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asdaHP

perc H310 with drivepool IT or leave it as it is

Question

Hi,

So adding one more gadget, i just ordered a perc H310 from ebay to give me access to more SATA drives in my dell t20. It seems everywhere i read, this is being discussed with flashing to the LSI 9211 IT mode, mostly though for freenas. I am running a win 2012 r2 essentials and drivepool. Do i gain in reliability or speed in flashing to the IT mode (vs the risks that i goof up while doing all those DOS boots) or should i leave it as it is with the dell firmware?

 

Does drivepool handle one better than the other? (Dell vs lsi IT)

 

Somewhere else i read that in this IT mode, drives dont get parked and that could be an issue (i have three HGST drives currently). To avoid it i have to do another bunch of steps to allow that or that i should leave the card in IR mode. Does leaving the dell Perc H310 with the dell firmware keep it in IR mode (i am a newbie, and despite reading the servethehome writeups, i just dont get what the IR mode actually is).

 

thank you for reading and answering.

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ir - i think means raid - it gives you individual disks and no raid

 

in raid mode it may cause problems as IIRC you have to have a drive connected to access the controller/boot

 

to be honest just bung it in and boot the pc - see if it pops up with a bios screen that you can access - if you can make sure its set for single disks - i.e. no raid - it might say legacy drives - if it does good 

 

let it boot in to windows and can you see the drives?

 

If so format them and run scanner in burst mode on each disk (right click in scanner on the disk) - leave the pc for several hours or over night - no errors - bob's your auntie!!

 

if you get issues - flash it - just dont brick it :)

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ir - i think means raid - it gives you individual disks and no raid

 

in raid mode it may cause problems as IIRC you have to have a drive connected to access the controller/boot

 

to be honest just bung it in and boot the pc - see if it pops up with a bios screen that you can access - if you can make sure its set for single disks - i.e. no raid - it might say legacy drives - if it does good 

 

let it boot in to windows and can you see the drives?

 

If so format them and run scanner in burst mode on each disk (right click in scanner on the disk) - leave the pc for several hours or over night - no errors - bob's your auntie!!

 

if you get issues - flash it - just dont brick it :)

Thanks for the reply. So the R in IR is 'Raid'

I dont intend to format any drives at this moment as the data is already under the drivepool drives and the OS on an SSD on the same server. My plan to add the card is to allow me to add access initially to the DVD drive (which is disconnected) and later another data drive. i had the choice of picking one of those dell pcs sata cards but these dell percs were at a good price and it looked it would be a good future option for expansion. Since i really dont want to risk my server, i was planning to do any firmware update on a PC running windows 10.

 

But i see what u are saying of giving it a try with the dell firmware first. Have you or anyone else used the perc h310 with drivepool as it is ?

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just putting it in and booting is not going to damage you server - connect it to a spare drive and see if you can see it - or lob it in your win 10 pc - windows will probably recognise it being a dell product

 

if its in ir mode and not been configured before it should still work fine and pass through drives as singles - if not you can probably reset the card bios to defaults

 

as for dvd drives they may not be supported on the controller some dont

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just putting it in and booting is not going to damage you server - connect it to a spare drive and see if you can see it - or lob it in your win 10 pc - windows will probably recognise it being a dell product

 

if its in ir mode and not been configured before it should still work fine and pass through drives as singles - if not you can probably reset the card bios to defaults

 

as for dvd drives they may not be supported on the controller some dont

Thank u again.

 

Oh well, tried on win 10, gave me some strange message of the previous drives being no longer available. So i rebooted after disconnecting the working drive (to be safe), and used the dell dos commands to flash the card to lsi (https://techmattr.wordpress.com/2016/04/11/updated-sas-hba-crossflashing-or-flashing-to-it-mode-dell-perc-h200-and-h310/). Everything went fine except i could not find a win 10 driver. Il test it tomorrow on the server 2012 r2 and see. On win 10, i could not detect a drive that i later connected to the card, but am not sure if this is from a driver issue or from a cable issue. The card came with a two drive SAS cable. The cable looks like a combination of a sata data and power cable. One set of wires goes to the card, and another hooks to the sata power cord in my pc.

