Formatting the local drive for a clean install
I have a Windows NT server attached to an EMC Clariion FC 4700. The server does not boot off of the SAN. I want to format the local drive and do a clean install of Windows 2000 server. My question is, will the new OS be able to see the attached LUNs correctly and use the data stored there?
Before you wipe out the system disk, you need to save the "disk" registry subkey key (HKLMCurrent Control SetServicesDisk) so you can restore it on the new install of NT (you want to keep the old signature on the disk). Just use the registry editor to save a copy of that key to a floppy disk. Of course, you will also need to reinstall the Fibre Channel drivers for your HBAs and any path failover software you are using. If your server is being used as a file server, then a better way would be to keep the old configuration available, by installing NT to a "NEW" location on the C: drive. This way, you can access the files and directories and "take ownership" of the files.
Since you say NT, I assume NT4.0 and there are no dynamic disks being used nor any FTDISK related volumes. Just to be safe, do a full backup of everything first.
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This was first published in December 2003