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need to format a Dell PowerEdge 2950 - win2003 SP2 with Raid 5 - four HDs

Posted on 2008-11-02
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Hello gang and as always thanks for your time and expertise.  I have a Dell Poweredge 2950 with windowns server 2003 sp2.  The server also has Raid 5 with four HDs.  Also this is only a member server. No backup - I know, stupid but not my fault.
- Here's what I need your help with:
- The OS on this server is jacked.
- I want  to wipe everything out and begin anew.  When I tried booting off of the installation CD, I received a message no HDs detected.  
- My question is do I have to acess the Raid utility and delete the virtual group - destroy the Raid so the installation CD can see the drives.  I'm a newbe so your help is greatly appreciated.
- I want to reiinstall the OS and then utilize Raid 5 again.  Please help me with instructiions and advice.  Thanks.
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Question by:pendal1
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by:PUNKY
ID: 22864377
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by:pendal1
ID: 22864451
Punky, thanks for the response.  However, why is the installation CD not detecting any HDs?  Should I use (if we have the disk available) the Dell OpenManager System Management CD to reinstall the OS and configure Raid?  
- Or do I have to delete the current Raid Array and then reinstall with the OS cd.   Again, whenI tried to reinstall the OS (and there's currently a corrupted OS already installed) the installation routine did not detect any HDs.  Please help with that scenario.  Thanks.
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by:PUNKY
ID: 22864487
If you want install OS on existing raid, then you need to use F6 and supply raid controller drivers for the OS installation will pick the drive and continue. The drivers can be found:
http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/driverslist.aspx?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&ServiceTag=&SystemID=PWE_2950&os=WNET&osl=en&catid=&impid=
 
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by:pendal1
ID: 22864517
OK, so I have to download the drivers for the controller and then hit f6 (during the installation routine)and supply the drivers and then continue with installation and the installation routine will detect the HDs in that scenario - is that correct. Thanks.
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by:PUNKY
ID: 22864526
Yes, that is.
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by:pendal1
ID: 22864561
Punky is that what you would do in this scenario or should I use the system management CD to reinstall.  In your opinion, what's the best and most efficient way to proceed.  Thanks.
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PUNKY earned 500 total points
ID: 22864571
Use OpenManage CD is better, but if you never use that before so it could be messy. Do normal way to use F6 ... that could be easier and faster.
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Author Comment

by:pendal1
ID: 22864584
Thanks, I will try this as soon as I can and close this question.  Please be patient and check in from time to time.  We're nuts at work but I hope this have this resolved shortly.  Thanks and stay tuned.  Have a good night.
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Author Comment

by:pendal1
ID: 22873225
Punky, I used the OpenManager CD - seemed pretty easy.  I just want to confirm some things with you.

- During the install/setup usingthe Openmanager CD, I configured Raid 5 using three of the HDs and used the fourth as a dedicated hot spare. three 146 gb and a fourth as hot spare.
- I booted windows and looked at the disks in disk management.  It showed only a 12 gb partition where the OS is installed and the rest of the space was listed as unallocated (approximately 275gb which sounds right even though the total capacity should be 292gb.
- Anyway, the array was initializing when I left.  
- My question is - is this process normal - the unallocated space that is.  Do I have to create another primary parition in the unallocated space or should I create an extended partition.  
- I want to use this server as a wsus server.  What would you recommend here.  Thank you.
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by:PUNKY
ID: 22873346
That is normal process, and seems that you know what you do :o)
Yes, creating an extended partition to use it as data partition.
Normally, Dell recommends raid 1 for OS which required 2 drives, and raid 5 for data which requires 3 drives or more.
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Author Comment

by:pendal1
ID: 22873461
I'll have to remember that for future reference.  You're saying,at the very least, get five HDs and use two (Raid 1) for the os and three for the data (raid 5). I only have four HDs on this server and I used one as a hot spare.  

And just to confirm, you recommend creating an extended partition with my unallocated space and then I should be good to go with setting this up as a wsus server.

Punky, could I have created a vd (virtual disk) for the os and then another vd for the data using the remaining space of the drives.  It's too late now but would you recommend that kind of setup.
By the way, thanks for following up.  It's a tremendous help.
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by:PUNKY
ID: 22873519
Dont do that, everything you have done until now is good. Stay with it unless you want different. Either way to create extanded or other primary is good.
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Author Comment

by:pendal1
ID: 22873595
OK,  i will put the fnishing touches on this tomorrow.  I'm going to use this server as a windows update server so I'm not sure if it's better to just use one big primary partition or go with an extended partiton and then create logical drives.  I'll probably just go Primary unless you think I should go the extended route.  I'm off to bed now.  It's late on the east coast.  I'll followup with you tomorrow and I greatly appreciate your help.  
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by:PUNKY
ID: 22873622
No problem.
For data storage, whatever you create that should be fine.
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Author Closing Comment

by:pendal1
ID: 31512573
Punky - thanks for answering my question and then following up so promptly.  You were a great help.  
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