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Thread: RAID Woes - What is going on?!

  1. #1
    VTECmeous Vimeous's Avatar
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    Question RAID Woes - What is going on?!

    Lo all.

    In order to preserve my flowing locks please can you help with the following conundrum:

    Some time ago I decided that, instead of wailing terribly in the event of a hard disk failure, I'd buy some preventative hardware.
    Volume of data ruled out DVD backup and tape drives are still way too expensive for home use. Also at the time external disk arrays on esata, firewire or gigabit were few and big bucks.

    I settled for running RAID on our two key home machines to overcome the most likely single disk failure nightmare. I also chose to buy long warranty hard drives for additional piece-of-mind (Maxline III's are 24/7 5yr warranty).

    In my siggie you will see two PC's listed.
    PC 1 is running ok after a rebuild hiccup or two. It's problem was that the onboard SI3114 RAID controller was in its infancy and although it was touted to support RAID5 this flavour does not.
    After much hassle I caved in and am now happily running RAID10.

    PC 2 however is suffering big time and I really need some pointers.
    This machine is used for video editing. It has dual on-board RAID controllers, an SI3114 which is RAID5 capable and the generic NVRAID controller.
    It is configured with 4 disks on the SI3114 in RAID5 and 2 on the NVRAID in RAID1 (RAID0 originally but too unstable).

    The problem is that the machine keeps forgetting its disks. The RAID5 will run for less than 12hrs before it throws its toys out the pram and demands a rebuild. What was a RAID0 was also terrible at this and since moving to RAID1 has been more reliable but I guess it does the same every fortnight or so.

    It could be the disks but if they were genuine failures then the RAID arrays wouldn't rebuild successfully.
    If could be a lack of power but even if all the disks pulled 40-50W peak isn't there enough juice to cope?
    Is the motherboard just badly designed and can't keep things together when asked to muck about with six disks?

    In short what is going on?!

    Plz help!
    1 : i5 4670K | 8Gb | ASUS Maximus VI Genie | HD6890 | MX100 512GB | TX650W | CM Black Widow | Dell U2713H | 8.1 Pro
    2 : Q9450 | 4Gb | ASUS P5E-WS Pro | HD4650 | M4 256GB | 2 x 750Gb (RAID1) | Enermax 525W MODU 82+ | CM RC-590 | 17" | 7 Pro
    3 : i7 3570K | 16Gb | ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe | GTX 660 TI | 2x 1TB 840EVO | Sugo SG05BB-450 | Dell U2713H + 17" | 8.1 Pro
    Svr : X2 4200+ | 2Gb | ASUS A8N-SLI Premium | HD6870 | SonicFury | 8x 250Gb (2x RAID10) | 3Ware 9650SE-8LPML | Seasonic 700W | CM Stacker 830 | XP Pro
    NAS : DS1511+ | DX513
    W1 : Dell Precision 690 | X5355 | 4Gb FBDIMM | Quadro FX3450 | 2x 146Gb 15k SAS (RAID1) | 2x 500GB (RAID1) | Dell SAS 5/iR | 2x U2412M | XP Pro
    W2 : Dell Precision T3610 | E5-1650 V2 | 16GB | Quadro K2000 | 256GB SSD | 1TB HDD | 8.1 Pro


  2. #2
    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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    • arthurleung's system
      • Motherboard:
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      • CPU:
      • Intel Core2Quad Q9550 3.6Ghz 1.2V
      • Memory:
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    Try asking Seagate for firmware update, and see if it helps.

    I had some Seagate drives which tends to drop out of array upon reboot and the firmware fixed it. (Although I also updated the RAID card's BIOS/firmware)

    For your 4 drives, how do the disk drop out? Is it one particular disk or is it random? (Disk1 one time and Disk3 another time?)

