Poor Man’s eSATA Drive Hot Swap without AHCI or Hotplug Support Under Linux




Unfortunately, hot-swapping an eSATA drive is a bit more complicated than hot swapping a USB drive.

First off,  your BIOS needs to support AHCI (click here for more info on AHCI), and your SATA controller also needs to support it as well. Secondly your OS, needs to specifically support hot plug, and in the case of Windows 7, it wont boot if you change to AHCI after the OS has been installed.

So, In my case I need to update firmware on lots of SATA SSDs and want to do so without rebooting, and without worrying about changing bios settings. So in order to keep things simple, I followed the procedure below.

First, you need to detect your drive. So watch dmesg to see what drive letter is assigned to your new disk upon initial connection.


[86527.985994]  sdd: unknown partition table
[86528.012820] sd 8:0:0:0: [sdd] Assuming drive cache: write through
[86528.012823] sd 8:0:0:0: [sdd] Attached SCSI disk
[86528.456281] device label btrfs devid 1 transid 11 /dev/sdd

Then, when its time to remove the disk device to the following. Subsitute your disk device letters.

# echo 1 > /sys/block/sdd/device/delete

Now you are free to swap your disk. No reboot, no bios changes, required.

Installing Dell OpenManage Server Administrator on Linux

R710 Dell™ OpenManage™ Server Administrator is Dell's version of the HP System Management Homepage, as it allows you to log into a web interface to view system configuration, health, and performance statistics.  Its availible for free and runs in Windows and Linux.

Dell makes the install easy on Linux due via a public rpm repo. The steps below outline the simple install process.

Install OpenManage Server Administrator

Step 1: wget -q -O – http://linux.dell.com/repo/hardware/latest/bootstrap.cgi | bash

Step 2: yum -y install srvadmin-all

Step 3: Start  Systems Management Data Engine – /etc/init.d/dataeng start

Step 4: Start webinterface – /etc/init.d/dsm_om_connsvc start

Your system homepage is now availible via https://hostname:1311, where hostname is the hostname of your server.

Install Firmware/Bios Management Tools

Step 1: yum install dell_ft_install
Step 2: yum install $(bootstrap_firmware)

Now run either inventory_firmware or inventory_firmware_gui to view your firmware versions, and perform firmware upgrades.




ProLiant System Management Homepage

Prod-shot-170x190 The HP Systems management homepage is a web based utility for managing and monitoring Proliant Servers. It can be installed via the ProLiant Support Pack DVD (on linux its just an rpm). Once installed you can modify the default settings via the perl script, hpSMHSetup.pl located in /usr/local/hp.

To access your server's homepage navigate to https://<yourhostname&gt;:2381 in your browser. You must include the https:// part of the url. Use your root user and password to access.

From the homepage you can monitor system, subsystems and status views of your server. Any critical, major, minor, or warning alerts will appear in the Overall Status Summary.


Latest HP Proliant SmartStart and Firmware DVDs 10-06-2010



If you are having issues with your HP server and were thinking about calling support, you might as well put down the phone. Seems to me that their default first step of troubleshooting is to advise you to upgrade to the latest firmware.

According to HP support these were both release just a couple of days ago. Links are below. Firmware DVD is just that, firmware. Smart Start is drivers and diagnostics.


Firmware DVD

Smart Start DVD