Replace Dell PERC H310 to H710 Raid Controller without losing data

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I have successfully upgraded Dell PERC H310 Raid Controller with H710 without losing any data. The process was very simple, pretty much plug and play. Before the upgrade I tried to consult with the Dell techs, but they had no idea about the process and its outcome since apparently no one ever had a need to do it, but me. Well, i guess I am a pioneer now 🙂

To assure everyone it really works, I took a video, watch bellow.

Any questions feel free to ask.

1. Remove the old PERC H310 card

old_perc_h310_in_server_large        old_perc_h310_in_server

 

2. Insert new PERC H710 (make sure to plug in the SAS connectors)

perc_h710_box        perc_h710_in_server

3. Watch the video.

45 replies
  1. William
    William says:

    Thanks so much. Getting ready to do this with a T620 tonight. You have alleviated my concerns! Very much appreciate you taking the time to do this.

    Reply
  2. Dave O'Keefe
    Dave O'Keefe says:

    Did you have the OS on the raid card as well? did you have to install the H710 Drivers 1st? We have a bunch of the H310 out there and the performance is horrible.! i need to replace them.

    Reply
    • Andrej OSmicro
      Andrej OSmicro says:

      Yes, the OS was on RAID1 and RAID5 was holding the data, both arrays on the same controller. There was no need to install the drivers, system picked it up. It was very straight forward, pretty much plug and play.

      Reply
    • Andrej OSmicro
      Andrej OSmicro says:

      H310 is a joke. I tried to use that H310 on a small 500gb raid 1 and it was still super slow. On the raid 5 array, we had few virtual machines. I tried installing Windows OS on 2 vm’s at the same time and it would blue screen unable to cope..

      Reply
      • Dave O'Keefe
        Dave O'Keefe says:

        Replacement went OK. needed 2 reboots…. also lost the single non raid disk that I had…. The H710 does allow non raid setup… so I need to create that disk as a raid 0, then I was able to restore that disk from backup.

        The system boot time went from about 10 mins to under 3 to the login screen. Before on H310 there was a long delay with only a black screen after the bios before the Windows screens came up. ordered 3 more cards to replace them in other servers.

        Reply
    • David
      David says:

      Dave, I’ve been ripping out the slow H310 cards and replacing them with H710s for a while now without any issues. Running Win2k12R2 standard mostly and the drivers are installed automatic, although I let Dells’ Driver and Assist tool pull what ever it needs for the servers. It’s very handy. Keeps the servers updated, firmware, bios, also.

      Reply
  3. garbage911
    garbage911 says:

    thanks for the post.

    this is very useful… it also allows me to use a h310 on the backup server i guess

    Reply
  4. Andrew
    Andrew says:

    I just did this procedure on two R320s today. Just plug n play essentially. Thankfully the drivers are the same for the H310 and H710 so no need to change anything. Definitely noticed a huge improvement in disk speeds.

    Reply
    • Andrej OSmicro
      Andrej OSmicro says:

      Sorry mate I haven’t.. I would say it will behave the same, controller and the array are on the hardware level, so that shouldn’t be the problem.. The only thing are the drivers.. If you are running RedHat you would have premium support, I guess ask them about the driver diff. between H310 and H710.

      Reply
      • raliasm
        raliasm says:

        Well, we are using CentOs.. We haven’t official support. Anyway looking for the drivers seem that is the same.
        [root@localhost ~]# lspci |grep -i raid
        01:00.0 RAID bus controller: LSI Logic / Symbios Logic MegaRAID SAS 2008 [Falcon] (rev 03)
        [root@lost ~]# lsmod |grep sas
        megaraid_sas 87145 4

        This exit is from a H310 PERC RAID. I think that megaraid_sas is the same module for H310 and H700… I hope!!

        Reply
  5. Randall
    Randall says:

    Well done…If i am reading this correctly i can replace the 310 in my server with a 710 and just go? it is a 3 drive, raid 5 box, two partitions on raid..one 500gb for os/apps and the rest a data partition….Would i lose data? Our write/read times are terrible for 8 users accessing docs/pics/pdf’s…..thanks…Randall

    Reply
    • Andrej OSmicro
      Andrej OSmicro says:

      Hi Randall, yeah i pretty much just replaced it and it worked with no further tweaking. I did make a full backup beforehand though just in case. Watch the video, the only thing missing is the actual replacement, otherwise I just turned it back on once new 710 was in and it picked up the old config etc. it was all very easy. Let me know how you go, but I am pretty sure you won’t have any issues. 310 is the worst controller I have ever seen, I prefer the onboard Intel over 310. Cheers

      Reply
  6. Keith
    Keith says:

    I just attempted to switch from the H310 to H710. Everything goes fine, I import the foreign configuration, but then the OS (Window 2012 R2) fails to boot. It reaches a screen where it says a problem has been detected and it then reboots. When it starts again it then reboots again.

    I put the H310 back in and can boot normally.

