Questions about Dell H200 Raid Controller after flashing

dar124

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I'm looking to add another HD to my WHS 2011 server (in signature). The server has a HP dc7600 mother board in it and I've already used the 4 SATA ports on the motherboard. I'm thinking that I can get a few more SATA ports by adding a simple internal SATA card to the board. After googling the mother board specs, it looks like there is a PCIe 1x, a PCIe 16x and 2 regular PCI slots. All of these are available. Would one of these be "better" to use??

I'd think that the 16x slot would be "faster" / "better" than the PCIe 1x?? And probably also "better" / "faster" than the PCI slots. So I've googled again looking for a "PCIe 16x SATA card" and I don't think what's coming up is exactly what I need. I seem to get a lot of results for expensive controller cards, but I don't think that I need something like that, I just need a basic card with a SATA connection so I can add another HD. Or would a cheaper simple card be a PCI card??

Thanks in advance for some [H] advice!!!
 

Stereodude

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A LSI based SAS HBA card flashed into IT mode is probably your best bet for a high performance SATA adapter. Like a LSI 9211-8i, Dell H200, IBM M1015, etc... Hit up eBay. They can all be put into IT mode. You'll find various guides via google on how to reflash them.
 

SomeGuy133

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8211 8I is nice and cheap. 100 or so bucks used on ebay depending supply and demand

If you are really tech savy and want to learn how to flash bios on the HP HBA thatsa great choice for future use but it requires a bit of reading. I said bah and just went with LSI 9211 8 i
 

izx

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A LSI based SAS HBA card flashed into IT mode is probably your best bet for a high performance SATA adapter. Like a LSI 9211-8i, Dell H200, IBM M1015, etc... Hit up eBay. They can all be put into IT mode. You'll find various guides via google on how to reflash them.
THIS. Please DO NOT bother with the regular SATA cards sold on Newegg etc, or with off-brands like Highpoint. LSI-based HBAs are the bomb.

IT mode simply means the controller is passing thru the individual SATA drives instead of hiding them for RAID purposes (IR mode).
 

izx

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it looks like there is a PCIe 1x, a PCIe 16x and 2 regular PCI slots. All of these are available. Would one of these be "better" to use??
Do not use PCI. The DC7600 motherboard/system is 10 years old at this point and only supports PCI-E Revision 1, meaning 250 MB/sec per lane. At 1x, that's enough for just one modern hard drive.

As StereoDude and SomeGuy 133 suggested, you need an "enterprise" SAS/SATA controller. These are usually PCIe x8 (which will fit in an x16), giving you 2 GB/sec to play with and plenty of room for future expansion. The LSI 9211-8i and flashable clones such as IBM M1015, Dell H200, etc. are the best if you can afford an outlay of $90 (going rate on eBay). They are PCIe 2.0 and you can reuse them when you upgrade your server.

If you are skint, get the SYBA PEX40039 for less than $20. It uses a relatively new controller that hasn't been known to have issues. x1 slot, two SATA connectors.
 

_CiPHER_

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I recommend you use an AHCI controller as opposed to a SAS controller, for various reasons. Unless you absolute need maximum performance and you require 2GB/s transfers, the PCIe 2.0 x2 interface will give you up to 1GB/s and this should be more than adequate.

Try this controller instead:



http://www.delock.com/produkte/G_89384/merkmale.html

- True AHCI, no driver required (supported directly by OS)
- Enables all APM/AAM/TRIM functionality, often not supported by SAS controllers or their drivers.
- very low power consumption - unlike the LSI SAS controllers which consume as much as a full N3150 Intel Braswell computer
- lots of SATA ports: 10 total.
- low price, about 100 euro/dollar i think
 

izx

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...the PCIe 2.0 x2 interface will give you up to 1GB/s
But OP's mobo only has PCIe 1.1 :(

Try this controller instead:
http://www.delock.com/produkte/G_89384/merkmale.html

- True AHCI, no driver required (supported directly by OS)
Wrong, it also requires hardware AHCI support which the OP's mobo doesn't have either.

- Enables all APM/AAM/TRIM functionality, often not supported by SAS controllers or their drivers.
The LSI SAS2008 in IT mode provides full SATA passthrough with all the above functionality and more. APM/AAM are supported even in IR mode or on any controller that provides SMART passthrough.

- very low power consumption - unlike the LSI SAS controllers which consume as much as a full N3150 Intel Braswell computer
That might matter if OP's server was a Braswell platform, but (based on his mobo) he's most probably running a Pentium 4 at 90W (or higher).

