Category Archives: Hardware

Installing 8GB of DDR2 RAM in Dell PowerEdge SC440

See this Article from an SC440 owner in Japan:

http://usy.jp/pc/poweredge_sc440_8gb/

Use page translate.

He was using PC2-5300 ECC Unbuffered RAM.  I will try PC2-6400 ECC Unbuffered 800Mhz RAM. Hopefully, it is backwards compatible to 667Mhz and 533Mhz.

I already installed 8GB PC2-5300 ECC unbuffered RAM and it works just fine in the Dell PowerEdge SC440.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:IJMyPClKJe0J:en.community.dell.com/support-forums/servers/f/956/t/18946794+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Build a Raid-1 Mirror Array on Adaptec 1430SA After an Operating System Is Installed

This procedures in this article show how to:

1. Build a Raid-1 Array on an Adaptec 1430SA RAID controller from a disk that already contains an operating system;

2. Rebuild a Raid-1 Array on an Adaptec 1430SA RAID controller from a degraded Raid-1 Array already containing an operating system; and

3. Clone a disk having an existing operating system, and/or existing Raid-1 mirror (whether or not the original array is degraded), onto a larger capacity set of hard drives and build (or rebuild) a Raid-1 Mirror Array on an Adaptec 1430SA Raid controller.

On the 1430SA Adaptec card, you may install an operating system on a preconfigured RAID-1 Array; or, you may use the “build” method to create or rebuild a RAID-1 Array from a non-RAID disk drive containing an existing operating system (or data) or from drives containing an exiting RAID-1 Mirror and existing operating system (or data), or from the remaining drive in a degraded RAID-1 Array.

  • If you have an existing RAID-1 mirror (whether or not it is degraded), install a product like Macrium Refect in order to make a good backup image of existing partitions. Use an external USB drive of caddy as the target of the Drive and Partition Image. Follow the instructions set forth in this article: http://www.sheldonsblog.com/index.php/rebuild-a-degraded-raid-1-array-on-adaptec-1430sa-controller/. After you have a good image backup, now use the same software to clone the partitions onto a new larger capacity drive (expanding the operating system partition on the new blank drive), and then create a new RAID Mirror Array using the newly cloned drive as the Mirror “Source” drive and another identical blank drive as the Mirror “Target” drive. How? See the same article: http://www.sheldonsblog.com/index.php/rebuild-a-degraded-raid-1-array-on-adaptec-1430sa-controller/.

  • You can build a Raid-1 Array from an non-Raid drive having an existing operating system by adding a brand new unused second drive of the same size or capacity, or cloning the existing partitions and O/S onto a larger capacity drive and then adding a second same new same capacity drive and building the Raid-1 Array.

After you have one drive, existing or expanded after cloning, you must ensure that that the Adaptec 1430SA Raid drivers are installed in the existing operating system so that the drive (and the new array you will create) will boot from the Adaptec 1430SA controller.

  • If you already installed an Array that has been running from the Adaptec 1430SA controller, even if the Array is degraded because 1 drive has dropped or failed on the existing array, then you know that the Adaptec controller drivers are already installed. Test whether the remaining drive on a degraded Array will boot by removing the failed drive and booting the system from the remaining drive on the Adaptec controller.

  • If you don’t have an existing Raid Array, then you will need to install the Adaptec 1430SA controller in the PC or server, then install the hard drive with existing operating system onto a non-Raid SATA port on the motherboard. Boot the operating system, download the latest Adaptec Raid Drives for your OS and 32-bit or 64-bit architecture, and install those drivers. Shut the system down. Install the same disk drive on port 0 of the Adaptec 1430SA Raid Controller card, and reboot the system from this single drive to ensure that the drive will boot from the newly installed controller card with controller card drivers now installed in the OS. Hint: To find port 0, locate the set of two ports on the lower position of the back edge of the card (ie. The ports nearest the motherboard when installed). When the card is installed in the PCI-e slot, then Port 0 should be the port on the right side facing nearest to the bottom side of the tower case. Looking at the back edge of the controller card after it is intstalled, the 4 ports should be as follows:

[3] | [2]

[1] | [0]

SLOT

  • Install a brand new unused disk drive of identical size capacity or larger either on Port 1 or Port 2. I prefer port two directly above port 0. It is your choice. This will be the Target Drive of the Mirror. Then, follow the procedure to Build a RAID-1 Array.

