Caldigit Raid Card Install running into problems.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by chaknchngo, Feb 19, 2010.

  1. chaknchngo macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2010
    I'm trying to install a Caldigit Raid card. My Current setup pre Raid is:

    1st Drive -150GB 10k rpm - OS X
    2nd Drive - 150 GB 10k rpm - WINDOWS OS
    3rd Drive - 1T - Library - About 800GB used
    4th Drive - 1T - Backup - using Super Duper to back the library up every night.

    The way I want to have it setup is 4 x 1.5T in RAID 5. Get rid of Windows and only have OS X running in there.

    Caldigit raid card won't let you do a fresh install in a new drive. You must have a a drive with OS in the first bay with Caldigit drivers installed in order to run successfully. That means that I have to install drive 1 and 3, install the drivers on there, clones drive 1 and 3 (which my understanding is not possible), boot from external build the raid, and clone it back to internal drives. Drive 1 hold OS, but since 3 has all the files, my credentials are all in there. The computer won't let me just boot with only drive 1 in there, thus the reason why I need to clone both drives.

    So I tried, doing a fresh install on a new hard drive w/o the caldigit card in the computer I'm getting the multi langague screen before the cd fully loads. I am 99% sure that I have the 10.5.2 cd trying to do the fresh install. Doing a fresh install is now out of the question.

    I've tried the CMM+OPT+P+R and CMM + OPT + O + F as well, but nothing happens. Meaning that I think those commands are not working at all in my PC. This is with fresh drive and os 10.5.2 in the cd tray.

    What are my choices here?

    Can I make a new credential in my OS drive and point it to the OS HD, clone that, and build my RAID?

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
  2. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Can you return the CalDigit and get your money back?
    It's a junk card. Seriously.
  3. chaknchngo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2010
    What would you recommend? The only thing that really made me buy the caldigit was how simple it seems like their UI is. I'm pretty good with PC DIY for the last 10+ years, this is my first Mac, that I've had for 3 years, and have never built a RAID (both mac or PC). So I wanted to get something simple to build, which is not happening right now.
  4. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502


    Jul 31, 2008
    Vogon Planet Destructor
    CalDigit RAID Card Problem

    The High Point Card is using a faster IOP chipset then CalDigit.
    Half of the price and works well on Mac.

    Since using Caldigit card is tied into their way over priced and not reliable junk storage. I would not suggest using any of their products.
    I've been dealing with CalDigit for few years and only thing the deliver is lie.

    Back in 2006, they claimed their HDPro would be network and SAN ready in 2007.

    So I installed quite a lot of the systems for my clients. It is 2010, I still do not see the HDPro is SAN ready.
    I made tons of phone calls and I got nothing but BS.
    You can call their resellers to see if these resellers are happy selling CalDigit's products?
    I can guarantee that every single one of their resellers will tell you " Run Like Hell"

    The testimonials on their site, you can also verify to see if CalDigit "bought" the reviews. Are they still using CalDigit's products?
    Did they pay for the products?

    If you decided to keep the product, I wish you good luck.
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    There's much better cards out there, namely Areca, Atto Technology, and the RR43xx models from Highpoint (ODM'ed by Areca).

    Atto is the most expensive, but has a nice UI. The others aren't difficult either, as they use a web browser to access the settings. Quite easy IMO (though Safari has been problematic, so you'd want to install say Firefox, which does work with the cards).

    To go much beyond this, I need to know what you need; RAID levels, port count, MP model <at least the year, as there's an adapter needed with an '09>,...

    If you're looking for a good bootable 4 port card, look at the Areca ARC-1212, or the Highpoint RR4310.

    With RAID cards, you need to pay attention to the Hardware Compatibility lists (available on the card vendor's site in the support area), particularly for drives. Most don't work with consumer drives, and are unstable if you try it. That was one of the major problems with CalDigit.

    I'm not sure I'd trust the 3xxx line from Highpoint either (not sure who makes it). I've had problems from a lot of Highpoint's gear in the past, and actually prefer not to use them. Not to mention their support isn't that wonderful (lack of training IMO, as they don't design or manufacture anything).

