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Dell 1800 Poweredge Server will not see any drives

Posted on 2015-01-09
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I have a customer who has an old Dell PowerEdge 1800 server with 4 Ultra320 SCSI drives. All four of the drives have a green light on them when the server is booting up. The operating system that was put on there is Windows XP Pro (don't know why they did this??). When I turn the server on it goes through the first normal steps and sees the drives and lists them, but once it gets past the rocket raid screen that says scanning for drives and then the Ctrl E for EBM setup it beeps and goes to a screen that says hit F1 to continue or F2 for setup. If I hit F1 it just reboots itself. When I put the Windows XP disk in and try to run a repair it tells me that there are no available drives. I had nothing to do with this server until the customer brought it into me this week so not sure how or why anything is setup. I am thinking that maybe the backplane that the drives are plugged into went bad?? I need any and all ideas as this customer is running old legacy programs that he can not purchase any longer and really needs the programs and data that are on these drives. Is there a way to just pull the drives and get the data off of them. Again, they are Ulta320 SCSI drives. I need to either get this server to boot again or ghost these drives. Suggestions please!!
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Question by:LANengineer
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rindi earned 250 total points
ID: 40541515
For the XP CD to see the RAID array(s), you need to provide the driver for the RAID controller (via F6 and a Floppy Disk).

Personally, I wouldn't bother too much with this ancient hardware and unsupported OS though. have the customer update his systems, it is way past the time.
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by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 250 total points
ID: 40541969
You can use nLiteOS.com to create an installation CD with the drivers built-in instead of going the F6/floppy route, but I wholeheartedly agree with rindi - do your client a favor and talk them into upgrading it. It's probably just a hodgepodge of computer parts (Dell servers don't come with RocketRAID and XP isn't supported on any Dell server) and probably some IT enthusiast's experiment-turned-production-server. Good luck!
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by:LANengineer
ID: 40545364
rindi - I do not have a floppy drive in this server so I can not install the raid driver using F6.
PowerEdgeTech - I have used the nLiteOS to create an unattended install, but in this case I do not want to install or reinstall the OS. I can not lose any of his data. So how would I do the raid driver using the nLiteOS??
I agree 100% with both of you that he is using legacy software and hardware, but the customers shop and all his equipment is setup to run off the programs on this server. He is freaking out that he does not want to lose any of this.
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 40545376
in this case I do not want to install or reinstall the OS
nLite is NOT just for unattended installs. It can integrate drivers into the installation, so that you don't need to press F6 during the installation to load drivers. Just run nLite and you'll see the option to integrate drivers. At the appropriate times, select Multiple Driver Files, select ALL listed, then TextMode Drivers.

He is freaking out that he does not want to lose any of this.
Without proper planning for the inevitable, he doesn't have a right to "freak out". He needs to future-proof (and disaster-proof) his business.
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by:rindi
ID: 40545463
You could also use an external USB floppy drive.
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Author Comment

by:LANengineer
ID: 40545644
I created the CD with the driver on it and ran that and still get no drives found. Any other suggestions. Any way to ghost SCSI drives that won't boot? Is there such a thing as SCSI to USB adapter so I can just plug them into another computer?
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