    Check event viewer and see if there was any log about the array degrade?
    Workstation 1: Intel i7 950 @ 3.8Ghz / X58 / 12GB DDR3-1600 / HD4870 512MB / Antec P180
    Workstation 2: Intel C2Q Q9550 @ 3.6Ghz / X38 / 4GB DDR2-800 / 8400GS 512MB / Open Air
    Workstation 3: Intel Xeon X3350 @ 3.2Ghz / P35 / 4GB DDR2-800 / HD4770 512MB / Shuttle SP35P2
    HTPC: AMD Athlon X4 620 @ 2.6Ghz / 780G / 4GB DDR2-1000 / Antec Mini P180 White
    Mobile Workstation: Intel C2D T8300 @ 2.4Ghz / GM965 / 3GB DDR2-667 / DELL Inspiron 1525 / 6+6+9 Cell Battery

    Display (Monitor): DELL Ultrasharp 2709W + DELL Ultrasharp 2001FP
    Display (Projector): Epson TW-3500 1080p
    Speakers: Creative Megaworks THX550 5.1
    Headphones: Etymotic hf2 / Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 Pro

    Storage: 8x2TB Hitachi @ DELL PERC 6/i RAID6 / 13TB Non-RAID Across 12 HDDs
    Consoles: PS3 Slim 120GB / Xbox 360 Arcade 20GB / PS2

  3. #3
    VTECmeous Vimeous's Avatar
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    I've just looked into updated firmware here.
    It turns out I am already runing updated firmware on these drives.
    Mine are 7v- drives on firmware VA111630.

    I ran SeaTools for DOS and the NVRAID attached drives tested ok. It wouldn't detect the SI4114 attached disks.

    With the SI3114 the drops outs were initially random but the last few times the 3rd drive has been the culprit. Thing is the RAID successfully rebuilds so I was reluctant to shell out on a new drive just-in-case the drive was moody.
    The controller has had 2-3 instances of missed drive in around a year. The problem usually appears after login when the SI software pops-up and states the RAID has degraded.

    I'll look into the logs. This evening Windows will not load (sits at the loading screen) although I suspect a repair will sort that. I'm currently trying everything that avoids a reinstalling XP back over the top of what is already there.
    1 : i5 4670K | 8Gb | ASUS Maximus VI Genie | HD6890 | MX100 512GB | TX650W | CM Black Widow | Dell U2713H | 8.1 Pro
    2 : Q9450 | 4Gb | ASUS P5E-WS Pro | HD4650 | M4 256GB | 2 x 750Gb (RAID1) | Enermax 525W MODU 82+ | CM RC-590 | 17" | 7 Pro
    3 : i7 3570K | 16Gb | ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe | GTX 660 TI | 2x 1TB 840EVO | Sugo SG05BB-450 | Dell U2713H + 17" | 8.1 Pro
    Svr : X2 4200+ | 2Gb | ASUS A8N-SLI Premium | HD6870 | SonicFury | 8x 250Gb (2x RAID10) | 3Ware 9650SE-8LPML | Seasonic 700W | CM Stacker 830 | XP Pro
    NAS : DS1511+ | DX513
    W1 : Dell Precision 690 | X5355 | 4Gb FBDIMM | Quadro FX3450 | 2x 146Gb 15k SAS (RAID1) | 2x 500GB (RAID1) | Dell SAS 5/iR | 2x U2412M | XP Pro
    W2 : Dell Precision T3610 | E5-1650 V2 | 16GB | Quadro K2000 | 256GB SSD | 1TB HDD | 8.1 Pro


  4. #4
    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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    • arthurleung's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P5E (Rampage Formula 0902)
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core2Quad Q9550 3.6Ghz 1.2V
      • Memory:
      • A-Data DDR2-800 2x2GB CL4
      • Storage:
      • 4x1TB WD1000FYPS @ RAID5 3Ware 9500S-8 / 3x 1TB Samsung Ecogreen F2
      • Graphics card(s):
      • GeCube HD4870 512MB
      • PSU:
      • Corsair VX450
      • Case:
      • Antec P180
      • Operating System:
      • Windows Server 2008 Standard
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell Ultrasharp 2709W + 2001FP
      • Internet:
      • Be*Unlimited 20Mbps
    when the SI software pops-up and states the RAID has degraded.
    The disks are detected at chip level, the driver allow windows to read the drives as RAID5 and SI software is only for checking status.

    Did the drives detect properly prior to entering windows? You may want to try replacing the power cable (assume you using a splitter of some kind), as well as the data cable.

