How I enabled RAID 1 on new Mac Mini Server WITHOUT DVD/REINSTALL!

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by MacToddB, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. MacToddB macrumors 6502a

    MacToddB

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #1
    Well, it took a little persistence, but I was able to get RAID 1 (Mirroring) of the two 500GB internal disks in my new Mac Mini Server, WITHOUT reinstalling the O.S., or even touching the DVD for that matter!

    Since I had been anxious to setup my new server as soon as I got it, I had already configured my web server settings, PHP code, etc., and only then paid any attention to the RAID issue. Since it ships in JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks) form, it wouldn't allow me to just unmount and add the second disk as a mirror.

    I didn't have the portable Apple SuperDrive nor necessarily want to reinstall.

    But I did have a spare USB hard drive, Mac Mini form factor even!

    So, I used SuperDuper (great app, used it, and paid for the registered version! to clone the Server HD to the external USB.

    My external drive is 300GB, just to illustrate that it doesn't have to be identical to the internal 500GB drive(s), and since only 7GB is taken in a basic config, even with my web pages, you might even be able to do this with an 8 or 16GB USB drive! Not a bad idea, for a spare backup. In fact, when I get my web server completely configured, I'll put a spare image on a 16GB USB as an offsite backup.

    So, using SuperDuper, I cloned the disk AND MADE THE EXTERNAL DRIVE BOOTABLE ('Set as Startup Disk'). Booted from the external drive, then used Disk Utility (RAID Utility is in the Operating System / Applications folder but does NOT work) to turn the internal disks (Server HD and Macintosh HD) into a new RAID Mirrored Pair. Note that this wipes the original drives.

    Then, I used SuperDuper again, to clone my EXTERNAL USB DRIVE back onto the new RAID Mirrored Pair. I made the RAID pair bootable ('Set as startup disk') and crossed my fingers.

    HOWEVER IT DIDN'T WORK. I tried booting from the internal RAID Mirror and got the "Prohibition" or universal 'NO' symbol... ironically, the same one in my logo, for No Tie Software!!! A cruel joke!

    [​IMG]

    I did some Googling (on my functional Macbook Pro) and learned that by holding the Option key down, at boot time, I could choose to boot from my working External drive. Also learned that the ALT key on a PC keyboard (which I was using) works as the Option key for a Mac!

    So, back into SuperDuper, running off the external USB drive, and this time I used the SmartUpdate feature (which requires a paid/registered version of SuperDuper).

    That did the trick. Upon reboot, I am running off the internal, RAID Mirrored drives (I'm typing this from the Mac Mini Server), plus I have a bonus backup on my external USB drive!

    Your mileage may vary, and I certainly don't want to be responsible for anyone wrecking a working production system. I would recommend doing this BEFORE you have any important data on the drives. Let me know how it goes!
     
  2. WiseMax macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    #2
    There should be a "THANK YOU" button below every useful post like this one... ;)
     
  3. HellDiverUK macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Location:
    Belfast, UK
    #3
    Why does this sound very like an ad for SuperDuper?
     
  4. MacToddB thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MacToddB

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #4
    Because testimonials are better than any ad!

    Seriously, I have no relationship with them and never heard of the program until on this forum in another thread. But it saved the day!

    Feel free to suggest alternatives that work. This worked for me.
     
  5. HellDiverUK macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Location:
    Belfast, UK
  6. jkhademi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Location:
    God's country. Durango, CO
    #6
    You're the man.

    MacToddB,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write this post.
    I write tons of educational posts in a couple of forums related to my profession, so I know how much time banging your head against the walls can go into debugging something like this.

    I did what you suggested, and it worked perfectly.

    I tried doing it with a USB drive, and it did work but was painfully slow as you suggested...really...unusable for anything other than a last ditch backup.

    I used a 120GB 2.5" SATA off a laptop I had laying around and that worked just perfectly.

    I now have a MacMini running Parallels that is acting as:

    1) a backup Domain Controller running NT4.0 SP6 for my Windows NT4.0 SP6 hosted domain.

