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Adaptec 2405 RAID card will not boot Windows from Array in HP ML110 G5

Posted on 2008-06-26
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I am building a Windows 2003 R2 server on a brand new HP ML110 G5 server. I build an array with an Adptec Raid 2405 cotroller card (RAID 1 with two Seagate 500 GB SAS disks). If I start a Windows Server 2003 R2 from an other disk, I can see and access this array. But if I install Windows on this array with newest sas raid drivers from Adaptec, I am able to get through the first stage of the Windows Server 2003 install where it formats the array and installs the necessary files for Windows Server to reboot and continue the install in the windows environment. This is where I have the problem, upon rebooting the server freezes during the post when it try's to access the array. The card just beeps and the access light flash in a strange pattern.

I made sure that the card is listed first in the boot sequence in the server BIOS. The HP server has newest available BIOS and the Adptec card also has newest BIOS. I changed the Adptec 2405 to a similar new card, without any success.

I know, there was  such a thread here at this site:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Storage_Technology/Q_23363524.html
but the solution there was to exchange the controller to a LSI RAID card. But that's no solution for me having this Adaptec 2405 in the server.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Question by:systemhaus-reich
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by:rjwesley
ID: 21877320
Hard drive compatibility? - What's the model no. for your Seagates?

If you have it, did you happen to try the embedded HP SC40Ge Host Bus Adapter with RAID 0, 1 support?

This other disk you mention, is it physically disconnected during array config and eventual reboot of OS? From Documentation --> IMPORTANT: If only one hard drive is installed, install it in the bay with the lowest device number (Not sure if this applies).

SATA RAID is disabled?

The LED sequence or beep codes?

Thanks,

Rob
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Author Comment

by:systemhaus-reich
ID: 21877606
Hallo Rob,

the two hard drives are Seagate Barracuda ES.2 with 500 GB and SAS (ST3500620SS) so I can't use the embedded Host Bus Adapter: It supports SATA and the drives are SAS.

I have tried everything: on board RAID enabled/disabled, on board SATA enabled/disabled, SATA disks connected/disconnected, every former BIOS version until december 2007 installed - always same effect.

The LED's on controller run form one end to the other and back (like searching). If I try booting the system hangs and the controller beeps fast and continued.

But if I boot from SATA, I can access the SAS Array without problems and Adaptec Raid Manager shows: Array is optimal. The problem ist: No boot at all.

There are two other interesting facts:
- If I choose CTRL-A for entering Adaptec BIOS and then try to Manage Arrays all the system hangs or reboots.
- The same controller with same two SAS drives works proper in HP ML110 G4.

Greetings from Berlin, Germany
Ingo
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Expert Comment

by:rjwesley
ID: 21878833
I can almost definitively say that your hard drives are not compatible (based on your RAID card  compatibiliy data sheet). You may have to look at other hard drives, perhaps consider seagate model ST3300655SS for your particular RAID card - verify compatibility.

Rob

Odd though that you were able to get that far.
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by:systemhaus-reich
ID: 21886086
Rob,
you are right, that my hard drives are not listed at Apaptec's compatibiliy data sheet, but the drives are even not black listed - and: they work. Like told in my last post: "The same controller with same two SAS drives works proper in HP ML110 G4." So I think, that's no problem of interaction between the Adptec controller and the hard drives but a problem with this HP ML110 G5 server.

I can't change to the ST3300655SS hard drives, because my customer has bought the other ones and the ST3300655SS are not only much more expansive, but also to small (330 vs. 500 GB).

So the problem resists if no hard drive is connected: Like told before: "If I choose CTRL-A for entering Adaptec BIOS and then try to Manage Arrays all the system hangs or reboots." - regardless a hard drive is connected or not.

Is there any work around to make this configuration work?

Thanks,
 Ingo

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Author Comment

by:systemhaus-reich
ID: 21917296
Any new idea? I am a little bit frustrated: Started a trial membership, searched for support six days long - and now? Cancel or prolong my membership?
Has anyone a solution for my problem or an idea for a work around?

Thanks,
Ingo
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Expert Comment

by:rjwesley
ID: 21919133
Possibly ensure that your RAID controller card is in Slot 4. Based on specs for your server (Bus Width is X8 and Connector Width is X8)

Rob

If that doesn't work - then you may have to consider the HP SC44Ge Host Bus Adapter.
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Author Comment

by:systemhaus-reich
ID: 21919337
Yes, the RAID controller card is in slot 4. The other slots show the same problem.
I am verry confused because it works proper in HP ML110 G4. So, what's the problem with HP ML110 G5? It seems like an incompatibility between Host BIOS and Adaptec RAID BIOS.

Greetings from Ingo.
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Expert Comment

by:rjwesley
ID: 21920167
Perhaps run an HP diagnostic and report errors.

Chipset?

32bit or 64bit OS?

Rob

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Author Comment

by:systemhaus-reich
ID: 21920350
Hallo Rob,
we are running Windows Server 2003 Standard 32bit with SP2.
The Motherboard Chipset of the HP ML110 G5 is Intel Bigby 3200 with South Bridge Intel 82801IR ICH9R.

HP diagnostics I can run tomorrow, because I'm home now (big time shift: 10:23 p.m. now in Berlin).

Thanks.
Ingo
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by:rjwesley
ID: 21920474
Also, the event logs in the ACU might be helpful.

http://download.adaptec.com/pdfs/installation_guides/Adaptec_RAID_Controller_IUG_04_2008.pdf

Sorry gotta ask - you did the F6 thing during OS installation correct? Necessary to make array and OS bootable.

