A couple of days ago, I received a PowerEdge T410. Initially, it looked like Dell had shipped the server with weird partitioning. With the guidance of Dell tech support, I reconfigured the RAID5 array and let it spend the next few hours initializing. Once that process completed, I began the process of reinstalling the OS (Server 2008 R2). The install process showed a single virtual disk, but had two sections listed for unallocated space. Any attempt to partition the virtual drive results in a error code. I'm done trying to repair a $5000.00 server that didn't work out of the box. I want to send the defective server back and would like a working server with the configuration I ordered in its place. Dell tech support is pointing at sales to resolve the issue and sales is telling me that tech support must resolve the issue and somehow this is all my fault for not having "Pro Support".
One way or another, this server is going back. I have already instructed our accounting department not to pay for the defective server. All I want is a shipping label to return the server and a working server as a replacement. The configuration should have:
Three 2TB hard drives in a RAID5 array with an OS partition of 125GB and the remainder of the free space as the data partition.
I hope someone can help me.
First, we are not Dell - we are users helping users. You will need to resolve this with Dell over the phone.
Second, if still within 21 days, there should be no problem returning the server. If outside of 21 days, you probably cannot return it.
Third, the real problem is this: Three 2TB drives in a RAID 5 gives you 4GB (reality is a bit less) of usable space. Windows CANNOT use anything over 2TB unless that "disk" (meaning the Virtual Disk that the controller is presenting Windows with) is formatted as a GPT disk (as opposed to MBR). This means, that with your setup, you have the following options:
1. Create two RAID 5's (VD's) across the three disks - one of 125GB, that will show in Windows as a 125GB "disk" that can be an MBR disk; and one with the remaining space, which will show as a separate "disk" in Windows Disk Management, which must then be converted to GPT to use the entire space.
2. In "setup", change to UEFI, create a single VD across the disks, then convert, format, and install to the disk as a "GPT" disk (Windows, unless GPT installed on EFI-enabled system, cannot BOOT to a GPT disk).
Dell shipped the server with a non-RAID setup with a 40GB partition for the OS, a 1756GB partition, an 1800GB partition and a 125GB partition. Not at all what I ordered.
All of the controllers that support RAID 5 do not support non-RAID ... each drive would have had to be configured in a single-disk RAID 0. From what you described, the 40/1760 was one VD and the 1800 was another VD - one VD as a two-disk RAID 1 and one VD as a single-disk RAID 0 - not a configuration I've ever seen shipped or offered from Dell unless working with a sales rep directly.
In CTRL-R, configure all three disks in a single RAID 5, specify the size as 125GB, check the Advanced and Initialize boxes, then install 2008 R2, allowing Windows to use the entire 125GB "disk"'s Unpartitioned Space as C:. Once installed, you can configure the rest of the 3.7TB of space across the three disks as a RAID 5 in CTRL-R or from OpenManage Server Administrator (OMSA) ... Storage, PERC, Information/Configuration (link at top of the page), Create/New from the dropdown list of available tasks for the controller. Once created, go to Windows Disk Management (right-click [My] Computer, Manage, Storage), right click "disk" 1 (don't right-click the Unpartitioned Space), and convert to GPT. You should then be able to use the entire 3.7TB space as a single storage unit to partition as you like.
I apologize for the inconvenience. If you would like to send me a private message with your name, email, and the case number I will take a look at the account and assist with returning the system. Tech support does not have access to billing information to process a return, but I can help facilitate the return through customer care.
Dell EMC, Enterprise Engineer
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Try what I suggested ... by understanding various limitations and functionality and getting it working, you may not need/want to return it. Besides, the last thing you'd want it is to return it and order another just to find the same thing.