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Innernet Inc.
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Poweredge 2900 Flex Bay error (with no Flex Bay installed or intended to be installed)

Real stumper here. We have a Poweredge 2900 and are using a PERC 5/i RAID controller. BIOS, backplane, baseboard controller and RAID controller are all on current firmware now.

On boot, the machine declares that the Flex Bay power cable is missing or improperly configured.

Main problem with that is we don't have a Flex Bay. The SAS cables are going straight from the controller to the backplane, and we have no intention of adding a Flex Bay to this machine.

The 8 bay hotswap cage is working fine, the drives in it are doing great on the RAID we set up, and the machine is otherwise 100% functional. Additionally, we've set up another 2900 side by side with this one with identical physical configuration, and it does not experience the same issue. We've verified the SAS cables against known-good ones, and the issue comes up on boot regardless.

This wouldn't be all that big a deal other than the fact that if we ever would need to reboot the 2900 remotely, someone would need to be physically on-hand to get it past the error and back into the OS. Not really ideal for a machine we want to sit in our NOC without much physical intervention.

We've been looking everywhere, but can't really find a way to disable the Flex Bay in the BIOS or the RAID controller.

Anyone have insight they could offer on this issue?

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Moderator
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RE: Poweredge 2900 Flex Bay error (with no Flex Bay installed or intended to be installed)

Hello

The SAS cables are going straight from the controller to the backplane

You should only have one SAS cable connected if you are not using the flex bay. The SAS B connection on the backplane is for the flex bay. If any of the connections intended for the flex bay are being used then you will receive errors if the flex bay is not present or functional. I suggest that you check your cabling again.

If the error persists with and the cabling is correct then the SAS B connector on the primary backplane is likely faulty.

Thanks

Daniel Mysinger
Dell EMC, Enterprise Engineer

Get support on Twitter @DellCaresPRO

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Innernet Inc.
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RE: Poweredge 2900 Flex Bay error (with no Flex Bay installed or intended to be installed)

Daniel,

Thanks for the response, but unless both cables are attached, then only one row of the main hotswap bay will detect its drives. We have 4 drives in the upper row (Controller 0/SAS A) and 2 drives in the lower row (Controller 1/SAS B). When both are connected, all six drives are accessible to the PERC 5/i, in three sets of RAID-1 pairs.

Unless I am entirely mistaken, the Flex-Bay is the optional 2x1 bay, which according to the owner's manual would receive an SAS B-IN from the controller, and have an SAS B-OUT to the backplane.

As mentioned in the initial post, we have a nigh-identical 2900 which is also cabled this way, but does not flag for a missing/misconfigured Flex-Bay. We have also temporarily used the other unit as a donor of SAS cables to verify that it is not the cables that are damaged.

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RE: Poweredge 2900 Flex Bay error (with no Flex Bay installed or intended to be installed)

but unless both cables are attached, then only one row of the main hotswap bay will detect its drives.

Yes, I was incorrect. Two cables are normal.

If the cabling is correct then the issue is likely with the backplane. The cabling error is reported by the system BIOS, but the slot that it is detecting the cabling error on is the SAS B input on the backplane. The error will be present if the flex bay is partially connected or not fully functional. If neither of those conditions are true then the issue is likely with the backplane. I would suggest disconnecting the SAS B to see if the error persists. If the error goes away when disconnecting the SAS B then the SAS B slot is likely the cause of the issue.

Thanks

Daniel Mysinger
Dell EMC, Enterprise Engineer

Get support on Twitter @DellCaresPRO

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