After you have tested to ensure the first drive will boot when installed on the Adaptec card, and you have shut the system down and you have installed a second identical or larger capacity drive (as the target of the Mirror, then:

  1. Boot the sytem and repeatedly press CTRL + A keys together to enter the Adaptec RAID Configuration Utility. This will load into the Adaptec Raid Controller’s Bios.

  2. Select “Disk Utilities” from the Main Menu. While inside Disk Utilities, check that both of your hard drives are showing properly as SATA 3.0Gb/s. Then escape from Disk Utilities back to the Main Menu.

  3. Select “Array Configuration Utilities” from the Main Menu, and then select Configure Drives. Press the space bar to select each drive on the left side of the screen and ensure that both drives show as being selected drives on the right side of the screen. Press the Enter key. The Bios will warn you that one or more selected drives has a balid partition and that there is a risk of losing data if configured, and will ask “Do you want to continue? (Yes/No): Press the Y key for Yes. The message “Configuring the drives . . .” will briefly flash on the screen before you are returned to the Main Menu.

  4. Selecct “Manage Arrays” from the Main Menu. In the list of arrays, the two drives will each show as SIMPLE VOLUME, and the drive containing your operating system should be located on Port 0. If everything is correct here, then escape to the Main Menu. [Caution: It is absolutely imperative that the source drive be located on Port 0 before you proceed to create the Array. Otherwise, your operating system and/or data and/or partitions will be lost.]

  5. Select “Create Array” from the Main Menu. Next, press the spacebar on each of the drives in turn (on port 0 and then on port 1 or 2 as the case may be), so that both of the drives show in the top right side of the screen under “Selected Drives.” Then, press the ENTER key.

  6. You will then arrive the “Array Properties” Screen. Select “RAID 1” as the type of RAID you want to use and press the Enter key. Next type in the RAID Array Name that you want to use, such as ARRAY1 and press the Enter key. When you see “Create RAID via” you must choose “BUILD” and then press the Enter key.

  7. Next, press the Enter key to select “Done” at the bottom of the “Array Properties” screen.

  8. IN the next screen, you will SELECT SOURCE DRIVE by choosing the hard drive showing on Port 0 and press the enter key. NOTE: The source drive is the drive containing your existing operating system and/or data. The sectors of information on the Source drive will be copied (mirrored) onto the blank target drive on the new RAID-1 Array.

  9. A warning message will appear that states: “Building the RAID 1 may take a few hours or more to complete. Do you still want to continue? (Yes/No):” Here, type Y for Yes to commence building the RAID-1 Array.

  10. A progress screen will display the percentage of completion of the Array. It takes a very long time for the screen to display 1%. It takes approximately 15 hours to build a 1TB Array. When finished at 100% build, there will be a message that appears: “Building the array is successfully completed.” You may now press ESC, ESC to exit the Array Configuration and type Y when prompted to exit and restart or reboot the system.

Note. It is reported that after the progress screen has reached at least 1% completion, and if you have installed Adaptec Raid Storage Manager within your operating system, then you may be able to boot to the operating system and allow the RAID controller to finish the “build” in the background while your OS is live or your server is up and running online, and also be able to monitor the progress of your mirror “build” from within Adaptec Storage Manager program. I vaguely remember trying this, but I don’t want to say for certain that I have.  This could mean that you may have the alternative to press and hold the off switch on the front of the case on your computer or server to force a hard shut down, and then restart and boot into the operating system and let the “build” continue while you may monitor the percentage completion from within Adaptec Raid Storage Manager application.

UNLESS YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED TO HAVE THE SERVER UP AND ONLINE, THEN I INSTEAD RECOMMEND THAT YOU LET THE CONTROLLER CARD BIOS AND CONFIGURATION UTILITY FINISH THE “BUILD” TO 100% COMPLETE BEFORE REBOOTING INTO THE OPERATING SYSTEM.

Rebuild a Degraded RAID-1 Array on Adaptec 1430SA Controller

THIS ARTICLE ALSO INCLUDES HOW TO CLONE AND RE-SIZE THE DISK PARTITIONS CONTAINING THE OPERATING PARTITION ONTO LARGER CAPACITY DRIVES AND REBUILD THE RAID ARRAY MIRROR.

What to do when a RAID Mirror Array Degrades.  When a RAID array (mirror) is not protected by a hot spare and one of the disk drives in that array fails (and you want to keep the same size/capacity Array in place), then remove and replace the failed disk drive with a brand new unused drive of at least the same or larger capacity and feature type as the existing drives (such as the same RPM, same cache size, etc., features).

Some RAID Controllers will automatically begin to rebuild the array when the new disk drive is detected by the controller.  If not, then there are other ways to start the rebuild.

