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      Login issues   11/07/17

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    • 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. 
4Frame

RocketRAID 642L - No S.M.A.R.T. info on Scanner

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Hey everyone, just joined the forum a few minutes ago. Stablebit Scanner is such a great program that I purchased two licenses for myself and love it! I recently purchased a Rosewill RSV-S8 enclosure and a RocketRAID 642L RAID card. I know, it's not the greatest card, but it does work okay for now.

 

Stablebit Scanner doesn't pull SMART data from any drive connected to the 642L card, whether it's a single disk or the enclosure. I also tested the enclosure direct to my motherboard and it was able to pull SMART info from a disk. Seems like it's definitely the controller...

 

I did some research on the forums and a few people suggest some sort of UnsafeIO setting. Not sure what to do yet as I don't want to mess anything up, so I'd rather get some advice from you guys and/or the developers!

 

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Okay! Solved my own problem. I tried using UnsafeDirectIO and restarted the computer. It now shows SMART data from single disks on the controller. However, it doesn't show SMART data for a volume created using the controller's pool, which makes sense, given that it's combining several disks to form one SCSI disk device. 

 

But would there be any way to keep the pool using the controller's software AND read individual SMART data? I'm guessing no, but it's worth a shot. If not, what would be the best way of implementing a software RAID (like 5 and 0) via other software?

 

I'm open to any suggestions


Cheers!
 

 

Edit: I'm guessing DrivePool would be a good solution as well, but I'd like to know the theory behind how it works; let's say compared to a RAID system?

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Yeah, HighPoint uses higher end Marvell chipsets, IIRC. These generally require the "unsafeDirectIo" option to be turned on to be able to see the SMART data.

 

And as for the SMART data, the disk must be passed through to the system directly. HighPoint's management software calls these disks "legacy" disks.

And no, StableBit Scanner won't be able to see the SMART data from a RAID array or a JBOD array (not sure which you used), as that information is not passed on by the controller.

 

However, you can view the individual disks' SMART data by using the web management software for the controller.

 

 

 

As for StableBit DrivePool and how it works, it stores files on normal NTFS partitions, in a hidden folder named "PoolPart.xxxx" (where the "xxxx" is a string of letters and numbers called a "GUID").

Then when you view the contents of the pool, it lists the corresponding locations on the pooled disks. And when you access files, it basically redirects the IO operations to the pooled disks instead.

 

It's a file based system, where as RAID is a block based system. The main difference is when it comes to recovery. A DrivePool disk, you can recover with any utility that can read NTFS. For a RAID.... it depends on what type of array you created. And what tool you're using.

And the Pool is like a RAID 10 array. It's "striped" or can span many disks. However, you can enable file duplication (aka file mirroring) on a per folder basis. But one that you can move to any system, regardless of the disk controller(s) in use (the same cannot be said of RAID, actually).

 

However, the thing is, since StableBit DrivePool is using the normal disks, you will not see some of the incredible speeds that you would with a RAID array (especially with a higher end system). Though, we do have a few options to help with that. The first being "Read Striping" which basically does what it sounds. Except that it is definitely more complicated than that. The other is the "SSD Optimizer" balancer (it's optional, so you must download and install it yourself). This uses "feeder" disks for writing to the pool, and then migrates the data off of the "feeder" disks.

 

If you want, there is a fully featured, 30 day trial for both products. If you don't like StableBit DrivePool, you can empty out the files via the "PoolPart" folders if you want.

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Wow, what a great bit of information there. Thanks Drashna! I'm definitely going to be considering DrivePool then. 

Since you have experience with HighPoint controllers, you think there's any risk in corruption or any crazy drive things happening using UnsafeDirectIO in your experience?

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The only issue I ever experienced with the controller is that it occasionally would "lose" a disk. As in, it wouldn't be accessible by the controller. I'd have to pull it out and plug it back in. That or reboot the system once in a great while.

 

Considering that I don't use RAID drives, and I wasn't using NAS drives, I can't say that I was surprised. And I think this is more of a controller firmware issue, than it was the UnsafeDirectIo setting.

I had a "RocketRAID 2720SGL" card, which is a bit more high end oriented than the RR 642L card. 

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I recently swapped out my external drive enclosure and added an RR 642L card to my HP N40L.  Previously I had the external enclosure connected to the on-board eSATA port (with the hacked HP BIOS to allow port multiplier capability).   I see that in SCANNER I don't get temperature, age or SMART info any longer.  

 

Not sure I follow the above discussion on the setting that was changed to allow Scanner to see all that info - where can I learn more about that - and are there any issues in making that setting change?  I can see the 4 drives fine - just not the detailed info I saw on the on-board eSATA port.

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I recently swapped out my external drive enclosure and added an RR 642L card to my HP N40L.  Previously I had the external enclosure connected to the on-board eSATA port (with the hacked HP BIOS to allow port multiplier capability).   I see that in SCANNER I don't get temperature, age or SMART info any longer.  

 

Not sure I follow the above discussion on the setting that was changed to allow Scanner to see all that info - where can I learn more about that - and are there any issues in making that setting change?  I can see the 4 drives fine - just not the detailed info I saw on the on-board eSATA port.

 

 

Click on the "Settings" button in the toolbar and select "Scanner Settings". Enable the "Show advanced settings and information" option, and hit "OK". You will only need to do this once, from now on, it will always display this option.

Click on "Settings", and select the new "Advanced Settings and information" option. Open the Configuration Properties tab. You will find a list of all the settings here, organized into section. You can also search for the setting you are looking for.

Once you've made any changes, you will need to restart the service, or restart the computer. To restart the service, run "services.msc" on the system find the "StableBit Scanner Service" and restart it.

 

And the setting is the "Unsafe" option under "DirectIo".

 

Also, make sure that the HighPoint management software is installed on the system as well... as apparently without this, the SMART data doesn't update properly (yay highly proprietary firmware) 

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