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How do I format an HP BL490C G7 hard drive?

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Brian Proteau
Frequent Advisor

How do I format an HP BL490C G7 hard drive?

These HP BL490C G7s have Option ROM Configuration for Arrays. I can go in a delete the logical drive and recreate but, it doesn't seem to do anything with the existing data. I'm testing ESX Auto Deployment and want a clean system.

 

Another thing that's odd is that when installing the OS, it sees both hard drives and not just the single RAID 1+0 logical drive. This is  different than the rack mount DL models. Those would boot and see the one logical drive?

5 REPLIES
Jimmy Vance
HPE Pro
Solution

Re: How do I format an HP BL490C G7 hard drive?

The embedded SATA controller in this server (B110i) is a software based RAID controller and requires a special driver that handles the RAID function. Without the driver the OS will just see 2 disks. It doesn't appear there is a driver for ESX

 

 




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Ali
HPE Pro

Re: How do I format an HP BL490C G7 hard drive?

Hi,

 

not sure about your ESX version, however, smart array controller driver bundle is available on hp website to be used with esx custom image deployment.

HP ProLiant Smart Array Controller Driver for VMware ESXi 5.0 (Bundle file):

http://h20565.www2.hp.com/portal/site/hpsc/template.PAGE/public/psi/swdDetails/?sp4ts.oid=4268597&spf_p.tpst=swdMain&spf_p.prp_swdMain=wsrp-navigationalState%3Didx%253D0%257CswItem%253DMTX_42891172871b4a66af3a9083c5%257CswEnvOID%253D4115%257CitemLocale%253D%257CswLang%253D%257Cmode%253D3%257Caction%253DdriverDocument&javax.portlet.begCacheTok=com.vignette.cachetoken&javax.portlet.endCacheTok=com.v...

 

To know more about the controller features, review the following document

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?objectID=c02555555&lang=en&cc=us&taskId=&prodSeriesId=4268682&prodTypeId=3709945

 

 

we have erase NVRAM and disk option in ROM-Based Setup Utility (RBSU)  which clears the NVRAM and disk information.

Steps :

  1. Press F9 during POST
  2. Advanced Options
  3. Erase NVRAM/Boot Disk
    Note: The Erase NVRAM/Boot Disk option resets the date, time, and all configuration settings to default values. Data on the boot disk drive is erased, and changes that have been made will be lost.

or

Restore Settings/Erase Boot Disk
The Restore Settings/Erase Boot Disk option resets the date, time, and all configuration settings to default values. Data on the boot disk drive is erased, and changes that have been made are lost.

 

Please check if Array Configuration Utility provide erase disk option with B110i controller as it does with other smart array controller.

 

Hope this helps,

 

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Cheers!

Aftab

I work for HP
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Jimmy Vance
HPE Pro

Re: How do I format an HP BL490C G7 hard drive?

Aftab, that link is for the "hpsa" driver. "hpsa" is the driver for the hardware based Smart Array controllers. The embedded controller in the BL490c G7 uses the "hpahcisr" driver.

 

 




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Matti_Kurkela
Honored Contributor

Re: How do I format an HP BL490C G7 hard drive?

To clean the system, you can use e.g. DBAN or any Linux Live CD. Like ESX, they should see two disks: just wipe them both, to be sure.

 

But before using SmartArray B110i controller with ESX, you really should read the following:

 

An ESX/ESXi driver for SmartArray B110i does not seem to exist at this time.

 

That means: if you are using SmartArray B110i with VMware ESX or ESXi, and you are seeing both hard drives, you are using a generic AHCI SATA controller driver. In that case, you don't really have a RAID set.

 

Sure, the Option ROM Configuration for Arrays allows you to create a RAID set and will sync it for you - but as soon as you exit the firmware utility and boot the ESX, it sees the disks as separate entities. Without a proprietary driver, ESX has no idea that these two separate drives are supposed to be a RAID set, and uses them as separate non-RAID disks. If you choose to deploy ESX to the first disk, it will be installed to the first disk only: it will not be mirrored to the second disk, even if you chose RAID 1 in the firmware utility.

 

Worse, since ESX does not know how to update the SmartArray RAID metadata, the firmware won't know that ESX has made changes to the first disk - it will still happily tell you that the RAID set is in sync, since as far as the firmware knows, no operations have been done to the RAID set after it was created.

 

So, if the first disk fails, you will then see that the second one actually contains a blank half of a RAID set - effectively, an empty disk.

(Or if you used the firmware utility to create the RAID set after ESX installation, you'll find that the second disk contains the ESX installation as it existed at the time of the RAID set "creation" - not in the state that matches the first disk.)

 

Some people in this online community have already discovered this the hard way.

 

Let me repeat: For the SmartArray Bxxx series, the driver is an essential part of the RAID functionality. If you don't have the driver, your RAID set will not work - even if the firmware RAID utility says the RAID set is OK.

 

A bit of Googling tells me that ESX/ESXi apparently has no software RAID functionality of its own, which could act as a substitute of the missing SmartArray B110i driver. But the BL490c G7 has non-hot-plug SSD disks, so disk replacement requires pulling the blade anyway. If you are setting up an auto-deployment system, you might find that reinstalling ESX after a disk failure will only be a very minor inconvenience for you (since it's all automated): in that case, you might choose to run ESX on the blades without a RAID.

MK
Brian Proteau
Frequent Advisor

Re: How do I format an HP BL490C G7 hard drive?

Thanks for all the replies. I initially assumed it was software RAID but, was told by an HP support engineer (who confirmed when I asked several times to verify) that it was hardware RAID so, I went with that.

 

This explains the behavior. I will look at the suggested 3rd party tools for wiping the disks. I generally agree that ESX Host redundancy and Auto Deploy perhaps reduces the absolute requirement or for RAID however, I still don't like the idea of running on a unmirrored drive. If we are going to use stateful deployments on local disk, hardware RAID is a minimum requirement for me.