SATA Controller Cards


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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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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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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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  • 2 weeks later...

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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  • 2 months later...

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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  • 3 months later...

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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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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  • 1 month later...

Can anyone please give me a recommendation on controller cards to replace my current ones? I have the warning in the Fix Common Problems plugin about having Marvel-based hard drive controllers. I would like to replace them before I start encountering any serious issues. I wasn't aware of the problem with Marvel controllers when I did the build (and honestly I just copied the components from another server I found on PCPartPicker).

 

For reference: I have the Supermicro X9DR3-F as my motherboard and my current controllers are two of the Supermicro AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 cards. The cables I bought to connect the controllers to my drives can be seen here.

 

With this in mind, what is a good card you can recommend that I can buy two of and just plug into my current system without any issues? Thanks in advance for your help.

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22 minutes ago, Tiller said:

Can anyone please give me a recommendation on controller cards to replace my current ones?

See here:

 

    https://forums.unraid.net/topic/69018-sata-controller-replacement-question-and-advice/?tab=comments#comment-630097

 

Just be sure they are flashed into the IT MODE unless you are comfortable in flashing (or cross-flashing) cards.  E-bay is a good place to shop for these cards.  Be sure to carefully vet the vendor and pick one based in your country.  Do not shop strictly on price.  There are a lot of counterfeit cards coming out of China.  LSI is only making cards using the latest chip sets.  (However, they are also selling the earlier chip sets and Chinese manufacturers have reversed engineered the earlier card...)

Edited by Frank1940
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20 minutes ago, Frank1940 said:

See here:

 

    https://forums.unraid.net/topic/69018-sata-controller-replacement-question-and-advice/?tab=comments#comment-630097

 

Just be sure they are flashed into the IT MODE unless you are comfortable in flashing (or cross-flashing) cards.  E-bay is a good place to shop for these cards.  Be sure to carefully vet the vendor and pick one based in your country.  Do not shop strictly on price.  There are a lot of counterfeit cards coming out of China.  LSI is only making cards using the latest chip sets.  (However, they are also selling the earlier chip sets and Chinese manufacturers have reversed engineered the earlier card...)

Awesome, thanks for the quick reply.

 

I did a quick search on Amazon and I found these. Does that look like it would work? The description says it has already been flashed to IT MODE and the seller appears to be based out of Maryland.

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1 hour ago, Tiller said:

I did a quick search on Amazon and I found these. Does that look like it would work? The description says it has already been flashed to IT MODE and the seller appears to be based out of Maryland.

Well, first thing, the description does not match the product.  This is a Dell RAID card (which was made by LSI) which has been cross-flashed to the corresponding LSI firmware.  The delivery time seems long for a Product that is in stock in the USA.  The vendor has had only four reviews in the past 90 days and none for the item...

 

BTW, Amazon is not noted for vetting the claims of many of the vendors who just sell on their site.  You do get a good protection is for product "fulfilled and shipped by Amazon" but shipments direct from a vendor I don't believe has this level of protection. 

 

I recently bought one of these from this vendor:

 https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-VGXKD-LSI-9207-8i-6Gbps-SAS-PCIe-3-0-HBA-P20-IT-Mode-ZFS-FreeNAS-unRAID/162862201664?hash=item25eb57fb40:g:kmQAAOSwwste8S8V

and also found that he has these:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Fujitsu-D2607-A21-6Gbps-SAS-HBA-w-LSI-9211-8i-P20-IT-Mode-ZFS-FreeNAS-unRAID/163243700697?hash=item26021531d9:g:ZuoAAOSw9xJcAI9Z

 

While they are used, they are genuine LSI product (made under an OEM contract) which some/most of the 'new' LSI cards are not.  (Most of them are salvaged when server farms were decommissioned.)  Undoubtedly, some of the counterfeit manufacturers may be providing quality products, you can't tell which is which since they all look alike because they even copied the artwork on the PC boards right to the paper labels!

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  • 2 months later...
On 9/5/2020 at 4:18 PM, Frank1940 said:

Well, first thing, the description does not match the product.  This is a Dell RAID card (which was made by LSI) which has been cross-flashed to the corresponding LSI firmware.  The delivery time seems long for a Product that is in stock in the USA.  The vendor has had only four reviews in the past 90 days and none for the item...

 

BTW, Amazon is not noted for vetting the claims of many of the vendors who just sell on their site.  You do get a good protection is for product "fulfilled and shipped by Amazon" but shipments direct from a vendor I don't believe has this level of protection. 

 

I recently bought one of these from this vendor:

 https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-VGXKD-LSI-9207-8i-6Gbps-SAS-PCIe-3-0-HBA-P20-IT-Mode-ZFS-FreeNAS-unRAID/162862201664?hash=item25eb57fb40:g:kmQAAOSwwste8S8V

and also found that he has these:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Fujitsu-D2607-A21-6Gbps-SAS-HBA-w-LSI-9211-8i-P20-IT-Mode-ZFS-FreeNAS-unRAID/163243700697?hash=item26021531d9:g:ZuoAAOSw9xJcAI9Z

 

While they are used, they are genuine LSI product (made under an OEM contract) which some/most of the 'new' LSI cards are not.  (Most of them are salvaged when server farms were decommissioned.)  Undoubtedly, some of the counterfeit manufacturers may be providing quality products, you can't tell which is which since they all look alike because they even copied the artwork on the PC boards right to the paper labels!

 

 

I have an older MSI with Z170A chipset and an i5-6600k CPU that I want to replace in my server.  I have 20 drives in my server currently and looking to upgrade from my older Opteron 2346 HE setup running 3x AOC-SASLP-MV8.  Would those Dell cards you listed work?  The reason for my upgrade is if someone is watching a 4k stream from plex remotely I have the PMS dumb it down a bit so that there isn't buffering issues, but it almost won't play at all so I assume the CPU is the bottleneck because I have gigabit internet.  Streaming to a 4k TV remotely works fine because there is no transcoding happening.  

I assume going from SATA 3gbps to 6gbps and the faster cpu would help if not fix the problem?  I've searched eBay for 3 days trying to find another server board and cpu combo but tbh I have no idea what I'm looking at.

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13 hours ago, minuzle said:

 

 

I have an older MSI with Z170A chipset and an i5-6600k CPU that I want to replace in my server.  I have 20 drives in my server currently and looking to upgrade from my older Opteron 2346 HE setup running 3x AOC-SASLP-MV8.  Would those Dell cards you listed work?  The reason for my upgrade is if someone is watching a 4k stream from plex remotely I have the PMS dumb it down a bit so that there isn't buffering issues, but it almost won't play at all so I assume the CPU is the bottleneck because I have gigabit internet.  Streaming to a 4k TV remotely works fine because there is no transcoding happening.  

I assume going from SATA 3gbps to 6gbps and the faster cpu would help if not fix the problem?  I've searched eBay for 3 days trying to find another server board and cpu combo but tbh I have no idea what I'm looking at.

The CPU upgrade should solve the transcoding problem.  However, as I recall, you definitely want to move away from those AOC_SASLP-MV8 cards as they often have problems with newer hardware.  There is a hardware section of this forum.  You should also look at turning on the 'Signatures' of many posters on this forum.  (   Click on your user name at top of page   >>>   Account Settings   >>>    Signature     Then slide on the "View Signature" button.  )  That will show the range of hardware used by many posters and you can often deduce from their posting what they are using that hardware to do.

 

You can also post in the Plex support thread and ask about CPU requirements for transcoding of 4K material.  (I also believe that transcoding can be off-loaded to some GPU's which is a real plus!)

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