Replacing a Dell PERC H200 to a Dell PERC H700 RAID card is surprisingly easy. These are the steps I followed when upgrading my Dell PowerEdge R510 Server.
The H700 Card is much faster than the entry level H200 and it additionally supports RAID 5. So, it is a worthwhile upgrade if you intend to add more storage to your system .
IMPORTANT! Make sure you have a FULL backup of the server, just in case anything goes wrong. I really can’t stress this enough.
Please be aware that the information within this article is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind.
Configuring RAID is not difficult, but it is essential to be careful. One false move and you will obliterate the contents of your hard drive(s). You may wish to practice using some spare hard drives first.
Ensure that you read and fully understand these instructions (plus the supporting articles) before attempting the upgrade yourself.
|If you have a spare PCIe slot within the server, shut the system down and install the H700 card alongside the existing H200 card. Do not disconnect anything from the H200 card at this stage, just clip the new card into the riser and start up the server. The image above shows the H200 and H700 alongside each other inside the server.|
|Windows Server 2008 R2 should find and install the H700 device driver automatically. It is still worth visiting Dell Support Site and installing the latest version, just to be on the safe side. Check ”Device Manager” and ensure both cards are listed. This step will ensure that we don’t have any driver issues when the H200 Card is removed in the next step.
Optionally, you may also wish to review / update the firmware on the new card.
Update (May 2016): I have received a couple of reports (below) of the import failing. My thoughts are this could relate to the firmware version.
For reference, my firmware for the H700 Card is:
There is a newer Firmware Version Available (12.10.7-0001, 24 Mar 2016) and you may wish to consider this.
|Shut the server down again and carefully remove the H200 card. You will need to disconnect the small LED indicator lead and the hard disk cables (shown above).|
|Install the H700 in place of the H200. It is a larger card, but it will fit into the same riser. Finally, connect the Drive Cables and the LED indicator lead (see above).
Install the backup battery (your H700 should have come with one).
|Now it is time to start up the server and configure new the RAID Card. When prompted, press CTRL-R during system start-up to load the PERC “Virtual disk Manager”.|
|Since this is a new card, there should be “No Configuration Present!” Do not continue if this is not the case.|
|BE VERY CAREFUL HERE!!
Press “F2” (Operations) and select “Foreign Config” from the menu. Then, select “Import”.
For more information about Foreign RAID States, see here
For more information about various RAID configuration options, see here
|Confirm that you wish to continue.|
|Within a couple of seconds, your existing RAID configuration will be displayed on the screen. In my case, I have four physical disks configured into two RAID 1 Virtual Disks.
Press “ESC” on the keyboard and reboot your system. That completes the upgrade.
|If everything is working without issues, go back and fit the RAID backup battery and plastic cowl. The image above shows the finished job inside the server chassis.|