Jump to content
mark-hc

Gigabyte EP-35-DS3R HPA or Not?

20 posts in this topic Last Reply

Recommended Posts

I'm running Unraid 4.3.3.

 

I have a 1 Terabyte WD Black in Sata0 as Parity

I have a 1 Terabyte WD Black in Sata1 as Disk 1

 

Both disks report a size of 976,762,552.

 

According to the online manual this motherboard has "Virtual DualBIOS" which I understand is HPA.

 

So how come I do not have an HPA problem?

 

Can anyone elseconfirm that this motherboard uses HPA?

Share this post


Link to post

You may well have it on both your disks (for whatever reason). One way to check is to look through the syslog.  I have a couple drives that have the HPA on them and I have never bothered to try and remove it.

Share this post


Link to post

I can't remember the exact wording but there will be a clear line in the syslog about HPA detected (or something similar).

Share this post


Link to post

Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3R motherboard

 

Yes, I can confirm it uses HPA...

 

If one of your disks has HPA on it, you will see lines similar to this in the syslog:

 

Nov 8 20:24:55 Tower kernel: ata3.00: ATA-8: ST31000340AS, SD15, max UDMA/133

Nov 8 20:24:55 Tower kernel: ata4.00: HPA detected: current 1953523055, native 1953525168

 

I was unaware of this property of Gigabyte MBs when I built my server.   Had I known, I would have paid much closer attention to it.  As such, I have assigned my parity drive accordingly.   I fear that if parity drive ever needs to be replaced, I might run into HPA problems.  Some GB MBs have in option in BIOS such as 'Save copy of BIOS to HD' that can be enabled or not (I assume this affects HPA).   The EP35-DS3R has no option that I'm aware of; it cannot be turned on/off by user.

 

There are a few threads here concerning HPA.

 

I would suggest that you assign your parity drive as a disk that has size defined as 976,762,552 and not 976,761,496.

 

Also, here is a screenshot of unRaid Main:

 

Share this post


Link to post

Also, here is a screenshot of unRaid Main:

 

Wow, that looks like 6 HPAs!

 

As of a few years ago, drive manufacturers must have agreed on a convention to set the max size in sectors to the same value for a given disk size.  Drives all now seem to have a sector count that ends in 168.  Drives with the Gigabyte HPA have a sector count that ends in 055.  The actual sector count difference is 2113.

Share this post


Link to post

By the way, the original poster is using v4.3.3, and that version and even several since then have a bug in the Linux kernel module that deals with those sector counts.  For these large drives, you may see a faulty HPA error in your syslog, looking similar to the following:

HPA detected: current 2930277168, native 18446744072344861488

The 'current' is the correct sector count, the 'native' is always an enormous number completely out of range, a bad interpretation of the bytes encoding the number.  Recent versions have fixed this.  You can still determine if this is a Gigabyte HPA by examining the last 3 digits of the 'current', if 168 then full size, if 055 then a true HPA.

 

This little 'rule' does not necessarily apply to older drives.

Share this post


Link to post

I did not find any HPA in my syslog. here is what I've found:

 

Sep 27 13:14:17 Unraid kernel: ata1.00: ATA-8: WDC WD1001FALS-00J7B1, 05.00K05, max UDMA/133

Sep 27 13:14:17 Unraid kernel: ata1.00: 1953525168 sectors, multi 0: LBA48 NCQ (depth 31/32)

Sep 27 13:14:17 Unraid kernel: ata2.00: ATA-8: WDC WD1001FALS-00J7B1, 05.00K05, max UDMA/133

Sep 27 13:14:17 Unraid kernel: ata2.00: 1953525168 sectors, multi 0: LBA48 NCQ (depth 31/32)

Sep 27 13:14:17 Unraid kernel: ata3.00: ATA-7: ST3500630AS, 3.AAK, max UDMA/133

Sep 27 13:14:17 Unraid kernel: ata3.00: 976773168 sectors, multi 0: LBA48 NCQ (depth 31/32)

ep 27 13:14:17 Unraid kernel: ata6.00: ATA-8: ST3500320AS, AD14, max UDMA/133

Sep 27 13:14:17 Unraid kernel: ata6.00: 976773168 sectors, multi 0: LBA48 NCQ (depth 31/32)

 

I wonder if people are only affected by HPA if they attempt to update the motherboard bios after an unraid installation. I updated my bios once and only before installing unraid and haven't touched it since. It only makes sense that the bios would write its backup to the disk only when asked to update itself.

