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Precision T5600 SAS/SATA Perc H310

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Precision T5600 SAS/SATA Perc H310

This question has been answered by tasii

Hi All

I just received a new shiny T5600.  I have a question about the Perc controller, as I am not able to find any details on other forums or the internet.

I have a SSD which I connected to SATA1 and installed Win7 64bit.  The DVD drive is connected to SATA0.  On the motherboard, I noticed a SAS1 port connector, as well as four SATA connectors (numbered HDD0,1,2,3).  I wish to connect an additional hard drive to one of these ports, but amy getting nowhere with this.  Windows does not detect the drive, nor list any storage controller being installed.  I have downloaded and installed all the drivers.  The SAS Raid Driver fails to install (update package is not compatible with your system configuration).

The BIOS only lists the two SATA ports, and lists the devices connected to it, but no other ports.  During startup, there is no prompt to enter any RAID config (usually Ctrl+R). 

The SATA operation mode is set to AHCI, and I have tried ATA (the only other option available) but nothing positive as to the other SATA ports.  Am I to assume that the 'hardware' (controller) is there, but can't be used?

Would be grateful to any help or advice.

Cheers

Leon

Verified Answer
  • Just did some testing with a new T5600 with BIOS A07, and figured I should set the record straight.

    • HDD ports 0-4 on this board WILL activate if the PERC H310 card is removed and a device is connected to at least one of the HDD0-4 ports. 
      • The storage controller activated appears to be the integrated Intel C600 chipset 4 port SAS/SATA controller, with PCI ID 8086:1d6b.
      • This chipset is documented to support SATA III speeds and TRIM but both are untested at this time.
      • When two or more drives are connected, the BIOS option ROM screen is enabled for "Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology enterprise", with configuration utility available by typing Ctrl-I during boot. SCU Option ROM is version 3.2.0.1022.
      • When one drive is connected, the option ROM setup will not appear but the controller still functions normally.
      • When no drives are connected at startup, the controller will not be activated.
      • All ports 0-4 are activated and usable simultaneously in this configuration.
    • The onboard SAS1 (SFF-8087) connector does not seem to function in any configuration. 
    • The onboard "RAID" controller WILL NOTactivate and ports HDD0-4 will be non-functional if the PERC H310 card is reinstalled in any available slot (1,2,4,5), whether any drives are connected to it or not.
      • A non-Dell (non-LSI?) SAS controller I was able to test does NOT cause the onboard SATA controller to be disabled like the PERC controller.
  • thanks.

All Replies
  • Hello Leon,

    The driver for the PERC card has to be installed when windows gets installed.  If the PERC is not installed during windows install then the PERC card will not show up.  So you will need to reinstall windows and during the install when it is gathering drivers to use you will need to select that you have a raid card so that it will gather basic raid card drivers.  Once windows is completely installed it will apply the correct dell driver for the PERC Card.

    Let us know if have any questions.

    DELL-Sam L
    Dell | Social Outreach Services - Enterprise
    Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! (iOS, Android, Windows)

  • Hi Sam

    Thank you for the suggestion, which I have tried, but still no storage controller listed in Device Manager?  The SSD drive is connected to a SATA port, and has Win7 Pro 64bit installed.  During the setup process, I provided the SAS drivers (downloaded from the Dell site specific to device\tag number), but noticed that it only accepts the drivers if you unselect the show incompatible drivers.  Perhaps Win7 includes the drivers for this SAS controller by default?

    Just to be clear, the issue I'm having is to make use of the SAS port, as well as the 4 additional SAS\SATA ports on the motherboard (assume it uses a different controller as to the 2 SATA ports used to load Windows to SSD via DVD drive).

    How do one make use of these additional ports on the motherboard?  It seems a bit of a waste if you have to install an add-on SAS Raid controller in order to have more than just two SATA devices in this system?

    Regards

    Leon

  • I have the same issue with a T3600 here. Only ports 0 and 1 on the motherboard actually recognize connected devices. I would like to hear a resolution to this as well.

  • Hello leo246,

    Check in the bios for the your sata ports.  If they are set to AHCI change that to atapi mode and that should make it so that all the drives are seen by the OS.

    Let us know if have any other issues.

    DELL-Sam L
    Dell | Social Outreach Services - Enterprise
    Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! (iOS, Android, Windows)

  • Hi Sam

    Again, thanks for the suggestion.  My original post did check these already:

    "The SATA operation mode is set to AHCI, and I have tried ATA (the only other option available) but nothing positive as to the other SATA ports.  Am I to assume that the 'hardware' (controller) is there, but can't be used?"

    I have tried switching the SATA Operation mode from AHCI to ATA, but same results.  

    <It's almost like putting a child in a playroom full of nice toys, but tell him/her that they can't play with any of the toys.>

    I take it that the ports are there, and should be usable, regardless of the drive or raid configuration option chosen during the purchase customization process on your website.  How are we as IT engineers suppose to expand or create a customized setup without the ability of using these available ports?

    Cheers

    Leon

  • Another user was told by DELL that a future BIOS update would enable the HDD 0-3 ports on the motherboard (see http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/desktop/f/3514/p/19457863/20187359.aspx#20187359).  I haven't yet called to try and confirm this, but this issue along with the front audio jack hiss (http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/desktop/f/3513/p/19466580/20185000.aspx#20185000) make it seem like shortcuts were taken or that the T3600 was released before it was ready.

