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HP N54L - One drive bay not working?


mungler
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Hi all,

 

I have an HP N54L which i've used for a few years as a home server on Ubuntu server, with a bunch of disks.  It recently stopped booting and I took the opportunity to switch to unRAID, since it does everything I want, with less hassle.

 

I opened up the microserver to juggle disks around, and replaced a drive bay caddy that had been in the 5.25 bay with another adapter capable of 1x3.5'' + 2x2.5'', and installed a new 2.5'' disk.  So far so good.

 

However, now when I boot either Ubuntu liveUSB or unRAID, the disk in the first drive bay is not found.  I've tried swapping disks around to eliminate the possibility of a dead / dying hard disk, but its always the one in the first drive bay thats missing, leading me to believe its the bay, not the disk, thats the problem.

 

Does anyone have any experience of a single bay failing?  As I understand it, the four bays are connected to the mainboard by a mini-SAS plug, and I don't see how only one of the four could be disconnected or whatever.  I'd like to figure out if there's any possibility of something loose / disconnected that I may have bumped or jarred while performing the surgery, hoping that I don't have to just accept that my four-bay server is now a three-bay server :/

 

Any ideas / thoughts most welcome! 

 

Cheers

 

- mungler

 


I should add, I have added a PCI-E SATA card, which reports itself as an 'Asmedia 106X' in the bios screen.  Weirdly, it always claims on boot that no devices are connected, but Ubuntu can see the two disks attached without problems.  I did wonder if there could be some weird addressing conflict or something causing one of the internal bays not to function.  I may try removing the PCI-E card to see if that helps.

Edited by mungler
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Remove and reinsert the SAS connector into the motherboard. Be sure there is no strain on it. I have had a drive bay disappear if the SAS connector is not seated well or has pull on it. If that does not fix it, pull the drives and look in the slots to be sure the connector is positioned correctly.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, things have gotten worse.  I had to open the case again today to rejig things after an eSATA enclosure failed.  Hooked everything back up as follows:

 

4x hard disks in the main bays

 

1x 3.5'' and 1x 2.5'' in the 5.25 area, hooked up to a PCI-E SATA card

 

1x 3.5'' in a removeable enclosure, hooked up to the mainboard SATA connector (im running the patched bios for full speed etc)

 

Now when I boot, the machine fails to recognise disks in 3 of the 4 main drive bays. :(  Have I broken the mini-SAS connector by disconnecting / reconnecting too many times? :(

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Anything is possible. Check the connections on the back of the drive cage. If you happen to have a SATA or SAS card with a SFF-8087 connection you could try that to see if it is the cable or the motherboard connector.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I feel I should update this thread, even though I feel incredibly foolish.  Turns out, the molex connectors under the ODD area arent, as I stupidly thought, handy spares for extra devices, they're the damn power for the four drive bays.

 

Yes, i'm an idiot.  Hopefully by sharing my idiocy I can help others avoid this :)

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