 

What are your thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post

I did not find any HPA in my syslog. here is what I've found:

 

<snip>

 

I wonder if people are only affected by HPA if they attempt to update the motherboard bios after an unraid installation. I updated my bios once and only before installing unraid and haven't touched it since. It only makes sense that the bios would write its backup to the disk only when asked to update itself.

 

What are your thoughts?

The Gigabyte MB BIOS apparently will write the HPA a disk where it does not detect file-system partitioning.  Its behavior "rules" are not defined anywhere I've seen.  You might have just gotten lucky.  at least one person had an HPA on a disk connected to a non-MB disk controller card, but generally the disks on ports on the MB are most often involved. (We do not know if the person had the HPA added and then switched cables to the drive from the MB to the add-in controller.) Unfortunately, the parity disk is never partitioned, therefore it is a target for the HPA every time you reboot the server.  If at all possible, put it on a different disk controller.

 

The HPA will be added if it is not detected "any time" the MB is booted, and it is not only when the BIOS is updated.

Share this post


Link to post

I've rebooted my server over a dozen times. I just can't accept "Getting Lucky". You know better than me that computers are "yes" or "no". hardly ever does luck take over and get results.  ;D

Share this post


Link to post

I've rebooted my server over a dozen times. I just can't accept "Getting Lucky". You know better than me that computers are "yes" or "no". hardly ever does luck take over and get results.  ;D

Very true... I should have qualified my statement with "lucky" with "your specific set of disks and hardware, and ports, and any pre-existing partitioning"  The HPA may never get written with your BIOS, as you have it configured... and disks as you installed them, but others have not been so "lucky."

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3R motherboard

 

Yes, I can confirm it uses HPA...

 

 

 

I did some digging today.

 

It looks like on this particular motherboard, the Express BIOS Rescue function wasn't introduced until Bios version F4.

I believe I have not upgraded my bios to F4 and that is how I'm so "lucky".

 

Rob, can you check your Bios and determine which version you are running? You could downgrade to version F3 and this may solve your issues.

 

http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/Motherboard/BIOS_Model.aspx?ProductID=2743#anchor_os

Share this post


Link to post

Sorry to revive an old thread - but I really want to know if downgrading the BIOS has worked out or not ?

 

The thing is, I have the similar P35-DS3R and the Virtual Dual BIOS is mentioned as a feature in the product manual. Would Gigabyte have launched the boards without this feature (but claimed it in the feature list) and then adding it to a BIOS release later on ?

 

With the P35-DS3R the "Express BIOS Rescue function" was added with the F13 BIOS. But the board shipped with one of the previous releases. Guess I will have to give it a try, but still curious about what you guys found.

Share this post


Link to post

Morten,

 

To answer you question.

 

Use bios version F3 or lower and you won't have any problems. I have been running this board for two years without hiccup.

 

I do believe that F4 introduces that functionality. So before you install Unraid, lower your bios to F3 and you will be fine.

Share this post


Link to post

Just to update...

 

I originally had BIOS rev F2 on this MB.  It created HPAs on 6 of my drives.  There was no option in BIOS to disable it.  I flashed MB BIOS to rev F3.  Still no option to disable HPA.  I flashed to rev F4.  This introduced a new option in the 'advanced' tab to disable HPA.  That takes care of the MB.

 

My drives are Seagate 7200.11 with the goofy firmware.  I had to download the Seagate firmware flash utility and install it on one of my Win7 machines.  I removed all the drives from the server and installed them one by one in the Win7 machine and flashed the firmware.  Meanwhile, I downloaded and created the 'Ultimate Boot CD'.  I had to use 'HDAT2' utility with the 'SET MAX ADDRESS' function to reclaim the full disk size for each drive in succession. 

 

I finally have a Gigabyte MB with HPA disabled and full capacity restored on all my drives.

 

Major PITA  >:(

Share this post


Link to post

Rob_Esc

 

Now that you have HPA removed, what size does Unraid report the drives to be?

My WD 1Terabyte drives are reported as 976,762,552.

My Seagate 500 gigabyte drives reported as 488,386,552.

Share this post


Link to post

Now that you have HPA removed, what size does Unraid report the drives to be?

My WD 1Terabyte drives are reported as 976,762,552.

 

My Seagate Barracuda's report at 976,762,552.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.