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Installing additional SATA hard drive on Poweredge R310

Hello!  I hope this is an easy question for somebody...

This is the first time I'm upgrading an existing system, in this case, installing two additional 500GB SATA hard drives in a Poweredge R310 running Windows Server 2008.  These drives are the exact same model as the two drives already in the system.

I plugged the new drives in and the RAID controller apparently sees them (whenever I take them back out the LED on the front panel turns amber and warns a hard drive has been removed) but the Windows storage management still isn't seeing them.  It's my understanding that I can't just plug new hard drives into a RAID controller and that I need to go into the RAID configuration service to configure them, but I have absolutely no idea where that is hidden.  One set of docs I googled said that I needed to go into the RAID controller BIOS configuration when the system boots up but the only thing I see when it boots is the configuration for the SAS controller itself.  Another set of docs said for me to go into the Dell SAS RAID storage manager in Windows, but no such thing is installed.  Yet another set of docs said to go into the Dell OpenManage utility but that isn't installed either.  I'm downloading it right now so I'll explore that when it finishes.

In the event that doesn't let me activate these two SATA drives for the Windows device manager to see, what the heck IS the way to get the system to recognize I now have two new drives in the thing?

Any help anyone can provide will be appreciated. Thanks.
1 Solution
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
You need to enter RAID Configuration utility and initialize these drives. Then they will show up in Windows as well. You can combine the drives into new RAID via the utility as well. To enter it at the very early stage of server boot process press Ctrl+R.
Otherwise the suggestions of using Windows based RAID Management tools are also correct. You need simply install them and initialize the drives. Till you do that the drives will not be usable.
If I understand this correctly, your system is booting up from a separate drive from the two new SATA drives you just added.

First, you need to go to the RAID Configuration utility (CTRL+R at boot time) and create a new Disk array with those two new drives. Once it is created and the drives initialized you can manage them from within Windows. Windwos should be able to see the array then.

Check out OMSA (Dell's OpenManage Server Administrator). With it you should be able to perform additional operations like rebuild the array if a drive failed, etc.
PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
It depends on your controller.  You would have a CTRL-C during POST for a SAS 6/iR and a CTRL-R for anything else (IF you indeed have a controller) ... it is not hidden - you just need to watch for the prompt.

Also, depending on your OS, you can do this from the OS using OMSA (OpenManage Server Administrator).

Since you cannot see the disks in Disk Management, I'm assuming you have a PERC H700 or PERC 6/i, since they do NOT support non-RAID, you would need to configure the new disk(s) in a RAID array.

So, which controller do you have?

For OMSA ... download and run to extract, then run C:\Openmanage\windows\setup.exe.  Put yourservernameorip:1311 in IE's Intranet Zone.  Then, go to Storage, PERC, Backplane/Connector, Physical Disks to see the disks.  If you can see them, then you can proceed with configuring RAID in Storage, PERC, Information/Configuration (link at top of page), and Create/New from dropdown for controller.

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goodoldaveAuthor Commented:
Excellect.  Thanks to all, it's now clear the Dell Openmanage utility is the answer.  I've installed it and it seeems to be working since the interface is seeing the two new drives.  The problem now is that I'm new at Openmanage usage and I'm not sure how to proceed.

Under storage management, it is listing the current tree structure: Storage > SAS 6/iR integrated (embedded) > Connector 0 (RAID) > Enclosure (Backplane) > Physical disks.   It lists the two new drives but it identifies them as being foreign and all I can do is to get the LEDS on the two drives to blink.  The only other usable tasks I can see is under the information/configuration tab for SAS 6/iR integrated (embedded), which are...

-CREATE VIRTUAL DISK (this consistantly returns the error that not enough storage is available to create a virtual disk),

-RESET CONFIGURATION (which I am paranoid of because that will probaby wipe out the two active drives)



I'm presuming I will need to create a new virtual disk on the two new drives but selecting that option returns the message that there isn't enough storage to create one.  Do I presume correctly that "clear foreign configuration" refers to the two new disks marked as foreign and that iIf I select it, I be able to create a new virtual disk on the two new drives afterwards?

Thanks for all your help!
goodoldaveAuthor Commented:
EXCELLENT!  Not only have you answred my question, you actually answered the next question I had after that (how to use openmanage to configure the two new drives).  A simple goole search answered the rest of my questions.

goodoldaveAuthor Commented:
FYI for anyone else who stumbles across this in the knowledge base, the answer to my question is yes, the two drives came from another system and they still had the remains of a virtual disk.  Clearing the foreign configuration allowed me to create a new virtual disk.
PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Sounds like you already got it, but just to clarify the foreign configuration ... you cannot do ANYTHING with a disk until you have resolved any foreign configuration that exists.  In this case, you simply want to clear the foreign configuration (simply a configuration that the controller has never used before), then you can create your VD.  Import will only ever be used in the event that the array is OFFLINE and multiple drives (that were previously part of the RAID array) are showing foreign.
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