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Installing a replacement Disk

Process guide to rebuilding a BCM system by Firebird Scrambler
Posted: 13 Jul 09

  This guide has been compiled to explain the way in which a corrupted BCM system can be repaired, when the hard disk has been damaged either by age or during a upgrade etc. This has happened to me on a upgrade that I was attempting on a Enterprise 1000 chassis system from Version 3.5 up to 3.6.

  I was in the situation that I was unable to connect via the IP link on LAN 1 or LAN 2. I was also unable to access the BCM system via the Serial port which was located on the front of the BCM & using the COM port 1 on my computer.

  I had tried to correct the fault on my own BCM by connecting a monitor & keyboard onto the ports on the front of the BCM panel. All that I was able to do was to make changes to the BIOS (By pressing F2), or to alter the boot up path at the NT4 start Menu.
  It was possible to connect in a floppy disk & CD-ROM drive on the Motherboard, but it was of little use to me. The BIOS settings at one point became corrupted & I had to move over a small dip switch pin on the Motherboard from "config" to "bios", so that it booted straight to BIOS on the next power up!.
  The settings were defaulted back to "Factory" & the dip switch pin was moved back to "config" before I repowered it again. A few other changes had to be carried out, which was to disable the "Intel" splash screen which now appeared on the monitor.
  It's possible to obtain via the Intel website, pretty well everything to do with updates for the Motherboard. After all, the BCM is just a normal computer without having a keyboard, monitor, floppy & CD-ROM disk etc. It's also just loaded up with Microsoft's NT4 operating system!.    

  The Motherboard item code details for the Enterprise Edge 1000 that I found, were listed as a
Etrontech EM63165TS-7 INTEL Desktop Board CA810e. (Look for this on the website!)

  The answer was to obtain a replacement 20 Gig hard drive, which had on it, the BCM 3.6 core image software. I was told that it was just a case of changing out the disk. Being puzzled by the way on which this process was done, I decided to have a go at repairing my own 20 Gig hard disk drive & to be able to create my own Hard Disk copy for future jobs by using the method as listed below.

  The software that I used to do this was "Partition Magic 7.0", "Norton Ghost 9.0" or "Norton Ghost 2003"
As I had a machine using Windows XP, I decided to use Norton Ghost 9.0. The main reason for this was that I didn't want to take my computer apart to "Ghost" the 20 Gig Hard Disk. I was lucky in that I had already managed to acquire an IDE to USB converter cable. Norton Ghost 9.0 can only be used with Windows 200 & XP, however Norton Ghost 2003 can be used on most Microsoft operating systems, including 2000 & XP.

  The BCM 400 3.6 Image disk had 6 partitions. They are as follows.

BCM 400 Disk Information Nortel Item code = NNTM04G009FA

       Drive    Partition         Type      Size MB          Used MB        Unused MB        Status        Pri/Log

          (I)       WINNT           NTFS     2,502.3            879.4             1,622.9           Active      Primary
          (J)      MAINTOS        NTFS     1,004.1           257.9                746.2            None        Primary
                                         Extended 15,476.7      15,476.7                    0.0            None        Primary
         (K)        DATA            NTFS     9,452.3            651.9             8,800.3            None        Logical
          (L)      LOGS             NTFS     2,008.1              12.0             1,996.1            None        Logical
         (M)   NNACTIVE        NTFS     2,008.1          1680.2                327.9            None        Logical
         (N)  NNINACTIVE      NTFS     2,008.1                4.6             2,003.5            None        Logical
  Install the programs such as Partition Magic, or Norton Ghost onto your computer, You can use any other suitable software that will achieve the same results. Norton Ghost 9.0 & 2003 cannot be installed together if you have 2000 or XP!. Once installed power down your computer to connect your faulty Hard Disk onto a spare IDE ribbon cable. I won't explain the full process on how you set-up your 20 Gig drive to work with your computer. This should only be done by someone who is pretty competent  in working with computer electronics & have had some experience in building up computers, adding in extra drives etc.
  If you have not done anything like this, then please don't continue. If you get this wrong, then you may end up with more problems than you started with!.

                     Imaging the disk

  I found it to be easy using Norton Ghost 9.0, for reasons as stated above & that I didn't need to keep having my own PC rebooted during the disk imaging process (which has to be done if your operating system is Windows 98, ME etc!).

  The first thing that I did was to partition the faulty drive into 6 partitions. With Partition Magic, I could set all 6 to be done in one go. The partition size from each one had to be the same or slightly larger as listed above on the first page under BCM 400 Disk Information.


                            Drive Letter   Partition         Type      Size MB       Status        Pri/Log

                                  (I)             WINNT          NTFS      2,502.3         Active       Primary
                                 (J)           MAINTOS        NTFS      1,004.1          None        Primary
                                 (K)             DATA           NTFS      9,452.3           None        Logical
                                  (L)            LOGS           NTFS      2,008. 1          None        Logical
                                  (M)       NNACTIVE       NTFS      2,008. 1          None        Logical
                                  (N)     NNINACTIVE      NTFS      2,008.1           None        Logical

Make sure that "WINNT" is set to "Active", otherwise the BCM will boot to the wrong Partition.

  Once that's done you can use the restore partition image function that's required within the two Ghost applications.

  As I had been given a default BCM 400 V3.6 factory image 20Gig disk to use, I used this disk to image it's 6 partitions onto my main computer on a folder called something like "BCM 3.6 Image". Five of the images it produced, could be saved to 2 CD-ROMs for storage. However the partition "NNACTIVE" image file was over 1.4 Gig in size.
  If I had access to a recordable DVD drive, then I would have been able to put in all of the core BCM 400 3.6 image files onto one DVD disk for easy transportation & storage purposes.

  The next step is to image all 6 partitions (one at a time!) onto what was the faulty hard drive & to overwrite the old data. It takes a while, depending upon the speed of your computer & other factors. Once this has been done, check again, the partition settings against the table shown on page one
"BCM 400 Disk Information". The used & unused MB data should be very near to what I have listed.  

  Once that's done, You can replace the hard disk back into the BCM & power it up again.

  I've got some instructions on the next two pages, which explains on how to replace a hard disk. In my case, I found that I still had problems getting the BCM to talk to me. What I did, was to use the Serial port via a RS232 9-way to 9-way cable from my computer's COM port onto the BCM's 9-way port. I had to use a 25-way to 9-way adapter & also a "Null" modem adapter.

Important Note!

  As my upgrade had failed from 3.5 to 3.6, I had excepted to put back in the keycodes for the 3.6 software upgrade. This was not required on the BCM system set-up.

  Another important point to note is that I did not have to reprogram & rebuild my database. After the start-up process had finished with the "MSC Load", I'd noticed that my Extn data was still present. I think that this was due to the fact that a copy of the data was still retained on the MSC cards?.

  Anyway, I hope that this guide will be on some use to the BCM technical chappies, who like me, like to do as much repairing as possible by themselves.

  Best of luck!


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