Problem with NF8 Raid Setup

Discussion in 'Abit' started by Paul Goldman, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. Paul Goldman

    Paul Goldman Guest

    I have inherited a server running on an ABIT NF8 motherboard. It had a 260GB
    Raid 1 array running using the onboard Raid Controller using the 2 SATA
    ports on the motherboard. My client was running out of space, so I replaced
    the 2 smaller hard drives with 2 1-TB drives. Without making any changes, I
    thought that the Raid Array would still work, but on boot-up, when prompted
    to hit F10 to enter the Array Manager, nothing happened. I tried many times
    to get the raid array manager to come up, none successfully. Once I did get
    the raid array manager to come up, but it was frozen. Sometimes, the
    motherboard would way that there was no array disks available, sometimes it
    asked me to hit F10, but I was never able to get to the Array Manager. When
    I turn off the array configuration, I see both hard drives, and can boot
    from either.

    I then went out and purchased a SIIG 4-port SATA PCI Raid Controller card. I
    disabled the on-board array and then I plugged the Raid controller into the
    motherboard and then plugged the 2 hard drives into the Raid Controller.
    When I rebooted, the SSIG SATA Rad Controller asked me to press Ctrl-S or F4
    to proceed, but nothing happened.

    Has anybody experienced this problem? Any way around it?
    Paul Goldman, Sep 25, 2008
    #1
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  2. Paul Goldman

    Paul Goldman Guest

    Thanks.

    The board recognizes the drives when they are not configured as a Raid
    array. In fact, I am running currently on one of the drives as the C: drive
    with the other the D:. I am running Windows 2003 Small Business Server. If I
    can't get this thing to go with hardware Raid, I may configure as software
    Raid.

    What is the performance implications of changing from SATA1 and SATA2? Also,
    I didn't notice any jumpers. Do all SATA hard drives have jumpers?

    "Bill" <> wrote in message
    news:MPG.2345d12930a71bbd9899ab@localhost...
    > In article <x6RCk.2840$>,
    > says...
    >> I have inherited a server running on an ABIT NF8 motherboard. It had a
    >> 260GB
    >> Raid 1 array running using the onboard Raid Controller using the 2 SATA
    >> ports on the motherboard. My client was running out of space, so I
    >> replaced
    >> the 2 smaller hard drives with 2 1-TB drives. Without making any changes,
    >> I
    >> thought that the Raid Array would still work, but on boot-up, when
    >> prompted
    >> to hit F10 to enter the Array Manager, nothing happened. I tried many
    >> times
    >> to get the raid array manager to come up, none successfully. Once I did
    >> get
    >> the raid array manager to come up, but it was frozen. Sometimes, the
    >> motherboard would way that there was no array disks available, sometimes
    >> it
    >> asked me to hit F10, but I was never able to get to the Array Manager.
    >> When
    >> I turn off the array configuration, I see both hard drives, and can boot
    >> from either.
    >>
    >> I then went out and purchased a SIIG 4-port SATA PCI Raid Controller
    >> card. I
    >> disabled the on-board array and then I plugged the Raid controller into
    >> the
    >> motherboard and then plugged the 2 hard drives into the Raid Controller.
    >> When I rebooted, the SSIG SATA Rad Controller asked me to press Ctrl-S or
    >> F4
    >> to proceed, but nothing happened.
    >>
    >> Has anybody experienced this problem? Any way around it?
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>

    >
    > That board is SATA1, The harddrives you bought are SATA2. Make sure
    > you have them jumpered for SATA1 operation. Other thoughts, as I
    > don't know for sure, did you check to see if the bios will recognize
    > hard drives that large? You failed to mention the OS. Will it
    > recognize hard drives that large?
    >
    > Can't help you ant further than that, but there's some things to
    > look at.
    >
    > Bill
    > --
    > GMail & Google Goobers.
    > This century's answer to AOL and WebTV.
    Paul Goldman, Sep 26, 2008
    #2
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  3. Paul Goldman

    Paul Guest

    Paul Goldman wrote:
    > Thanks.
    >
    > The board recognizes the drives when they are not configured as a Raid
    > array. In fact, I am running currently on one of the drives as the C: drive
    > with the other the D:. I am running Windows 2003 Small Business Server. If I
    > can't get this thing to go with hardware Raid, I may configure as software
    > Raid.
    >
    > What is the performance implications of changing from SATA1 and SATA2? Also,
    > I didn't notice any jumpers. Do all SATA hard drives have jumpers?
    >


    There is little performance impact. Consider for example.

    1) Typical hard drive sustained transfer rate - 70MB/sec
    2) SATA1 - 150MB/sec (theoretical limit, with overheads)
    3) SATA2 - 300MB/sec (theoretical limit, with overheads)

    What would be affected, is the burst transfer rate. When small
    chunks of data are transferred, they are stored in the cache RAM
    on the drive controller board, and are then written out to the media.
    Once the size of transfer exceeds the cache, then the transfer
    is limited by the media rate (the 70MB/sec number).

