PowerEdge 2850 Windows Server 2008 install doesn't see hard drive

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PowerEdge 2850 Windows Server 2008 install doesn't see hard drive

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I picked up a PowerEdge 2850 from Craigslist and it didn’t come with any drives but it was running with the sellers 1 hard drive when I bought it. I now have a Maxtor Atlas Ultra 320, 146GB hard drive. I have RAID disabled in system startup. When I power up both HDD lights come on the caddy but the HDD activity light only lights for a second. The server boots up the Server 2008 DVD and in Windows Server advanced install it doesn’t find any HDD’s to install on. I’m guessing I need a driver here to help Windows find the SCSI device but I can’t find a driver that works. I’ve downloaded and tried the ‘scsi non raid backplane DellBPA05’  drivers with no luck. I'm probably in over my head as I never worked with a real server like this but I'm hoping with a little help I can get it running. 

First, am I going in the right direction? Should this work if I can just find the right drivers for Windows install? Or, is the Maxtor incompatible or something?

 Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks,

Keith

 

Verified Answer
  • Pretty much any SCSI drive should be seen and recognized without drivers in SCSI mode.  Does the drive show on the POST screen/list of drives?  When you enter CTRL-A and choose SCSI Disk Utilities, does it see the drive there?

    Did you try in RAID mode?  Just out of curiosity ... why did you disable RAID?

    Just to be clear ... is this 2008 or 2008 R2?  If 2008, x86 or x64?

All Replies
  • Pretty much any SCSI drive should be seen and recognized without drivers in SCSI mode.  Does the drive show on the POST screen/list of drives?  When you enter CTRL-A and choose SCSI Disk Utilities, does it see the drive there?

    Did you try in RAID mode?  Just out of curiosity ... why did you disable RAID?

    Just to be clear ... is this 2008 or 2008 R2?  If 2008, x86 or x64?

  • thanks  theflash1932 for the quick reply. That really helped because I went back and looked at my RAID options in the bios. I don't know why the embedded RAID controller was totally off, how did it run for the seller that way? Maybe I did that, I don't know but that's why I didn't see the on-board SCSI at POST! Changed it to SCSI On and it's loading Server 2008 R2, 64 right now.  I only have one drive for now that's why I wanted only SCSI without RAID. Not sure if that makes a difference but I might find a couple more caddies and drives and try RAID 5 in the future.

    Strange that the used drive I got had 8 partitions on it.

    Thanks,

    Keith

  • If I might make a suggestion ...

    The PERC's do not support non-RAID, per se, however, you could create a single-drive RAID 0.  That way, you could take advantage of the 256MB onboard battery-backed write cache - this would add a signficant peformance boost.  Also, you will be able to see, monitor, and manage the drive through the OpenManage Server Administrator software, INCLUDING "reconfiguring" your single-disk RAID 0 to a 3-disk RAID 5 when you decide to get more drives - this process is done while online AND live.

  • Great, sounds like good advice. Thanks for the help.

  • np  ... let us know if you have ANY other questions :)  good luck.

  • I’m stuck again. I did get Server 2008 installed successfully yesterday with just SCSI enabled but after trying it with RAID enabled I don’t see any available drives again in Server Advanced Install.

    I’ve gone through the PERC/CERC bios config over and over and I have successfully created a RAID 0 drive, initialized it and it POSTS 1 Logical Drive ATTACHED. But I don’t see any disks to install on when Windows starts. I even tried initializing with Fast turned off which I guess is just a complete drive format. Any idea what I’m missing here to allow Server 2008 Install to see my drive? I was really hoping to follow the previous suggestion for a better long term setup.

  • "Is this 2008 or 2008 R2?  If 2008, x86 or x64?"

    If 2008 R2, then you need to load this driver at the screen where Windows says it can't find any drives:
    http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/download.aspx?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd&releaseid=R227150&SystemID=PWE_PNT_P3C_2850&servicetag=&os=WS8R2&osl=en&deviceid=6395&devlib=0&typecnt=0&vercnt=1&catid=-1&impid=-1&formatcnt=0&libid=35&typeid=-1&dateid=-1&formatid=-1&source=-1&fileid=326367

    If 2008 (non-R2), then you don't need the driver, as it is native to this version of Windows (it was removed from R2).

    In either case, RAID must be configured AND initialized BEFORE Windows can see an array, even with the right driver.

     

  • flash, would it be worth using the SMTD to install this, so then he can also install OMSA as well?

  • :)  Absolutely rey.  I sometimes get caught up in making work a solution that should work and forget there is are other options.  

    For as little post-2008R2-installation work as is required (really no drivers to install - OMSA for DRAC and 2008 video for higher resolutions), I hate to think of downloading a 4GB ISO just for the RAID drivers, BUT as rey stated, there is another way if you still encounter problems seeing the drives:

    SMTD (Systems Management Tools and Documentation):
    http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/format.aspx?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd&deviceid=17861&libid=36&releaseid=R300251&vercnt=4&formatcnt=0&SystemID=PWE_PNT_P3C_2850&servicetag=&os=WS8R2&osl=en&catid=-1&dateid=-1&typeid=-1&formatid=-1&impid=-1&checkFormat=true

    Make sure to follow the Installation Instructions on the download page, as there are two parts to the download, which must be "merged" into a single ISO before being burned to DVD.  You will boot to this DVD first, choosing Install OS, answer the setup questions for your installation, then insert the 2008R2 DVD when prompted.

     

  • geez, that was easy. I didn't even think to look for the driver because I didn't need a driver without RAID. But yes, it's 2008 R2 64 bit which apparently needs this driver. So it's installing right now! thanks again guys for the fast expert help.

    ps, is there a good guide to help me learn how to use the DRAC and OMSA, or any other resources?

  • There are user manuals, but I wouldn't necessarily call them "good" :)  Let us know if you have questions about anything:

    DRAC:

    support.dell.com/.../index.htm

    OMSA:

    support.dell.com/.../index.htm

  • The link for the driver does not work, were do I download the driver? Any help would be much appreciated. I have the same issue when trying to install server 2008 R2 x64.

     

  • Dell just made a large update to their Support site and is experiencing some issues.  Should be fixed soon ... hopefully.