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    • Christopher (Drashna)

      Login issues   11/07/17

      If you have issues with logging in, make sure you use your display name and not the "username" or email.  Or head here for more info.   http://community.covecube.com/index.php?/topic/3252-login-issues/  
    • Christopher (Drashna)

      Getting Help   11/07/17

      If you're experiencing problems with the software, the best way to get ahold of us is to head to https://stablebit.com/Contact, especially if this is a licensing issue.    Issues submitted there are checked first, and handled more aggressively. So, especially if the problem is urgent, please head over there first. 
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hansolo77

Building new server from scratch!

Question

Hey all!  I've been working on learning how to setup and install WSE 2012 R2 and I think I'm finally there.  However, I'm feeling very limited in my capacities as my case is overflowing with drives.  So I'm going to be building a new server from the ground up and would like some advice and suggestions as to what I should get.  I'm only a part-time worker and don't really make a lot of money.  So the purchasing time line is going to be really long.  So far, I know for certain that I'm going to but the Norco 4224 case.  I've read reviews and it has been recommended time and time again.  The only issue with this case appears to be the fans, and the potential for the backplanes to be DOA.  But at the price, it's a steal compared to other similar cases.  Plus, I'm going to get it through NewEgg, as they're the cheapest place around, and they offer really quick RMA's for exchanges if there's something wrong with.
 
Now I'm at the point of internals.  The first order of business is the motherboard.  Form factor isn't really an issue as the Norco case fully supports a whole range.  Individual features are where I'm struggling.  I know that I want to have room for expansion.  So I'm kinda staying away from those Mini ITX boards, since they, for the most part, all seem to have only 1 expansion slot.  I already have 1 SAS controller, and plan on getting an expander.  So that would be 2 slots.  As for the processor, I'm not sure what I need.  My usage scenario is a simple home file server for client backups and media streaming.  So I suppose I don't need anything major.  The same goes for RAM. 
 
As it is right now, I'm thinking about getting one of these:

SUPERMICRO MBD-X9SCL-F-O LGA 1155 Intel C202 Micro ATX Intel Xeon E3 Server Motherboard
or
SUPERMICRO MBD-A1SAM-2550F-O uATX Server Motherboard FCBGA 1283 DDR3 1600/1333
 
The first board is nice, in that it has plenty of expansion slots, Support for Xeon processors, and is cheap.  However, it only supports ECC memory of max 32gb, SATA 3.0GB/s, and is cheap.  The second board is nice, in that it has just enough expansion slots for my needs (controller and expander), already comes with a processor, supports (but not require) ECC memory of max 64gb, and has 2xSATA 6.0Gb/s, but is a little more expensive.
 
So which board should I get?  Integrated CPU and more RAM, or more slots, less RAM, and mandatory ECC?  Or should I look at something else?  What are your suggestions?

EDIT ->  I just looked at and am now also adding this contender:
SUPERMICRO MBD-A1SAM-2550F-O uATX Server Motherboard FCBGA 1283 DDR3 1600/1333

 

It's got more everything.  More SATA 6.0Gb/s, TONS more RAM, support for faster CPU, and more expensive.  To put it in perspective, this new board would probably take a month to save up for.

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Well, glad to hear it, and I hope it all treats you well!

 

 

As for the HP SAS Expander card, yup, exactly. And the external port can be used to attach additional cases. :)

And if you're grabbing it through ebay, if they have a "make an offer" option, you can always low ball them. In a lot of cases, they're more concerned with moving the hardware than the price.

Though, I'm not sure about plugging in both ot the board. But you should get plenty of bandwidth through the one cable (remember, each cable is a 4 lane 6gbps connection, and in theory, can support ~3GB/s which can handle ~25 drives running at 120MB/s at the same time)

 

For the Intel one, yup. Again, lowball. The one I have was advertised for $150. I offered $70 and they accepted. So definitely try.

 

 

Also, you could pick up two intel cards, and then later on (when you run out of space, haha), and get the internal to external SAS adapters. Several, even. 

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The only issue I can foresee is that the LSI Controller won't be able to handle that many drives.  Remember a few weeks ago I discovered that the controller may be only able to support like 36 drives (I think I discussed that through PM).  I'll just have to wait and see.  I think for the most part, to run 24 drives is probably good enough, I'll just work on upgrading to higher capacity drives.  Is it better to run everything through the expander if possible, or would it be more wise to "share" the load by having maybe 4 drives connected directly to the controller?  Also, should I even bother getting the 6gbps expander; would the LSI controller be capable of that throughput?

