Hard drive failure in RAID controlled system (Dell) unable to get Windows XP to reinstall

USDAARSCSRL-IT
USDAARSCSRL-IT used Ask the Experts™
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So, the machine is a Dell Precision Workstation 690.

It has an LSI SAS 5/iR integrated controller that, when the computer was working initially had RAID configuration though it was only utilizing one drive.

The drive started to slow down severely so, fearing the worst, we cloned the drive over to a newer 2.5 TB drive. We popped it in and had no luck in getting the drive to come up. Trying to reformate/reinstall on said drive resulted in a reboot cycle that was endless after the formatting was done.

We've tried changing all BIOS options imaginable, even tried turning off the adapter and still no dice. Honestly we'd like to forego the RAID option all together since we have other means of backing up and just don't have a need for it right now. If we HAVE to make a RAID that'd be okay, I guess, though we've had no luck in creating an Integrated Mirror volume through the controller. Once we go into the configuration option there's no drives to select and this is with anything we've thrown at it.
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Sure all your cables are connected?


http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ws690/en/ug/drives.htm

You could just pop in a SATA drive

Commented:
I am trying to understand..
When trying to Reinstall by booting with Win Xp disk ? it boots and you choose 'F6' to install raid controller driver  ? what happen next ?
USDAARSCSRL-ITIT Specialist

Author

Commented:
Actually we haven't been trying to install said RAID drivers. It's more like the drive goes through the process of formatting and then it reboots, as expected, but never gets to the rest of the install process. Cables are all connected.
PowerEdgeTechIT Consultant
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
The max drive size for the SAS 5/6 is 2TB.
Commented:
Please try following.
->Try this process of installation on different drive.
-> If you have spare Cable, change the drive cable.
-> Only one integrated controller port on Motherboard ? try different controller port if exist.
-> Run if any diagnose tool available in BIOS to check memory, HDD..etc
-> Sometime via Raid controller utility we can check DISK health.

Most likely hardware issue.

Commented:
What was the old drive size you where using ?
The problem could be because large size of new drive 2.5 TB .
BIOS and windows should support the new size you are trying, I have heard there is a 2TB limit.
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
2TB (actually 2TiB about 2.2TB) limit in lots of things, 2^32*512 bytes = 2TB so you need an extra address byte to get past the 2TB boundary (or bigger sectors on the disk).

Commented:
I agree with PowerEdgeTech. The best info I can find on your SCSI controller indicates that it only supports 32 bit LBA and therefore a maximum drive size of 2TB. There are no work arounds and limit is absolute. It is strictly a controller limitation independent of the OS and BIOS.
USDAARSCSRL-ITIT Specialist

Author

Commented:
The old drive is a 750 GB 7200 RPM Segate Barracuda. The new drive is a 2.5 TB but we even tried the same thing with a 7200 RPM Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB. (By that I mean we hooked the two drives up and cloned over the contents from the old to the new using a hard drive duplicator) The newer drive goes through the boot process okay but then gets to a black screen after initial post and goes nowhere.

Upon completion of said task once the new drive is inserted the controller doesn't recognize it and we're still in the same situation. Trying the suggestions listed and I'll report back shortly.

The thing that I'm not understanding is that with the original drive inserted it will boot but it's become so slow that we wanted to try out a new drive to see if that helped. The cable seems to not be an issue. So, obviously, there's something I'm missing here. Not sure what.

Commented:
Are you saying even 1TB is not workable ?

Commented:
Like you mention..
 'Upon completion of said task once the new drive is inserted the controller doesn't recognize it and we're still in the same situation.

Do you mean controller does not recognize 1TB ? or you are assuming since clone 1TB not booting ?

If you are assuming since clone 1TB not booting than I would suggest you to try fresh installation on 1 TB.
USDAARSCSRL-ITIT Specialist

Author

Commented:
So, things that have happened:

The hard drive duplicator did it's thing and copied over the contents of the old drive to a newer Western Digital Caviar Black (both 7200 RPM). Whenever the newer drive was popped in it would actually just get to the point of nearly loading up Windows but instead we were greeted with a solid black screen as opposed to the older drive actually allowing us to login and so forth. The RAID controller never recognized the 1 TB drive at all.

We ended up taking an entirely new drive, turned off SAS in the BIOS and then made sure it was hooked into SATA-0. Windows XP formatted and installed on the new drive. I'm honestly unsure of what I was doing wrong last night. I'm assuming that, perhaps, my brain function wasn't optimal since I was doing all of this later in the evening. Not sure. XP is nearly installed now and I can just move over the necessary data.

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