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How to access the RAID controller setup in UEFI configured systems

Summary: This article serves as a guide to access and manage RAID in UEFI BIOS and IRST User Interface on Precision, OptiPlex and Other Dell system, where it cannot be accessed through normalSee more

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Article Content


Symptoms


The BIOS RAID controller configuration ROM cannot be accessed by the normal hotkey combinations on Precision, OptiPlex and other Dell systems when the system BIOS is configured for UEFI boot mode. Learn how to launch and manage RAID Arrays thorugh this article.

Cause


Overview

When Precision, OptiPlex or other Dell systems with RAID controllers are configured for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface  (UEFI) boot mode, the RAID setup utility built into the BIOS will not open using CNTR+I, CNTR+H, or other hotkey combinations.

The hotkey access to the RAID setup are only supported when the BIOS is configured for the Legacy boot mode.

In most cases, RAID can be managed from the RAID user interface (Intel Rapid Storage Technology or IRST for example) inside Windows. Only when you cannot manage the RAID array in Windows, would you need access to the RAID configuration in the UEFI BIOS.


How to Access RAID BIOS in UEFI mode

When these systems are configured in UEFI BIOS mode, the RAID setup is accessed from the F12 pre-boot menu.

Press F12 on power up while at the Dell logo splash screen. Then, select "Device Configuration" from the list shown in the F12 pre-boot menu. (Figure 1.)

UEFI Pre-Boot Menu, Device Configuration option
Figure 1. UEFI Pre-Boot Menu, Device Configuration option

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Creation of a Recovery Array in the IRST User Interface

The RAID setup utility will then execute and allow for configuration of the system’s RAID array. See Figures 2-19 for examples of the Intel Integrated RAID in UEFI mode. Intel Integrated RAID can be configured from either the Intel Rapid Storage Technology (IRST) user interface or from the RAID BIOS.

Below are examples of the IRST User Interface (UI) and the UEFI BIOS during the configuration of Intel Integrated RAID. Other RAID controllers may have different screens but the basic configuration functionality should be similar.

Recovery Array

The IRST user interface allows you to create RAID array configurations from within the operating system with ease.

  1. Creating a Recovery Array (Default) using the Intel Integrated RAID controller and the Intel Rapid Storage Technology user interface. (Figure 2.)
    Creating a Recovery RAID Array
    Figure 2. The first step in creating a Recovery RAID Array
  2. Select the type of RAID array you want to create. (Figure 3.)
    RAID array selection choices
    Figure 3. RAID array selection choices
  3. Then you configure the selected drives in the RAID array. (Figure 4.)
    Selection of the disk assignments in the Recovery array
    Figure 4. Selection of the disk assignments in the Recovery array.
  4. Confirm the recovery volume creation. (Figure 5.)
    Creation of the Recovery volume array
    Figure 5. Creation of the Recovery volume array.
  5. Then you click OK on the volume creation complete. (Figure 6.)
    Recovery Volume array creation complete
    Figure 6. Recovery Volume array creation complete.
     
NOTE: After the array is created, you will be prompted to open Disk Management to create and format partitions on the array.

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Creation of a RAID 1 (Mirror) in the IRST User Interface

  1. Creating a RAID1 Array (Mirror) using the Intel Integrated RAID controller and the Intel Rapid Storage Technology user interface. (Figure 7.)
    Creating a RAID1 Array (Mirror)
    Figure 7. Creating a RAID1 Array (Mirror).
     
  2. Next you select the drives to create the RAID array. (Figure 8.)
    RAID1 (Mirror) drive selection
    Figure 8. RAID1 (Mirror) drive selection.
     
  3. There is an optional selection of the size of the RAID1 array (Default is 100%). (Figure 9.)
    Selection of the size of the RAID1 array
    Figure 9. Selection of the size of the RAID1 array.
     
  4. Next is the confirmation of the RAID1 Volume. (Figure 10.)
    Confirmation of the RAID1 Volume
    Figure 10. Confirmation of the RAID1 Volume.
     
  5. Last, the volume creation is complete. (Figure 11.)
    RAID1 volume creation is complete
    Figure 11. RAID1 volume creation is complete.
     

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Creation of a RAID Array in the UEFI BIOS

You can also create RAID volumes in the UEFI RAID BIOS that you access from the F12 Device configuration menu (See Figure 1 above.)