- lots of SATA ports: 10 total.
You forgot:

  • Chipset: JMicron
No thank you. But wait, there's more! Want to know how they get those 10 ports? Here's the same card from a Taiwanese OEM who is honest enough to admit how:

  • Chipset ASMedia ASM1062 + 2x JMicron JMB575
Aha! So it's a PCIe x2 to two SATA 6G ports (ASMedia), which in turn are each connected to 5x port multipliers (JMicron). That seems like a really hack-y way of squeezing 10 SATA ports into two PCIe lanes.

This card really seems like a solution looking for a problem...
 
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diizzy

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What tons of posts? For all I've seen it seems to run just fine without any drivers (as expected) on at least Solaris.
That card runs fine without any other AHCI drivers however that mobo most likely doesn't do AHCI however (not an issue).
You should also mention that LSI cards are very picky about hardware and doesn't work (at all) on some platforms.
 

izx

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What tons of posts? For all I've seen it seems to run just fine without any drivers (as expected) on at least Solaris.
You're absolutely right. I edited the post to remove that line.

You should also mention that LSI cards are very picky about hardware and doesn't work (at all) on some platforms.
You might be confusing the recommended LSI-based HBAs with LSI RAID cards, some of which can be picky about the hard drives they want to work with? LSI-based HBAs will work with all SATA drives. But some motherboards don't play nice when you stick anything that's not a graphics card into their PCIe x16 slot.
 

_CiPHER_

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But OP's mobo only has PCIe 1.1 :(
Wrong, it also requires hardware AHCI support which the OP's mobo doesn't have either.
Well, if using the chipset SATA, it may not be supported by the hardware. But if you use an addon controller you use different hardware. So it would be supported. You only need an operating system which has an AHCI driver, on Windows that is msahci.sys and on BSD that is 'ada' driver. On Linux something equivalent will exist.

So even if his motherboard chipset SATA controller does not support AHCI, this HBA controller should still be supported.

The LSI SAS2008 in IT mode provides full SATA passthrough with all the above functionality and more.
It does not work on BSD; maybe on Linux. Could be a driver issue though and may not be a hardware issue. But things like TRIM and APM/AAM do not work under BSD OS with LSI SAS (1068E and 2008) controllers, either in IT or in IR mode firmware.

That might matter if OP's server was a Braswell platform, but (based on his mobo) he's most probably running a Pentium 4 at 90W (or higher).
Still, using a controller which does not consume any reasonable power is much better. No heat issues which the LSI SAS controllers can be prone to if there is no air flow at all in a small casing. They get rather hot. And it is still 16 euro a year just for the controller even if it is not doing anything. Quite a lot of money.

And yes its an ASMedia/JMicron controller. JMicron only had very old PCI controllers (JMB363) which is very old. This one is pretty new. The port multiplier means shared bandwidth, but the PCIe interface is limited too. Unless you run 10G ethernet, it should be fast enough to handle. Gigabit would be perfect and the controller sure is cheaper than 8-port LSI SAS controllers such as LSI SAS2008 (IBM M1015).

Many people use it with satisfaction for their ZFS pools.
 

dar124

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Thanks for the responses. Looking for one of these cards is all new to me, so this info has given me a lot to search and look over the past couple of days. I am trying to balance $$ and a quality card. I agree that a $10 Newegg card probably isn't the best idea, but I'm also not sure that I want to pay $100+ for a card either. But I think I would be ok paying a bit more if I'd be able to reuse it down the road when I upgrade my server.

Would something like HP 689576-001 LSI SAS9212-4i SAS/SATA 6.0Gb/s 4-Port Raid PCIe x8 Card or IBM M5110 8 Port PCI-E 6G RAID Card work?? They both seem to be similar to some of the suggestions above, a good balance price wise and (at least from my limited knowledge) the card itself seems to be what I need.
 
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Stereodude

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HP variants of LSI cards are supposedly not very compatible outside of HP hardware.

Dell PERC H200 and IBM ServeRAID M1015 are similarly priced on eBay and are confirmed to do what you want.
 

izx

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Dell PERC H200 and IBM ServeRAID M1015 are similarly priced on eBay and are confirmed to do what you want.
THIS. Ignore what I wrote below. Get the H200 -- for $10 more it's absolutely worth it. You'll need a miniSAS->SATA breakout cable though.

The usual warning about some motherboards not liking anything but a graphics card in their x16 slot also applies, but you won't know until you try. Note that if you have the DC7600 in its original HP case, it's small-form-factor so get a card with the low-profile bracket.

The IBM M5110 is not recommended because it's a RAID card (LSI 2208-based) and will not operate in IT mode.

It will work for your current needs. That's a good find, never seen that variant before. It's basically the LSI 9212-4i4e but without the external port at the rear -- you can even see the empty space on the PCB. It's confirmed to be easily flashable to the latest LSI IT firmware.

You could probably make an offer of $45 or less and get it. That said, it's not exactly future-proof with its 4x SATA connectors. Mini-SAS connectors like on the M1015 are better for that.
 
