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idata
Community Manager
1,564 Views

Rapid Storage Technology problems DH67CL - freezes, drive not available for RAID

I am having trouble with Intel RAID on my new DH67CL board.

I have fitted four hard drives: 2 identical WD Caviar Black, 2 identical Seagate, all 1TB.

I initially set this up as two RAID1 arrays, the WDs (ports 0 and 1) in one array, the Seagates (ports 3 and 4) in another. Making 2 1TB drives available to the OS, which is Win7 x64.

This seemed to work at first, but every so often Windows would freeze. Not quite dead, mouse pointer still moves, still responds to ping, but absurdly slow, like several minutes to respond to a keystroke.

I suspected the RAM and removed 8GB of the 16GB installed. I also broke the mirror on one of the arrays, the one used for the OS.

Everything worked fine, and I decided to re-try the RAID. However there was no Create option in the RST manager.

Puzzled, I broke the other RAID too, in case it was sensitive to the order in which arrays are created. Now the Create option is back, but the only available drives are those on ports 1, 2 and 3. The drive on port 0 does not show up when you go to create an array, though it shows up fine in the "Storage System View".

Now, I've been reading up on problems where Windows freezes if there is more than one RAID array, so I'd like advice on that. But the more immediate problem is why the drive on port 0 is no longer available in the RST manager?

Tim

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12 Replies
PMurp4
Valued Contributor II
59 Views

If you want offical tech support you'll need to get in touch with them via the support page or chat but if you want a workaround, have you tried using the RAID setup utility in the motherboards BIOS before it boots into the operating system? It'd pay to ensure the firmware on your HDD 'pairs' is identical as having mismatching firmware can result in performance issues. It'd also be worth checking you have the newest BIOS for your board and that you're using the latest version of Intel RST.

Personally I use the motherboards BIOS for setting up my RAID arrays (although I've never setup a nested or compound one that way apart from a simple 'all in' RAID 0+1 4 identical drive arrangement on a different Intel board).

idata
Community Manager
59 Views

Thanks. I thought I had the latest driver but I've just found 10.8.0.1003 dated 17th Oct and posted yesterday! However after installation I still cannot see the drive on port 0 when creating an array.

I could use the BIOS utility but was trying to avoid reinstalling the OS - doesn't creating a mirror in the BIOS utility wipe the drives? I can try this though and restore from backup.

Tim

PMurp4
Valued Contributor II
59 Views

Tim Anderson wrote:

I've just found 10.8.0.1003 dated 17th Oct and posted yesterday! However after installation I still cannot see the drive on port 0 when creating an array.

That's because the above version is a driver only and it's not a new version of the configuration software as well (at least not yet). You could always try a simple uninstall/reinstall of RST to see if that gets all your HDDs back. What are your HDD firmware versions like - do they match?

idata
Community Manager
59 Views

Yes, the firmware is the same on each pair of drives.

Tim

PMurp4
Valued Contributor II
59 Views

I doubt whether it would make any difference but you could see if newer drive firmware is available but without being willing to do a little swapping around of drives that may necessitate a total reinstallation (or using the BIOS to configure your RAID setup which may require the same), I don't know how else you can progress this issue. Of course it's worth reporting to Intel Tech Support but I expect they'd want to try the same in order to get to the bottom of things and rule out a possible intermittant drive fault etc.

I assume it's a board that's had the Sandybridge chipset issue addressed by using the newer stepping chipset (if not, you should get that fixed before you go any further)? Intels page to assist with http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/sb/CS-020811.htm Troubleshooting RAID issues may be some help.

idata
Community Manager
59 Views

An update. Removing and re-installing the RST application did bring back the drive on port 0 so thanks for that suggestion. However attempting to create the mirror failed with an "unknown error". Both drives check out fine with WD diagnostics.

Just out of curiorisity, I booted into an old Win XP 64-bit installation; I have dual boot enabled. The OS is on the same drive but in a different partition. I installed the RST application and drivers. Tried to create the mirror, worked instantly and data is now migrating.

Curious.

As for the freezes, when the migration is complete I will see if the freezes re-occur. Then I will re-mirror the other two drives and again review stability.

Tim

PMurp4
Valued Contributor II
59 Views

Even though your dual boot arrangement uses separate partitions, the fact they are both on the same drive may be having some influence - if you have another drive you can install one of the OSs on and then choose between them using the BIOS setup for drive boot order, that would eliminate this as a contributing possibility.

When diagnosing problems, its always best to try and simplify things as much as possible and if you absolutely must have a multiboot arrangement, doing so by each OS having its own HDD, is the safest way to go.

idata
Community Manager
59 Views

Puzzling. Why would the RAID controller care what data is in the partitions? Nor does that explain why the RST app would happily create a mirror in XP but not in Windows 7 ...

Tim

PMurp4
Valued Contributor II
59 Views

Not necessarily what data is in the partitions but the type of partitions themselves. This varies between OS's and even http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff383236(WS.10).aspx NTFS has changed with new OSs (even though the name has stayed the same). Multiboot systems can be responsible for a myriad of problems so the safest way to rule this out as being a contributing factor is to set the PC up so the motherboard does not have access to anything other than the OS it's currently running. To test fully with each individual OS you'd need to install the first OS on one HDD and test. Shut down and swap HDDs, install the second os on the second HDD and test that. When they both work soundly on their own then plug in both HDDs and use the BIOS boot order to control which drive you boot from.

idata
Community Manager
59 Views

I'm using the standard Windows multiboot which is nicely explained here:

http://www.multibooters.co.uk/multiboot.html http://www.multibooters.co.uk/multiboot.html

as it says, the only thing with multitboot is that you have several primary partitions. I'm not clear why this would cause any difficulties for the RAID controller.

I don't have space to allocate a separate drive for each OS, and of course for resiliency each of these separate drives would then need its own mirror. Impractical.

Tim

PMurp4
Valued Contributor II
59 Views

Tim Anderson wrote:

I'm not clear why this would cause any difficulties for the RAID controller.

 

I'm not sure of the specifics either but the bottom line is I have read about such problems - especially when Linux is mixed with Windows on a multi-partition single HDD arrangement.

If you want to get to the bottom of it, at least trialling separate HDDs with different OS's first would be the way of ruling out such issues. I realise that's alot of work and it requires taking your computer apart (or buying a bigger case & more drives etc) but sorry, I don't know of a simpler way to get definitive results.

idata
Community Manager
59 Views

Well, I have now successfully mirrored the OS drive with its various partitions and it is working perfectly so far, so I think I've ruled out any multi-boot issue. The question is what happens if I now mirror the other two drives - I'm going to leave it a few days and then try that.

Tim

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