Troubleshooting mirrored dynamic disks on Windows Server 2008 R2

Problem Description:

You have a Windows Server 2003 or 2008 (R2) Server configured with mirrored dynamic disks. One of disks fails and you need to replace failed disk with a new one. You buy the new disk, connect it to the slot where the failed disk was and power on your server. You go to disk management convert the new disk to dynamic disk and remove old (missing mirror). Now you are ready to create the mirror again but suddenly you get the following error message “All disks holding extents for a given volume must have the same sector size

As described here , what this message says is that your old disk in the mirrored array (500gb dell  in my case) and the new disk (1 tb wd black in my case) have different  sector sizes (512 bytes for 500gb disk and 4096 bytes for 1 tb disk).The new 1 tb disks was an Advanced Formatted Disk, as a result I cannot create a mirrored volume between them.I need to buy another 1 tb 4K formatted hdd , clone or create backup image & restore the old (500gb) disk to the new disk and finally create the mirrored array between 1 tb disks.

Ok, so I bought another 1 tb wd black and I was ready to clone the data from the old disk to the new one. The 1st problem that I faced is that most of Imaging programs cannot handle Dynamic Disks at all. For example Acronis, needs a special add-on called “Plus Pack” to be able to create an Image of dynamic disk (you must break the mirror first, because mirrored volumes are not supported) and then restore it to the new one.

Solution:

Personally I followed the steps below:

  1. Downloaded Hiren’s boot cd and used Norton Ghost to clone 500gb hdd -> 1tb hdd.
  2. After cloning I had  a BASIC 1 tb with all the data inside. Removed 500gb disk and left only this 1tb disk on slot and booted the machine.
  3. Got “0xc000000e Info: The boot selection failed because a required device is inaccessible”.
  4. I put Windows Server 2008 R2 dvd on dvd-rw and booted from there. Fortunately boot cd found the bootloader problems and automatically fixed them. If that did’t worked for you, try this article.
  5. Rebooted again and voila, finally the system booted correctly!
  6. Powered off the server, put the 2nd 1tb hdd, powered on, converted both disks to dynamic disks and finally enabled mirroring between them.