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dar124

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Ok, so let me make sure I've got all this info right. Both the LSI SAS9211-8i or LSI SAS9212-4i would work in my PC and also work for what I'm looking to do. The SAS9211-8i has 8 ports, is more expensive, a bit more future proof and could be carried forward to another system down the road where as the SAS9212-4i has 4 ports, is cheaper but isn't as future proof.

Both cards can be flashed into IT mode and both cards would need the MINI SAS Supermicro Control Cable??


Initially I thought the $99 price was a bit much for what I was looking for. But the longer I think about it, I can probably swing the extra money and it might make it worth it in the long run to be able to use the same card down the road.
 

Dangman

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Ok, so let me make sure I've got all this info right. Both the LSI SAS9211-8i or LSI SAS9212-4i would work in my PC and also work for what I'm looking to do. The SAS9211-8i has 8 ports, is more expensive, a bit more future proof and could be carried forward to another system down the road where as the SAS9212-4i has 4 ports, is cheaper but isn't as future proof.

Both cards can be flashed into IT mode and both cards would need the MINI SAS Supermicro Control Cable??


Initially I thought the $99 price was a bit much for what I was looking for. But the longer I think about it, I can probably swing the extra money and it might make it worth it in the long run to be able to use the same card down the road.
Correct. However, you missed the part where izx and Stereodude recommended that you buy the Dell Perc H200 instead. Since I just bought one myself, I concur as well. The main reason is that it's currently around the $60 to $70 price mark on eBay yet provides two SFF-8087 ports which will allow you to connect up to 8 hard drives once you flash the card to IT mode. In fact, one seller is selling the Perc H200 for just $50 shipped!:
DELL PERC H200 47MCV SAS RAID CARD WITH FULL BRACKET
 

diizzy

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You also need cabling, make sure to get "forward" cables. I have several M1015-card which works fine, be a bit careful about LSI and IBM cards from China.
 

dar124

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Correct. However, you missed the part where izx and Stereodude recommended that you buy the Dell Perc H200 instead. Since I just bought one myself, I concur as well. The main reason is that it's currently around the $60 to $70 price mark on eBay yet provides two SFF-8087 ports which will allow you to connect up to 8 hard drives once you flash the card to IT mode. In fact, one seller is selling the Perc H200 for just $50 shipped!:
DELL PERC H200 47MCV SAS RAID CARD WITH FULL BRACKET

Ahhh, ok good thing I asked!!! I'll look for and bid on a "Dell H200" card in the next day or so.

And also will one of these MINI SAS TO 4X SATA and control cables work for / with this card??
 

dar124

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Yes, it should but I like SATA cables with locks on them, and the extra ribbon connector doesn't go anywhere.

So would you just do a search for "Mini SAS to 4X SATA cables" to get more options?? Just making sure that it's a "Mini SAS" on one end to attach to the card and then obviously the "4X SATA" on the other end to attach to the drives.
 

dar124

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Thanks for all the info. I picked up this Dell PERC H200 6Gb/s PCI-e SAS SATA 8-Port Raid Controller SAS2008 9210-8i 47MCV and this Molex 79576-3002 SFF-8087 Connector to 4 SATA Cable Motherboard SATA/SAS 19". I was able to offer a bit lower on each so I saved some $$ along the way!!! I should have both items by this weekend. Looking forward to installing them.

A couple of questions as I move forward. When I flash the card into IT Mode, should I do that in a "test PC" or is that something that needs to be done when the card is in the PC it's going to be used in (which in this case is my WHS server)?? Just want to make sure I don't mess something up with my server along the way here. And secondly, I currently have a boot drive and 3 2TB storage drives in the server, which uses all 4 of the onboard SATA ports. Would there be any benefit to moving the 3 existing storage HD's over to this card and then adding the new 4th HD to the card as well?? Or should I leave the 3 HD's where they're at now attached to the motherboard SATA ports??
 

dar124

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I'm pretty sure that's a reverse cable, which is not the right kind.
Well damn!!! Okay, I'll start looking again. At least now I have some part numbers to use. I did a few eBay searches with the "79576-3008" thru "79576-3011" but didn't find many listings. There was one I found from Germany, but it was almost $20 for shipping to the US. Not gonna pay that much!!!



