PowerEdge Tutorials : Physicals Disks and RAID Controller (PERC) on Servers

PowerEdge Tutorials : Physicals Disks and RAID Controller (PERC) on Servers

This page provides tutorials about Hard Drives, Virtual Disks and the RAID Controller (PERC) in PowerEdge Server. It explains how to replace a PD (physical disk or physical drive) when it is failed or in predictive failure status.
The list of available PERC models, with the generation and specifications can be found at the following address Dell.com/PERC

A RAID controller is a hardware device on high end servers or software program on low end servers used to manage hard drives (HDDs) or solid-states drives (SSDs) a server or storage array. The controller offers a level of abstraction between an operating system and the pysical drives. A RAID controller is able to prevent groups of physical disks to the OS for which data protection schemes such as RAID-5 or RAID-10 ca be defined in order to protect and guarantee data integrity.

Table of Content

  1. Hard Drives
  2. Virtual Disks
  3. Raid Controller
  4. Addditional RAID information

Drives RAID HDD Virtual Disk Illustration Infographic Dell EMC
Legend: Illustration of drives connected to a backplane, and communicating with the RAID Controller in order to provide 2 virtual disks to the host.

Operations on Hard Drives (HDD)

What is the meaning of LED on Physical Drives (PD) ? SLN305722
Most of the time these LEDs are blinking green. When amber appears, it can be interesting to know the color code.

How to identify the Hard Drive properties and update the firmware? SLN305723
Each hard drive is using a firmware provided by the manufacturer, new versions improve the reliability. Learn how to check the current version and how to update.

How do I identify a physical disk failure? SLN292295
A hard drive is not performing as it should be? In this article, you will learn the main symptoms of a failing disk and the steps to perform an initial diagnostic.

How to solve a Predictive Failure Disk? SLN305727
The number of bad blocks is increasing to the limit, it may be the good time to replace the hard drive before the failure.

How to switch offline a Physical Disk in OMSA? SLN317646
Before unplugging a functional disk from a backplane, it is safe to switch the HDD offline in OpenManage Server Administrator. All Inputs and Outputs will be stopped to avoid any loss.

How to physically replace an HDD (Hot Swap procedure)? SLN305728
When it is time to replace the hard drive, this article will be useful. It explains the steps to perform to safely replace the component.

How to use the Nautilus Bootable media to update all drives firmware? SLN292308
Using the Dell Nautilus Firmware Update Utility is probably one of the easiest and most flexible ways of updating your hard drive firmware. A server reboot is required to perform the update.

Operations on Virtual Disks (VD)

Create a Virtual Disk is the first step to do before loading data on it. Settings differs based on the PERC model.
The generation of the PERC can be determined on the following page Dell.com/PERC
PERC 7, 8 or 9: How to create a Virtual Disk using PERC BIOS? SLN132533
PERC 10 : How to create a Virtual Disk using PERC BIOS (SLN307603) or iDRAC 9 Web Interface (SLN307276)

How to add a Hard Drive in a Virtual Disk? SLN131972
After adding the new disk, it might be needed to add it in the existing Virtual Disk.

How to add and replaced a failed disk in a Perc S100, S110 or S300? SLN290972
For software PERC, the procedure to replace a failed disk is more specific.

How to Assign a Hard Drive in Global Hot Spare? SLN305775
Declaring a hard drive as a hot spare is useful when replacing a failed disk.

How to extend a Virtual Disk? SLN305744
Extend a Virtual Disk allows to expand the RAID size.

How to change the RAID level in a Virtual Disk? SLN305744
An online virtual disk can be reconfigured in ways that expand its capacity and/or change its RAID level.
For example, this is possible to move from an RAID-0 to an RAID-5 or from an RAID-1 to an RAID-5.

How to backup a Virtual Disk? SLN305745
Before engaging any critical data operation or as part of a scheduled maintenance, having a working backup is an excellent option.

Note: RAID performances will be slighted degraded during any controller operation.

Operations on PowerEdge Raid Controller (PERC)

How to update a Perc Raid Controller (PERC)?
The firmware and the driver can be updated on a RAID controller card. The steps to update the firmware and the driver are provided in the "Update" page.
  • The driver has to be updated directly from the operating system, please read article SLN305406 to know more..
  • The firmware can be updated from the operating system (SLN305406) or directly from the iDRAC (SLN305431)

How to enter in the Power Edge Raid Configuration Utility? SLN306643
Usually pressing CTRL-R during the startup will allow to enter in the utility.

How to export PERC logs using software tools? SLN292191
Another alternative to extract RAID controller logs for advanced analysis is to use software a tool like PercCLI.
All methods are available in the article SLN292191.

How to manage in command line the RAID Controller (PERC CLI)? SLN283135
The list of available command lines is provided in the article SLN283135. A binary has to be installed on operating system.

Additional RAID Operations and Information

How to fix Double Faults and Punctures in RAID Arrays
What are "double faults" is explained in the article SLN111497.
Double faults and puctured back blocks can be fixed by taking specific actions SLN156726.

How to solve PowerEdge Raid Controller Card errors?
For common PowerEdge RAID Controller (PERC) errors, see the article SLN129828.
For common errors with physical disks, see the article SLN129432.
For performances issues, the article HOW10156 explains how to start the investigations.

Can different drives be used in a RAID?
The article SLN283215 answers questions about drive specifications in the same RAID.

What are the RAID levels and their specifications?
A RAID is a group of independent physical disks. The physical disk group appears to the host system either as a single storage unit or multiple logical units. Data throughput improves because several disks are accessed simultaneously. RAID systems also improve data storage availability and fault tolerance. Data loss caused by a physical disk failure can be recovered by rebuilding missing data from the remaining physical disks containing data or parity. See the article SLN292050 for more information.

What is the PERC Learn Cycle feature and how to enable?
The "Learn Cycle" feature is a battery calibration operation performed by the controller periodically to determine the condition of the battery.
This operation cannot be disabled. See the article SLN292301 for more information.

What is the meaning of ""No Boot Device Available"?
The server powers on and the Dell screen appears. Unfortunately when the operating system should be loaded, the error "No Boot Device Available" is displayed and nothing happens.
Find more information in the article sln292433.

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Article ID: SLN300675

Last Date Modified: 09/21/2019 01:17 AM

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