Enabling The Third Drive Box On An HPE DL380 Gen10 Server

The HPE DL380 Gen10, like any HPE server, can be purchased in multiple configurations, as seen here:

Because of this, you may unbox your server and find that not everything works “right out of the box”. In the case of our server project, we bought a DL380 Gen 10 that was going to be used as a replication target for Virtual Machine backups. We want to use all three “boxes” of hard drive slots. Pretty simple: just a server full of large form factor SAS drives.

The server came with cables from the SAS ports on the motherboard to all three “backplanes” of the drive boxes, but only the first two boxes recognized that they had drives in them.

Turns out that first of all we had a bad SAS cable on box three, but that wasn’t the only problem. According to HPE support the third box doesn’t work unless you use a separate cable that wasn’t included.

This does make sense considering all of the possible configurations for the server. Presumable the third SAS cable that was installed would work for another common layout. Not ours, though. We needed another cable. Fortunately new servers come with next day support so we were able to get another cable the next day. (Well, the “next day” after two days of arguing with HPE support.)

If you find yourself in this situation, you need the black cable in this picture:

It is included in this kit: https://partsurfer.hpe.com/Search.aspx?SearchText=826709-B21. It is the black one with the three different types of connectors on one end and one single SAS on the other.

FYI there is also a version of the black cable that has a 90 degree, L-shaped SAS connector on the backplane end. That one will not fit for our purpose. You need the one with the straight SAS end.

To open the server so you can get to the cables, first open the latch on the top of the server and remove the cover:

The SAS cables are here:

This is how the server came out of the box, three blue SAS cables. Here is the end where they plug into the motherboard:

This is the other end, where they meet the backplane:

We need to remove the blue cable from port 3 and replace it with the black one with the three connectors on one end. You can see in this next picture where they all go.

Once you do this, all three boxes of hard drives should work.

Project: Setting Up a Server From Scratch

Lately, I’ve been installing enough new servers (or inheriting newly installed servers) that now seems like a good time to show what it’s like to start from scratch with a brand new server. Obviously, no one will have exactly the same implementation as this, but the idea is to show the basics of what it’s like to set up a new server.

This will not cover everything you can do with a server. It’s basically just a way for me to organize my posts into something fun.

This page right here is going to host links that, if followed chronologically, will show what it looks like to build a brand new server straight out of the box. Basically all I’m doing is reordering some of my existing posts, but this page will corral them into a mighty Voltron of a larger project. I will probably go back and edit the old posts to make more sense in the context of this project (or not depending on how much time I have). Don’t worry, the original posts will work as standalones.

Anyway, here’s what it’s like to buy and implement a server!

(This is a work in progress. All of the steps may not be here yet. I’ll remove this disclaimer when I feel it is more complete)

Unboxing the HPE DL380 Gen10 server

Enabling The Third Drive Box On An HPE DL380 Gen10 Server

Installing Windows Server 2019

New Windows Server 2019 Server: Miscellaneous Setup

Automating Windows Server Updates Part 1: Sconfig

Automating Windows Server Updates Part 2: PowerShell

Automating Windows Server Updates Part 3: Scheduling the Task

HPE Server Hardware Alert Emails: Gen 10 Changes