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How do I use Highpoint RocketHybrid controller

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April 21, 2011 8:47:14 PM

I just got one of these brand new controllers. From the advertising, I thought it would be plug and play, but it is very far from that. After reading the manual, such as it is, and looking at the program interface, I am totally lost. The advertising implied that the speed-up would be automatic and seamless. It now appears that it is anything but automatic.

There is NOTHING in the manual about how the system works. They use terms that are way over my head so I have no way to understand what they are saying. I am very experienced with computers, but have almost no experience with RAID. The manual seems to assume that you are a RAID expert so you don't need any explaination of terms or help in choosing what you want to do or how.

Has anyone sucessfully set this up and used it for anything more than very basic use? I would like any pointers they can give me.

I went to Highpoint's web site. They do not offer anything but web based support. That means days, if not weeks, of e-mailing back and forth to try to get each other to understand what the other is saying. I was totally shocked when I found out that was the only support they offer. Had I known that, I would have made other plans that did not involve any of that company's products. Now I am painted into a corner because I planned two projects with this product playing a crucial role. Yes, my mistake.

The company that I bought it from also does not offer any tech support. This product is brand new and most companies would not have any tech support for it anyway.

Any ideas?
May 4, 2011 7:04:12 PM

Hi dmcomputerguy:

What kind of system are you running (version of Windows)? The card is an AHCI device – Windows 7, 2008 and vista include driver support. It will not show up under “Storage Controllers” (Device Manager). Instead, check under “IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers”. Several AHCI entries should be listed (note, your motherboard may also have AHCI compliant hardware, listed here).

The card uses Marvell’s RAID interface (HighPoint manufactures the physical card in this case, but not the interface/drivers/etc.). Yes, it can be a bit difficult to sort out, if you are not familiar with RAID cards.

Try their quick guide instead – it has a walk-through with screenshots.
http://www.highpoint-tech.com/PDF/RH122x/HPBD_create.pd...

Otherwise, if you are running one of the operating systems mentioned earlier, you can simply install it (physically) and make sure your drives are recognized. The Windows software is optional.
You can configure everything (for automatic use) at the BIOS level (it’s actually easier to use, in my opinion) – press Control + M when booting your system (this command should be displayed).

Brent
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May 5, 2011 4:21:34 AM

Tom Harris said:
Hello,

You can download the details User Manual from this link: http://www.highpoint-tech.cn/PDF/RH122x/RocketHybrid122...

Or you can check this link How to Creating a High-Performance Boot Drive : http://www.highpoint-tech.com/PDF/RH122x/HPBD_create.pd...


Thank you for your reply, Tom. I had already tried to read both of those. As I said in my original post, I have already tried to answer my questions from reading the manual, but many of the topics I wanted to know about are not even in the manual. Even though I am extremely experienced with computers, the terminology in parts that are there, and I need, is way over my head.

I am not trying to use this in a boot drive, but in a data drive. While logic says the concepts are the same, the "how to create ..." does not address this so I am simply guessing. I don't think it is proper that I have to guess.

Just curious, your answer and another person's kind of look like you two are employees of that company. Are you?
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May 5, 2011 4:39:20 AM

Brent_88 said:
Hi dmcomputerguy:

What kind of system are you running (version of Windows)? The card is an AHCI device – Windows 7, 2008 and vista include driver support. It will not show up under “Storage Controllers” (Device Manager). Instead, check under “IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers”. Several AHCI entries should be listed (note, your motherboard may also have AHCI compliant hardware, listed here).

The card uses Marvell’s RAID interface (HighPoint manufactures the physical card in this case, but not the interface/drivers/etc.). Yes, it can be a bit difficult to sort out, if you are not familiar with RAID cards.

Try their quick guide instead – it has a walk-through with screenshots.
http://www.highpoint-tech.com/PDF/RH122x/HPBD_create.pd...

Otherwise, if you are running one of the operating systems mentioned earlier, you can simply install it (physically) and make sure your drives are recognized. The Windows software is optional.
You can configure everything (for automatic use) at the BIOS level (it’s actually easier to use, in my opinion) – press Control + M when booting your system (this command should be displayed).

Brent


Thank you for your reply, Brent. I am curious as to how long you have had yours installed and how you chose between the various choices on all the parameters. Please tell me about your setup.

I am using Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit. I do have the card and the software installed. This is not a regular RAID and unless I am way off base, it's function isn't very much like a regular RAID. My understanding is that the SSD acts as a kind of cache for the HD. That is not at all like a RAID.

I have configured it via it's BIOS. The problem is that I can't find where it explains what the different choices do. At least not in terminology that I can understand.

Actually, I have finally started getting answers from tech support, but it is extremely slow because it is always very difficult to learn how a new product works via brief e-mails. According to what I now understand from them, it is not automatic. The literature implies says it is automatic, but tech support says it is not. They did tell me how to manually configure files and folders, but since I can't find any instructions about it, I have to just hope I did it effectively.

