• Status: Solved
  • Priority: Medium
  • Security: Public
  • Views: 1985
  • Last Modified:

IBM X Series 225 - Cannot get see the hard Drive

Experts,  I had an X-Series 225 model 8647-3AX die on me this morning.  I went to "nuke" the machine and re-install the OS and ran into trouble.  I downloaded the RAID firmware from IBM.  I booted from the CD and hit F6.  I Picked the RAID controller and proceeded.  It saw the drives I formatted the drives.  It then proceeded to load the drivers for the controller from the floppy.  In the midst of that it notified me that it could not find a specific file.  There were no choices other than retry and quit.  So I quit.  Well it appears I have damaged the RAID controller in some way.  Now I cannot get the MS install CD to see any drives.  There is no option for booting to a RAID management utility and I cannot find one on the IBM site.  I was hoping that someone out there may have come across this or the least know of a good technical resource.  I would like to keep this machine even with its age. I appreciate the help and guidance.
0
Reginald Meyer
Asked:
Reginald Meyer
  • 7
  • 5
  • 3
2 Solutions
 
Mike_CarrollCommented:
The x225 is a great server.

Retry the install using IBM ServerGuide which you can get here http://www-947.ibm.com/systems/support/supportsite.wss/docdisplay?lndocid=MIGR-5071615&brandind=5000008

You need version 7.4 for the x225

0
 
DavidCommented:
So maybe you flashed incorrect firmware?  If so, then you are probably SOL unless you can convince IBM that it is their fault because the firmware was mislabeled on a link.

Assuming proper firmware, you may be able to clear out the NVRAM on the controller.  Is it a controller with a battery? If so, remove it for 5 mins or so, then power it up, and take all default firmware settings and try to build the RAID.  Also, if possible clear the metadata out of the disk drives.  If you have access to a linux/unix machine, just use dd to zero out the last 4MB and you will more than cover the metadata.  this sometimes clears up a confused controller.  But it is important to do all of this at once to all drives attached.  

Also this advice predicated on the disk drives are powered up, cabled properly, and fully operational.  There is a lot to be said for hooking the disks up to a plain vanilla SCSI controller and running some diags on them first.  A full destructive read/write test would be best.  

0
 
Mike_CarrollCommented:
Just following up on my original post.

ServerGuide will allow you to completely reset and reflash the ServeRAID controller with the most up to date firmware, as well as loading and configuring the server in a few simple steps. I'm an IBM BP and I've been there many many times.
0
Free Tool: Site Down Detector

Helpful to verify reports of your own downtime, or to double check a downed website you are trying to access.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

 
Reginald MeyerAuthor Commented:
Thank  you very much I am on this now it is going to take me a bit of time but I wanted to say thank you for the input.
0
 
Reginald MeyerAuthor Commented:
Well I was excited this morning about that utility from IBM but it is having issues.  When it goes to "clear hard disks" it reboots and when the menu comes back up it has apparently skipped that step (No check in front of the task) and has also skipped the "create and format NOS partition".  I am puzzled at how I could have done so much damage that this will not even work. In my state of "hope" that this utility would fix the issue; I have done it several times and each time it acts a little different.  Sometime rebooting the machine and once just locking up completely. I am wondering if I do not have a simple hardware failure.  Or maybe the NVRAM clear will work.  I have to pull this big buy out to a spot to do it but I am not sure what else to do here.  Let me know if you have another suggestion Mike.  - Thanks
0
 
Mike_CarrollCommented:
Sounds like a serious case of firmware corruption if ServerGuide can't handle it.

What model of RAID controller is in the x225? It should be either a ServeRAID 5i or a ServeRAID 6i - can you please check which one it is?

0
 
Reginald MeyerAuthor Commented:
it is the 5i
0
 
Mike_CarrollCommented:
Is ServerGuide giving you the option to reflash the firmware?
0
 
DavidCommented:
No matter what, I would get a support call going to IBM in parallel explaining how the chain-of-events lead to you potentially flashing the wrong firmware so you have a case number.  Well-written firmware headers & flash programs take the extra effort to insure that the current-running firmware will reject requests to update to incompatible firmware.

