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Some advice for replacing a horrible highpoint raid card

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July 18, 2010 10:29:01 PM


Some advice for replacing a horrible highpoint raid card
Hi All,

I'm running a Tyan K8WE dual opteron system with Windows 7 64 Bit.
I have a HORRIBLE Highpoint 2340 RAID card installed in a PCIe slot which has caused me headache upon headache in the last couple of years.
Fortunately I have always kept another backup of the RAID system, so when I have had failures (which have been plenty of times) I've always been able to retrieve the data I needed.

I'm looking at replacing the highpoint card that is currently running two RAID5 arrays at 2TB apiece which are running 3 1 TB Hitachi drives in each array.

I have 3 TB total filled on the 2 arrays and I don't forsee filling up the second array for a couple of years (photo raw files) so I'm looking for a card that is actually reliable in keeping my data safe and I'm fine with switching to RAID1 if necessary since I keep an additional backup at all times.

The plethora of options is simply over the top and I'm not seeing a lot of cards that explicitly say that they're Windows7 64bit compatible.

I currently also backup to Backblaze online and I've seen from their descriptions that they use an Addonics card in all of their storage pods, so I was thinking that maybe if they have good luck with those I might also.

I'm totally open to options though, but nothing to do with highpoint because their card sucks and their customer service is even worse.

Thank you for any assistance you may have to offer.

Cheers,

*steve
a c 84 G Storage
July 18, 2010 10:56:26 PM

Have you tried 3Ware or Adaptec controlers?

If I am not mistaken, 2003 and/or Vista 64 drivers should work under Windows 7 should no 7 specific drivers be available.
July 19, 2010 12:16:15 AM

Hey, I bought a HIGHPOINT ROCKETRAID 2310 recently and I am planning to transfer all my files in a 6TB (4X2 Raid 5) configuration.

Could you please mention some of the problems you had because your comment was quite disappointing... I am running Win 7 64bit too, and the only thing I care about is reliability and not speed.

What drives did you use?
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July 19, 2010 5:04:12 AM

Emerald,
I haven't tried those controllers, it's the reason I'm asking. Just looking for some real world advice from the forum rather than depending on manufacturers hyperbole and various ratings on Newegg. Thank you for taking the time to respond though.

Humans Think,
I've had this 2340 for the last 3 years and have had more drive failures on it than all the computers I've owned combined. I currently have Hitachi 1TB HDT721010SLA360 drives in two raid 5 arrays.
One of the arrays just keeps dropping out, but will come back on reboot.
When I installed Windows 7, initally I couldn't get the RAID management to load up but after some fiddling and resinstalling, and prolonged bad information from Highpoint's tech - the management software just started working. No idea why.
Previously, in Windows XP SP2, I had an assortment of WD enterprise class drives at one time, hitachi drives, samsung drives. Each and every time, even with matched sets of drives, the array would fail. Fortunately I kept a backup, but having 6 or 7 drives fail in the space of 3 years is pretty amazing.
When I had the first failure, I managed to get a RAID retrieval program from Highpoint and posted that I did get it from them on a website, and to this day I get weekly requests from people asking for the software because their highpoint device has failed in some way or another.
I'm sure there are some who have had good luck with their controllers, but they will NEVER see another dime of my money again.

This is why I want to know from others which controllers would be best to replace this highpoint piece of junk.

Cheers,

*steve
July 26, 2010 12:01:16 AM

Now rebuilding one of the arrays... again. Hitachi drive failure... but somehow I think that it's not the drive but the controller that just doesn't want to work for me...

November 14, 2010 1:53:30 AM

It sounds like you're experiencing drive dropouts, rather than controller failures, but it's hard to tell from your description.

FWIW, I had (still have, unfortunately) a 3Ware 9550SX-LP8 8-port controller in my dual dual-core Opteron system running W7 x64 Ultimate. Prior to the current config, I also had a Tyan H2000 MB, and it also ran WinXP x64.

I've had nothing but disaster after disaster with the 3ware controller. It's failed 3 times in 3 years, each time losing massive amounts of data. It's actually the controller at fault each time, but I thought it was something I did the first time it failed - and I couldn't duplicate the problem for 12 months, then it went and failed again. Just when I was starting to trust it...

Now it's failed a third time (ports 6 and 7 are badly intermittent and the controller freezes the system), and I've spent a week convincing LSI to send me an exchange controller before I send this one back. Otherwise, it's up to 5 weeks to get a repaired controller!

The second failure, in July 2009, I lost 20+ years' worth of data and customer recordings. The support person sent me the wrong firmware, and it totally screwed the pooch. When I tried to recover, it took 10 days to get a response, as they'd just been bought out by LSI and were changing their systems over. Meanwhile, I'm dead in the water.

I've also had RocketRAID controllers before now, and they only got replaced due to upgrades - apart from some cabling problems, they all worked their little butts off while I thrashed 'em daily.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to find you're having cable issues yourself, but it's not easy to fix unless you have access to top-quality SATA data cables. My experience is that as soon as you go over 15 inches cable length, the quality of the cable dictates the reliability of your RAID.

Sorry to go on about this, but I do feel for your situation!

