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XPpro/2000 Native RAID 1

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On a another forum this was posted:

For home use, an article in the German computer magazine C'T (Computer Technik, www.heise.de/ct) showed how to modify some DLL's of XP Pro and 2000Pro to their server-versions, so 2000/XP Pro can handle software RAID1 and 5, instead of only RAID0.

Has anyone done this or have an English translation of how to do this?

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I just posted an article about the c't patch today. The article is in dutch but you'll understand the graphs. It compares Cheetah 10K.6 single drive performance to 3-drive software RAID 5 and LSI MegaRAID Elite 1600 hardware RAID 5 setups in Winbench, ATTO and IOMeter.

http://www.tweakers.net/reviews/373

The hack is fairly easy. Follow the steps below:

1) Copy the following files to a alternate location:

system32driversdmboot.sys

system32dmconfig.dll

system32dmadmin.exe

2) Open the files in a hex editor. Replace 'SERVERNT' / 'servernt' with 'WINNT' / 'winnt'. Replace the original occurances of 'WINNT' / 'winnt' with 'SERVERNT' / 'servernt' .

3) Copy the files back to their original location. You can do this from the recovery console or directly from Windows. Don't let Windows replace the files with the originals from the installation cd.

copy dmboot.sys system32drivers

copy dmboot.sys system32dllcache

copy dmconfig.dll system32

copy dmconfig.dll system32dllcache

copy dmadmin.exe system32

copy dmadmin.exe system32dllcache

4) Reboot

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Of course it violates the EULA. MS is not about to allow people to modify their DLL's.

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Does anybody have any experience with this or Server's software RAID1? Specifically Three questions:

* can one drive be a RAMDISK and the other a harddisk?

* will the array be rebuilt onto the RAMDISK automatically?

* are software RAID1 arrays bootable, particularly a "broken" array as above?

I think most of us will find the answers interesting because the setup above has the potential to provide instantaneous RAMDRIVE seeks with robust harddisk reliability some milliseconds later.

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Win software RAID 1 is bootable, tho you may have to change boot.ini to point to the remaining functioning drive in case of failure. Actually you could set up such a boot option in advance of a failure, simplyfying the whole procedure.

As for a RAMDISK, I have my doubts, because the disk driver starts up during the Win boot process. I've never seen anything one way or the other though.

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Does anybody have any experience with this or Server's software RAID1?  Specifically Three questions:

* can one drive be a RAMDISK and the other a harddisk?

* will the array be rebuilt onto the RAMDISK automatically?

* are software RAID1 arrays bootable, particularly a "broken" array as above?

I think most of us will find the answers interesting because the setup above has the potential to provide instantaneous RAMDRIVE seeks with robust harddisk reliability some milliseconds later.

An interesting idea, my first thought is that you would need a BIOS level app to create the ramdrive, so that windows could detect it as "broken" and rebuild it. I'm sure others can come up with other reasons it won't work....

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I doubt it will work automaticly. Specificly MS raid writes a signiture on the raided drives to identify them. Upon reboot, that signiture would not be there, so The raid drivers would look at it as a brand new drive (not part of the raid-set). Thus there would be no auto-rebuilding. The raid set would have to be manually re-created every boot.

Even if the signiture could be manually recreated there would be problems. How The raid detects a need to re-build would have to be modified. Specificly, the only time Windows re-builds an array automaticly is when the machine is shut down incorrectly. All other times, that I can think of, Windows simply labels the drive as failed. The failed drive would have to be removed and re-added to the mirror (manually).

Assuming that the rebuild sub-system can be fooled. Then one needs to make sure that the proper drive that gets the data. It would be incredibly sad for the blank ram disk to be coppied over to the good HD.

With all the above being said. I would actually be interested in finding out what performance benefits a raid-1 Ram/Hard disk would actually create. I think it is worth testing to see if there would be any benefits at all: I may be that Windows applies both reads and writes to both drives and waits for the slower one regardless. It is an intrieging thought.

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Has anyone been succesful doing this?

I can't boot after I modify the files :(

Using XP Pro SP1

i would suggest buying a simple hardware raid controller, something cheap/software-based. you won't have to worry about your hack getting overwritten by a security update or service pack.

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Does this still work with the current MS updates? I made the changes and (verified multiple times), but I still just have the original 3 options

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it does work with all the latest patches + sp1/sp1a etc. make sure you did it correctly, and preferably replace the file from recovery console or another o/s. XP/2000 tends to replace your hacked files with the original version even if system file protection is disabled.

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I have tested the method above and it works. I am using Windows XP SP1. Maybe I can straigten a couple of things out though. You dont have to change all refrences of "winnt" and "servernt". There is only one line in each file needing changes.

Backup the following files to a "work" directory whare you can

use HexWorkshop to edit them:

c:\windows\system32\drivers\dmboot.sys

c:\windows\system32\dmadmin.dll

c:\windows\system32\dmboot.sys

In "dmboot.sys"

go to hex offset, 0000F1F0

In "dmadmin"

go to hex offset, 00001C30

In "dmconfig.sys"

go to hex offset, 00005140

When you have edited them, first copy all three modified files in to

c:\windows\system32\cache

or else when you replace the actual files, they will restore to what was cached.

Then over-write the original's and restart.

The best documentation is here:

http://faq.storagereview.com/tiki-index.ph...e=desktopmirror

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