Rob
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Author Comment

by:systemhaus-reich
ID: 21920487
Hello Rob,
another interesting fact ist, that the other Server which runs proper (HP ML100 G4) has a Motherboard Chipset Intel Mukilteo-2 3000 with South Bridge Intel 82801GR ICH7R.

Ingo
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Author Comment

by:systemhaus-reich
ID: 21920555
Ofcourse I did the F6 thing during OS installation correct.
Also remember what I wrote at my first reply (ID: 21877606): "If I choose CTRL-A for entering Adaptec BIOS and then try to Manage Arrays all the system hangs or reboots." The same action works on the G4 server.
On booting the server it takes up to 40 seconds on the G5 to start the RAID controller and show the drive array. The sames takes only 5 to 10 seconds at the G4.

Ingo
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 21922873
Have you done an online chat with HP? As it seems to be a compatibility problem, they may be the only ones who can help (or maybe adaptec).
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Author Comment

by:systemhaus-reich
ID: 21923793
No, but I will contact HP now for additional support. I will post their answer here.
Ingo
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Author Comment

by:systemhaus-reich
ID: 21926304
Hello Rob!
> Perhaps run an HP diagnostic and report errors
HP Insight Diagnostic does'nt know this controller. No error message appears.
> Also, the event logs in the ACU might be helpful.
In ACU exists more than 2.500 pages! event logs. Sometimes approximately 30 pages per second were generated. It seems that circa all 300 pages the entries circular repeated. *confused*
"Cleaning NVSRAM" has no effect. The entries persists. This log is hardly readable, because the operative date appears only at the first page per entry.

@rindi: HP support is temporarily badly reachable. I posted our problem also in http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport. There is no answer at the moment.

We will contact adaptec too.
Ingo
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Expert Comment

by:tech4b
ID: 22494426
I'm having this same problem with an HP ML110 G5 and  Adaptec 5405 PCI Express RAID Card
If I removed the card and disks and relocate them to another machine/board then the problem is not present. Additionally, I have tested an older Adaptec SAS card and this card had the same problem.
Certainly appears that the HP System BIOS and the Adaptec RAID seem to hate each other?
I the HP BIOS Dated 15/07/2008 (appears to be the latest available) and I've updated the Adaptec RAID card to 5.2-0 build 16116 (also the latest at the moment)
Additionally:- Moving the card to a different slot doesn't help, replacing the card doesn't help, replacing the HP Mainboard doesn't help. This problem certainly seems to be a software(specifically firmware)kind of problem.
Is anyone else able to test and/or confirm this problem?
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Accepted Solution

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systemhaus-reich earned 0 total points
ID: 22494720
Hello tech4b,
after intensive cosulting the (real) support from Adaptec and the "so called" support from HP (no real help) I can confirm to you: Adaptec confirmed that they have not tested this Adaptec 2405 RAID card on HP ML110 G5 with success. We have tested every thing... It does not work! As I told before, it propper works on HP ML110 G4.
After having e-mail contacts from other users, we now know, that they have the same problem: At this time there seems to be no way to make it boot. But it works proper, when we boot the system from the internal SATA RAID controller with SATA disks. After booting the system from SATA the server works with Adaptec SAS RAID - but it should boot from SAS too!
I'm sorry for not continuing this threat for so long time. If there is any solution or new info from adaptec, I will tell you.

Best gregards from Berlin, Germany
Ingo
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Expert Comment

by:tech4b
ID: 22514138
I have heard back from my supply of Adaptec regarding this issue.
I understand they initially said they hadn't seen it, and could do "nothing about it"
Now as I understand it, they have seen it multiple times before with this chassis, and they believe it to be a BIOS bug with the keyboard handler Interupt (INT9). HP could probably fix this quickly and easily with a new Firmware release. I recently read they are about to undergo a large restructuring so they are probably too busy to fix this right now? I am also told that Adaptec are attempting to work around the problem in a newer firmware release than 5.2-0 16116 but I'm not aware at all what build number it will be or when it will be available.
Possible work arounds might include using the onboard USB connector and having a flash drive with the boot block installed on it. This might not always work out because first the OS must support it, and second it would probably require that you have not install HP's USB Tape drive in the machine.
I'll post more back if I here back from either HP or Adaptec about this.
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Expert Comment

by:jb-72
ID: 22940125
If I could just comment that I'm experiencing the same issue on a HP ML115 G5. HP support aren't interested. I'm waiting on comments from Adaptec.

James.
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Expert Comment

by:tech4b
ID: 22943798
I've spoken with Adaptec on this one - they certainly seem innocent of fault at this point in time - I believe the people with the power to fix the problem are the ones who made the motherboard BIOS.
Unfortunately the workarounds I found are useless to many other people's setup's - like VMWare ESX(i) could be difficult to convince of the USB memory stick to boot from for most people - and likewise Windows Server.
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Expert Comment

by:fixmydesktop
ID: 24465422
I have x2 ML115 G5 and I can say that the Adaptec 2405 is not compatible with this model HP.

The Adaptec 5405 which is from the same unified controller family will work with it quite well, using it now for VMWare ESX4.0

I have tried all the bios upgrade with the adaptec and still not luck, I can only assume its incompatible with the motherboard chipset as indicated on some posts on the web.
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Author Comment

by:systemhaus-reich
ID: 24466997
@fixmydesktop:
Thank you for this information. We already have this question open at HP but they are not really interested.
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