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the odd message is because it has been configured before and not set to default before you got it

 

no drivers - os will not see the disks - 99% of the time - can be handy for testing

 

yes i was looking for win 10 drivers for 92xx cards and they appear not to exist

2012r2 should be fine as Chris uses them with Essentials - similar code base

 

sounds like you need some new cables

 

you want some sas to sata break out cables - e.g. https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01HZFUNVS/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Make sure you get forward cables as they are directional get the wrong one and it will not work - i have the above works fine on my hba - although they are quite short - but you can get various lengths

 

Before you load any drives in r2 - i would have a good look at the card bios and see what options are set or not - and check if the card needs a drive attached to work at all - some do some dont - my RocketRaids "work" fine with no disks - basically you want it with no raid configured and single disks so essentially the card does a pass through and does not do anything more etc - if it shows a disk as legacy - it just means its not a raid disk and it does not recognise it as such - which is actually what you want.

 

If you still get problems/issues - then flash to IT mode - not sure if there is a performance benefit with IT mode

 

Have fun - and welcome to the world of lots of disks :)

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the odd message is because it has been configured before and not set to default before you got it

 

no drivers - os will not see the disks - 99% of the time - can be handy for testing

 

yes i was looking for win 10 drivers for 92xx cards and they appear not to exist

2012r2 should be fine as Chris uses them with Essentials - similar code base

 

sounds like you need some new cables

 

you want some sas to sata break out cables - e.g. https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01HZFUNVS/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Make sure you get forward cables as they are directional get the wrong one and it will not work - i have the above works fine on my hba - although they are quite short - but you can get various lengths

 

Before you load any drives in r2 - i would have a good look at the card bios and see what options are set or not - and check if the card needs a drive attached to work at all - some do some dont - my RocketRaids "work" fine with no disks - basically you want it with no raid configured and single disks so essentially the card does a pass through and does not do anything more etc - if it shows a disk as legacy - it just means its not a raid disk and it does not recognise it as such - which is actually what you want.

 

If you still get problems/issues - then flash to IT mode - not sure if there is a performance benefit with IT mode

 

Have fun - and welcome to the world of lots of disks :)

Thank you for getting back again.

 

Actually there is no BIOS in the card once i followed the flash directions given in the site by mattr https://techmattr.wordpress.com/2016/04/11/updated-sas-hba-crossflashing-or-flashing-to-it-mode-dell-perc-h200-and-h310/

 

It sounds like he set up that way so the card would be a simple HBA.  I will today put the card in my 2012 r2 and see if i can load the 2012 r2 driver and if that allows me to see the underlying drive. Other option is if there is a function at cmd prompt level or during the boot of the server to test that the card is OK. That would prove that it is just a windows driver issue.

 

And thank u on the forward breakout cables link. I copied that title and found it is also in amazon.com (in the us). Sounds like it is one with good reviews. I was planning on eventually getting one but thought id first use the SAS cables that came with card; but this is a good excuse to get a good one.

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Thanks. All this while i thought i could connect a sata drive to a sas controller with a sas cable but could not connect a sas drive to a sata controller with a sata cable. I guess i got that wrong.

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the sas cable you have wont work with a sata drive if it is a sas cable - other way around will i think -might be your problem with not seeing a drive???

 

Actually, there are breakout cables that convert the multi-lane SAS cables into multiple (4 usually) SAS/SATA connectors. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B012BPLYJC/

 

Just note, these cables are not multi-directional.  So you can't use a breakout cable to hook up SATA ports to a SAS hookup.  You need a reverse breakout cable for that.  And the same holds true here. 

 

 

Hi,

So adding one more gadget, i just ordered a perc H310 from ebay to give me access to more SATA drives in my dell t20. It seems everywhere i read, this is being discussed with flashing to the LSI 9211 IT mode, mostly though for freenas. I am running a win 2012 r2 essentials and drivepool. Do i gain in reliability or speed in flashing to the IT mode (vs the risks that i goof up while doing all those DOS boots) or should i leave it as it is with the dell firmware?

 

Does drivepool handle one better than the other? (Dell vs lsi IT)

 

Somewhere else i read that in this IT mode, drives dont get parked and that could be an issue (i have three HGST drives currently). To avoid it i have to do another bunch of steps to allow that or that i should leave the card in IR mode. Does leaving the dell Perc H310 with the dell firmware keep it in IR mode (i am a newbie, and despite reading the servethehome writeups, i just dont get what the IR mode actually is).

 

thank you for reading and answering.

 

 

IIRC, the Dell PERC card only shows the drives to the host system if you add them to RAID arrays. 

