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Dell Poweredge hard drive issue after initial Windows 2008 install.

Posted on 2011-09-25
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I'm not sure what to make of this. I just purchased a Dell Poweredge T110 2 for a client, installed Windows 2008 R2 SP1 on a clean RAID 1 array. After it went through all the steps and I'm sitting at the desktop, the machines hard drive hasn't stopped for a second and it's killing the performance of the machine. Is this some kind of initialization that I'm not aware of? A memory dump? I cant seem to find the root cause of this. Anyone experience a similar issue?
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Question by:techindahaus
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Accepted Solution

by:
dlethe earned 250 total points
ID: 36596272
Try running some RAID diagnostics or looking at the event log.
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Assisted Solution

by:Netflo
Netflo earned 250 total points
ID: 36596490
Hi,

I would suggest look into the following steps:

1. Install Dell Open Manage from the Dell support site.
2. Update the firmware of your RAID card and hard drives and ensure the OS is on Service Pack 2.
3. Following this if performance is still degraded then contact Dell. They will ask you if step 2 is not done already. They will ask you to download the DSET tool from their website to collate information about your system. http://support.euro.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/en/dell_system_tool

Just on a side note, I do hope you purchased a PERC RAID card abbreviated with Hxxx, as opposed to Sxxx. The 'H' ones are hardware based and independent, which is optimal. The 'S' are software based which would take a performance hit as the system would be helping it along.

On a final note I've seen a similar scenario where this happened and Dell supplied two identical drives, however there was a slight difference on the model numbers, the difference infact was one drive had more cache than the other. Dell apologised for the mistake and sent out a replacement drive, as soon as we had spotted that.

Hope this helps.
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by:Netflo
ID: 36596492
Sorry forgot to mention on step 2, also ensure the drives for your RAID card is up to date, along with pretty much everything else on the system too. A prerequisite before calling Dell.
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Author Comment

by:techindahaus
ID: 36596921
This turned out to be a degraded array. Although I had to find this by running DSET as the RAID bios didnt indicate anykind of a problem.
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by:Netflo
ID: 36598096
Any reason why my solution was not acknowledged as an assisted or accepted solution?
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by:Tony1044
ID: 36598221
My two cents: Netflo even explicity mentioned using the DSET tool which the OP said was used to determine/remediate the problem.

I believe points should be awarded to Netflo. Some points for assist perhaps should go to the first answer for suggesting Diagnostics, but the correct answer, in full, was Netflo's.
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by:dlethe
ID: 36598656
Well, I'm biased, but my $.02 is that Netflow just repeated what I wrote. Only difference is that he gave the name of the program, which should be obvious, as the author is a Dell reseller.

Secondly, if the system was in stress, then you NEVER upgrade BIOS.   So #2 would have made things worse.  #3 was just to call the manufacturer if #1 didn't show a problem.  This would also have been obvious to a reseller.

Diagnostics probably just showed a background init was progressing anyway, so no further action would have been required.  
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by:Netflo
ID: 36598707
I did not repeat what you wrote, just saying to someone "Try running some RAID diagnostics or looking at the event log" is the same as "look over there" which is hardly sound advice.

People ask questions to get answers precisely, if you've only just realised that not everyone is on your skill level, well that's a shame.

By installing the latest version Dell Open Manage would have highlighted that something was wrong with the array. I don't think I need to inform that to you, whether I am a Dell reseller or not.

A system should be fully updated before being put into production, to avoid mistakes like these.

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by:Tony1044
ID: 36598726
Gents, I would say we need to be calm and measured, and step back from personal attacks.

I've done similar myself, dlethe, when I've been about to dash out but in fairness yours was not a complete solution. It may have pointed the OP in the correct direction, but step by step instructions are often more use than that.

I only gave my opinion as an external viewer with no vested interest.

Might I respectfully suggest we let the mods sort this out and not descend into trading insults?
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by:dlethe
ID: 36599020
Logically, running the diags revealed the nature of the problem.  My answer also came 30 mins after the author posted, so it is reasonable to assume he read my answer and closed out the issue before even reading another response, correct?

Ignoring that, I weigh my responses based on the needs of the author, who was certainly not a newb. The author just installed the O/S, and built the RAID. He used the word "clean".  Clearly the author knows what he is doing. I gave a skills-appropriate, concise answer to the author to not look at the O/S, but to look at the RAID controller diags, which he probably just installed moments before.  Anybody who can install Win2K8 and build a "clean RAID" doesn't need to be told much more than that.

If the longer answer is the more complete answer, then perhaps a 47 page response that starts off explaining what a URL is and how to use the internet to find Dell's support site would be the "better" answer?  Better for a newbie, but not for this author, who pays money for the privilege of talking to somebody who can resolve his issue as quickly and conveniently as possible.

Had the diagnostics not revealed the problem, and it turned out that the release notes for a BIOS update indicated he should look elsewhere, then perhaps you would have gotten the points.

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by:Tony1044
ID: 36599168
Well you need to bear in mind that EE answers are available to others, the ability level of which may not be as high as a poster asking a question. They, therefore, would always benefit from a more detailed answer.

Also, there is no way to determine the skill level of the person posing the question - it could just be they were told what to write.

On top of that, there's no point getting angry with me - there's nothing in it for me, I have no points I can gain, as I took no part in the original question and answer scenario, but I was trying to give an external, moderate opinion, hopefully avoiding anything leading to personal attacks and insult.

Again, I would suggest that instead of increasing levels of annoyance, stepping back from the keyboard, calming down, and allowing the moderators to decide where best to assign points.
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by:dlethe
ID: 36599298
I'm not angry in the least. I'm being meticulous, and I paid attention, and created an appropriate answer directed specifically for this author. Plenty of clues in the posting to determine his skill level. He used jargon, was a reseller, and installed Win2K8 himself.  The best answer is always the shortest, most concise answer, that addresses what fixes the problem.

(But again could be moot, i responded rather quickly, likely when author was still online, so I'm betting he got what he needed and never needed to read your more thorough answer which did supply additional alternatives which were probably unnecessary, that is all i am saying)
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by:Tony1044
ID: 36599332
Not. My. Answer.
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Author Comment

by:techindahaus
ID: 36896723
Hello all. Sorry for the confusion. I meant to split the assist between the two of you. The first answer reaffirmed my suspicion that the RAID was degraded. The second answer was also ontrack, but at that point I was already sure about the first answer. Both had good solid direction. If the admin can split the assist, I would be most grateful.
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by:dlethe
ID: 36896798
Works for me, as I maintained the author decides the points and should never be second-guessed unless the awarded answer is flat-out incorrect.  Just click the request for attention and ask moderator to resolve (and edit the back-and-forth debate out of the thread)
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