    Shea

  • Just did some testing with a new T5600 with BIOS A07, and figured I should set the record straight.

    • HDD ports 0-4 on this board WILL activate if the PERC H310 card is removed and a device is connected to at least one of the HDD0-4 ports. 
      • The storage controller activated appears to be the integrated Intel C600 chipset 4 port SAS/SATA controller, with PCI ID 8086:1d6b.
      • This chipset is documented to support SATA III speeds and TRIM but both are untested at this time.
      • When two or more drives are connected, the BIOS option ROM screen is enabled for "Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology enterprise", with configuration utility available by typing Ctrl-I during boot. SCU Option ROM is version 3.2.0.1022.
      • When one drive is connected, the option ROM setup will not appear but the controller still functions normally.
      • When no drives are connected at startup, the controller will not be activated.
      • All ports 0-4 are activated and usable simultaneously in this configuration.
    • The onboard SAS1 (SFF-8087) connector does not seem to function in any configuration. 
    • The onboard "RAID" controller WILL NOTactivate and ports HDD0-4 will be non-functional if the PERC H310 card is reinstalled in any available slot (1,2,4,5), whether any drives are connected to it or not.
      • A non-Dell (non-LSI?) SAS controller I was able to test does NOT cause the onboard SATA controller to be disabled like the PERC controller.
  • Great answers. I'll have to give these a try too.

  • Just confirmed that all the SATA/SAS ports work as you noted above. However if an image was created using the PERC, the OS will not boot on the HDD0-4 ports without the proper RAID drivers installed. If the HDD is connected to SATA1, it boots no issue with the default dell image.

  • That's to be expected; the PERC is a relabeled LSI controller, whereas the onboard SAS controller is Intel based and a different PCI ID than anything that would have been preloaded into Dell's base image. The "SATA" controller's driver is already loaded for the DVD drive so Windows can boot off of it.

  • I have a T3600 and I'm considering putting in a SSD.

    If you want to use a SSD as boot drive, is it best to put it on one of the AHCI ports (SATA 0/1)?

    I'm reading on this forum that f.i. TRIM in Windows 7 is only supported through the AHCI controller.

    I'm currently using my T3600 as configured by Dell: with a 600GB SAS drive on PERC H310 as single drive RAID 0 (what's the point of that??).

    I'm thinking about migrating the SAS data to SSD, then connecting the SSD to SATA1 port, removing the PERC card altogether and finally putting the SAS drive on HDD0 port as data drive.

  • i received a T5600 at work with 2 SSD's (liteonit lct-256m3s) and 2 HDD's. all 4 drives were attached to the h310. there is also a dvd-drive attached to SATA 0 on the mobo. the IT guy installed windows 7 on one of the SSD's and the machine appeared to work fine. i RAIDED the HDD's together as a RAID 1 (wanted the additional performance). we use visual studio 2010 to build our product. the product is rather large and we take advantage of VS's parallel build functionality. the machine i have has 2 CPU's each with 8 cores, so i have 16 cores and with hyper-threading turned on windows thinks it has 32 processors. i kicked off a build of our product and shortly after the machine was at 100% cpu load. soon after that the system had a BSOD (blue screen of death) with the error code: "KERNEL_DATA_INPAGE_ERROR". the second parameter is: c0000185 indicating a "STATUS_IO_DEVICE_ERROR" problem. essentially the kernel is panicking because it cannot page in part of itself that had been paged out. the paging file is on the SSD (pagefile.sys).i thought, hoped, that this was just an anomaly and tried rebuilding again and got the same BSOD.

    as i found out, VS2010 makes extensive use of the "TMP" directory which by default is set through a windows env variable to c:\Users\<user>. so basically, the SSD was handling the system paging file as well as temporary files being generated by VS2010 (during my build there were nearly a hundred temp files which were being created/destroyed at a rate of about 20 per second). i moved TMP to my raided harddrives and tried rebuilding again. this time the build went fine. i moved TMP back to the SSD and rebuilt and again got the BSOD. so obviously the h310 cannot handle extensive parallel reading/writing to an SSD.

    i moved the SSD with the operating system on it to the sata 1 port on the mobo because i don't trust the h310 at all with an SSD. (to do this without having to reinstall windows, i plugged the second SSD into the mobo sata 2 slot and booted the machine. this allowed windows to load the driver for the SSD. i then powered down, plugged the SSD with the OS on it into the sata 1 port and windows started just fine as the driver was already loaded. if you don't do this, when windows tries to boot from the SSD without the driver preloaded, it fails). i do not use the second SSD as i have no where to plug it in except for the h310 which i don't trust! i also moved the pagefile.sys and TMP/TEMP directories to my HDD's.

    bottom line, the H310 DOES NOT work with SSD's.

    schleprock

  • I have been told that I can attach a single drive to the Perc 310 adapter which is in addition to the raid drive which the t5600 was configured.  I have tried the unused SATA 1 output but this only recognises the drive in setup.  It is not recognised after the machine is fully booted.  Can anyone tell me where I can purchase a cable for the PERC 310 which I can use on the spare output on the 310?  I only need to connect one hard drive not two. 

    MP

  • You can get any SFF-8087 to SATA Fanout Cable. These should do the trick : www.ncix.com/products

  • Many thanks for that.  I notice that it is for four drives.  Do you have an suggestion for one or two drives or will that particular cable work using just the one lead?  The cable already installed has two leads to the raid drives and perhaps a similar cable would be more appropriate.  I appreciate your input.