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TeeeBear

Troubleshooting enclosures with WHS 2011

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TeeeBear

I have a Fujitsu Primergy TX100 S2 running WHS 2011 with a RocketRaid 644 esata card.  The RocketRaid card doesn't support all 8 bays of the Mediasonic 8 Bay ProBox via port multiplier so I added the Mediasonic esata card in February. (Which i could only get to recognize 7 drives.)  Fast forward to June and I start getting hardware blue screens correlating to the Mediasonic card. Not wanting to waste too much time I replaced the card with a Syba esata card which is doing the same thing.  Long story short, I am now using a USB 3.0 card for the 8 bay enclosure and USB 2.0 for a 4 bay enclosure. The two enclosures seem to randomly disconnect, one at a time, almost daily. Considering I'm having problems with 2 devices with 3 data connections, the common denominator between the problems appears to be the PC; could my power supply in the PC be starting to go, causing these issues? As a self confessed digital hoarder, I also have four enclosures on the RocketRaid card with no issues. Can anyone help me?

 

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schoondoggy

What kind of card is the USB3?

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Drashna Jaelre

I'd blame the enclosures, honestly. Have you considered replacing the power supplies on them?

the reason I mention this, is that Alex (the developer of StableBit DrivePool and StableBit Scanner) has a bunch of mediasonic probox enclosures, and has .... well, gone through a few power supplies for them...

 

Also, are you seeing any "disk" or "controller" errors at about the same time that the disks drop out?

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ikon

^^ what he said. Let's just say I'm not a fan of MediaSonic ProBoxes any more.

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Drashna Jaelre

To be blunt, I've never been a fan of external enclosures. It's an additional point of failure. And complications. I had a MediaSonic ProBox, the 4bay, SATAII/USB2 version. Nothing but issues with it and my HP MSS EX470... which supposedly supported it.

Since then, I've avoided externals, especially multibay externals.

 

 

However, that doesn't really help you out.

But this may:

The Syba card you linked (you did link one, right?), is a "Silicon Images" based card. If I had to guess without checking, is that it's an Sil3132 chipset. I've used these. They're garbage. You would be 100x better off using USB, even if it's USB2. May not be as fast, but it won't crap out on you. Repeatedly.

 

That said, it sounds like the MediaSonic card that you got was bad. If it was still under warranty, it may be replacable. It also sounds like the card uses the ASMedia ASM106x chipset. 
I mention that specifically because Alex (the developer of StableBit Scanner and StableBit DrivePool), and in fact recommends the ASM1061 chipset. 

http://community.covecube.com/index.php?/topic/46-siig-sc-sa0m11-s1-pci-express-20-low-profile-ready-sata-iii-60gbs-2-port-controller-card/

Sorry for the cross-post here, but I thought it was relevant. 

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ikon

I agree completely with Drashna re: the ProBox. I had the same one - it's in pieces on a shelf in my basement. However, I've had excellent luck with the Lian-Li EX-503. I've got 2 of them and love 'em. Jason has just received one from Frozen CPU, so we'll see shortly what he thinks of them.

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TeeeBear

Thanks schoondoggy, drashna, & ikon for chiming in.

 

What kind of card is the USB3?

The card I have is this one...

 

Also, are you seeing any "disk" or "controller" errors at about the same time that the disks drop out?

I have a drive with a smart error, it's a samsung drive, which are apparently prone to higher rates of calibration retries.  Next time i get a disconnection, I'll check the event viewer.

 

Now that I've complained about the server, it hasn't disconnected an enclosure for about 48 hours and counting, but at present i can't get the event viewer or even the dashboard to load.  (This has been ongoing and I'm sure it speaks to another problem i don't want to deal with at present <_< )  I hate to reboot though when the server still serves content as each re-boot requires disconnecting and reconnecting one of the usb enclosures which makes drive pool go through the long process of verifying the duplication.

 

The 8 bay unit has an internal power supply, so i can't do much with that, but i will switch the power supplies on the 4 bay units and see if the problem continues.

 

As far as the esata cards go, I was looking purely for ones that explicitly stated they worked with 8 bay port multipliers. I saw the silicon image Sil3132 chipset mentioned more than once, which is why i went with the syba card this last time.  I am looking into racking my server and eliminating the pro boxes, but I don't have the money right now. I would love to have one of back blaze storage pods that 45drives sells.... everything in one (very heavy) box with one power cord!

Edited by TeeeBear

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