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I got a PERC 6/i for our build-system machine running ESXi 5.0update1. The hardware is a MSI X79A-GD65 with Intel X79 chipset, Extreme i7 CPU. I also got a SFF8484->4xSATA cable and connected it to 4 SATA drives (WD10EARX), but I can't get the drives to show up in the RAID BIOS.

I have already tried a few different things:

  • Connecting the cable to both the different SFF8484 ports.
  • Only connecting one drive to RAID card.

Anyone have any troubleshooting tips for me?

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2 Answers 2

Forget using any GREEN drives in RAID. This doesnt work. It will fail badly. Just get other drives.

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How come? Because they are not speced for it or is there a known issue? –  Tobias Hieta Jun 29 '12 at 10:25
    
@TobiasHieta The drive's data sheet says: For all Business Critical RAID applications, please consider WD’s Enterprise Hard Drives that are specifically designed with RAID-specific, time-limited error recovery (TLER). Also a whole number of issues have been reported with these drives in RAID constellations (mainly performance problems and problems due to drives powering down on inactivity and taking too long to power up and respond so they get marked as "faulty" by the controller) –  the-wabbit Jun 29 '12 at 19:08
    
90%+ of SATA drives are a terrible idea for any server environment due to their >100% duty cycle/ –  Chopper3 Mar 31 '13 at 20:48

According to Dell's site, the PERC 6/i is compatible with SAS drives. There is no mention of SATA.

http://www.dell.com/content/topics/topic.aspx/global/products/pvaul/topics/en/us/raid_controller?c=us&l=en&cs=555

Do you still have the old Dell server around that the PERC came from? You may run into issues later on trying to install ESXi with that setup too. The MSI board you mention looks more like a PC board, than a server board. ESXi comes with only so many drivers, and may not work well with it.

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Actually ESXi has been working pretty well with this setup for quite some time, except that it didn't support the on-board RAID chip. The PERC was bought on ebay after a recommendation that it would work with SATA drives. I guess I have to blame the bad recommendation. –  Tobias Hieta Jun 29 '12 at 10:27
    
do you accept the answer then? –  sjw Jun 29 '12 at 10:51
    
I spent some time googling it, it seems like DELL contradict this, this document seems to imply that the card actually supports SATA: support.dell.com/support/edocs/storage/RAID/PERC6/en/UG/HTML/… –  Tobias Hieta Jun 29 '12 at 11:04
    
Yeah, hard to know what "Dell-qualified Serial-attached SCSI (SAS) hard disk drives(HDDs), SATA HDDs" are exactly. –  sjw Jun 29 '12 at 12:02

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