Tell them
 - you are IBM customer and are down due to a process that IBM allowed to happen
 - You downloaded firmware from IBM site from a link that IBM.COM provided that lead you to believe you had the right firmware
 - You used the IBM program to flash firmware
 - The flash "broke" the controller, and indications are that the wrong firmware was put on it.
 - You are requesting that a tech contact you with either a procedure where you can get the IBM product working again, or a replacement that you can use. Tell them you are working in parallel to get this resolved via tech forums as it is important to get this machine up and going.

IBM is a good company, and if you ask for a human and get to a service manager, then they will do the right thing.  I used to work for an IBM distributor and also an IBM business partner, and granted, we had dedicated people to help us with such things, the bottom line was if a customer was down, and there was any way that it was due to an IBM engineering flaw, oversite, process, whatever .. then people came out of the woodworks to make it right, because customer sat is very high on their list.  heck, at the time, the managers even got bonus pay tied to customer satisfaction.

0
 
Reginald MeyerAuthor Commented:
Mike or Dlethe, Could I confirm something with you two to make sure I am not crazy or maybe I just do not do this enough but I downloaded the RAID controller firmware from IBM's site for this machine.  When I press S to choose a manufacturer for the RAID it is this software that I use correct not the scsi adapter firmware correct?  I downloaded the 25r5035.exe file and d then made a floppy from it. The description is IBM ServeRAID drivers v7.00 for Microsoft Windows (Microsoft Certified).  I am able to get into the RAID configuration utility and it states that BIOS Erased". Is that possible?  I can get into the BIOS from F1?
0
 
DavidCommented:
(Sorry, don't know that one, I don't have access to that particular machine & controller, so don't have way to test to see).
0
 
Reginald MeyerAuthor Commented:
I Believe my issue is that the controller cannot see the drives.  I am at a loss as to how to get it to see them though.
0
 
Reginald MeyerAuthor Commented:
Is there a way to reinstall the Controlle/RAID software without going through the OS boot?  Also could you explain to me the difference between the RAID driver the the driver for the SCSI adapter?
0
 
Mike_CarrollCommented:
Not sure regarding the driver you downloaded. Something may have gone wrong with the flash from the floppy.

The usual way to upgrade the ServeRAID firmware is either through a ServeRAID 5i Support CD or through ServerGuide (v7.4 for the ServeRAID 5i). Even if the ServeRAID BIOS has been wiped it should be possible to reflash and reinitialise from the ServerGuide CD before you try to configure drives. The ServerGuide software covers just about everythign you could need to get your server up and running with a minimum of fuss... including the firmware upgrade and loading of drivers.

Does the ServerGuide CD give you the option to flash with the latest version? This should be available before you get the option to clear the hard drives and from memory, v7.4 should not reboot at the clear drives stage - this is a sure sign that there is something wrong with the ServeRAID firmware. Regardless of the version of firmware the card is currently running, it is possible to upgrade and downgrade the firmware (even though downgrading is not recommended).



0
 
Reginald MeyerAuthor Commented:
Mike and Dlethe,

I wanted to let you know that I got the server back up and running.  It ended up being the battery on the controller card. The sever guide worked like a charm and I now do not have to purchase another machine.  Which is good considering I have no money in my budget.

Dlethe, I did just as you said and the tech at IBM explained to me the issue and I was on the call with him for 10 minutes!! Incredible considering the number of hours I spent on this but it feel like finishing a race, no matter how bad the experience finishing feels so good.

Thanks to both of you.
0

Featured Post

Free Tool: Subnet Calculator

The subnet calculator helps you design networks by taking an IP address and network mask and returning information such as network, broadcast address, and host range.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

  • 7
  • 5
  • 3
Tackle projects and never again get stuck behind a technical roadblock.
Join Now