  1. Once you select Device Configuration and press the "Enter" key, you will be presented with the RAID status page. To create a RAID array, ensure "Create RAID Volume" is highlighted (using the array keys) then press the "Enter" key to start the array creation process. (Figure 12.)
    Create RAID Volume
    Figure 12. Create RAID Volume.
     
  2. In this configuration we change from the Default RAID1(Mirror) to the RAID0(Stripe) option using the "+" Key. (Figure 13.)
    Changing from the default RAID1 to RAID0 striped array
    Figure 13. Changing from the default RAID1 to RAID0 striped array.
     
  3. Once you have selected your array type, you then need to select the drives to be configured in the array. Use the arrow keys to highlight the drive, the press the "Enter" key to select the drive to add. (Figure 14.)
    Selecting the first drive to add to the array
    Figure 14. Selecting the first drive to add to the array.
     
  4. A popup will appear for the drive, use the arrow key to highlight the selection space, type an "X" to select then press the "Enter" key to complete the drive selection. (Figure 15.)
    The drive selection screen
    Figure 15. The drive selection screen.
     
  5. Repeat the selection process for the second, third or even fourth drive (Depending on drive and chassis configuration) (Figure 16.)
    Selection of the second drive for the array
    Figure 16. Selection of the second drive for the array.
     
  6. Then use the arrow keys to navigate to the "Create Volume" option that will become available once there are at least two drives selected. (Figure 17.)
    Creation of the Volume after drive selection is completed
    Figure 17. Creation of the Volume after drive selection is completed.
     
  7. Once the Array is complete, you will now see the status of the array. (Figure 18.)
    Array status after array completion
    Figure 18. Array status after array completion.
     

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Deleting an Array in the UEFI BIOS

If an array already exists, there will be an option available to delete the array. When the delete option is selected, you will be asked to confirm the array deletion and you will also receive a warning that all data on the Volume will be lost. (See Figure 19. Below.)

Deleting an array confirmation in the UEFI BIOS
Figure 19. - Deleting an array confirmation in the UEFI BIOS.

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Resolution


Overview

When Precision, OptiPlex or other Dell systems with RAID controllers are configured for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface  (UEFI) boot mode, the RAID setup utility built into the BIOS will not open using CNTR+I, CNTR+H, or other hotkey combinations.

The hotkey access to the RAID setup are only supported when the BIOS is configured for the Legacy boot mode.

In most cases, RAID can be managed from the RAID user interface (Intel Rapid Storage Technology or IRST for example) inside Windows. Only when you cannot manage the RAID array in Windows, would you need access to the RAID configuration in the UEFI BIOS.


How to Access RAID BIOS in UEFI mode

When these systems are configured in UEFI BIOS mode, the RAID setup is accessed from the F12 pre-boot menu.

Press F12 on power up while at the Dell logo splash screen. Then, select "Device Configuration" from the list shown in the F12 pre-boot menu. (Figure 1.)

UEFI Pre-Boot Menu, Device Configuration option
Figure 1. UEFI Pre-Boot Menu, Device Configuration option

Back to Top


Creation of a Recovery Array in the IRST User Interface

The RAID setup utility will then execute and allow for configuration of the system’s RAID array. See Figures 2-19 for examples of the Intel Integrated RAID in UEFI mode. Intel Integrated RAID can be configured from either the Intel Rapid Storage Technology (IRST) user interface or from the RAID BIOS.

Below are examples of the IRST User Interface (UI) and the UEFI BIOS during the configuration of Intel Integrated RAID. Other RAID controllers may have different screens but the basic configuration functionality should be similar.

Recovery Array

The IRST user interface allows you to create RAID array configurations from within the operating system with ease.

  1. Creating a Recovery Array (Default) using the Intel Integrated RAID controller and the Intel Rapid Storage Technology user interface. (Figure 2.) 
  2. Creating a Recovery RAID Array
    Figure 2. The first step in creating a Recovery RAID Array
     
  3. Select the type of RAID array you want to create. (Figure 3.)
    RAID array selection choices
    Figure 3. RAID array selection choices
     
  4. Then you configure the selected drives in the RAID array. (Figure 4.)
    Selection of the disk assignments in the Recovery array
    Figure 4. Selection of the disk assignments in the Recovery array.
     
  5. Confirm the recovery volume creation. (Figure 5.)
    Creation of the Recovery volume array
    Figure 5. Creation of the Recovery volume array.
     