 

In other news, I'm sick.  Was at work yesterday and after about 30 minutes I started feeling very nauseous.  About 30 minutes after that I started developing this huge migraine.  Dealt with it and continued on, then started feeling really hot/cold, clamy, etc.  Left work early and threw up at home.  Crashed in bed and slept for the last 13 hours.  Woke up today and threw up again, sinus's are stuffed.  Called off work.  I'm very icky.  :(

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The only issue I can foresee is that the LSI Controller won't be able to handle that many drives.  Remember a few weeks ago I discovered that the controller may be only able to support like 36 drives (I think I discussed that through PM).  I'll just have to wait and see.  I think for the most part, to run 24 drives is probably good enough, I'll just work on upgrading to higher capacity drives.  Is it better to run everything through the expander if possible, or would it be more wise to "share" the load by having maybe 4 drives connected directly to the controller?  Also, should I even bother getting the 6gbps expander; would the LSI controller be capable of that throughput?

 

In other news, I'm sick.  Was at work yesterday and after about 30 minutes I started feeling very nauseous.  About 30 minutes after that I started developing this huge migraine.  Dealt with it and continued on, then started feeling really hot/cold, clamy, etc.  Left work early and threw up at home.  Crashed in bed and slept for the last 13 hours.  Woke up today and threw up again, sinus's are stuffed.  Called off work.  I'm very icky.  :(

The controller should handling 64 drives, or it was 256. It depends on the controller firmware, really. And I'm not sure.

http://www.avagotech.com/products/server-storage/raid-controllers/megaraid-sas-9240-8i#specifications

http://www.avagotech.com/products/server-storage/host-bus-adapters/sas-9211-8i#specifications

 

And you can chain Expander cards, IIRC. 

 

The 34-36 limit is for the number of drives you can scan at the same time, assuming 120MB/s throughput. This is based on the PCI Express 2.0 8 lane (8x) connection.  This would be an issue for RAID arrays, but because DrivePool isn't going to be using every drive at the same time, it shouldn't be an issue for your Pool.

 

 

 

And I'm very sorry to hear that you're feeling sick. I hope you feel well soon!

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UPDATE!

Got my new Motherboard and RAM in the mail today.  WOOT!  Spent the last 3 hours getting it together.  I made a big mistake though.  After applying the Artic Silver 5 to the processor and cleaning off the pre-existing gunk on the Intel Cooler, I went right into installing the cooler onto the board.  But I forgot to lower down the lock arm first! So I had the cooler installed, and the metal plate that secures the processor was still hanging out the back.  DOH!  Hopefully I didn't damage it.  I took the cooler off, re-cleaned it and the processor, CLOSED DOWN THE ARM, and reinstalled the cooler.  Everything boots up.  I had some alerts from DrivePool about drives missing and the license needing transferred (expected that).  The only thing I couldn't figure out is how to configure the BIOS to boot from CD-Rom first (if a disk is in the drive).  I don't need it right away, since I only use that if/when I have an OS crash and need to do a restore.  Still, it would be nice to know how to do that.  I guess I wouldn't need it for the OS Restore if I can get some method of the install onto a USB drive and have that permanently connected to the internal USB plug on the board.  But even that would require some kind of setting in the BIOS that I didn't see.  Maybe it's just because there wasn't something connected to it.  I also am only using LAN1 right now, because I don't have a switch and all my LAN ports on my router are used up.  A switch is definitely on my "to get" list.  Then I can use the 4 NICs and the IPMI.

 

But all in all, for what it's worth, it's working!  Of course, I only have 1 stick of RAM and the slowest possible Celeron installed.  But it's running!  Fingers crossed it stays that way!  Next up on the "to buy" list.... the HP Expander so I can use the last 8 drive slots in the case, and remove some of the clutter from all these SATA cables.  :)

 

@ Chris.  You mentioned something a while back about having an option in the BIOS that I can configure that will prevent the LSI controller from displaying it's drive detecting routine.  Do you recall what that was called, and if I have it on this board?  I did find an option called something like "Show Boot ROM option", which I disabled.  All that seems to have done is just make the Full Screen Logo appear longer.  I figure it's still doing all that work in the background, just not displaying it now.

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@ Chris.  You mentioned something a while back about having an option in the BIOS that I can configure that will prevent the LSI controller from displaying it's drive detecting routine.  Do you recall what that was called, and if I have it on this board?  I did find an option called something like "Show Boot ROM option", which I disabled.  All that seems to have done is just make the Full Screen Logo appear longer.  I figure it's still doing all that work in the background, just not displaying it now.

