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Perc 6/i creating new virtual drive causes all drives to fail.

Hello Experts,

I'm trying to configure a new Raid 10 array on a Dell Precision T7500.  Because the computer only has a Dell SAS 6/ir integrated controller, I added a Perc 6/i modular adapter to an open PCI express slot.

I purchased 4 Hitachi Ultrastar 15k600 drives (HUS156060VLS600) that I attached to the Perc 6/i.  I entered the Bios configuration utility (CTRL-R) PD MGMT page and I see the 4 physical drives in a "ready state".  On the VD Mgmt page I try to create a Raid-10.  When I attempt to initialize the new RAID, the Raid status moves to "offline" and the state of all four drives changes to "Failed".

I installed all of the latest firmware I could find to the bios, perc controller, and hard drives.  I did notice that the Perc 6/i only support 3gb/s while my drives are 6gb/s.  I'm not sure if that might be what the problem is.

I tried plugging these drives into my SAS 6 controller and their status lists as "WRG TYPE" and I can't do a thing with them.  I tried a different PERC 6/i card with the same result.

Can anybody help me diagnose whether I'm facing any known compatibility issue?  Hardware issue?  Any troubleshooting steps or something else I should check?
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mmichaels1970
Asked:
mmichaels1970
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1 Solution
 
mmichaels1970Author Commented:
Guess I've either encountered a unique problem, or I classified my question wrong.  In any case, I purchased and should receive an LSI Internal SATA/SAS 9211-8i 6Gb/s PCI-Express 2.0 RAID Controller Card today.

We'll see if a newer controller works.
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
The 3Gbps vs. 6Gbps isn't the issue - although the PERC 6 is a 3Gbps controller, 6Gbps drives work just fine on it (albeit at a slower speed).  Compatibility may be an issue if the drives are not Dell-certified.  Normally enterprise-class drives won't have this serious of issues, but non-certified drives certainly have the potential for a number of compatibility problems.  A generic/retail card may work better with your drives.  I suppose it might also be possible that when the PERC is installed, it somehow disables (or is disabled by) the SAS 6 controller, in which case, a new controller may or may not fix the issue.

Let us know what happens.
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mmichaels1970Author Commented:
I know that drivers are available on Dell's support site for the Precision T7500 and the Hitachi Ultrastar 15k600 drives (HUS156060VLS600) so I'd assume they are generally supported.  At 15k 6gb/s SAS I'm guessing these drives are considered "enterprise-class".

I tried creating a RAID 10 volume on my new LSI controller card and nothing happened yet again.  No errors.  I simply selected all four drives and pressed the "C" key to "Create the Volume" and I was returned to the main menu where no VD is listed or defined.

Now I'm trying to format the drives through the LSI Config Utility first and then see if I can assemble a RAID out of them.  It appears the drive is formatting fine but it has been going for 50 minutes now.  I'll probably have to format all four before I try creating a raid again so it may be a few hours before I know anything.

The Perc 6/i card didn't offer me the opportunity to format like the LSI utility has.  So at least I'm sort of interacting with the drives a bit at this point.
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
I looked up the model - they are enterprise class, but unless they have a Dell label and part number, they are not certified, so you may still have a number of issues.

There aren't drivers for individual drives ... and if there were, they wouldn't be required as the disks would be handled exclusively by the controller, so the drives must be compatible with the controller, not the system or OS.  The files on support.dell.com are firmware updates for that model drive ... IF they are Dell-certified (won't run on generic/retail versions of the drive).

I would have, however, assumed they would work better on a generic controller.  If formatting them doesn't work (which is not usually necessary), you might try configuring something other than a RAID 10 (like RAID 1's, 5's, etc.) - just as a test - in case a drive is bad and throwing the whole thing for a loop.
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mmichaels1970Author Commented:
I tried creating a RAID 0 out of two of the drives with no luck.  Looks like I struck out when I decided to purchase these drives.

I'm going to try using the LSI raid utility from within windows rather than from Bios to see if it gives me any more useful information.  I did notice that the physical drive properties look correct but when I go to create my virtual drive, the properties are reporting an incorrect size for 4TB for each drive when they should be 600GB.

So trying to create a Raid0 out of all four says that I will have a 16TB drive rather than a 2.4TB.

I'm leaning now towards seeing if I can return these drives and get my money back.  I'll give it a couple more tries and report back if I have any success.
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
"the properties are reporting an incorrect size for 4TB for each drive"

I don't know about the LSI controller, but the PERC has a limit of 2TB physical disks, so if the drives for some reason are reporting incorrectly (4TB), that might be why.
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mmichaels1970Author Commented:
That would make sense.  I feel like I maybe I have to get the correct firmware version for the drives.  If the firmware offered on Dell's website isn't what I need, I can't find any other place to get it.

I tried here:
http://www.hgst.com/hard-drives/enterprise-hard-drives/enterprise-sas-drives/ultrastar-15k600http://www.hgst.com/hard-drives/enterprise-hard-drives/enterprise-sas-drives/ultrastar-15k600

but I see no mention of firmware downloads.
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
There may not be any for that model (yet), since they are usually bug-related releases.  Since Dell uses a customized firmware, they may have an update that addresses a bug in their firmware (or a compability issue with the PERC/SAS).

I have a hard time seeing how the drives would be seen as 4TB when they are 600GB, unless they were mislabeled or reprogrammed in some way.  One, maybe; two or more, extremely unlikely to be a defect.  Did you purchase them "new" from a reputable retailer?
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mmichaels1970Author Commented:
Budget was a factor and I suppose now I'm paying for it with my wasted time.  I picked them up here: http://www.serversupply.com/HARD%20DRIVES/SAS-6GBITS/600GB-15000RPM/HITACHI%20/HUS156060VLS600.htm

For $155 each - condition System Pulled clean tested.

They have a 30-day so I'm going to return them.  I'll see if I can find some dell certified 300GB or so that are new in that price range somewhere else.
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Strange deal for sure.
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mmichaels1970Author Commented:
Thanks for sticking with the problem.  Going to chalk this one up to purchasing "non-new" drives.  I'm not sure if we really found the solution here.  But I returned the drives and purchased four brand new 600GB SATA 10k velociraptors instead set up as RAID 10 and they appear to be working fine.
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