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Can a SA642 controller be used in a whitebox, non-HP server?

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Mark Bulgier
Advisor

Can a SA642 controller be used in a whitebox, non-HP server?

I have this surplus SmartArray-642 RAID card and I'd like to use it in a SuperMicro server I have available, which of course doesn't have an ORCA for creating an array. I know the product specs list which HP servers it is supported on, but I thought there might be a sneaky way to configure it on a non-HP server. Is there no configuration routine on a ROM on this card? And no floppy or CD-based program that would let me do it?

Many thanks for any advice, even if it is to say "Don't waste your time".
7 REPLIES
John Kufrovich
Honored Contributor

Re: Can a SA642 controller be used in a whitebox, non-HP server?

Mark,
I know of no limitations. Just use HP supplied drivers.

Are you sure that it doesn't have ORCA. Just about every SA has that feature.

Mark Bulgier
Advisor

Re: Can a SA642 controller be used in a whitebox, non-HP server?

Thanks for your reply.

Well then, how do I get into ORCA? There is no F8 prompt, as I have seen with SA-642 controllers on HP servers, which led me to believe (erroneously?) that the ORCA routine lives on a ROM on the motherboard, not the RAID controller.

Maybe I just have a defective RAID card?

The User Guide says:
"If the array controller supports ORCA, POST temporarily halts, and an ORCA prompt message is displayed for approximately five seconds. (If ORCA is not supported, the prompt message is not displayed, and the system continues with the startup sequence.)
While the prompt is displayed, press the F8 key to start ORCA."

SA-642 cards should support ORCA, but what happens on boot in this server is "the prompt message is not displayed, and the system continues with the startup sequence".
Steven Clementi
Honored Contributor

Re: Can a SA642 controller be used in a whitebox, non-HP server?

did you try pressing F8 while the server is posting or before POST and/or before OS load?

Is the card new? used?


Steven
Steven Clementi
HP Master ASE, Storage and Clustering
MCSE (NT 4.0, W2K, W2K3)
VCP (ESX2, Vi3, vSphere4, vSphere5)
RHCE
NPP3 (Nutanix Platform Professional)
John Kufrovich
Honored Contributor

Re: Can a SA642 controller be used in a whitebox, non-HP server?

So, you are not getting the SmartArray prompt after POST.

ORCA is usually On Board the Card.
Mark Bulgier
Advisor

Re: Can a SA642 controller be used in a whitebox, non-HP server?

The card was new in original sealed packaging, but of unknown provenance - the guy who originally bought it is not available to ask where or why he bought it.

I tried pressing F8 at every point before, during and after POST. As soon as the card initializes, which takes about 2 or 3 seconds, it moves on, and of course I get a boot failure message.

Before it moves on to finish POST, here is what appears on the screen:
[Smart Array hooking INT15]
Slot 11 HP Smart Array 642 Controller (64 MB, v1.92) 0 Logical Drives

Thanks again for your answers
John Kufrovich
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Can a SA642 controller be used in a whitebox, non-HP server?

So far so good,

The F8 prompt should have occurred immediately after detecting any LUNs or drives.

Do you have a drive shelf attached?
Mark Bulgier
Advisor

Re: Can a SA642 controller be used in a whitebox, non-HP server?

John K asked "Do you have a drive shelf attached?", and since the answer was no, I was using a ribbon cable with terminator at the end, that got me thinking along the lines of "how sure am I that the cable and term are good?"

So I got a proper hotswap backplane and assembled it that way, and sure enough I got the F8 prompt and had no trouble making an array.

So thanks everyone, I guess it was just a bad cable connection, or cable or terminator, preventing the HBA from seeing the drives, so it didn't offer me an F8 prompt. Simple!