Raid testing with my HP P410i         
          
This includes testing a new SAS or used HDD.

See my how to install this card version on the wrong PC/System.

Rumor has it this card is
"PMC-Sierra based."
(materials needed, 3 fingers, one system , one Linux Live CD or USB stick, ilo3 license or VGA monitor/keybord)
Keep in mind later I must change the F8 boot to lun 0  , after all tests are done to get my RAID card to accept back my old disk pulled out in step one.

The HP  P410i (i = on board raid)
The RAID chip and its own ROM are the smart array feature, and is complex and works in many different modes, per the below list (or here) no license upgrade needed now.
Not to mention HP ability  migrating  raid sets across generations! ( picture upgrading from 400 then 410 and then 420 raid cards or your mobo blew up and SMOKED)
or
"HP defaults to pull a failed drive and re-insert it - no action required to rebuild "the ole pull n push trick" to rebuild.(quote MrKRAD)  well said ! 
or
HP smart array uses a "idle XX seconds" scan for bad sectors.  (nice feature that, back ground testing for driver)
The SAAP license key is now free !
  • (comment)Online means not from a BOOT CD,  but running full production,(but slower maybe)  The 410 does not have the secure erase feature, that he 420 has.
  • Online array expansion (with BBWC/FBWC upgrade)
  • Online Advanced Capacity Expansion (with BBWC/FBWC and Smart Array Advanced Pack upgrade, now free !)
  • Online logical drive extension (with BBWC/FBWC upgrade)
  • Online RAID level migration (with BBWC/FBWC upgrade)
  • Online strip size migration (with BBWC/FBWC upgrade)
  • Offline Mirror splitting and recombining (with BBWC/FBWC and Smart Array Advanced Pack upgrade)
  • Unlimited global online spare assignment
  • User selectable expand and rebuild priority
  • User selectable RAID level and stripe size
  • User selectable read and write cache sizes (% R/W)
(the other way to test random used or erase drives is using my TEST PIG seen here)
The first mode I use to do testing is called,  discovery mode or auto configure.
What I do is remove all drives from the bays.  (mine has 8)
Lets test a new to me (used) drive now,  used is worse case to I will talk about this now.
The drive can be bad, or sick, sick means S.M.A.R.T shows the end of spare sectors and unrecoverable errors seen.
(all modern drives for 20 years do self internal repairs using redundant extra sectors (for example the Seagate brain does that))
The chip is there,  and the 2 jacks seen there too SAS real jacks.
There are 2 ways to test these HDD, one is under the BIOS of the RAID, F8 mode. (called by HP offline mode)
or the SSA application (free from HP) running on my WIN SERV.2012 (or 2016)
I will use the F8 method because now, I have all HDD removed and there is no online now.

Plug in your HDD under test,  into any slot you want. (best is with  proper tray caddy)
Even a SATA drive works here, mine are all 2.5" 10k SAS drives. "called Serial attached Scuzzy" in the server world of jargon.  Old SCSI was parallel long ago but not now.
I put in a drive under test, a DUT.
I launch my Browser and run iLo3 , remote console and push the iLo3 power on button and it turns on.
I power on the PC, and hammer F8 at the read words, "smart array bla bla in red" and the P410 ROM BIOS wakes up and shows me its main screens. Just like all BIOS do.
(do not hit F8 at the iL03 ROM prompt or you get it  and not the RAID card P410)

The first act by me is to see unassigned drives.
They only show up (if erased unassigned) or HP created via   in the create drive menu. (create puts the meta data on the drive)
Keep in mind, there is no pass-through nor is the raid car able to see alien formatted cards of any kind. 
If it can not be seen or viewed, then it must be erased next,  (on GEN8 with P420s and newer there is an erase button there and the 420 has an HBA mode ! that does do pass-though)
If it needs and erasure,  hit the back button or home above and read how to erases it using DBAN and , all the ways.

