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Hardware Thread, strange hardware problem in Technical; Ive got a gentoo server ive built a few years ago, with all IDE disks, which I have expanded to ...
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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    strange hardware problem

    Ive got a gentoo server ive built a few years ago, with all IDE disks, which I have expanded to include a SATA PCI card. It was running fine with 1x 750gb HD off the SATA card, but after I added a second HD, (which worked for a couple of days) the system just wont boot. It doesnt even get to the boot stage. It detects the card, lists both the HDs, then just hangs. If I unplug both the sata cables from both the HDS, it will boot. If i plug back in only the previously working Sata HD, it still doesnt boot. Is the SATA card causing the problems? Is there master/slave with sata that I have neglected or something?

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Could the SATA card have tried to setup RAID on the two drives and failed or more likely has the SATA adapter somehow taken over boot priority from the IDE drives. There is no master/slave settings on sata to worry about.

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    I would have thought though, if it was trying to boot from the Sata drives, it would still say something about no boot device found, or operating system not found, or something. It just sits and hangs there. Also, afaik, it isnt a raid card its just an expansion card, but I could be talking crap there. Also the new drive is different from the existing one.

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    Im still having this problem. I tried a brand new sata card and the problem is still existing.

    lspci shows

    00:0e.0 Mass storage controller: Silicon Image, Inc. SiI 3512 [SATALink/SATARaid] Serial ATA Controller (rev 01)
    I also have one of these:

    00:0b.0 RAID bus controller: Silicon Image, Inc. PCI0680 Ultra ATA-133 Host Controller (rev 02)
    When I have a sata HD plugged into the sata controller, I dont get the on screen display from the IDE controller and the list of drives attached to it.

    Spent the last 4 hours on google and saw the mention of this:

    Also check if the mode is in ATA (Advanced Technology Attachment) or ACHI (Advanced Host Controller Interface)
    Is that a bios setting on the mobo I should try changing?
    Last edited by RabbieBurns; 25th May 2009 at 04:29 PM. Reason: fixed quote ]

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    Yeah you can play with the AHCI function in the BIOS.

    Concerning though, is your PSU up to the job of running it all?

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    yep, PSU has been upgraded in November or something. Theres a thread on here somewhere that we got to the crux that it was the PSU that was the culprit.

    The thing thats getting me is that this was working with 1 disk, then stopped after a while after I added the second one.

    Ill get into the bios now and have a look and play.

    Its hard doing this over skype as the server is 10,000 miles away in scotland ;p

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    right there was no AHCI anywhere I could see in the bios. Is that only there in newer bioss that have sata onboard perhaps?

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    I've not got much experience (none) with add in sata cards like the one you're using, but like scsi/raid cards maybe it has its own BIOS?

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    yep, it is set to just SATAlink mode, which I believe is correct for standalone operation. From what ive read today on google, you need to flash it with the SATAraid bios to get the "press F4 for the raid configuration utility" option to appear.

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    ok trying to reflash the bios, running the flash util its detected the card OK, but its now given a prompt of 14 types of flash memory to choose from. Ive no idea what to choose. 1mb or 2mb or 4mb with AMD and other stuff.

    How do I know? Its a Sweex Sata card.

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RabbieBurns View Post
    ok trying to reflash the bios, running the flash util its detected the card OK, but its now given a prompt of 14 types of flash memory to choose from. Ive no idea what to choose. 1mb or 2mb or 4mb with AMD and other stuff.

    How do I know? Its a Sweex Sata card.
    surely that would depend on the spec of the card ( as am guessing they have different versions of the cards that have 1, 2 or 4mb )

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    Michael's Avatar
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    If you extract the hard disk in question and temporarily install it in a second system (as a slave) do you see the folder structure and most importantly the Windows folder? If you do then great, i'd be tempted to boot from a Windows Setup disc, go to the Recovery Console and type fixboot Once complete, remove the disc and restart the machine.

    However if you don't see any folder structure or the Windows folder then something has probably erased the hard disk. This does happen when you want to create a RAID array of any type.

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    If you extract the hard disk in question and temporarily install it in a second system (as a slave) do you see the folder structure and most importantly the Windows folder? If you do then great, i'd be tempted to boot from a Windows Setup disc, go to the Recovery Console and type fixboot Once complete, remove the disc and restart the machine.

    However if you don't see any folder structure or the Windows folder then something has probably erased the hard disk. This does happen when you want to create a RAID array of any type.

    Appreciate the reply, but...

    gentoo is a linux distrubution.. also, this is an expansion card just to add more space, the drives on it arent booting. And ive tried the drives in an external usb enclosure and both work fine, so something is f'ing up with the sata card. I think I might just try a different type of card altogether.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    surely that would depend on the spec of the card ( as am guessing they have different versions of the cards that have 1, 2 or 4mb )
    its a chipset that Silicone Images makes but they sell it to various differnet manufactures and the chipset ends up on motherboards, PCI cards etc. This is a Sweex branded card, with the Silicone Images SIL 3152 chipset on it. So theres various flavours of the same chipset I guess.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    gentoo is a linux distrubution..
    My apologies, I just presumed you were running Windows, but you're infact just using it for additional storage. Thinking about it further, have you tried taking the SATA card out and re-seating it? And tried it in another PCI slot (if possible?)

    Another way of looking at it, is when you disconnect the drives and boot your system, is the SATA card listed when you look at the equivalent of Device Manager?

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