Promise FastTrak RAID controller on Gigabyte GA-8IHXP board

Discussion in 'Gigabyte' started by milleniumaire, Oct 12, 2003.

  1. I have 2 x DiamondMax+ D740X 40gb UDMA133 connected to IDE 3&4 and
    striped in RAID 0 configuration using the onboard Promise RAID
    Controller (MB FastTrack 133 Lite)

    Since using this configuration (about a year now) I have had four
    occasions where the array has gone off-line and I have had to rebuild
    it (loosing the contents of the two hard drives). Two of these
    problems have occurred within the last week! I have images (using
    Drive Image 7) of my disks but it is still tiresome to have to restore
    when it happens and I am seriously thinking about dumping the RAID
    setup altogether if it happens again.

    I have a few questions regarding RAID:

    1. Am I correct in assuming that when the array goes off-line it is
    because the information used by the controller to determine where data
    is stored has become corrupt? Is there any way of checking this
    "information" (like doing a disk check)? Is this "information"
    underneath the O/S system or is the information stored in files just
    like O/S files. (I suspect the former).

    2. When I create an image of my drives (partitions on the RAID array),
    am I also potentially copying the "information" used by the array.
    Obviously, if I am and this becomes corrupt without me knowing it then
    I am including the problem "files" in my images and so restoring will
    simply re-present the problem.

    3. Within 12 hours of restoring my RAID array for the 4th time I got
    the following message being reported by FastTrak (I have switched
    logging on):

    ERROR ECC Error : Disk MAXTOR 6L040J2 (Channel 2, Master) at LBA

    What does this mean? Is my array about to crash for the 5th time? Is
    there any way of checking the problem further and fixing it (if
    anything needs to be fixed)?

    4. When I look at the Array configuration using the FastCheck
    Monitoring Utility it shows my two Maxtor disk drives as being
    identical except for Timing which shows:

    UDMA Mode 6 for the drive on Channel #1
    UDMA Mode 0 for the drive on Channel #2

    Why is the UDMA Mode different for the two identical disk drives?

    Any pointers to information on the Promise FastTrak RAID controller
    would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

    milleniumaire, Oct 12, 2003
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  2. milleniumaire

    jpsga Guest

    Paul .. this is way out of the norm.

    Error Correction Code error at a Logical Block Address appears to be a
    drive problem.
    Too, the drive isn't telling the controller what it is.
    The possibility of a bad cable always exists.changing the 80 conductor cable
    is easiest.
    Since I only set up HighPoint systems, I don't know if you tell the
    controller what the drive is or the controller reads/senses the speed.

    In the event that you have to set up again, it might be instructive to swap
    cables and see if UDMA speeds change with it. The problem could also be
    the controller.

    Why didn't your read speed go to pot?

    Where a folder ( directory ) is stored on the disk is the problem of the
    BIOS and OS. EIDE is a evolution of patches put on patches.The drive wants
    to see CHS addresses. The trip from 500mB drives to 250GB drives has forced
    continuous modifications. We still only have 40 pins to work with, and 16
    of those are data lines.

    I believe the IMAGE software just copies the location of the data on the
    drive as seen by the PCI bus.

    jpsga, Oct 13, 2003
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  3. milleniumaire

    Will Dormann Guest

    You're not using those silly round cables, are you?

    Will Dormann, Oct 13, 2003
  4. milleniumaire

    Alien Zord Guest

    My 8IEXP based system with two 80GB Maxtors in RAID0 config started
    developing clonking noises after about 9 months of use. Then Outlook started
    reporting errors writing data on exit. Not wanting to suffer a catastrophic
    failure I backed up the data and reverted the drives to a single drive RAID
    array each. The clonking noises disapeared and the drives continued working
    normally. Later I replaced them with 120GB Seagates which are much quieter
    and better drives anyway. I'm now reluctant to go the RAID0 route again
    preffering to use bigger single drives.
    Alien Zord, Oct 13, 2003
  5. Will,

    I have to admit that I am using round cables, not only that, they are
    long ones - about 18" I think as this was the only way I could connect
    my drives at the top of the tower case with the motherboard at the
    bottom. (I also have two other drives used purely for backup using up
    the drive bays in the lower half of the case).

    I noticed tonight that the UDMA mode of the two drives is now showing
    the same (UDMA Mode 6). Strange! All I have done is re-booted.

    milleniumaire, Oct 13, 2003
  6. Just booted my machine up for the first time after the weekend and I
    got a message similar to the following prior to Windows XP starting:

    This system could not be restarted due to a read failure!

    This wasn't exactly the message, however I normally shut Windows XP
    down into Hibernate mode so that it boots quicker. The message was
    saying that it couldn't recover from hibernate mode and so had to do a
    full boot into Windows XP.

    The system appears to be okay (at the moment) but this seems to be yet
    another indication that something is wrong!

    I ran the Maxtor's Powermax utility to check the integrity of the
    drives and they both check out - no problems reported.

    milleniumaire, Oct 13, 2003
  7. milleniumaire

    Will Dormann Guest

    Don't use round cables. They cause increased cross-talk and the error
    correcting features must work harder. A long round cable is just
    asking for trouble. Worst case is the drive won't work at all. The
    more likely case is you'll have degraded performance.

    Get a nice flat 80-conductor cable and things should work better. If
    you're concerned about airflow, get cables long enough that you can lay
    them down flat out of the way.

    Will Dormann, Oct 13, 2003
  8. milleniumaire

    Jimk Guest

    I've have 2 x WD800JB RAID 0 going for 17 months using the GA-8IHXP
    with zero problems.

    Also using 2 case fans blowing against drives and using "round" IDE

    Gave up on IBM Deskstar's after 3 failures all less then 12 months old
    on each.

    When you set up again, Reformat and run ScanDisk (through) on each
    drive in ATA mode to correct disk errors. DiamondMax might just be
    crappy drives like the Deskstar's.
    Jimk, Oct 14, 2003
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