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PCIe raid controller not always detected during boot

 
Nicholas Hildreth
Occasional Contributor

PCIe raid controller not always detected during boot

I have recently tried to install a Silicon Image 3132 PCIe 2 Port SATA card in our ML350 G5 Server. (We already have two arrays connected to the embedded E200i controller, and want to use this card to make a third). However it needs to be first configured with the BIOS utility entered with the CTRL-S or F4 keypress during bootup. Unfortunately this device/"BIOS entry point" is not always displayed during boot-up. Only the E200i entry point is displayed. That is to say 95% of the time it is not display, 5% it is displayed. When it is displayed it nicely detects information about the 2 attached SATA drives and shows that information on screen before waiting for the CTRL-S key. If no key is pressed it will then move onto the E200i BIOS entry point. I do not understand why it is not always displayed nor if there is some kind of conflict event occuring. Everything seems fine otherwise. Is there any possibility it could be an IRQ problem with a particular PCIe slot? Perhaps HP controllers just don't play nice with other controllers?
3 REPLIES
KarloChacon
Honored Contributor

Re: PCIe raid controller not always detected during boot

I can say

"Perhaps HP controllers just don't play nice with other controllers"

it is 95% of the time
Didn't your momma teach you to say thanks!
rick jones
Honored Contributor

Re: PCIe raid controller not always detected during boot

For those cases where the BIOS entry is not displayed for your card, does the card appear to the OS after boot is complete (eg lspci if you are running Linux)? If not, you might check the seating of the card.

I'm _far_ from a BIOS expert, but if it is visible to the OS after not having appeared with its BIOS prompts perhaps the card is taking longer to initialize than the BIOS is willing to wait?

If you pull the E200i is the 3132 card seen more reliably?

there is no rest for the wicked yet the virtuous have no pillows
Nicholas Hildreth
Occasional Contributor

Re: PCIe raid controller not always detected during boot

An interesting point having a delayed initialization, but I don't think this was the case. The card wasn't showing up in either the BIOS-based PCI slot scan nor from HP's Management Homepage in the OS which provides a similar scan service. I never saw the slot scans during the 5% of time it was detected.

However, after puzzling over this of a whiles, I did something I should have tried hours ago. Re-seat the card in a different PCIe slot. Immediately after moving the card from slot 6 to slot 5, the card started being detected regularly and allowing access to the BIOS utility. I thought we were passed all the conflict troubles of the 90s, but I guess not. I am quite certian there is nothing actually wrong with PCIe slot 6. So I'm going to assume there is some kind of port sharing involving this port and something embedded on the motherboard.

Regardless, my issue is now resolved and the second raid card is performing quite nicely alongside the E200i.