Mike Deignan
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PE R410 / PERC 6/I VDs not visible to OS install

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Its weeks like this why I hate going on vacation.

I have a Dell R410 Server, latest BIOS (1.12.0) w/ PERC 6/I RAID-5 adapter (package 6.3.3.0002 w/ firmware 1.22.52).

This server was configured w/ two VDs: a 256gb "boot/OS" VD, and a 5TB "data" partition. Previously running Windows 2008 Standard, can't remember for how long, probably since it was purchased ?4? years ago.

While I was on vacation, "something" happened. "Something" being defined as I don't know what. This is a non-mission-critical server -- I principally use it as a software and data repository for IT related matters, so nobody really noticed it offline. When I returned (and needed to access some info on it) I noticed it was at the boot screen, basically sitting at the point where it completed POST with the cursor at the bottom of the screen immediately after the BMC configuration display (no iDRAC card in this box). Last message displayed on the screen is "Fan 4 speed may change depending on system configuration and option card installation", which is completely normal (at least, has been since I bought the box).

So, I assume the box rebooted at some point, completed all the POST diagnostics, and then couldn't/wouldn't boot.

Rebooted the box, went into the RAID configuration section, both VDs are Optimal. When I boot, as part of the POST messages, the PERC messages indicate "2 virtual drives found on the host adapter" and "2 virtual drives handled by BIOS". So far, so good. Exit RAID config, let the system reboot and go through all the POST messages again, and finally, after the "Fan 4" message, the box just stalls.

I figure something either happened to the boot sector or OS partition while I was away. I thought it would be a good time to just format the OS partition and install Windows Server 2012R2 x64 instead, bringing the box up-to-date.

Only problem... 2012R2 does not "see" the VDs.

Based on my readings online, 2012R2 allegedly has built-in support for the Perc 6/I controller. So, when I boot into the 2012R2 installation, I would expect the system to detect the VDs. But, it doesn't.

Based on another posting I found here, I deleted and recreated my "OS" VD. Still no luck.

Believing perhaps the Perc 6/I I have was not somehow supported by the native 2012R2 installer, I scrounged around until I found a driver which the installer recognized (aside: why is it so hard to find drivers on dell's site now? All I could find are these "update packages" which you actually have to be on the machine in an OS already to install, and you can't extract the drivers on another system to put on a USB stick. Very aggravating, unless I'm missing something obvious.). I believe the driver I ultimately ended up locating was the W2003x64 Perc 6/I driver.

The installer recognizes the driver on the USB stick, when I select it I presume it installs it (I see USB stick activity), but the installer still does not see the two VDs,

Since the box originally had Windows Server 2008 installed on it, I dug out my old 2008 install disks and tried with them. No go. Exact same problem. Makes me wonder how I ever had this box running 2008. Maybe I imagined the whole thing.


So, after this long-winded diatribe, my question: What am I doing wrong, or, should I be doing something else here I'm not thinking of... because, frankly, I'm out of ideas. At this point I'd be content just getting ANY OS installed on the box so I can copy the information off of it to another machine, because, while the information on it is not mission-critical, its still going to be a major PITA to reconstruct it all.

Anyone have any idea why 2008 and 2012 is not recognizing the PERC 6/I VDs? Is there a different driver I need, or ... ?

Thanks,
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RE: PE R410 / PERC 6/I VDs not visible to OS install

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Great forensic work, Mike! 

Sorry to hear about your trouble with your PERC 6/i Adapter

Is your replacement PERC 6/I at the same firmware level as your original adapter ( 6.3.3-0002, 1.22.52-1909)? Link to PERC 6/I Firmware

Since your VDs show up as optimal, and you do not get error messages during POST regarding your storage controller / VDs, we can skip this:
From PERC BIOS (CTRL-R during POST) Main Menu VD Mgmt Screen:
  1. Press CTRL-N to navigate to PD Mgmt Screen
  2. Check hard drive information (# of hard drives listed, drive status). 

