Thursday, October 29, 2009

Shared folders on iSCSI drive disappear after restart

I was finally given approval to purchase an iSCSI SAN a few months ago and have been enjoying the benefits of having a large amount of storage space with a RAID6 disk array. However, one problem I had with the iSCSI disk is that if I shared a folder in Windows Server 2003 from any of the logical iSCSI drives on the computer, after a restart the share would disappear and I would have to recreate it. Any shares from the hard drives of the server were fine, it was just affecting shares from the iSCSI disks. The problem is that the iSCSI software doesn't always start running before the Server service does, and since the Server service can't see the iSCSI drives, it doesn't share the folders. Luckily, MS KB870964 gives you the answer to fix this problem.

1. First, make the Server service independent of the iSCSI initiatior. To do this, use the command: sc config LanManServer depend= MSiSCSI
And yes, there is a space after the = and that is supposed to be there
2. Configure persistent logons to the iSCSI disk. To do this, open iSCSI initiator and go to the Persistent Targets tab. If your iSCSI disk is already listed there, then skip this step. If not, go to the Available Targets tab, select your disk from the list, and click on Log On. Check the box named "Automatically restore this connection when the system boots" and click OK.
3. Set the BindPersistentVolumes option for the iSCSI Initiator service. To do this, open iSCSI Initiator, go to the Bound Volumes/Devices tab, then click on Bind All. This should make your iSCSI disks available to the system before it attempts to load the iSCSI service.

There are some alternative methods listed in MS KB870964, so feel free to check that out if the above instructions are not clear or you can't seem to get it to work.

If you're simply looking to find a download location for Microsoft's iSCSI Initator software, you can get that from

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