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SMART problems with a pair of RR644L

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Building a new server, primarily for media serving, and having some problems getting Scanner to read S.M.A.R.T data


Current configuration:

Asrock Z97 board with Pentium G3258 (at stock speed) running Win 7 Pro

2 x Highpoint RocketRaid 644L Controllers (I know these are the problem!)

2 x External 4-bay Enclosures

4 x Samsung 500GB in one enclosure - Attached to 1st RR card

1 x Seagate 8TB in the other - Attached to 2nd RR card

Latest Highpoint Driver

Latest Highpoint Bios


The RR cards don't play nicely together if you install more than one, and the advice from Highpoint is to disable INT13 and Reallocate EBDA using the bios updater.


An alternative, if you just want to use the controllers in pass-through, without using the raid bios is to use the command load.exe /e 0=0 rrxxx.xxx (were rrxxx.xxx is the rom name), again using the bios updater. I have done this, one further benefit is that it removes the boot delay. This may be a useful tip for others as it took quite some Googling to find, and is not visible at Highpoint.


So at this point the controllers appear to be working fine, but no smart data in Scanner.


Enable Unsafe IO - No change


I then loaded the Highpoint WebGui, you have to select which controller you wish to address. If I select the 2nd Card then Direct I/O Test in Unsafe Direct I/O will give the three green ticks and a list of SMART Attributes, it cannot read SMART for the discs attached to the other controller. Restarting the Scanner service allows the Scanner GUI to show SMART data. However it shows a warning for Temperature at 33C, with a defined limit of 54C (Airflow Temperature is also shown at 33C)


If I then select the 1st Card in the Highpoint GUI, Direct I/O can read SMART for the drives on that card, but no longer reads SMART from the other card. After restarting the Scanner service no SMART data is available via either controller.


As an experiment, which I expected to fail, I opened a second Highpoint Gui window and set each window to a different controller. To my suprise Direct I/O test was now able to read SMART through both controllers. However Scanner only reads Smart from the 2nd card.


One further observation is that the four 500GB Samsungs have all seen some service so you would expect some variance in SMART data between them, the Highpoint WebGui reports identical values for all four drives, with the exception of temperature. Hoever the Direct I/O test does show differences in SMART data across the drives, suggesting that it is correctly reading the data.


So, in summary, with a Highpoint WebGui page open for each card Direct I/O Test can read the SMART Data for all attached drives (Using Unsafe I/O), but Scanner can only read the data via one controller. The Direct I/O test also seems to read the data more acurately than the Highpoint WebGui.


I have now exhausted my humble skills and must appeal to the Gurus, can you suggest any way forward please?


Sorry for the long essay, but I think the more I say, the less you need to ask.





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I believe that we ideally, need to use prioritary commands for the HighPoint cards. Unfortunately.



I think that Alex has one of these cards, but I'll have to double check.  But basically.... yeah....



If you needed two cards, the High Point RocketRAID 2722 may have been a better choice in the long run. 

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So it doesn't look good then. Well thanks anyway.


Does the 2722 support PM Enclosures? I can't find much solid evidence. Highpoint talk of point-to-point support of 8 drives. A couple of vendor sites state "supports 20 drives" which I assume is a cut and pasted from some other spec. If the 2722 did support PM then I would have thought you would be looking at a potential 40 drives (8 * 5).


I bought the RR644Ls as I picked them up from Amazon Warehouse for £38 each ($57) which is cheap for eSata ports and I have a load of enclosured drives.


Oh well I guess I will have to use the Highpoint WebGui for Smart monitoring, it will at least alert on temperature. Scanner can do the surface checking. Sad as I have had good experience with Scanner, it is reassuring to get emailed when a drive is running hot.

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The RocketRAID cards do (make sure it's RocketRAID and NOT Rocket).  


As for the number of drives, I'm honestly not sure. I've seen a lot of conflicting data, and I've not used these specific cards myself (I did use the 2720SGL, but that was an internal connectors)


And that's a very nice price for that card!

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