A8N32-SLI questions (Coolers, RAID, HDD LED)

Discussion in 'Asus' started by scotthwnet-ng, May 24, 2006.

  1. I have build a system from the following:

    Antec Sonata II with Acoustipack kit
    4GB Corsair XMS PC 3200cpt
    2 - 500 GB Maxtor SATA II

    1) I have successfully setup RAID 1 on the 2 Maxtor drives. At least I
    think I did. I installed Windows 2003 Server, and it only shows the
    one drive, as it should (I guess). So the paranoid in me wants proof
    that my data is being written to both. Any way to do that you know of ?

    1a) What happens if and when one of the drives goes out ? Will I be
    warned ?

    1b) If I take one of these 2 drives out and put it into another system
    just to take a peek, will it look like a viable copy of what I know I
    already created ?

    2) The HDD LED light doesn't work. I have it plugged into the "IDE LED"
    pins on the MB, but no light activity. Makes me wonder if they REALLY
    mean "IDE", as opposed to SATA. Any way to get the HDD LEDs to work
    with SATA ? Also, I have a removable SATA tray for backups (haven't
    tried using it yet). It has its own LED wire with plug. Any way to
    get it to light up ? I don't see any other LED pins on the MB.

    3) I purchased a Zalman CNPS 7000B-AlCu LED heat sink and fan for this
    MB, but could not get it installed. I halted the attempt when I could
    not determine how to approach the metal bracket on the underside of the
    MB. It appeared that HAD to be removed to put the replacement plastic
    bracket on underneath the CPU, as the directions seemed to indicate.
    The existing metal bracket looked more less permanently secured to the
    MB. I have seen reviews about using this specific cooler on this MB,
    but none mention this little glitch. I wrote to one reviewer and he
    said "I removed the stock mounting hardware using a laptop case cracker
    as they are made of plastic. Its little more than a plastic wedge. I
    worked it around the mounting plate until I had broken enough of the
    adhesive loose to allow me to remove it. You have to be careful, but it
    isn't too bad." Ouch, seems harsh. Comments anyone ?

    Thanks all,
    Scott W
    scotthwnet-ng, May 24, 2006
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  2. scotthwnet-ng

    Paul Guest

    1) First off, when using RAID, I recommend your computer be on a
    UPS. The UPS allows an orderly shutdown of a RAID array, and there
    is less likely to be a delta between drives, if the possibility of
    sudden power off is removed.

    Something that makes sense from a theoretical viewpoint, would be
    to take an array offline, then read and compare the two drives to
    see if they are equal. The problem with this approach, is what do
    you do if the drives are not identical ? How would you determine
    which drive was "better" than the other drive ? I have never heard
    of a utility that could do this.

    1a) If a drive goes out, while the BIOS is running, the RAID BIOS
    should pop up a dialog. The array will be marked "critical" or
    "failed", as the case may be. At the OS level, I would expect a
    well written driver to deliver the same kind of information.
    Sometimes, a RAID chip comes with "RAID Management" software,
    and some of those programs can even email you, if the machine
    with the RAID is sitting in a server room. In any case, _experiment_
    with the RAID while there is no data on it, and learn what to
    do in an emergency. The time to experiment, is not when the
    array is full of data, and you have no backups. RAID 1 is not
    a replacement for backups. For example, if the power supply
    overvolts +12V and burns all your drives, you have no spare
    copy of data remaining. That is where the backup you keep outside
    of the machine, comes in handy.

    http://www.nvidia.com/object/IO_28159.html (6MB manual, see pg 141)

    Since you have 500GB drives, those are not a good size for
    experiments. Find the smallest SATA drives you can, and slap
    a pair of those on the machine, then do your experiments. You
    can pull one of those out of the machine "hot", if you pull the
    data cable manually for example. Since you've paid a lot of
    cash for the 500GB drives, I wouldn't pull the cables on those.

    1b) The only way to "take a peek", is via an OS which is known to
    be "read-only". Peeking with Windows will desync the thing.
    If you know it will be desynchronized, you can regenerate the
    array, using your "just-a-peek" drive as the master. That
    way, whatever (innocent) changes made to the drive, will be
    replicated to the slave.

    2) Try reversing the HDD LED, and see if it lights.

    3) An alternative solution is presented here. This alternative
    assumes the original screws are long enough to allow safe
    assembly of the heatsink. Basically, you keep the original
    backplate and original backplate screws, and use the Zalman
    "nipple" as a guide to establishing the right spacing.


    It this "safer" or "better" than taking a spatula to the
    backplate ? You decide :)

    Paul, May 24, 2006
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  3. "1) First off, when using RAID, I recommend your computer be on a

    I bought a 1500 Va unit yesterday - done :)

    "2) Try reversing the HDD LED, and see if it lights. " The manual says
    they are non-polarized, so shouldn't matter. But I tried it anyway to
    no avail.

    "3) An alternative solution is presented here" Good stuff - I will
    give it a whack (I would have wound up at the Zalman site eventually -
    you saved me a bit of time.

    And thanks for the detailed feedback. I saved it for referral.

    scotthwnet-ng, May 24, 2006
  4. scotthwnet-ng

    milleron Guest

    An LED without polarity? How do they do that electrically?

    milleron, May 31, 2006
  5. scotthwnet-ng

    daytripper Guest

    The brute force way? Connect two LED dice in parallel, with one die reversed
    wrt the other. Only one die will conduct at any time, but that's all it'd
    daytripper, May 31, 2006
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