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Recover from former Win 2003 mirror

This is a discussion on Recover from former Win 2003 mirror within the Windows Servers forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi, I have been lurking here for sometime and hope you can offer me some advice. I was in the


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Old 01-24-2011, 03:37 AM   #1
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Hi,
I have been lurking here for sometime and hope you can offer me some advice.

I was in the process of migrating data from one disk to another in Windows 2003 SP2 by using the host-based mirroring feature. I had one 500GB HDD which I mirrored to another. We'll call these disks DISKA (original) and DISKB (new disk). When the mirroring was complete, I removed DISKA from the mirror but did not remove it from the system. The partition on DISKB was fine until it failed catastrophically taking all the data with it.
I now have DISKA which used to be the mirror for this partition sitting there showing empty - can I recover the partition from this DISKA?

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Old 01-24-2011, 11:36 AM   #2
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No backups?

Next step would be data recovery software.

Something has to be terribly wrong to have both drives behave as you describe.

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Old 01-24-2011, 01:08 PM   #3
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Well actually DISKA is behaving exactly as planned. I removed it from the mirror on purpose. It shows up in Disk Manager as having no partition on it, but as it was part of the mirror, I'm sure it would have the data on it. If this were Unix I could just use the volume and mount it up, but it seems it's not so straight forward in Windows.
There are backups, just not from after the mirror was broken and I'd like to get back the latest data possible.
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:21 PM   #4
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When you break a mirror both disks have the same partition same data up
to the point of the mirror break.

You say the partition is now blank. If this is your understanding of how software mirroring works, I hate to inform you, this is not the case.

You have something else going on here for BOTH drives partitions to have gone gunnybags. It is almost like you mirrored a blank partition to a populated one.

If you believe the partition contains deleted data than a data recovery programs should confirm this and recover your files for you.
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:57 PM   #5
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I've done this planty of times before. Mirror DISKA and DISKB as a mirrored pair, remove either disk to leave one disk behind (as a fully functioning D: drive for example) and the other then has no volume on it. It makes sense, you can't have two D: drives on a system. I have done that this time, but after I broke the mirror (and some time afterwards - it wasn't the act of mirroring itself which caused any issues) the disk failed. To be clear, after I broke the mirror, my D: drive was fine until the hardware failure some hours later, I did not mirror a blank drive. All I want to know is if I can recover the first disk which was removed from the mirrored pair earlier and which is functioning just fine at a hardware level.
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:55 PM   #6
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You are confusing not assigning a drive letter to a partition as a partition being empty. This is not the case.

You say you had a hardware failure that lead to losing diskb. Yet we have no explaination as to what happened to diska's 2nd partition which you now say is blank.

You seem you have made up your mind how these things work so I am not going to debate you on the topic.

To answer the question of can you recover the first disk, this will depend on if a data recovery program sees data there. If so, it should be able to recover it.

Good luck in your endeavors.
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:54 AM   #7
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I never mentioned anything about a 2nd partition. When I remove a disk from a mirror in windows 2003 the disk you remove then does not have a volume, ignoring disk failures. Give it a try. Mirror two disk in W2K3 then remove one from the mirror, leaving an un-mirrored volume and a simple colume.

Two disks mirrored:
* Right click one of the disks in the pair, choose "Remove Mirror"
* Choose either disk, press OK
* The disk you removed in now marked as "Unallocated"
The only thing I can do with that disk now in disk manager is look at its properties or create a "New Volume..."


I haven't "made up my mind" I'm just telling you what happens on my systems, and I can only assume, all systems. Perhaps I am confusing the terms "partition" and "volume", but I can only tell you what I see.
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:20 AM   #8
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Remove mirror is not the same as break the mirror.

You have three options;
1. delete the mirror - deletes both drives mirrors
2. remove the mirror - removes the drives mirrored data - you can choose either drive.
3. break the mirror set - keeps both drives mirrored data

I am not following why you would want to mirror and then chose to delete [remove] that mirrored data.
Since the primary drives partition is also blank did you choose the wrong disk to remove the mirror from?

My concern here is you are working with failing hardware whether it be drives or the host controller.

This data recovery had some good reviews concerning your situation.
Data Recovery - Data Recovery Software - RAID Recovery - NAS Data Recovery
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:21 PM   #9
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I "sort of" get what he's talking about, but it still (to me) defies logic, but that's neither here nor there. I'll assume you've created the array using the disk management tool in the server so it's a completely software (as opposed to hardware controller) array. The only thing I could think of is to see if the drive would be recognizable in another machine. I'll assume it was formatted NTFS so it should be seen by most newer versions of windows. Have you tried that? If the drive that remained in the "array" is corrupted and you can't access the drive at all, then I'd suggest that the only real option is to either connect in to another computer and run recovery tools on it, or take it to a data recovery center. I can tell from experiences with clients that recovery centers will charge a pretty penny, I'd think $2000+ to attempt to recover data from even a small drive.

If I could ask, why would you mirror the drives and then remove one? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of creating the array, which is data redundancy in case of drive failure?

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