New SCSI card is hiding the old SCSI card-thus hiding the RAIDed system drives. Help!
July 24, 2008 6:31 PM   Subscribe

RAID HBA help sought: Server has its internal drives RAID'ed by an internal RAID card. I am trying to add another SCSI HBA card so I can hook up a nifty external SCSI-to-SATA RAID DAS tower. Problem is, however I install the new HBA, it "hides" the existing internal RAID card, meaning that the server doesn't find its own internal drives and can't boot. What to do?

Very technical question, and I'm posting it elsewhere, but I often get my best andswer from MeFi.

I have a few ideas, but unfortunately this is a production machine with no failover/parallel device; so taking it down to experiment is a problem. (I also don't want to end up rebuilding the internal RAID.) Hoping to get some ideas to eliminate trials/errors.

IBM Xseries tower server, with an Adaptec/IBM serveRAID 6i handing the RAIDing of its internal drives.

Trying to add a PCI-to-SCSI HBA made by LSI, the 22320-R, to use ONLY as a pass-through to get a SCSI hookup outside the server itself to an external SCSI-to-SATA tower that has its own RAID controller. All I need the LSI card to do is get me an external SCSI port.

Problem is, when installed in any of the PCI slots, the new LSI card takes over and is the only visible SCSI controller; it's somehow taking priority or disabling the internal SCSI RAID controller that handles the internal system and data drives.

Tried already:
1) Disable boot in the LSI card's BIOS, for one or both channels;
still doesn't see any other controllers or drives - "no system disk"
2) SCSI adapters will come up in order of their ID;
making the internal ID 0 and the external ID 1 does nothing niether does doing it the other way.
3) SCSI adapters will come up in order of their ID;
I've tried it in every PCI slot on the mobo; not only does that not fix it, but it never reports being in the slot it's actually in - put it in slot 5, it says it's in 4; put in 2 and it says it's in #3.
4) tried it in dual-channel, single-channel A, and single-channel B; all behave the same.
5) tried swapping slots with the internal card (slot#4) and mixing and matching various slot permutations: same behavior every time.

Remove the LSI card, and everything behaves as it should.
Insert the LSI card anywhere, and it obscures any other RAID controllers, regardless if I've disabled booting in the LSI

Am I missing something, or do I just have a bad card?
posted by bartleby to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
It's been a really long time and on an different architecture (Sun) but aren't there any O/S and/or software settings you might need to meddle with? Left-field, I know - I'm just trying to help, though. No response necessary, as I'm sure some replies are on their way ;)
posted by prodevel at 6:56 PM on July 24, 2008

Update the bios/firmware for both SCSI controller cards and the motherboard.

It wouldn't suprise me if the problem is with the 6i or a setting in motherboard BIOS.
posted by Kalden at 8:40 PM on July 24, 2008

First of all, that's a 64 bit, PCI-X (not PCI Express) card. You can physically stick it in a 32 bit PCI slot, but it won't initialize properly, and may bork the PCI bus, at least while it is installed, which would account for your Adaptec controller going away.

Unless you need PCI-X bandwidth (SCSI 320 and eSCSI require more than normal 32 bit PCI bus bandwidth can offer), and have a PCI-X slot available, use a simple Adaptec single channel card (like a 29160N), and let Adaptec's hardware init and software manage the combination of the two cards. Particularly if this is a mission critical "no experimentation" server.
posted by paulsc at 2:47 AM on July 25, 2008

Install the card, and then in the BIOS there should be a setting that allows you to allow both cards to be seen.

The server doesn't have an external SCSI connector?

Although paulsc is probably right- pci-x is supposed to be compatible with certain versions of pci, but may not be compatible with your hardware.
posted by gjc at 9:45 AM on July 25, 2008

Which older XSeries box? Can you reply with the machine type?

Anyhoo, Kalden's probably right. Update to ServeRAID 7.12, instructions here. Support shows that a few ServeRAID 6i bus timing issues and conflicts were fixed in firmware updates. If you can take the box down briefly to flash it that might well solve your problems right there.

Check to see if there's an UpdateXpress System Pack for the box, and flash all the firmware and BIOS using the UXSP installer...but fair warning, it's hit or miss on availability with the older boxes, if there's no UXSP then your best bet may still be the old UpdateXpress 4.06A CD.

I've tried it in every PCI slot on the mobo; not only does that not fix it, but it never reports being in the slot it's actually in - put it in slot 5, it says it's in 4; put in 2 and it says it's in #3

This is probably a silly point, but the IBM Config Options Guide usually specifies which slot supports the ServeRAID cards (I'm guessing slot 4 is correct, but there's no way to know that without knowing the machine type) can find a list of COGs for withdrawn products here, and you'll find the RAID adapters under OPTIONS>I/O. For example, the xSeries 236 only supports a ServeRAID 6M in slot 5. So obviously you'd want to simplify troubleshooting by making sure your 6i was in the correct slot, and working the LSI card around that.

FWIW, I didn't see anything on ServerProven about this LSI adapter. Mefi mail me with your contact info and we can see if there's a fix.
posted by edverb at 9:42 PM on July 25, 2008

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