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Dead IBM PC Server 704

By timothy.sharpe ·
I need to retrieve data from an IBM PC Server 704.

We have this old IBM PC Server 704. It belongs to a contract company doing work for us and I have been asked to help. It will not boot up, during the boot process the following messages appear.
- No SCSI Boot Devices Found.
- Please insert bootable media.

I am assuming that one of the drives has failed. I thought that I could install a copy of NT on some free space and get it back up so they could retrieve their data. I have never worked with IBM servers before, not sure how to boot so as to access the drive array and install OS. During boot I see "IBM ServeRAID ... 2.0.." and it says "CRTL + I to configure" which I do. From within the configuration I select "View Configuration" and It reports "no logical drives installed".

I assume that the first drive in the array failed and that that drive contained the OS and was set as the boot device. Any ideas as to how I can retrieve any data that may be on the other (3) drives. I'm not sure what RAID level it had; I do have some spare drives for it.

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by Joseph Moore In reply to Dead IBM PC Server 704

I work with IBM Netfinity and xSeries servers, and they really only like to be built using the IBM ServerRAID CD that comes with the server. You might need to get one to be able to configure a new logical disk.
Now, if the other disks were in a single array (like in a RAID5 config) then I don't think you would be able to retrieve data from them since their logical disk is gone (according to the "no logical drives installed" message). Losing the array configuration is the nightmare scenario.

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by Joseph Moore In reply to

Boot to the ServerRAID CD (it is a bootable CD) and let it start the RAID config program. Expand the logical arrays and see if any array exists. From your initial post, it sounded like all logical arrays do NOT exist, so you will need to make a couple of arrays first.
Put your new drive in a drive bay, and make it a RAID0 array; that makes it a logical drive that the Windows setup will be able to see.
Now, the other drives with data on them, I am apprehensive to say to put them in a RAID configuration. I am not certain if you take drives that previously were in an array, if you then put them in a NEW array, what will happen to the data that was on them. Is the data retrievable? I am not sure, but I think the data will be lost!
And if those 3 drives were in a RAID5 array, then you can't even set them up in individual RAID0 configs, treat them as separate drives, and try and get the data off that way. The RAID5 striping with mirroring data write concept means that only a portion of all data is on each drive. YOu can't use a single drive from a RAID5 to reconstruct the whole data.

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by timothy.sharpe In reply to

Thanks for the detailed information. I think I am giving up on this, the ServeRAID CD will not boot the server although the server will boot from other CDs such as MS NT. The CD will boot my PC so I know it is bootable, it boots with Linix.

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by timothy.sharpe In reply to Dead IBM PC Server 704

I downloaded the ServerRAID CD from IBM and made the CD. How do I determine what RAID level the server was set to, I am having a problem finding this information.

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by timothy.sharpe In reply to Dead IBM PC Server 704

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