    Reply
  7. adom
    adom says:

    I’m doing the same here. Actually did reverse. Put a H310 in a server that had a H710. Running vSphere ESXi 5.5 with SAN storage. Do not need the local disk performance. Took 2 reboots. ESXi recognized it with not problems. Going to put that H710 in a server that has a H310 in it today. It’s also running ESXi, but with local storage only. Running a single windows server VM at the moment and disk performance is ridiculous. The H310 is a piece of garbage. Why does dell still sell this?

    Reply
  8. jimmy
    jimmy says:

    I did an update on a clients T330 Server from H310 to H710 last night. They have VMWare 5.0 installed with a single VM. Had to add the datastore back in but that was all fine. Improvements weren’t that great. I enabled adaptive read caching and write back caching for the vdisk – performance after was slightly faster than prior, but I wouldn’t say moonbeams. They only have 2 mirrored SAS disks, so probably just an IOP limitation of the disk. Still, I would have expected better. I ended up changing the D: and E: (data) drives of the virtual server from VMWare LSI Logic Parallel controller to PVSCSI, performance jumped up for those drives tenfold. I’ve left it on PVSCSI, even though they say PVSCSI isn’t recommended for DAS storage, its just too good not too use.

    Reply
  9. Dryst
    Dryst says:

    I will need to do this as soon as my PERC H710 replacement controller arrives the first week of 2017. One question for you– did you or anyone else who has done this execute a consistency check after replacing the PERC controller? I have four 3TB drives running RAID 10. Consistency checks take a God-awful long time on my machine. I am doing this on a Precision workstation, so I do not have the option of using OMSA. Dell only allows OMSA execution on a server.

    Don’t get me wrong– I do understand the importance of running a CC. I am actually running one right now with my PERC H310. It has been running now for about three days at only 48% complete. This is with it being run directly from the BIOS adapter config utility. Based on my run time so far, a full CC may take seven complete days…

    Reply
    • Andrej OSmicro
      Andrej OSmicro says:

      Hi. RAID10 using 3TB drives on H310, wow I am surprised it works at all. We have had RAID5 and RAID6 using SAS 500GB drives and it gave us BSoD every time we push it a bit harder. I can imagine CC would take a while on your machine… I have done it using OMSA once replaced the PERC, it finished in an hour or so if I remember correctly.

      Good luck!

      Reply
      • Dryst
        Dryst says:

        Thanks for the info. The CC completed in a little over 70 hours with the PERC H310 running against a 5.45TB virtual drive. I will get the H710 tomorrow, and I am hoping everything will be faster. The suggestion that I see is to execute a CC after a controller swap, so I will do this first.

        Incidentally, I never encountered BSODs with using the H310. I also use it with VMWare Workstation 12 to never have such issues.

        Reply
        • Dryst
          Dryst says:

          I just replaced the PERC H310 with my new PERC H710. It was extremely easy to do. I did not even have to import an external configuration. The H710 did this automatically with the import option not even enabled in its BIOS. Right now the H710 is performing a patrol read, which the H310 was not able to do. I will allow that to finish before starting a CC.

          I enabled write back and adaptive read ahead. Right now Windows boots up faster with the new controller. The latest MegaRAID is showing that the patrol read for all four drives will be complete in 4 hours and 15 minutes.

          The only issue I have run into is that MegaRAID showed some error related to the H710’s firmware when Windows had initially started the first time. This same version of MegaRAID never showed this for the H310 controller. However, I am still able to launch and use MegaRAID successfully. I am ignoring this error for now. I have to use MegaRAID, since I cannot use OMSA on Windows 10 Professional.

          So far, all is good!

          Reply
          • Dryst
            Dryst says:

            My CC through the H710 BIOS config utility completed against the same four hard drives in approximately six hours. This was significantly faster than the H310 could complete it.

            Finally, the error from MegaRAID I reported above happened only once after changing the PERC controller. On my next reboot, I did not see the error again. It appears that the MegaRAID services were expecting the H310 controller on the next restart of Windows. Launching MegaRAID again appears to have resolved the issue, so there are probably settings saved locally related to the controller. This is MegaRAID version 16.05.04.

  10. Rod Lin
    Rod Lin says:

    so the raid information is stored on the disks and not on the PERC.
    If I use another non PERC RAID controller will the foreign configuration port over?
    I’m thinking whether to buy a spare PERC in case the one I have goes.

    Reply
  11. Ken Mullins
    Ken Mullins says:

    Thanks, this worked like a charm on my Dell PE R720xd
    The upgrade from the PERC (PowerEdge RAID Controller) H310 to H710 was a huge success. After we backed up the R720xd, we powered her down, removed the H310 and installed the H710 controller. When she reboot at first it said no disk detected, then it rebooted again and not only recognized the disk it boot into Linux. I then checked for any new drivers – it found and updated (from Dell) the driver for the H710 to version 21.3.4-0001.

    Initial testing show a dramatic IO speed improvement!

    Reply
  12. Filip Kohout
    Filip Kohout says:

    good work! 🙂 has anybody replaced the PERC H710 512MB nv for H710P 1GB NV? (T320). I hope it is works same like replacing H310.

    Reply

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  1. […] UPDATE 26.10.2013 >>>> http://blog.osmicro.org/replace-dell-perc-h310-h710-without-losing-data/ […]

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