Are PCIe ssd hard drives on client machines supported?



  • We are getting some new DELL T5810 workstations. They are going to have 1 TB PCIe M.2 NVMe SSD hard drives. Is there anything special that needs to be done for the FOG server to see this drive? We are using FOG version 1.2.0.

    Thanks


  • Moderator

    @egregers For a single drive there is no advantage. But I can say with my fleet of computers they are all dells and all are in the raid-on mode with a single drive. Its not clear why you are having this issue. But again I don’t have a T5810 to confirm or deny with. As always do you have the latest firmware installed on that T5810?


  • Moderator

    @egregers I’ve seen that a few times on Dells, even when using just one drive (which makes it not really RAID, but whatever)

    I’m not exactly sure how it works or what it does though, I’ve rarely seen it play nice on the other hand.

    RAID can be advantageous in certain situations, but for a laptop I’d say why even bother?

    For workstations it will all depend on how many disks and how much storage they need and where the emphasis should lie (speed, failover, both?)

    But with a PCIE SSD already, why bother trying to get RAID to work for speed? So I can only assume failover, but that seems like a waste of an SSD, imo. Especially when you could just reimage with say… FOG.

    TL;DR: I doubt it’s advantageous in your situation.



  • @george1421

    I am on 1.3.0 RC 19. Is there an advantage to using raid over AHCI? It says raid on intel rapidrestore. I am not sure what this is, but I have it converted to AHCI and FOG is working.


  • Moderator

    @Wayne-Workman
    http://www.askvg.com/how-to-change-sata-hard-disk-mode-from-ide-to-ahci-raid-in-bios-after-installing-windows/ instructions for windows 7

    I believe Windows 8 and 10 don’t even require this, they tend to be able to handle these things much better, but just in case

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\storahci\StartOverride

    Change the 0 DWORD value from 3 to 0.



  • @Tom-Elliott We should advise @egregers to upgrade to 1.3.0 RC at this point I feel.



  • @Quazz Can we get more information on that? If for no other reason than for future readers?


  • Moderator

    It’s actually possible to modify the existing Windows installation to force it to use the AHCI driver on next boot.

    Instructions depend on the windows version, but it’s some simple registry key switching that does it.


  • Senior Developer

    @george1421 To setup debug in 1.2.0 you go to advanced tasks, choose Download - Debug, or Upload - Debug, or just plain ol’ Debug.

    However the nvme disks will not be recognized at all on 1.2.0. To my understanding, in AHCI mode their recognized as their NVMe counterparts?

    For full support, upgrading to the RC series of 1.3.0 will definitely help.


  • Moderator

    @egregers Nuts, you are using 1.2.0. I think you get to that by going into the host setting and then the advanced options from the menu on the left. Its been quite a while since I’ve used FOG 1.2.0. I.3.0RCx is soo much better.



  • @george1421
    I don’t see the debug option.


  • Senior Developer

    @george1421 I’ll say this, that’s pretty much what I was leading towards. You’re more “leading” than I am though so appreciated much.

    I’d be like:

    Change->Register host->setup a tasking in debug mode->at prompt do abc…

    Your method us much nicer.


  • Moderator

    @egregers said in Are PCIe ssd hard drives on client machines supported?:

    @Tom-Elliott
    Should we use the AHCI instead of raid for FOG? Will FOG not see it when Raid is on.

    At this point no. We can use that as a fall back stance. But that will require you to reinstall the OS on that computer to be able to capture and deploy in achi mode.

    (Understand I’m not speaking for Tom here, but I’d like to see you do this).

    1. Change the disk mode back to raid-on.
    2. If this system has not been registered yet with FOG, manually register it. IF it has already been registered then just go to step 3
    3. In the FOG management gui, schedule a debug capture. (select capture or deploy) and ensure the schedule debug option is checked
    4. PXE boot this target computer, it will load the FOS operating system and after a few screens of text it will drop you at a linux command prompt.
    5. We need you to key in the following commands and post the results here
      fdisk -l and lsblk
    6. That will tell us what the FOS Engine is seeing for a hard disk structure.

    For the output of the commands, you can either retype what is on the screen or post a clear screen shot taken with a mobile phone.



  • @Tom-Elliott
    Should we use the AHCI instead of raid for FOG? Will FOG not see it when Raid is on.

    Thanks, You all have been a fantastic help :)


  • Senior Developer

    @Wayne-Workman You can try flipping it, but I suspect you’ll likely just have issues because it will “see” the drives listed as their relative “sata” elements.

    The issue with the new system is the RAID is not presenting in what I call a “software” mode and presenting the RAID as it’s own physical device.

    Just turn on RAID, boot to a debug FOS and run:

    fdisk -l or lsblk



  • @george1421 Sorry for not being specific, I meant instructions to see how FOS sees the drive. Tom was talking about an ID ?


  • Moderator

    @Wayne-Workman said in Are PCIe ssd hard drives on client machines supported?:

    @Tom-Elliott If you give me instructions, I can flip one of our dells into “RAID On” and see.

    for this to be an accurate test, you need to have a Dell precision system (preferably the same as the OP). But to answer your question, if you go into the bios (bios mode) and goto System Configuration -> Sata operation you can change the mode there.

    FWIW: We never change this setting from “Raid On”, but we don’t use fog to image the few Precison T3610/3620s we have either. I have a fresh 7040 on my build up bench with an onboard NVMe disk that I can test too if needed.



  • @Tom-Elliott If you give me instructions, I can flip one of our dells into “RAID On” and see.


  • Senior Developer

    @Wayne-Workman what I’m trying to say, I want to try figuring out if fog actually does see the disk when in raid on or not. I’m thinking it does but we have filters that tell the init which identifiers are able to be used. I’m suspecting that the engine can see the disk just fine, but the scripts aren’t due to this id. I only asked for ahci to make sure fog actually can see the “real” device, not so we can capture the image from one mode, and change the mode back to boot it. Once we have the data we should be able to put it on any drive independent of the mode that’s presenting the device.



  • @Tom-Elliott of course switching back would fix booting.

    But, the path with less work is the one where the image is built on AHCI mode. This will require someone switching each host to AHCI mode once.

    Taking an image made with “RAID On” mode, when deploying that image, will require switching to AHCI mode for Imaging and then back to “RAID On” mode.

    If the image was simply made on top of AHCI mode to begin with, less work needs done now for Imaging, and in the future.


 

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