Author Topic: Creating a Mirror Drive With XP Professional (RAID 1)  (Read 3315 times)


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Creating a Mirror Drive With XP Professional (RAID 1)
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2014, 08:19:29 PM »
This procedure works on Windows XP Pro with Service Pack 3 installed.


Mirroring can only be done on the internal hard disk. It cannot be done on a USB or any other external hard disk. The disks used must be converted to dynamic disks. Mirroring has to be from the internal controller. This is probably due to operating constraints of I/O throughput. These steps need to be followed exactly for this to work and you to have a bootable system. You can use this procedure to create spanned disks also. This procedure will work on Windows XP SP3.

Here is an installation which will do most of the work. All you will need to do is to convert your drives to Dynamic Drives then add the mirror. Upon completion of the installation and restart the program Diskpart will start. You will then go to the section of these instruction labeled Create Dynamic Drives:

When you deploy this installation it is recommended that you check the box to allow windows to scan the protected files. Doing so will take some time when windows scans all the protected files but this will insure that the files for the mirroring will not be replaced or be deleted.

Download Installation XP Mirror Version 2.0 Build 0 (Updated 08/25/2011)

Manual Instructions

Preliminary Steps:

1. Download the XP Mirror Files

2. Boot into Safe Mode:

Run msconfig and select Diagnostic Startup from the General Tab and /SAFEBOOT from the BOOT.INI Tab.
Click OK for the settings to take and then restart when it prompts you.
3. Take the three files that have been modified for this task and copy them to the \Windows\System32\Dllcache folder. Dllcache is a hidden folder but you can navigate to it by typing \Windows\System32\Dllcache in the address bar of Windows Explorer.
4. Copy the files dmadmin.exe and dmboot.sys to C:\WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles\i386 replacing the version of the files that are there.


08/12/2004 12:35 AM 204,800 dmadmin.exe
08/12/2004 12:37 AM 780,928 dmboot.sys
08/12/2004 12:38 AM 330,752 dmconfig.dll

4. Create a folder INSIDE the Windows folder as a backup to contain the original as well as the changed version of the files. You will want to do this because if a Windows Update or a software package updates these files your system may not boot. You will keep a copy of the original files as well as the modified files. You will need to use the Windows System Recovery Console to copy these files back to the DLLCACHE folder so that your system would put the files back properly. The backup files need to be in the Windows folder because the Windows System Recovery Console will not let you copy files from any other the folder than the Windows folder.

5. Run msconfig and Select Normal Startup from the General Tab and check the BOOT.INI Tab to make sure /SAFEBOOT is unchecked

Optional Steps After a Good Boot:

1 Go to \Windows\system32 and delete the files dmadmin.exe and dmconfig.dll.
2 Go to \Windows\system32\drivers and delete dmboot.sys.

Windows will automatically replace these files with the ones from dllcache after a few seconds. Verify that the files that get replace are the same date as the files we have listed here. You must do this to make sure that the correct files will be replaced in the event of the files being updated or changed.
Do NOT delete the files in the DLLCache folder. Windows System Protection will not restore the modified files from DLLCache, but will prompt you for the CD. If you cancel that message, it will not replace the files at all and they will remain missing. If you wish to test this, instead of deleting the files, move them to another folder (ex: the desktop) and then move them back once you're done observing the behavior.

Create Dynamic Drives:

There is a program named Diskpart that you must run at the DOS command prompt.

1. Run the Diskpart program to get the >Diskpart prompt

2. Select the primary hard disk that you are going to use.

Diskpart> Select Disk 0

3. Convert this disk to a dynamic disk. Mirroring can only be used on dynamic disk.

Diskpart> Convert Dynamic

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each internal disk you want to use for mirroring or spanning.

5. Exit Diskpart.

Diskpart> Exit

6. After the conversion of the basic disk to dynamic disk you may need to restart for the effects to take place.

7. After restarting is complete. Go to Start->Programs->Control Panel then select Administrative Tools, then Computer Management. Select Disk Management and you will see your dynamic drives. Your second drive should be unallocated (Not formatted). Right click on your partition you want to mirror then select Add Mirror and select the disk you want the mirror created on. Windows XP will automatically create at the start of free space on the selected disk the same size partition as the partition you selected on the first disk then start to mirror it dynamically. You can do this with the data partitions as well. If you just want to span the disks you just right click on the partition you want to extent, select Extend Volume and select the disk and space you want to use as part of the spanned disk.

Procedure Created, Verified and Tested
By Ralph James
Randem Systems, Inc
August 19, 2007


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