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Community Manager
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R1304BTLSHBNR Windows SBS 2008 R2 UEFI 1st boot failure after install on ESRT2 RAID10

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I do have that R1304BTLSHBNR server with 4 x 2TB constellation drives in it. In BIOS the RAID option is set to ESRT2 (*LSI). I do have additional USB DVD drive to boot the Windows 2008R2 (actually Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, but that is 2008 R2). Whatever I do, I can't run the Windows 2008R2 on a GPT RAID volume.

My installation procedure is as follows:

1. I set the first boot device UEFI USB DVD ( BIOS USB is deleted from the list just to be sure)

2. Boot from that option

3. Windows instaler starts

4. Load driver for ESRT2 -

http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=19991&lang=eng Download Center

(I have also tried http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=20963&lang=eng Download Center, they work, but with the same effect - no system boot after install is finished).

5. Disk is recognized - 3,7 TB (so RAID 10 from four 2TB drives). I press Shift + F10, run diskpart to confirm that the drive is GPT - I see asterix in the GPT so the drive is in GPT partitioning scheme. I create no partitions.

6. I install Windows Server 2008 R2

7. After unpacking of files and 1st stage of my installation is complete, the 1st reboot comes.

8. System boots, I do not press a key to boot from DVD/CD.... and I end up with a black screen and a white "_" in the left corner of my screen.

If I change the boot order and move the "windows boot manager" after "Intel Embedded AHCI RAID", the system boots, installation might be completed, but I end up in the BIOS booting type and MBR drive. I do not know when and how this is changed.

If I try to modify the installation procedure with an added SATA DVD or from EFI shell, I end up with the same problem. What am I doing wrong?

I can switch to Intel RST, divide my RAID10 into two seprated VDs ( ESRT2 has only option for a single VD), then my first VD will be MBR (lets say 150GB) and the second one will be GPT (rest of the 3,7TB space)... but I thought that newer ESRT2 is better as well as the single VD with GPT scheme.

I could not find any threads or information about problems on ESRT2 UEFI/GPT installation.

Anyone willing to help ?

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Employee
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Unfortunately UEFI installation is not supported on ESRT2. And ESRT2 only support one VD on RAID 10, so seems it's a deadend.

The workaround is to either switch to RST, or select a different RIAD level (RAID 1 or 5) which supports multiple VDs.

View solution in original post

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7 Replies
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Community Manager
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I did some comparison and it comes out that ERST-2 is much worse than Intel RST when it comes to RAID10 performance..... about three times for burst transfers 87MB/s vs 237 MB/s on Intel RST. Altough I feel defeated by not beeing able to do what I wanted to, eventually I ended up with a better solution.

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Highlighted
Employee
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Unfortunately UEFI installation is not supported on ESRT2. And ESRT2 only support one VD on RAID 10, so seems it's a deadend.

The workaround is to either switch to RST, or select a different RIAD level (RAID 1 or 5) which supports multiple VDs.

View solution in original post

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Highlighted
Employee
33 Views

Just curious, how did you test the performance?

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Community Manager
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I have used HD Tune and Anvil. It is kind of pity that I did not save ESRT-2 results. I can still re-do and save the ones for Intel RST.

Of course testing the drive/array with the OS installed and running on it will never give accurate results, but you can get the basic camparison.

Additional interesting thing that I did not mention is that minimal transfer speeds were worse for Intel RST, even as low as 18 MB/s.

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Community Manager
33 Views

I have a similar problem, but with Linux. I have got a workaround.

This may be very unviable in Server environments, but works: Use an USB drive to store the bootloader.

In almost any linux distribution, you can store grub and the /boot/efi folder wherever you want, including USB drives.

On Windows, you can try this: http://www.wintobootic.com/ WiNToBootic - the ultimate Windows 7/8 USB Boot Disk Maker

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Community Manager
33 Views

I use USB sticks for ESXi 5 hypervisors boot having a cloned backup unit near the server. It is not unviable. It might be a little bit problematic, that's all.

Thanks for your reply.

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Community Manager
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Wait... Are you using ESXi with E-SRT2?

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