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RAID says it's loading configuration, but then doesn't

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November 30, 2012 12:50:33 PM

I have a bit of an exotic (in my mind) problem here. Maybe it's not so otherworldly to someone else.

I've got an old server and a new old RAID card: the server is an IBM x series 236, and the RAID card is an Intel SRCSASRB. Both were new about 5 years ago, but the RAID card is in new condition (factory-sealed box). When the system powers on, the hard drives attached to the RAID flash with activity, so I know the RAID [is/is trying to] communicate with them. During POST, the RAID card's information shows up on the screen, with the usual, "Press Ctrl + G to enter configuration."

If I hit Ctrl + G, the above message changes to, "Will enter RAID Configuration after POST." The problem lies in that once the system POSTs, the RAID BIOS doesn't come up, and if I pop open the case, the RAID status light is blinking, which the cross-reference in the manual not-so-helpfully indicates is "Locate."

In case it matters, I'm trying to use the RAID card with an ICYDOCK MB994SP-4S backplane/cage and 3x WD Scorpios, model WD2500BEKT. I can't find any indication that either of these two pieces might be the source of the issue, but at this point, I can't rule them out.

There are a couple solutions I haven't tried yet due to time constraints: disable fast boot on motherboard bios; and move the RAID card from PCI slot 2 to 3. Also, while I've disabled the system's original SCSI RAID card (about 4 feet long), I haven't physically removed it from the system, which I want to try tonight.

Those three aside, I've tried everything else. Fresh cable, swapping the drives around, testing just 1 drive, enabling/disabling other boot devices in the motherboard BIOS. I can't get the thing to open the RAID config.

Any ideas?
a c 85 G Storage
November 30, 2012 1:30:13 PM

Take the drive bay out of the picture and connect the drives directly to the raid controller and see if the raid bios will come up. This will rule out any issues between the 2 devices.
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November 30, 2012 1:57:56 PM

ss202sl said:
Take the drive bay out of the picture and connect the drives directly to the raid controller and see if the raid bios will come up. This will rule out any issues between the 2 devices.


Thanks for the idea. I'll give it a try. I may have to finagle a way to get power to those drives. The server box only has 1 or 2 PATA power connectors (I have PATA to SATA power adapters, though).
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a b G Storage
November 30, 2012 2:09:43 PM

i would try the items you mention in your OP as well... they all seem logical they can resolve the issue
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December 6, 2012 12:23:01 PM

Thanks for the tips, guys, but nothing's seemed to work so far. Any other ideas?
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a b G Storage
December 6, 2012 1:12:06 PM

is the BIOS set to AHCI?
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December 6, 2012 7:22:03 PM

Lol. I don't think AHCI was a twinkle in Intel's eyes when this motherboard was manufactured. Either way, I'm trying to interface with a PCIe RAID card, which should handle the addressing of the drives attached to it. The motherboard has no on-board SATA controller.

I've been talking to the vendor, who's been quite helpful, and I've got one last thing I want to try, based on his input, which is to mash F12 to go into user-select boot, and try to make the motherboard attempt to boot from the controller, which may give it the kick it needs to get into the BIOS config.
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