RCLapCar
2 Bronze

Convert MD3200i to MD1200

I recently acquired a used MD3200i and MD1200. I will be using these for home user for my home lab. Both are obviously out of warranty.

After looking over the two units in detail it appears to me that other than the controllers/EMM's all the other parts are the same. Since I don't need a full SAN and just a way to attach more disks to my home server the MD1200 is perfect for my needs. So I figured I would take one of the two EMM's from the MD1200 and use it in the MD3200i chassis (removing both controllers of course). I tried this but while the enclosure was visible it was showing as failed and none of the disks I put in it would be detected. 

So what I figured is that there is something on the backplane that is preventing the MD1200 EMM from working. I've seen mention here that techs can change the Product ID of a backplane and I wonder if this would solve my problem. I figured I'd ask here if there is anyway to use the MD3200i backplane with the MD1200 EMM? Otherwise I might just find a used MD1200 backplane somewhere but would prefer to do this without spending more money on these.

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3 Replies

Re: Convert MD3200i to MD1200

Hello RCLapCar,

You are correct that the backplane of your MD3200 doesn’t like the EMM of an MD1200.  What is needed is that you must use the VXshell user account to change the MD3200i back plane to think that it is an MD1200.  This is normally done at the factory before the system is shipped, or can be done when a backplane is replaced.  The issue is that this requires a current warranty so that a Storage analyst can login to the system and set the backplane to the correct ID.

Have you thought about using your MD3200i direct connected to your host systems?  All you would need is some dual port iSCSI HBA’s.  You can also chain your MD1200 off your MD3200i as well & still use it as a DAS. 

Please let us know if you have any other questions.


DELL-Sam L
Social Media Support Enterprise
#IWork4Dell

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RCLapCar
2 Bronze

Re: Convert MD3200i to MD1200

Hi,

So it looks like I won't be able to change the backplane myself. The unit is well out of warranty anyway. I also don't have the serial cable that would be needed to do this (I'm guessing). I might be able to get the cable but without knowing the magic commands and values to change the backplane that wouldn't do me much good anyway.

The reason I don't want to use the MD3200 is that it requires SAS drives to be used (including in the MD1200 if connected I assume). Unfortunately I don't have and SAS drives but have lots of SATA drives. Since this is just for my home lab I can't really justify spending the money on new SAS drives for it.

And just to be clear, can I assume that if I find a MD1200 backplane I would be able to use it without issues? Not sure if the EMM's are locked to backplane somehow or if either needs to be "configured" in some way to work.

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Re: Convert MD3200i to MD1200

Hello RCLapCar,

You can use SATA drives in an MD3200 as well.  As long as the drives are dell drives and are on the support matrix for the MD3200 they will work.  Here is a link to the support matrix and if you look on page23-30 it list out the supported drives for your MD3200. http://downloads.dell.com/manuals/common/md32xx_md36xx_supportmatrix_en-us.pdf

If you do find an MD1200 backplane then yes you can install it and it should work.  You will need to remove the MD3200 Controllers and get two EMM for your MD3200.

Please let us know if you have any other questions.


DELL-Sam L
Social Media Support Enterprise
#IWork4Dell

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