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da_ezman
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Setting up PE2950 w/PERC 5/i

Okay, I've set up several PE2850 servers with PERC 4/i RAID controllers. When I powered up my newly acquired PE2950, I expected it to be similar. I'm not getting very far in the configuration. Here's what I have and am trying to accomplish. ANY advice will be greatly appreciated!!!!

My plan is to use this server as a backup or secondary SQL server. Server came with 6-1.5TB drives. What I intend to do is set up drives 0-1 as a RAID 1 for the OS. Since I did not need that much wasted storage space, I swapped 80GB drives into these slots. I intend on setting up either 3 of the 1.5TB drives as a RAID 5 leaving one drive for HS, or setting up 4 drives in a RAID 10 with no HS.

When I boot and go into (Ctl-R) configuration, I see one VD and the 4-1.5TB drives in that array as a RAID 5. Under the VD Mgmt tab, the two 80GB drives in slots 0-1 show as missing. Under the PD tab, they show as 78GB drives and ready. I see no options to put these drives online and therefore do not have the option available to create a new VD with these 2 new drives as members. I'm stuck.

I'm sure there something small i'm overlooking but since this is my first go-round with a PERC 5/i, I need some advice. Any suggestions or help is GREATLY appreciated!!!!

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16 Replies
theflash1932
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Re: Setting up PE2950 w/PERC 5/i

I'm assuming then you have nothing on any of these drives.  Drives showing as they are is probably because you swapped them out after the array was created (?).

In CTRL-R, on the VD MGMT tab, arrow all the way up to highlight the controller, hit F2, then clear the configuration.  It should then show you No Configuration Found (or similar).  Then hit Enter and you will be shown a screen where you can setup your arrays.  Select RAID 1, tab to choose disks, Space Bar to select  your two 80GB drives, tab to Advanced and check it, then check Initialize, then tab to OK.  Once done, it should show on the VD screen, then you can install the OS and setup the RAID 5 once OMSA is installed, or create the RAID 5 while still in CTRL-R.

 

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da_ezman
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Re: Setting up PE2950 w/PERC 5/i

Thanks flash. That got me started anyway. KNEW it was something small I was not seeing. Just not being familiar with PERC 5/i. Got both arrays set up, RAID 1 for OS and RAID 10 for data. Initializing in progress and will then try to load Windows Server 2003.

Thanks again.

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da_ezman
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Re: Setting up PE2950 w/PERC 5/i

Have them all set up and initialized. Started loading W2003 Server and get the no drives detected. I probably need the 3rd party drivers for the WD hard drives loaded (F6) when prompted. All I see on dell site is the SAS Utility and firmware updates for various drives. I will be using a jump drive to load the appropriate drivers on. Any clues on which driver is needed and if I can just download the SAS utility to the jump drive and access that when prompted?

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theflash1932
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Re: Setting up PE2950 w/PERC 5/i

Ok ... you will need the driver for the PERC 5/6, under SAS RAID Controllers:

In 2003, the only way Windows knows how to get a driver is from a floppy disk.  Vista/7/2008/2008R2 can load drivers from floppy, CD, or USB, but 2003 cannot.  Since it sounds like you don't have a floppy drive in this system, you have two options: 1) Use a special utility (below) to format a USB key specially to "trick" Windows into thinking it is a floppy, 2) Use nLiteOS.com to integrate the driver into your OS installation media.

Number 2 is much easier and the one I would recommend, as option 1 is not very fool-proof.  I'm not calling you a fool, there are just several ways to make it not work.

USB Key Utility - You must first install the utility, then extract driver files into the FILES folder created by the utility, insert a USB key that can be formatted, then when you run the utility, DELETE the Volume Label (leave it blank).  There should be no reason to hit F6, as the driver should load automatically.

http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/download.aspx?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd&releaseid=R237984&Syst...

 

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da_ezman
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Re: Setting up PE2950 w/PERC 5/i

Flash, I totally appreciate your confidence in my foolishness. Smiley Happy

nLite is the way to go. I've used it before. I had a USB floppy and formatted a bootable disk. Then dropped the suggested driver file onto it and attempted that first. It didn't work. Maybe because I should have left the floppy as non-bootable, formatted and just the driver file on it. Or it was because the driver file from Dell is in an executable file? Anyway, I'm building the nLite disk and slipstreaming the driver file into that. Will see if that works but I'm fairly confident it will.

MANY thanks for the guidance.

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theflash1932
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Re: Setting up PE2950 w/PERC 5/i

Yes ... sometimes I skip the easy options.  A USB floppy drive should work, but it should not be bootable.  Just default-format the floppy and transfer all 8-10 (or however many) files are unzipped by the driver download.  (Run the file you download to extract the files ... Windows will be looking for a textsetup.oem file for instructions.)

It should work with BIOS defaulted to AUTO for USB Emulation, but if not, then try Floppy Emulation.

 

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Re: Setting up PE2950 w/PERC 5/i

Flash is the man on stuff like this, but might I suggest an alternate method. In the box the server came in, you should have recvd a dvd disc, called the Systems Management Tools & Documentation. If you didnt get it, you can dnload it below. Since you have already partitioned the hard drives as you see fit, boot to the DVD, and follow the destructions to install your OS. Makes it much easier and you dont have to dnload drivers etc.


Download the two ISO file segments to a new, empty folder and concatenate them. Create a single DVD image file using the following commands:
Windows: copy /b OM* OM_620_SMTD_A00.iso
Linux: cat OM* > OM_620_SMTD_A00.iso

PS. just in case you recvd your system with a drac card, if the OS installation hangs, go into the drac card (Cntrl _E on bootup) and disable the virtual media until after your OS is installed.  

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theflash1932
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Re: Setting up PE2950 w/PERC 5/i

See ... I sometimes overlook the easier methods to solve the problem at hand Smiley Happy  I probably sometimes forget about this option for a few reasons:  I've noticed most people don't have their original OpenManage media (even if they did, the drivers would be out of date), the download is so darn big, and it is prone to a few bugs (VL media, SP2, etc.). 

However, good call Rey ... an option I definitely overlooked and one that should be considered.  Typically, a very easy, effective option.  If you have a good internet connection, Service Pack 2 on your 2003 media, and not using VL media from eopen website, then you should give it a go (if you haven't got it installed  yet).

 

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da_ezman
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Re: Setting up PE2950 w/PERC 5/i

MANY thanks Rey & Flash. I bought this server as a used unit and there was no documentation with it. I will follow the instructions and build a disk set in case I need it or I get another PE2950. In the meantime, I have gotten the OS loaded and now have to load all the drivers. Pressing onward and thanks again!!!!

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