 

It depends on the board. 

 

On some systems, it's the "interupt 19" setting. But your board doesn't have that.

 

However, I think I do know where it is.

In the firmware, Boot -> CSM (Compatibility Support Module) -> Launch Storage OpROM policy.

Try changing this, and see if it helps.  Otherwise. ... avoid rebooting.

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I'll take a look next time I'm in there.  The boot up time takes FOREVER now compared to my old board.  This thing takes like 2 minutes before Windows starts loading.  Really driving me nuts.  Thanks for your advice! :)

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Just throwing out a request for suggestions on further expansion of my server.  I'm already set on the next couple of buys.. the HP Expander and the upgraded Xeon CPU, plus a few SAS cables and more RAM.  But I'm going to be in the market for a few other pieces of gear.

 

1 - Rack 

I've been keeping my eyes out on my local Craigslist to see if anybody happens to come up with something to reuse that's cheap.  So far, the best thing I've seen is somebody's custom built plywood shelves on a set of 2x4's.  So, not much.  Sure, I've seen racks.. in the 42u range costing $300-400, that are rusted out, doors hanging off, etc.  The GOOD racks are going for $500 or more.  So I'm looking at the possibility of buying online.  I really doubt I need a 42u size rack.  Looking at options, I'm thinking a 15u rack would suit me just perfectly.  My server is 4u, and if I upgrade to the point where I need another JBOD expansion case, it'll probably 4u too, so that's 8u's with 7 to spare.  I figure 2u for a switch (see below) and 2u for a UPS (also below).  That will leave me with 3u to spare. And that's a big IF on the extra case, so I may not even need something THAT big.  So any suggestions?  I'm seriously contending the one from Norco: (link).  The only downside is a lot of people are giving it bad reviews.  IstarUSA has one similar, but NewEgg has been out of stock for a while on it.  Got any better ideas?

 

2 - Switch

I've never bought a switch and never really thought I needed one until here in the last couple of years.  Typically, I've purchased a router to go from my Cable/DSL modem I've had, to the 2 computers in our house that would use them.  Ok, that was it, and the classic 10/100 4-port router from NetGear worked great for that.  I even learned the basics of file sharing on it.  Then the day came that I had a PlayStation 2, and could hook it up to the internet also.  Now I had 3 ports in use.  Then I got an HDTV that had a network jack on it for upgrading the firmware (that's all it was for).  So then I had 4 ports.  Things moved along, and I got an iPod touch, with built in Wi-Fi.  Uh Oh, 10/100 wired doesn't do wi-fi.. time to upgrade!  Got a Linksys 4-port WiFi router.  Same plugs for everything else, only now I got WiFi!  Then comes the Xbox 360!  Need another port for my Xbox now too.  I decided to forget the TV's port and decided to use that.  Ok.  Then I decided the bandwith provided by the Linksys is too slow, time to upgrade to Wireless-N!  Then came BluRay.  Sure, the WiFi part works, but it slow and skips a lot streaming Netflix, so I'm swapping my Xbox and BluRay's Lan ports.  Then Dad decided he didn't like having a network cable running across the hall, and we hooked him up wireless.  Then he gets a Bluray player for the Living Room and goes wireless.  Then I get a 2nd Xbox 360 (modded it) and have it wired.  Then I start building a server (whs v1) and it's wired.  Anyway, I keep getting more and more devices, but still only have 4 ports on my router (I've upgraded the router now by the way to a Netgear R6250).  So the time has come for me research the purchase of a switch.  To be 100% honest, I have no idea what I'm getting myself into.  I believe, based on what I've read, all I need is an unmanaged switch.  Something I can connect my router to and just plug all my devices into.  My new motherboard has 5 ports on it (IPMI and 4 LAN), my HTPC currently has 1, Xbox's each have 1, bluray has 1, Raspberry Pi2 has 1, dad's computer has 1.  So that's 11 right there.  I'm probably going to just get a 24-port switch rather than 16.  The price difference is negligible, and I'll have the future proof benefits.  The only thing is, do I WANT unmanaged or would managed be better for my basic home network?  It's just going to be simple internet and file sharing.  Since I've never owned a switch, I don't know how difficult it would be setting it up.  Is it really as simple as plug and play?  How do I assign IP addresses?  How would I tell the router to forward the ports for Xbox Live to the Xbox when it's in the switch and not connected to the router directly?  Would that even work?  Do I need PoE?  So yeah, need a little help. 

