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Third Party Drives and HP Servers

I do a lot with older / used hardware. When I can, I find this keeps more money in my client's pockets which makes everybody smile. Taken on a case by case basis, there are times to go brand new and fully supported and times where optimizing a solution by assembling different parts is the best bet. It all depends on the client, appilcation, budget, and other requirements that must be met.

Over the years, I've come across some strangeness within the HP Proliant family of systems and the non-HP drives. This article will document the findings and let you know which I've found exhibit the problems and which have been problem free.

 

Quote
Click Here for Press Release

My tests are with HP Proliant DL380 servers generations G6 and G7. I'll bet this will also happen with the DL385, DL580, DL180, DL185, and who knows - maybe all of them. Maybe your server is a different version and if so and you found data to add, please send me an email and I'll update the tables..

Symptoms

In the HP Proliant DL380 servers of various generations (G5, G6, G7 I've tested, it could apply to others) with the built-in P410i or an external P400 RAID card, some hard drives will make the system operate strangely. HP branded server drives, no problem. If you plug in a non-HP drive, like your typical notebook SATA drive, it will likely work for the most part just fine - it will recognize, read, format, write, ... and if you aren't near the system you might think nothing is wrong.

If you are sitting next to the system in a reasonably quiet room, some drives will cause the following to happen:

  • All the fans will ramp themselves up to a very fast speed - as in "Jet engine ready for take-off" speed.
  • The system will think the drives are operating at a very high temperature
  • The system might shut down and reboot to protect itself from the high temperature

Some visual snapshots of the symptoms are shown here.

ILO showing the fan speeds (smaller pictures are thumbnails, click to see a full size version):

HP ILO Fan Speeds 90%+

If you look at the temperature tab of the ILO, temperature sensor 29 might appear near overheating (55-58C) or as shown here that sensor could show over the caution level and claim it is failed:

Temperature Sensor 29 on HP DL380 G6+

The drives themselves show they are overheated:

HP DL380 Drives Overheating

The top 3 are real HP drives in the left bay, the bottom 4 are non-HP drives that appear to be overheating. When you pull the drive and feel it, the drive is a little warm but nowhere near 61C and failing.

Temperature Sensor 29

HP has a lot of documentation on the temperature sensors in various flavors of the DL380 servers. None of the documents show me a physical temperature 29 sensor and its location. From various bits of data and a quantum leap of a guestimate, I believe the value shown in the slot for Temperature Sensor 29 represents the maximum value reported by the drives themselves via SMART or other parameter. If the drive does not report the parameter in a standard enough way, then the HP doesn't really know what temperature the drive is at, the rule of  'Garbage In, Garbage Out' applies, and unknown things will happen

The lowest levels of the HP system seem to read the parameter and make the fans spin abnormally fast in an attempt to cool the system. I belive this is true - the evidence is listening while BIOS is doing its tests before the OS loads. If this is going to be fixed (not likely) it means someone will have to reverse engineer the firmware and find where the mystery parameters are read. Getting HP to do this on systems that are either end-of-life or near it isn't going to happen.

So the best we can do is document what drives cause this behavior, which don't, and choose drives that are HP DL380 friendly.

For lack of a better term, I'm going to call these symptoms "Thermal Runaway" even though the temperature might be perfectly fine.

Drives that operate normally:

Sorry if some of this is confusing - it is confusing to me as well. The label sometimes has 2 or 3 things that refer to itself as a P/N (part #) and when that is the case I listed all of the items off the label in the table.

