Knowledge Base

How to initialize and create a virtual disk with a Dell PowerEdge RAID Controller (PERC)


This article provides the steps for creating and initializing a virtual array or virtual disk (VD) with the Dell Bios Utility of PowerEdge RAID Controllers (PERC).

Note: The instructions below are valid for following PowerEdge RAID controllers (PERC): 5(i+e), 6(i+e), H700, H800, H310, H710, H810, H330, H730 and H810

Table of Contents:

  1. Create Virtual Disk
  2. Initialize Virtual Disk
  3. Converting Physical Disk to RAID Capable
  4. Converting disk to Non-RAID


1. Create Virtual Disk

Perform the following steps to create virtual disks.

  1. During host system boot up, press <Ctrl><R> when the BIOS banner displays.
    The Virtual Disk Management screen displays. If there is more than one controller, the main menu screen displays. Select a controller, and press <Enter>. The Virtual Disk Management screen displays for the selected controller.
  2. Use the arrow keys to highlight Controller # or Disk Group #.
  3. Press <F2> to display the actions you can perform.


    Figure 1: Creating New VD

  4. Select Create New VD and press <Enter> (Figure 1 (English-only)). The Create New VD screen displays. The cursor is on the RAID Levels option. When adding a VD to a Disk Group, the Add VD in Disk Group screen displays. Skip to step 10 to change the VD basic settings
  5. Press <Enter> to display the possible RAID levels (Figure 2 (English-only)), based on the physical disks available.


    Figure 2: Possible RAID Levels

  6. Press the down-arrow key to select a RAID level and press <Enter>.
  7. When creating a spanned virtual disk (RAID 10, 50 or 60), enter the number of physical disks per span in the PD per Span field (Figure 3 (English-only)) and press <Enter>.
  8. Press <Tab> to move the cursor to the list of physical disks.


    Figure 3: The PD per Span Field
  9. Use the arrow key to highlight a physical disk and press the <spacebar>, <Alt>, or <Enter> to select the disk.
  10. Select additional disks, if desired.
  11. Press <Tab> to move the cursor to the Basic Settings box.
  12. Set the virtual disk size in the VD Size field. The virtual disk size displays in GB format.
  13. Press <Tab> to access the VD Size field, and type a virtual disk name.
  14. Press <Tab> to move the cursor to Advanced Settings.
  15. Press the <spacebar> to make the settings active so that you can change them.
    An X displays beside Advanced Settings. The settings are the stripe element size, read policy, and write policy. You can also choose advanced options such as forcing the cache policy to Write-Back, initializing the virtual disk, and configuring a dedicated hot spare.
    The defaults for these parameters are present when the window displays. You can accept the defaults or change them.


    Figure 4: Initializing the VD

  16. Perform the following steps to select the virtual disk parameters:
    1. Press <Tab> to move the cursor to the parameters you want to change.
    2. Press the down-arrow key to open the parameters and scroll down the list of settings.
    3. To change the stripe element size, press <Tab> to highlight Stripe Element Size.
    4. Press <Enter> to display the list of stripe element sizes (8 KB, 16 KB, 32 KB, 64 KB, 128 KB, 256 KB, 512 KB, and 1024 KB). Press the
      down-arrow key to highlight the desired option and press <Enter>.
      Note: The default is 64 KB.
    5. If you need to change the read policy, press <Tab> to move the cursor to Read Policy.
    6. Press <Enter> to display the options (No Read Ahead, Read Ahead, or Adaptive Read Ahead). Press the down-arrow key to highlight the desired option and press <Enter>.
    7. If you need to change the write policy, press <Tab> to move the cursor to Write Policy.
    8. Press <Enter> to display the options (Write-Through, Write Back). Press the down-arrow key to highlight an option and press <Enter>.
    9. Press <Tab> to move the cursor to Force WB with no battery and press <Enter>. If you chose Write-Through as the write policy, then this option is not available.
    10. Press <Tab> to move the cursor to Configure Hot Spare and press <Enter>.
    11. If you have chosen to create hot spares in the earlier steps, a pop-up window displays where drives with appropriate sizes are displayed. Press the <spacebar> to select the drive size.
    12. After you select the drive size, click OK to finalize the selection or click Cancel to forfeit the selection.
    13. Select OK to accept the settings and press <Enter> to exit this window or select Cancel and press <Enter> to exit if you do not want to change any virtual disk parameters.

2. Initialize Virtual Disk

Perform the following steps to initialize virtual disks.

  1. On the VD Mgmt screen, select Virtual Disk # and press <F2> to display the menu of available actions.
  2. Select Initialization (Figure 5 (English-only)) and press the right-arrow key to display the Initialization submenu options.


    Figure 5: The Initialization Submenu

  3. Select Start Init. to begin a regular initialization or select Fast Init. to begin a fast initialization.
  4. A pop-up windows displays indicating that the virtual disk has been initialized.
  5. Repeat the procedures in this section to configure another virtual disk.

3. Converting Physical Disk to RAID Capable

Perform the following Convert Physical disk to raid capable:

  1. Press (Ctrl)(N) to access the PD Mgmt screen. A list of physical disks is displayed. The status of the each disk is displayed under State.
  2. Press the down-arrow key to highlight a physical disk.
  3. Press <F2> to display the menu of available actions.
  4. Press the down-arrow key to highlight Convert to RAID Capable.
  5. Press <Enter>.


4. Converting Physical Disk to Non-Raid

Perform the following steps to Convert Physical disk to Non-raid:

  1. Press (Ctrl)(N) to access the PD Mgmt screen. A list of physical disks is displayed. The status of the each disk is displayed under State.
  2. Press the down-arrow key to highlight a physical disk.
  3. Press <F2> to display the menu of available actions.
  4. Press the down-arrow key to highlight Convert to Non-RAID.
  5. Press <Enter>.


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Article ID: SLN132533

Last Date Modified: 07/28/2016 02:54 AM


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