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Trouble installing Server 2003 R2/ Server 2000 on Proliant ML350 G4p + Smart Array 641

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BobK_1
Occasional Visitor

Trouble installing Server 2003 R2/ Server 2000 on Proliant ML350 G4p + Smart Array 641

Been trying to install Server 2003 R2 from a June 2006 Volume License CD (and subsequently Server 2000 retail while trying to diagnose my problem) on a new Proliant ML350 G4p with 3 146GB drives in a RAID 5 array.

To reduce variables, though, the bulk of my testing detailed below was done with a single 146GB drive (in a RAID 0 array) connected to the SA641.

After many trials, I'm still unable to complete installation of either Server 2003 R2 or Server 2000 to even a single 146GB drive while hooked up to the SA641 and I feel I must be missing something simple - it's as if it isn't marking the partition it creates during install as bootable or the partition it creates either isn't valid or can't be recognized on boot.

I've tried installing from both the SmartStart 7.51 CD that came with the SA641 and the SmartStart 7.60 CD that came with the ML350 - no difference in where I get hung up. I've also tried installing from the OS installation media using F6 and a downloaded drivers diskette. No luck that way either.

When installing from the SmartStart media, it appears to go through the routine of doing the install - gathering the license key and partition size information, copying files from the SmartStart CD, asking for the OS media, copying lots of files from it and then rebooting. But when it comes back from the reboot, it tries to boot from the hard drive and returns only:

Disk error
Press any key to restart

If installing from the OS media (having hit F6 to load drivers for the SA641 from diskette), it never makes it past the point of creating a partition to install the OS to - no matter whether I chose FAT or NTFS, it goes through the format process (rather quickly...) and returns:

Setup was unable to format the partition. The disk may be damaged.
Make sure the drive is switched on and properly connected to your computer. If the disk is a SCSI disk, make sure your SCSI devices are properly terminated. Consult your computer manual or SCSI adapter documentation for more information.
You must select a different partition for Windows. To continue, press ENTER.

I've seen similar symptoms described a couple of times in searches in the forums, but never with a follow-up - hoping I fare better.

A bit more background on what I've tried:

The SA641 was purchased separately and I've tried 3 different SA641s in both slots 4 and 5, always setting it to be the boot controller. 2 of the 3 SA641's are firmware 2.68, 1 is at 2.58 - all of them have behaved identically in my installation attempts, regardless of which PCI-X slot they were in. So I'm pretty confident in the SA641's themselves.

I have successfully installed Server 2003 on all 3 of the drives individually when each was installed as the sole drive and the drive cage was connected to the Channel 1 of the motherboard's SCSI as opposed to going through the 641, so I'm pretty confident in the condition of the drives.

The ML350 came with a cable (P/N 292232-001) attached from the drive cage to SCSI CH1 on the motherboard - I simply moved the end connected to the motherboard to the SA641 - saw no indication that this would be inherently problematic, but figured I'd mention it anyway.

I've tried it without creating a system partition from the 4 floppy disks in the Compaq System Configuration Utility and I've
tried it after creating it and installing them. No difference.

I downloaded Firmware CD 7.61 and it found an update to do to ILO (and did it), but nothing related to the SA641.

4 REPLIES
Oleg Koroz
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Trouble installing Server 2003 R2/ Server 2000 on Proliant ML350 G4p + Smart Array 641

NOTE: In HP ProLiant ML350 G4p Array Models, the Smart Array 641 is installed in Slot 3.

can you boot from Smart start CD run Erase utility (select all options)

after run Firmware CD
http://h18023.www1.hp.com/support/files/server/us/download/25831.html
update all firmware including HDD

Use only two memory modules

from POST F8 access and configure Array RAID 5.

Restart system with Smart Start CD and Run ADU report (Array diagnostic)
upload file to ITRC for exam.

Try to install 2000 or 2003 with SP1 and F6 for Driver
http://h18023.www1.hp.com/support/files/server/us/download/24794.html

other
http://h18023.www1.hp.com/support/files/server/us/index.html
BobK_1
Occasional Visitor

Re: Trouble installing Server 2003 R2/ Server 2000 on Proliant ML350 G4p + Smart Array 641

Thanks for the reply - interesting info about the array model using slot 3 (a 100MHz bus) as opposed to slot 5 (a 133MHz bus). I'd tried slots 4 and 5 with no success; after seeing that I tried slot 3 as well, with identical failure.

After sending replacement hard drives and another SA641 didn't resolve the issue, they subsequently sent a new SCSI cable and drive cage/backplane which also did not resolve the issue. A tech with a new motherboard was dispatched and arrived this morning. 20 minutes later I was past the "Disk error. Press any key to restart". Server 2003 has now successfully completed installation.

No idea where the problem was with the motherboard that would allow the SA641 to get that far into the install without failing, but am thankful that it was critical enough to fail 100% of the time during setup and not 1% of the time on boot. I'd hope when that motherboard gets sent back in, someone takes a good hard look at it.

BobK_1
Occasional Visitor

Re: Trouble installing Server 2003 R2/ Server 2000 on Proliant ML350 G4p + Smart Array 641

Problem disappeared after motherboard replacement.
techsupport68
Occasional Visitor

Re: Trouble installing Server 2003 R2/ Server 2000 on Proliant ML350 G4p + Smart Array 641

I have the same problem... So repalce the MB.