Question Nothing sees Virtual Drives, can't install Windows to them. Help please?

Nov 6, 2020
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I'm working on a home-NAS and bought a Lenovo Serveraid M5110 to server as a RAID controller. The MOBO and CPU are from a DELL OPTIPLEX 7010, I3-3220. As of now I can access WebBios fine, and have setup a virtual disk from one hard drive as a test. It's set as the primary boot device as well. I've flashed the DELL BIOS to A29 thinking this would help but it hasn't. My problem is as follows: I can't install Windows, via USB installer, to the virtual drive. It just doesn't see it. What might be causing this and how can I find out? The Raid controller only appears in the BIOS under System information, nothing takes it's place in the boot order, which is set to Legacy Boot right now, but setting it to UEFI doesn't seem to change anything either. Can anybody help with this please?
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I'm working on a home-NAS and bought a Lenovo Serveraid M5110 to server as a RAID controller. The MOBO and CPU are from a DELL OPTIPLEX 7010, I3-3220. As of now I can access WebBios fine, and have setup a virtual disk from one hard drive as a test. It's set as the primary boot device as well. I've flashed the DELL BIOS to A29 thinking this would help but it hasn't. My problem is as follows: I can't install Windows, via USB installer, to the virtual drive. It just doesn't see it. What might be causing this and how can I find out? The Raid controller only appears in the BIOS under System information, nothing takes it's place in the boot order, which is set to Legacy Boot right now, but setting it to UEFI doesn't seem to change anything either. Can anybody help with this please?
Using a server RAID controller is always difficult. What OS are you trying to use Windows 10?
 
Nov 6, 2020
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What format would the installer recognize? I can grab an executable from Lenovo but I don't think the installer can make use of that, I may be wrong.
 
Nov 6, 2020
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That's probably not going to happen. I'm assuming im dead in the water here. Just going to return the damn thing and order something else.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
That's probably not going to happen. I'm assuming im dead in the water here. Just going to return the damn thing and order something else.
Have you looked at using UnRAID or ZFS RAID. Those don't use Windows as the OS, but for a storage server there are simplicity benefits.
Personally, I am not a fan of build-your-own-NAS implementations. The commercial devices from Synology and QNAP are so polished and plug-and-play that they are difficult to compete against.
 
Nov 6, 2020
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I need to run applications on the hardware as well. None of them are compatible with those OSes. I don't think it should be this difficult, but here we are.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I need to run applications on the hardware as well. None of them are compatible with those OSes. I don't think it should be this difficult, but here we are.
You are trying to run server hardware that was not designed for desktop OS. Can it be done? Probably. If you slipstream the proper driver into your Windows installer. Will you be able to find that driver? I don't know.
Have you thought about using a motherboard SATA port for the OS SSD and using the RAID controller JUST for data ?
 
What format would the installer recognize? I can grab an executable from Lenovo but I don't think the installer can make use of that, I may be wrong.
The windows installation would need inf files.
Your exe file is probably some self extracting package, you can right click on it, if you have winrar or winzip installed it will give you the option to extract it.
If you have the driver page link from lenovo share it here so we can have a look, and also people who have this card might find drivers for it this way.
 
Nov 6, 2020
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I meant I'm trying this, and that I don't think Windows will detect the RAID controller drives. Device Manager is telling me there is a problem already
 
Nov 6, 2020
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The windows installation would need inf files.
Your exe file is probably some self extracting package, you can right click on it, if you have winrar or winzip installed it will give you the option to extract it.
If you have the driver page link from lenovo share it here so we can have a look, and also people who have this card might find drivers for it this way.
I'll give this a try. I actually haven't found the explicit driver page for this card, only for it's series. Here is it's info page
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I'll give this a try. I actually haven't found the explicit driver page for this card, only for it's series. Here is it's info page
Look at the device identifier string in the device manager. That will give you a string to search for. Maybe you will find a Windows 10 compatible driver. Maybe you can find a Windows Server driver that will load. You are going to have to do a lot of research.
 
Nov 6, 2020
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Look at the device identifier string in the device manager. That will give you a string to search for. Maybe you will find a Windows 10 compatible driver. Maybe you can find a Windows Server driver that will load. You are going to have to do a lot of research.
I'm pulling out, not going to sink any more time into this. My headache has officially become more expensive than I paid for the card.
Currently looking at a Dell PERC H310 because it seems to be more compatible. If it's been flashed in IT mode, can I still use it for hardware raid?
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I'm pulling out, not going to sink any more time into this. My headache has officially become more expensive than I paid for the card.
Currently looking at a Dell PERC H310 because it seems to be more compatible. If it's been flashed in IT mode, can I still use it for hardware raid?
Not a clue. I already said, I am a COTS NAS owner only. Will the software you have to run not run in a container? Most of the newer NAS units have Intel CPUs and will run virtualized applications.
 

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