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I have a demo server that I brought over with me to Berlin for TechEd 2009, I booted the server up after I arrived and I got a message saying "Missing Operating System".

I carried on the server and it didn't get jarred or bumped. It's running Windows 2008 Server R2 Enterprise with two Intel X25-M 160GB SSD drives.

I checked the connections to the drives and they're tight. Anything I should troubleshoot? I'm trying to get my hands on an OS disk so I can boot to the command prompt to see if I can see anything there.

Thank you

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2 Answers

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SSD's can fail just like anything else and NAND Flash based drives have some more interesting failure modes than other electronics as they are basically one huge exercise in managing statistical failure in the first place. Ars Technica published a nice overview of the history and state of the art of SSD storage this week that explains why.

Have you got any more details on the specific Intel SSD model (although if it's 128GB then I think it must be an X-25E) and whether you made any specific tweaks to the system. While the drives are excellent Intel have had issues with firmware releases, the most recent one for the X-25M G2 resulted in some drives getting bricked under Windows 7 (before it was pulled) and its likely that the same could happen with W2K8R2.

Are these set up as two standalone drives\RAID-0 or as a RAID-1 pack? If it's a RAID config then it's also possible that something went wrong at the controller level.

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Helvick, they're Intel X25-M 160GB (I corrected my original post) set up as standalone drives. I'm flying back from Berlin in a couple of days and am carrying on the server again. Will be interesting to see if this happens again. –  George Durzi Nov 10 '09 at 11:08
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There are some possible reasons for this:

  • The machine's BIOS doesn't detect the hard disk
  • The boot hard drive is damaged
  • Sector 0 of the hard disk has an damaged master boot record ( third-party programs or disk corruption can damage an MBR)
  • An incompatible partition is marked as "active"
  • A partition that contains the MBR is no longer active

If the MBR is corrupted, you could try to boot from the Windows installation DVD-ROM and use the

bootrec.exe

command. Here is a desciption of the utility: How to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment to troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows.

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Thanks, when I try to access the primary drive from a command prompt, it says "the volume does not contain a recognized file system". Can SSD's get fried like this?? –  George Durzi Nov 8 '09 at 10:47
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