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Can't Boot from CD on R620 (Stuck on scanning devices from HBA for boot from SAN)

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I'm investigating the possibility of booting from SAN on our new R620s. I have been able to get it to work on our 2950s by configuring the HBAs to initialize a LUN on our SAN and then booting the server from the Windows 2008 R2 CD and then initiating the install to the LUN on the SAN.

The problem I'm having with the R620s is that there is no boot select menu (I can only choose preferred boot order). Regardless of what I choose or what bios settings, I initiate, if the HBA is connected to the SAN when the server boots and initializes devices, the server will get stuck on "scanning devices" and I have not been able to find a way to boot from CD besides disconnecting the HBAs. That however means that the LUN is not availble to install Server 2008 R2 from the CD.

I have tried every permutation of boot order and disabling all devices aside from the optical drive but R620s still hang on "scanning devices". On the 2950s, it was a simple step of accessing the boot menu and forcing a boot from CD. I haven't found a similar option on R620s. Does anybody have any input?

Thanks.

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Re: Can't Boot from CD on R620 (Stuck on scanning devices from HBA for boot from SAN)

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Right, what I mean is that the fact that it doesn’t hang when it is trying to look for an EFI partition is because there isn’t one and it moves passed it, but when it is looking for an MBR partition that is where it is getting stuck. The firmware on the card may need to be updated and that is possibly why it is hanging. Try updating the boot code on the controller.

driverdownloads.qlogic.com/.../SearchByProduct.aspx

Thanks,
Josh Craig
Dell EMC Enterprise Support Services
Get support on Twitter @DellCaresPRO
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Re: Can't Boot from CD on R620 (Stuck on scanning devices from HBA for boot from SAN)

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Hi Disk Operating System,

Is the system stopping during post when it gives "scanning devices" or is it finishing POST and then giving that error? If you press F11 will it bring up the boot menu to specify the boot device? What kind of SAN is it attached to? On the boot settings screen you should be able to specify a one time boot option, ftp.dell.com/.../poweredge-r620_Owner%27s%20Manual_en-us.pdf

Page 26

Thanks,
Josh Craig
Dell EMC Enterprise Support Services
Get support on Twitter @DellCaresPRO
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Re: Can't Boot from CD on R620 (Stuck on scanning devices from HBA for boot from SAN)

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Hi Josh. The server posts properly but will not boot from CD. It initializes all hardware firmware interfaces (RAID controller, NICs, HBAs, etc.) and then looks to find a boot device. If the Qlogic HBAs are connected to our EMC VNX SAN, it hangs on "scanning devices" and refuses to go past that point to boot from CD even if the optical drive is first in the boot order and even if I try to disable everything else but the optical drive.

I cannot reach the one-time boot select screen. When I press F11, I get the BIOS GUI menu where I can select "boot menu" which should take me to the one-time boot menu under normal circumstances but when I select "boot menu" with the HBAs connected to the SAN, it hangs on "scanning devices".

On our 2950s, I can just press F11 and go directly to the one-time boot select to choose boot from CD when the HBAs are connected (that will allow the Windows installer to see the LUNs to install to). This does not work on R620s. When I press F11 and select boot menu, it gets stuck on"scanning devices".

We are refreshing our infrastructure from 2950s to R620s and require boot from SAN for DR purposes. Thanks for your help.

-Jeremy

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Re: Can't Boot from CD on R620 (Stuck on scanning devices from HBA for boot from SAN)

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Is the system set to BIOS boot mode or UEFI boot mode? You may want to try the other boot mode to see if it lets you access the boot menu for one time boot then. Can you try to disable the boot to SAN option in the fiber controller and see if it will let you install then turn it back on? How long are you waiting on scanning devices?

Thanks,
Josh Craig
Dell EMC Enterprise Support Services
Get support on Twitter @DellCaresPRO
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Re: Can't Boot from CD on R620 (Stuck on scanning devices from HBA for boot from SAN)

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Hi Josh,

Thanks for your advice. UEFI boot manager does work and the Windows Installer loads, however UEFI boot is not our corporate standard. Furthermore, EFI boot requires a GPT disk and the LUN on our SAN is seen as an MBR partition.

If we could get BIOS boot to work on the R620, it would solve our problem.

Thank-you,

-Jeremy

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Re: Can't Boot from CD on R620 (Stuck on scanning devices from HBA for boot from SAN)

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When it is on UEFI it is not looking for an MBR partition, so it sounds like that is what it is stuck on, it is trying to read from that LUN. Which Qlogic card is this? Have you updated the firmware on the card?

Thanks,
Josh Craig
Dell EMC Enterprise Support Services
Get support on Twitter @DellCaresPRO
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Re: Can't Boot from CD on R620 (Stuck on scanning devices from HBA for boot from SAN)

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Sorry, let me clarify.

After your advice, I am able to boot select CD and succesfully boot from the Server 2008 R2 CD if I choose UEFI Boot Menu. UEFI works if we make our LUN a GPT boot partition as well. That should theoretically work as an alternative.

Unfortunately, our corporate standard for all servers is BIOS boot with MBR partitions and I have been instructed to try to get this to work. If I choose BIOS boot menu, then that is where the system gets stuck on "scanning devices" instead of going straight to boot from CD.

It makes sense to me to proceed with UEFI/GPT if there are no alternatives but I have to try to get BIOS to work first as it does on our older servers.

We are using Qlogic QLE2460 HBAs but haven't been able to update the firmware yet.

Thanks.

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Re: Can't Boot from CD on R620 (Stuck on scanning devices from HBA for boot from SAN)

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Right, what I mean is that the fact that it doesn’t hang when it is trying to look for an EFI partition is because there isn’t one and it moves passed it, but when it is looking for an MBR partition that is where it is getting stuck. The firmware on the card may need to be updated and that is possibly why it is hanging. Try updating the boot code on the controller.

driverdownloads.qlogic.com/.../SearchByProduct.aspx

Thanks,
Josh Craig
Dell EMC Enterprise Support Services
Get support on Twitter @DellCaresPRO

Re: Can't Boot from CD on R620 (Stuck on scanning devices from HBA for boot from SAN)

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Thanks for all your help Josh. The HBAs appear to not have had any ROM BIOS installed. Flashing to the latest firmware did the trick. With the boot code in place, it no-longer hangs while scanning devices.

A tip for anybody trying to flash QLogic HBAs (QLE2460 for us), their batch file (across several different versions) has the wrong command line switches for the version of flasutil.exe they include. If you encounter a "The parameter is incorrect - /fb", change the switch to /f because the switch /fb does not exist.

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