I'm going to cut my losses and put in a RR 2340 controller to replace the 3ware.
November 14, 2010 2:00:50 AM

Humans think said:
Hey, I bought a HIGHPOINT ROCKETRAID 2310 recently and I am planning to transfer all my files in a 6TB (4X2 Raid 5) configuration.

Could you please mention some of the problems you had because your comment was quite disappointing... I am running Win 7 64bit too, and the only thing I care about is reliability and not speed.

What drives did you use?


I realise this is a long time after you posted, but you mentioned reliability... Do yourself a huge favour and buy "server edition" or "extended runtime" drives. Most manufacturers (WD, Seagate) sell special versions of their popular consumer-level drives, with better bearings and actuators, upgraded firmware, and so on. You'll pay extra, but trust me, it's worth every penny!

FWIW, I bought 8 x Seagate NL35 500GB Barracudas, all of which had reliability problems in the first 2 years. I ended up replacing them one at a time with NL35 ES drives, which have been running 24/7 for nearly 4 years without any hiccups (touch wood! :) ) The ES drives were AUD$35 more per drive, but they came with 3-year warranties, so it was a good deal from my perspective!

November 24, 2010 6:24:46 AM

PC Pete said:
I realise this is a long time after you posted, but you mentioned reliability... Do yourself a huge favour and buy "server edition" or "extended runtime" drives. Most manufacturers (WD, Seagate) sell special versions of their popular consumer-level drives, with better bearings and actuators, upgraded firmware, and so on. You'll pay extra, but trust me, it's worth every penny!

FWIW, I bought 8 x Seagate NL35 500GB Barracudas, all of which had reliability problems in the first 2 years. I ended up replacing them one at a time with NL35 ES drives, which have been running 24/7 for nearly 4 years without any hiccups (touch wood! :) ) The ES drives were AUD$35 more per drive, but they came with 3-year warranties, so it was a good deal from my perspective!





Sorry to blow the "its the cheap drives at fault" argument out of the water but the RR 2340's I have been dealing with (46 x Linux NAS units with these cards supporting 12 X Seagate 1TB ST31000340NS Enterprise drives in RAID 5) have been an absolute nightmare and spitting drives out on a regular basis. We have just had two cards replaced for dropping or not recognising drives with a third suspect undergoing burn in testing and a fourth replaced about 6 months ago.

We actually dragged Seagate in who would not admit an issue but said that another version of firmware on the drives would be preferable. In desperation (while waiting for drives to be RMAd) we have fitted some 'desktop' class Seagate drives to rebuild the arrays with, and not one of those is showing issues, with the enterprise class drives in the same array showing increasing numbers of bad sectors.

Lastly, I have a W2003 server with the exact same drives (1 x mirror and 3 x JBOD) and not a flicker.

I would stay well away from this card in future under any OS.

Mosschops13
November 26, 2010 6:52:35 PM

semillerimages said:
Some advice for replacing a horrible highpoint raid card
Hi All,

I'm running a Tyan K8WE dual opteron system with Windows 7 64 Bit.
I have a HORRIBLE Highpoint 2340 RAID card installed in a PCIe slot which has caused me headache upon headache in the last couple of years.
Fortunately I have always kept another backup of the RAID system, so when I have had failures (which have been plenty of times) I've always been able to retrieve the data I needed.

I'm looking at replacing the highpoint card that is currently running two RAID5 arrays at 2TB apiece which are running 3 1 TB Hitachi drives in each array.

I have 3 TB total filled on the 2 arrays and I don't forsee filling up the second array for a couple of years (photo raw files) so I'm looking for a card that is actually reliable in keeping my data safe and I'm fine with switching to RAID1 if necessary since I keep an additional backup at all times.

The plethora of options is simply over the top and I'm not seeing a lot of cards that explicitly say that they're Windows7 64bit compatible.

I currently also backup to Backblaze online and I've seen from their descriptions that they use an Addonics card in all of their storage pods, so I was thinking that maybe if they have good luck with those I might also.

I'm totally open to options though, but nothing to do with highpoint because their card sucks and their customer service is even worse.

Thank you for any assistance you may have to offer.

Cheers,

*steve


I've had great experiences with LSI controllers and Dell PERC controllers (made by LSI) as well as Adaptec. I've had bad luck with an Nvidia raid controller a client of mine has on her server. I do find with the LSI that the SATA cable adapters do not like being bumped while the system is on (the pins are really narrow), but that is my only complaint.
November 27, 2010 2:10:12 AM

I used an Adaptec IDE RAID controller for > 5 years without any hitches whatsoever. I just had to upgrade to something with SATA connectors because it was too hard to find IDE drives any more. :( 

I got about a year's worth of work out of my first LSI (3Ware) controller before it lost everything. Then another year before the next one did, and a third year until the last. :fou: 

I also had bags of trouble with Tyan's bizarre PCIe implementation (on a 3992 and a H2000 dual, dual-core Opteron boards). Tyan don't bother to test many 3rd party cards, especially any card that duplicates functions they include on the MB, like video, RAID, etc. That's from the horse's mouth, btw. It made me change to Super Micro immediately!

LSI seems to be a better RAID option than 3Ware, if only because their designs seem to be more leading edge. They're bux more expensive, but it might be worth the extra expense. YMMV. I'm a bit tired of expensive RAID controllers that all turn out to be "entry level" when it comes to replacing or upgrading them!
!