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StarTech PEXSAT344SFF Card - Server boot issue?


benmmellor
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I'm trying to add in a second set of drives on a Schoondoggy bracket to add capacity to the server.

When I have the additional StarTech card installed, I can't seem to get USB keyboard working to go into the BIOS and tell the system to boot from the onboard controller - this boots from the MicroSD slot to then boot WHS code from the ODD Sata connection. This has been running fine until I added the 2nd disk controller. When I reboot the server with a USB keyboard in, it won't identify there is a keyboard on the USB ports (front or rear panels!).

The server just loops trying to boot from NIC....If I remove the card and reboot a few times it eventually lets me reset the boot order to SD then ODD and the server is fine again.

 

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Ok so doing a bit of reading it looks like this card isn't going to play nice with the onboard controller.

Any recommendations for a cheap basic card which will allow me to see additional drives ? I use Drivepool so not bothered about RAID etc.

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LSI based cards with 8 internal ports can be found on ebay for $50. This is a H220, HP branded HBA, same as a LSI SAS 9205-8i:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/660088-001-HP-H220-SAS-9205-8I-6GBPS-PCI-E-HBA-HOST-BUS-ADAPTER-638834-001-/182416389665?hash=item2a78dd3621:g:aPgAAOSwnHZYdADp

You could leave it as a HP card and use the SPP to update it or you can use LSI tools to turn it into a LSI card.

 

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Thanks - the example you gave won't ship to the UK unfortunately.

I can see if one of my contacts in the Re-furb trade can get me one for a similar price.. Or even ask our US arm if they have anything from ex-lease. (Joys of working for a large IT worldwide organisation - but we specialise in IBM kit in the 'UK.)

I've ordered this to try it and see if it works for basic JBOD functionailty to use with DrivePool.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BUC3N74/ref=pe_385721_37986871_TE_item

 

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That should be a good card. It is a SAS2008 chip so it will run a bit hotter than newer chips. You may want to search for LSI 4i4e. For similar money you can get four internal and four external ports for future growth. 9212-4i4e are quite common and use the SAS2008 chip. 

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If you need/want to update the firmware on a LSI card, follow Shonk's intstructions in this post. I generally recommend running the latest firmware, but that can make some LSI cards hang on boot in the Microserver Gen8.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/23/2017 at 11:41 AM, benmmellor said:

I'm trying to add in a second set of drives on a Schoondoggy bracket to add capacity to the server.

When I have the additional StarTech card installed, I can't seem to get USB keyboard working to go into the BIOS and tell the system to boot from the onboard controller - this boots from the MicroSD slot to then boot WHS code from the ODD Sata connection. This has been running fine until I added the 2nd disk controller. When I reboot the server with a USB keyboard in, it won't identify there is a keyboard on the USB ports (front or rear panels!).

The server just loops trying to boot from NIC....If I remove the card and reboot a few times it eventually lets me reset the boot order to SD then ODD and the server is fine again.

 

Wow, I'm going to purchase this card to use it for HBA... Thanks for mentioning. Did you upgrade it to latest firmware 2.3.1055?

Also, does it generate a lot of heat?

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I ended up with a simple SATA expander card - StarTech 4-port PCI-e SATA3 RAID Controller (PEXSAT34RH)- doing a fine job and runs pretty cool.

I've got my disks just set up as JBOD and using DrivePool :

Pool 1 is 2x 2TB Barracuda's for basic storage of work data backups and MP3's etc (This also replicates out to an external USB3 attached enclosure with a 3TB WD RED drive.

Pool 2 is 2x 5TB WD Red, 1x 3TB WD RED and 1x 6TB WD Red where I store my media for PLEX.

 

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