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January 8th, 2017 14:00

Does the PERC 6/i, SAS 5 work with non-certified Dell HDDs

Hi all,

I bought 3x Seagate Constellation ES HDDs of eBay a few days back for use on my home server (PowerEdge T410 with a PERC 6/i). These drives have not worked for me on the following controllers with the following errors:

SAS 5 - Drive shows but when trying to initialise in diskmgmt.msc, it says it can't due to an I/O error.

PERC 5/i - Causes the PERC to stop responding during boot (Adapter at baseport xxxx is not responding)

PERC 6/i - Shows but when I tried to create a virtual disk, shows all 3 new disks in a "failed" state and the bays which they're in blink orange.

I have contacted the eBay seller who is informing me that it is a firmware issue. They have offered to replace the HDDs but say I will have the same issue again as they aren't compatible with my PERC/SAS adapters. I am finding this hard to believe because I have 3 other Seagate Constellation ES HDDs currently installed in the server, which function fine (although they do have different firmware revisions). Will I have the same issue again? Do these adapters need Certified drives? I have used normal SATA HDDs with the PERC 6/i previously with no issue (WD Blues)

Tl;dr: Do the PERC 5/i, PERC 6/i and SAS 5 require Dell Certified drives to function?

7 Technologist

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16.3K Posts

January 8th, 2017 16:00

Seagate ES drives exist with generic/retail firmware and with Dell firmware making them certified for use on the PERC controllers.

Do these adapters need Certified drives?

Certified drives is "best practice", but they ARE NOT REQUIRED. HOWEVER, using non-certified drives, you are on your own to troubleshoot issues with them - there is no guarantee they will work.

Desktop/laptop and NAS drives are poor choices for servers. You at least went with "enterprise" class drives this time, which generally have a greater chance of working, but again there is no guarantee.

In your T410, you want to use the PERC 6/i - I would abandon trying to get the PERC/SAS 5's to work.

12 Posts

January 8th, 2017 16:00

Hi there,

Many thanks for the response. As long as I have confirmation that the PERC 6/i does NOT require certified drives to function, that is good enough for me. 

Is there a chance at all that this could be a firmware issue with the drives? I have 3 drives exhibiting the exact same symptoms.

I used the PERC 5/i and SAS 5 as a test to ensure the fault didn't lie with the PERC 6/i. They were old adapters I had lying around that were useful to test. I use the 6/i in the server by default.

As I say, this is a home server, so I am not worried about "best practices" as such, as this isn't a mission-critical server.

12 Posts

January 8th, 2017 16:00

Also, how would one identify a Dell-Certified Seagate over a retail version?

Does the label feature the Dell logo?

7 Technologist

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16.3K Posts

January 8th, 2017 19:00

Yes, certified drives usually have a Dell logo on it, but it will always have a Dell part number.

7 Technologist

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16.3K Posts

January 8th, 2017 19:00

Is there a chance at all that this could be a firmware issue with the drives? I have 3 drives exhibiting the exact same symptoms.

"Firmware issue"? I'm not suggesting that there is a "problem" with the drive firmware, if that it what you are asking. The firmware is working exactly as it was designed/programmed to. It just was designed/programmed for a different purpose than you are using it for. The firmware on the drives is important. The firmware is the instruction set for the drives - how it responds to requests and commands from the controller, its recovery settings, etc. - so if you use a drive that is not certified, you are taking a chance that the settings do or don't match up adequately for it to work.

You could try making sure the controller and the drives have their latest firmware versions applied ... sometimes makes a difference.

I used the PERC 5/i and SAS 5 as a test to ensure the fault didn't lie with the PERC 6/i. They were old adapters I had lying around that were useful to test. I use the 6/i in the server by default.

I understand, but the PERC 6 is the only one supported in that server, so there is a chance that the others won't work correctly, making it an iffy test.

As I say, this is a home server, so I am not worried about "best practices" as such, as this isn't a mission-critical server.

Again, I understand, but just keep in mind that servers are not designed such that compatibility is broad enough to use pretty much any hardware you want. For performance and reliability, parts are extensively tested and validated for the supported server configurations. 

Best practices are a great way to ensure stuff works, and should be the only choice for production setups, but sometimes not following them creates more headaches than the savings is worth. It is a game of trial and error outside of it.

12 Posts

January 9th, 2017 06:00

Wonderful. I have asked the seller to ship replacements as I am convinced this has nothing to do with firmware. I believe this issue lies with the actual HDDs.

7 Technologist

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16.3K Posts

January 9th, 2017 07:00

It certainly could be the drives are bad, but like you said, it's doing the same thing with 3 separate drives ... seems to me to be unlikely that the drives are bad in all the same way. May luck be with you though.

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