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DL360 G7 410 Smart Array with PCIe SSD Fails to Boot

 
williamlolli
Advisor

DL360 G7 410 Smart Array with PCIe SSD Fails to Boot

Hello. We have a DL360 G7 4-bay 2.5" 1U server where we are using qty-4 SSDs in the 4 bays, however we wanted to install a Marvell PCIe SSD card to run Windows 2019 Server OS. The drivers for the Marvell PCIe SSD card are properly configured in the W2019 OS, and with the DL360 G7 BIOS set to boot to "Other Storage Card" [as I recall] the DL360 boots to the PCIe Windows Server fine - BUT ONLY when the onboard 410 Smart Array holds no drives in a Smart Array configuration.

Once the 410 Smart Array is configured with drives, even when the BIOS is set [Controller Boot Option] to point to the Marvell PCIe SSD card as a priority, the launch of Windows fails. The last thing you see on the screen is [my paraphrase] "Attempting to boot from C:" - then the cursor hangs. Removing the Smart Array drives and the PCIe SSD boots successfully.

How do I set the system to boot to the PCIe card when Smart Array drives are installed? Again, the BIOS is set to boot to the PCIe card first, yet this hangs when Smart Array drives are present.

Any help or advice to solve this problem is appreciated.

12 REPLIES 12
williamlolli
Advisor

Re: DL360 G7 410 Smart Array with PCIe SSD Fails to Boot

Since this was posted yesterday 191 views have occured with no responses or solutions. It may be that there is no solution, and HP DL360 G7 cannot be expected to boot from a PCIe SSD hard drive while P410 Smart Array drives are loaded and a Smart Array RAID configuration is in-place.

If this is true. I am hoping someone at HP will confirm that this cannot be done. Thanks in advance.

williamlolli
Advisor

Re: DL360 G7 410 Smart Array with PCIe SSD Fails to Boot

Awesome! Today is Nov 3, 2019. There are 304 reads and no answers yet. I have copied my request for help to PCServersAndParts - support, which sells refurbed HP equipment to see if they have an answer. If they do, I will post the solution here for all others seeking a way to boot a DL 360 G7 from a PCIe SSD card while also having the p410 Smart Array configured with several SSD mirrored drives for data storage.

Jimmy Vance
HPE Pro

Re: DL360 G7 410 Smart Array with PCIe SSD Fails to Boot


@williamlolli wrote:

Since this was posted yesterday 191 views have occured with no responses or solutions. It may be that there is no solution, and HP DL360 G7 cannot be expected to boot from a PCIe SSD hard drive while P410 Smart Array drives are loaded and a Smart Array RAID configuration is in-place.

If this is true. I am hoping someone at HP will confirm that this cannot be done. Thanks in advance.


I can safely say it was never tested.  Gen7 and older systems pretty much relied on the embedded Smart Array controller to be the boot device, I'm not sure there is a solution. The only thing I recall in the settings that might help is to have option ROMS load first

No support by private messages. Please ask the forum! Accept or KudoI work for HPE
williamlolli
Advisor

Re: DL360 G7 410 Smart Array with PCIe SSD Fails to Boot

Thanks, Jimmy. I will give it a try the next time I am in front of the G7 unit - whatever the outcome I will report it here.

williamlolli
Advisor

Re: DL360 G7 410 Smart Array with PCIe SSD Fails to Boot

Update: I am now working with an authorized HP Refurb Distributor for a solution. The PCIe card I am using is a IOCREST NGFF/mSATA Adapter with 2 - mounted 256 Sandisk M.2 2280 SSDs, configured as mirrored Windows 2019 Server OS (bootable). The interface is x4 plugged into the x8 slot on the G7.

Again to repeat - The PCIe card is visible and bootable when the Smart Array has no drives configured. When the Smart Array is configured with active drives, the G7 fails to boot even when the Controller setting in BIOS is pointing to the PCIe card.

I no longer have this G7 in my possession for testing so I ordered another one from the Distributor - and I will continue this thread until we find an answer.

williamlolli
Advisor

Re: DL360 G7 410 Smart Array with PCIe SSD Fails to Boot

Update: 

Bought a DL360 G8 with p420 Smart Array, P71 Bios onboard as an authorized HP factory refurb.

I have duplicated the same behaviors as previous updates (G7 above)-- that is, when the Smart Array is occupied/configured with any of the bays configured with RAIDx HDDs, the PCIe 4x adapter card (although "seen" by the BIOS) will not boot to the OS on the PCIe card. This is true even when the PCIe controller is set as primary boot device in BIOS.

Remove the Smart Array devices and the PCIe card boots to Windows 2019 server just fine.

Any info on this to configure the BIOS so that booting from PCIe card while Smart Array drives are configured is appreciated.

williamlolli
Advisor

Re: DL360 G7 410 Smart Array with PCIe SSD Fails to Boot

Update:

1. Tried reading through all the posts using search parameter "attempting boot from hard drive (c:)" to see if anyone had any answers. Nope. None that fit this scenario.

2. Tried changing the PCIe SSD RAID Controller card IRQ pointer in BIOS from IRQ5 to IRQ10 and then tried IRQ11. Still not change.

3. I ensured that in the BIOS (P71 July 2015) the settings are as follows:

-- Standard Boot Order IPL is set to IPL1: Hard Drive C: (See Boot Controller Order), IPL2: USB DriveKey (C:), IPL3: CD-ROM, IPL4: Floppy Drive (A:)
-- Boot Controller Order = CTRL1: PCI Slot 1 SATA Mass Storage Controller  -- (note: this is the PCIe RAID Card with 2- M.2 SSDs Mirrored with the Windows 2019 Server OS, which boots fine if there are no SA array drives installed and configured)
4. When booting the system hangs at the "attempting boot from hard drive (c:)" with blinking cursor and from that point is non-responsive (Ctrl-Alt-Del is ineffective) and a hard reset is required to reboot the unit.

5. I will now try to move the PCIe card to the x16 slot and see if that makes a difference.

Any advice from anyone is appreciated.

williamlolli
Advisor

Re: DL360 G7 410 Smart Array with PCIe SSD Fails to Boot

Update ( a few minutes later):

1. Tried using PCIe card to the x16 slot (SLOT 2) -- No change -- still hangs at  "attempting boot from hard drive (c:)" 

Any advice from anyone is appreciated.

williamlolli
Advisor

Re: DL360 G7 410 Smart Array with PCIe SSD Fails to Boot

Another Update (another few minutes later) -- 

So I am about ready to conclude that the DL360 G7 and G8 series WILL NOT under any circumstances boot to a PXIe slot-based SSD when the SA is configured with HDDs/SSDs of any configuration.

That said, since I know the PCIe SSD controller is "seen" by the BIOS and it SHOULD therefore be seen by a drive imaging software like Paragon Drive Copy Professional (which I have used on a variety of servers, Dell, HP Elite workstations and other systems) I thought I would use it to drive copy the OS off the PCIe card and onto the SA array of RAID1 SAS drives.

Nothing doing!! Paragon Drive Copy Professional booting a WinPE variation from a USB fails to launch Windows after the bootloader sequence is completed. wow. how about that?

So now I am really curious -- so I am trying to boot off a USB formatted with Asunsoft Windows Password Geeker Advanced (also on a botoable USB drive) that also launches a vanilla WinPE session. That process also fails (goes to black screen).

So if you are following this - consider this if you plan on using any of these tools.