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Dell R720XD VFlash Boot?

CinciTech

Neophyte
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
8
Hello all. First time FreeNAS/TrueNAS user, advanced virtualization admin. I have a home testbed/dev system with a couple VMWare ESXi hosts and I've recently purchased an off-lease PowerEdge R720XD to use as a shared datastore between the hosts. I picked up a couple 14TB drives and intend to use them in RAID1 array. I burned TrueNAS to a USB drive and attempted to install. The installation sees the 14TB array, but it doesn't seem to find any SD cards plugged into the VFlash slot in the back of the unit (I tried a few). I went ahead and installed TrueNAS to the 14TB array just to see it run, and it looks nice.

My preference would be to install TrueNAS onto the flash media (indeed, I notice the installer recommends this). I haven't found anything in the forums specifically dealing with the R720XD, or more generally about dell vflash card reader (apologies if I missed it and links appreciated). Should I expect TrueNAS to have a driver for my scenario, or do I need to add one into the install media, or am I likely not using a supported SD card and it should otherwise work, or am I barking up the wrong tree altogether?

Thanks!
 

blanchet

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
285
Dell vFlash is not a regular SD card reader.
  • The vFlash is used only to host a bootable IMG/ ISO images to boot the server.
  • You cannot install an operating system on the Dell vFlash.
  • You must use only a DELL SD Card otherwise, you will encounter the 256 MB limit.
On the other hand, the DELL R720 has
  • an internal USB connector to plug a USB key
  • an optional dual internal SD module, that can be used to install an operating system

References: https://topics-cdn.dell.com/pdf/poweredge-r720_owners-manual_en-us.pdf
 

CinciTech

Neophyte
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
8
Well, that sucks on the vFlash unit, but if I can locate the internal USB port (I looked but not hard enough apparently), then the vFlash port isn't really a big sell anyway. The dual SD internal module might be worth a look too, if it works in RAID1. Can't be too redundant; only too expensive.

Thanks for that!
 

CinciTech

Neophyte
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
8
Just to follow up: I did end up buying the dual SD unit and a couple 128GB SanDisk cards. Boots up without any issues.
 
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