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Setting up PE2950 w/PERC 5/i


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Setting up PE2950 w/PERC 5/i

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Okay, I've set up several PE2850 servers with PERC 4/i RAID controllers. When I powered up my newly acquired PE2950, I expected it to be similar. I'm not getting very far in the configuration. Here's what I have and am trying to accomplish. ANY advice will be greatly appreciated!!!!

My plan is to use this server as a backup or secondary SQL server. Server came with 6-1.5TB drives. What I intend to do is set up drives 0-1 as a RAID 1 for the OS. Since I did not need that much wasted storage space, I swapped 80GB drives into these slots. I intend on setting up either 3 of the 1.5TB drives as a RAID 5 leaving one drive for HS, or setting up 4 drives in a RAID 10 with no HS.

When I boot and go into (Ctl-R) configuration, I see one VD and the 4-1.5TB drives in that array as a RAID 5. Under the VD Mgmt tab, the two 80GB drives in slots 0-1 show as missing. Under the PD tab, they show as 78GB drives and ready. I see no options to put these drives online and therefore do not have the option available to create a new VD with these 2 new drives as members. I'm stuck.

I'm sure there something small i'm overlooking but since this is my first go-round with a PERC 5/i, I need some advice. Any suggestions or help is GREATLY appreciated!!!!

All Replies
  • I'm assuming then you have nothing on any of these drives.  Drives showing as they are is probably because you swapped them out after the array was created (?).

    In CTRL-R, on the VD MGMT tab, arrow all the way up to highlight the controller, hit F2, then clear the configuration.  It should then show you No Configuration Found (or similar).  Then hit Enter and you will be shown a screen where you can setup your arrays.  Select RAID 1, tab to choose disks, Space Bar to select  your two 80GB drives, tab to Advanced and check it, then check Initialize, then tab to OK.  Once done, it should show on the VD screen, then you can install the OS and setup the RAID 5 once OMSA is installed, or create the RAID 5 while still in CTRL-R.


  • Thanks flash. That got me started anyway. KNEW it was something small I was not seeing. Just not being familiar with PERC 5/i. Got both arrays set up, RAID 1 for OS and RAID 10 for data. Initializing in progress and will then try to load Windows Server 2003.

    Thanks again.

  • Have them all set up and initialized. Started loading W2003 Server and get the no drives detected. I probably need the 3rd party drivers for the WD hard drives loaded (F6) when prompted. All I see on dell site is the SAS Utility and firmware updates for various drives. I will be using a jump drive to load the appropriate drivers on. Any clues on which driver is needed and if I can just download the SAS utility to the jump drive and access that when prompted?

  • Ok ... you will need the driver for the PERC 5/6, under SAS RAID Controllers:

    In 2003, the only way Windows knows how to get a driver is from a floppy disk.  Vista/7/2008/2008R2 can load drivers from floppy, CD, or USB, but 2003 cannot.  Since it sounds like you don't have a floppy drive in this system, you have two options: 1) Use a special utility (below) to format a USB key specially to "trick" Windows into thinking it is a floppy, 2) Use to integrate the driver into your OS installation media.

    Number 2 is much easier and the one I would recommend, as option 1 is not very fool-proof.  I'm not calling you a fool, there are just several ways to make it not work.

    USB Key Utility - You must first install the utility, then extract driver files into the FILES folder created by the utility, insert a USB key that can be formatted, then when you run the utility, DELETE the Volume Label (leave it blank).  There should be no reason to hit F6, as the driver should load automatically.


  • Flash, I totally appreciate your confidence in my foolishness. :)

    nLite is the way to go. I've used it before. I had a USB floppy and formatted a bootable disk. Then dropped the suggested driver file onto it and attempted that first. It didn't work. Maybe because I should have left the floppy as non-bootable, formatted and just the driver file on it. Or it was because the driver file from Dell is in an executable file? Anyway, I'm building the nLite disk and slipstreaming the driver file into that. Will see if that works but I'm fairly confident it will.

    MANY thanks for the guidance.

  • Yes ... sometimes I skip the easy options.  A USB floppy drive should work, but it should not be bootable.  Just default-format the floppy and transfer all 8-10 (or however many) files are unzipped by the driver download.  (Run the file you download to extract the files ... Windows will be looking for a textsetup.oem file for instructions.)

