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SilImage 3132 + GA-MA770-S3 + WD5000AAKS = Fail?

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August 21, 2008 1:27:14 PM

Greetings!
I am new here but not with hardware, that is to say, I do not have much experience with RAID but I have built PC's for 15 years since my first Cyrix.

Today I ran in to a wall of frustration. :heink: 
I wanted to configure my latest tower with a Raid for backup and add another couple of SATA ports.
So I went and bought (I honestly could not find any alternative) two Silicon Image Raid expansion cards, PCIE-X1 to SATAII, two ports. In all 4 new SATA ports out of two to be used in a Raid 0 config.

My mobo is a Gigabyte GA-MA770-S3 and I have 5 hdd's.
A Raptor for system and some heavier applications.
A pair of WD5000AAKS and another pair of Seagate drives that are not relevant to my issue.

Connecting everything went fine, I have the slots and cables. Then the strange things began when I was about to configure the Raid with the WD drives. The SI cards would not detect one of the hdd's. It does not matter how I connect them drives, always the same drive remains undetected by the SI cards BIOS.

There are a few combinations to test, but it kept being undetected. When hooking it up to the mobo Sata slots directly it works, but not otherwise.

The really werd thing is that connecting it in Windows (XP64) it shows up like a charm.

Any ideas? Any other tests I could try?
August 21, 2008 3:54:22 PM

If I understand correctly you have 5 drives, a raptor and 2 identical pairs of drives (4 others) and one of the pairs is not detected by the either one of the SI controllers. Correct?

Try to get a SI controller to detect the drive with that being the only drive connected to anything.

Try more than 1 port on the controller and more than 1 cable.

See if it is possible to disable init 13 support on the cards since you will not be booting from them.

run seatools or some other HD test to make sure there is no SMART failure on the drive.

Check cables and the connector on the drive.

Verify that the pair of WD5000AAKS drives have same firmware and really are identical

Try to load RAID management software for the controllers in windows and see if you can create the array that way.

If all else fails get a different controller.
August 21, 2008 4:31:53 PM

Quote:
Try to get a SI controller to detect the drive with that being the only drive connected to anything.
- Done
Quote:
Try more than 1 port on the controller and more than 1 cable.
- Done
Quote:
run seatools or some other HD test to make sure there is no SMART failure on the drive.
- Done (accessing the drive via mobo socket)
Quote:
Check cables and the connector on the drive.
- Done
Quote:
Try to load RAID management software for the controllers in windows and see if you can create the array that way.
- Sometimes it shows but as fawlty or some related message. I know the drive is ok.
Quote:
If all else fails get a different controller.
- Those with two ports seems hard to find, I bought what I found at a reasonable price for private purposes, pro stuff is triple price, if even available.
Quote:
Verify that the pair of WD5000AAKS drives have same firmware http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firmware and really are identical
- To do, never updated firmware on hdd though.
Quote:
See if it is possible to disable init 13 support on the cards since you will not be booting from them.
- To do, hmm how?

Thanks
August 21, 2008 5:19:36 PM

The init 13 part is so the cards do not load a boot rom and take up rom space. Not all cards have this option, and sometimes its called something different like boot rom or option rom. Also this is probably not your issue its just a good idea if you dont boot from a card to turn off the option to boot from it.

As far as replacing the card, why use 2 cards? Just get a single 4 port card. If you want a good low end card Promise make some that might be in your price range. I dont know what your budget is but I would think for around $100-$135 you could get a good low end 4 port controller with good management in windows.

Other than that drive either having different firmware or being defective in some way I dont know why one of the 2 drives is being seen and the other is not.
August 21, 2008 5:55:52 PM

Actually I found no Promise card in that price span (TX4650 costs about $200, Sweden) but I did find an Adaptec 1430SA (SataII) for roughly $110.

I wish I knew about a US hardware store that delivered to Europe...:/
August 21, 2008 6:42:36 PM

I have a 1430SA and its a good card for RAID 0, 1, 10.
August 22, 2008 7:39:44 PM

OK did the first "to do".

Result of WD Diag:

Quote:
Test Option: QUICK TEST
Model Number: WDC WD5000AAKS-00A7B0
Unit Serial Number: WD-WMASY0213080
Firmware Number: 01.03B01
Capacity: 500.11 GB
SMART Status: PASS
Test Result: PASS
Test Time: 21:37:10, August 22, 2008

Test Option: QUICK TEST
Model Number: WDC WD5000AAKS-00A7B0
Unit Serial Number: WD-WMASY0415635
Firmware Number: 01.03B01
Capacity: 500.11 GB
SMART Status: PASS
Test Result: PASS
Test Time: 21:37:48, August 22, 2008



So that one is covered.
August 22, 2008 8:47:12 PM

This at least shows that the 2 drives are identical and there are no SMART failures. I would go ahead and run the long test on the drive in question to test each sector if you have not already.
August 28, 2008 1:21:08 PM

Suddenly one 5000 dropped out. Just like that.

Coming to think of, it might have been after a power failure, but I am not sure since I was not at home. And it was connected directly to the mobo socket.

*sigh*
!