I then do create drive and enter and F8 to save it. (using the boot CD ACU works far better an safer)
 You have  drive now any OS can see, that any (99% modern) OS can now see. (not XP , not older, Vista maybe but to hell with VISTA. huh? W7+ will see it no problems we know that)
Be aware that setting the now (boot to logical drive ) is needed to install an OS to it.
Okay if now done above, this the drive is  visible to other software, installers or live OS disks,
If no raid is created now the drive will be inviable  to all OS, due to this P410 is not a HBA card  , nor does it have and HBA mode switch built in. The newer P420 has a HBA mode, that is handy.
After doing that, any Live boot Windows 7 , 8,10  PE disk or Linux will see the drive (say Ubuntu 17 live)
and you can test it and run diagnostics on it and run HD Sentinel program on it , format it,  or even load an  OS on it.
I use linux, and run SMART tests and do a full linux drive test and bench mark test on it. (ubuntu 17, click live now, bam do the tests now, easy. click disk in the search box)
If there are no uncorrectable errors on the disk it's ok to run.  (on production systems  there are a total different set of rules here) I'm talking non-production here.

The next sections below , below this blue screen will be Linux.
Here is my new SAS under test all by itself. (it is a DELL disk made by Seagate ST9300605SS aka SAVVIO)




LINUX testing this new RAID 0 drive
This link covers it but I will shows what I see on this Server and this drive.
Boot cold , hammer F11 boot menu , and go to USB key boot
And it boots Linux.
Keep in mind key (USB sticks) boot and run vastly faster than any CD can.
Click TRY LINUX (this means LIVE demo mode that uses lots of RAM.)
Mine boots in about 10 seconds.
The LINUX menu left side top click that and it goes to search mode.
Type  disk , and then it runs
I click the drive then the pregnant = sigh (has 3 lines) for settings and run the benchmarks.
I can format the disk, there.
I can not run smart data because Linux can't talk to the P410 and get it, it don't know how. (HD sentential app can )
I get 100MB/S reads and 800 MB/s writes, my guess my huge 1GB cache in the P410 makes this lie,  (sure) 
To test true speed on any HDD like this or and array is complex to the extreme, because  IT  IS complex and Smart, for sure writing.
For fun I changed the Bench metric to 1000MB and just 10 samples now we see the cache get hit hard, below. yes, that was fun.

See 1000 MB  here, last will be my smarter  HD Sentinel PRO. tests. (I have a license to use PRO)
See that sharp knee there, bingo for cache overload, end to end. But great write speed even then, at 209 !!! What's more fun is running this on a huge RAID 5, yah !


That be just 1 disk, by Seagate.

Now, HD Sentinel PRO. testing, it comes new, as P410 smart , like no others can promise.
Booting to WIN PE 7 , my feature  rich version , (I have  ISO for that)
Then with that, my portable HD Sentinel PRO. (licensed)
Boot
F11 , boot menu, Pick USB stick (#3 in my case)
W7 PE LIVE boots and  runs in 2min flat.
My Computer shows no such drive, all very normal , go to CP, Admin tools, computer management and disk manager.  BINGO there it is.
I Click new simple disk and bam it is formatted and is DRIVE F:
Now that it's alive, and ready we can test it more.
I click. HD Sentinel.
This APP can not see through the RAID card, for S.M.A.R.T data,  as below , LSI9211-IT HBA can. The 3 green check marks show show you what is important.
HP tells you to not do this, just trust the RAID system to tell you when things are bad, but what about run time? (the below is off my XM4600 server with LSI  card.
 The disks LEDs go amber or red when there's a failure. The log files tell you too what's up. Warning for sure the data seen below can not be seen looking past and through any P410 card, but yes on s P420 HBA bit flipped.
HD Sentinel PRO. (via LSI9211)HBA

The above program will not see the right hand smart data ever on a real RAID card (lacking HBA modes as the above does have)

