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Community Manager
984 Views

Onging Issues with Intel Embedded Server RAID Technology II

This seems to be an ongoing source of frustration in my life. Am I the only one who has problems with this?

I have an S5520SC motherboard and I am using the software RAID 5 supported by the BMC.

A few weeks we had a power failure in my neighborhood. While the RAID survived this fine, a few days afterwards there seemed to be some media errors and the background inilized process started again. Whenever this happens I am in misery until the process completes, which can be a week or more. Basically RAID performance drops to a level where Windows 7 cannot cope with it properly and the O/S and most running applications suffer horribly with long pauses, timeouts, errors, lockups, etc. When the RAID is not rebuilding or doing a background initialize or consistency check the system performance is acceptable - not great - merely acceptable.

Once again I am in a situtation where the background initialize shows no progress. When I run the RAID Web Console 2 it show Virtual Disks as being optimal, but that the Background Initilize is in progress. It has been in progress for two weeks now, and the progress always shows 0%. I can tell it is in progress because system performance is abysmal and I can hear the disks chattering away constantly. I have tried to stop/restart the process several times, but I always get the same results - 0% progress constantly.

While I have had this problem several times in the past and I was able to resolve it, it was never clear what actually resolved the problem. It seemed that after updating firmware, rebooting the system, stopping/starting the initalize many times it would eventually resolve itself, but it was never clear what would actually reslove the problem. This time I seem to be having no luck, and I am really tired fighting with this problem.

Does anyone have any experience with this or have any ideas on what else I can try?

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6 Replies
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Employee
7 Views

I've seen this a lot, when the drive firmware is mismatched. Can you pause the initialization, and check the drive parameters?

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Community Manager
7 Views

Specifically, what do you mean by "check the drive parameters?"

Do you mean the physical disk drive firmware, or something else?

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Employee
7 Views

Exactly, the physical disk drive firmware.

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Community Manager
7 Views

What parameters should I be checking and what tools do I use to check those drive parameters?

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Employee
7 Views

RAID Web Console 2 - does it show the disk drive firmware?

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Community Manager
7 Views

When I click on a physical drive(s) I can see various details such as

capacity: 1.818 TB

Product ID: WDCWD2002FYPS0

Revision Level: 04.0

Which is the same for all 5 drives.

For some reason the Background Initialize is not running anymore. I guess it finally finished after enough weeks??? Sadly there is sparse information in the logs to explain anything other than the Background Initialize completed. It is really frustrating that there is no progress information other than it started and stopped. There are clearly bugs in the RAID support because the BGI for virtual disk 0 did show progress, but the BGI for virtual disk 1 did not.

I can also tell the Background Initialize is not running anymore because my system boots fasters, and Windows and various applications are behaving better (without all the frustrating pauses and freezes).

Sadly, Windows behaves extremely badly when the underlying disk or network systems are having problems. I am pretty sure there is no-one left at Microsoft who understands how the Windows kernel works anymore, and I am pretty sure there never was anyone at Microsoft who understood much about operating systems design, especially in the areas of performance.

For now things seem to be OK, but I'm pretty sure next time there is another hickup in the RAID system I will have to go through another few weeks of intense frustration yet again.

I really hope the new Ramsdale products come out soon, and that you can boot Windows from them. Booting from a RAID 5 system, especially IESRT II, is a really, really bad idea.

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