 

3 - UPS
This is another device I've known about for a long time but never gave it much thought as something I should need.  But considering the amount of money I'm spending trying to build a decent server, I'd really hate for it to all go kablooey because of a power outage during a storm or something.  Right now, I have 2 power strips plugged into the same wall outlet (one for each plug, not daisy chained!).  They both have surge protectors on them.  However, I'm always scared when the power goes out that my stuff won't come back, because I've actually had 2 motherboards die on me in the past from storms (although that was back in dialup modem days).  I'd like to ease my mind with a UPS, and have everything connected through that (computer wise, I'm not going all crazy with stuff like the TV, bluray player, etc).  So if I understand correctly, the UPS is plugged into the wall, and stays charged.  Power goes out, and UPS provides x amount of minutes (based on the draw of what's running from it).  The UPS can tell the computer through USB that it is running, and tells the computer to shut down.  This gives the computer a proper shut down, and eliminates the possibilities of corrupted files, damaged drives, blown out circuits.  Power comes back, recharges battery, good for another day.  If that sounds right, then I definitely want one.  Since I'm going to get a rack, I might as well get a rackmount UPS.  I'm thinking of this one (link) but I'm up to suggestions.  This one is kinda expensive but is on sale right now.  If it's on sale now, it will be again.  There's other online stores too, so I'll look around.  I'm just looking for reassurance that I'm on the right track.

 

4 - Miscellaneous

Is there something else I'm possibly over looking?  Seems like a lot when it's all layed out, but it's really because I like to jabber on when I'm half asleep.  It's kinda my way of forcing myself to stay awake, by drolling on and on.  :)  I'm really just looking for some advice of some basic equipment, and what the general idea for suggestions might be.  I'm completely open on this aspect, since these are things to get in the far off future once I'm up and running with my server.

 

Thanks guys!

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Hi you could just buy yourself some rackmount bars off eBay go to your local hardware shop and get them to cut some 22mm mdf to your custome sizes screw the bars on there you go I built mine like that cost me about £30 I needed a case at a specific size for where I wanted it stored.

post-21-0-87158800-1444717454_thumb.jpeg

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Building your own rack is definitely the cheapest solution. :)

But check for Dell or HP or other small racks.  They exist, but yeah, still expensive.  Over priced, even. 

 

The problem with that Norco rack, is that it's too shallow. Not deep enough. At least for the 4224.  If you notice on their page, they recommend RL-26 for the 4U case. But the description of the rack specifically says it doesn't support it.  

 

 

Switches

=======

 

Managed switches are nice. Powerfully, too.  
Unmanaged switches are just plug and play. They don't have a device interface, so there is no need for an IP Address (so they dont' have one).  A managed switch has a bunch of options, so it has an IP Address (usually static).

 

For your usage, a regular, consumer grade unmanaged switch is all you need. I used to have a nice XyGel 16 port switch (maybe 12 port) but I grew out of that. Just plug it in to everything ,and you're set.

 

UPS

====

 

Every electronic device should have one. A surge protector at least.  But anything that's important, should have a UPS. Especially your server.

 

If you're power supply is Active PFC, you need to make sure you get a PFC (true sinewave) UPS as well. A "AVR" UPS will cause issues if you're using a PFC rated power supply.

 

And yes, that's exactly right. It runs on battery, and can shut down the system (Windows handles it pretty much just like a laptop battery, if you don't install the custom software and drivers).

The other advantage is that it filters out power fluctuations. You know when the room lights dim? Yeah, it filters taht. And brown outs. And power spikes.  It filters these out, and provides "cleaned" power to your systems.  

 

However, while part of the purpose to prevent spikes, I've heard of people losing the computer hardware when there was a lightning strike anyways. This is entirely possible, but ... that's why you should turn the system off and unplug it, if it's risk.

 

I personally use a CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD for my server. And an older APC model for my network hardware.
It's pricy, but it lasts for about 20 minutes with all my stuff connected to it (which is impressive)

 

Though, you may be able to find old UPS's on ebay or CL or the like. They may just need a new battery (but those can get expensive. .... but not as expensive as the whole unit usually).

