Dell PERC 5/i not a certified drive

Posted on 2013-06-07
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I recently purchased a "used" Dell 2950 with 4 one terabyte SATA hard drives. After loading it with Server 2003 server I have the following error in the system log: "Controller event log: PD 00(e1/s0) is not a certified drive:  Controller 0 (PERC 5/i Integrated)". The error repeats 3 more times (one for each drive). The drives are HP branded Seagate Barracuda ES.2 1TB 7200 rpm. I know the drives are from a HP server and I'm sure that's why I'm getting the error.

My question is this.... Is there any reason to be concerned about these drives? They seem to be running well and I've crunched them pretty hard with "Dell 32 bit Diagnostics" over a 24 hour period with no errors. They are server rated drives so I believe the can hold up to the 24/7 up time.

I value your opinions.

Question by:tonkyman
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 39229900
You can ignore the errors if it seems to be working ok, but if you experience any performance or reliability problems, consider your drives as the prime suspects.  The difference in firmware from what the controller is expecting could cause more serious issues.

Author Comment

ID: 39230248
The difference in firmware from what the controller is expecting could cause more serious issues.

This is the part I'm worried about! I can't afford to load users on the box if I may have a catastrophic failure somewhere down the line.

Is there anyone out there that has any real life experience running "non-certified" drives?

I have one 2950 running the same setup that's been running fine for several months but it's a backup server and does nothing but hold off-site storage. If it drops like a rock.. big deal! But this server will be a terminal server for 10 people in accounting.
LVL 32

Accepted Solution

PowerEdgeTech earned 100 total points
ID: 39230320
"I can't afford to load users on the box if I may have a catastrophic failure somewhere down the line."

This is a possibility in any situation, but the chances are greater where the drives are not programmed to speak how and when the controller expects them to (HP drives are programmed to communicate with HP controllers, and while they might be similar, there is no way to know how similar, or whether similar enough or not to be able to guarantee them for any length of time).  I've seen/heard of people having run uncertified drives that are surprised to learn that they have a greater-than-average chance of problems, since they haven't had any, but there are plenty of people out there who have had no end of problems.  For some, it is made easy and the drives aren't even detected or cannot be configured, but others aren't as lucky and the drives are seen and configurable, just to give them fits later on.

If you can't afford to take the risk on uncertified drives, then get certified drives.  Either way you decide to go, it may help to make sure the storage firmware is up to date.

Author Comment

ID: 39230424
Wow! That's a real bummer!!!! I've spent a week loading windows and all the service packs and updates along with updating all the software and firmware for all the hardware. Like an idiot I didn't even bother looking at the error logs until today.

I guess it's time to start over.

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