Please try checking data consistency:

Perform the following steps to run a Consistency Check (this is non-destructive).
1. From within PERC BIOS (CTRL-R during POST), Press <Ctrl><N> to access the VD Mgmt menu
    screen.
2. Press the down arrow key to highlight Virtual Disk #.
3. Press <F2> to display the menu of available actions.
4. Press the down arrow key to select Consistency Check.
5. Press the right arrow key to display the menu of available actions, Start and Stop.
6. Select Start and press <Enter> to run a Consistency Check.
    The Consistency Check runs and checks the redundancy data in the virtual disks.
7. After you start the Consistency Check, press <Esc> to display the previous menu.


For your initial issues with drives not detected, please check that boot support is enabled:
1. From PERC BIOS, Press <Ctrl><N> to access the Ctrl Mgmt menu screen.
2. Press <Tab> to move the cursor to Enable Controller BIOS in the Settings box.
3. Press the spacebar to select Enable Controller BIOS. An X displays beside Enable Controller BIOS.
4. Press <Tab> to move the cursor to the Apply button, and then press <Enter> to apply the selection.

Try to check your Windows partition using diskpart (there is a 'RECOVER' option that you can consider).   



Carlos

#Iwork4Dell

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RE: PE R410 / PERC 6/I VDs not visible to OS install

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Mike, you are correct that both Server 2008 and 2012R2 have native drivers for the PERC 6i which is why they are not available to download on the the Dell support site.  Thus the issue definitely odd.  You may have to delete all VD's and clear the PERC configuration.  We've seen that cause problems sometimes when there are some meta-data issues.  

I would try save off that data data before trying anything else further.  Burn a DVD of our OMSA Live linux ISO from this link.  There is a readme.txt also that is helpful. Essentially, once you're at the desktop, you should be able to access your data via the local drive icon.  Insert a USB device to transfer your data. Since your data appears rather large, there are some network options also but it may require some configuration. 

OMSA Live link:
http://linux.dell.com/files/openmanage-contributions/omsa-71-live/

If the OS VD is separate from the data RAID 5 array, you may further remove the RAID 5 hard drives to preserve the data.  Then clear the PERC configuration and attempt the install with just a newly created OS VD.  Inserting the DATA array drives later will allow you import the VD back in if needed. 

Let us know how that goes. 

Bo Pham

Dell | Social Outreach Services - Enterprise Quality Lead
Get Support on Twitter @DellCaresPRO 

 

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theflash1932
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RE: PE R410 / PERC 6/I VDs not visible to OS install

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Bo beat me to this, but another question that I didn't see answered in your post:  How many actual drives do you have in the system?  Is the OS VD made up of disks separate from those of the data VD, or have you created slices across the disks to create a boot disk small enough for the OS without enabling UEFI?

And to answer your "aside" ... we (Rockstars) are currently hammering Dell to return the "hard drive" version of the drivers to the Drivers & Downloads site, but until then, you can get them on Dell's FTP site (http://ftp.dell.com).

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Mike Deignan
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RE: PE R410 / PERC 6/I VDs not visible to OS install

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Thanks for the replies guys. 4 2TB SATA drives. VD0 256GB, VD1 is the rest. No separate drives for each VD. (On other servers with more hard drives we do this, or have a separate OS drive and then RAID the remainder of the drives, but in this older box w/ 4 drives at the time we got it, it didn't make sense to break it up based on its config.) So yes, the data for both VDs is sliced across all 4 drives. The drives and controller appear to be okay, no errors or warnings anyway. Just can't figure out why I cannot get the OS installer to "see" the VDs. I'll try the Linux image now and follow-up shortly.
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Mike Deignan
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RE: PE R410 / PERC 6/I VDs not visible to OS install

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OK, to follow-up.

Booted the CentOS dvd. Get to the desktop. In "file browser" the two VDs do not show.