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Thanks Chris.  I've actually been doing a bit of research on that Norco rack, that's why I linked it.  From my understanding, the rack is "just wide enough" to support the RPC-4224 case mounted flush.  If you try to use Rails, it's a no-go.  I don't know if you remember, maybe I didn't even mention it before (heh I don't even remember), there was a guy on eBay selling his Norco 4224 case as 1 item, and this exact rack he had it mounted in separately.  So I know they can work together.  I also read a review complete with a video, that showed a guy installing this case in that rack.  The trick is to use either a shelf that the case sits on, or mounting brackets that hold the back up and the front screws into the rack.  Anyway, I'm not sure what you mean by it being too shallow.  Do you mean front to back or side to side?  Front to back isn't a problem if you're using the shelf or brackets because the case just sits on them, they don't mount to anything in the back.  If you're talking about side to side, again I don't think that's an issue if other people have done it.  I guess I can always do more research.  Especially if there are other options out there (like you said, HP or Dell racks).  One thing I do know I probably don't want is one of those enclosed rack cabinets with the glass windows, etc.  Sure they look pretty, but I really can't imagine them being cool (temperature.. obviously they're COOL lol).

 

As for the switches.  The plug and play is really what I thought it was then.  That's good.  I'd hate to order up one of those unmanaged switches and then turn around and not be able to use it because of configuration issues.  I assume things like IP address's and things are all configured then from the machines themselves like they already are.  I let my wifi devices all use dynamic IP's, and then all my wired have specific IP's so I can route traffic.  If the IP is set on the machine, and I plug it into the switch, the router would still pick it up right?  So I'm basically just adding more ports to the router.  If I need to port forward to an IP address, it would still be the same way as before right?  So for instance it would still be 192.168.1.25 for the HTPC, etc.  It wouldn't become something like 192.168.2.25, and I wouldn't be able to access it through the router or nothing?

 

I'm also happy to know that my theories on UPS functionality is correct.  When the time comes, I'll definitely research what the best model would be for my needs.  I'm not sure what type I should get, as you say Active PFC.  Not sure what I have, and what would be compatible.  Right now, my server is using that new PSU (Corsair AX760i) which I believe I read has Active PFC, and my HTPC uses that older PSU (Antec HCG-750) that I'm pretty sure you identified as Active PFC too.  So I guess that means I need the PFC type UPS.  Only ideally, I'll want 2 UPS's... one for the server and the switch, etc, and another one for my HTPC, TV, AVR, etc.

 

Uhg, this hobby bleeds you dry!  :)

 

In other news.  I don't know if I've mentioned it publicly in the forums here or not, but I know me and Chris have been trying to troubleshoot an issue with my server.  Since installing the new OS, I've been experiencing a flush of errors in my System section of the Event Log.  Specifically, it is reporting the driver "mvs91xx" has caused a Warning "Reset to device, \Device\RaidPort3, was issued."  Originally this warning was from a different driver on the older motherboard.  So I know it's definitely not from one of the 2 expander card's I'm using.  I just spent the entire day today tracing each port out... the long way.  I removed a drive, and waited for the error to pop.  When it did, I re-added it, cleared the log, and removed the next one.  Rinse and repeat.  Needless to say, as of this very moment, I have completed the cycle of removing each and every drive that is plugged into the motherboard (minus the OS's SSD), and came up with nothing.  The error appeared, on the same "device", no matter if there was a drive plugged in or not.  So it's clearly NOT a drive issue.  I'm afraid one of my backplanes may be faulty, which is not surprising.  A lot of people have reported issues with Norco's backplanes, and I thought I was safe because they all "work".  Still, I'm not giving up.  Has this come up in anybody else's builds?  Can you recommend something I haven't tried?  Having removed each drive on 2 separate backplanes, I'm not even sure which one (if any) I would even need to replace.  Or is this just something I'm going to have to simply ignore?

 

I have some other Server issues I'd like help with, but they can wait since my system is stable for the most part.  The other issues deal with DNS and such, all stuff to do with Server Essentials backend stuff that I'm not ready to deal with yet.