    You could also try swap the order of the disks (i.e. Put Disk2 to Port3 and put Disk3 to Port2, to see if it is a port problem or disk problem.
    Workstation 1: Intel i7 950 @ 3.8Ghz / X58 / 12GB DDR3-1600 / HD4870 512MB / Antec P180
    Workstation 2: Intel C2Q Q9550 @ 3.6Ghz / X38 / 4GB DDR2-800 / 8400GS 512MB / Open Air
    Workstation 3: Intel Xeon X3350 @ 3.2Ghz / P35 / 4GB DDR2-800 / HD4770 512MB / Shuttle SP35P2
    HTPC: AMD Athlon X4 620 @ 2.6Ghz / 780G / 4GB DDR2-1000 / Antec Mini P180 White
    Mobile Workstation: Intel C2D T8300 @ 2.4Ghz / GM965 / 3GB DDR2-667 / DELL Inspiron 1525 / 6+6+9 Cell Battery

    Display (Monitor): DELL Ultrasharp 2709W + DELL Ultrasharp 2001FP
    Display (Projector): Epson TW-3500 1080p
    Speakers: Creative Megaworks THX550 5.1
    Headphones: Etymotic hf2 / Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 Pro

    Storage: 8x2TB Hitachi @ DELL PERC 6/i RAID6 / 13TB Non-RAID Across 12 HDDs
    Consoles: PS3 Slim 120GB / Xbox 360 Arcade 20GB / PS2

  5. #5
    Administrator Moby-Dick's Avatar
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    Hola Jim LTNS

    are they battery backed ?
    my Virtualisation Blog http://jfvi.co.uk Virtualisation Podcast http://vsoup.net

  6. #6
    VTECmeous Vimeous's Avatar
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    We've only had problems on the controller 2-3 times. Most of the time the drives are detected fine pre-Win load.

    I've already replaced some of the SATA leads and am now running AKASA blue SATAII leads on the SI array.

    The PSU is modular and running with max SATA power leads. That means there are two dedicated cables with 2 drives each and one extension from molex with the 2 remaining drives and the rear 120mm case fan.
    There's a dedicated (to mboard) VGA power and 2x mboard power leads. One lead for DVDRW and floppy and one for 2x 120mm fans.

    The most commonly missed drive is SATA_3 and that is fed by one of the dedicated SATA cables.

    If I reorder the disks will the RAID5 remain as it is currently configured or will it need formatting?
    1 : i5 4670K | 8Gb | ASUS Maximus VI Genie | HD6890 | MX100 512GB | TX650W | CM Black Widow | Dell U2713H | 8.1 Pro
    2 : Q9450 | 4Gb | ASUS P5E-WS Pro | HD4650 | M4 256GB | 2 x 750Gb (RAID1) | Enermax 525W MODU 82+ | CM RC-590 | 17" | 7 Pro
    3 : i7 3570K | 16Gb | ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe | GTX 660 TI | 2x 1TB 840EVO | Sugo SG05BB-450 | Dell U2713H + 17" | 8.1 Pro
    Svr : X2 4200+ | 2Gb | ASUS A8N-SLI Premium | HD6870 | SonicFury | 8x 250Gb (2x RAID10) | 3Ware 9650SE-8LPML | Seasonic 700W | CM Stacker 830 | XP Pro
    NAS : DS1511+ | DX513
    W1 : Dell Precision 690 | X5355 | 4Gb FBDIMM | Quadro FX3450 | 2x 146Gb 15k SAS (RAID1) | 2x 500GB (RAID1) | Dell SAS 5/iR | 2x U2412M | XP Pro
    W2 : Dell Precision T3610 | E5-1650 V2 | 16GB | Quadro K2000 | 256GB SSD | 1TB HDD | 8.1 Pro


  7. #7
    VTECmeous Vimeous's Avatar
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    Ello ello ello me 'ole mukka!

    No idea. Just taking advantage of what's there tbh. Will check but I doubt it.

    Another question.
    Let's say I somehow scrape together £200 or so. Will any LSI Logic controllers do a better more reliable job?

    Say an 8-port and RAID10 in the second x16 PCI-Express slot? (e.g.)
    Or two 4-port RAID cards running RAID5 and RAID1 as now(e.g.) in standard PCI slots? Indeed would the PCI bus cope?!