    2) a backup database and imaging server running Windows Server 2003 for my application specific Windows software.

    3) a Windows 2000 workstation

    I'm just stunned with how well these virtual environments work.
    I have some highly proprietary software and hardware from Kodak that works...on my MacBook running XPP SP3

    Stunned.

    I am done with buying PC's.
    I get it now.

    Again, thank you.
     
  7. MacToddB thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MacToddB

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #7
    Wow, well thank YOU! I've received plenty of assistance from others here, so glad to return the favor / pay it forward!

    Take care.
     
  8. jg900ss macrumors newbie

    jg900ss

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Location:
    Europe, and Florida
    #8
    New MacMini Server with dual 500GB drives. Experiences.

    This is a great topic for me. Thanks again for the original post! I installed a regular Mini with SL Server in FL for myself, and wanted one also here in Europe. I purchased the new Mini with dual 500GB drives and no optical. I had nothing but problems with the first machine. Out of the box it took over 7 minutes for an Apple logo to show up on the screen. Then, after finally booting, I installed the waiting Software Updates, SuperDuper, and attempted the creation of the RAID solutions above (albeit I wanted to try RAID 0). Nothing worked. I was able to SuperDuper off to an external FW IoMega 1TB MiniMax, and it would boot, but only the first time. After running Disk Utility to create the RAID array, I could not boot again from the external no matter what key I pressed. I eventually tried reinstalling from the delivered INSTALL DVD and that would not work. I returned the machine, and got another. This time, similar troubles. But, I finally resorted to booting the dual disk server from a spare SL Server DVD I had from my US machine (NOT the one provided with the server). Lo! The machine booted FAST, installed well (after using Disk Utility to create the RAID 0 array) and I was able to install all the other packages I had planned, setup Time Machine for the external MiniMax drives, and move on. All in all, its a fast little machine NOW (not earlier) but it took some doing to get here, and it was very UNFRIENDLY with the lack of usability from the REINSTALL disk, and the original SLOW boot times. My config now includes two MiniMax externals, a 30" Samsung 305T, Apple wired aluminum keyboard, Logitech mouse, and an USB attached LG optical for temp use when installing software. I would be happy to discuss further with anyone trying the same thing. I think Apple should include an install script for choosing RAID on setup just to accommodate people who would consider it of value in the installation. (BTW, I am looking for someone who would have time to help me network the two servers well. I need good coaching!) JG
     
  9. JimAtLaw macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #9
    So what's the difference between the SL server disc you had already and the one that came with it? (Does this leave no hope for someone who is trying the same with only the disc that comes with the Mini Server?)
     
  10. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Australia (WA)
    #10
    Wow people are still using NT4?
     
  11. jg900ss macrumors newbie

    jg900ss

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Location:
    Europe, and Florida
    #11
    Which disk to use.....(for JimAtLaw question)

    JimAtLaw:
    I am not certain why there was a difference, but I tried repeatedly to use the install DVD disk that came with the MacMini SLServer, and perhaps it would NOT work because I had already changed the server's disk config to the RAID array. The shipped install DVD is probably a customized version of the operating system suited for the device it is shipped with. I suspect it has all appropriate code that Apple wants to ship with an operating system, but there may be some sort of install script heading it up that requires a certain configuration to be in place. Either way, I was unable to get it to read past a few revolutions (clearly it was found on bootup) so resorting to the "normal" install disk seemed to do the trick. I just made sure I use the correct license code when asked and I was off and running. So far, all is working well (that is probably a jinx!).
    JG
     
  12. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #12
    The shipped install DVD is a normal DVD except it is restricted to the model of machine it was bundled with. In my case I reconfigured my machine to use RAID 0, and then installed the OS with the bundled DVD.

    A.
     
  13. JimAtLaw macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #13
    So you just formatted the drives and did a full reinstall and it worked, correct? How do you configure for RAID 0 once the system is already paved - can you do this during the install process, or ...?
     