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Woot!  I think I have finally narrowed down the where the error is coming from.  Tricky little devil.  So today I decided rather than try and remove the drive from the front of the case, I'd try to remove the actual SATA cable.  That way I can definitely rule out the back plane as the problem.  I started with all the drives (except for the OS) connected directly to the motherboard, using the same process as yesterday of removing the drive, and waiting for the error to pop.  Theoretically, it shouldn't come up if there isn't anything connected to it right?  I think the errors from yesterday was because the cable was still attached and connected to the back plane.  Well, I went through the whole set of motherboard cables and they all popped up the error.  Then I went to the PCIe SATA controller (not the LSI since it's working fine).  The first cable I removed showed the error in about 15 minutes.  Then I removed the 2nd cable, and it didn't pop for 3 hours!  Woot!  Rather than re-connect it and wait for it to pop again, I decided to swap it with plug #1.  So the port that DIDN'T pop the error is still disconnected.  By swapping the plugs, I'm also checking now to verify that it wasn't the back plane (because now I'm connecting the drive that was reporting as being reset to another plug).  So far so good.  I'm an hour in.  If it passes another hour, I'm going to officially declare that the port on the controller is what is going bad.  This is no problem because I do have another 3 ports available on the motherboard (though they are 3g instead of 6g speeds).  My plan is connect everything back the way it was, but connect the cable from the failing plug to the motherboard.  Let it run for a good while, and hopefully everything will remain stable.  If I get another error to pop, I'm expecting it to be on a different port (instead of RaidPort3, it should be either RaidPort2 or RaidPort0).  If that happens, I have more work to do (bad back plane (swap reverse break out cables to verify) or bad cable (no way to verify)).  If the error still comes up RaidPort3, I'm going to pull my hair out!  I'm not going to bother ordering another reverse breakout cable, since I'm going to be getting that HP Expander that uses SAS cables.

 

Here's hoping!

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Grr!!  Now I'm bald.  Just checked my event viewer.  I had it running great for like 7 hours.  Then around 12:30am last night, it popped the RaidPort3 error.  Then again around 1:15am.  WTF?!  I don't know what else to try.  The only thing left to really try is swapping the cables, but I'll probably still get the same error only it would be referring to the other back plane instead.  Argh!

 

I think I'm going to just wait and get the expander and go from there.  If I still get the error then, I'll replace the back plane.  The system is still stable, I haven't lost any data or anything.  It's just an annoying event.

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Been almost 2 weeks now without an update.  So I thought I'd real quick announce that I have ordered my HP 24-port SAS Expander!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-HP-6Gbps-SAS-Expender-Card-24-Port-SAS-PCI-E-Expander-Board-468405-001-/171532956108?hash=item27f02931cc:g:aQUAAOSwdsFUPgAb

I tried to haggle a bit with the seller.  I originally bookmarked his sale when it was at $210, it's now at $160.  In fact, when I started my haggle, he had it set at $110.  I only managed to get him down to $100 even, plus $8 shipping.  Still, it beats +$200, and it's brand new.  I could have gotten it cheaper, in the $80 range, but those other sales are different models running at 3G speed instead of 6G.  Now I need to buy me some more SAS cables!

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I'm always getting ripped I think.  So I ordered that HP card on Saturday, and here it is on Thursday!  Wow, good shipping.  Even eBay said to expect it between November 12th and November 30th!  It's only the 5th!  Anyway, the box was just big enough for the card.  I mean, it's like 2 cm thick, by maybe 4 inches tall and 6 inches wide.  One side was wrinkled like it had been crushed.  There was a little scape looking hole on the side where it looked the the "crush" exposed something in the box.  Opened up the box, there was a big bright yellow smiley face card with writing on the back that said contact us before raising an issue with eBay, then there was a layer of tiny hole bubble wrap, followed by a tiny hole bubble bag, then a layer of tiny hole bubble wrap on the bottom.  Inside the bubble bag was an ESD bag with the card in it.  The card appears to be brand new.  I didn't take it out of the bag, but the bag was still sealed with an ESD warning sticker.  I guess those can be pretty easily available.  But if I look at the back plate that you screw into the case, the whole bottom portion (bottom of the slot) was bent out of shape.  I gently bent it back.  I'm not too concerned about that though since it's really just the back plate.  The components on the card are more important.  Since I don't have any spare SAS cables, I have to wait before I can install and test it.  However, I did just go ahead today and ordered 5 more SAS cables from Monoprice.  Shipping is 2-3 days, and that would make it fall on the weekend so I probably won't get them till Monday.  Anyway, there wasn't anything extra included, no instructions, or mounting screws, or cables.  I didn't figure there would be, but on the plus side there wasn't any little pieces inside the bag that had broken off!  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this was just a minor blemish with the plate and the card itself will be ok.  I'll report back my findings.

 

If anybody else is interested in this HP Expander card, go for it!  But ask the guy to pack it a little better. 

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Wow Holy JEEZ!!

 

Ordered those SAS cables from Monoprice yesterday, and got them TODAY.  In fact, they arrived at like 10:30 in the morning!  I didn't even pay extra, but they pretty much came next day air.  I'm impressed!  Now I get to go through the fun of installing the new card and cables.  WOOT!  Excitement!

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NEED HELP FAST!!

