I bought a Proliant DL380 on eBay for £27. Its got a couple of 866MHz Pentium 3s, 512Mb of RAM and two very fast 18Gb SCSI drives. It’s a first generation, which is sometimes called G1, but mostly just omits the generation in documentation. That makes it annoyingly difficult to Google for.
I couldn’t get Linux (Debian testing) to recognise the RAID controller. If I loaded cpqarray, the device seemed to get detected, but could not then detect any drives. I noticed an IDE connector on the mother board, so I figured I’d just replace the SCSI disks with a couple of cheap IDE disks. So I ordered them, and they duly arrived.
The first time I booted, they didn’t get detected by Linux, and access to the CD drive slowed down a lot. At this point I decided I’d have to get the setup CD (there is no BIOS configuration tool in the BIOS itself). You can get that here. I was a bit perturbed to find the BIOS help said that IDE fixed disks are unsupported. I guess I should have read the manual first.
Anyway, I had them set up as master and slave, and changed them to cable sensing, just in case Linux might detect them anyway. This had the result that I got /dev/hda with 3 cylinders and a correctly detected /dev/hdb. Unfortunately the performance problem was even worse this time.
I decided to try and work out if the RAID controller could be disabled, so I could see the SCSI disks under linux. I couldn’t just move the disks from the RAID controller to the non-raid controller, since they have 80pin SCSI connectors. There is a dip switch block, which I can’t find any documentation for. I decided not to mess with that. Instead, I removed a little daughter card from over near the SCSI connectors. It might be a mini-PCI card. Anyway, that turns out to be the RAID controller. With it removed, Linux detects the SCSI card it was using, and I am left with two SCSI drives I can use software RAID on.
Unfortunately, that’s less disk space than I need, so I still need to figure out how to get my IDE drives to work. At least it will boot debian now. I guess I’ll use a PCI IDE adaptor. Maybe even an IDE RAID controller.
If anyone knows what the DIP switches on the MB do, I’d be delighted to know.