Do not get confused here if  this application,can not see though any normal raid cards(410), (not flashed to HBA mode like ,above LSI9211-HBA card was and now sees all data)
The P410, card I have you can not see  the drives like above way, unless formatted as a raid and there is no drive S.M.A.R.T passthrough in this mode. ever.
My LSI-9211 card  does let me see the smart data. It is (by me) flashed to HBA mode, I did that just to use the card for testing drives. SAS drives used, that I buy.
The P420 card will allow you to test a drive and see SMART data,,  in HBA mode,  but be sure the drives data is EXPENDABLE or the OS you use may trash it. (case in point windows, trash can folders, etc)
If say all you want to do is test a unknown spares or used HDD or a old spares, data be damned, or want to see hours on the drive (omg 6 years there?) or see the green arrows for your self,?
I personally like to see parameter 196 above. 
You might want to run long disk checks on it or other tests. (no production pro's  do that, they just see the led fail and then swap it) but others that build no production servers, do buy used drives.
What I do on used drives is erase it in Dban, then format it and then test it on a HBA card I keep around just for this job. Then run tests on it, using the linux disk tests and Linux smart tests and the benchmark test ATTO seen below.
There are some drives that are not dead but run real slow, 1/2 speed, for no reasons at all , easy to discover,  so when the Bench mark fails, it is destroyed... that disk.


This is not a HP chart but you can have just 1 drive set at RAID0 on my HP controller. ( getting ready to add a 2nd drive ) The single drive even works formatted.
On trick (RAID is complex topic and varies by makers card, and the firmware (FW) there and even its revision level, case in point my P410i with newest FW adds RAID 10. Raid 10 is the best, but expensive.(nested raid)
HP does RAID 0 with 1 drive but is note really RAID, but is a feature.(an almost JBOD)
HP 410 does , 6+0 (Advanced Data Guarding) too. and is now a free upgrade, and 5+0 ,RAID 1+0 (Striping & Mirroring)
A better chart is always at WIKI.
There rules to run raid are like this, and silly to ask any pro how to skip basics steps with data to lose.
  • Backup all data first. If smart? (no pun) in  2 places, even 1 off site ( if this is not clear,? then find a new job?  no , really !)
  • Then with  erased drive, run the FIRMWARE on the card,(control+S or what ever is the hot key) if creating a 2 drive array, put them both the now and avoid migration processes later. (slow)
  • On the HP RAID main card, the CACHE daughter card  is needed (and battery for it or Farad cap module) for many features to work at all or to go faster than a week of pain migrating.
  • If you do have data there, migration does work as does expansion modes, but do know that skipping line 1 ABOVE IS DUMB! 
  • Best is to have all raid drives, near the exact same, models. makes.  Identical or use REAL HP drives. (called HP certified drives)  I don't do this due to I'm not running production. here. just home video's etc.
  • I have gone from raid 1 to to raid 5 with  no issues no data loss, 500GB data too,  I alway run my OS under drive RAID1, and the data bank as raid 5 here, (4 drives)


One more speed test, on my new Raid 5 array  (5x,  300GB,  Seagate SAS drives) 
Note the fast read ahead algorithms in the HP RAID brain, are very fast ! 
The write speeds will be slower over my 1GB, CACHE card. (set to 50% Read and Write balanced)



One more bench mark, called OTTO. (my favorite, with graph and allows huge file 2GB)  This raid screams.

SAS 10k drives, 300GB x 5 disks Raid 5 mode.The drive is only data, (video's and 10k+ photos)




All comments here are about real RAID, not fake RAID nor software RAID, but does talk about HBA cards but that is not a RAID.
Why would anyone use software raid risking your data when the silly OS gets infected with a Virus?  (my boot OS drive is one Hardware RAID pair and the data Array is RAID 5, isolated.)
Hardware RAID protects your DATA. and allows HOT swap of HDD.
The hardware raid has a huge 1GB CACHE and battery that makes it scream fast,  say RAID 5,6.
The hardware raid say HP watches the Smart data tables in the HDD, to see if the drive is sick every minute of every day, heck, mine emails me these facts (errors)  Keep in mind I'm talking RAID 5 or the like with striping.

see orig. Adaptec source here.
 

version 2.  11-9-2017