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N40L with a Startech PEXESATA2 dropping out


Classic57b
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I have a N40L that I have added a Startec PEXESATA2 card. The PEXESATA2 card is connected to a Thermaltake BLACX Duet through an eSATA cable. The Duet has 2 WD Red 2.0 TB drives in it to be used and backup. I turned on the BLACX Duet and then re-booted the N40L. The 2 WD drives did not appear. Cycled power on the Duet and voilla both WD drives are there. I am using WHS 2011 and Cloudberry to write to the 2 drives. I could read and write to the 2 drives without issue. I thought I was home free.

 

About and hour or two later I checked the dashboard and the 2 WD drives were gone. I tried cycling power on the Duet but no success getting the drives to appear again. The only way to get the drives to appear is to re-boot the server and then turn on the duet.

 

Not sure what is happening

 

Any suggestions?

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I have the same BlacX unit. I also have a couple of PEXESATA2 cards that seem to work fine.

 

One thing you said puzzles me a bit: you say you power up your server and then the BlacX. I normally have the BlacX already turned on before I power up the server. This is so the BIOS can discover the drive(s) during the POST. If I don't do it that way Windows normally won't see the drives.

 

Another thing to consider: I just smashed and recycled a single-bay BlacX USB2 unit. It was several years old. What I discovered is that it was corrupting the data on drives I put into it. IOW, you could have a faulty BlacX, possibly.

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Ikon, thanks for the quick response.

 

It seemed a little strange to me also. I just re-booted the server and it was exactly as I described. I started the server with the Duet powered on. No drives appeared. The external drives did not appear until I cycled power on the BLACX.

 

The Duet is about 3 weeks old. (of course it could still be bad)

 

Have you tried this card on other external enclosures with success? I need to try another enclosure to see if it peculiar to the card or enclosure.

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I've used the StarTech card with 2 or 3 different BlacX docks and with a couple of Lian-Li EX-503 enclosures. I didn't do extensive testing, but I didn't notice any problems either.

 

BTW, I forgot to ask, have you tried the BlacX with the N40L's onboard eSATA port?

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Yes, I tried the BlacX on the onboard eSATA port. I could only see HDD1. That is what prompted me to purchase the PEXESATA2. I actually saw one of your posts about the card.

 

Any experience with Sans Digital equipment? I'm just looking for something I can configure JBOD. No RAID necessary. That is why I thought the BlacX would be a perfect fit.

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Sorry, no Sans Digital experience. My 2 Lian-Li EX-503's do JBOD and Spanning (which is what I'm currently using, although I'm looking at changing them to JBOD and using DrivePool).

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Ikon

 

Are you using WHS 2011?

 

Please verify that you are using the same drivers I have loaded. See below an image of what I have installed. (I hope the image shows up)

 

2nursqh.jpg[/img]

 

2nursqh.jpg

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Hi I had the same card with the same problem. It took me a while to solve it in my case but it ended up being a setting in the power management settings on the os. I don't have access to my computers right now to check the exact setting but I believe it was solved by disabling the link state power management under the pcie options. After I did that my SD stopped dropping out.

 

Hopefully this helps.

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I just went to check my SI3132 driver version, and couldn't find it. Then I remembered, I replaced the SI3132 card with a WD USB3 card last year. I did that because it meant I could retain SATA type speeds while gaining easier disconnection and reconnection of drives (eSATA has never been totally reliable for me when it comes to connection/disconnection). Other than that, though, I can say I didn't replace the SI3132 card because of any other performance-related issues.

 

So, sorry dude, I'm unable to confirm your driver version. However, GavinCampbell may be on to something. I would definitely try disabling Link State Power.

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Well it has been about 24 hours and the drives are both still up and running. This is the longest they have ever been visible. I checked the BIOS setting for the Active State Power Management as GavinCampbell suggested and it was disabled. I was not aware that it could also be enabled by the OS. Sure enough, the power plan that is the default for WHS2011 is the "Balanced" plan. The "Balanced" plan includes a setting that puts the hard drives to sleep after 30 minutes of inactivity. Well, I changed the power plan to the "High Performance" setting that never puts the hard drive to sleep. That worked better as they stayed visible for a couple of hours but the hard drives still disappeared. There must be another location that is allowing the drives to sleep. I don't think it is in the drive as it is a WD Red. None the less, i found small program on the web called NoSleepHD that writes a small file to each of the hard drives every "X" minutes. This appears to have solved the issue. My plans are to return the power plan to "Balanced" to allow the local drives to sleep and use NoSleepHD to keep the external backup drives on line.

 

To be honest, I really did not solve the issue but the NoSleepHD Bandaid seems to have stopped the bleeding. Thanks a bunch for everyones help.

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