Raid5 on Windows XP

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Newer motherboards often include more than 6 SATA 2 ports.  This allows you to get a great entertainment server for less than $1k  The setup here uses an  ASUS P5B-VM DO from newegg.com that included 6 SATA 2 +1 eSATA + 2 PATA. Many low cost cases supports a lot of drives.  Just install fans.  The drives dont generate much heat, but some quiet airflow over them is a good idea.

Connect it to  a Gigabit Switch or router like a Cisco Aeronet or a Linksys WRT330N.

A few system files needs to be edited to enable Windows XP to support Raid 5.  This is a simple change, and anyone using the PC as a video server or similar should do this.

 First, a few word of  caution:

  • Make copies of the files you will need to edit, so you can restore them if needed.  I copied them onto a USB flash drive.
  • Your copy of XP may be set up to not allow any change to system files, so you may need to use the recovery console to finish this.

 What you will need:

  • A hex editor (e.g. Ultra Edit) 
  • A XP installation disk (or other way to copy files)
  • A backup location (Like a USB drive, or just the HDD) 

Step 1

Copy these files both to your backup device and into a temp folder:

 C:\windows\system32\drivers\dmboot.sys

C:\windows\system32\dmconfig.dll

C:\windows\system32\Dmadmin.exe

Step 2

Next, these files need to be opened using your hex editor(You might find the text in slightly different offsets):

dmboot.sys:

Before:
0000f1f0h: 74 00 54 00 79 00 70 00 65 00 00 00 57 49 4E 4E ; t.T.y.p.e...WINN
0000f200h: 54 00 00 00 53 45 52 56 45 52 4E 54 00 00 00 00 ; T...SERVERNT....

After:
0000f1f0h: 74 00 54 00 79 00 70 00 65 00 00 00 53 45 52 56 ; t.T.y.p.e...SERV
0000f200h: 45 52 4E 54 57 49 4E 4E 54 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ; ERNTWINNT.......

dmconfig.dll:

Before
00005140h: 4C 41 4E 4D 41 4E 4E 54 00 00 00 00 53 45 52 56 ; LANMANNT....SERV
00005150h: 45 52 4E 54 00 00 00 00 57 49 4E 4E 54 00 00 00 ; ERNT....WINNT...

After
00005140h: 4C 41 4E 4D 41 4E 4E 54 00 00 00 00 57 49 4E 4E ; LANMANNT....WINN
00005150h: 54 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 53 45 52 56 45 52 4E 54 ; T.......SERVERNT

dmadmin.exe:

Before
00001c30h: 73 65 72 76 65 72 6E 74 00 00 00 00 6C 61 6E 6D ; servernt....lanm
00001c40h: 61 6E 6E 74 00 00 00 00 50 72 6F 64 75 63 74 54 ; annt....ProductT

After
00001c30h: 77 69 6E 6E 74 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 6C 61 6E 6D ; winnt.......lanm
00001c40h: 61 6E 6E 74 00 00 00 00 50 72 6F 64 75 63 74 54 ; annt....ProductT

 Step 3 

Now these modified files needs to be copied  back into the system folder.  It may suffice to just rename the original files to *.dll.old, and copy the modified files back into the system directories, and rebooting.  Depending on your setup, XP may notice a change to system files, and revert to the original versions.  In that case do this: With FAT32 file system, boot from dos, and copy the files, or with NTFS, boot from XP installation disk, and run the recovery console (Press 'R')

Now, copy each file into the two different directories each as shown below:

copy a:\dmboot.sys system32\drivers

copy a:\dmboot.sys system32\dllcache

copy a:\dmconfig.dll system32

copy a:\dmconfig.dll system32\dllcache

copy a:\dmadmin.exe system32

copy a:\dmadmin.exe system32\dllcache

 OK, the hard work is done, now we will mount it 

NEXT

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