  14. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #14
    Without going into all the details:

    Boot from install DVD, choose language
    From installer menu run Disk Utility
    In Disk Utility create a new RAID set
    Exit Disk Utility
    Continue with new install

    While I applaud the ingenuity of the original poster in avoiding a re-install, if you have another Mac to use in Target Disk mode or an external DVD drive, a clean install only takes a half-hour or so.

    A.
     
  15. jg900ss macrumors newbie

    jg900ss

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Location:
    Europe, and Florida
    #15
    Going RAID 0

    I agree with ALRESCHA. If you can, its quicker just to boot from a fresh OS DVD (perhaps not the shipped install DVD in my case) and use Disk Utility to make the array, thereafter continuing through a normal install. That's how I got everything to work. As the other poster mentioned, a target disk, or remote OS install might also work, but I had tried those with the shipped install DVD and nothing worked with that disk. So, with a clean OS disk from a different installation, and an external DVD being USB attached, I was able to reach a RAID 0 install config, and all is well now. As ALRESCHA says, it took no more than about 15-20 minutes.

    JG
     
  16. e_whizz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    #16
    Setup Mac Mini Server Mirroring without reinstall, in 10mins

    You can easily convert the existing separate drives into a Mirrored RAID 1 Set without either reinstalling or erasing your existing setup. Initiating this process takes about 10 minutes, though the resync/rebuild of the mirror can take significantly longer, depending on the amount of data you have on the drive.

    Whilst you can continue using the server throughout this entire process, please ensure you have a current backup of the server. Getting the following commands wrong can hose your server.

    What you need to use is the command line version of Disk Utility, diskutil.

    Launch the terminal and type the following command:
    diskutil list


    This gives you a list of all the drives and partitions your system knows about.
    You need to find the Server HD partition and the Macintosh HD2 partitions. These are the two main ~500GB drives. You will be using the disk IDENTIFIERs when issuing the diskutil commands. For a stock standard Mac Mini Server, the commands below are correct, but if you have previously changed the volume names, or repartitioned at any stage the disk identifiers and volume names may differ.

    First enable RAID mirroring on existing Server HD volume. This will create a single disk, unpaired mirror, without affecting your data.

    Using this syntax:
    diskutil appleRAID enable mirror disktomirror
    where disktomirror is your disk identifier for Server HD

    On my server, Server HD was disk0s2, so I used this command:
    diskutil appleRAID enable mirror disk0s2

    You now need to run diskutil list again to see the disk identifier for the new RAID volume. This will be listed as disk# on its own at the bottom of the list.

    Next add the Macintosh HD2 disk to the Server HD raid mirror volume as a new member.

    This step will erase the Macintosh HD2 and begin an auto repair of the Server HD.

    Using this syntax:
    diskutil appleRAID add member newdisk raidvolume
    replacing newdisk and raidvolume with your particular disk identifiers

    On my server this was:
    diskutil appleRAID add member disk1s2 disk2


    You should shortly see a small progress window showing the rebuild process.

    That's it. Happy Mirrored Mac Mini Server.

    charlie at ewhizz.net
    http://ewhizz.net
     
  17. MacToddB thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MacToddB

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #17
    This is GREAT! I might be moving to a new server, remotely co-located, so this will help tremendously!
     
  18. seigereyes macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    #18
    Check status of raid 1 rebuild

    Also for those who do not see the window or managed to close it you can issue the following on the command line to check the status of the sync.

    diskutil appleRAID list

    Example Output:

    # diskutil appleRAID list
    AppleRAID sets (1 found)
    ===============================================================================
    Name: DATA
    Unique ID: 58FE5F86-D31C-4123-986D-D5C28E6F1D2D
    Type: Mirror
    Status: Degraded
    Size: 100.0 GB (99999973376 Bytes)
    Rebuild: manual
    Device Node: disk3
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    # Device Node UUID Status
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    0 disk0s3 7EBF696A-09C6-430F-AE40-0D53EDC7A265 Online
    1 disk1s3 24CEE1FB-3A8E-4B8A-B792-43016262CABA 72% (Rebuilding)
    ===============================================================================


    Note it will display as degraded until the rebuild / sync has been completed.

    After it is complete you should see the following.

