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dtdionne
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Areca ARC-1120 (8 port PCI-X SATA Raid Controller)

Greetings,

The system is a Tyan S2882-D, Dual Processor, Dual Core Opteron based system with the Areca 1120 pci-x raid controller.

Does anyone know the steps I can take rendering the best possibe chance of getting this system fully functional with ESX 3?

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Paul_Lalonde
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Take out the Areca card and all other cards (if you have any installed).

Hook up an IDE hard disk and use that as the installation disk. We can worry about VMFS storage later.

Boot from the ESX install CD with the following command line options:

boot: esx text nofb

See if the installation will proceed. I think your Areca card could be getting in the way.

Paul

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RParker
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I am not sure what you want. Have you tried simply installing ESX?

It will come up on it's own, and if anything fails it will tell you. If the hardware is NOT on the HCL you are on your own with drivers, other than that if ESX comes up, with no errors, you should be fine.

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dtdionne
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My bad, yes I have already tried to install it and nothing happens. I guess what I was really asking was: If I have the RedHat drivers for this card or I can get my hands on the source for this card, are there any steps I can take to incorporate the binary drivers into the install or build the drivers from source, etc.

Oddly, I am beginning to think that something else is going on...I am booting from a cd and i get the "press enter for gui or type text and hit enter for text install" to which I have tried both. It appears to begin the install the last thing i see is the atapi drive info, then the screen goes blank as if it were going to start X but nothing ever comes back. On the gui install, after the screen goes blank, the cd appears to be accessed ~ 10 sec after the screen goes blank. My monitor never never goes into standby so the monitor is still getting some kinda signal.

Any ideas?

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biekee
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you might try another pci vga card.

bk

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dtdionne
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It's a 2u server and the rizer card is full...and the VGA is built-on the mobo...

Do you really think it's the vga card?

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biekee
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yes Smiley Happy

bk

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Rumple
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I have that motherboard, but I am not using the integrated SCSI or SATA controllers.

I have a megaraid elite 1600 SCSI controller and a dell 2610sa SATA controller for my drives. Everything else works fine on the board.

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dtdionne
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I can't put another video card in biekee, could you please elaborate on why you think it's the video card.

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dtdionne
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Rumple, what integrated video chipset does your mobo use?

I guess you could say that I'm, well....freaking out a bit, I've got 10 of these Abberdeen 2U servers all using this mobo with none of them working.

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Paul_Lalonde
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Take out the Areca card and all other cards (if you have any installed).

Hook up an IDE hard disk and use that as the installation disk. We can worry about VMFS storage later.

Boot from the ESX install CD with the following command line options:

boot: esx text nofb

See if the installation will proceed. I think your Areca card could be getting in the way.

Paul

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Rumple
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This card is not going to work no matter what you try.

As stated you are going to have to remove the SATA card and put in a supported card like a SCSI or a megaraid SATA controller (like the Dell Perc 4 variety).

When you say you have 10 of them I really hope you are building a dev environment because thats a pretty big creek you fell into if you designed that for production.

The exact model I have is the S2882G3NR-D

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dtdionne
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I have tried all of that already, I did find something really interesting which is, even though the screen is blank, the install is still going perfectly...there's just nothing on the screen. I am begining to think it's a bios setting.

My boards have the ATI embeded video.

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dtdionne
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ok this is makin me postal.....FC5 and FC6 boot fine.....WTF!!!....

Ive tried debug, lowres, vga=ask and a bunch more...

Im gettin close to recommending Virtual Server 2005 so I can get a break my forehead is a bloody, mushy mess and I have a feeling that Im not too far from exposing my brain from bashin my head against this insainity....

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Rumple
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Well, you are probably looking at using vmware server, but it all depends on your requirements. Obviously if you picked ESX, a Hosted Virtual environment is not going to meet your needs, or you won't have went with ESX in the first place.

Quite honestly, you ordered 10 servers using unsupported hardware (when there is a published list of HCL systems available), and you are wondering why you are having problems. I've personally been in this business long enough now to realize that I don't cut corners for anyone because all that does is cause me problems, and as you've learned the hard way, you as well.

ESX is best used with a name brand supported server. Running an unsupported config at home is one thing, buying 10 servers is quite another.

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dtdionne
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Please spare me the one on one sex talk dad...you don't know all the facts, the underlying situation, or me....

I work or consult on a few gvt contracts and one of them is sizable and in the lime light. They have the "ear" of quite a few DOD policy makers and one of them brought up "HOW AMAZING" MS's Virt Srv 2005 was and how how it would revolutionize the entire IT landscape and that these guys would go down in history for being such forward thinkers by adopting it so early, which threw me into what I can only describe as panic attack on the order of 1000x1000^1000 times greater then the worst panic attack recorded in history until that date, sautéed in a poignant, potent blend of multiple heart attacks and continuous hyperventilation slathered on a bed of one of the most tasteless cases of turrets dashed with fits of crying, mumbling, and creepy chuckling.

Being a Vmware user dating back before the professor stared Vmware and loving it from day one, im sure you understand how I felt.

