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ML250 G4p External USB hard disk support...

 

ML250 G4p External USB hard disk support...

Some brilliant engineer at HP has come up with a way to support any USB device EXCEPT for a USB hard drive: http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/servers/platforms/usb-support.html
Look at the list of devices covered: just about anything you can imagine, but no external USB hard drives. So when I call and ask what to do about an external USB hard drive on just one of about 4 ML350 G4's I have in e field, that backs up much more slowly than the others, they say "Sorry, it's not supported".

Some support!

Now I have to find another product the recommend to my clients who are sick of the hassles with tape technology, since external USB drive technology is "not supported" by HP.

These big companies frustrate me! The only way I could have known this is to read through hundreds of pages of information at HP spread over a huge web site. I wonder what other half-truths are covered up in their web?
13 REPLIES
Prashant (I am Back)
Honored Contributor

Re: ML250 G4p External USB hard disk support...

Hi,

I understand you point. But i think i buy a product what i know about and or else i check the specs for the same. there is always a supported list and unsupported list. So we need to confirm the same.

http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/servers/platforms/usb-support.html?jumpid=reg_R1002_USEN

on the same page If you can check your server can support USB TAPE Drive. now it's you choice that you want to go for it or not.

I know i will not get any points from this post. But point is to make understanding.

Prashant S.
Nothing is impossible

Re: ML250 G4p External USB hard disk support...

By the way, my subject line contained a misprint - I meant an "ML 350 G4p"...

What you are saying is correct, and my point is not that there isn't the information available to make informed decisions, but that it is spread all over the place. How many pages like that must I find in order to be fully informed about what my HP server can and can't (or may not) do? The server spec sheet contains frightfully little useful information.

I have several other HP ML350 G4p servers that back up with the same external devices just fine.

I figure if they are going to support USB, they should support USB - it's a standard, meaning if it complies, it should do whatever other devices with USB support can do.

I am posting not just to complain (although there is some of that), but to find out if others have experienced the same problem, and learn what they've done about it.

Since HP has changed their PCI standard, I am unable (yet) to find a third-party USB card that will fit in this server. Hs anyone seen a USB card that fits the PCI-X slots in these servers?

Re: ML250 G4p External USB hard disk support...

By the way, my subject line contained a misprint - I meant an "ML 350 G4p"...

What you are saying is correct, and my point is not that there isn't the information available to make informed decisions, but that it is spread all over the place. How many pages like that must I find in order to be fully informed about what my HP server can and can't (or may not) do? The server spec sheet contains frightfully little useful information.

I have several other HP ML350 G4p servers that back up with the same external devices just fine.

I figure if they are going to support USB, they should support USB - it's a standard, meaning if it complies, it should do whatever other devices with USB support can do.

I am posting not just to complain (although there is some of that), but to find out if others have experienced the same problem, and learn what they've done about it.

Since HP has changed their PCI standard, I am unable (yet) to find a third-party USB card that will fit in this server. Hs anyone seen a USB card that fits the PCI-X slots in these servers?

By the way, thanks for your reply. It's not what I wanted to hear, but you are 100% correct.
Prashant (I am Back)
Honored Contributor

Re: ML250 G4p External USB hard disk support...

Hi,

FYI.
1)
There is re-comendation from HP for the same.
But we can but a card accourding to our SERVER PCI SPECIFICATIONS THAT WILL DO. AGAIN VERIGY IS THERE ANY KNOWN ISSUE/COMPATIBILTY WITH YOUR SERVER.

2)
The ML350 G4 and G4p do not include support for 33MHz PCI cards keyed for 5V signaling only
Refernce :
http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/pscmisc/vac/us/en/ss/proliant/ml350g4p-qanda.html

3)
There are come issues resolved with new firmware when intalling the a PCI CARD'S.
Referce :
http://h18004.www1.hp.com/support/files/server/us/download/23272.html

Prashant S.
Nothing is impossible
Matti_Kurkela
Honored Contributor

Re: ML250 G4p External USB hard disk support...

Is your external USB hard drive a HP product?
Does the problem move around if you meve the slow USB drive to another server?

A quote from the first chapter of that USB support document:

"HP provides both standard USB support and legacy USB support. Standard support is provided by the operating system (OS) through the appropriate USB device drivers. HP provides support for USB devices prior to the operating system loading through legacy USB support [...]"

Based on my understanding of this, you need HP's support for your USB device *only* if you have an OS that does not support USB natively, or if you want to boot from an USB device. The list of covered devices seems to refer to the legacy/boot-time USB support only.