If I run disk utility, I can see a /dev/sdc1 and /dev/sdc2 w/ appropriate sizes (/dev/sdc2 being the larger of the two)

If I attempt to mount

sudo mkdir /mnt/ntfs
sudo mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdc2 /mnt/ntfs

I get:

Error opening /dev/sdc2 : No such device or address
Failed to mount /dev/sdc2 : No such device or address
Either the device is missing or it's powered down, or you have
SoftRaid hardware and must use an activated, different device under
/dev/mapper

sudo parted /dev/sdc
ERror opening /dev/sdc: no such device or address


Fried Perc6/I card?
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theflash1932
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RE: PE R410 / PERC 6/I VDs not visible to OS install

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Could be your card, but it is unlikely.  The reason I asked about the disk group vs. VD arrangement is that you are MUCH more likely to experience these types of issues with sliced arrays.  I'm not a big Linux guy, so I'll let you guys sort out what you are seeing ...

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RE: PE R410 / PERC 6/I VDs not visible to OS install

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That's not a good sign. There is no special mounting needed and it appears that your file system is corrupt. Flash is correct that it is unlikely the controller, although we've seen stranger things.  The fact you are able to navigate the PERC BIOS and create VD's would elude that the PERC is fine. If there is another identical non-critical system, you could try move the drives over and import the VD. 

I've had some customers attempt to use the filezilla client (www.sf.net) to SFTP to the server and try to transfer the files. I don't have further details on that but it has worked for some of them.

Unfortunately, outside of that or other third party recovery companies, it appears you may have go through the painful task of rebuilding the data. 

 

Bo Pham

Dell | Social Outreach Services - Enterprise Quality Lead
Get Support on Twitter @DellCaresPRO 

 

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Mike Deignan
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RE: PE R410 / PERC 6/I VDs not visible to OS install

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If the filesystem were corrupt, however, would not the Windows installer still detect the two VDs, just not be able to read them? Keep in mind, I deleted the OS VD and recreated/initialized it. So, wouldn't I be able to access that one at a very minimum? I don't think this is a filesystem corruption issue. Just doing something as simple as a "dd" on /dev/sdc yields an error message. The problem seems more systemic than filesystem corruption.
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Mike Deignan
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RE: PE R410 / PERC 6/I VDs not visible to OS install

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Pulled out all 4 2TB SATA drives this morning, and replaced them with 4 1 & 1.5TB SATA drives I had laying around. Rebooted, created two new VDs in the RAID configuration, a 128GB boot partition and the remainder a data partition. Initialized the VDs and rebooted. POST messages indicate two VDs recognized and handled by the BIOS. Windows Server 2012 R2 and 2008 installation does not "see" either VD. This would seem to support it being a PERC problem rather than a filesystem problem, no?
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RE: PE R410 / PERC 6/I VDs not visible to OS install

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Hi Mike, 

There may be some other issue going on here. You're right, it not the file system, but it does not seem like the PERC either.  Before going down multiple RAID chain parts replacement, let’s take a step back and knock out the two common OS install methods with these systems.  

SMTD(Systems Management, Tools, and Documentation) DVD, and   the LCC(Lifecycle Controller) OS deployment. 

Here is the link the SMTD 7.4 DVD ISO. This is used for fresh OS installations which will load the proper communication drivers based on your OS selection and format the drives. It covers 2012R2 and 2008x versions and will prompt to insert  your OS media.
http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/Drivers/DriversDetails?driverId=PYKGK&fileId=3365348005&os...

Optionally, with the updated LCC, you can press F10 during POST to launch directly in the USC (Unified System Configurator) OS Deployment which preps the install for you.  

To update the LCC first, make sure your network settings are already set. You can then can use the platform update option from the USC menu (point to ftp.dell.com as your source).  Only update the LCC and allow the system reboot. Once back in the USC go to OS Deployment and follow the prompts..

 

Let us know if that works for you. 

Bo Pham

Dell | Social Outreach Services - Enterprise Quality Lead
Get Support on Twitter @DellCaresPRO 

 

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