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Hardware Thread, Formatting SAS drives in Technical; Hi, I've got 5 300GB SAS drives that I need to format. I've dug out a server (PowerEdge 2950) that ...
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    Formatting SAS drives

    Hi,

    I've got 5 300GB SAS drives that I need to format.

    I've dug out a server (PowerEdge 2950) that was going to be thrown away that has a SAS controller.

    What is the best method for formatting the drives?

    I've tried installing Server 2008, it detects 1200GB at install stage, but after booting to the OS it only shows 500GB in Disk Management

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    webman's Avatar
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    Are the drives configured in any sort of RAID array? That sounds like the most likely explanation of the 500GB reported capacity.

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    DLW13 (12th April 2011)

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    Sorry I didn't mention it before, yes RAID 0.

    (I don't have much experience with RAID arrays so go easy )

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    webman's Avatar
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    The RAID controller is presenting the disks to the operating system as a single 'virtual' disk. I'm not sure why 1200GB turned into 500GB with RAID0 (it is expected with other levels of RAID) though.

    Try removing the array, and just have the disks configured as single drives for the purpose of formatting them. Each drive should appear as its own disk in Windows once installed.

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    DLW13 (12th April 2011)

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    That sounds about right, I used the Dell configuration CD and configured it as a RAID (Maybe it wasn't RAID 0).

    I've tried numerous bootable CDs to wipe the disks but nothing detects the drives. I've tried Seagate DIskwizard, mini Linux.

    Are there any you can suggest that would detect the SAS drives?

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    webman's Avatar
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    What about installing Windows Server on the first disk, and once installed, it might detect the rest of them on their own?

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    You were going to throw away a 2950?!

    Reconfigure the RAID to 1 or 5 for best results, the RAID utility may have a function to wipe the drives in the process.

    Edit: there are two types of SAS controller for the 2950, SAS 5/i which is non-RAID (possible this is used causing some weirdness) or the PERC 5/i.
    Last edited by 3s-gtech; 12th April 2011 at 11:53 AM.

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3s-gtech View Post
    You were going to throw away a 2950?!

    Reconfigure the RAID to 1 or 5 for best results, the RAID utility may have a function to wipe the drives in the process.

    Edit: there are two types of SAS controller for the 2950, SAS 5/i which is non-RAID (possible this is used causing some weirdness) or the PERC 5/i.
    not sure myself but just as a long shot / thought ( correct me if I am wrong ) but generally the raid controllers normally have a bios type menu system you can go into, can you not setup / change the raid config in here and also erase drives etc ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3s-gtech View Post
    You were going to throw away a 2950?!

    Reconfigure the RAID to 1 or 5 for best results, the RAID utility may have a function to wipe the drives in the process.

    Edit: there are two types of SAS controller for the 2950, SAS 5/i which is non-RAID (possible this is used causing some weirdness) or the PERC 5/i.
    I wasn't personally trying to throw it away, the powers that be were!

    When you say configure the RAID, I presume you mean using the original Dell disk?

    I think it says PERC 5/i or something during boot up.

    I'll give it a go anyway

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    Shouldn't need a disk, will just be a Ctrl+A at startup or similar (get confused between Dell and HP). Will then go into a graphical menu.

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    webman's Avatar
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    It's Ctrl+C on our PE2950s. Can't remember if it has a disk format option though.

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    Ctrl-R brings up a PERC 5i Configuration utility, it had 1 Virtual disk listed, of which I have removed. There isn't an option to format though, I'll try installing Server 2008 then adding the remaining disks and try to format through disk management

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    You will still need to initialise the disks on the controller.

    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    You will still need to initialise the disks on the controller.

    Ben
    Ben, how do I initialise the disks on the controller :s sorry, like I said earlier, I have no knowledge of RAID arrays etc.

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    Im sorry but are you 'formatting' the drives to erase the data from them?
    When I say erase I mean securely the destory the data so that no one can read whatever was on them ever again because if so a simple format won't cut the chase and you need to use something like Eraser to properly destory the data.

    If not do ignore this post!
    Last edited by jamesfed; 12th April 2011 at 03:37 PM.

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