HP P420 in Whitebox Server

Mr. F

Active Member
Sep 5, 2011
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Is anyone using an HP Smart Array P420 successfully in a whitebox/non-HP server? I noticed an older thread on the topic that didn't seem to have much resolution.

I have (2) P420 cards with 1GB FBWC and supercap that I would hate to see go unused.

My server is based on the Asrock E3c224-4L motherboard. I installed the P420 and it booted fine, no need to disable the option rom or anything like that. Installed HP CISS3 drivers and SSA for configuring the array - no problems.

I then set up a RAID6 array with Toshiba DT01ACA300 drives, again with no trouble. The P420 even reads the temp sensors on the drives correctly.

The only issue I'm running into is that the supercap always reports that it's recharging. HP had an advisory for this issue on firmware prior to 5.42; these cards were updated to 6.0 in an HP server before being pulled for upgrades. I'm guessing the fix could possibly rely on being installed in an HP server, in which case I'm out of luck.

I'd appreciate any input STH members might have on this. In the meantime I guess I'll try swapping in the second card to check if the issue could possibly be faulty hardware, but that seems unlikely since the cards were in service for all of 2014.
 

Mr. F

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Sep 5, 2011
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After 2 hours the supercap stops charging. HP SSA reports the following. Cache disabled; battery was hot removed.

It wasn't removed, though. So I installed the second card and supercap and received the same recharging message.

Interestingly, a reboot resolved the issue. The problem seems to only occur on the first boot after installing the card, or possibly on all cold boots.
 

Patriot

Moderator
Apr 18, 2011
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I don't think I have supercap issues on my desktop... using a P222 I know cache is enabled but it is also on a UPS so I might have just forced it on.... been awhile since I set it up.
6.0 is the latest public version for the p420...

Interesting note... As PMC has licensed Smart Array from HP for the next 10yrs... it will be easier to use Smart Array cards on White boxes in the near future... and adaptec cards will suck less...
 

PersonalJ

Member
May 17, 2013
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I have an HP P420 that works fine in an HP server but only displays the boot messages in a Supermicro server. System ends up booting to a blinking cursor and you cannot enter the P420 configuration utility.
 
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Patriot

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Apr 18, 2011
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I have an HP P420 that works fine in an HP server but only displays the boot messages in a Supermicro server. System ends up booting to a blinking cursor and you cannot enter the P420 configuration utility.
That is because the card is trying to talk to ILO and it isn't there. Some server boards ignore the prompts and don't hang some do. Sometimes if you turn off the check for option roms in the bios you can get it to work... but you will have to use offline ACU to configure the drives or have an OS up. They are working to separate out the hooks for ILO so that the cards are more friendly in other servers. They are currently testing them in other motherboard brands.
 

bds1904

Active Member
Aug 30, 2013
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Does the bbu work fine in an hp system?

Do you have an alternate bbu to test with the card? I've had 1 or 2 go bad before.
 

Mr. F

Active Member
Sep 5, 2011
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That is because the card is trying to talk to ILO and it isn't there. Some server boards ignore the prompts and don't hang some do. Sometimes if you turn off the check for option roms in the bios you can get it to work... but you will have to use offline ACU to configure the drives or have an OS up. They are working to separate out the hooks for ILO so that the cards are more friendly in other servers. They are currently testing them in other motherboard brands.
Interesting - I wonder if these changes will appear in current cards, or only in future models after the licensing deal?

Lack of iLO and/or sea of sensors in my case is causing SSA to report 0° for controller and supercap temps.
 

Mr. F

Active Member
Sep 5, 2011
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After 2 hours the supercap stops charging. HP SSA reports the following. Cache disabled; battery was hot removed.

It wasn't removed, though. So I installed the second card and supercap and received the same recharging message.

Interestingly, a reboot resolved the issue. The problem seems to only occur on the first boot after installing the card, or possibly on all cold boots.
A quick update for anyone following:

After the lengthy RAID6 array initialization things seem to be going well. The card is very fast and was free, which is why I'm willing to put up with these minor hiccups.

I did realize that the second card is still on firmware 5.42, so perhaps that's the one to go with for non-HP systems since that was the release that specifically mentioned fixing the supercap-always-charging issue.
 

Richard Lane

New Member
Apr 30, 2015
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Hello everyone,

I'm very new to this forum (1st post)

Thanks for the write up and information. I am looking at buying a P420 on ebay to fit in my Asrock Extreme 4M motherboard (with Core i7 3770) with a of which I run ESXi on. Has anyone ran this motherboard and P420 combo before.

I don't want to throw my money away buying the P420 as it is a gamble. Seems in a previous post it worked with another Asrock board. I could buy an earlier generation P410 but it won't be as quick. But would the difference be that much in a home environment.

If you were a gambler?
 
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Patriot

Moderator
Apr 18, 2011
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If you can disable the option rom in the bios and keep it cool... it will work.
This also means you cannot use the card and m.2 if the m.2 has a rom that needs to run.
I have not tried many on 115x boards but I can try some next week.