New harddrives for H700 (Dell R710)

andersbaero

New Member
Apr 10, 2020
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Hi, so I bought an R710 a while back, and for some reason the drives were not recognised by the raid controller.
Initially I had an M1015, but swapped it out for an H700 when the drives didn't work. (The seller thought the H700 would work with the drives).


The drives are 4Kn (HP: SMEG4000S5xnN7.2), and as I said won't be recognised. I threw in some old SATA drive to check whether the whole controller was broken, but those old drives worked fine. However they are extremely old, slow, and unreliable, so I'm thinking of investing in some new ones.

The primary function of the R710 is media/plex/seedbox server, so I don't want to cash out insane amounts.
Can you recommend some drives, and what should I do with the 4Kn drives, are they worth bothering to sell? Or just keep them handy?


Cheers
 

RTM

Active Member
Jan 26, 2014
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Have you looked into updating the firmware of your controllers?
I know there is a slim chance that it'll work, but I suppose it should be worth trying.

Another angle that may work, is to ensure the disk is formatted with a usable block size, I know you state that it is 4Kn, but it may have a different blocksize than typical given that it apparently came from a 3par system. Something along the lines of this (but probably 4096 in stead of 512): https://forums.servethehome.com/index.php?threads/how-to-reformat-hdd-ssd-to-512b-sector-size.4968/

EDIT: If you are using Linux, the "dmesg" command, may tell you what the problem is.
 

andersbaero

New Member
Apr 10, 2020
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1
Have you looked into updating the firmware of your controllers?
I know there is a slim chance that it'll work, but I suppose it should be worth trying.

Another angle that may work, is to ensure the disk is formatted with a usable block size, I know you state that it is 4Kn, but it may have a different blocksize than typical given that it apparently came from a 3par system. Something along the lines of this (but probably 4096 in stead of 512): https://forums.servethehome.com/index.php?threads/how-to-reformat-hdd-ssd-to-512b-sector-size.4968/

EDIT: If you are using Linux, the "dmesg" command, may tell you what the problem is.
I tried upgrading, no luck. A Dell Engineer also commented on a forum post saying he'd never heard of anyone successfully using 4Kn drives with a H700 card.

Regarding reformatting, is there any risk whatsoever that I brick these drives formatting them? I could attempt this, but if I could rather sell the of or trade them for some drives that will work with my system I'd prefer that.
 

andersbaero

New Member
Apr 10, 2020
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With regards to the the block size thing, you should try to run the dmesg command, look for something like what is posted in this thread:

Of course if you don't have Linux installed on the machine, you can always boot up from a live image (like ubuntu 20.04)
I'll try this out later today, I'll report back. If everything else fails tho, would the Seagate Ironwolf drives be feasible to use?
 

RTM

Active Member
Jan 26, 2014
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would the Seagate Ironwolf drives be feasible to use?
Honestly I don't know, I haven't used Seagate drives in a while.
If the drive is a standard, I see no reason why it wouldn't work.

Perhaps someone else can help you there?
 

andersbaero

New Member
Apr 10, 2020
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Honestly I don't know, I haven't used Seagate drives in a while.
If the drive is a standard, I see no reason why it wouldn't work.

Perhaps someone else can help you there?
Thanks. By the way, how am I supposed to format the drive, when the drive isn't recognised?

I can't connect SAS drives to my desktop, and they won't show up in linux so I'm out of ideas?

The main issue is that the controller isn't able to initialize the disk.
 

RTM

Active Member
Jan 26, 2014
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I am not sure how to explain other than this:
In linux the controller may present the drives using other blockdevice names, called /dev/sgX (where X is a number)

I have not had to do this type of formatting myself, so I can't tell you exactly if it appears by default or you have to run the sg_scan command first.
I suggest you check the first thread that I linked to.

Btw. you mention that you want to use RAID, is this on Linux?
If so, you may want to investigate using software based RAID like via ZFS or MDRAID.
It is a bit of a strech I suppose, but if you put an IT mode firmware on one of your controllers and use software RAID, you may be able to circumvent the problems (assuming it is due to a limitation in the IR firmware or something from Dell).

Crossflashing firmware on LSI based controllers (especially the m1015) is very well documented, so if you google a bit you should be able to find a nice simple tutorial.
 

nickf1227

Member
Sep 23, 2015
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I am not sure how to explain other than this:
In linux the controller may present the drives using other blockdevice names, called /dev/sgX (where X is a number)

I have not had to do this type of formatting myself, so I can't tell you exactly if it appears by default or you have to run the sg_scan command first.
I suggest you check the first thread that I linked to.

Btw. you mention that you want to use RAID, is this on Linux?
If so, you may want to investigate using software based RAID like via ZFS or MDRAID.
It is a bit of a strech I suppose, but if you put an IT mode firmware on one of your controllers and use software RAID, you may be able to circumvent the problems (assuming it is due to a limitation in the IR firmware or something from Dell).

Crossflashing firmware on LSI based controllers (especially the m1015) is very well documented, so if you google a bit you should be able to find a nice simple tutorial.
The problem is that if you try to crossflash the Dell H700 and leave it in the slot that it is in from the factory (which is an "internal" PCIE slot) it won't be recognized by the BIOS.

You'd be better off getting another controller and plugging it into a different slot.
 

Lost-Benji

Member
Jan 21, 2013
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The arse end of the planet
H700's work fine with big drives. You have already rulled out issue with other drives detecting. Put the 1015 back in and ensure its in HBA IT mode, nuke the drives (a few docos in and around here with 520n drive formats that need converting to the standard 512n) then enjoy.

As for the H700, easy to checkkeep up to date. Run the latest MegaRAID tool (17.05) and grab the latest firmware, flash it from Windows desktop. If you run and different OS, can't help you sorry, google it up.