Dell PowerEdge will not boot

I have an old Dell PE2950.  The system will not pass POST; it hangs at an HP Smart Array P212 controller - it shows initializing, sees the memory on the controller and just stops.  I have replaced the motherboard on the dell and the riser card.  I have ordered two new controller cards and both exhibit the same issue.  If i stick the controller into another dell server I have the same issue occurs.  The HP controller is for and HP storageworks autoloader (tape backup).  If i remove the HP card the dell boots just fine (windows installed on raid array on dell perc controller).  I cant get into the BIOS or the boot menu when the HP controller is installed because it hangs after initializing.

There is a little history.  The drives in this computer are from another server.  There are two PE2950's, one is the backup server and one is a DC.  The DC crashed and for time considerations we swapped the hard drives between servers - had to to some array configurations but all went well.  After we got the replacement parts we put them in the backup server and booted - only it will not boot with the HP card installed
jcwiletsAsked:
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Well, I think you have probably narrowed down the answer and just need to say it out loud:  The HP controller is not compatible with the Dell server.  In particular, the 2950 was designed for an 'integrated' RAID card, namely the PERC 5/6 and SAS 5/6.
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jcwiletsAuthor Commented:
Yeah, I wish i could say that but it was working in this server prior to the hard drive swap between PE2950's.  Only difference is the new motherboard and riser card which probably have updated firmware which may not be compatible as you just told me - thinking while I type.  So I guess the final check would be to steal the put everything back in the original server and test.  Only trouble is it takes a letter from God to turn that server off.  I have confirmed with HP that it should work in the PE2950 but that doesnt mean that it is.

Any other ideas.
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
You confirmed that it is the card causing the inability to POST/boot, as it will boot without it, and you have confirmed that it will not work in another Dell server either.  I'm not sure what else to try.

You say that it was working in this server previously?  The only difference is the drives that were taken from another system?  I would say drivers, software, OS differences, etc., except none of those would prevent the system from completing POST (entering BIOS, etc.), meaning it is a hardware issue, and if it boots without the card ...
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jcwiletsAuthor Commented:
I got the letter from God to turn off the file server (this is the original server the hard drives were in).  So now i will have all the original hardware pieces for the backup server - will put them back as they were and test booting over the weekend.  Thanks for the assistance so far
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Good luck.
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