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How to access PERC configuration utility on Poweredge 2800

Posted on 2010-09-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I'm in the process of rebuilding a Poweredge 2800 with a PERC RAID controller.  The server boots and the drives spin up - but i want to reconfigure the RAID array before installing Windows 2008 Server.    Could someone tell me how to access the PERC configuration app from the boot screens.
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Question by:JLEmlet
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17 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 33646302
Usually you press ctrl+r or ctrl"s or ctrl+a, depending on the PERC controller used. You should also be able to configure it using the DELL install DVD or CD that came with the server (or you can download it from the DELL site).
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Expert Comment

by:charlestasse
ID: 33646666
Open Manage Server Administrator 6.3.0 2075_A00 full package, released 7/12/2010. This software allows you to view system health, logs, and includes RAID storage management. Once ran it extracts to the C:\OpenManage\windows\ folder, run setup.exe to install, 125mb: http://ftp.us.dell.com/sysman/OM-SrvAdmin-Dell-Web-WIN-6.3.0-2075_A00.20.exe 
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Author Comment

by:JLEmlet
ID: 33646710
@charlestasse: My hard drives are not configured yet, so I cannot use the Open Manage Server Admin.

@rindi: I'll see what I can find out on the cntrl keys.  I don't see many options for these at boot time, but maybe they don't show up on the scene.

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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:charlestasse
ID: 33646813
Check out the online videos for configuring array's with Perc 4 Bios under Raid
http://support.dell.com/support/richmedia/index.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=gen&redirect=1 
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 33647452
To answer your question ... CTRL-M gets you into the PERC configuration screen on a PowerEdge 2800.  (I liked Rindi's answer - quick throw out all the common CTRL-x key combinations and hope you get the right one ;))

To configure, go to Configure, View/Add ... if not showing READY, go back and select Clear, then View/Add.  From View/Add, you hit the Space Bar on all drives you want to configure, hit Enter (will stop the blinking), then F10.  Space Bar to select the Span, then F10.  Select your RAID level, leave all other settings as default (unless you know exactly what you are doing), then Accept.  Once complete, Save the config, then select Initialize from the main Management Menu.

I think Charles misunderstood the question ... you would use the OpenManage Systems Build and Update Utility on the Systems Management Tools and Documentation DVD, located here:

http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/format.aspx?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd&deviceid=17861&libid=36&releaseid=R272340&vercnt=5&formatcnt=0&SystemID=PWE_2950&servicetag=&os=WNET&osl=en&catid=-1&dateid=-1&typeid=-1&formatid=-1&impid=-1&checkFormat=true

This will configure your RAID for you, while walking you through installation of the OS, complete with drivers, etc.  Don't forget the instructions for SMTD - you need both ISO's and need to merge them using the copy /b command.
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 33647470
If you are not getting the option of CTRL-M, then it may not be enabled in the BIOS.  Boot to the BIOS Setup (F2), under Integrated Devices and make sure that Embedded RAID is enabled.  If this machine is new to you, your system must have the RAID key, RAID memory, and RAID battery in order to be able to enable RAID.
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Author Comment

by:JLEmlet
ID: 33647486
Thanks, PowerEdgeTech -
This is a rebuilt system, but it was originally RAID.  However, the only option I get in the BIOS setup is SCSI.  What should I check next.
JE
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PowerEdgeTech earned 500 total points
ID: 33647556
You cannot change the SCSI Enabled to RAID Enabled?  If not ...

You'll need to open the system to check for the RAID key - near the system memory (about 1 inch square circuit board, inserted vertically in a short, blue slot that looks like a short memory slot), the RAID memory - on the PCI riser card (will be visible through an opening in the top panel of the riser), and the RAID battery - also on the riser card (towards the front of the card, between the riser and the chassis wall - will have a small blue pull tab, cable connects to the riser card under the SCSI cables.

If the parts are there, then you might try clearing the NVRAM using the jumpers on the motherboard (near the system memory).
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/pe2800/en/it_en/p1778aa0.htm#wp1047182
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 33647559
Do you have a PCI card in the system now?  Is it a controller - are there cables going from it to the backplane where the drives are?
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 33647604
The reason I gave a couple of possible ctrl+Fx options is that Dell servers can usually have different RAID controller models built into the same server model, and not all of them use the same key sequence.

I would try to get the Dell Boot CD or DVD. Within that you should have the chance to setup your array and also begin the OS installation. Usually you would, after setting up the array, select the OS you want to install, and after that at some point you would insert your OS CD or DVD.
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Expert Comment

by:charlestasse
ID: 33647620
You need to have Raid enabled in the system BIOS
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 33647727
Rindi ... I know, I'm just giving you a hard time ;).  If he is running a "supported" RAID card for internal storage on a PowerEdge 2800, then it will only be CTRL-M.
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Author Comment

by:JLEmlet
ID: 33649571
@PowerEdgeTech -
THanks for your help, I was able to get into the configuration utility.  I configured the 6 drives as RAID 5.  But can you tell me how to create 2 logical partitions?
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 33649641
Unless you have a good reason for "partitioning" in the controller, I would let Windows set up and manage the partitions when you install.  

You cannot setup "partitions", per se, on the controller.  You can create two logical drives across the disks by "slicing" it.  If you really want to create a "slice" (physical partitioning of the RAID disks), then you will Clear the config and go through the creation/configuration of the array again.  At the last screen, when asked what size you want the array to be, you will change it to the desired size.  Another array (logical drive) will be created automatically using the space that was unused by the first array.
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Author Comment

by:JLEmlet
ID: 33649671
Great - thanks for your help!
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Author Closing Comment

by:JLEmlet
ID: 33649680
I was missing the memory module from the RAID controller.
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 33649736
That'll do it.  Glad you got it sorted!
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