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Everything posted by captain_video

  1. If you're looking for an inexpensive setup to get you started, I built mine based on a Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H motherboard. It allows booting from a USB flash drive, has onboard video, and has both a PCI-E x16 and x4 slot, both of which can support a Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 8-port SATA controller. With the 4 ports on the motherboard, this gives you up to 20 SATA ports. The motherboard is a couple years old but you can probably find one on ebay dirt cheap. They were inexpensive even when new (around $50-60, IIRC). Toss in a couple of gigabytes of RAM and an AMD CPU with an ample power supply and you'll have a nice unRAID server that won't break the bank. Mine has been running strong for over two years and counting.
  2. I had issues with the 1.5TB versions of the EARS drives. They worked fine when used without the jumper, but when I tried to install it with the jumper I couldn't even get the array to boot up. I tried to perform a preclear but the server would just hang and never finish booting. I ended up performing a low level format on the drive with the jumper installed. I was able to get one drive formatted using the Windows version of the WD Lifeguard Diagnostics and an external SATA to USB drive bay but the 2nd drive wasn't even recognized. I had to use the newer Acronis diagnostic software downloaded from the WD website and run it from a boot disc. After that I was able to preclear both drives and get them up and running in the array. I would highly recommend trying to install only one drive at a time and not two at once. It's going to take you longer to complete the setup but you'll probably have better luck getting it going.
  3. Yes, it does work with the latest version of unRAID. I would venture a guess that the type of cable you mentioned would work, but I'd check the websites for both Supermicro and the backplane manufacturer for accurate info. Either of them should have a support link where you can ask the question.
  4. I was using this card along with a Promise SATA300 TX4 card, both in PCI slots. I had four drives connected to onboard SATA controllers with all eight of the AOC-SAT2-MV8 slots occupied. The remaining two drives out of a total of fourteen were connected to the Promise controller. Parity checks typically ran on the order of about 36-40 hours, with the largest drives being 1.5TB (six, including parity). The rest of the drives were all 750GB. I have since switched out both the AOC-SAT2-MV8 and the Promise controller for a Supermicro 8-port PCI-E controller and an Adaptec 4port PCI-E controller. I'm down to thirteen drives total with a 2TB parity drive. The twelve data drives are all 1.5TB. Parity checks now run about 6-1/2 to 7 hours.
  5. I don't think so. Here's one that will work: You've got to make sure it's the forward breakout cable and not the reverse breakout.
  6. It comes with the low profile bracket installed. If you have a normal case then you'll have to swap it with the regular bracket.
  7. I've got two of the 1.5TB EARS discs. I originally installed one without the jumper and the array seemed to work fine except that it would hang on large file transfers and then crap out. I tried it with the jumper installed but unRAID refused to boot. I then tried to perform a preclear but I couldn't get the array to boot even with it in an unassigned slot. I ran a low level format on the drive and then it let me preclear it. The 2nd drive precleared with the jumper installed right off the bat. When I installed the 1st drive in place of a smaller one the array refused to start. The 2nd drive replacement went like clockwork. I've run the diagnostics on the 1st drive and it passed so I'm at an impasse with regards to using it in the unRAID array. I'll probably run some more tests and hope it actually fails so I can RMA the darned thing.
  8. Tivo has been using this type of cable in their series 3 and newer models for over three years now. I'm surprised their popularity hasn't taken off. It's definitely more convenient than having to plug in two cables on a hard drive, especially if the working area is a bit tight.
  9. Neither did I. It looks just like the "R" cables I bought. The referenced listing is from the Australian ebay site.
  10. I just went back and checked the thread that listed the compatible cables and it does indicate that I need a forward cable. I didn't look closely enough at the part number to realize it had an "R" instead of an "F". I just assumed that as long as the cable had an SFF8087 connector at one end and four SATA connectors at the other I was golden. That's what I get for being in a hurry to order the cables. OTOH, it's a good news, bad news scenario. The bad news is obvious (i.e., I'm out $30 plus shipping for the cables I already ordered). The good news is that there's still a chance that the controller could work in my PCI-E x16 slot with the right cables. I want to use a 4-port Adaptec 1430SA controller in the PCI-E x4 slot so I can take advantage of all 16 drives (which was recently bumped up to 20 drives in unRAID). If it works and I decide to expand to the full 20 drives at a later date then I can replace the Adaptec card with another Supermicro 8-port card and an additional backplane that I can set up external to the PC case.
  11. I am also going from the card to the drives, although I'm connecting to the drives via a SATA backplane. Are you saying that this cable won't work with this controller? I just installed the controller using these cables and the PC and card are not seeing any of the drives that are connected to it. What's the difference between a forward breakout cable and a reverse breakout cable?
  12. I just ordered one of the Supermicro cards and here's a cable that is reported to be compatible with it: There's another thread here that discusses this card with links to similar cables that will also work. I've seen then in either 0.5m or 1m lengths as well as some that have different lengths for each of the four cables. I don't know anything about your mobo so I can't help you there. I'm in the same boat as you because my current mobo has both a PCI-E X16 and a PCI-E X4 slot and I want to add both the Supermicro 8-port card along with an Adaptec 4-port controller to replace my two PCI cards.
  13. Thanks for the insight and recommendations. Both the Promise 4-port card and the Supermicro 8-port card are running off the PCI bus, which is undoubtedly bogging it down. I'm going to replace the 8-port PCI card with the newer Supermicro 8-port PCI-E card, reducing the number of drives on the PCI bus to just four. I'll also be replacing all of the SATA cables connected to the 8-port card with a pair of breakout cables required for use with the PCI-E SATA controller. I've got lots of extra SATA cables still in plastic bags so I may go ahead and swap the rest out while I'm at it. I'm not sure how to get the syslog but I'm sure a search through the forum will reveal the process.
