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HP Proliant DL 380 G4 - No Display or Post. Swap Drive from faulty server into Identical Server to boot windows?

Posted on 2012-08-28
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Last Modified: 2012-08-29
Hi Everyone,

We have an HP DL380 Proliant G4 that is not bringing up a display or post. I have seen this problem on EE a couple of times here:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Misc/Q_24831853.html

and here

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Servers/Q_26959723.html

I have tried the posts advice by changing CPU, memory, riser card, cleaning it out etc but it is still having the same symptoms – powers up, no video or post.

We have an identical working test server that is not being used so I have used parts from that in the above testing.

The configuration of the problem server is as follows:

2x Scsi Drives that are mirrored containing O/S
1x Scsi controller card that is attached into an array where some data is stored
1x Scsi controller that is connected to a tape drive

My question is this:

If I remove one of the mirrored drives from the faulty server ( from slot 1 ) and place it into the identical server ( with no other discs ) and power on will that server boot windows?

If it does and I then replace the riser card containing the other Scsi adapters would that in turn pickup the external array data drives?

Or is there any other suggestions regarding getting the faulty server back online?

Any help would be great!

Thanks in advance,

Phil
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Question by:Pipster
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Accepted Solution

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andyalder earned 2000 total points
ID: 38340588
With HP Smart Array controllers the configuration is stored on the disks and not on the controller so you can just put them in another machine and carry on. It's not absolutely essential to keep the same drive order but it is recommended.

>f I remove one of the mirrored drives from the faulty server ( from slot 1 ) and place it into the identical server ( with no other discs ) and power on will that server boot windows?

Yes, this method is sometimes used as a dirty way to clone the OS onto multiple servers. You will get a F1/F2 prompt, select the option not to disable the logical disk.

>If it does and I then replace the riser card containing the other Scsi adapters would that in turn pickup the external array data drives?

Yes assuming it too is a Smart Array controller, should work with a non-HP controller too if you're migrating both the controller plus disks to another box.
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Author Comment

by:Pipster
ID: 38340619
Hi,

Thanks for such a fast response!

good the hear that about the drives!

The CPU and the memory is different in the "replacement" server - would i be best to move across them too so the build is as close as possible to the original ( including the riser card?)

Thanks
phil
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LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 38340698
Certainly a good idea to have same amount of RAM as before although it's only for the pagefile setting being right, I wouldn't bother about the CPU unless you have thermal paste.

If you need the card you have in the riser then easier to transfer the whole riser than take it out and just transfer the card, but I'd do that after testing the base machine transfer. If you have dynamic disks then probably best to transfer all storage at once, but no reason for dynamic disks normally so not advised to use them.
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Author Comment

by:Pipster
ID: 38340760
Hi,

I have moved over the memory and both discs but left the original CPU in the system.

If I keep the original riser card in without the two other raid controllers will that not cause windows to produce errors regarding missing hardware when is ( hopefully! ) boots?

Thanks
phil
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LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 38340836
Windows might complain about missing drive letters in the event log but after shutting down and attaching them and booting they should appear again as before. You may as well swap the riser with the other two controllers though, no great benefit  in doing it in two parts except to eliminate the riser and cards from being the cause of the fault. You may have to change boot priority in BIOS but it would generally stay with the default of being the onboard controller.
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Author Comment

by:Pipster
ID: 38341227
Hi,

All is good!

I swapped out the drives and booted without the riser card containing the Scsi cards and windows came up. I then rebooted, installed the riser card and again rebooted successfully.

I have now attached it all back together and the raid controller has picked up all the drives and the server is back to working order.

Thank you very much for the help with this Andyalder – a credit to experts exchange!

I will now take apart the old server and if I figure out what the issue is I will update this post as this problem seems to be not uncommon with these servers


 Phil
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