Dell R370 Can’t Configure RAID

I had a few servers delivered last week which are to be configured for some business critical uses. One of the servers – a Dell 370 – is having some pretty serious issues where it won’t configure multiple RAID devices. A run down of the issue is after the break.

Using the Dell Lifecycle Controller, we enter into the Hardware Configuration menu and launch the RAID Configuration utility. Getting to the Dell Lifecycle Controller seems to require an F10 key strike on the launch screen, then exiting out of the iDrac setup window. Should I setup iDrac? Probably. But I won’t unless I have to. Although I probably should.

Our Dell machine has two 200GB SSDs and four 1TB HDD’s. We will use the 2 x 200GB SSDs to create a “System” RAID 1 virtual disk for the Windows operating system, and the 4 x 1TB HDD’s will go into a RAID 5 virtual disk that will be used for Data.

I’ll use the RAID configuration utility to create our System virtual disk and receive a “Task Completed” message at the end of the wizard. Assuming the RAID1 has been configured, I’ll restart the process to create the RAID5 virtual disk. When the RAID5 virtual disk has been created, the RAID1 will disappear from both iDrac and the RAID wizard.

Friday’s Progress

After spending a day trying to create the RAID disks (I have other better shit to do), I decided to call Dell for some help on this matter. Maybe there’s a process I’m neglecting to follow?

I explained our steps in meticulous detail, and we eventually found ourselves infront of the Job Queue to see what the machines processing. There was a job currently running to create the raid, so we decided to let it finish before progressing further.

The job was to create the RAID 5 “Data” VD I explained earlier. The job had roughly – by my guestimates – seven hours to complete, so I left the machine running in it’s boot cycle over the weekend to allow it to finish. Dell support informed me that leaving the machine in the boot cycle will allow iDrac to configure the RAID.

I have found some friends to share my pain in a YouTube videos comment section:
I’ll be keeping people informed on the video as I go.

Monday’s Progress

I came to work on Monday to find that RAID creation job had failed with a message of “JCP024: Failed”. I looked up the error and found that it’s caused by the raid controller not having access to the physical disks.

I have emailed Dell support and I’m waiting for a response before I can progress.

Monday’s Progress Pt2

So it’s been a weird day, but after an hour on the phone to Dell, we finally got this one sorted.

If you have a specific need to use iDrac or Dell Lifecycle Controller then you’re really not going to like this solution.

Because this is a brand new system, we decided to restore the device back to factory settings. This requires booting into the Dell Lifecycle Controller, and performing a factory reset. The exact details are sketchy for me and I can’t replicate the steps because the server I was working on can’t be turned off right now.

After a full system restore, the “Ctrl+R” utility came up. This is a raid configuration utility that you can utilize to configure the raid. The ability to hit Ctrl+R came after the POST screen, and right before the boot cycle.

I configured the raid using this utility and it worked.