Richard Howells' Blog

Upgrading My Boot Drive

My server is a tiny thing (1U rack mount) with only two drive bays. When I bought it 2x80Gb drives was as much as I wanted to pay for.

A year ago I junked the data drive and put in a 750Gb upgrade. That was easy. Restore the files – done.  Worst part was the four hours it took to format.

This week I bought a 2TB drive to upgrade the other drive.  I already know these big drives take a while to format so I did that on another machine .  It did take 17 hours to format  but the server wasn't affected by that.

It’s the boot drive this time so it’s not so easy. If I simply install the OS again then it’ll get allocated a new machine GUID and all the accounts will have different SID’s. It’s not insurmountable but it is a mega PITA.

So I thought I’d just install my copy of Ghost and use that to clone the boot volume onto the bigger drive. Sorted, two copies of the same personality on the two drives. Reassign the big drive as the boot drive. Done – surely?

Nope – my copy of Ghost will not run under Server 2003.

OK – slightly more annoying. Go out and buy another SATA cable. Stick both the server boot drive and the new drive in Matt’s machine. That’s the point when the server went offline - about 16:45 today.

Now use Ghost to copy the drives – simple – surely? Well Ghost was reluctant to install – Ghost 14 tolerates Windows 7 but does not like it very much. But it did install. Then it would not copy the volume. Some message about being unable to open the Volume Shadow Copy Service. Enabled VSC on the volume (can’t see why it needs it. There cannot be ANY open files on there) – didn’t work.

Discovered that the VSCS service wasn’t running. Manually started the service – no joy. Fooled about in Google for a while. Found another supposedly related service, manually started that – still no joy.

Tried LiveUpdate (supposed to get latest updates to Ghost) it hung half way through AND it corrupted Explorer in some way so ANY right click crashes Explorer. Learn interesting new ways of performing operations without a right click.

Downloaded a free program that’s supposed to be able to do the volume copy – no joy – it also bitched about Volume Shadow Copy Service.

Uninstalled/Reinstalled Ghost – got a bunch of crash messages (the runtime has requested this program to be terminated in an unusual way) from various components of the app.

Uninstalled Ghost – more crash messages – but at least Explorer right clicks are working properly again.

Bought Ghost 15 off the Symantec web site (I had 14 already) and 15 actually claims to work on Windows 7.  It's about 60USD for the upgrade.

Would not install – even more crash messages.

More Google – eventually found a post saying that when you uninstall Ghost it leaves some junk behind that you have to manually expunge

Whoopee – Ghost 15 installed OK.

Double Whoopee it looks like it’s copying the drive.

Triple Whoopee it claims to have finished – 20 minutes copying. It’s now 21:00!  Five hours since I took the server offline.  30 minutes was about how long I *expected* the server to be offline.

Server now booting – with drive just slung in the chassis – I’ll stop it and do the screws up in a minute if it’s working!

Looks OK – I can connect with remote desktop, accounts and passwords seems to work, security on the files seems undamaged, I’ve seen a web page. Whoopee.

I’m going to stop it, screw in the drive properly, restart and then it should be fine. If you see this then it’s handling email OK too.

*I* thought I had this upgrade well planned.

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