    So only relatively small bursts will not be seeing "300MB/sec" transfer
    rates. Long transfers, will be limited by the media (head to disk),
    and neither cable rate is an issue in that case.

    The fastest SATA drive right now, is the Velociraptor, at 120MB/sec
    near the beginning of the disk. So that is the fastest sustained
    transfer rate.

    Not all drives have jumpers to "Force 150" a drive. With a Hitachi
    drive, you'd use Hitachi Feature Tool, to perform a change to force
    a particular rate. And then communication with the drive is only
    guaranteed, if the drive is connected to a 300MB/sec capable
    interface. (You could, for example, use a SATA 150MB/sec motherboard,
    flip the Hitachi drive to 300MB/sec mode, and then lose communications with
    it. Then need a SATA 300MB/sec motherboard, to flip it back.)

    Many other drives have the forcing jumper, so it is easier to deal
    with. A Seagate document, mentions that it is mainly VIA chipsets
    and their SATA 150MB/sec interfaces, that require the "Force 150"
    jumper to work. Many other 150MB/sec interfaces will auto-negotiate
    just fine, and work without jumper changes.

    (See page 11)
    http://www.seagate.com/staticfiles/...uides/dm_11_sata300_installation_guide_en.pdf

    Check the reviews on Newegg, as they do note that 1TB drives and
    some interfaces, don't play nice. And as far as I know, there isn't
    an excuse for it. You could always switch to smaller drives, like
    4x500 rather than 2x1TB.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N82E16822148278

    Paul
    Paul, Sep 26, 2008
    #3
  4. Paul Goldman

    Paul Goldman Guest

    Here's exactly what I did:

    My client was running Windows 2003 SBS with a Raid-1 286Gig array as the
    boot drive. In addition, they are running Symantec Backup Exec System
    Recovery (sort of like the server version of Norton Ghost 12). They wanted
    to increase the capacity, so I purchased 2 1TB Samsung HD103UJs. I replaced
    the 2 smaller hard drives with the 2 larger hard drives assuming (silly me!)
    that the Raid would work exactly as before. I then booted from the Symantec
    System Recovery CD, and restored the image backup to the new hard drive.
    When I tried to reboot, it couldn't find a raid array. I then disabled the
    onboard raid and reconfigured as 2 hard drives. The system booted up fine,
    so I now have the system running on a single 1TB drive. The other drive had
    remained unpartitioned, so when Windows came back up, I created a partition
    on the second drive (currently the D: drive) and formatted it.

    Knowing that (at least) I had a bootable hard drive installed, I then tried
    to get the array back up, but I could not get the Raid Manager to come up
    successfully. All but 1 time the pressing of F10 did nothing. Just once I
    did get the Raid Manager to come up, but it was frozen. I couldn't move the
    cursor or enter any data into the screen.

    Figuring that there was a problem with the raid controller functionality on
    the motherboard, I purchased a SIIG 4-port SATA raid controller. When I
    plugged that thing into the motherboard, I could not get the SIIG raid
    manager software to come up. I got the message to press Ctrl-S or F4, but it
    never responded. As a matter of fact, I don't think I could even boot up
    with the SIIG card installed. So I uninstalled the SIIG, and I am now
    running on just the single drive.

    If it's not obvious on how to proceed with a hardware raid solution, what do
    you think of using the Windows Server software raid functionality?


    "Bill" <> wrote in message
    news:MPG.2346e8964adc31bf9899b4@localhost...
    > In article <X09Dk.8888$>,
    > says...
    >> Thanks.
    >>
    >> The board recognizes the drives when they are not configured as a Raid
    >> array. In fact, I am running currently on one of the drives as the C:
    >> drive
    >> with the other the D:. I am running Windows 2003 Small Business Server.
    >> If I
    >> can't get this thing to go with hardware Raid, I may configure as
    >> software
    >> Raid.
    >>
    >> What is the performance implications of changing from SATA1 and SATA2?

    >
    > Damn little. The only thing difference is the burst speed.
    > Throughput is still a matter of the mechanical properties of the
    > drive i.e. RPM, seek speed, disk density, etc. SATA2 is mostly a
    > marketing gimmick.
    >
    > Did you partition and format the drives before you tried to put them
    > into an array?
    >
    >> Also,
    >> I didn't notice any jumpers. Do all SATA hard drives have jumpers?

    >
    > I think some <Hitachis?> can be set with a software program, but the
    > WD's and Seagates I've seen take a jumper. The SATA jumper settings
    > are in the below document.
    >
    > http://www.wdc.com/en/library/eide/2579-001037.pdf
    >
    > Just because the jumper isn't there doesn't mean it might not be
    > needed. It just means the manufacturer saved .002 cents per drive by
    > not putting it on. :)
    >
    > <snip>
    >>

    >
    > Bill
    > --
    > GMail & Google Goobers.
    > This century's answer to AOL and WebTV.
    Paul Goldman, Sep 26, 2008
    #4
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