getting started with 2970

Zach White zach at
Thu Apr 15 18:37:36 CDT 2010

The Dell tools will let you configure the RAID from within linux (using 
omconfig) and there is a live cd from Dell that will boot into a linux 
environment that includes omconfig. In theory you can pass the right 
parameters at boot time to have this livecd connect the console to the 
serial port, and use your linux laptop for the text to speech synthesis. 
I don't know if everything you need to reimage that iso with the proper 
boot parameters is available.

As Andy has pointed out you can also configure the bios to output to the 
serial port on the server and configure the RAID that way. Is this a 
server you have already bought? If so you will probably have to get a 
sighted person to configure the output, since the timing to get into the 
BIOS is finicky and the only indication you have entered the BIOS is on 
screen. If no one technical is available perhaps there is someone 
non-technical who can read the screen for you to do this?

If there is not, I checked the steps on one of my 1950's, which I 
believe has the same sequence to enable as the 2970 (none of my 2950 or 
2970's can be rebooted right now.) You could try this sequence:

* Turn on server, wait 45 seconds.
* Press F2 to enter bios mode.
* Press F2 again every 10-15 seconds for a minute or so, to ensure that 
it's registered.
* Wait for it to POST and then enter the bios. (may take as long as 10 
* Press the down arrow 10 times. (Serial Communication will be highlighted.)
* Press enter.
* These next steps assume default settings.
* Press right one time. (Changes Serial Communication to On With Console 
* Press down two times.
* Press left once. (Changes Baud Rate to 9600.)
* Press escape twice.
* Press enter. (Selects Save Changes and Exit.)

If I remember right there are beeps at key points, but I am checking 
this over DRAC and can not confirm this or tell you where they are. I 
wish I could.

If you haven't bought the server yet, you could ask your sales rep if 
that can be configured ahead of time. I believe they will do other bios 
configuration, so it makes sense they would here, as well. If you have 
to buy it you can also buy it with RAID configured ahead of time, so you 
would simply install linux with speech synthesis and not have to bother 
with the RAID config.


John G. Heim wrote:
> Does anybody know how a blind person would get started configuring a Dell 
> 2970? I'm not sure how I'd configure the hardware RAID. I can install linux 
> with speech and then configure RAID but by then its too late, right?
> I noticed that one of the CDs that came with the server is bootable but its 
> not going to have speech, is it? If so, how do I start it?
> I have all kinds of tools at my disposal. I have a talking laptop that I can 
> use with a cross over cable or a null modem cable. So I could use that 
> talking laptop with kermit, or telnet, or ssh. I can also remaster live CDs. 
> I've done that with a grml CD, with the FAI boot CD, and an unattended 
> install CD.
> What about DRAC? If I kermit or telnet into the DRAC via a crossover cable, 
> could I configure the PERC that way? I suppose it would be a good thing for 
> me to learn how to use the DRAC anyway.
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