Change of CMOS battery - now Poweredge 2500 can't find Server 2003 OS

Posted on 2011-10-03
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hello experts.

I was getting a low battery message on my Poweredge 2500 and went to change the CMOS battery. As I changed the battery the holder flipped up and I had to reset it on the board. Consequently, I did not get the battery back in quickly enough to preserve the bios settings.

Now the computer does not find an OS at startup. Any recommendations on how to get the RAID array operative without losing the information on the systems. (I do have the entirety of the drives already backed up - but I would prefer not to have to reconfigure everything if there is an easier way.

Nothing has been done to the discs and since there was no problem with the discs originally, I am assuming there is nothing wrong with the array.
I was running Win server 2003 R2
I have a PERC 3/Di Raid controller
I have 4 HDD- 1 OS disc and 3 configured as a RAID 5 Array
The setup (F2) currently lists the discs as SCSI. If I remember right - if I just change it to RAID I will likely lose my data. (Tell me if I am wrong)

Is it possible to start the restore process up until the install asks for third party discs (i.e. the PERC utility) and then simply interrupt the install after the third party process?

What other recommendations have ye?

Question by:Broadcaster
    LVL 12

    Expert Comment

    If you re-set the controller to RAID in BIOS, it should then load the config for the arrays from the disks, and boot correctly - all it's lost are the BIOS settings, including the one to use the drives in RAID mode. Just changing the settings in BIOS won't change any of the data on the drives themselves, and the RAID BIOS should pick up the arrays correctly. It's not possible to just do a repair install up to the driver install stage - all the 3rd party driver disk section is for is to allow the windows installation environment to access the hard disks.
    LVL 2

    Author Comment

    Thanks Marcustech. I did set the discs to Raid. I couldn't remember what the exact configuration was for the containers and I think I messed it up. I set disc 0 as the boot disc and configured the remaining three as the raid 5 array. I still get no recognition on start up. Perhaps I should have configured all 4 in the Raid array. I have the sinking feeling that I will be starting from scratch here.
    LVL 12

    Accepted Solution

    Is it possible that one of the other disks was originally the OS disk? Disk 0 would defintiely be the usual one, but might be worth trying the others. Are you saying that even with the BIOS set back to raid you still had to manually re-create the arrays in the RAID BIOS? Usually the RAID config is stored on the drives as well as in the BIOS, to allow moving the array to another server etc.
    LVL 2

    Author Comment

    Yes, it is possible that it is another disc. Do I loose my data if I go changing containers now?

    Yep - I did have to reform the containers. Like I said, I am not sure how it was set up before. This was done before I got here. Stupidly, I did not check the setup before trying to replace the battery.

    Also, I think I saw some documentation that said the boot disc had to be labeled 00. Does that sound right to you?

    Thanks for the help. It is nice to have someone to bounce questions and ideas off of.
    LVL 6

    Assisted Solution

    There is not an actual requirement on the boot disk. But I do believe that the array is likely not recoverable at the moment. That is an older Adaptec controller. As I recall, the recommended solution would have been to disconnect the drives to prevent anything being written to them. Then make the bios change. Once the change was made, power down and reconnect the drives. With the correct bios settings, the controller would then see the array configurations from the disk. It should have prompted you if you wanted to use the config from disk or the config from the drives. As long as you choose config from disk, it comes right back.

    As it sounds like you have done it, there is a chance with the drives connected, when you changed to raid and then tried to set a new array config, you likely overwrote the existing config that was on the disks. If it was configured exactly like it was originally and on the disks, even that can work although it's risky.
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.

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