ProLiant Servers (ML,DL,SL)

HP DL380 Gen9 with Smart Array B140i Controller - Legacy BIOS Issues

Go to solution
Occasional Advisor

HP DL380 Gen9 with Smart Array B140i Controller - Legacy BIOS Issues

Hello, I'll try to keep this as short as possible…

I have a machine as follows:
- HP DL380 Gen9
- Optional Media Bay + DVD Reader
- Smart Array B140i Controller (the basic one)
- 4 SSD SATA Disks

The goal I need to achieve is:
- Install Oracle VM 2.2.2 in LEGACY BIOS MODE (it's based on RHEL 5.x, probably 5.3)

Problem explanation:
Due to poor product description from the Vendor, prior buying, I now find myself with a useless piece of iron (B140i Controller simply doesn't work in LEGACY BIOS MODE. It just works in UEFI MODE).


I'm also doubting of the additional DVD Reader. In fact, if I put the machine in LEGACY MODE (let alone the fact that the Disk Controller won't work), also the DVD Reader appears to fail (if I put in a CHECKED AND WORKING Installation Media for my OS, it is simply ignored: it just goes straight to PXE Boot).


If I try to install in LEGACY MODE from USB Stick the installation screen comes up (let alone the fact that the Disk Controller won't work), but I don't want (when the Controller will be fixed) to install from USB Stick, for a series of reasons I can't explain here.


Please note: just to be sure, I've checked that the DVD Reader works in UEFI Mode. I've put in a UEFI-Compliant Installation DVD (Windows 2012 R2) and all works smooth when in UEFI (and the B140i Controller comes up too).

(1) I guess I need to buy a new Disk Controller. Any suggestions on WHAT Controller to buy? It has to:
- Preferably it will have Hardware RAID (not Software RAID like the B140i). Not mandatory, though
- Preferably it will support just SATA Disks, not SAS. Not mandatory, though. Just trying to save money here
- It has to support my already bought 4 Disks (HP 240GB 6G SATA, 2.5 Inches, Solid State Drives SSD)
- It will have 8 Disk Slots available, and if I'll add 4 more Drives later, I'll have to be able to create an independent RAID5 Volume on them, leaving the other Volume already present untouched.
- It will have Write-Back Caching capability. Is the Cache Battery included?


(2) When the new Controller will be in place, and ready to boot in LEGACY MODE, are we sure that the additional DVD Reader, in the Media Bay, will work as well? My fear is that it is somehow controlled by the ORIGINAL B140i Controller that, if I understand well, is going to be installed even after adding the NEW Controller (maybe I'm wrong? My understanding is that it is sort of "part of the original motherboard"). Therfore it won't work when I'll boot in LEGACY?


(3) Any other recommendations/hints regarding the goal I'm trying to achieve, and the way I'm trying to get there? E.g. other known pitfalls like this one of the Disk Controller…

Thanks in advance for any help, it would be GREATLY appreciated. This is crucial to me and I'm running out of time, and I don't trust the Vendor anymore to ask these questions!


Jimmy Vance

Re: HP DL380 Gen9 with Smart Array B140i Controller - Legacy BIOS Issues

Any of the 'P' series Smart Array controllers supported in the DL380 Gen9 will work in Legacy mode.  The P440ar is probbaly the lowest cost option.


I haven't noticed a DVD not working, but I can't say I've actually worked on a system with an optical drive installed. When I need to deal with media, I mount physical or ISO images over iLO.


But even changing to a 'P' series controller may not get you functional.  I'm not familiar with OVM 2.2.2 but it appears to have been released 6/2011and looks to be based on RHEL 5.3.   RHEL 5.x isn't supported on any of the Gen9 platforms and probably won't have drivers that work with the Smart Array or the NICs and there will probably be other issues with the kernel working with the chipset in the DL380 Gen9



HP Servers Support & Certification Matrices

Oracle Linux Certification and Support
No support by private messages. Please ask the forum! 
Occasional Advisor

Re: HP DL380 Gen9 with Smart Array B140i Controller - Legacy BIOS Issues

Thanks for your reply, Jimmy. At this point, I would say it's definitely my bad... I've been trusting the vendor too much without prior checks on the certification matrix.


Regarding the ILO mounted ISO, it's just that the basic ILO4 Licence that comes with the Server doesn't allow you to mount an ISO remotely... A separate License is needed. But this is a minor problem.


I can't even install the latest OVM Version neither LEGACY nor BIOS, because this would require external SAN storage to work (OVM 3.3.3 doesn't support local VM Repositories, 2.2.2 does).


I'm starting to think of installing the latest XEN open source solution (OVM is based on XEN for the virtualization part), but I'm not familiar with it. If I'd succeed installing a UEFI XEN Environment, I could possibly reuse the VM Images (they are OVM 2.2.2 images) that I need to import and run on the new system.


If you (or somebody else) can confirm that installing the latest open-source XEN is feasible, that would be great... I'll do my research in the meanwhile.


Thanks a lot for the info and for your time, anyway...

Jimmy Vance

Re: HP DL380 Gen9 with Smart Array B140i Controller - Legacy BIOS Issues

Virtual Media does require a license for iLO, but you can get a trial license that's good for 60 days



SLES11 still ships with the Xen kernel and is supported on Gen9. OpenSUSE may still include the Xen kernel.


I've never done it, but there are many refrences of converting Xen images to run with KVM, so maybe even CentOS is an option





No support by private messages. Please ask the forum!