When the OS starts up and starts managing the USB controllers, there is nothing more HP can do: either the USB devices work with the standard drivers embedded in the OS, or the USB device manufacturer provides a special driver for his hardware.

If you have trouble with an USB device when your OS is running, the first step would be to check it out with the OS support.

If the driver support is fine, this might mean there is something wrong at the USB hardware level, i.e. either the device or the server is falling outside the USB specification. I think faults at the hardware signalling level are rather rare, compared to the number of faults in USB protocol implementation in various devices.

Linux USB storage driver is not as picky as the USB protocol standard implies, but still there needs to be a list of 142 storage devices that need special treatment (Linux kernel 2.6.15.6 source, linux/drivers/usb/storage/unusual_devs.h). I wonder how long a list of "special" USB storage devices Windows has?
MK

Re: ML250 G4p External USB hard disk support...

Yes, I did read and understand that paragraph in the HP document. Unfortunately, being cynical since HP's merger with Compaq has made their service and support less than it ever was before, I assumed it was their way of saying, "If you have a problem, it's not our fault". Just the same, I have looked around for supplemental Windows Server 2003 drivers for this thing (it's just a Fujitsu 2.5" IDE drive in a Startech enclosure), but keep finding that the Windows native support is all that's needed. I have another client with a slightly older ML350G4 using the exact same hardware for backup and it works very quickly.
I have found a Startech PCI-Express USB adapter card that may provide the speed I need. I have used 3rd-party USb cards before to prop up less-than-standard USB performence for servers before...
Prashant (I am Back)
Honored Contributor

Re: ML250 G4p External USB hard disk support...

Man you are having a very bad experice with HP It seems. Well try to get over it.

Even it happens to me some time.
:-)

Prashant S.
Nothing is impossible
Prashant (I am Back)
Honored Contributor

Re: ML250 G4p External USB hard disk support...

Hi,

Back to issue:(check for few things)

1)when you try to connect the usb HDD it while OS is running or it at OS POST.

2)Any information popup for anything on screen(only applicable in case of OS).

3)Was there any USB device connectted earlier?

4)What is information under device maanger for USB Chipset you are getting?

Prashant S.

Nothing is impossible

Re: ML250 G4p External USB hard disk support...

1) Connections are made after OS is fully loaded.
2) No information pop-ups. For example, the pop-up yuou sometimes see when you connect a USB 1.1 device to a USB 2 port (or the revers) does NOT appear. The "Safely Remove Hardware" icon appears as it should in the System Tray.
3) This USB drive is a 2.5" drive. It requires 2 USB connections (one carries extra power). Since there is only one USB connector at the front (and one at the back) of theserver, I use a small powered USB hub to provide the connection to the external hard drive.
4) I have attached the USB information from Device Manager.

Thanks for your interest in my problem - I appreciate your input.
Prashant (I am Back)
Honored Contributor

Re: ML250 G4p External USB hard disk support...

Hi,

Two thing to check with:
1)Updated inf from Intel
http://downloadfinder.intel.com/scripts-df-external/Detail_Desc.aspx?strState=LIVE&ProductID=1706&DwnldID=8638&agr=N〈=eng&PrdMap=1706

2)Boot the server in safe mode then check is there entry as unknown device.
Note: You have to be in Safe mode to check.

Regards,
Prashant S.
Nothing is impossible
Prashant (I am Back)
Honored Contributor

Re: ML250 G4p External USB hard disk support...

So did you tried anything new ?
Nothing is impossible

Re: ML250 G4p External USB hard disk support...

Yes, Prashant...

I tried installing the Intel .inf download, but the backup time is still the same. I have been unable to visit the site - it needs to be done after business hours, so scheduling can be tricky. I can try booting in Safe Mode then, and checking Device Manager.

I am considering a StarTech PCIExpress USB card, but can't really do that until the client gets testy about the long backup times - this may not happen for a while as his backup is running at night, and his data is relatively small right now. However, when the email starts to pile up, and the backup gets bigger (even 20GB at this speed!), he will want a faster backup, and it will need to be addressed immeidately.

I was hoping to resolve the issue before he became aware of it...

Thanks again for your suggestions...
Prashant (I am Back)
Honored Contributor

Re: ML250 G4p External USB hard disk support...

mail me on prashant.sharma@amd.com let see what happens?
:-)
Nothing is impossible