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RE: jessie won't install/boot on a Dell Poweredge R815

Dell Customer Communication
>    >    Are you certain that there isn't a PERC H700 in this machine? [Sort of
>    >    odd that mpt2sas is triggering a state error in your screenshot if there
>    >    actually isn't one.]
>    >
>    > There could be one. But I probably don't use it. I use software RAID. Dell
>    > wouldn't sell an R815 without an OS. I think I purchased it with RHEL
> which
>    > may have needed the PERC H700. But I never even booted RHEL. The first
>    > thing I did was a fresh install of squeeze, or maybe wheezy.
>    We definitely sell PowerEdge systems without an OS and have for quite a
>    while. However, we do limit configuration for higher end systems to
> include
>    hardware RAID.
> My appologies. I may misremember. I purchased the machines (twelve
> T5500s, four R815s, and four C6145s) about 5 years ago and don't remember
> precisely the arrangements. I'd have to check archived email to know for
> sure.
> The machines were purchased through ECN (Purdue's Engineering IT
> services). I'm a lowly professor. But I software-maintain my own machines. I
> definitely didn't spec out a hardware RAID controller. The mechanisms by
> which one was included are unclear at this point.

It looks like Stuart is out of office, but I'll try to remember to ping him when he's back.

>    There's definitely a PERC controller in there based on
> <https://lists.debian.org/debian-user/2016/06/msg00934.html>
>    "05:00.0 Serial Attached SCSI controller: LSI Logic / Symbios Logic SAS2008
> PCI-Express Fusion-MPT SAS-2 [Falcon] (rev 03)"
>    I'm not seeing the subvendor/subsystem ID's there but it's presumably the
>    PERC 6/i. If you're really not using it at all, you might be able to pull
>    it out if the driver for it is causing problems. However, I suspect you
>    need it to connect to the drive backplane. Stuart (CCed) may be able to
>    offer some more insight into driver issues you might see.
>    The SATA controller should only really be in use by the optical drive if
>    present. Some of the mid-tier systems of that generation support SATA
>    drives connected directly to a controller on the motherboard, but support
>    for that under Linux was spotty from my recollection.
> My T5500s have optical drives. But neither my R815s nor my C6145s have
> optical drives. All my machines have SATA drives. The R815s in question each
> have six ST9500530NS drives. They have been running squeeze and then
> wheezy with software RAID for 5 years since purchase.
> Now that I have someone from Dell on the line who appears to be Debian-
> friendly, it would be nice if you made firmware upgrades Debian-friendly. I
> have been able to apply

If you have an iDRAC, it's possible to those updates out-of-band using the Lifecycle Controller using either WS-MAN or racadm.

I'm told (I work on client platforms (laptops/desktops/etc) now so haven't checked) that DUPs (the .BIN files) built after December 2014 should work on Debian and Ubuntu now, though only PowerEdge 12G/13G were tested. Also, not all types of DUPs have been tested, but the BIOS and iDRAC DUPs should work pretty well. More obscure stuff like Qlogic DUPs may not work. I'm not working in that area so am just relaying information and don't know much more than that.

>   R815_BIOS_JF8YH_LN_3.2.2.BIN
> but have not been able to apply
>   ESM_Firmware_7N76T_LN32_1.07_A00.BIN
>   ESM_Firmware_J7YYK_LN32_2.85_A00.BIN
>   SATA_FRMW_LX_R300994.BIN
> (I don't even know if either of the ESM upgrades are for my hardware. But
> the shell scripts don't run.)

ESM = Embedded Server Management. "ESM" updates are for updating the iDRAC.

>     Jeff (http://engineering.purdue.edu/~qobi)

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