TechNet Top Questions - January 17, 2000
Greetings! Here we provide detailed answers to popular questions submitted to TechNet via the answer forums and feedback alias. TechNet's Lon Collins, Microsoft Support Professional, provides you with answers and tips that can help many of you working in the trenches to deploy, maintain and support Microsoft products.
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Whats the Deal with SQL Server Failover?
Can someone tell me if SQL Server 7.0 features ANY cluster failover support - or do you need the SQL Enterprise Edition for that? Thank you for your time.
Well, Jim, the short and sweet answer is: You need SQL Server 7.0 Enterprise Edition which requires Windows NT 4.0 Enterprise Edition. The long answer:
SQL Server Failover Support
Microsoft Windows NT Clustering Service is a feature of Windows NT Server Enterprise Edition, which supports the connection of two servers, or nodes, into a cluster for manageability of data and applications. Clustering Service monitors both servers, and detects and recovers from server or application failures automatically.
SQL Server Failover Support is available only with the Enterprise Edition of SQL Server version 7.0 and is designed to work in conjunction with Clustering Service. Failover Support provides the ability to make SQL Server appear as a single SQL Server virtual server when installed on a cluster
There is a very extensive whitepaper would be very valuable to anyone considering implementing SQL Server 7.0 Failover Support and Clustering Service. Please consider obtaining and studying the paper before doing anything else. The paper is titled SQL Server Clustering, Step-by-Step and addresses several topics, some of which are:
Installing SQL Server 7.0, Enterprise Edition on an MSCS Cluster
NT Option Pack Considerations
If that isn't enough, here is a list of recommended reading:
Readme.txt for the SQL Server 7.0, Enterprise Edition compact disc installation directory.
Microsoft Cluster Server Manual. See the Windows NT Enterprise CD 1 support\books directory.
In Search of Clusters: The Ongoing Battle in Lowly Parallel Computing by Gregory F. Pfister.
Close is good enough is not going to be good enough with SQL Server Failover and Clustering. Implementing it correctly will really pay off when the need arises.
Boot Start or System Start Drivers Headaches
I removed a WinModem from my Windows NT 4.0 workstation and now every time it reboots I get this message that says "Event ID 7026 Source Serv. Cntrl. Manager. The following boot start or system start drivers failed to load. I uninstalled the product properly but Windows NT still thinks it's there!! How do you get rid of this message?
I was waiting to read what followed the error message The following boot start or system start drivers failed to load. Usually a file (sometimes without the file extension) immediately follows that error message. That file might help narrow the problem. You can use that file and the event ID to query the Microsoft Knowledge Base to see if this problem has been addressed.
Also, looking at the Windows NT Event Viewer to examine the system event log for details might provide some additional detail. If it does, you can use that information in your querying of the Knowledge Base.
One last thing if the modem is a U.S. Robotics WinModem, you might want to check out Knowledge Base article 154156 Windows NT Not Compatible With U.S. Robotics WinModem.
In the article, it says The Serial.vxd replacement from U.S. Robotics implements all modem functions normally handled by the modem controller. If there is a reference in either the error message (The following boot start or system start drivers) or in the Event Viewer reference serial, something you could try is first check the file version, date, and source of the serial.vxd file (by clicking on the filename in Explorer and selecting Properties). If the file is a US Robotics source, try replacing the serial.vxd with the original file from the NT CD. Its a stab in the dark, but that might be it.
AST Manhattan Server Won’t Take Windows NT Service Packs
We have an AST Manhattan S Windows Windows NT Server, which I have been trying to install (various) service packs on. The server has a DPT RAID controller with 4 X 4Gb drives. I have re-installed Windows NT 4 from scratch, during which I get setup to read the drivers for the DPT controller of the AST supplied DPT driver disks. The install runs fine and the system comes up with no problems (booting off the first partition of the DPT RAID volume). As soon as I install any service pack, after rebooting, the system blue-screens with the "Inaccessible Boot Device" message... I'm completely stuck here. Any ideas ? Many Thanks
First, we checked the Knowledge Base (its a habit), using a pretty wide search criterion, just to make sure this hasn’t been logged as a known problem - and didn’t get any hits..." The error message "Inaccessible Boot Device" pretty much tells us what we expect Windows NT is unable to read the boot device. You said that during setup you read the drivers for the DPT controller from the AST supplied driver disk. This lead me to think that maybe the drivers from the disk might not be the most current ones and that the latest drivers from DPT might have fixes for this problem. The next step is to inquire about updated drivers from DPTs Web site, which revealed that they do have a latest driver for the DPT controllers for Windows NT. Checking to make sure that you have the latest drivers is probably the best suggestion that I can make at this time.
Here is a snippet from the 'read.me' document that is included within the downloaded zip file from DPT:
To ensure that your controller initializes correctly, DPT recommends that you install a minimum of 16MB of cache memory. Testing has shown that in a small number of systems, DPT controllers with 4MB of cache (such as the PM1554U2) did not initialize during the system boot process.
If you are installing Windows NT from an IDE CD-ROM, Windows NT might not detect the disk drives attached to your SmartRAID V controller. This can result in the installation failing if you will be using one of the SmartRAID V disk drives as the Windows NT boot disk.
To ensure that the disk drives on the SmartRAID V controller are detected, press F6 as soon as the Windows NT Detect screen appears during the installation process. This will cause the installation program to prompt for installation of a mass storage driver earlier in the install process and the disk drives attached to the controller will be available when required.
Go to Distributed Processing Technologys Microsoft Drivers page from HERE.
Site Server Administration
I have a number of businesses with an enterprise that want their own e-commerce solutions. Can I set up local site servers for each business but administer them from a central location?
Remote administration can easily be performed once the topology and security issues have been considered and made a part of your deployment plans.
Also, it is a wise and prudent administrator that keeps up on the security issues. You can be that proactive person by frequenting TechNets Security Section. You can either put reminders to visit the Security Section on your calendar OR you can subscribe to the TechNet Flash, the electronic newsletter that contains Microsoft security bulletins. When the security bulletins are published, they'll contain information on what the issue is, what products it affectsif any, how to protect yourself against, what Microsoft plans to do to fix the problem, and links to other sources of information on the issue. The Service is a free e-mail notification that Microsoft uses to send information to subscribers about the security of Microsoft products. Anyone can subscribe to the service, and you can unsubscribe at any time. Click HERE to go to the Web page to begin subscribing.
If you are not on a private LAN with your customer sites you can make use of RAS or PPTP connections into their LANs for administration. After considering the security issues you may want to use the web based administration pages for some of your administrative needs.