    AppleRAID sets (1 found)
    ===============================================================================
    Name: DATA
    Unique ID: 58FE5F86-D31C-4123-986D-D5C28E6F1D2D
    Type: Mirror
    Status: Online
    Size: 100.0 GB (99999973376 Bytes)
    Rebuild: manual
    Device Node: disk3
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    # Device Node UUID Status
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    0 disk0s3 7EBF696A-09C6-430F-AE40-0D53EDC7A265 Online
    1 disk1s3 24CEE1FB-3A8E-4B8A-B792-43016262CABA Online
    ===============================================================================
     
  19. Rrrobin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    #19
    Could not unmount

    Hi,

    Thank you for sharing this info.
    When I run the quoted command, I receive an error -10000 "Could not unmount disk".

    Server was running in normal mode - should I have rebooted to some special mode (I have very little knowledge of Mac...)? Or would I need to manually unmount the disks (or partitions, for that matter)?

    Thanks,

    Robin
     
  20. rsgooch macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    #20
    Also could not unmount ...

    I am also having a problem receiving the "unable to unmount" error. Are you booting from a external drive or something like that?

    Would really like to try your solution e_whizz.

    Thanks!
     
  21. GrumpyCat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    #21
    I too got the "unable to unmount the volume" error message.

    Am thinking the original poster was using 10.5 and things changed for 10.6.

    On other Unix systems one might boot into single user mode and make this sort of change while the filesystems were all mounted read-only (if mounted at all). No time to investigate now.

    Seems to me it would make best sense of Apple would configure the individual drives with the appropriate disk labels as if they were always RAID elements no matter each drive defaults to being a volume of its own. Then maybe it wouldn't be as difficult to bond these elements into volumes.
     
  22. MacToddB thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MacToddB

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #22
    Nope. I'm the original poster. This is a Mac mini server. Shipped with Snow Leopard OS X Server (10.6).

    Right. The point of my post was I had a server, already providing services (custom TEXT-TO-SPEECH iPhone ringtones! Very cool... check it out at http://www.AutoRingtone.com) and did not want any downtime.

    Agreed.
     
  23. UKenGB macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    #23
    There is still an outstanding issue that many people (myself included) have tried to set up the RAID and it fails at the first hurdle, namely when trying to enable it in the first place, there is an error - "Could not unmount disk" which appears to be insurmountable, yet others apparently do not get this. How come?

    I have tried sudo, I su'd to root, but always the error. I am trying this on a new, only just configured Mac Mini Server and the disk identifiers are exactly the same as e_whizz describes. Yet he can continue to use his server and I (like others) just get that error. AFAICT it should be possible to do this on the boot volume, so what's the problem?

    Can anyone suggest what the problem is here?
     
  24. MacToddB thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MacToddB

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #24
    I can't vouch for the e_whizz method... just the method described in my original post, at the top here. That's what worked for me.
     
  25. UKenGB macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    #25
    error -10000 "Could not unmount disk"

    This is incredibly frustrating. I am trying to get the RAID set up prior to finishing the rest of the configuration of my server - WITHOUT having to copy the entire volume back and forth between various disks or having to re-install after the RAID is set up. The post by e-whizz and elsewhere I have seen, states that this can be done at the command line using diskutil. I read the man page on diskutil and the procedure looks straightforward until you try it when there is an error because diskutil needs to unmount the boot volume in order to make the required changes (and then remount it) but the unmounting FAILS with the aforementioned error. Not just for me as I have seen many responses with the same problem, not just in this forum.

    I have most recently tried by logging in as root via ssh without ANY users logged in on the Mini Server itself, but still there is the error.

    Previously I restarted in Single User Mode, but some of the required frameworks to enable such disk manipulation are not loaded in SUM (unsurprisingly) so even 'diskutil list' fails.

    There is a fundamental problem here that prevents many of us from setting up the RAID in this manner, yet it apparently works for others and I have pretty much run out of ideas as to what this might possibly be. So I'm really asking for help from anyone who can point us in the right direction to avoid the disk unmounting error.

    Please.
     

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