Question of the Day
The raid controller in our PowerEdge R730 server is not detecting a hard drive. Ideas?
From Jessica in Bison, South Dakota
To test it, start by booting into the raid controller’s configuration utility in POST. Look under the physical drive section, and see if anything is listed. If the drive is not showing up in this section, try reseating the drive or putting it into an open slot (if available). If the drive still does not show up, try putting it into a known working system and see if you experience the same behavior. If the action continues, you may have a failed hard drive. You can see how to test a hard drive in another Q&A. If it works properly on a different system, you may have issues with your raid controller or backplane.
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Q: How do I calculate the raid usable capacity of my storage array?
From Khoi in Minneapolis, Minnesotas
A: It will depend on the raid level that you're planning on using. For example, the usable capacity of a raid 5 is calculated with (N-1) x S(min). N is the total number of drives in the array, and S(min) is the capacity of the smallest drive in the array. You add the number of hard drives and minus 1. Raid 6 is (N-2) x S(min). Raid 10 will be half the total space for all of the disks in the array. All of your storage devices have to be the same size, or the raid will treat all of the drives as the same size as the smaller one.
Q: I think I have a bad hard drive. How do I test it?
From Tyler in Fayetteville, Arkansas
A: If you're hearing drive sounds such as clicking or grinding, shut it down immediately and call a technician. To test to verify the health of the drive, the best thing to do on modern Dell servers is boot into the f10 system services/Life Cycle controller and go to the hardware diagnostics option. You can run tests on the HDD to verify if it is failing. On older Dell servers or desktops without a lifecycle controller, you can get a Dell diagnostic cd from Dell, which has drive testing software built into it.
Q: Can I install a third-party raid controller into my R710 server?
Asked by DeShawn in Liberal, Kansas
A: Servers manufactured by OEMs are designed to work with their hardware, not those of a third-party. Therefore, it might work, and might not. I can tell you that you will not be able to use the integrated storage slots of the R710. The slots are designed only for supported RAID controllers
Q: What does the error message mean “Memory/battery problems were detected. The adapter has recovered, but cached data was lost. Press any key to continue”?
Asked by Afua in Apache Junction, AZ
A: If the system is giving this error and the system won't boot into the Operating System there is also a chance the cache of the controller has failed. On controllers with replaceable cache you can simply replace the cache module like on the Dell 2850. On controllers where the cache is integrated onto the controller you would need to replace the entire controller.
Q: How do I change raid level of virtual disk?
Asked by Justin from Des Moines, IA
A: In order to change the raid level of a Virtual Disk on a Dell server, you can either do it through the PERC BIOS menu in POST or Dell Open Manage Storage Administrator(OMSA). To do it within the PERC BIOS menu, you will highlight the Virtual Disk you want to convert and press F2. Within the drop-down menu that will appear, "Reconfigure" will be one of the options, and from there, you can select the new raid level and add whatever disks are needed. To do this within OMSA you will go to System > Storage > PERC > Virtual Disk > Select Reconfigure in the drop-down menu and go through the process of selecting the new raid level and any disks that you might be adding. It will take quite a while for this operating to complete, and it will set the cache policy to write-through for the duration of the reconfiguration, so there will be some performance degradation.
Q: My USB ports are not working on my Dell PER 610 and 710. How can I fix them?
Asked by Bob in Champaign, IL
A: If the USB ports are not working, check the BIOs settings. You will find an option to enable or disable the ports. Look to see if any of the ports are disabled. If they are, turn them on. If all of the ports are turned on, disable all and turn them back on to see if the ports just needed to be reset.