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R520 - SATA HDD not being detected in BIOS

My boss got an old R520 in a bulk purchase with some other servers and gave it to me since he didn't intend to put it in production.  It came bare with no cages but have a couple old WD Blue 500GB laying around and got them seated in the lower decks just to test however they do not show in BIOS, I tried AHCI and ATA config.  The drives show up in diskmanager in Windows on my desktop system, I even wiped and reformatted and still not seen in BIOS, and not shown in FreeNAS or a Live USB Ubuntu.

The drives seem to not be spinning (feel the vibration) unless I lift them slightly, due not not having cages, but still not shown.

 

I plan to make this into a FreeNAS server with several other Guest OSs for Plex, pfsense, a Ubuntu distro, ect running as VMs in the bhyve(8) hypervisor so the built in RAID is not needed so I turned off the controller in BIOS and still nothing shows for the drives.

 

I just want to be sure this thing doesn't have some defect before I order cages and drives for it, I can feel the drives slide into the backplane and seat the connector, but are cages still required?  Is it just an issue with SATA for some reason that won't matter because I am getting refurbed Dell SAS drives?

 

Ideas?

 

Thank you,

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Re: R520 - SATA HDD not being detected in BIOS

Hi Thumper3,

 

have you already checked the connections inside the system if everything is plugged in correctly?

As there are different types of chassis/hard drive configuration.

  • 4 x 3.5” hot-plug drive option:
    • Drive Controller: Embedded SATA or PERC S110
    • Non-hot-plug with Embedded SATA
    • Hot-pluggable with PERC S110
  • 8 x 3.5” hot-plug drive option:
    • Drive Controller: PERC H310, PERC H710, or PERC H710P

Also, you need to check if the drives are sorts of this:

  • 3.5" SATA 7.2K
  • 3.5" NL-SAS 7.2K
  • 3.5" SAS 15K

 

Technically the drive should spin up even without the carrier.

 

You might check out the R520 manual for further information on this topic. And you find some useful information about the labeling and so on.

 

Regards
Stefan

 

DellEMCStefan Richter
Community Manager
Brand certified, SMaC Professional
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Re: R520 - SATA HDD not being detected in BIOS

Yup, everything is plugged in, even unplugged the two SAS connector cables from the backplane to the motherboard and replugged in making sure they were firmly seated.

 

This is the configuration with 8x 3.5" drive bays, bays 0-4 are open, bays 5-7 are covered with block offs.  The front display was showing "Drive 0 is unplugged", so tonight I did try supporting a single drive and plugging into slot 0 (had been using 1 and 3 as they were on the bottom) and still get no detection in BIOS or OS.  Drive was clearly getting power and spinning.  Drive is a WD Cavaier Blue, 3.5" SATA 3 Gb/s 7200rpm.

 

My coworker swears he tested this thing with a SSD in bay 0 and had no issues.  My only thought is somehow the drive is just not supported/accepted and I have to drop some cash on some refurb SAS drives and see if that fixes it.

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Re: R520 - SATA HDD not being detected in BIOS

Hi Thumper3!

 

It doesn't make sense, the caddy is more or less just a dumb part, it is just a metal frame to hold the hard drive in place.

When it's spun up please check in the iDRAC if you see the drive there. Storage -> Physical Disks. It should appear there, if not it is not detected.

Maybe you ask you colleague to give you that "working" drive to make sure that the systems works as it should.

If it is like he mentioned, then you should go for some SAS drives, yes - before it does not make sense to invest the money, unless you have other ways to use them, if they do not work in this system.

 

And if you can confirm that the system is not working, no matter which drive you use, you first should go for the raid controller card, as the backplane is also just a dumb piece without any intelligence. It's more likely that the controller is defective then instead of the backplane.

 

A lot of things to consider, I know, but I think you will get there 🙂

 

Cheers
Stefan

 

DellEMCStefan Richter
Community Manager
Brand certified, SMaC Professional
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Re: R520 - SATA HDD not being detected in BIOS

This server came in several months ago and was just sitting in our backroom and was just discovered during a cleanup/inventory, he can't remember which disk or if he (most likely) already put it in another build.

 

Nothing shows in iDrac.

 

Per the boot screens this has a S110 card, when I went to look it up for drive compatibility it states the S110 doesn't support SAS drives?  Why do the cables from the bays to the board have SAS labeled on them?  Has no effect on this issue but if true would have driven me mad if I ordered SAS drives to further test.

 

Just to check I changed SATA mode to RAID and entered the S110 configuration menu, also shows no drives, only the DVD drive for some reason?  I removed the controller from the board (still offers S110 RAID setup option in BOOT screens), and still no drives detected.

 

I think I'm pretty much at the point of saying this was free and I got what I paid for......

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Re: R520 - SATA HDD not being detected in BIOS

Hi,

 

Mentioned controller board, do you happen to see any DPN#. During POST, do you see any other RAID controller name other than S110? You are correct, S110 only can support SATA on the server, it's a direct connection to the mainboard SATA ports, for S110 to work. 


Thanks,
Joey Chong
Dell EMC Enterprise Support Services
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