  6. The you finallty  complete the volume creation complete. (Figure 6.)
    Recovery Volume array creation complete
    Figure 6. Recovery Volume array creation complete.
     
NOTE: After the array is created, you will be prompted to open Disk Management to create and format partitions on the array.

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Creation of a RAID 1 (Mirror) in the IRST User Interface

  1. Creating a RAID1 Array (Mirror) using the Intel Integrated RAID controller and the Intel Rapid Storage Technology user interface. (Figure 7.)
    Creating a RAID1 Array (Mirror)
    Figure 7. - Creating a RAID1 Array (Mirror).
     
  2. Next you select the drives to create the RAID array. (Figure 8.)
    RAID1 (Mirror) drive selection
    Figure 8. - RAID1 (Mirror) drive selection.
     
  3. There is an optional selection of the size of the RAID1 array (Default is 100%). (Figure 9.)
    Selection of the size of the RAID1 array
    Figure 9. - Selection of the size of the RAID1 array.
     
  4. Next is the confirmation of the RAID1 Volume. (Figure 10.)
    Confirmation of the RAID1 Volume
    Figure 10. - Confirmation of the RAID1 Volume.
     
  5. Last, the volume creation is complete. (Figure 11.)
    RAID1 volume creation is complete
    Figure 11. RAID1 volume creation is complete.
     

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Creation of a RAID Array in the UEFI BIOS

You can also create RAID volumes in the UEFI RAID BIOS that you access from the F12 Device configuration menu (See Figure 1 above.)

  1. Once you select Device Configuration and press the "Enter" key, you will be presented with the RAID status page. To create a RAID array, ensure "Create RAID Volume" is highlighted (using the array keys) then press the "Enter" key to start the array creation process. (Figure 12.)
    Create RAID Volume
    Figure 12. - Create RAID Volume.
     
  2. In this configuration we change from the Default RAID1(Mirror) to the RAID0(Stripe) option using the "+" Key. (Figure 13.)
    Changing from the default RAID1 to RAID0 striped array
    Figure 13. - Changing from the default RAID1 to RAID0 striped array.
     
  3. Once you have selected your array type, you then need to select the drives to be configured in the array. Use the arrow keys to highlight the drive, the press the "Enter" key to select the drive to add. (Figure 14.)
    Selecting the first drive to add to the array
    Figure 14. - Selecting the first drive to add to the array.
     
  4. A popup will appear for the drive, use the arrow key to highlight the selection space, type an "X" to select then press the "Enter" key to complete the drive selection. (Figure 15.)
    The drive selection screen
    Figure 15. - The drive selection screen.
     
  5. Repeat the selection process for the second, third or even fourth drive (Depending on drive and chassis configuration) (Figure 16.)
    Selection of the second drive for the array
    Figure 16. - Selection of the second drive for the array.
     
  6. Then use the arrow keys to navigate to the "Create Volume" option that will become available once there are at least two drives selected. (Figure 17.)
    Creation of the Volume after drive selection is completed
    Figure 17. - Creation of the Volume after drive selection is completed.
     
  7. Once the Array is complete, you will now see the status of the array. (Figure 18.)
    Array status after array completion
    Figure 18. - Array status after array completion.
     

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Deleting an Array in the UEFI BIOS

If an array already exists, there will be an option available to delete the array. When the delete option is selected, you will be asked to confirm the array deletion and you will also receive a warning that all data on the Volume will be lost. (See Figure 19. Below.)

Deleting an array confirmation in the UEFI BIOS
Figure 19. - Deleting an array confirmation in the UEFI BIOS.

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Article Properties


Affected Product

OptiPlex 5050, OptiPlex 7020, OptiPlex 7040, OptiPlex 7050, OptiPlex 9020, Precision Rack 7910, Dell Precision Tower 3420, Precision T3610, Dell Precision Tower 3620, Precision T5610, Precision Tower 5810, Precision T7610, Dell Precision Tower 7810OptiPlex 5050, OptiPlex 7020, OptiPlex 7040, OptiPlex 7050, OptiPlex 9020, Precision Rack 7910, Dell Precision Tower 3420, Precision T3610, Dell Precision Tower 3620, Precision T5610, Precision Tower 5810, Precision T7610, Dell Precision Tower 7810, Precision Tower 7910See more

Last Published Date

07 Mar 2021

Version

4

Article Type

Solution

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