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Issues with HighPoint RocketRAID 2640SGL


bondisdead
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I wanted to share an experience I had this past weekend putting together a WHS 2011 build for a client using the Highpoint RocketRAID 2640SGL. The computer only had the need for four additional drives in RAID5, so I opted for this card instead of the 2680SGL which is popular here on the forums. The nice thing about this card is it has SATA ports instead of SAS ports, so you don't need any special SAS -> SATA breakout cables.

 

I had worked with the 2720SGL before, so was familiar with the installation process. I was using the motherboard SATA ports for the WHS OS, and the RocketRAID card for additional storage. I installed the OS first, then installed the RAID array. I loaded drivers, installed the HighPoint WebGUI, initialized the array, verified the array, etc. Things went well until I did a reboot. The screen would flash by with the option to configure the RAID5 array, then all you would get is a flashing cursor! No option to bring up motherboard BIOS/UEFI to configure the array order. If you remove the drives from the RocketRAID card, you can once again enter BIOS. I forced boot order to the WHS OS drive, shut down, then plugged the drives back into the RAID card. Upon rebooting, I had the same flashing cursor problem!

 

After some research, it appears that certain motherboards have some sort of conflict, and you need to disable some things in the RAID card firmware. You need to put the RAID cards BIOS update program (load) onto a bootable flash drive along with the firmware file, then boot to it. You have to do this with the drives unplugged from the RAID card in order to get it to boot. You then flash the RAID BIOS, but you need to disable two features: "Reallocate EBDA" and "INT13". These must both be set to Disable. After rebooting with the drives plugged in, you can once again get into motherboard BIOS, change the boot order accordingly, then boot to WHS 2011. Whew!

 

Thought I'd share in case anybody else ends up using this card. Not sure if the Highpoint 2680 has the same issues or not, but keep it in mind.

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I have heard of this issue but have never seen it. Which slot are you using for the card and which board do you have.?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have heard of this issue but have never seen it. Which slot are you using for the card and which board do you have.?

 

I had the highpoint rocketraid 2640SGL plugged into a PCI-E x4 slot of an ASUS P8H67-M LE H67 motherboard.

 

Not so funny coincidence. I have been experimenting with a WHS 2011 rebuild on my system. I have had issues with the motherboard, so wanted to swap it with another H67 (MSI -> ASRock) board. I cloned the OS drive to another, and plugged it into the new motherboard. Booted to WHS desktop, and updated a handful of drives. System was fine for a day, and the issues I have had in the past went away. However, I wasn't testing my original setup, as my Highpoint ROcketRAID 2720 was not plugged in yet. WHen I plug it in and boot, even with the OS drive as the only boot drive, windows won't boot, as it could not find a boot partition. Similar (but not identical) to the problem I had with the other system! Looks like I might have to do the BIOS flash to the 2720 card as I did with the 2640. Hesitant to do so, as that array has alot of not-backed up data on it (Blu-Ray and DVD-Rips).

 

Any ideas why windows doesn't see the boot drive once the RAID card and drives are installed. NOte that if I unplug the drives or remove the card, the system will boot. It's plugged into the PCI-E x16 slot.

Edited by bondisdead
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I had the highpoint rocketraid 2640SGL plugged into a PCI-E x4 slot of an ASUS P8H67-M LE H67 motherboard.

 

Not so funny coincidence. I have been experimenting with a WHS 2011 rebuild on my system. I have had issues with the motherboard, so wanted to swap it with another H67 (MSI -> ASRock) board. I cloned the OS drive to another, and plugged it into the new motherboard. Booted to WHS desktop, and updated a handful of drives. System was fine for a day, and the issues I have had in the past went away. However, I wasn't testing my original setup, as my Highpoint ROcketRAID 2720 was not plugged in yet. WHen I plug it in and boot, even with the OS drive as the only boot drive, windows won't boot, as it could not find a boot partition. Similar (but not identical) to the problem I had with the other system! Looks like I might have to do the BIOS flash to the 2720 card as I did with the 2640. Hesitant to do so, as that array has alot of not-backed up data on it (Blu-Ray and DVD-Rips).

 

Any ideas why windows doesn't see the boot drive once the RAID card and drives are installed. NOte that if I unplug the drives or remove the card, the system will boot. It's plugged into the PCI-E x16 slot.

 

I have flashed the BIOS on both the 2720 and 2680 with no issues and I did not see this problem on the 2720 with either bios version. The problem you are describing however may be something else. Do you have the card in the first slot (closest to the CPU) as that is the only slot it traditionally works with. I have seen that issue a couple times and was resolved by moving the card and update the motherboard BIOS rather than the card. The BIOS update is pretty benign but as always you should have a backup. Would be curious which slot you have the card plugged in to.

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I have flashed the BIOS on both the 2720 and 2680 with no issues and I did not see this problem on the 2720 with either bios version. The problem you are describing however may be something else. Do you have the card in the first slot (closest to the CPU) as that is the only slot it traditionally works with. I have seen that issue a couple times and was resolved by moving the card and update the motherboard BIOS rather than the card. The BIOS update is pretty benign but as always you should have a backup. Would be curious which slot you have the card plugged in to.

 

The motherboard I have it plugged in is an ASRock H67M-ITX mini-itx, so it only has the one PCI-Ex16 slot. That is where i plugged in the 2720. In the motherboard BIOS, i have set it to use the embedded graphics first. Like I said, if I remove the rocketraid card or unplug the SAS cables from the card, WHS will boot. The system just doesn't see a boot drive once I have drives attached to that RAID card.

 

Note that my issue with the 2640 was different, as all I would get there was the flashing cursor. So you may be right in that flashing the RAID card BIOS (and disabling the two features: "Reallocate EBDA" and "INT13") is not the thing to do.

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I had to end up flashing the firmware on the RAID card in DOS mode, and disabling the two features: "Reallocate EBDA" and "INT13". It booted up just fine afterwards.

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Glad you got it working. Not sure I understand what it is you did, but at least it worked.

 

I don't know what I was doign either, other than that is what I was told would make it work! Apparently, certain motherboards won't let you boot to your OS drive (that is separate from the Highpoint RAID) if there any drives connected to the Highpoint RocketRaid card. I read on a Highpoint forum, and it's even on their FAQ, that if this happens you need to disable the "Reallocate EBDA" and "INT13" features of the card. This can only be done via a BIOS flash.

 

http://www.highpoint-tech.com/China/faq_rr2300c.htm

 

I never had a problem with a MSI H67 motherboard, but two different ASRock H67 models had the issue. Even though all motherboard BIOS settings were made to boot from my OS drive, it just wouldn't work. Perhaps there was a BIOS setting I needed to make for the motherboard, but I couldn't find it.

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Just to clarify, I don't understand the EBDA thing; the INT13 I do understand. INT13 is the standard BIOS boot disk interrupt. If the RR card takes over INT13 requests, then the BIOS can't boot to a non-RR disk because it can't get the disk to respond, cause the requests are being intercepted by the RR.

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That makes sense. Perhaps I should have just tried disabling them one at a time, but the Highpoint FAQ mentioned disabling them both if I don't plan on booting from the Highpoint RAID array (which is my case):

 

If you intend to boot from the host adapter card, disable the option listed as "Reallocate EBDA".If you do not need to boot from the host adapter card, disable both the "Reallocate EBDA" and "INT13" options.

 

It just makes me wonder why I had no issues with the previous MSI H67 motherboard, as it was configured identically: motherboard RAID-1 for OS, motherboard RAID-1 for DATA and Highpoint RAID-5 for Other-DATA).

Edited by bondisdead
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