Manual Rebuild using the Array Configuration Utility (ACU) BiOS.  Replace the failed drive with a new one (of equal or greater capacity). Boot the system, press CTRL + A to access the ACU utility on system boot up. When inside the ACU utility, select ‘Array Configuration Utility’, then press Enter. Select ‘Initialize Drives’ and initialize the new drive that you have added to the system.

Then select ‘Manage Arrays’. Highlight the array that needs to be rebuilt, and select CTRL + S option in order to manage hot spares for the array, add in the new drive as global hot spare for the array and a rebuild will begin on the degraded array automatically. Note: The CTRL + S option is not available on all controllers.

Manual Rebuild using Adaptec Storage Manager

If Adaptec Storage Manager Software is installed on your System, then you should be able to use this procedure as well.  Replace the failed drive with a new one (of equal or greater capacity).  Boot into the operating system and login to the Adaptec Storage Manager software. In the Enterprise View click on the controller with the degraded logical device. Under physical devices view click on the newly added harddrive and select ‘Actions’ and then ‘Create dedicated hot spare for’ then select the logical device which needs to be rebuilt. A rebuild will then begin automatically on the degraded logical device. For further detailed instructions on how to assign a dedicated hot spare in Storage Manager, please refer to the Adaptec Storage Manager User’s Guide.

REBUILD THE RAID ARRAY MIRROR AND RE-SIZE THE ARRAY AND THE OPERATING PARTITION ONTO LARGER CAPACITY DRIVES.

I plan to use either EASEUS To Do Backup or EASEUS Partition Manager, or Macrium Reflect v5 (Server Edition), to clone and to resize the Raid array onto the larger capacity drives.  If you use the search box at the Macrium Reflect website, you can find how to download a 30 day trial version of Macrium.  I will need to use the Server edition because I am rebuilding and resizing the Raid Array on the server hosting this blog site!!!  If you are reading this article more than a few days from its publication date, then my process must have worked if this website is still up and running.

UPDATE September 6, 2014:  When I cloned and re-sized the operating partition from the 500GB Drive Port 0 (degraded mirror) and expanded it onto a brand new 1TB drive on a non-Raid SATA port (using Macrium Reflect), the new 1TB drive NO LONGER contains the original Array information.  This means it will be (was) necessary to install the new clone 1TB onto Port 0 of the Raid Controller, and to install the 2nd brand new 1TB drive on Port 1 or Port 2., and then CONFIGURE A NEW RAID-1 ARRAY using the BUILD method.  The 1TB drive on Port 0 is the source of the Build, and the 1TB drive on Port 2 is the target of the Build.  It took from 11 PM until 7 PM the next day for the Build to complete and report an optimum mirror.

I currently have a RAID Mirror on Adaptec 1430SA RAID Controller using two 500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 SATA-3 Drives, 32MB cache, Seagate Model SG3500320SA.  The drives are connected to Port 0 and Port 2 of the RAID Controller, respectively.  My event viewer contained an entry that stated the Adaptec Storage Manager application detected that the RAID Array had degraded.  Upon inspection, I found that the Hard Drive on Port 2 was failing.  I removed that drive from the Controller.

I plan to upgrade to the RAID Array by installing 2 Seagate 1TB 7200RPM 64MB Cache SATA Drives.  I found the drives on special at Tiger Direct for $60 each, plus tax.

I will install a single new 1TB drive on the standard onboard SATA controller on my motherboard (not on the 1430SA RAID controller which is installed in a PCI-e slot).  I will boot to the remaining single  500GB System drive on the degraded Array.  Then, I will download and install the server version of Macrium Reflect.

Once Macrium is installed, I will start Macrium and clone the 500GB drive while resizing the operating partition onto the new 1TB drive.  The Marcrium instructions say to select the 500GB source drive from the degraded Array, and then select the new 1TB target drive.  Next, select the source partition and drag and drop it onto the target drive.  Use the mouse to grab and drag the target partition to resize it, or merely click the button that says resize the partition to utilized the entire target drive.  Hopefully, the Macrium software will handle the resizing of the underlying RAID Array as well.

Then, I will remove the cloned 500GB drive from port 0 of the Raid Controller card and install the rezized 1TB drive on Port 0 and reboot the server to verify that all is working.  Checking in the Raid Array Configuration Utility, the new 1TB drive should show up as a degraded drive on the Array, and the second Drive will show as missing (because it has not yet been installed).

