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New RAID Controller or Controller for SSD to solve saturation crashing?

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April 20, 2014 12:22:09 PM

I have an ASUS P8 Z68-V Pro motherboard. I was using 4 1TB Western Digital hard drives in a RAID 10 configuration on the Intel controller for a about a year with no issues. I recently added a Samsung 840 Pro 500GB SSD for my operating system and applications. I attempted to use the JMicron controller on board, but realized it was only SATA II (among other known issues). I placed the SSD on the Intel controller with the RAID array. This works fine, until I transfer large amounts of data between the SSD and the RAID array. This is when I get random BSODs. I believe this issue is caused by saturation of the BUS and want to move the RAID array or the SSD to a PCI-e expansion card.

What would be best, moving the SSD or the RAID array to an expansion card? Any recommendations as to what card to use?
a c 525 G Storage
April 20, 2014 1:12:20 PM

Your motherboard has 9 SATA ports (8 internal and 1 external), so you can have up to 9 drives connected. I doubt it that only 4 HDDs and 1 SSD are saturating your board.

More than likely your problem is software/driver related, or maybe even memory related.

Try these tips before you buy a controller card:

1.) Motherboard's BIOS should be on the latest version (version 3603 if your O/S is Win7 or Win8)
2.) SSD should be on firmware version DXM06B0Q
3.) Latest Intel RAID drivers (12.8.0.1016) should be installed
4.) HDDs should be on Intel ports SATA3G_3 thru SATA3G_6
5.) SSD should be on Intel port SATA6G_1 or SATA6G_2

Also, how did you install the O/S on your SSD? Your SSD should have been the only drive connected during install; and your Intel SATA ports should have been in RAID mode prior to install.

You can also do a Bing or Google search for "BSOD reader" or "BSOD viewer" and install software in order to try to narrow down the cause of your BSODs.


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April 20, 2014 6:28:55 PM

Dereck47 said:
Your motherboard has 9 SATA ports (8 internal and 1 external), so you can have up to 9 drives connected. I doubt it that only 4 HDDs and 1 SSD are saturating your board.


Thank you for the quick reply.

It's not the Motherboard itself but the drive controller. I'm not saying you are not correct, however, Samsung support and several of my more knowledgable associates are of this opinion. Due to Windows 7 compatibility and performance issues with the Marvell and JMicron controllers, all drives are installed on the Intel controller. The issue only arises during a sustained write from the SSD to the RAID array. As well, based on Intel's specification sheet (not the whitepaper), the total combined throughput of this controller appears to be 12Gb/s. I can't believe simultaneous writes to 4 hard drives while reading from a SSD doesn't have the ability to exceed this.

Dereck47 said:
More than likely your problem is software/driver related, or maybe even memory related.


This was my first thought as well. When first attempting to solve this issue I updated all of the drivers. This was a while ago, and the Intel driver you list is newer than the one presently installed. I will update it ASAP.

Dereck47 said:
Try these tips before you buy a controller card:

1.) Motherboard's BIOS should be on the latest version (version 3603 if your O/S is Win7 or Win8)


Check, 3603 11/09/2012

Dereck47 said:
2.) SSD should be on firmware version DXM06B0Q


Check

Dereck47 said:
3.) Latest Intel RAID drivers (12.8.0.1016) should be installed


As mentioned above, I updated to the latest version available at the time I was originally investigating the issue, 11.6.0.1030 (which is still newer than the one listed on the ASUS site). I will see download these directly from the Intel site.

Dereck47 said:
4.) HDDs should be on Intel ports SATA3G_3 thru SATA3G_6


Check

Dereck47 said:
5.) SSD should be on Intel port SATA6G_1 or SATA6G_2


Check

Dereck47 said:
Also, how did you install the O/S on your SSD? Your SSD should have been the only drive connected during install; and your Intel SATA ports should have been in RAID mode prior to install.


Check. Yes, I installed my OS, prior to installing the RAID array and restoring my data.

Dereck47 said:
You can also do a Bing or Google search for "BSOD reader" or "BSOD viewer" and install software in order to try to narrow down the cause of your BSODs.


I really hadn't looked at this, as the BSOD was pointing to the Intel controller with a C5 (typically hardware or driver issue). At this point I was already resolved to install a new controller, unless the consensus of experts here, such as yourself, think otherwise.

UPDATE: I updated the Intel RAID drivers to 12.9.0.1001. I will attempt to reproduce the fault shortly and see if it has any effect. I may still want to upgrade the RAID controller, as to support SATA III, if anyone thinks it would make a difference.
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