I have questions like: How much can be manually added and how do I chose what to add? Should it be files or the full folder? What about swap or work files? How big of a file can it handle? What if my list of files is bigger that the SSD capacity, will it still work or will it not work at all?

It would help me to understand the concepts of it's operation beyond the basics. Is my understanding of the SSD as a cache accurate? If so, what is the value of what they call "capacity" mode? Is there any automatic setting of what to cache, as the literature says, or is it 100% manual, as tech support says?

I want to know how something works, not just put it in and assume it is okay. That way I can ensure that everything is working the best way possible. I want to set the parameters to accomplish what I intended not just a generic something. As it is, I have to keep guessing and hope it is working.

Just curious, your answer and another person's kind of look like you two are employees of that company. Are you?
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Best solution

May 7, 2011 1:24:01 AM

Hi:
I've had one of these for ~10 days. I can answer some of your questions, but believe me: I'm also confused and frustrated by the incomplete (and dreadful) documentation.

I was most interested in Auto mode. What it SHOULD do in theory is monitor file access frequency, and move busy files to the SSD. It's a GREAT idea, same as implemented really well in the Seagate Momentus.

I hooked a 1T 3G/sec HDD and a 128G Crucial C300 SSD to the RocketHybrid. But how to test auto mode? Normal disk tests can't work, because they create and delete temp files in the root folder, so they're not frequently accessed (and besides, the root folder CANNOT be selected for optimization).

I figured out how to test: Load a few hundred G of files into a Auto-optimized folder, then repeatedly copy 20G of them onto my pre-existing SSD boot drive. The transfer should (greatly) speed up over time as those 20G of files get auto-moved to the SSD part of the hybrid. But the results I got were just utter nonsense. Likewise when I explicitly accelerated a 20G folder then copied it to my boot SSD. I have the results posted on Amazon, if you're interested.

But the WEIRD thing is that I also ran PerformanceTest (a standard HDD test), and it says my hybrid is 3x faster than my 6G/sec WD Black drive. Given that PerformanceTest is writing/reading temp files on the root folder, that makes NO sense.

Right now I'm backing up my 6G/sec data drive. When done, I'll hook it up with the Crucial on the RocketHybrid and re-test, but this whole process is FAR more bleeding-edge than it needs to be. (Are you listening, HighPoint?)
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May 9, 2011 2:50:10 AM

outRIAAge said:
Hi:
I've had one of these for ~10 days. I can answer some of your questions, but believe me: I'm also confused and frustrated by the incomplete (and dreadful) documentation.

I was most interested in Auto mode. What it SHOULD do in theory is monitor file access frequency, and move busy files to the SSD. It's a GREAT idea, same as implemented really well in the Seagate Momentus.

I hooked a 1T 3G/sec HDD and a 128G Crucial C300 SSD to the RocketHybrid. But how to test auto mode? Normal disk tests can't work, because they create and delete temp files in the root folder, so they're not frequently accessed (and besides, the root folder CANNOT be selected for optimization).

I figured out how to test: Load a few hundred G of files into a Auto-optimized folder, then repeatedly copy 20G of them onto my pre-existing SSD boot drive. The transfer should (greatly) speed up over time as those 20G of files get auto-moved to the SSD part of the hybrid. But the results I got were just utter nonsense. Likewise when I explicitly accelerated a 20G folder then copied it to my boot SSD. I have the results posted on Amazon, if you're interested.

But the WEIRD thing is that I also ran PerformanceTest (a standard HDD test), and it says my hybrid is 3x faster than my 6G/sec WD Black drive. Given that PerformanceTest is writing/reading temp files on the root folder, that makes NO sense.

Right now I'm backing up my 6G/sec data drive. When done, I'll hook it up with the Crucial on the RocketHybrid and re-test, but this whole process is FAR more bleeding-edge than it needs to be. (Are you listening, HighPoint?)


Great reply, thank you. Can you post a link to that Amazon info? The real bottom line here is that this is an unnecessarily confusing issue. There is no reason that it should be. I have written many technical instructions that can be understood by the average person so I know it can be and should be done.

The manual can help you install the hardware and software, but it definately does not help you to understand how this system works. That means that you can't do anything to help yourself understand what to do to make this different. We should not be expected to blindly install this without understanding it.

Looking forward to seeing your results.

The wording of the other two people's answers make me think that they are company employees. Highpoint's response to my continued pleas for help were essentially "read the manual." I kept telling them that I had and it does not answer my questions. They did give something of an answer to some specific questions, but when I told them that their answer still doesn't make it understandable, they really didn't help. I can't see myself ever buying another of their company's products again. It is too frustrating to use their products if I can't get the answers that I need.
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May 16, 2011 3:06:22 PM

Best answer selected by dmcomputerguy.
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