UPDATE September 6, 2014:  The original degraded Raid Array did not show up in the Raid Array Configuration Utility.  Instead, it showed the new 1TB drive configured by default as JBOD.  I realized at this point that the Array information is not stored in the controller card.  Instead it must be stored on the drives.  In which case, when Marcrium Reflex cloned the FAT Dell Utility partition, and copied and resized (expanded) the NTFS operating system partition, it did NOT keep the original Raid Array information.  Consequently, I need to configure a new RAID-1 Mirror Array with the two new drives using the “Build” method.

UPDATE September 6, 2014:  If you have hardware Raid rather than the Software-type Raid Controller, then it is still possible that the following paragraph of instructions still holds true because the original Raid Array information may still be contained in the Bios of the Raid Controller.  I am not sure about this, but if so, then:

Power down and install the second 1TB SATA drive on Port 2 of the Raid Controller Card.  Follow the instruction above to rebuild the RAID Array mirror, as if the Drive Partitions were never resized.

UPDATE September 6, 2014:  If the original Raid Mirror is not saved when you Clone and Resize / Extend the size of the Operating System Partition, then follow the instructions of Part II of this Article to Rebuild your Raid-1 Array.

See Part II Article at:

Build a Raid-1 Mirror Array on Adaptec 1430SA After an Operating System Is Installed

Rebuild Degraded Raid Mirror on DeLL PowerEdge 840 having a SAS5/IR Controller

This article contains step by step instructions for rebuilding a degraded Raid-1 (Raid Mirror) on an LSI / Dell SAS5/IR Controller. More specifically, this article concerns Raid mirrors on the SAS5 IR controller (and the server model is not important). If your server’s Raid mirror is in a degraded state because one of the two disk drives has failed, then you need to replace the failed drive with a compatible new drive and synchronize the Raid Mirror until its status is optimal.  You can determine if the RAID Array is degraded by booting to the Raid Configuration Utility. At server start-up, press CTRL+C to enter the Configuration Utility for the Raid Controller card.  See more specific instructions in “Check Raid Array Status” below.

Disclaimer of Warranties and liability: By using any of the information in this Article, you assume all risks of data loss, injury and damages of every kind and nature, including without limitation all incidental and consequential damages, such as downtime, opportunity costs and lost profits. The information appearing in this article is published without any warranty whatsoever. All express, statutory and implied warranties are hereby disclaimed. Specifically, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for particular purpose are disclaimed.

Please consider making a small donation to the author via PayPal if this article was helpful to you, saved you time, money and aggravation, saved trashing your expensive server, or just because no other posts on the net had the answers that you needed — only more unanswered questions and confusion! You’re donation will help defray website hosting costs. Thank you.




Mostly all articles and forum posts addressing this exact subject will recommend that you contact Dell technical support for assistance in understanding the instructions in the Dell SAS5 User Guide. Good luck finding a tech who understands what you are trying to do and who also realizes that the Dell User Guide contains no real help and actually offers misinformation.

BACKUP IMAGE OF DRIVE:  If you have Pre-Install Environment (PE) software CD, like a WIN-PE CD or Bart’s Reatogo version of X-PE CD , then you can and should start the server into some NT-based Operating System from the PE CD and use Symantec Ghost 8 or Acronis true image to create a backup image of the degraded but working primary disk (in case something goes wrong with the sync or rebuild of the Raid Mirror).

CHECK RAID ARRAY STATUS:  To enter the Raid Configuration Utility, power-on the Server and press CTRL-C early during the boot process while the video screen shows that the Raid Card is being initiated. Be ready to press CTRL+C keys simultaneously. If you wait too long to press CTRL+C while the Raid Card is being initiated during POST, then the Operating System may begin to load. In this case, you would need to let the operating system load completely, and then perform a normal shut down / restart in order to try CTRL+C again during POST in order to access the Raid Configuration Utility.

When the Raid Configuration Utility loads, then select the existing Raid Array and press the “Enter” key to begin managing the Array.  Example of Array – “SAS1068”

Select “RAID Properties” to view Disks and Array Properties and status.

If the Array is a Raid-1 (Mirror), then it will show as type “IM” (integrated mirror).  If the Array is Degraded, it might show the following:

Primary Drive – Degraded
Secondary Drive – “Missing”

(Note: Remove the “missing” hard drive and put it into an External SATA / USB drive caddy to test whether the drive is accessible). Connect the USB SATA External Drive caddy to an operating desktop to see if the hard drive is accessible. This article addresses re-synchronizing the Raid mirror when the second drive in the mirror has failed. It does not face what works if the first drive on the mirror fails. In other words, I can only speculate, but my intuitive guess is that you probably do NOT want to flip the physical location of the good drive merely to put it into the first SATA slot, thinking that this might somehow “help” the Array boot better or that the first SATA location would necessarily become the “source” rather than the “target” during the “synch” of the mirror. Note that in most controller configurations, the hard drives normally report themselves as being in positions “0” and “1” and not as “1” and “2.” So, the “00” position would be the first drive on the mirror, and the “01” position would be the second.

