FreeNAS Build (Problem with SAS Controller)

Hello All,

I’m working on a pretty awesome NAS and am running into some problems with the SAS controller. Looking for some advice. I can pay with boobies and kittens, shipped to planet of your choice.


Recycled Components
EVGA 590 SLI Motherboard
AMD Athlon 4600+ Windsor Processor
8GB DDR2 G.Skill RAM
Generic 500W PSU

New Components
NORCO RPC-4224 w/ 8087 SAS backplanes
Intel SASUC8I PCI-Expressx8 SAS Controller
Syba CF/IDE Adapter and Transcend High Speed CF Card
Samsung EcoGreen F4 HD204UI 2TB Drives (x8)


I’m going to be running the most current version of FreeNAS. This requires that the hard drives are presented directly to the OS for direct control, rather than as a raid array. This limits me to JBOD type setups to utilize ZFS. Additionally, the case has 5 SAS backplanes with 8087 mini-sas connections.


So, here’s the problem - without the SAS controller installed, the computer boots fine. FreeNAS on CF card working beautifully. However, as soon as I install the SAS controller, it won’t post. There is no post error - it simply reports “memory good” then starts over in an endless loop. The card is green lit LEDs and looks to be powering just fine.

Initially, I thought it might be a bad SAS card, so I RMA’d it and got a replacement. Just tested it this AM, same _exact_ problem. Computer will not post, same exact behavior. Since I’ve now tested with two separate cards, it seems it’s most likely a compatibility problem.

I can’t seem to find any reports of other people having these issues, and I’ve never had a problem with this motherboard, so I’m not sure exactly what’s going on.

I can think of a few possible causes.

The first is that even though the PCI-e standard specifies that the ports are backwards compatible, the PCI-e ports on my MB are not (my board has PCIe 1.0 x16 and x4, but no x8, so the x8 card is in a x16 slot). Not sure how likely this is, or how to test this, without throwing away money.

Second possibility - there is some kind of setting in my BIOS that enables this type of backwards compatibility and I missing it (I’ve looked through about a zillion times not seeing anything that would indicate this is the cause, either I’m blind/dense or this isn’t the problem).

Third - two bad cards in a row. So unlikely.

Fourth - some other kind of bios incompatibility no one else has reported.

So - any ideas? Suggestions? I’m not sure how to proceed at this point. I may possibly return this card and try another?
1 answer Last reply
More about freenas build problem controller
  1. I dont think the SAS controller drivers in including in FreeNAS, therefore if you even able to boot it, you still can not control/Manage the hdd connected to it

    Solution: Exchange for other card that support by FreeBSD (freeNAS)

    I dont think there is a way around it
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