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ML150 g3 - USB Hard Drive Prevents SAS Boot.

8066nickj
Occasional Contributor

ML150 g3 - USB Hard Drive Prevents SAS Boot.

Can someone please tell me what I am doing wrong?

Machine Spec.
ML150 G3.
HP 8 Internal Port SAS Host Bus Adapter.
Single 72GB SAS hard drive.
300GB Maxtor external USB drive.
Win2K3-SP1.
Original BIOS 2006.06.23
Current BIOS 2006.08.29 A

Background.
For years we have built stand alone HP servers (ML330, ML350 G3/G4, ML150 G2, ML110 G1/G2). They have all used external USB hard drives to perform unattended, overnight, scheduled backups, following a reboot (they are all Terminal Servers and so must be rebooted every 24hrs). The servers are in remote locations. Users are required to swap over the USB drives but otherwise do nothing. This has all worked fine for years – the presence or absence of a USB drive making no difference to the boot order of the machines. As long as the users plug the USB drives in and power them on all is well. The ML150 G3 has changed all this!

Problem Statement.
With the USB drive plugged in and powered on – and starting the machine – the USB drive is “seen” in the BIOS boot order as the FIRST device in the HARD DRIVE part of the boot device list. Under these circumstances the machine fails to boot. The USB drive is non bootable and for some reason the machine does not pick up the next device in the hard drive list – e.g. the SAS hard drive. Instead the SAS drive is missed and the machine goes on to attempt the network boot – which fails. If the USB drive is moved in the list to a position lower that the SAS drive the machine boots normally. However having made and saved that boot order change - if the machine is EVER booted without that same USB drive plugged in and turned on – then that drive “looses it’s place in the list”. Accordingly, subsequently - when ANY USB drive is plugged in and powered on – and the machine is booted – the USB drive is “seen” at the top of the Hard Drive list and the machine fails to boot! This boot behaviour – and my inability to control it in a consistent way – makes the ML150 G3 unusable for us, given the user situation as described in Background above.

Additional Information.
When building the server I used a Win2k3 installation CD and a plug in USB floppy drive to load the SAS controller driver using the F6 method. That worked fine and normal with no problem at all. If I try to do the same thing with a USB drive plugged in and powered on and “seen” at the top of the hard drive part of the boot list – the Win2k3 setup cannot “see” the SAS hard drive! This may explain why the SAS drive is “missed” during the boot process – where the USB drive is higher in the boot list. I have tried to find a BIOS option “ Remove USB From Bootable Device List” but have failed to find any such option.

Urgency.
I need help on this fast – right now we have no product to sell. Surly I must have missed something?

Help Please.

Thanks and Regards,

Nick.
12 REPLIES
G Carlisle
Occasional Visitor

Re: ML150 g3 - USB Hard Drive Prevents SAS Boot.

I have the same problem. Has anyone found a solution for this?
John Kufrovich
Honored Contributor

Re: ML150 g3 - USB Hard Drive Prevents SAS Boot.

Try updating the servers to the latest ROM images.
Jernej Simončič
Occasional Visitor

Re: ML150 g3 - USB Hard Drive Prevents SAS Boot.

I've got the same problem with ML150 G3 and SATA drives. I already updated BIOS to 2007.02.06 Rev. A.
John Kufrovich
Honored Contributor

Re: ML150 g3 - USB Hard Drive Prevents SAS Boot.

Don't know if this will work but give it a try.

1).Boot server.
2).Press 'F8' to Activate BIOS setup utility.
3).Locate USB 2.0 and select "Disable"

Jernej Simončič
Occasional Visitor

Re: ML150 g3 - USB Hard Drive Prevents SAS Boot.

Disabling just USB 2.0 does not solve the problem. Disabling USB altogether prevents the machine from booting off the external disks, but it also prevents them from being accessed from the OS.
Jay Mein
Occasional Visitor

Re: ML150 g3 - USB Hard Drive Prevents SAS Boot.

Exact same problem here.

Machine Spec.
ML150 G3.
HP 8 Internal Port SAS Host Bus Adapter.
2 x 72GB SAS hard drive. Mirrored (OS Boot)
4 x 146GB SAS hard drive.
75GB Maxtor external USB drive.
Win SBS 2003 R2
Original BIOS 2006.06.23
Current BIOS 2006.08.29 A

Same symptoms. Really frustating...
Jay Mein
Occasional Visitor

Re: ML150 g3 - USB Hard Drive Prevents SAS Boot.

Exact same problem here.

Machine Spec.
ML150 G3.
HP 8 Internal Port SAS Host Bus Adapter.
2 x 72GB SAS hard drive. Mirrored (OS Boot)
4 x 146GB SAS hard drive.
75GB Maxtor external USB drive.
Win SBS 2003 R2
Original BIOS 2006.06.23
Current BIOS 2006.08.29 A

Same symptoms. Really frustrating...
Joshua Beck
Occasional Visitor

Re: ML150 g3 - USB Hard Drive Prevents SAS Boot.

Exactly the same problem here. We use 500GB Seagate external USB drives with our ML150 G3.

Any solutions?
Aaron Clegg
Occasional Visitor

Re: ML150 g3 - USB Hard Drive Prevents SAS Boot.

The very latest batch of ML150 G3 I have received has a bios dated in August that is not available on support site. This has the usb boot fix in it!
Alexander Mayer
Occasional Visitor

Re: ML150 g3 - USB Hard Drive Prevents SAS Boot.

Hi guys, seems like a solution is out ;-)

The mentioned BIOS Revision from August 13th is out with several fixes, one of them:

"Resolved an issue where the HDD device boot order is set prior to the USB storage device in the boot order menu whenever the configuration settings are reset to their default values in the BIOS Setup Utility."
Beert
Occasional Visitor

Re: ML150 g3 - USB Hard Drive Prevents SAS Boot.

Possible Solution without updating BIOS:

Press F10 to enter BIOS
goto Menu BOOT
goto +hard drive
press CTRL+ENTER to expand selection
Rearange bootorder by pressing + or - key's

Good LUCK.
Alexander Mayer
Occasional Visitor

Re: ML150 g3 - USB Hard Drive Prevents SAS Boot.

yeah, but this workaround only works until the external hard drive is unplugged, which had been the main problem of this topic.

just go for the bios update, it takes 5 minutes including the server restart and saves a lot of time by eliminating future problems.