 

This is fine, but it means that you give up SMART data.  

 

However, flashing it to IT mode makes the card a "HBA" card, which means all it does is act as a drive controller, with NO RAID functionality.  In most cases, this is what you want with our software. 

 

 

 

However, if the Dell PERC does actually let you pass through the drives to the system without adding them to RAID arrays, then there is no need to flash the card. 

 

My IBM ServeRAID M1015 card (which is very similar) has been flashed to IR mode and allows me to create RAID arrays or to pass through the disks.   But the Dell PERC may be in "OEM" mode, which is ... the above mode (eg, RAID only, no passthrough). 

 

It's worth testing the drives out, just don't configure ANYTHING. 

 

 

 

Additionally, SATA drives work fine on SAS, but not the other way around.

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Actually, there are breakout cables that convert the multi-lane SAS cables into multiple (4 usually) SAS/SATA connectors. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B012BPLYJC/

 

Just note, these cables are not multi-directional.  So you can't use a breakout cable to hook up SATA ports to a SAS hookup.  You need a reverse breakout cable for that.  And the same holds true here. 

 

 

 

 

IIRC, the Dell PERC card only shows the drives to the host system if you add them to RAID arrays. 

 

This is fine, but it means that you give up SMART data.  

 

However, flashing it to IT mode makes the card a "HBA" card, which means all it does is act as a drive controller, with NO RAID functionality.  In most cases, this is what you want with our software. 

 

 

 

However, if the Dell PERC does actually let you pass through the drives to the system without adding them to RAID arrays, then there is no need to flash the card. 

 

My IBM ServeRAID M1015 card (which is very similar) has been flashed to IR mode and allows me to create RAID arrays or to pass through the disks.   But the Dell PERC may be in "OEM" mode, which is ... the above mode (eg, RAID only, no passthrough). 

 

It's worth testing the drives out, just don't configure ANYTHING. 

 

 

 

Additionally, SATA drives work fine on SAS, but not the other way around.

Thanks drashna,

My issue is confirming if the mini sas to dual sas cable plus power which came with perc h310 is equivalent to a forward breakout cable ( part T3F4V eg http://www.ebay.com/itm/DELL-CABLE-MINI-SAS-TO-2-DUAL-SAS-AND-POWER-CABLE-T3F4V-/141648332793

I have already flashed the perc to LSI 9211 using mattr's page. What i dont understand is why i cant see the sata drive that i connected to the card with the above cable. If it sounds like the cable is faulty, i will order a sas to 4 sata cable like you and earlier spider 99 suggested but wanted to confirm.

 

 

EDIT>>> Tested on server 2012 r2 and drive is detected by same cable. So cable and card work. Probably a win 10 or dell t5600 issue. Also drivepool and scanner are seeing the drive.

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so likely a driver issue or lack of one for win 10 - win7/8 might work - did windows load a driver automatically?

Windows did load one in win 10. Luckily, i was only using the win 10 for flashing the card and testing. The card hopefully will reside in the dell t20 with 2012 r2. I have been testing the drive /controller since last night with the burst mode. 480MB/s currently. Only issue with the server is the other drives are getting a little hot (38, 39C) particularly the two that are at the top cage (oddly enough farthest from the perc card and controlled by the mobo controller). I dont see a way to speed up the case fan and dell makes it hard to add additional/ bigger regular fans by the use of their 5 pin proprietary connectors.

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lol - DRM for fans now!

 

sounds like you need better air flow into and out of your case - i tend to blow in at the top and suck at the bottom - i have more in than out to create a "positive" pressure in the case to try and keep the dust bunnies at bay

 

Looking at the case for a t20 it looks like it has a non standard front so this may not work but have a look at this from Icy Dock

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00LT4CA5Y/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

I have 6 and they work fine and fit well into normal 5.25 bays

 

How many drives have you got in burst mode - multiple drives give the controller more of a test - and will show up any bugs etc

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lol - DRM for fans now!

 

sounds like you need better air flow into and out of your case - i tend to blow in at the top and suck at the bottom - i have more in than out to create a "positive" pressure in the case to try and keep the dust bunnies at bay

 

Looking at the case for a t20 it looks like it has a non standard front so this may not work but have a look at this from Icy Dock

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00LT4CA5Y/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

I have 6 and they work fine and fit well into normal 5.25 bays

 

How many drives have you got in burst mode - multiple drives give the controller more of a test - and will show up any bugs etc

Yes one thing leads to another...

