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iceaura last won the day on July 7 2015

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About iceaura

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  1. Yeah, I tried contacting Avago, no response (typical) and I tried Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 with their Windows 7 and Windows 8 drivers. For the server, I don't need automated backups (I'll use Drivepools duplication), Windows does an acceptable job of security/update/antivirus (I'll use AVG, spybot and Malwarebytes too), I'll use remote desktop and/or other applications for remote access (not a compulsory requirement of mine), VPN is something I am not currently using and can do without, although it would be nice and at this point I don't need control over users etc. So, I don't think I want to risk buying WHS 2011 only to find out that the drivers don't agree with that OS too, whereas I know W7 will be fine (been running 6 days now I think, 24/7 with no crashes). I've looked at FreeNAS briefly, I don't think that is where I want to go either. So it looks like I'll be buying a new W7 key and setting up the server on that for now. Down the line, I'll probably ditch the 3ware card and use the set up Chris mentioned earlier and either go W10 or Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials but for now, I need to get the server up and running as soon as possible with as little expenditure possible. I still have a lot of things to do after that to have everything running where I want (Drivepool etc). Thanks for the help and suggestions guys, I have finally decided on the path I will be taking.
  2. Thanks Chris, it SHOULD be compatible with W8 as there is a driver for it, but it may be that compatibility is limited and unfortunately doesn't work with my hardware. I'll be honest, I don't understand/not familiar with Server OS's at all, what are the benefits/features of WHS 2011 say over W7? Yeah, with the data, I am a data hoarder, so I have stuff from 15+ years ago too. I pretty much keep everything I get, just in case someone wants it one day, lol.
  3. Damn, that's rough. You're a lot better at saving than me then, lol. I've always found my anxiety more of a social hindrance and inability to develop professional connections but not as severe as yours, sorry about that, it sucks. I've recently decided to severely limit my spending on "stuff" so that I can save for a house deposit and move out of my Mums place. Luckily, I managed to buy all the parts for this server before I cut myself off, but now it's looking like I may have to break the budget a bit - no point in having a nearly-complete non-operational server sitting there, especially when I'm in desperate need to expand storage and set up a back up system. I understand the excitement when I get new tech in the mail, trust me, but so far I don't miss it. I figure I have plenty of stuff around me to play around with without having to buy anything new and shiny, haha. And then, there's the fact that I have close to 50TB of data including movies, TV, games etc, seriously, I could not buy a single thing for the rest of my life and still never get through it all, lol.
  4. I must admit, I think I did jump the gun with W10 - it was a free upgrade, so I thought, why not? I'm guessing this is part of their plan to have many people go through the upgrade, then iron out the bugs later. Usually, I wouldn't upgrade OS's so soon after release - I sat on Windows XP for ages, then went straight to Windows 7. I completely skipped Vista and W8 (other than my latest purchase, which was only so I could upgrade to W10 anyway). I figured my W7 experience went really well, so jumped into W10. I would prefer server parts, but I don't think I really need them. I have survived for about 7years on a Workstation build PC that has doubled as an always on 24/7 server with no major issues - I'm just running out of HDD space (managed to stuff 12 of them in there on various SATA cards and USB to SATA adapters) and then there is power consumption - dual high end graphics cards etc. My other reason is that I have NO back up system in place (naughty, I know). I have been lucky but recently my luck ran out and I lost a 3TB drive that was almost full. For all the systems I build I trade off cost vs. performance and have come out on top every time. I always try to factor in some future proofing too, so I concentrate money on the components that will do the job for longer without needing upgrading, leaving room for upgrading parts that will become obsolete (or become ridiculously cheaper and better). In hindsight, I should've just gone with the IBM controller and Intel expander card, but if my current controller (LSI chipset) didn't have these driver issues, I would've been just fine. I was just trying to preserve PCI slots - my current controller will allow 16 drives, then I could add an expander later, whereas the IBM controller only allows 8 drives and I'd have to get the expander now. Seems like you've got a lot more experience with servers, I envy your set up but I need to prioritise my spending away from these toys
  5. The longest I had it on before (W8 & W10) was under 2 days without crashing. Often I'd have it running for several hours with no problems, then do a restart and leave it and it would crash in less than 30mins. So I have done a few manual restarts to see if I could trigger a crash but still no problems. It is on 24/7 with 8 hard drives running (no programs) and it has been 4 days now . So I'm thinking the driver for this card doesn't agree with W8/W10 (even though it does have a W8 driver). I'm not worried about support ending for W7 and I don't want to fork out for Windows Server Essentials (I don't think I'll need all the features anyway). The only issue is that I don't have a spare key for W7, so I'd have to buy another copy. I have already gone over budget but it looks like the cheapest solution from here would be to purchase a new W7 key and then I'm good. However, if for some reason I want/need to go to W10 in the future, I'm going to have to update the controller anyway... I guess I just need to make the decision now. At this stage, I'm thinking I'll stick with W7 Pro. I've had nothing but issues with W10 so far, even though I really like it, I can't justify using it. I upgraded one of my PC's to W10 and it is having fits with the graphics card, audio card and onboard audio. I have my workstation PC running W7 but it is also doubling as my current server until I can get the new one running. I might experiment with W10 on it once I migrate to the new server but I don't know if it is going to be worth the headache.
