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Hi I am in an emergency situation right now. I DO have full backups of everything, but I am trying to avoid a complete reinstall of the OS and AD. I have a simple server with one drive that was set to Basic. I searched and searched for problems with converting it to dynamic, but everyone said to make sure I have a backup and just do it. So i did it, and now the system is stuck in a reboot cycle.

After researching this for hours it looks like most people boot to another OS with the failed drive in another slot, then run either dskprobe or a hex editor and change a particular hex number from 42 to 07. This tells the disk that it is basic, and I should be able to reboot.

I have tried dskprobe, and hex editor and TestDisk and in all of these I receive some form of error when trying to change this value. Dskprobe gives me a "Incomplete Data Write / Error writing sectors" error, the hex editor (HxD) gives me "the media is write protected", and TestDisk gives me similar.

Does anyone know how I can get past this? It seems like I am very close, and somehow I just need to unlock or un-protect this drive.

FYI - the drive is a 73GB 10K SCSI with one partition on it that has Windows 2003 Server. I just want to be able to boot that again!

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Why don't you tell us what type of reboot cycle it seems to be stuck in. Are there any messages on the screen when it boots/reboots? –  joeqwerty Mar 13 '11 at 19:46
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I have to ask, with a single drive why do you feel the ned to convert it to dynamic when there is no benefit in doing so? –  John Gardeniers Mar 13 '11 at 22:01
    
Actually there are 2 drive bays on the server (PowerEdge 1850), so the intent would be to have 2 dynamic drives and set up a software mirror. There is no hardware RAID in the server, so this was the only type of fault tolerance I could think of. Since this whole thing didnt work, I will not be converting it at all now. I am going to use Acronis to image the drive and if the drive fails, I will use that image plus our nightly backups for the restore. –  charnley Mar 14 '11 at 15:07
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I figured it out, and here is what I did.

I was booting to Win 2008 Server, and using the utilities from there. Since I was getting the write protection errors, I thought I would use diskpart and see what I could find.

In diskpart I selected the disk and looked at the settings - it showed the disk as read only. So I ran the command:

attributes disk clear readonly

This completed with no errors, and then I ran dskprobe again. This time when I saved the hex change I got no errors! I turned off the server, put that disk back in the original server and it booted up fine.

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+1 - Glad you got it figured out –  Mark Henderson Mar 13 '11 at 22:15
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