  14. I'm pretty sure that's the way I have the parity disk connected. The first four drives are connected directly to the motherboard SATA connectors and the parity drive is showing up as drive sdb. I just ordered a Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 8-port card that connects to the PCI-E x4 slot so I'm hoping that will improve my speeds during parity checks and data rebuilds.
  15. I haven't had a chance to try the recommended tweak. Instead, I reinstalled the original 750GB drive and then let it rebuild parity. I just tried to boot with the WD15EARS jumpered drive installed in an unassigned slot but when it checked the drive during the last phase of booting it just kept resetting in an endless loop. I tried to insert the drive in the hot swap bay after it finished booting but unRAID would not recognize the drive, which is about what I expected. I wanted to run the script on the drive but it won't even boot up with the drive installed. Any idea on what I can do to get it to boot up and run preclear on the drive? FWIW, I had an identical drive that I installed without the jumper that integrated into the array with no problems. The issue I had with it was that I couldn't transfer any large files to it without it resetting and losing connection with my PC. When I installed the jumper, the array simply would not finish booting but simply got stuck in an endless loop with a drive not ready error. This happened with the original 1.5TB drive that had data and the jumper was added after the fact as well as a new drive being booted for the first time.
  16. I haven't really visited this forum all that often, mainly because my unRAID array has been up and running fine for the past two years or more. I just recently had some issues that I'm working out and after reading some of these threads I'm starting to feel that my array isn't running as well as I originally thought. Here's a screenshot of my array while it's rebuilding parity. As you can see, the estimated speed is well below what most others are reporting for their arrays. My configuration consists of: Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H motherboard AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ CPU 2GB RAM Promise SATA300 TX4 4-port SATA card Supermicro AOC-SATA2-MV8 14 hard drives shown in the attached image Antec Nine Hundred case 3 Supermicro 5-in-3 SATA backplanes Corsair TX650W PSU I believe the Supermicro SATA card only allows the drives to work as SATA1 devices so could that be why I'm not seeing the same kind of speeds that others are seeing? If that's the case, are there any recommendations for a PCI-E 4-port card that would server me better? I have a 2nd Promise card that I never installed but I only have one PCI-E x4 slot and one x16 slot available as the motherboard only has two standard PCI slots. Aside from the long times to rebuild parity and restore a drive to the array (36+ hours for each process) I am still able to stream Blu-Ray movies to my HTPC with no glitches and totally smooth playback. P.S. I just ran across the thread for the Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 - 8 8-port PCI-E SATA controller card. This looks like it would be a great replacement for my AOC-SATA2-MV8 and it is apparently supported by the latest version of unRAID.
  17. I've got two of the WD15EARS drives that I'm trying to install in my unRAID server in place of two existing 750GB drives. I had initially installed one of the 1.5TB green drives and left off the jumper. The drive seemed to work fine as it rebuilt the data from the drive it replaced via the parity drive. When I attempted to transfer a large file (18GB Blu-Ray rip) to the server, I kept getting an error message about the tower not being found as it was apparently being disconnected and terminating the transfer. After a nightmarish situation which cost me to lose about 1.5 to 2TB of data (a story told in another thread), I was able to rebuild the array. Unfortunately, the problem still persists. I tried adding the jumper but the array would not start up. After a bit more reading I came across this thread. Do I need to pre-clear the drive and then re-install it? If so, what's the process for performing the pre-clear? What's the best way to integrate the new drive into the array as replacement? P.S. A little more searching found me the thread. I'll read up some more and see if I can figure this thing out.
  18. The firmware version is printed on the drive label. If you check the Newegg product page you'll find that they have a download liunk for the firmware update if you clock on the Product Tour tab in the upper righthand corner opf the web page. Otherwise, you'll have to contact Seagate Tech Support and have them e-mail the iso file to you. There's a dedicated thread regarding this issue in the Home Theater Computer section of the AVS Forums. The affected firmware versions are listed around page three of the thread IIRC. I upgraded both my 1.5TB drives using a Thermaltake BlacX external SATA docking station. You connect it to your PC via a USB port and plug the drive into the BlacX module just like an old 8-track tape (for those of you that remember what that was). Press the power button and it gets recognized by your system . The BlacX docking station is available from numerous vendors and has all kinds of rebates associated with it. I got one from RatShack for only $10 after MIR. To perform the firmware upgrade, I disconnected the internal power connectors from all of my internal drives except the CD-ROM and then booted from the CD created from the iso file. The process to upgrade the firmware is straightforward and self-explanatory.
  19. When you formatted the flash drive did you remember to enter the volume label as "UNRAID"? If you didn't it probably won't boot. Just pull the drive and insert it in your main PC and change the volume label.
  20. It all boils down to what you use your server for. I use mine for storing rips of DVDs, HD-DVDs, and Blu-Ray discs. I don't watch movies every day so if a drive dies it's highly probable that I can get it up and running again with a replacement drive before I actually need it. Of course, if I was using the server for storing important data then that would be another issue entirely. Having a spare drive on hand would just be a smart thing to do.
  21. I see some of you using a SATA150 controller vs. a SATA300. Most, if not all, SATA drives these days seem to be SATA300. I know the difference between the two standards has to do with the throughput to and from the drives but is a SATA150 controller adequate to handle SATA300 drives in an array?