  6. I have installed W7 64 Pro and have not had a single crash! I looked in the event viewer and I am still getting some errors relating to the 3ware driver BUT it has not crashed and it has been 3 days now. Does this mean that I could maybe build my server around W7 and not have any problems? What do you think?
  7. Yeah, I had a read around and that is the case - there are 24 ports but you will have to use up at least 4 of those ports for the input, leaving you only 20 ports for HDDs. You can use up another 4 ports for input to increase the throughput but then you'd only have 16 ports for HDD's. That's another point of confusion; do you say ports for the SATA connections and lanes for the SAS connections - what is the terminology here? Here is a link I found useful for seeing where all the LSI cards sit: https://forums.servethehome.com/index.php?threads/lsi-raid-controller-and-hba-complete-listing-plus-oem-models.599/
  8. Thanks Christopher, I have installed W7 Pro 64 on my third spare SSD and running that, so far no crashes, so I will see how that goes. If I get a crash I will pull the card and put it into my Workstation PC and see if it is OK in there. If it still crashes after that, I think I can consider the card as useless . I've had a look and there is no way I would be buying the cards locally ($450 AUD for the LSI SAS 9211-4i vs. $131 AUD from eBay (china) - and that is for the LSI SAS 9211-8i). I'm eyeing up a couple of cards now and it would only be slightly more than I paid for my current (not working and only 16 ports) card. Thanks for sticking with me this long guys, I really appreciate it. I WILL get there, lol EDIT: I was just looking at the Intel 24 port expander, it only has six SAS connectors on it, does this mean that you can actually only get 20 drives on it? IE one of the SAS connectors is for the controller input?
  9. I think I may end up going with that Intel card you suggested earlier. However, for the IBM controller card, is there something cheaper (possibly with less ports and more expansion capabilities)? I calculate that to buy both cards (from overseas, sigh, more time lost) will cost $461 AUD and I have already spent $388 AUD on the card that doesn't appear to work properly (still diagnosing, haven't heard back from seller).
  10. Thanks, that does look like a good expander but I couldn't find it searching eBay AU, even if I selected international.... Had to go to that link (US), add to watchlist, then I can see it. However, doesn't that expander require a PCI slot for power? I'd rather use molex power than waste a PCI slot. I'm thinking 36 drives would probably be plenty, lol, especially with the larger drives coming out now (I'd like to start acquiring 8TB drives).
  11. I've tried a fresh install of W8 Pro 64 on a fresh SSD but I'm still getting crashes (both before and after driver updates). So it looks like the card (or could it be some kind of incompatibility between the card and the mobo?). Okay, so I still have a couple things I want to try - I will try Windows 7. I will also try installing this card on another machine. I've emailed the seller to see if they can do anything. However, for now it looks like it's back to the drawing board and hunting for another card/expander solution. It just seems like such a minefield out there - I see cards for $1500+ and cards for less than $500 (like mine, which SEEMS like it would've done the job). I think I would like to get something newer to try and avoid another situation like this. EDIT: On second thought, you mentioned you had some cards for sale; any chance I could buy a card and expander to support up to 24 drives from you?
  12. Damn, I really hope not as I got the card off eBay (from Germany), so returning it/warranty is probably not an option. I'll look into BlueScreenView and trying out W7, although I'm about to go on holiday, so it will probably be a month or so before I revisit this.
  13. The good news is I fixed the issue with the extra physical drives showing up. I went into the firmware settings. First of all the setting "export JBOD disks" has to be set to yes, otherwise the drives won't show up, so I couldn't turn that off. Then I noticed another setting - carving factor = 1863. I don't usually mess around with settings I don't understand or know about (especially in BIOS/firmware but this looked close to 2TB in MB. I disabled auto carving and those extra physical disks are now gone. Excited, I put the card back into the server, bad news is it's still crashing. I performed a system reset, still crashing. I just installed the new driver for W7 (I usually install the one for W8), so I'll see if that makes a difference EDIT: That didn't help, still crashing. Next step - I'm going to disconnect all drives (including the system drive), then use one of the unused SSD's and install W7 Pro on it. See if I can get it working with that.
  14. Here's hoping with the firmware upgrade and me checking the options in the BIOS, I could have this solved tonight . Although, I'll still be worried about adding 8TB drives (which I want to do). Maybe I could start by adding 8TB to the mainboard, if I fill those, maybe get a second, newer controller for the 8TB drives.
  15. What I managed to achieve last night: Pulled the controller and installed it in a Windows 7 machine, while it was in there, I created a DOS bootable USB and flashed the controller so it is now on the latest firmware. I installed the latest driver again. It still has a little extra physical disk (17MB this time) when I attach a 2TB drive. I have left it running for about 8 hours now with no crash but I still think that the little disk showing up means there is an issue. Hmm. I think I did change it to JBOD (I think because the drives weren't showing up or something) but that was at the start when I was first setting things up, so I'll have to check.
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