After being held down and slapped repeatedly a group of us went into action, the 10 servers were basically stolen off of another projects hand receipt which was the best we could do in such a short order. I went to a big shot meeting, that I should not have been in, stood up (giving my boss something similar to what I had not so long ago experienced), put my foot down and said, NO, there will be no Virt Srv because and I gave them the 125 floor elevator pitch on esx and they said to me, much like you tell a 10 year old, that's great son, if you can put the erector set together and daddy will come look at it......AND THEN TO HAVE SOMETHING LIKE THIS REEEEEFFFFFUUUUUUKKKKKKIIIIIINNNNNNNGGGGGGGdiculious VGA ERROR mortally threatening what could quite possibly be one of the most pivotal times in our countries DOD IT infrastructure is enough to make me post a thread just like this one.

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Rumple
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I vote this as the best post ever as I swear I can see that look on your face when you said REEEEEFFFFFUUUUUUKKKKKKIIIIIINNNNNNNGGGGGGGdiculious VGA ERROR

Made me laugh my ass off...not at your situation, but just the thought of someone standing in a room saying that.

I Ran dmesg on my system, but all that I found for VGA was

VGA: 297: VGA start b8000 end c0000 mapped start c00b8000 char height 16

VGA: 397:

VGA: 425: 0

Console: switching to colour VMNIX-VGA 80x25

Could it possibly be IRQ mappings causing the problem I wonder?

What about trying the Install without any drives in the system and disable as much as possible in the BIOS.

Have you installed the latest BIOS on one of these to see if it helps? I think I did mine before starting the ESX upgrade.

Does the riser card have the RAID Controller or a network card in it. If its network card, I'd pull it.

I'm not sure about these servers, but the board probably has a couple PCI-X slots (or just pci). This is really a long shot, but I would see if you can pull the riser card to hopefully get top down access the 2 slots underneath.

Next, take off the backing plate on whatever was plugged into the Riser card and carefully plug it into the slots.

then put in another PCI video card which should disable the onboard. At that point that might get you through the install, which is really all you need.

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dtdionne
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HAAHAHAA, I swear that this issue has reduced my behavior too that of a 10 year old boy or of a dual child bearin, thrice divorced early 30 year old woman.

I'm so ashamed

Now that that's out of the way:

Could it possibly be IRQ mappings causing the problem I wonder?[/b]

I've run it with no acpi and since there's no video issue until the ramdisk kernel takes over, I doubt it.

What about trying the Install without any drives in the system and disable as much as possible in the BIOS.[/b]

I think i have tried that, but as I'm sure your aware, this mobo's bios is on steroids

Have you installed the latest BIOS on one of these to see if it helps? I think I did mine before starting the ESX upgrade.[/b]

Yeah, I have.

Does the riser card have the RAID Controller or a network card in it. If its network card, I'd pull it.[/b]

As a matter of fact, the riser card has both a raid card and a dual port nic, in addition to Tyan's SMDC card (but im almost positive that it doesnt actually use the pci slot for anything but mounting support as the interface appears to have no copper leads.

I'm not sure about these servers, but the board probably has a couple PCI-X slots (or just pci). This is really a long shot, but I would see if you can pull the riser card to hopefully get top down access the 2 slots underneath.

Next, take off the backing plate on whatever was plugged into the Riser card and carefully plug it into the slots.

then put in another PCI video card which should disable the onboard. At that point that might get you through the install, which is really all you need.[/b]

PERFECT SUGGESTION! I will try that if after I try removing the nic from ther riser doesnt work.

Thanks much

Message was edited by: The 10 year old in

dtdionne

Message was re-edited by: The adult in dtdionne hopfully making it easier and clearer for anyone else that is potentially and shamefully being reduced to childlike behavior by this issue.....oh and btw the fix for me was the nofb kernel option or more accuratly, typeing: esx nofb at the install prompt.

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dtdionne
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Paul, please accept my appology for flexing my 10 yearold behavior right over your post, I re-read it and realized that I had not tried the nofb option and like pureFFFUUU....(ok, you get it), it worked!!! It worked in gui and text mode. What gives?

Rumple, thanks so much for being a big enough person, able to look past my immature responses to keep me laughing and pushing forward. I went to bed last night in full acceptance of the fact that I was done, completely....I washed my immature little hands and brushed my teeth, put on my underrooos and climbed into the top bunk. The only reason I checked the forum this morning was too see if I had been banned, scolded, put into VMTN Jail, etc...and your response completely re-engaged me, much against the 10 year old that had been guiding my actions wishes which is when the adult in me saw the adult in you and put that lil kid in time out, allowing the resolution to surface.....thanks sooo so much.

David

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Rumple
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Trust me, we've all been there. There is absolutely nothing worse then sticking your nick out only to realize you may have very well just tied your own noose.

I did it about 3 months ago with the plan for our DR site. One of the requirements was to have the file server live in both locations on the same domain,etc. I had a plan to use which I've done multiple times using a server migration. Implmented it and it didn't work...

Took me a few days of trying, and a complete restructure of the file server clustered environment but i got it working, but I was pretty much in your state of mind until it worked.

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Paul_Lalonde
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Hey, no need to apologize! I'm glad it worked for you.

I've run into issues with the ATI video chipset on a number of server motherboards, so I thought I would put it out there for you.

Besides, not to downplay the trouble you've had with this issue, it certainly has been entertaining... you have a real way with words! Smiley Happy

Paul

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