(last update 10/15/2017)

Manufacturer Model P/N Size (GB) Speed (RPM) Notes
AData SP900   64 SSD (reader reported)
Crucial MX100 512GB   512 SSD (reader reported)
Crucial MX300 525GB CT525MX300SSD1 525 SSD Firmware M0CR021
(reader reported)
Crucial MX300 275GB CT275MX300SSD1 275 SSD Firmware M0CR040
HGST HTS725050A7 H2T5003272S7
0J26005
500 7200 From my Toshiba notebook
HGST HTS725050A7 E630 Z7K500-500
0J43955
500 7200 See bad drive table!
(reader reported)
HW/FW B A340 A/A
Hitachi HTS725032A9 7K500-320
0A72333
320 7200  
Hitachi HTS72106   60 7200 (reader reported)
Hitachi HTS54505   500 5400 (reader reported)
Intel S3520   240 SSD (reader reported)
Intel S3510 SSDSC2BB800G6 800 SSD (reader reported)
Intel Pro 2500 SSDSC2BF180A5H 180 SSD (reader reported)
Kingston SV300S3   240 SSD (reader reported)
OCZ VERTEX4   256 SSD (reader reported)
WDC WD2500BEKT00PVMT0   250 7200 WD Scorpio Black
(reader reported)
WDC WD7500BPKX-0   750 7200 WD "Black" OEM 2.5"
WDC WD1000CHTZ-0   1000 10000 WD "VelociRaptor" 2.5"
WDC WD3200BPVT-2 0B47504 320 5400 WD Scorpio Blue
WDC WD5000BEVT 22A0RT0 500 5400 (reader reported)
WDC WDBLHJ7500ANC-
NRSN
Same as WD7500BPKX-0 750 7200 WD "Black" Retail 2.5"
WDC WD5000BPKT-60PK4T0 643163-001 500 7200 WD Scorpio Black,
(reader reported)
WDC WD5000LPLX   500 7200 Firmware 01.01A01 ONLY
(reader reported, see lower table)
WDC WD5000LPVX   500 5400 WD Blue (reader reported)
WDC WD10JPVX   1000 5400 WD Blue (reader reported)
WDC WD10JPVT-24A1YT       WD Blue (reader reported)
WDC WD20NPVZ-00   2000 5200 WD Blue (reader reported)
WDC WD10JFCX-68   1000 5400 WD "Red" (reader reported)
WDC WD10JFCX-69   1000 5400 WD "Red" (reader reported)
WDC WDBMYH5000ANC-NRSN   500 5400 WD Blue (reader reported)
WDC Blue PC SSD WDS100T1B0A-00H9H0 1000 SSD (reader reported)
Sandisk SDSSDA24   240 SSD (reader reported)
Sandisk SDSSDA12   120 SSD (reader reported)
Sandisk SSD X110 SD6SB1M-256G-1022I 256 SSD (reader reported)
Seagate ST91000640NS 9RZ168-001 1000 7200 Constellation.2, Manual
Seagate ST1000LM014 1EJ164-310 1000 7200 Laptop SSHD (reader reported)
Seagate Momentus 7200.4RPM ST9500420AS 9HV144-002 500   (reader reported)
Seagate ST9146803SS   146 10000 Savvio SAS manual is here
(reader reported)
Seagate/
Samsung Spinpoint
ST2000LM003   2000 5400 (reader reported)
Seagate ST3000LM024-2AN1   3000 5400 (DL360 G7 reader reported)
Seagate ST1000LM024 HN-       (reader reported)
Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15   500   (reader reported)
Seagate ST1000NX0333   1000 7200 SAS not SATA (reader reported)
Seagate ST5000LM000-2AN   5000 5400 (reader reported)
Samsung HM100UI HM100UI/Z4 1000 5400 (reader reported)
Samsung EVO 845DC SSD 845 DC EV 960 SSD (reader reported)
Samsung MZ-7GE9600
PM853T
MZ7GE960HMHP-00005 960 SSD Bought OEM off eBay
Samsung EVO 850   1000 SSD Bought retail from MicroCenter
Samsung EVO 850   500 SSD (reader reported)
Samsung EVO 850 Pro   512 SSD (reader reported)
firmware EXM02B6Q
Samsung EVO 850 Pro
MZ-7KE256
MZ7KN256HMJP 256 SSD (reader reported)
Silicon Power V70   240 SSD (reader reported)
Toshiba   MQ01ABD100 1000 5400 (reader reported)
(firmware AX0R2J or AX101U or AX1P1A)
Toshiba   MQ01ACF0 500   (reader reported)

