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SATA Controller Cards

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17 minutes ago, Peter Curd said:

This card is listed as “works out of the box” on the wiki.  

It does work out of the box with Unraid, but if you can't get the server to boot...likely it's interfering with the boot order.

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Check to see if the BIOS has 'decided' that it ought to be booting from that drive.

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It is definitely booting from the flash drive, or at least it’s definitely not booting from somewhere else. I’ve forced the boot order manually several times and I should have said that when the flashing cursor appears the keyboard becomes unresponsive (including caps lock and num lock stopping) so it feels more like a crash than a bad boot order. 
 

I’ve tried both UEFI and normal BIOS boots and they both work fine without any disks connected to the controller card but stop with the same symptoms if a disk is connected. I’ve tested with multiple disks, including the disks already in the server so I don’t think it’s a bad disk either. 

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3 hours ago, Peter Curd said:

It is definitely booting from the flash drive

If all you get is a flashing cursor then it is definitely not booting from the flash drive.

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That doesn’t make sense though, unless the bios for the controller card is overriding the bios from the motherboard because I can very definitely see the new disk in the MB bios and see that it’s not selected. I can also force boot from the USB and get the same behaviour. I wonder if it’s worth putting another OS on a disk and connecting to the controller to check. 
 

If it IS doing that is there a way to stop it? I’ve exhausted the options in the MB bios. 

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Can you boot another computer using that flash drive? Can you boot that computer with another flash drive?

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20 hours ago, trurl said:

Can you boot another computer using that flash drive? Can you boot that computer with another flash drive?

I've spent a couple of hours testing a few different scenarios and this is my result:

 

I've formatted both disks tested back to a single exFAT volume in Windows using a USB to SATA reader before beginning.

 

Original USB stick in laptop: Boots to Unraid
Original USB stick in server:
    a) With nothing connected to SATA card: Boots to Unraid
    b) With SSD connected to SATA card: Does not boot, freezes on blinking cursor
    c) With new HDD (SATA2) connected to SATA card: Does not boot, freezes on blinking cursor
New USB stick with fresh Unraid 6.8.1 in server:
    a) With nothing connected to SATA card: Boots to Unraid
    b) With SSD connected to SATA card: Does not boot, freezes on blinking cursor
    c) With new HDD (SATA2) connected to SATA card: Does not boot, freezes on blinking cursor
    e) With SSD connected to USB 2.0 SATA enclosure: Boots to Unraid, disk seen in UI
    f) With SSD connected to USB 3.0 (on USB 2.0 port) SATA reader: Boots to Unraid, disk seen in UI
    g) With new HDD (SATA2) connected to USB (on USB 2.0 port) SATA reader: Boots to Unraid, disk seen in UI
No USB stick in server:
    a) With nothing connected to SATA card: Blank screen, keyboard responds
    b) With SSD connected to SATA card: Blank screen, keyboard responds
    c) With new HDD (SATA2) connected to SATA card: Blank screen, keyboard responds
 

If the SATA card is interfering with boot order then it behaves differently depending on whether the UNRAID USB stick is inserted or not. 

 

It looks like I can use the USB 2.0 enclosure to add my SSD but since I want it as a cache drive this seems non-optimal. 

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With Unraid USB stick install and conditions (b) and (c), can you get to the MB BIOS and see what drives the BIOS recognizes and what drive is trying to boot from?

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Sorry for the long delay @Frank1940, I tried so many things I ended up with a system that wouldn't boot for a bit. In answer to your questions the Dell BIOS did not show any disks at all with either configuration. If I had the existing disks connected then it showed them, only.

 

The server was getting a bit old so I decided not to waste any more time on it and have replaced the motherboard with an ASRock B450 Pro4 (and bought new CPU and RAM to go with it). In this configuration it booted first time with the SSD on the SATA Controller and UNRAID is up and happy using the cache drive.

 

I think we can say that the Dell BIOS just isn't compatible with extra SATA cards (or at least, not this one). I now have a Dell Optiplex I'll need to find a home for!

 

Thanks for your help,

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Hi Guys, I seem to be having a similar problem to Peter. I have a generic ASMedia card ASM1061, and cannot seem to get it running in my server.

Whenever I have a drive connected I get a kernel panic during the boot into UNRAID. BIOS shows the drive connected, and I have taken it out of the boot order.

System boots into UNRAID perfectly fine when there is no drive connected, but thats just defeating the purpose.

I have tried two different drives, kernel panic seems to occur at the same time with each.

If anyone has suggestions for fixes troubleshooting I would be grateful. Thanks.

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40 minutes ago, DeanJanscak said:

If anyone has suggestions for fixes troubleshooting I would be grateful. Thanks.

Try with a different brand/model device if possible, some devices might have issues with a specific controller, I know for example that some 2.5" Seagate drives have some with Asmedia controllers, same for some HGST 2.5" drives and LSI controllers.

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I'm pretty sure all I have are Western Digital... All the drives in the array, and the two devices I tested with are definitely all WD, and the one other naked drive I have around is also WD. Just really old.

I'll see if I can dig up something different just to test with, and come back.

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Hi,

Does anyone know the length of this LSI card?  Trying to see if it will fit in my case. 

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/SAS9207-8I-DELL-LSI-SAS-9207-8I-6GB-S-8-PORT-PCIE-3-0-SAS-SATA-HBA-RAID-CARD/184366793937?hash=item2aed1e04d1:g:6E4AAOSwbG9fEQ9s

 

If it's longer than 8 inches, does anyone know of a good LSI 8port card that is around 8 inches? TIA

 

edit: Amazon was no help - says it's 1" 😂https://www.amazon.com/LSI-Logic-9207-8i-Controller-LSI00301/dp/B0085FT2JCa

Edited by johnny2678
addl info

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17 minutes ago, johnny2678 said:

Does anyone know the length of this LSI card?  Trying to see if it will fit in my case. 

Contact the E-Bay seller.  It will also give you an idea of his customer service attitude!  Remember on E-Bay, you vet the seller more than the product...

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2nd question on the LSI 8 port cards - looks like all of these are PCI x8 - is that correct?

 

Unless I'm missing something, there aren't any LGA1200 MBs that have x8.  Not on PC Part Picker anyways.

Edited by johnny2678
8 port clarification

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10 hours ago, johnny2678 said:

Unless I'm missing something, there aren't any LGA1200 MBs that have x8. 

You can use then on any x16 slot, usually x8 physical slots are on server boards only.

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I want to switch to unraid but need a controller. I've been looking at

LSI SAS 9300-8I Host Bus Adapter PCI-E 3.0 SATA / SAS 8-Port SAS3 12Gb/s

and

LSI 6Gbps SAS HBA LSI 9200-8i = (9211-8I) IT Mode

 

Would the 12Gb/s vs 6Gb/s make any difference when I use 8TB WD Reds? Any other things to consider or should I just pick the ceapest one of those two? I'm pretty new to this stuff.

 

Thanks in advance

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Would the 12Gb/s vs 6Gb/s make any difference when I use 8TB WD Reds?

No, they would still link @ 6Gb/s, also more than enough bandwidth for spinners.

 

 

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