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  • Updating PERC 6/i driver

    Hello all,

    I'm writing this just to be on the super safe side. I recently experienced one day of downtime due to not being carefull enough I I don't think that would go over well a second time.

    My SBS2008 ST install on a Dell T610 (8 core, 12GB RAM, RAID 6 on PERC 6/i) is running stupidly slow. Last update/reboot took 19 hours and that was just some hotfixes. CPU and RAM usage is ok so in my mind it comes down to the disk i/o.

    At the moment MS drivers from 2006 are installed. I'd like to install the most recent drives from Dell but tying to read the installation instructions got me a bit nervous. If anyone with experience of updating Dell PERC RAID drives could give me some clues as to what is the best way of doing it I would be really greatefull.

    Should I just use the .exe installer or am I supposed to update the driver using Dell OpenManage or just go to device manager and update driver from there. Does it mater?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!

  • #2
    Re: Updating PERC 6/i driver

    I don't know about the PERC 6 specifically, but I would imagine the exe just unzips the driver files to a directory, you would then update the driver through Device Manager.

    Naturally take backups first.

    If a reboot is taking 19 hours though, then I can't see how that could be down to disk IO alone unless something is really hammering the disk - in which case newer drivers are unlikely to make much of a difference.

    I'd advise investigating the cause thoroughly before making any changes.
    Gareth Howells

    BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

    Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

    Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

    "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Updating PERC 6/i driver

      I have been trying to find the cause for the slowness for a long time but I can't find anything conclusive...

      It's been like this since I took over this server a year ago. CPU usage is usually between 10% and 40%. RAM is hitting about 10GB with leaves 2GB to spare. Disk read and write were hitting about 20 MB/s (peaks) when I just tested. This all according to Resource Monitor.

      In Event Viewer I see error 10009 (DistributedCOM) quite a bit but I dont see how that would choke up the server. The services, Exchange, file sharing etc. seems to run smoothly enough but the console and things like rebooting are really slow...

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      • #4
        Re: Updating PERC 6/i driver

        I would take a serious look at this machine. 19 hours! It sounds like it is rebuilding the RAID (you don't actually say what disk subsystem you have).
        So check the little lights on all the disks to see that they are functioning correctly

        Before you start take a full image backup and then check part by part.

        I would go to the DELL Support site and enter your service tag. That should bring up all the relevant drivers for your system. Download them and start to install them one at a time. I would even reboot between each one - even if it doesn't ask.
        BTW I am also nervous about updating BIOS and firmware, but if you read the instructions, print them out, read them again and then do EXACTLY as they say, you should be OK.
        TIA

        Steven Teiger [SBS-MVP(2003-2009)]
        http://www.wintra.co.il/
        sigpic
        Iím honoured to have been selected for the SMB 150 list for 2013. This is the third time in succession (no logo available for 2011) that I have been honoured with this award.

        We donít stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.

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        • #5
          Re: Updating PERC 6/i driver

          Originally posted by teiger View Post
          It sounds like it is rebuilding the RAID (you don't actually say what disk subsystem you have).
          So check the little lights on all the disks to see that they are functioning correctly
          Very good suggestion - it could well be that one of the disks has failed (or is failing) and that the system is constantly trying to rebuild the array whenever you power it up. Since you're using the Microsoft drivers as opposed to the Dell drivers and are presumably therefore also not using OpenManage to monitor your hardware, a failed disk could easily escape your notice.

          I'd recommend dropping into the PERC BIOS next time you reboot anc checking the status of the array(s).

          Can you indicate briefly how long each of the various phases of booting up take - how long to POST and get to the first signs of Windows loading, how long to get to what will become the login screen etc.

          Can we assume there are no clues in the event logs, either prior to or during startup?
          Gareth Howells

          BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

          Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

          Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

          "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

          "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Updating PERC 6/i driver

            Thanks for the replies.

            I have a routine where I check certain things each morning and checking Dell OpenManage log and the RAID status are on the list. After the last boot I can't see the RAID controller anymore... Maybe a service that didn't start up.

            I got confused with my drives it seams. Now when I check the Storage Controller driver it is from Dell. The Disk Drives driver for the PERC 6/i is from MS. I guess it's not the PERC RAID driver after all...

            I thought RAID 6 on PERC 6/i was describing the disk subsystem. The RAID 6 array spanns 5 drives. It's partitioned in to 3 partition of wich one is the system partition.

            Last time (a few months ago) I did just a clean reboot it took about 15 minutes for Windows to power down. The another 10-15 I think before the Server 2008 background came up and it was ready to login after about 45 minutes after the reboot started. Installing Server 2008 SP2 took about 50 hours...

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            • #7
              Re: Updating PERC 6/i driver

              Did you say you were using a Pentium II machine?
              No, seriously, 50 hours is ridiculous - you need to check what is NOT functioning on that machine. It is in serious need of a rebuild of something!
              Perhaps consider virtualising it to eliminate hardware from the SBS - concentrate on getting teh base system performing properly with the disks, then put the SBS into a VM.
              TIA

              Steven Teiger [SBS-MVP(2003-2009)]
              http://www.wintra.co.il/
              sigpic
              Iím honoured to have been selected for the SMB 150 list for 2013. This is the third time in succession (no logo available for 2011) that I have been honoured with this award.

              We donít stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Updating PERC 6/i driver

                Originally posted by gforceindustries View Post
                Can we assume there are no clues in the event logs, either prior to or during startup?
                Can we assume the answer is yes?
                Gareth Howells

                BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

                Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

                Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

                "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

                "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Updating PERC 6/i driver

                  Is that
                  Yes, there are No clues
                  or
                  Yes, there are clues
                  ?
                  TIA

                  Steven Teiger [SBS-MVP(2003-2009)]
                  http://www.wintra.co.il/
                  sigpic
                  Iím honoured to have been selected for the SMB 150 list for 2013. This is the third time in succession (no logo available for 2011) that I have been honoured with this award.

                  We donít stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Updating PERC 6/i driver

                    Originally posted by gforceindustries View Post
                    Can we assume there are no clues in the event logs, either prior to or during startup?
                    That is a great question. I've been only looking at the event log when it's up and running, not actually what is logged during boot. I'll have a look.

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