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How do I find out if I have RAID installed on a computer

Posted on 2004-09-21
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-09-20
This is kind of a general question.  But say you are given the task of looking after a machine, and want to know how it is setup for RAID (I have found RAID controllers on it) where would I look to see where they are configured...on W2K and XP Pro.  For instance, my home machine is setup for RAID 0 (the disk mirror one) but where would I look to actually see this info for sure - preferably without rebooting it.  Thanks.  Pete.
Question by:obsidiman
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Expert Comment

ID: 12110594
It somewhat depends on the disk driver and what it reports.

Most raid controllers come with some config software that will tell you without a reboot.

I'd firstly check device manager in computer management and see what the driver is reporting..

Author Comment

ID: 12110658
If it comes with config software, then I am not aware of it.  For instance, I have a dell poweredge 2600, and AFAIK, dell openmanage does not show anything useful in this area.  Device manager shows the 2 disk drives to be: PERC LD 0 PERCRAID SCSI Disk Device and PERC LD 1 PERCRAID SCSI Disk Device - but that still doesn't exactle say whether or not they are using RAID or not.  

BTW, using RAID 1 not 0 on home PC, which I still could only find out through reboot - that one is using Serial ATA.

Any further ideas?
LVL 10

Accepted Solution

tfjeff earned 252 total points
ID: 12111010
you can tell on your PE2600 if you have raid if you go to bios (f2 on the dell screen), integrated devices, and you can change onboard SCSI controller to "raid enabled" and channels A and/or B to "raid" instead of scsi.  If you have a raid controller it's probably a PERC4/di (this is the onboard controller used by the 2600)  You can physically check inside the system to see if the components are in there....if they are there should be a square battery pack mounted to the inside top of the case, also there is one memory slot that is set off from the rest, if there is a DIMM in there, you probably have RAID (PERC 4/di), there is also a short blue colored slot that a piece called the raid key goes into...if there is a chip in there, you have RAID, if not, you probably don't....unless of course you have an expansion card RAID controller in the system....which is possible.
A pretty good hint is if when you are booting up it gives you an option to press "control + M", you have raid...if it only gives you control + A, you either only have scsi or your bios settings are on scsi and need to be changed to raid.
If you have the raid hardware and decide to change the channels from scsi mode to raid mode, backup your data first because this will most likely cause you to not be able to access the data.
If you don't have the physical components I mentioned, you can order them through the dell sales department...you can also get an expansion card (it supports clustering where the onboard RAID does not).
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 12111109
the only way I would know to check without rebooting would be device manager, which isn't showing the normal things for some reason...this could be due to an incorrect driver or having no raid...if you had raid and the correct driver installed, it should show "PERC4/DI".
with dell openmanage array manager
click the + next to arrays, then expand the PERC1 and PERC2 subsystem directories...it should show a PERC4/DI in one of those if you have it...however, I believe this also depends on the driver, so the only sure way would be to open the box =).

here is a good PDF for you to look at

this will also tell you a lot about the system:

let me know if you need further info on the subject....I'm full of it =)
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Expert Comment

ID: 12111116

Author Comment

ID: 12111121
Thanks for the feedback Jeff, and when I get the opportunity to reboot, I'll check.  But since this is a server, I was kind of hoping to determine this without rebooting.

Author Comment

ID: 12111134
ignore that last post, your further info came after I posted.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 12111169
no problem, let me know what you find out

Author Comment

ID: 12111249
Ok, looking at open manage under BIOS it says :

RAID on Motherboard  RAID
RAID on Channel A  RAID
RAID on Channel B SCSI

And in Device manager under SCSI and RAID controllers it has 2 SCSI cards and the DELL PERC 4/Di RAID Controller listed.

I suppose my confusion here is that there are 2 different sized disks (C: and D:) configured on the machine (or is that 1 partitioned disk, am not too sure), and I am not sure if they are related to the two SCSI cards or not.  In addition, I am assuming it is RAID 1, but really it doesn't seem to say anywhere.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 12116768
the very easiest way to find out what you have setup is to get into the control + M utility on startup....
simply go to objects>logical drive....there will be a number (starting with 00, going to 01, 02, etc) for each raid array you have.  If you press enter on the logical drive it will tell you what raid level you have setup.  This is the most sure way to find out what your configuration is...however, it does require a few minutes of downtime.

Assisted Solution

cooledit earned 248 total points
ID: 12150164
the fastes way is to install Dell Array Manager: But the Server does still need a reboot after that anyway.
But if you install it it gives a lot of nice features like:

Rebuild a array in OS mode
events on all containers on the system.
Create Array in OS mode
Extend Array in OS mode
Create virtual disk
Check Container consistety
Check Harddisk for media error, smart sense code error

Delete Array in OS mode

System Tools:
Systems Management: Dell OpenManage Server Administrator, OpenManage Server Administrator and Remote Install (Agent), Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, Multi Language, Multi System, v.1.9, A00

Systems Management: Dell OpenManage Array Manager, Multi OS, English, Multi System, v., A05

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Expert Comment

ID: 12153114
however, this will only do you any good if you HAVE the physical raid components, otherwise you don't really need it

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