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Problems with Areca ARC-1880i Raid Card and VMware

Posted on 2011-02-22
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I currently have an ARC-1880i that I'm trying to use with ESXi 4.1. I tried following the document (ftp://ftp.areca.com.tw/RaidCards/AP_Drivers/VMware/ESXi_4.x/1.20.00.15_100202/README.txt) but wasn't successful loading the driver. I am running ESXi on a thumb drive and trying to access the Raid. FYI, I followed the directions for 1-11 at the bottom of the document. I checked with Areca and they say that the driver works. I'm not sure if I am doing something wrong or what. I'm a windows guy so I'm totally foreign to this process and the commands. I am just trying to utilize a machine I already have to run a few VM's. Any help greatly appreciated.
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Question by:aando
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by:coolsport00
ID: 34951724
I found all other RAID card models supported, except the 1880i:http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?action=search&deviceCategory=io&productId=1&advancedORbasic=advanced&maxDisplayRows=50&key=&datePosted=-1&partnerId%5B%5D=221&manufacturer%5B%5D=-1&vid=&did=&svid=&ssid=&rorre=0

Areca may say it's supported, but according to VMware's HCL, it's not (unless 'x' is a variable, but I don't believe it is)

~coolsport00
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by:coolsport00
ID: 34951791
Did you place the driver on a CD or floppy? What exact error are you getting, or are you just not able to see the storage when logged into your host via the vSphere Client?
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by:aando
ID: 34951837
I used the CD that came with the card. I ran the command using the VSphere CLI, and returned no error.  It said that it was successful but after rebooting the Host the device isn't showing up. I copied the offline-bundle.zip into a folder on the C drive of the machine I have running VShpere Client. Here is the command I ran (perl vihostupdate.pl -server 192.168.8.11 -username root -password "password" -b C:\Areca\offline-bundle.zip --nosigcheck -i)
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by:coolsport00
ID: 34951856
Did you try using the fiile from your CD drive instead? (D:\offline-bundle.zip)
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by:aando
ID: 34952099
Ths offline-bundle.zip is off in an .iso on the driver CD. If I try to use the path it comes back with file doesn't exist.
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by:coolsport00
ID: 34952108
Ok...are you able to burn the ISO to a CD to unpack the ISO?
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by:aando
ID: 34952257
I pulled the offline-bundle.zip out of the ISO using BitZipper.

This is what I put in the CLI and here is what it gave as the results.

C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware vSphere CLI\bin>perl vihostupdate.pl -server 192.168.8.11 -username root -password "password" -b C:\Areca\offline-bundle.zip --nosigcheck -i
Please wait patch installation is in progress ...
The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the c
hanges to be effective.

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Author Comment

by:aando
ID: 34952470
Attached is a screen shot of the ARC-1880 showing up in storage adatpters. However, I still don't seem to have access to it.
Vsphere.docx
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by:coolsport00
ID: 34952747
Have you did a rescan of your HBAs? Once you rescan, you should see the storage in the bottom section for you to add as a datastore under Storage section.
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by:aando
ID: 34952913
Under Hardware--> Storage --> Devices, the only thing listed is my CD rom. I hit Rescan all but nothing came up.

Under Hardware --> Storage Adapters, if I highlight vmhba2 under ARC-1880 nothing shows up under devices. Hit rescan still nothing listed.
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by:coolsport00
ID: 34952930
Ok...have you created the Array in your RAID card within the BIOS? (silly question maybe, but I'm trying everything here, outside the fact that the card isn't 'officially' supported)
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Author Comment

by:aando
ID: 34952979
Yes I configured the Raid Array on the card. Wouldn't it still show up as a device even if the Raid wasn't configured? I'm pulling my hair out over this, it is the second card we've tried thus far with no results. Thanks for helping.
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by:coolsport00
ID: 34953179
Well, the card would show up as it is now, but storage probably wouldn't....hmm...not sure what else to suggest.
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Accepted Solution

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aando earned 0 total points
ID: 34965049
Thanks for the suggestions but I couldn't get it to work. I'm sending it back to the manufacturer.
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by:coolsport00
ID: 34965786
Ok...sorry we couldn't get it up for ya; hopefully it was just the card! :P

Just recv'd a new article on driver install via script. I'm not sure if you're much of a scripter (I'm not too much), but you may wanna give this a shot?

http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2011/02/23/installing-drivers-during-a-scripted-install-of-esxi/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+YellowBricks+%28Yellow+Bricks%29

~coolsport00
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Author Closing Comment

by:aando
ID: 34995509
Card wouldn't work even after loading drivers.
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