 

Drives that cause Thermal Runaway:

Manufacturer Model P/N Size (GB) Speed (RPM) Notes
HGST HTS721010A9 7K1000-1000
H2T10003272S
0J22423
1000 7200  
HGST HTS541010A9E680 H2T1000854S 0J22413 1000 5400 (reader reported)
HGST HTS547550A9E384 H2T500854S 0J15351 500 5400 (reader reported)
HGST HTS725050A7 E630 Z7K500-500
0J47815
500 7200 See good drive table!
(reader reported)
HW/FW B GS20A3C0
Seagate ST9750420AS 9RT14G-500 750 7200 "Momentus 750GB" 8/2012
Seagate ST1000LM035 1RK172-567 or
1RK172-568
1000 Unknown (reader reported)
Seagate ST1000LM048 2E7172-500 1000 5400 "Barracuda"
(reader reported)
Seagate ST4000LM016 ??? 4000 5400 (reader reported)
Seagate ST2000LM015-2E81   2000 5400 (reader reported)
Seagate ST2000LX001   2000   FireCuda 2.5"
(reader reported)
Seagate ST2000LM007   2000   (reader reported DL380 Gen8)
(reader reported DL360 Gen7)
Seagate ST500LM000   500 5400 (reader reported, firmware
DEM[8|9|C|D])
Seagate ST1000NX0323   1000 7200 SAS not SATA, not recognized
(reader reported)
WDC WD10JPLX-
00MBPT0
2W20003 1000 7200 WD Black 1 TB OEM 2.5"
WDC WD10SPCX-24HWST1       WD Blue (reader reported)
WDC WD5000LPLX-
08ZNTT0
  500 7200 Firmware 02.01A02 ONLY
(reader reported)
WDC WD5000LPCX 0C0VSD 500 5400  WD Blue (reader reported)
WDC WD500BEKT-75KA9T0   500 7200 WD Scorpio Black, DL380 G7
(reader reported)
WDC WD1600HLFS   160 10000 WD Velociraptor 3.5"
(reader reported)
Toshiba   MQ01ABD100 1000 5400 Firmware AX0P3D
(reader reported, see good drive table)

None of this is 100% certain - there could be a firmware tweak in any drive above that changes things. I'm betting against it, but the moral of the story is to test one drive before you buy 10 of them, then be sure the next 9 you buy match the one that works.

Use the above data at your own risk. Usual other disclaimers apply.
 

Real-world power impact

I took a reading on a server before swapping out 4 drives that caused the fans to run fast VS. after - I was trying to answer "How much extra power was being drawn by the system due to the fans attempting to keep the system cool?"

Before (screen snaps are thumbnails - click for a larger version):

DL380 Fans at 90%

All 6 fans were running at 90%, shown in the screen shot earlier in this article. Single CPU, single power supply.

After:

DL380 Fans running normally

And the fans? See for yourself:

DL380 Fans when not in thermal runaway

So with a little math, it turns out that due to thermal runaway 75 watts of power were expended trying to keep a cool system cool.

Not cool.

<sorry - couldn't resist that one.>

Final Words...

If you have an update - a third party drive you know works or you know causes thermal runaway, please send me information on it and I'll add it to the above table.

If you found this helpful or not, please send me a brief email -- one line will more than do. Or more! I love hearing tidbits from users I've helped. Maybe share a line of what you searched for or how you found this article.

I can be reached at:

das (at-sign) dascomputerconsultants (dot) com

Enjoy!
David Soussan

Copyright (C) 2016, 2017 DAS Computer Consultants, LTD.  All rights reserved.

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