 

That link u added is for a HDD cage in amazon.co.uk. Did you mean that i should add a cage for improved ventilation (i suspect it wont fit in the dell t20 case...most mods talk about using either a 2.5 orico or a dell 2 drive cage)? Or was it a bad link and you were thinking of a fan? The case BTW has a stock fan (92 mm foxconn) with the dell 5 pin connector. I would like to run a bigger fan there or put another fan in the front of the case. I'd still have to get a splitter for the dell 5 pin and hope the two fans dont overload the mobo power (doubt it) ot get a 4 to 5 pin adaptor. With the current setups as i look now, the upper cage hdd (HGST coolspin 4tb) are at 38, 39C, while the lower cage is at 37. Pain!

 

The burst test was on only one drive that i connected to the LSI/perc h310. I was just checking that the card and cable was fine since i bought it used on ebay. Till i add a cage, i probably wont use the card.

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no i was referring to the cage as it has an adjustable fan 120 mm built in - but as i said it probably wont fit

 

If the drive is HGST and 7200 - i have several they run 4-5 degrees hotter than say a WD 5400 drive so i would put them in the best cooling location in your case

 

I am going to split mine up so they are not close/next to each other as they tend to heat soak each other - and with scanner you can see they slowly climb in temp with use - but nothing to worry about - i prefer to keep them in the high 30's when in use and in the low 30's when idle

 

 

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no i was referring to the cage as it has an adjustable fan 120 mm built in - but as i said it probably wont fit

 

If the drive is HGST and 7200 - i have several they run 4-5 degrees hotter than say a WD 5400 drive so i would put them in the best cooling location in your case

 

I am going to split mine up so they are not close/next to each other as they tend to heat soak each other - and with scanner you can see they slowly climb in temp with use - but nothing to worry about - i prefer to keep them in the high 30's when in use and in the low 30's when idle

 

attachicon.gifCapture.PNG

My drives (two of them that is) are the HGST coolspin which are 5900 rpm. These run at 36-38. The other HGST is an ultrastar and runs a couple of degrees more. I have on my older mediasmart whs v1 WD reds and those seems to be cooler but i went with the HGST coolspin as they get good review in backblaze and admittedly were cheaper.

 

Eventually il probably switch out the current dell foxconn fan but i first need a 5 pin to 4 pin converter which i just ordered on ebay...

thanks

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no i was referring to the cage as it has an adjustable fan 120 mm built in - but as i said it probably wont fit

 

If the drive is HGST and 7200 - i have several they run 4-5 degrees hotter than say a WD 5400 drive so i would put them in the best cooling location in your case

 

I am going to split mine up so they are not close/next to each other as they tend to heat soak each other - and with scanner you can see they slowly climb in temp with use - but nothing to worry about - i prefer to keep them in the high 30's when in use and in the low 30's when idle

 

attachicon.gifCapture.PNG

Hi spider99

So i added a back case fan 120 mm and the temps in the lower drives came down dramatically but the upper cage not so much. No way to put a fan by the upper drive cage as the front is a dvd player.

 

post-2611-0-17913000-1477957752_thumb.jpg

post-2611-0-86096400-1477957873_thumb.jpg

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could you swap the drives around and say put your ssd up top and the HGST at the bottom of the case?

 

or even better get a better case!  :P

Yes, I might do the first...I had the ssd originally in the bottom since the sata connection is sata 3 while the top ones are sata 2. Il probably get a little longer sata data cable and then do that.

 

Agreed...but thats just it... dell t20 in the us when on sale is an amazing price but all these OEMs come with some compromise, dont they

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yes build your own and get exactly what you want :)

 

They are building to a price point and want to ship large volumes 

 

If you were in the uk i could have given you one of my old ones - HAF 912 or Haf-x - great cases loads of fans and 10/13 drives respectively without getting to creative :)

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Thanks for the offer :) 

 

Il probably use the dell t20 till i run out of space and then consider moving the drives, cpu into another case and motherboard. The price of the server (no OS), from dell was just a little more than the cost of the CPU itself. But you are right, building with parts you pick is the best. Thats how i assembled my home PCs. It is just that nowadays the pre built prices are remarkably cheaper especially for NAS or server grade.

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