OK out of everything

    21) Reboot the computer and it should reboot to the login menu without any user intervention.

    22) Log on to the computer and run a command prompt with admin privledges.

    23) Enter BCDEDIT /Enum

    This will list everything in the boot settings file (formerly the BOOT.INI file). One entry will have “secondary plex” in the description field and its identifier 2 lines above that will be {current]. For example, if this is Windows Server 2016 you’re dealing with here, the last boot option will have for its description, “Windows Server 2016 – Secondary plex” with an identifier of {current] and the one above it will have a description of just “Windows Server 2016” with an identifier GUID in the format {xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx}

    We need to do two things here. First, delete the boot entry with the alpha-numeric identifier. Second, rename the boot entry with the [current] identifier to “Windows Server 2016” so as to remove the words “secondary plex” from it’s description.

    24) Write down the alpha-numeric identifier, including the squiggly brackets and the dashes.

    25) Enter BCDEDIT /delete {identifier]

    For example:  BCDEDIT /delete {A7GRSTLN-1542-3642-0001-ABRG54E62LPY}

    That deletes the pointer to the original (failed) drive. Now lets rename that secondary plex so as to remove the words “secondary plex” from it’s description.

    26) Enter BCDEDIT /SET {current} description “Windows Server 2016”

    27) Now reboot the computer and that does it. This is now the primary boot drive for the computer by default, and if you wish to install a new mirror drive and mirror it via RAID 1, you most certainly can.

    Thursday, August 9, 2018 9:33 PM