 

Does DrivePool not recognize a drive if it's connected using a different method?  After installing the new HP Expander, none of the drives that were originally connected via reverse breakout are being recognized in DrivePool.  I checked Device Manager, and they show up.  They even show up in Scanner.  But DrivePool is alerting me that these drives are missing!  UGH!  I've come so far just to get hung up by this.  I can't afford any data loss to re-add these to the pool, since I've got like 10% free space remaining on all of them.  LOL

 

HELP!!

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OH SO MANY WOES

 

Here I was all super excited because I got the expander and my cables.  Now I'm having all kinds of trouble and I don't know what to do.  I really need some help.  For starters, it now takes my computer like 30 minutes to boot up Windows (the BIOS part is a cinch, I'm talking about the the whole Blue Window logo and the spinny dots taking 30-45 minutes to load before I get the login screen).  This is ridiculous.  I don't know what it's doing.  I've trying running a manual chkdsk on the OS drive (which is an SSD) and it always comes back fine.  I'm in the process now of verifying my OS files are good (sfc /scannow).  I suspect they'll be fine too.  I haven't done anything new other than install that new expander, which just uses the mobo for power.  The strange thing too is that occasionally on boot, the entire network of drives other than the SSD won't show up in Windows.  But they show up fine during the BIOS boot stage if I have it set to show the OptionROM screen.  So the hardware itself is seeing the drives fine.  But for some strange reason Windows doesn't.  I wish I knew what was taking so long for Windows to load so I could troubleshoot it.

 

Please somebody help me!  :(

 

I'm "this close" to formatting and reinstalling Windows, thus wiping all previous configurations out the window.  I really don't want to do that...

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Ok, so after a couple hours, I finally got the Windows Recovery to boot up of the CD.. I was going to try and do a system restore. Trouble now is, it can't find the backups. I think it's because Windows did a preliminary scan of drives and detected "New" ones and turned them all offline. So I can't access the drive the backups are on. So I tried going into the command prompt to run a chkdsk on the OS. While in there I did a d:, then e:, f:, etc, checking the directories. Turns out, most drives are empty, and only like 3 of them have a PoolPart folder. OMG I think my pool is hosed. 15 years of saved photos and music now most likely gone. I can't deal with this. I had a feeling something was up when Windows DID load, and had all the drives but DrivePool showed no pool, and offered only the C: drive as an option to build a new pool out of.

 

Omg what a mess. Hopefully the data I still have can be recovered onto another temp drive like I did months ago before I started this whole upgrade procedure. I'm super depressed right now, really need advice going forward. I thought I knew what I was doing, but apparently not. I hate my life.

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About to add my next 4tb Seagate NAS drive to the server probably tomorrow. Got in on a good deal from NewEgg on Cyber Monday for $119. Should arrive tomorrow. Good timing to because I've only got like 2GB space left!

 

So I'm looking at unmanaged switches for my next big buy. I've done a bit of deep thinking and I think I've narrowed it down to two possibilities.

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100158106%20600052100%20600052097&IsNodeId=1&Description=unmanaged%20gigabit%20switch&bop=And&CompareItemList=30%7C33-122-058%5E33-122-058%2C33-150-156%5E33-150-156&percm=33-122-058%3A%24%24%24%24%24%24%24%3B33-150-156%3A%24%24%24%24%24%24%24

 

Hopefully that "compare" link will work. Essentially they're the same thing. 16 ports, Gigabit, unmanaged, lifetime warranties, same cost (with the NetGear's discount). The Cisco has some kind of mini port that I have no use for at this time being but might be useful in the future, and QoS which might be useful in a home server environment for streaming videos. The NetGear brand I'm more familiar with, matches the brand of my router, and has over a hundred positive reviews versus Cisco's less than 10.

 

So what do you guys think?

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Well, either switch should be good.

 

I actually have the managed version of the netgear you've linked, and am pretty happy with it. (Managed is better!)

 

As for the mini ports, they're gigabit, just different formfactor. More datacenter oriented, IIRC. So not strictly necessary. 

 

Cisco is the de-facto standard for enterprise networking, so they're absolutely a reliable brand.  So it's a good brand to grab, as well.

 

 

 

 

 

And nice buy on the 4TB NAS drive. :)

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Not much help. Thanks! :P

 

I think I'm probably going to go with the Netgear. I've actually had that on my wishlist for awhile. I just happened to see that Cisco yesterday when I was checking prices.

 

I guess UPS is delaying the delivery of my drive another day. Not sure why, is been sitting in my city for 2 days now.