    It should work with BIOS defaulted to AUTO for USB Emulation, but if not, then try Floppy Emulation.


  • Flash is the man on stuff like this, but might I suggest an alternate method. In the box the server came in, you should have recvd a dvd disc, called the Systems Management Tools & Documentation. If you didnt get it, you can dnload it below. Since you have already partitioned the hard drives as you see fit, boot to the DVD, and follow the destructions to install your OS. Makes it much easier and you dont have to dnload drivers etc.

    Download the two ISO file segments to a new, empty folder and concatenate them. Create a single DVD image file using the following commands:
    Windows: copy /b OM* OM_620_SMTD_A00.iso
    Linux: cat OM* > OM_620_SMTD_A00.iso

    PS. just in case you recvd your system with a drac card, if the OS installation hangs, go into the drac card (Cntrl _E on bootup) and disable the virtual media until after your OS is installed.  

  • See ... I sometimes overlook the easier methods to solve the problem at hand :)  I probably sometimes forget about this option for a few reasons:  I've noticed most people don't have their original OpenManage media (even if they did, the drivers would be out of date), the download is so darn big, and it is prone to a few bugs (VL media, SP2, etc.). 

    However, good call Rey ... an option I definitely overlooked and one that should be considered.  Typically, a very easy, effective option.  If you have a good internet connection, Service Pack 2 on your 2003 media, and not using VL media from eopen website, then you should give it a go (if you haven't got it installed  yet).


  • MANY thanks Rey & Flash. I bought this server as a used unit and there was no documentation with it. I will follow the instructions and build a disk set in case I need it or I get another PE2950. In the meantime, I have gotten the OS loaded and now have to load all the drivers. Pressing onward and thanks again!!!!

  • Good ... glad you're up and running (nearly).  Keep in mind that the SMTD/SBUU DVD we've been talking about will work on almost any Dell Server (8th Generation and newer), with almost any Operating System (2003 SP2 and newer).

  • I've set up several servers before but THIS one is being a REAL pain. Got Windows Server 2003 loaded and was going to start updates and such. First issues is the NIC drivers. I looked up my Service Tag number and it does not specify WHICH NIC set is actually installed. It has 2 embedded GB ports. I downloaded both the Broadcom I & II as well as the Intel drivers. Neither will install, stating the server is not the configuration for these drivers. With a non-server computer, I would look for a chipset to download and install to get the peripherals to be recognized but don't see anything of that nature listed in the downloads section.

  • Use the following NIC driver (you have Broadcom in the 2950):

    <ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>

    Easiest way to install is with this "hard drive" version.  Download and run to extract the files, then run C:\Broadcom\DriverManagement...\setup.exe.

    Did you install 64-bit or 32-bit Windows?  The above driver is for 32-bit.

  • I quit...LOL. I downloaded this driver (installed 32bit BTW) and thought I did attempt to run the install and it failed before. I redownloaded, reran it and it worked this time, like it should have the first time. Geez.....

    Pressing onward. I think I need a vacation to recover some inactive brain cells. HeeHee

    Thanks again Flash!!!!

  • No problem :)  The Broadcom's are high-performance devices, so they require special attention when installing the driver.  Many people try to load the driver from Device Manager or simply install the INF but it just doesn't work.  Let me know if anything else :)

  • This is an old thread, but I thought I would let everyone know that Dell has an error in the textsetup.oem file for the Perc 5i/6i.  The DISKS section is setup incorrectly.  It looks like this from the .zip file:


    PERC_64 = "DELL PERC5 and PERC6/CERC6 RAID Controller Driver (Server 2003 for x64)", \percsas.sys, \

    There should NOT be spaces between the variables (commas).  This prevents the Windows setup routine from properly finding the drives on the floppy.  The section should look like this:


    PERC_64 = "DELL PERC5 and PERC6/CERC6 RAID Controller Driver (Server 2003 for x64)",\percsas.sys,\

    Delete the spaces between the commas, or copy the code from above, replace the errors in the textsetup.oem and then save the repaired file back to the floppy.  Installation will now work correctly.