Search for "SFF-8087 SATA" Then make sure the listing doesn't mention reverse. Assuming you don't want a cable shipping from China and the wait that entails and 50CM is long enough, this is a good cable choice: Mini SAS 4i SFF-8087 36-Pin Male to 4 SATA 7-Pin Splitter Adapter Cable 0.5M B2
Stereodude, would the cable that you previously linked work?? I was initially trying to find a red cable, because all the other SATA cables in my server are red, but that's not really a big deal. The correct cable is probably more important!!!
 

izx

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Stereodude

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Stereodude, would the cable that you previously linked work?? I was initially trying to find a red cable, because all the other SATA cables in my server are red, but that's not really a big deal. The correct cable is probably more important!!!
Yes, I have two of the light blue ones. I bought mine direct from China for less though.
 

dar124

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Thanks for the responses. I ordered the cable that izx linked in his reply. Now I'll start to read thru the info about flashing the card into IT mode and we wait for the card and cable to be shipped / delivered!!!



Just making sure that when I flash the card into IT Mode, it doesn't matter if the card is in the PC it's going to be used in (which in this case is my WHS server)?? I was going to bring it into work and use an extra PC here to flash it.

And, I currently have a boot drive and 3 2TB storage drives in my server, which uses all 4 of the onboard SATA ports. Would there be any benefit to moving the 3 existing storage HD's over to this card and then adding the new 4th HD to the card as well?? Or should I leave the 3 HD's where they're at now attached to the motherboard SATA ports??
 

izx

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No, it doesn't make a difference where the card is flashed. Just make sure it works in your dc7600 first before you modify it: no need to connect any cables, verify that it fits and that Windows gives you the "New device/unknown device" prompts when it starts up. Don't install any drivers. Shutdown, remove and flash it.

Unless your mobo has SATA I ports (unlikely, even considering the age), there's no performance advantage to be gained by moving the 2TB drives to the card. No disadvantage either, and it may make cabling less messy. Your call. Get the flashed card working with the new drive first, then move drives over (if any).
 

dar124

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I received the card yesterday when I got home from work. I tried it in my server this morning but had a bit of an issue.

The card fit into the slot (the card was smaller than the PCIe 16x slot, which I don't think matters??) But when I booted the server it hung at the HP splash screen. I waited 3-4 minutes and it never loaded Windows. I powered everything down and made sure that the card was seated correctly in the slot. Booted again and again it hung at the HP splash screen. I removed the card and the server booted normally into Windows.

I brought the card into work with me and am gonna try it in a PC here to see if it works.

I wouldn't think that the PCIe slot is bad. But I do have a question about the red and black wire coming off of the card. I didn't connect that to anything. Where should that go or does it need to be connected??
 

dar124

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I put the card into a PC here at work and it seems to work. Or at least be recognized by the PC.

I got the below message.




 

Stereodude

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Go into the BIOS and make sure it's not trying to use the new SAS card as your first (& only) boot device on the work system.

On your home 'puter you may need to cover pins B5 and B6 on the PCIe connector of the card to break the SMBus connections. People have used nail polish or tape. I used clear scotch tape without issue.
 

dar124

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Go into the BIOS and make sure it's not trying to use the new SAS card as your first (& only) boot device on the work system.

On your home 'puter you may need to cover pins B5 and B6 on the PCIe connector of the card to break the SMBus connections. People have used nail polish or tape. I used clear scotch tape without issue.


Ok, I'll check the BIOS settings on the work PC. My thought was that I could flash it to IT Mode during the day here to save some time in setting it up at home.

After it's flashed to IT Mode, if I put tape on the B5 & B6 pins, would I leave it there or is that just needed for the initial boot in my server and then the tape can be removed??
 

Stereodude

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After it's flashed to IT Mode, if I put tape on the B5 & B6 pins, would I leave it there or is that just needed for the initial boot in my server and then the tape can be removed??
I'm not entirely sure. You may need to keep those pins covered.
 

izx

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After it's flashed to IT Mode, if I put tape on the B5 & B6 pins, would I leave it there or is that just needed for the initial boot in my server and then the tape can be removed??
Given the boot issues you had and the fact that it's a P4-era vintage OEM consumer board, you'll most probably need to leave the tape there. Also, go into the HP BIOS first and see if there's any option to disable the splash screen and instead show you the standard boot (POST) info.
 

dar124

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I finally got a little bit of time to work on this card again!! I went thru the steps in the link below to flash the card into IT mode. I think everything went good while flashing it. But I'm down to step 6 & 7, booting back into Windows to "make sure you’re using the LSI StorPort driver".

The card shows up as "Dell 6Gbps SAS HBA" in Device Manager. So I tried updating the driver with the driver from the "LSImpt_SAS2_P16" folder on the flash drive. But it still shows as a "Dell 6Gbps SAS HBA".

So did I do something wrong during flashing the card or is there another step that I'm missing??


SAS HBA crossflashing or flashing to IT mode, Dell Perc H200 and H310
 

SomeGuy133

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if you are using tape use anti static tape and none conductive tape. I would be weary about using scotch tape....I am just paranoid so it maybe unfounded but i rather be safe than sorry
 
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