REPLACE THE FAILED DRIVE BY INSTALLING A COMPATIBLE NEW DRIVE.  Shut down the operating system and power-off the Dell server.  IMPORTANT:  Make sure that the server’s power cable is connected to an UPS battery back up because synchronization cannot be interrupted by a power failure that will shut down the machine. Replace the Secondary Drive with a Brand New Drive of the same type and size (or larger capacity).  It is recommended to use a drive wth the same size Cache and same Make and Model Hard Drive.  My Primary Drive (Degraded) was Western Digital 500GB SATA II (300Mb/sec) 7200RPM RE2 with a 16MB Cache.  I replaced the Secondary Drive with a brand new (no boot record) Western Digital 500GB SATA II (300Mb/s) 7200RPM RE3 with a 16MB Cache. Both drives are enterprise class.  Buy the Revision 3 (RE3) from www.goharddrive.com. I paid $50 with free ground shipping and my HD arrived in 2 business days in the USA. By the way, I obtained this affiliate link to www.goharddrive.com for referrals because they have good prices, quick delivery and you’ll probably buy there.

G01-0294

REBUILDING / SYNCHRONIZING THE DEGRADED ARRAY.  Start / Power-on the 840 Server and Press CTRL+C to invoke the Raid configuragion utility again. Select the Array name and press “Enter” key. Select “Array Properties,” and noticed that the Secondary Drive will still be reported as MISSING.  Contrary to the SAS5/IR User’s Guide, the existing Raid Array will NOT automatically begin to synchronize or rebuild.   The option to Sychronize Array will be shown in the menu list but it will be grayed-out.  However, the option to Manage Hot Spare will be available.  Contrary to the SAS5/IR User’s Guide, the hot spare is actually supported when a drive drops-off the Array.  In other words, the option to manage hot spare and add hot spare to the array is available when you are adding the second brand new drive to the existing raid mirror array.  The hot spare option is not supported on SAS5/IR for adding a third drive (spare) to an existing Raid Mirror whose status is “Optimal.”

HOW TO INITIATE SYNCHRONIZATION:  In order to commence synchronization from the primary virtual drive (i.e from the degraded array) which will SYNC-over to the brand new secondary physical drive, you must select “Manage Hot Spare.”  On the next menu, you will see for the first time that the Secondary Physical Drive is Actually DETECTED.  The secondary drive should show a few extra MB disk size than the existing primary virtual drive on the degraded mirror.  Use the down-cursor key to move down to the row for the secondary drive, then use the right-cursor key to move over to the HOT SPARE column and press the spacebar in order to change/toggle “NO” to “YES” under the Hot Spare Column for the brand new Secondary physical Drive.  With the secondary showing YES for Hot Spare, then Press C to commit changes to the Array.  Press F3 to confirm committing this change to the Array.  DO NOT CHANGE MENU SCREENS UNTIL AFTER THE “SYNC” IS COMPLETED 100%.

After committing the change to Hot Spare, you will see a menu screen that says:

LSI Corporation Configuration Utility For Dell SAS 5 v6.12.05.00 (2007.09.29)
Manage Array — SAS1068

Identifier:  Dell VIRTUAL DISK 1028
Type:          IM
Scan Order:  0
Size (MB)   476837
Status         0% Syncd

Manage Hot Spare (will be grayed-out)
Synchronize Array (Is available but DO NOT SELECT IT)
Activate Array (will be grayed-out)
Delete Array (Is available but NO NOT SELECT IT)

IMPORTANT:  The Array will take a LONG TIME to achieve a 1% synchronization.  It takes such a long time that it may seem that sync has not begun.  However, SYNC HAS BEGUN!!!  Do NOT exit this current menu screen until SYNC is complete.   Let the synchronization run for as long as it takes to reach 100%.

2014-01-28 19.49.05

2014-01-28 22.12.17

Copyright © 2014, Sunsky Network Inc., All rights reserved. You may NOT republish this article in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author. However, you do have permission to provide a link to this article URL from your website, blog or forum post provided that you give due credit to the author.