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Mac Thread, Xserve RAID card battery in Technical; Only had out new xserve a few months, but already, every time its booted up, I get a prompt saying ...
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    Xserve RAID card battery

    Only had out new xserve a few months, but already, every time its booted up, I get a prompt saying 'RAID utility requires your attention' where I receive the message that the battery has failed and write cache is disabled. Sometimes it will be charging at this point, at other times it will just be red and disabled.

    I read somewhere on the net that disconnecting and reconnecting the battery has helped some people, which I did just before christmas and amazingly seemed to have worked for a few days.
    But back in today and its not working again

    I assume its not a critical problem, more just degradation of performance, however I would like it get it sorted. Is is a spare Apple would send out under warranty or charged as a comsumable? And assuming I do have to buy one, do they sell them?

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sidewinder View Post
    I receive the message that the battery has failed and write cache is disabled.
    This happened to our RAID card - I assumed the UPS would provide backup power and simply disabled the warning in the BIOS.

    I assume its not a critical problem, more just degradation of performance
    I had a server crash twice a day until we figured out that the write cache had been disabled. That was running Windows, though, other operating systems might handle reduced write performance rather better.

    --
    David Hicks

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    AntonioRocco's Avatar
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    Hi

    The battery on the Apple RAID Card is not charged the first time you take the Xserve (or MacPro) out of the Box and power it on. It takes roughly 72 hours for it to fully charge. Whilst this is happening the XServe should not be powered down. If it is the battery will begin to recharge itself from the beginning again and again.

    Once the battery is fully charged you should enable the Write Caches option (actually you should do this as soon as possible) as this will help performance. There may be a slight performance loss whilst the battery is being charged. Every 3-4 months the battery will discharge itself as part of its reconditioning cycle. This is normal. The RAID Utility application will warn you of this. It will take 72 hours before its fully charged again. Again it's important to not power down the XServe whilst this is happening. This information might be slightly different now as Apple have improved battery handling and logging in the newer models.

    This statement:

    "Only had out new xserve a few months, but already, every time its booted up, I get a prompt"

    Why are you having to boot it up every time? Is there a problem that only a reboot seems to cure? Most servers are generally on 24/7.

    Apple have many support documents available regarding the RAID Card:

    Mac Pro RAID Card and Xserve RAID Card: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    If you have not already done so run all the available updates for the XServe as well as OSX Server. Pay particular attention to any firmware updates that may be available. As with any Server update make sure you have a fully bootable backup clone of the Server before committing to a Server update. There are no rollbacks on the Mac platform.

    "Would Apple send out under warranty or charged as a comsumable?"

    AFAIK the Apple RAID Card Battery is not dealt with the same way an Apple laptop battery is. Assuming there is a fault with the Battery then it would be covered under the warranty. What's not clear is if there is actually a problem? I've done quite a few of these since they first came out and I've only seen one that was faulty, sort of.

    "Do have to buy one? Do they sell them?"

    If it's covered under the warranty, No. Apple (or any Apple Service/Repair Specialist) will sell you anything they make.

    Antonio Rocco (ACSA)
    Last edited by AntonioRocco; 5th January 2010 at 10:54 PM.

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    Thanks for the reply

    When first installed, the xserve would have been on for 72 hours easily (after initial setup and updates were done anyway)

    When the battery hasnt been reported as failed, I have turned write cache on but of course this is off again when it has failed.

    Didnt really make it clear what I meant - the server is on 24/7, but the battery is continually 'failed'. Before Christmas I was doing updates and sorting out some things on it, which required reboots, hence why I say the utility comes up every time with the message. I also have occasionally restarted it in the past as this would get the battery to report as charging, as it just will not do this once it is reported as failed.

    All updates have been done, cant remember any firmware ones specifically but I will check.

    It also definately isnt the 3 month conditioning.

    From what you've said then I think it probably is a problem with the battery so I will contact Apple I guess! Thanks

    Edit: Ive attached a screenshot
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by sidewinder; 11th January 2010 at 10:02 AM.

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    Hi Sidewinder

    You're welcome. Judging from what you're saying in addition to a definitive screen grab it looks like there is a problem with it. That error message I've not seen before . . . yet.

    A call to AppleCare or the Reseller (if used) would be the next thing to do. Judging by the MacPro Apple RAID Card the Battery itself is not that difficult to replace. It's about the size of an After Eight Mint and about as thin. Having never replaced one in an XServe it's not certain if it's the same?

    You can run the Server whilst it's like this but don't leave it long. If there's a drive failure there is a potential for data loss on top of increasingly poor performance.

    Antonio Rocco (ACSA)

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