 

I'm having a new problem with my motherboard. I had it set up and the IPMI interface was working. Then I decided to go and install a new case fan. Rather than plug it directly into the power supply, I connected it to one of the fan headers on the motherboard. That way I could use the IPMI to keep track of the fan speed and temps. Well, for some reason now, it's not working. The sensors are completely gone now (fan speed, temps, voltages) and display all 0's. I can't connect to the IPMI address either. When I rebooted the computer, it took forever to load the POST screen, and the BIOS shows the BMC has failed it's connection tests. It was unable to get an IP address from the router (using DHCP). I also couldn't get it to work with a static IP. The tech support agent I got in touch with sent me a tool that basically resets the BMC to it's default state, but it failed. It looks like it wasn't able to even detect the BMC version number. So I'm out of ideas for the moment. Waiting on the tech guy to reply back (I think he's in Asia some where). I hope I don't have to RMA this motherboard.. I just got it! :(

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Wow, what a waste of a week.  Been trying to fix this BMC/IPMI thing all week.  And it's my vacation!  So yeah, a good 8-10 hours every day messing with this thing.  But... just fixed it!  (knock on wood!)  The solution?  After googling like crazy trying to find somebody else who had this problem, I found a forum thread for SuperMicro users, where the suggested solution was to unplug EVERYTHING.  Unplug the power, remove the battery, remove the CPU, remove the RAM, remove all expansion cards.  Make sure all jumpers are back to their default (which mine already were). Basically pretend like you just bought it and installed it before you connected anything to it.  Wait a good 5-10 minutes (theoretically this will drain out any potential saved power going to any part of the motherboard, and will eliminate any storages).  Once that's done, connect one thing at a time and build up a running system.  Of course I know it won't work without CPU and RAM both, so I connected those first.  Booted up, and waited.  By default, this board will do a 30-count (not seconds, more like 5 seconds each count) to verify the BMC is initialized, then a 30-count to initialize the system, then it POST's.  Well, all this week my BMC has taken all 30-count to come back blank.  Strangely enough, the last time I checked, the BIOS will show what version the CMOS and BMC are running, and the BMC has been blank.  After having everything unplugged, that BMC 30-count took till only 15, then the system booted right up.  I went into the BIOS and WOOT!!!  It showed the BMC version.  Not only that, but all my sensor data was back!  Went over to the BMC tab, and it had passed it's test and connected via DHCP to the IP address it was on before.  BONUS!  I made all my typical enable/disable changes in the BIOS and rebooted.  BMC 30-count didn't even get to 29 (counts down) before the system was up and running!  While at the server, I logged into a command prompt and pinged the IPMI and got 4 replies (nothing big, it always did that even when the BMC wasn't working, but it was reassurance).  Opened up a web browser (still at the server) and was able to bring up the IPMI website and log in!  All my sensor data showed up right there on the first page!  WOO!!!  I then rebooted again and walked away.  Waited for it to finish then tried to connect to the IPMI from a client PC.  It worked too!  So there you have it.  A week wasted, and all I had to do was disconnect everything. 

 

WHATEVER!!  <_< <_< :blink::wacko:

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lol, sorry. 

 

Either switch is a good buy. So it's really a personal decision at that point.

 

 

As for UPS.... I hate buying anything during this time of the year.  UPS may have it sitting, but they may not actually have enough drivers for all the packages they need to deliver. 

 

As for the IPMI/BMC thing, that's .... really odd. I've never heard of that issue, but .. .well if it happens to me...

 

 

But yeah, it's nice when it's working!

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Yeah, UPS had it across the country in a day and half.. then they sat on it 2 days (original expected delivery was Wednesday).  Then they sent it to the post office, who held it another day until today.  But I never considered the shipping delay because of the holidays.  Good call on that.  :)

Yeah that IPMI thing was driving me nuts.  I was afraid I was going to have to send it back and exchange it.  Luckily I figured it out.  Strangely still, I haven't heard back from the tech guy.  Guess he's lost too. 

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Yeah, UPS had it across the country in a day and half.. then they sat on it 2 days (original expected delivery was Wednesday).  Then they sent it to the post office, who held it another day until today.  But I never considered the shipping delay because of the holidays.  Good call on that.  :)

 

Yeah that IPMI thing was driving me nuts.  I was afraid I was going to have to send it back and exchange it.  Luckily I figured it out.  Strangely still, I haven't heard back from the tech guy.  Guess he's lost too. 

Yeah, that's why I hate online shopping during this time of year. Depending on your area, they may be swamped.

 

And the tech guy may be. But definitely do let him know how you fixed it. We appreciate that (at least, *I* do :) )

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