How to Mirror (RAID1) Boot GPT Hard Drive on Windows 10/ Server 2016?

In this text we‘ll present you the way to create a software program mirror (RAID1) from two GPT disks with Windows Server 2016/Windows 10 put in for UEFI. We’ll take into account a full-featured BCD bootloader configuration that gives appropriate Windows boot and protects your OS and knowledge in case of any drive failure.

So, I’ve a easy laptop with an UEFI structure and two equivalent 50GB disks, however with out built-in RAID controller. Our activity is to set up an OS (Windows Server 2016, Windows 10 or a ) on the primary GPT disk after which create a software program mirror (RAID1) from two disks.

In most instances, if you happen to select between software program and RAID, you’d higher choose the latter. Motherboards with an built-in bodily RAID controller can be found even for residence customers right this moment.

Write an set up Windows ISO picture on a DVD/, boot your laptop from this system (within the UEFI mode, not the Legacy one) and run the set up of Windows Server 2016.

After the set up is full, open Disk Management snap-in (diskmgmt.msc) to be sure that the primary disk is utilizing GPT (Disk Properties -> Volumes -> Partition type –> GUID partition desk), and the second is empty (unallocated).

Preparing GPT Partition Table for a Mirror on Disk 2

install windows on gpt disk

Run the command immediate with the administrator privileges and run diskpart. Enter:

DISKPART>List disk

As you’ll be able to see, there are two native disks accessible within the system:

  • Disk zero – a disk with GPT, Windows is put in on
  • Disk 1 – an empty unallocated disk

two disk to create software raid 1 (mirror)

Clean the second disk once more simply in case and convert it into GPT:

Select disk 1
Convert GPT

Display the record of partitions on the second disk:

List half

If there’s a minimum of one partition on the Disk 2 (in my instance it’s Partition 1, with the Reserved label and Size 128 Mb), delete it:

Sel half 1
Delete partition override

diskpart convert disk to gpt

Display the record of partitions on first disk (disk zero). Then you’ll have to create the identical partitions on Disk 1.

Select disk zero
List half

There are four partitions:

  • Recovery – 450MB, a restoration partition with
  • System – 99MB, an EFI partition (extra in regards to the )
  • Reserved – 16MB, an MSR partition
  • Primary – 49GB, a most important partition with Windows picture

efi partition table on windows

Create the identical partitions construction on Disk 1:

Select disk 1
Create partition main dimension=450
format fast fs=ntfs label=”WinRE”
set id=”de94bba4-06d1-4d40-a16a-bfd50179d6ac”
create partition efi dimension=99
create partition msr dimension=16
record half

diskpart create efi and msr partition

How to Convert Disks to Dynamic & Create a Mirrored Disk?

Then convert each disks to dynamic:

Select disk zero
Convert dynamic
Select disk 1
Con dyn

diskpart convert gpt disk to dynamic

Create a mirror for a system drive (drive letter C:). Select a partition on Disk zero and create a mirror for it on Disk 1:

Select quantity c
Add disk=1

The following message will seem:

DiskHalf succeeded in including a mirror to the quantity

Open Disk Management and be sure that drive C: synchronization has been began (Resynching). Wait until it’s over, it might take up to a number of hours relying on the dimensions of the C: partition.

diskpart add second drive to mirror

When booting Windows, the Windows Boot Manager menu will seem the place you’ll be able to choose what disk to boot from. If you don’t choose a disk manually, the system will strive to boot from the primary one in 30 seconds:

  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2016 – secondary plex

windows server boot manager, Windows Server 2016 – secondary plex

However, the issue is that the bootloader configuration is saved solely on the primary drive, and if you happen to lose it you received’t give you the option to boot Windows from the second drive with out extra actions. In truth, you might have protected your knowledge (however not the Windows bootloader) from a failure of the second disk solely.

A software program Windows RAID can’t be used to create a completely useful EFI partition mirror. Since the OS boot recordsdata are situated on the EFI partition, if the first disk fails, you received’t give you the option to boot from the second disk with out the guide repairing of your EFI bootloader. It is sort of laborious for a newbie and takes a while (you might not have it if there’s a crowd of indignant customers round).

Now we’ll present you the way to copy the EFI partition to the second disk and alter the BCD bootloader configuration to allow booting Windows from each the primary and second drives.

How to Create GPT Mirror for EFI Partition?

Then you might have to put together the EFI partition on the second disk within the mirror so as your laptop can use this partition to boot Windows. Assign the drive letter S: to the EFI partition on Disk 1 and format it in FAT32:

Select disk 1
Select half 2
assign letter=S
format fs=FAT32 fast

format efi partition fat32

Then assign the letter P: to the EFI partition on Disk zero:

choose disk zero
choose partition 2
assign letter=P

How to Copy EFI partition and BCD Store to a Second Drive?

Display the present BCD bootloader configuration utilizing the next command:

bcdedit /enum

When making a mirror, VDS service has routinely added the BCD entry for the second mirror disk (labeled “Windows Server 2016 – secondary plex”).

bcd configuraion for mirrored drives

In order to permit booting from EFI partition on the second disk if first disk failure, you could change your BCD configuration.

To do it, copy the present Windows Boot Manager configuration:

bcdedit /copy /d "Windows Boot Manager Cloned"

The entry was efficiently copied to 

Then copy the configuration ID and use it within the following command:

bcdedit /set system partition=s:

If you might have finished it accurately, this message will seem:

The operation accomplished efficiently.

bcdedit /set device partition

List the present Windows Boot Manager (bcdedit /enum) configuration. Note that the bootloader is now having two choices for boot from EFI partitions on totally different disks (default and resume object).

windows boot manager default and resume boot order

Then you could copy your BCD retailer from the EFI partition on Disk zero to Disk 1:

bcdedit /export P:EFIMicrosoftBootBCD2
robocopy p: s: /e /r:zero

copy efi and bcd configuration

Rename the BCD retailer on Disk 1:

Rename s:EFIMicrosoftBootBCD2 BCD

And delete the copy on Disk zero:

Del P:EFIMicrosoftBootBCD2

del bcd copy

If your first disk fails, you want to choose the “Windows Boot Manager Cloned” merchandise within the Windows Boot Manager (boot menu) after which “Microsoft Windows Server 2016 —  secondary plex” so as to boot your Windows accurately.

If one of many disks fails, you’re going to get the Failed Redundancy message in Disk Management snap in.

failed disk in software mirror (raid 1) on windows server

In this case, you’ll have to exchange the failed disk, delete the mirror configuration and create a software program RAID 1 from the start.

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