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Servers general discussion FAQ

IBM PC Server 330 (8640)

How do I setup and configure IBM PC Server 330 and ServeRAID? by bkearns
Posted: 20 Jan 03 (Edited 21 Jan 03)

For IBM PC Server 330 (8640 - PB0, PM0, PT0, 11Y, 21Y)


The IBM PC Server 330 is a really well built machine that is perfect for any workgroup application (mail, file, print, DNS/DHCP, Firewall, etc.), offering RAID 0,1 and 5 drive arrays. It is an AWSOME Linux server box!  Used ones can be found for as little as $150 and upgraded very easily and cheaply.

The latest version of the RAID firmware is 5.11

The latest version of the RAID Bios is 2.88.13 (for the PC server 330)

The latest version of the system bios is 28A

HARD DRIVES:  SCSI hard drives, mounted in an IBM Drive cage.  Hot swappable as well.

RAM: EDO, 168 pin, ECC, 60 ns

CPU: PII/233/266 Mhz with 512k cache.  Dual capable (must match cpu speed and cach size), you also need another voltage regulator module with the second CPU (IBM FRU 12J2699)

INSTRUCTIONS FOR CREATING BIOS and FIRMWARE UPDATE FLOPPYS FROM A WINDOWS MACHINE:  Place a blank, formatted floppy in your drive and open the link to run the executable from the web site or locally on your machine.  Press enter to cycle through the license agreement and then press Y that you agree then enter again to write the floppy.  Boot it and follow the instructions, all automatic, and very straightforward.

WARNING WILL ROBINSON!!!:  NEVER TURN OFF OR UNPLUG YOUR MACHINE WHILE PERFORMING A BIOS UPDATE!!!! This will turn your nice, capable server into an oversized paperweight!

IBM has very detailed and simple instructions for all of the following updates in a plain text file that accompanies each diskette image.  They can and SHOULD be read through before doing anything!


UPDATE THE System BIOS, ServeRAID BIOS and ServeRAID Firmware:
1) Create SurePath System Bios (v. 28A)update diskette - [1 FLOPPY REQUIRED] link here:


Boot the floppy and follow on-screen instructions.  Very straightforward.

2) Update the ServeRAID BIOS(v. 2.88.13) and Firmware (v. 5.11) - [THREE FLOPPYS REQUIRED - 1 of 3, 2 of 3, 3 of 3]


Required files Listed Below (from IBM Web Site):
71p8925.exe   879,829   IBM ServeRAID BIOS and Firmware diskette 1 of 3 version 5.11
71p8925.txt   16,939   README for the IBM ServeRAID BIOS and Firmware diskette 1 of 3 version 5.11
71p8926.exe   1,111,244   IBM ServeRAID BIOS and Firmware diskette 2 of 3 version 5.11
71p8926.txt   16,939   README for the IBM ServeRAID BIOS and Firmware diskette 2 of 3 version 5.11
71p8927.exe   1,227,462   IBM ServeRAID BIOS and Firmware diskette 3 of 3 version 5.11
71p8927.txt   16,939   README for the IBM ServeRAID BIOS and Firmware diskette 3 of 3 version 5.11

Boot floppy 1 of 3 and follow on-screen instructions.  Very straightforward.


1) Download ISO image (586 MB) and burn a bootable copy of the IBM ServeRAID Support CD which has all of the drivers, management tools, and manuals for ServeRAID here (this if for all operating systems):


You boot it to install windows based config software.  Linux and all Unix systems are supported as well.  The CD also has the manuals for the RAID controller.


2) Get the hardware maintenance manual here:



1) Create a PC-DOS bootable version of the array configuration software that allows you to reconfigure the drive array, it is here [ONE FLOPPY REQUIRED]:


Required File:
71p8928.exe IBM ServeRAID Support for DOS version 5.11

*NOTE:  You can use the PC-DOS floppy to configure the RAID array, regardless of the OS you intend to install.

2) Boot the floppy and the configuration software should load.
3) The software is very simple to figure out, bounce around the menus and READ THE MANUAL on the support CD before doing anything serious, but here are some tips:

*Delete any existing array (only if you don't need any of the data!)

*Specify the purpose of each drive in the array (HSP - hot spare, RDY - Data, etc.)

*Create a new Drive array/Logical Drive.  

*The software will prompt you to back up RAID configuration and other essential tasks.  Then it will start the 'synchronization' of the drives which is actually banding or striping the drives for RAID.  You will still have to format the drive(s) using your operating system.  


The standard configuration is to have the SCSI CD-ROM connected to the ServeRAID Controller, via a connector at the bottom of the RAID cage.  The problem is that you can't use the CD-ROM as a boot device since it will not be recognized by the system.  But it is OK, you can fix it if all of the original cables.

The PC Server 330 also has an integrated Adaptec 7880 SCSI controller.  The default configuration has the external SCSI connector attached to the Adaptec connector on the motherboard.  You can plug the CD-ROM into the Motherboard connector, and it will boot a CD.


1) Disconnect the CD-ROM cable and the 68 pin to 50 pin adapter from the drive and the connector on the drive cage.

2) Remove the tape on the middle connector (on the cable).

3) Transfer the 50 pin adapter to the connector next to the terminator block (T shaped block at the end of the cable)

4) Follow the cable from the External SCSI connector to the Motherboard and disconnet it, pushing it to the side.

5) Connect the Drive cable to the motherboard.  Use the first MALE connector, it is actually the second connector from the end.

6) Connect the next connector (the one with the 50 pin adapter) to the drive.

Check the SCSI BIOS settings to make sure that the startup uptions are correct for booting a CD (<ctrl><A>) after you see the message at boot up.

That's it your done.  Now the Adaptec SCSI adapter will allow the system to boot the CD with your favorite operating system!

Good luck!  If anyone needs help just send me an e-mail.

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