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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
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).
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.
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 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).
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 ...
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.
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.
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.