I'm using VMWare ESXi 5 and had a 2 TB RAID 5 setup on an HP DL360 with a P400i RAID card. I added two more 1 TB drives and using the SmartStart ACU, added the drives and expanded the logical disk.

Now after booting back to ESXi, the server boots, but lists no available persistent storage. I've rescanned multiple times to no avail: the Datastore doesn't show up.

I booted to GParted and the 1.8TB partition shows up, but it shows as unknown. Anyone have any good ideas?

EDIT: Final Solution

So after much gnashing of teeth, it was fairly simple to solve.

I purchased an eSata 2 TB external drive and a PCI eSata card for my server.

I then used Clonezilla to image the current partitions to my new external drive. You have to check "don't check drive sizes" in advanced mode, otherwise it will yell at you for have a smaller drive.

For some reason my PCI card wouldn't boot on my HP server, so I hooked the drive up to another desktop I had, booted to VMWare, and copied the vmdk's to another drive.

I'm going to blow out the RAID config and then create 1.5TB logical drives.

  • Did you check your controller's firmware? What version is it?
    – ewwhite
    Mar 11, 2012 at 18:02
  • I'll do that, but it ran fine prior to the RAID expand. Mar 11, 2012 at 18:14

2 Answers 2


So there are a few issues to look at here...

RAID controller firmware is an most important item. You're referring to a Smart Array P400 controller, which would place your DL360 model as a G5 unit. One of the critical items involved in working with HP equipment is managing and maintaining firmware. Looking at the firmware revision history for that controller, there are substantial changes to functionality and feature sets between firmware revisions. So in general, upgrading firmware is something you should do regardless of this issue. The easiest wasy to accomplish this for your setup would be to download the HP Firmware DVD or the Service Pack for ProLiant DVD.

I probably haven't encountered this issue because most of the HP ProLiant G5 servers I've deployed used small-form-factor disks, so I didn't reach the capacities you're working with. Are you using HP-branded disks?

Since you're using ESXi, did you install the HP-specific version of ESXi? The HP build adds array and disk monitoring to the base package. Doing so allows the vSphere client to display Smart Array controller status. If you DO have this installed, see if the individual disks appear in the console under Configuration -> Health Status -> Storage.

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Finally, there seems to be a major issue with Smart Array P400 controllers and ESXi 5.0 (Issue #2006942). Under ESXi 5.0, the driver used in your controller can't see a logical drive greater than 2TB. HP now has two drivers available for its controllers. The cciss driver has been the long-standing driver in Linux (and VMWare), but has recently been displaced by the hpsa driver. The cciss driver does not support LUNs or logical drives greater than 2TB in the context of VMWare. The hpsa driver does. Unfortunately, the hpsa driver does not support your Smart Array P400 controller.

I don't think there's an easy solution for you. You've probably already expanded the single logical drive via the HP Array Configuration Utility. You cannot shrink HP logical drives. You may be out of luck. - I looked into ways to force the hpsa driver to load in VMWare, but again, it doesn't support your controller. - You could move the disks to a G6 or G7 server, which use Smart Array P410 controllers. - If you're adventurous, you could install a P410 controller in your G5 server and change SAS backplane cables. It's unsupported because it's an old server, but has an 85% chance of working. - If you're desperate, you could add another disk or two, create a logical drive with size < 2TB, boot into another OS/Live CD/GParted (maybe?) and use dd to clone the relevant partition to the new disk array.

  • Thanks for the great info. I'm using clonezilla to an external 2 TB drive. If that works and I can boot to it, then I'll remove the 4 TB raid logical disk and start over. wish me luck. Clonezilla is at 20 hours and counting... And you are right. the P400i doesn't allow over 2TB logical drives. Argh... Mar 11, 2012 at 23:35
  • Good luck with the transfer!
    – ewwhite
    Mar 12, 2012 at 0:35
  • Transfer appeared to work OK. I moved the drive to a spare laptop and can boot to VMware using the external drive. The datastore at least shows up, but I get a "Operation failed Not supported error.Am I just unable to use the datastore on a usb drive? Mar 14, 2012 at 5:38
  • At that point, you'd have to see the VMWare logs. Is this when you attempt to power the VM on?
    – ewwhite
    Mar 14, 2012 at 5:56
  • No. The VM's appear offline and unavailable. I've done some research though and it looks like USB isn't supported for datastores.communities.vmware.com/message/1874000. Looks like I need to pull the drive out of the external and drop it directly into a spare desktop. Adventures in VMWare! Mar 14, 2012 at 13:57

I had managed to run P400 on ESXi 5.1 using hpsa driver, slightly modifying cciss and hpsa drivers and making .vib's from them. The rough translation of my article (original is in Russian) with link to .zip with two .vibs to make your P400 recognize >2Tb on ESXi 5.1 is here:


It will support P400i too, both PCI IDs are remapped. Use at your own risk, no detailed testing was conducted.

  • As sites can fail to respond for any number of reasons, please refrain from linking to a site without also replying with the relevant section. Aug 14, 2013 at 18:09

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