TechMike's Quick Fix Troubleshooting Guide – RAID
As part of our continuing series of TechMike's Quick Fix Troubleshooting Guide, we tackle common errors triggered by RAID controllers. (For your reference, here are links to our previous posts: PSU Quick Fixes and RAM and Cables).
RAID is such an integral component of virtually any Enterprise rack server that we had to dedicate an entire blog to it – it's TechMike's Quick Fix Troubleshooting Guide, Part 3 – RAID.
RAID Controller Errors
If the system fails to go to post or you boot up the system for the first time and don't see a prompt that the RAID controller is completing initiation, it is likely a RAID controller issue.
Dell 12th Gen RAID Controllers & Clips
We've written extensively about the infamous clips that secure PERCs (PowerEdge RAID Controller) in Dell 12th Gen servers. In summary, these clips were poorly designed, and when exposed to excessive heat, they become brittle and break easily. If you are working with a Dell 12th Gen PowerEdge Server and are seeing a RAID controller issue, the best first course of action is to confirm the PERC is properly seated.
Before checking the server, power it off. Open the case top cover and look for the mini-RAID controller: it will be about 2 inches x 3 inches in size with a black heatsink and battery (see our video tutorial below for an image). Make sure the controller is lined up into the black retention clip first, then pivot it down to line up with the blue clips and connector on the system board. Press down on the controller firmly by gently.
We created a tutorial video on our YouTube channel which shows how to properly install a PERC in 12th Gen and 13th Gen Servers.
WHAT IF THE RAID CLIPS ARE BROKEN? NOW WHAT?! If you discover that the blue clips are broken, you have a couple of options. If your TechMikeNY server is under warranty, we can provide replacement clips with an installation video we created here. You can also, technically, seat the PERC in its socket without the blue retention clips. As long as the server is in a secure location, without being relocated or mounted vertically, the PERC will remain plugged into its socket.
Another common culprit of RAID errors is the RAID battery (Tech Footnote: if you wonder why a RAID controller needs a dedicated battery, it is for the virtual disk's cache). The RAID controller manages the battery's charge level and sometimes discharges and re-charges the battery as part of maintenance operations.
In some cases, the RAID battery will need up to 48 hours to charge after you receive the server. You may use the server while the battery is charging. However, there may be a RAID battery error during this time, i.e., "BAT0015 PERC1 battery is low."
If the error does not clear after 48 hours of the server being powered on, please contact us so we can send out a replacement battery. Furthermore, make sure nothing is physically wrong with the controller's battery, such as any bulging.
ARE YOU SHOPPING FOR A RAID CONTROLLER? Visit our Product Page, which has a wide selection of tested and refurbished controllers!
MORE RESOURCES! We have TONS of resources on our blog about RAID. Unsure of what level RAID controller you need? Our PERC Guide article will walk you through it. Curious about RAID Dos and Don'ts? Our blog post summarizes it nicely.
Time and time again, we find our customers want guidance with RAID setup and RAID-associated issues. Since we work with Enterprise servers all day, we're happy to share our expertise. And if the above troubleshooting steps aren't doing the trick, reach out to us at info@TechMikeNY.com.
Do you have a RAID issue that you would like addressed? Leave it in the comments, and we will answer it!