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I have an old HP ProLiant dl380 G4 server whose hard disk needs to be formatted. Unfortunately, I cannot seem to do so. For one, it doesn't seem to be detecting any Hard Drives attached to the Server. The Hard Disks show up in the Ctrl+A option (SCSI Configuration Utility). Also, while inserting the SmartStart CD (7.01 or 7.04), it shows a message that no logical drives are found and there aren't any options to create one.

Alternately I've tried slipstreaming the SCSI Driver into the OS but that doesn't seem to be helping. Also, I have a USB Floppy drive (for the SCSI driver) but that doesn't seem to be detected. Also, directly installing the OS (MS Server 2003 Standard Edition) obviously doesn't work (shows no hard disk found)

Could anyone please advise as to what other needs to be done to format my server? Also please tell me what are the possible errors/mistakes which've been made so that I can learn from them.

I went through some questions here on ServerFault and the HP guides here but they weren't of much help to a n00b like me.

Thanks in Advance.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I've built many of these systems... Your issue is an easy fix.

This is an old server, so I wouldn't invest much time, however the HP ProLiant DL380 G4 was an odd unit. I presume you have a SCSI model with 6 U320 SCSI drive bays in the front.

In order to resolve your situation, you should understand that the server has an onboard Smart Array 6i RAID controller embedded on the motherboard. It also has an onboard MPT Fusion SCSI controller (meant for tape or RAW SCSI use through the external VHDCI port). The SCSI controller traditionally only worked if there wasn't anything connected to the 68-pin SCSI connector on the edge of the motherboard (see #1 below).

The key to this are the drive backplane and the motherboard connections. There are several cabling options in this system; simplex, duplex and a few bypass arrangements that enable the use of higher-end RAID controllers. You want your backplane-to-motherboard connection to look like this (assuming you wish to see all six drive bays on the motherboard controller).

enter image description here

This assumes you don't have any PCI-X cards in the riser cage. If you're seeing drives attached to the SCSI bus from the "SCSI Configuration Utility", you may be invoking to the onboard SCSI utility or a ROM utility for an installed PCI card. If you do have a card installed and there's a 68-pin SCSI cable connecting it to the backplane, remove the cable(s) and change to the above configuration. The jumper cable (#2) is key.

Once you get that situated, you will be able to create a logical drive either in the BIOS or by using the Smart Start CD. Windows will recognize the HP CCISS driver without the need to slipstream it into the installer.

Also see:
HP ProLiant DL380 G4 Cabling Chart
HP ProLiant DL380 G4 User Guide

Edit:

Ctrl-A usually corresponds to Adaptec's SCSI Select utility. You probably just have an Adaptec controller in the PCI slot with the drive backplane cabled to it. Change the configuration to what's described in the diagram above, and you'll be able to use the onboard HP controller.

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Thanks a lot for the response and the detailed explanation. I'll try to follow these steps and check the status and let you know of the outcome. –  i.h4d35 Oct 3 '12 at 13:01
    
@i.h4d35 Thank you. I'm thinking it's a card, but you have a couple of options to get this working. –  ewwhite Oct 3 '12 at 13:07
    
As you guessed, there was just an Adaptec controller in the PCI slot with the drive backplane cabled to it. I changed it according to the diagram you gave and Voila! i was able to use the onboard HP controller. Thanks a lot, Mr. White –  i.h4d35 Oct 22 '12 at 14:49
    
thanks for the answer, do you know if there is any conflict in case I create another RAID with the OS? –  jpganz18 Jan 28 '13 at 5:08
    
You mean, software RAID? –  ewwhite Jan 28 '13 at 5:09

It sounds like you need to use the Array Config Utility or SmartStart to create a RAID volume. After doing that, you will be able to format it.

Right now, the RAID controller sees that it has raw disks, but no volumes have been created, so there is nothing to present to the OS (or installer, rather); you just need to initialize a volume.

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Thanks for your reply. Could you please tell me how do we create a RAID volume using either the Smartstart Disk or the Array Config Utility? (When the Smartstart loads, it shows 3 options, Deploy Server, Manage Server and ACU - when we navigate thru any of these options, it takes me back to the screen which says "no logical drives are found/not configured") –  i.h4d35 Oct 1 '12 at 12:32
    
@i.h4d35 This is wrong. The drives in this setup are not even connected to the onboard Smart Array 6i controller. This is evidenced by the drives showing up in the SCSI BIOS utility. HP controllers never present RAW disks. –  ewwhite Oct 1 '12 at 12:41

Try to make sure the backpane is properly connected I have had them dc frequently after transport.

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