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HP N54L with PCI-e mini-SAS to SATA card booting query


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I've had the HP N54L for a couple of years now. Running great as a NAS and Plex Server with a 120GB SSD as CentOS 7.2 boot disk on the internal 5th SATA bus, with four 3.5" WD RED drives in the 4 drive bays. eSATA only occasional utilised.


After reading some posts on here, I've added an ICY-DOCK ExpressCage MB324SP-B into the empty 5.25" DVD bay, and installed StarTech PEXSAT34SFF 4-port PCIe 2.0 SATA III RAID controller to the setup. This controller has Marvell Chipset.


What I was hoping to do is to leave the original boot disk connected to internal 5th SATA bus, and use the new available SATA slots in the ICY-DOCK for additional storage, with a combination of some SSD and HDD drives that I have lying around.


However I can not seem to boot from the internal SATA slots as soon as a disk is connected to the new PCIe RAID controller, i.e. the only selectable/bootable drives are the ones connected to the new PCIe RAID controller. So in order to boot, I have to connect my boot drive to it.


The onboard SATA drives are still accessable from both BIOS and OS, but not bootable.


Does anyone have any idea if some tweaking of the BIOS options (yes I have the latest modified BIOS installed) allow me to boot from the onboard RAID controller, instead of the newly added PCIe RAID controller?


I saw some other people talking about interrupt 19 and other discussions with other RAID cards, but having tried a few options, 


P.S.: The new RAID card is installed in the PCIe x16 slot. I already had an Intel Gigabit Ethernet card in the adjacent PCIe x1 slot.


Kind regards,

Niels Roskam


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Hi schoondoggy... Thanks but maybe I wasn't clear in my note above. As soon as I have a disk connected to the new PCIe SATA card, I no longer see and therefore can not choose any of the onboard SATA connected drives, on ports 0-5, in the boot menu. They are still visible in the normal storage menu (where the drives to the PCIe SATA card are not visible), but in the boot menus only the new PCIe SATA card connected drives are visible (and not the onboard connected drives). Surely there is a BIOS tweak which allows me to prioritise the onboard SATA over the new PCIe SATA card for booting purposes? May an interrupt tweak? As soon as I remove/discconnect all the PCIe SATA connected drives, the onboard drives show up again as bootable (I don't need to remove the PCIe SATA card, just disconnect the drives).


Note that once booted into the (Cent) OS, all connected drives are visible as devices in order of appearance, i.e. sda-sdd if the four onboard SATA slots are occupied, and sde for the eSATA on the back if connected, and sdf for motherboard single SATA if connected, and then the naming continues with the drives connected to the PCIe SATA card. So from an OS perspective, the onboard SATA controller and drives seem to take priority over the PCIe SATA connected drives!?


AMD Turion™ II Neo N54L Dual-Core Processor 2.2Ghz 64-bit 8GB RAM
AMD SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 SATA Controller [Non-RAID5 mode]
0: /dev/sda WDC WD30EFRX-68E 3TB
1: /dev/sdb WDC WD30EFRX-68E 3TB
2: /dev/sdc WDC WD20EFRX-68A 2TB
3: /dev/sdd WDC WD20EFRX-68A 2TB
Marvell 88SE9230 PCIe SATA 6Gb/s Controller
6: /dev/sde HECTRON HECX1-12 120GB
7: /dev/sdf HECTRON HECX1-12 120GB
8: /dev/sdg INTEL SSDSC2KW24 240GB [current boot drive - which I want to connect back to the onboard port 5).
Intel 82574L Gigabit Network Connection
Broadcom NetXtreme BCM5723 Gigabit Ethernet PCIe
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