    Hell do we just need a bigger boa.... PSU?
    1 : i5 4670K | 8Gb | ASUS Maximus VI Genie | HD6890 | MX100 512GB | TX650W | CM Black Widow | Dell U2713H | 8.1 Pro
    2 : Q9450 | 4Gb | ASUS P5E-WS Pro | HD4650 | M4 256GB | 2 x 750Gb (RAID1) | Enermax 525W MODU 82+ | CM RC-590 | 17" | 7 Pro
    3 : i7 3570K | 16Gb | ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe | GTX 660 TI | 2x 1TB 840EVO | Sugo SG05BB-450 | Dell U2713H + 17" | 8.1 Pro
    Svr : X2 4200+ | 2Gb | ASUS A8N-SLI Premium | HD6870 | SonicFury | 8x 250Gb (2x RAID10) | 3Ware 9650SE-8LPML | Seasonic 700W | CM Stacker 830 | XP Pro
    NAS : DS1511+ | DX513
    W1 : Dell Precision 690 | X5355 | 4Gb FBDIMM | Quadro FX3450 | 2x 146Gb 15k SAS (RAID1) | 2x 500GB (RAID1) | Dell SAS 5/iR | 2x U2412M | XP Pro
    W2 : Dell Precision T3610 | E5-1650 V2 | 16GB | Quadro K2000 | 256GB SSD | 1TB HDD | 8.1 Pro


  8. #8
    Administrator Moby-Dick's Avatar
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    Have a search for some of directhex's posts on SATA Raid Controllers

    I think one of the conclusions was that if you really want to do it properly then a 3ware unit is probably one of the best ones ( ie you need true hardware controllers )

    http://www.tmc-uk.com/Products/stora.../sATA_9500.htm

    on the bright side , ext. hard drives are dirty cheap these days , so why not use them as solid state backup devices ( eg. with a USB - SATA converter )
    my Virtualisation Blog http://jfvi.co.uk Virtualisation Podcast http://vsoup.net

  9. #9
    VTECmeous Vimeous's Avatar
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    Looks like the best 3ware option is the 9650SE-8LPML (PCI-Express).
    Sadly it's way too expensive @ approx £350.

    This means I'm looking for reliable but not necessarily the best or fastest.
    1 : i5 4670K | 8Gb | ASUS Maximus VI Genie | HD6890 | MX100 512GB | TX650W | CM Black Widow | Dell U2713H | 8.1 Pro
    2 : Q9450 | 4Gb | ASUS P5E-WS Pro | HD4650 | M4 256GB | 2 x 750Gb (RAID1) | Enermax 525W MODU 82+ | CM RC-590 | 17" | 7 Pro
    3 : i7 3570K | 16Gb | ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe | GTX 660 TI | 2x 1TB 840EVO | Sugo SG05BB-450 | Dell U2713H + 17" | 8.1 Pro
    Svr : X2 4200+ | 2Gb | ASUS A8N-SLI Premium | HD6870 | SonicFury | 8x 250Gb (2x RAID10) | 3Ware 9650SE-8LPML | Seasonic 700W | CM Stacker 830 | XP Pro
    NAS : DS1511+ | DX513
    W1 : Dell Precision 690 | X5355 | 4Gb FBDIMM | Quadro FX3450 | 2x 146Gb 15k SAS (RAID1) | 2x 500GB (RAID1) | Dell SAS 5/iR | 2x U2412M | XP Pro
    W2 : Dell Precision T3610 | E5-1650 V2 | 16GB | Quadro K2000 | 256GB SSD | 1TB HDD | 8.1 Pro


  10. #10
    Anthropomorphic Personification shaithis's Avatar
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    • shaithis's system
      • Motherboard:
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    On-board RAID controllers are bad and quite unreliable. I would switch to a hardware add-in card...

    Either an ARECA 1210 (or equivalent) if you want PCI-E raw speed or something like an XFX Revo (or a second-hand PCI 3Ware) if you need to do it on a budget.

