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HP ProLiant N54L not recognising hard drives


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My new HP ProLiant N54L does not recognise any hard drives in the 4 drive bay. (They don't show in the BIOS setup screens.) The drives are WD Red 2TB drives and I have four of them. I tried different numbers of drives in the bays and in different slots, even though the manual suggests filling the slots starting at slot 1.

 

I have installed the 250GB Seagate Barracuda that came with the machine on the 5th SATA port and have successfully installed Ubuntu Server 12.04.3 (LTS) on that drive. However, the Linux does not boot unless it is given the "acpi=off" kernel option. Without it, the system freezes while apparently interrogating the AHCI controller. I have not bothered toying with other kernel options too much as the drives do not show in in the BIOS screens, so I don't hold much hope that kernel options can make them visible. In Linux the AHCI controller does show up (with all links down) in the dmesg logs as well as with lspci.

 

The Seagate 250GB drive is not recognised on any of the 4 bays either, and a WD Red is recognised on both the eSATA port as well as via USB. That leaves me quite convinced that the problem lies with the AHCI controller connection to the cage rather than the disks.

 

I have checked and reseated the miniSAS cable many times, but haven't checked the cage backplane connectors as they are difficult to get to.

 

BIOS is the latest stock BIOS but I have also tried with the modified 'TheBay' BIOS (with AHCI configuration additions) but with the same results.

 

Do I need to take the case apart to check the cage backplane, or does it sound like the AHCI controller is dead? Any other ideas?

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Another member had the same issue and resolved it when he realized the min-SAS plug actually wasn't inserted far enough, despite having checked it several times.

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Another member had the same issue and resolved it when he realized the min-SAS plug actually wasn't inserted far enough, despite having checked it several times.

 

 

I blush as I write to report that after a week's worth of fiddling with the connector, I tried again a few times after ikon's post, and now it works.

 

I don't know if I am just trying to look for an excuse to make me look less silly, but it almost seems like one has to push the connector in at a very slight angle away from the battery, rather than straight.

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Hey, no embarrassment required. Trust me, we've all been there, most of us more than a few times (Ikon turns away and whistles innocently ;) ).

 

The important things are:

  1. it's now working (duh! :) )
  2. you now know the 'trick', in case you need it again
  3. you have paid your knowledge & experience forward so others can benefit. Thanks for posting back; it's appreciated.

 

BTW, the real clue, for me at least, was your statement that no drive worked when installed in the cage. That basically indicated to me that the cage wasn't connected to the mobo.

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  • 4 months later...

OMG!  I did it too.  I was just about to box up my new HP server and send it back to HP and, sure enough, I heard a distinct click when I pushed down hard on the connector.  All's well that ends well.

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  • 6 years later...

Hello and joined just to thank you all for sharing that SAS cable/connector issue with the HP N54L, I bought it for a bit of learning, but after hours of using Kali live, Gparted Live and CentOS 7 all not seeng 2 new Hdd, I found your web site and the click issue.   I almost put it on ebay and try another machne by someone else Dell R610 or T310.  I am putting CentOS 7 in now, fingers crossed all goes well.  Incidently out of those 2 Dell machines which one would be the best for a home lab/server...for my next experiment...Thank you all once again. Couldn't see the wood for the trees, so to speak....be lucky...James

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