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Do I have a RAID controller?

Posted on 2009-05-11
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I'm a newbie at the server world...  I just aquired a used PowerEdge 2650 server and it says there is an "Embedded dual channel Ultra3 (U160) SCSI with 128MB cache (enablement optional)".  However, when I try to use the "SCSI Select(TM) Utility <ctrl-A>" on startup it says I've got the Adaptec ASC-39160 which I believe is non-RAID?  Do I don't I have RAID ability?
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Question by:burtonrhodes
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by:PUNKY
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What is service tag of this system? you can use it to check on Dell support website to find what is in the box.
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by:burtonrhodes
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That what I've been doing but can't seem to find anything of value:

Service Tag: D3QT541
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by:debuggerau
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It should show a PERC controller on boot, if you don't see that message, I then would doubt its existence..
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by:debuggerau
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You get go into the CMOS and verify the components also...
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by:debuggerau
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The Raid option board is inserted into the motherboard, you could also open the unit and verify if it exists at all...
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by:burtonrhodes
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Hmm.... here's a manual I found.  I can see everything included in the attached pdf pages.  Does this mean I have onbaord RAID controller?  See attached pdf.
RAID-Manual.pdf
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by:burtonrhodes
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Techically the setup screen says I have a AIC-7899.  I thought all these servers came with some sort of onboard RAID?!
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by:inbox788
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Yes, does look like you have RAID. Just have to make sure it's functioning and set up with hardware key, additional memory, firmware settings and software drivers. The Adaptec ASC-39160 and presumably functioning drive you see shows that at least one of the onboard controllers is functional. It's likely that RAID was never setup on the system, but it's also possible a failure of one of the controllers made the last user avoid RAID.

Quite an old system, but nice redundancy and reviews:

http://www.serverwatch.com/hreviews/article.php/


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by:burtonrhodes
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This may help... pictures of the inside of the machine...
DSC-0319.JPG
DSC-0320.JPG
DSC-0321.JPG
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Pictures of the inside won't help much.  Pictures of the screen during bootup though will LIKELY help.

2650's should have an onboard RAID option.  Typically, it will show a BIOS prompt, as noted, for a PERC controller.  (PERC = Power Edge Raid Controller).  BIOS on those servers will likely have SEVERAL options for SCSI related controllers (including the PERC controller).  
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by:burtonrhodes
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by:burtonrhodes
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I don't see RAID anywhere?  Could I not have an appropriate driver installed?
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by:PUNKY
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If system is working and able access internat, you could access the link below and click on tab Current System Configuration ... you will see your system detail information:
http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/my_systems_info/details?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&~tab=3
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by:burtonrhodes
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My system is working, but no OS installed yet and cannot access the internet :(
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by:burtonrhodes
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However, the link you gave does say:  

1 13JPJ Dual In Line Memory Module, 128, 100M, 16X72, 4K, Raid on Mother Board

for the Service Tag entered.  
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by:inbox788
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Great screenshots! Can you see what's hooked up on Channel B?

Also, take a look at the BIOS setup (F2) and see what Integrated Devices setup is available.

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by:burtonrhodes
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Here is chanel B....
DSC-0330.JPG
DSC-0331.JPG
DSC-0332.JPG
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by:burtonrhodes
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Here is Integrated Devices and BIOS setup...
DSC-0326.JPG
DSC-0327.JPG
DSC-0328.JPG
DSC-0329.JPG
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by:inbox788
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I can see in the middle of DSC-0320.JPG what looks like the RAID memory card. Can't make out where the RAID key and backup battery go. Are they installed? They may be needed before the BIOS will enable RAID options.

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by:burtonrhodes
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I labeled them in these pics.  They also correspond to the pdf provided earlier (and in this post)
battery.jpg
comppic.jpg
RAID-Manual.pdf
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by:inbox788
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Oh, just noticed the Integrated Devices and it does show the embedded RAID. No devices on Channel B, so you may want to switch over one of the drives (RAID 1)  or add additional drives (RAID 5).

Installing RAID hardware should enable additional settings. Good luck!


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by:burtonrhodes
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So since I only have 2 drives installed it won't give me an option.  But if I install 2 more drives on channel B I will have the RAID option?
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by:burtonrhodes
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Wait, I think I figured out what you meant.  Sorry for that last question.
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by:burtonrhodes
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How do I "move" a drive to Channel B?  I physically moved it to what appeared to be SCSI B but still comes up on Channel A.  Any idea there?
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inbox788 earned 250 total points
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Strange, I would have expected the RAID options to be active even without a drive on the other channel. I would think the memory, battery and key are all that should be needed. I had guessed the small board next to the memory was the key, but I still can't make out the battery very well on the picture, but I'll take your word on it. Given how old the system is, the battery may be dead. If you get a chance, try reconnecting everything just in case something isn't tightly connected. Testing the battery with a volt meter is something else to verify if you have one handy.

BTW, 6GB was a huge amount 5 years ago and still a decent amount today. What OS are you planing on running?


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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 250 total points
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Based on this post (which was suggested to be a failed onboard RAID controller), you do not currently have RAID enabled.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Servers/Q_23099927.html

Go into BIOS and change the "Embedded RAID Controller" from "SCSI Enabled" to what I believe will say "RAID Enabled"

Note: you will only be able to create a mirror as large as the smallest drive.  You may then need to create another "non-RAID"ed container that supports the remaining space on the second disk (I believe you have one 36 GB drive and one 73 GB drive).

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by:burtonrhodes
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leew - that was the correct answer, but had to give props to inbox788 for all his advice in getting to the answer.  many thanks guys - you certainly earned your points here!
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by:burtonrhodes
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inbox788 - just to answer your question - I am going to take out 2 GB RAM chips anf put in another computer.  I think windows server 2003 only supports 4GB.
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by:inbox788
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Thanks for the credit, but this was a team effort, and several people suggested the same things in different ways. Others who also deserve credit include PUNKY for using suggesting the use of the SERVICE TAG to get original configuration, debuggerau for a couple of brief relevant comments, and you for including manuals and screenshots, which really helped make the situation clear (instead of fishing in the dark).

So, have you enabled the RAID controller? (success screenshot?) Or are you troubleshooting via the related link provided by leew?

As far as Windows Server 4GB limit, I believe that's correct. You may want to consider keeping the extra 2GB RAM as redundancy. It's older RAM, and although they're supposed to last a lifetime, if the system has been on 24/7 for over 5 years, that's quite some wear. Is the RAM DDR or older? Do you have a suitable order system to reuse them? On the other extreme, you could probably gut 4GB and leave 2GB and depending on your application, not notice any difference and avoid dealing with all the 3GB/4GB nonsense.

Just for kicks (be careful not to fry your system or yourself), you could test out all the hot swappable and fault torelant parts, which I think include HD, memory, fans and power. Any others?


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