    I also notice you mention the "AKASA blue SATAII leads", I used these on my RAID recently to try and add a nice touch......they worked fine for a while but then I started getting drives randomly dropping out.....after a few weeks of this I eventually lost all the data on my RAID. Lots of fiddling around led me to believe that the cables were at fault, whether its the cables themselves or the connections, I am not sure but I replaced them all with these and haven't had a single drive drop-out in over 2 months.
    Main PC: Asus Rampage IV Extreme / 3960X@4.5GHz / Antec H1200 Pro / 32GB DDR3-1866 Quad Channel / Sapphire Fury X / Areca 1680 / 850W EVGA SuperNOVA Gold 2 / Corsair 600T / 2x Dell 3007 / 4 x 250GB SSD + 2 x 80GB SSD / 4 x 1TB HDD (RAID 10) / Windows 10 Pro, Yosemite & Ubuntu
    HTPC: AsRock Z77 Pro 4 / 3770K@4.2GHz / 24GB / GTX 1080 / SST-LC20 / Antec TP-550 / Hisense 65k5510 4K TV / HTC Vive / 2 x 240GB SSD + 12TB HDD Space / Race Seat / Logitech G29 / Win 10 Pro
    HTPC2: Asus AM1I-A / 5150 / 4GB / Corsair Force 3 240GB / Silverstone SST-ML05B + ST30SF / Samsung UE60H6200 TV / Windows 10 Pro
    Spare/Loaner: Gigabyte EX58-UD5 / i950 / 12GB / HD7870 / Corsair 300R / Silverpower 700W modular
    NAS 1: HP N40L / 12GB ECC RAM / 2 x 3TB Arrays || NAS 2: Dell PowerEdge T110 II / 24GB ECC RAM / 2 x 3TB Hybrid arrays || Network:Buffalo WZR-1166DHP w/DD-WRT + HP ProCurve 1800-24G
    Laptop: Lenovo Flex 2 / 12GB RAM / 240GB Corsair Force 3 Printer: HP CP1515n || Phone: HTC One U11 || Other: Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Pro 10.1 CM12.1 / Playstation 4 + G29 + 2TB Hybrid drive

  11. #11
    Nox
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    • Nox's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Yes
      • CPU:
      • Yes
      • Memory:
      • Yes
      • Storage:
      • Yes
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      • Yes
      • PSU:
      • Yes
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    look at the areca's

    Nox

  12. #12
    Gentoo Ricer
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    • aidanjt's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus Strix Z370-G
      • CPU:
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      • Memory:
      • 2x8GB Corsiar LPX 3000C15
      • Storage:
      • 500GB Samsung 960 EVO
      • Graphics card(s):
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      • Operating System:
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    Cheap RAID chips aren't real RAID controllers at all, they're glorified ATA chips with a RAID BIOS slapped on, everything's done on the CPU through drivers, which are frequently buggy.

    If you want real peace of mind, you'd need a real hardware raid controller, ARECA make the best SATA class controllers, they aren't cheap, but they're brutally fast, powerful, and stable from what I've heard.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

  13. #13
    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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    • arthurleung's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P5E (Rampage Formula 0902)
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core2Quad Q9550 3.6Ghz 1.2V
      • Memory:
      • A-Data DDR2-800 2x2GB CL4
      • Storage:
      • 4x1TB WD1000FYPS @ RAID5 3Ware 9500S-8 / 3x 1TB Samsung Ecogreen F2
      • Graphics card(s):
      • GeCube HD4870 512MB
      • PSU:
      • Corsair VX450
      • Case:
      • Antec P180
      • Operating System:
      • Windows Server 2008 Standard
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell Ultrasharp 2709W + 2001FP
      • Internet:
      • Be*Unlimited 20Mbps
    3Ware cards are decent and if you know someone in USA they could be have for as low as $220 (8 ports)
    Workstation 1: Intel i7 950 @ 3.8Ghz / X58 / 12GB DDR3-1600 / HD4870 512MB / Antec P180
    Workstation 2: Intel C2Q Q9550 @ 3.6Ghz / X38 / 4GB DDR2-800 / 8400GS 512MB / Open Air
    Workstation 3: Intel Xeon X3350 @ 3.2Ghz / P35 / 4GB DDR2-800 / HD4770 512MB / Shuttle SP35P2
    HTPC: AMD Athlon X4 620 @ 2.6Ghz / 780G / 4GB DDR2-1000 / Antec Mini P180 White
    Mobile Workstation: Intel C2D T8300 @ 2.4Ghz / GM965 / 3GB DDR2-667 / DELL Inspiron 1525 / 6+6+9 Cell Battery

    Display (Monitor): DELL Ultrasharp 2709W + DELL Ultrasharp 2001FP
    Display (Projector): Epson TW-3500 1080p
    Speakers: Creative Megaworks THX550 5.1
    Headphones: Etymotic hf2 / Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 Pro

    Storage: 8x2TB Hitachi @ DELL PERC 6/i RAID6 / 13TB Non-RAID Across 12 HDDs
    Consoles: PS3 Slim 120GB / Xbox 360 Arcade 20GB / PS2

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