    I take an exception to the RR43xx series, as Areca does the design and manufacture of it.
  6. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502


    Jul 31, 2008
    Vogon Planet Destructor
    Nanofrog. I was under the impression that he needs to use it for internal RAID.
    And yes you are right, the card you listed are far better.

    Compares to High Point, Areca, ATTO, I will choose ATTO and Areca.

    With RAID cards, you need to pay attention to the Hardware Compatibility lists (available on the card vendor's site in the support area), particularly for drives. Most don't work with consumer drives, and are unstable if you try it. That was one of the major problems with CalDigit.

    CalDigit is using the low end hitachi drive which is not reliable and if your read data rate is accumulated to 12.5TB on each drive, you will have non-recoverable errors. That means, you will not be able to recover your data and since the data is evenly distributed on RAID 5, you will lose your RAID.
    You can check hitachi's website for more details.

    Enterprise drive provides 10 times better reliability.

    I don't understand why CalDigit market themselves in the video market, they should've known better not to use hitachi deskstar.

    In a nutshell, Caldigit charge you highway robbery price but give you crap.
  7. chaknchngo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2010
    Ok returning the card. Called an Authorized Apple Service, and the guy on the phone suggested doing a RAID 5 by Apple OS sft. He basically said to put 1 drive as OS drive and 3 using RAID 5. What are you suggestion on that?

    Also if anybody has any ideas on how I would get Drive 1 and 3 out w/o doing a fresh install since I'm getting that kernel screen when I'm trying to boot from CD.
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    That was mine as well, and both the cards I linked are 4 port internal connectors, so the MiniSAS cable (SFF-8087) connector can plug in.

    What I forgot to mention, is there's a good chance that the MiniSAS cable won't reach, and there is an extention cable availale (here, to the tune of $90USD; they're the only supplier I'm aware of).

    I know they use Hitachi consumer models. They even tried Seagate for a short period of time, as the Hitachi's were so unstable. The Seagate's didn't fare any better either. :rolleyes:

    I'm not sure what you're getting at, as you can't put 12.5TB of data on a single drive. :eek: :p

    But bad sectors are a problem with RAID. Another thing to be careful of, is keeping the array capacity within technical limits. What that means is, if you go too high, you've a higher risk of a second drive failing during a rebuild. It has to do with the platter density of newer drives and the member count. So it's best to try and keep a level 5 to no more than 8TB. 12TB has been done, but you have to be very careful, and it will eventually give you a problem (always the case, but will happen faster than if the array was smaller) if the drives aren't swapped out first.

    There's articles on this if it's unfamiliar to you. ;)

    They put out a cheap, pretty solution that technically speaking, is total garbage as a result of the choices they made. Crap card, crap drives, and tied it to their own external enclosures.

    Exactly. Avoid their products like the plague. :D :p

    The only way to get a RAID 5 in a MP is via a hardware card. Disk Utility's software implementation doesn't support it (0/1/10 only).

    You can choose to use a separate OS drive or place it on the array if you wish, and I can't say anything else as I've not enough information to go on (specifics...).

    Ideally, there are two reasons. The first is to do with system availablility, but in such cases, the OS is on a level 1 array anyway. And even though the server may still be running (available), it's essentially useless, as the data array isn't functional (assuming the array that failed is the primary). :eek: :p

    The second, and more important IMO (given a level 5), if the OS is shot, your data is still in tact. And vice versa; if the array goes down, the OS is functional. Both scenarios save time in a recovery situation.

    But with proper backups and clones, it's not that much of a difference (though it still exists; faster drives and ultimately the speed of the backup source will dictate how much time).

    You've lost me here. :confused:
  9. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502


    Jul 31, 2008
    Vogon Planet Destructor
    I'm not sure what you're getting at, as you can't put 12.5TB of data on a single drive.

    The tech sheet on a desktop drive you will notice that the
    unrecoverable read rate is 10 to the 14th power which means that every 12.5
    TB read you will encounter an unrecoverable error.

    The tech sheet for an enterprise drive this number goes to
    125TB (10 to the 15th) which is 10 better than the desktop.
  10. chaknchngo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2010
    Referring to my first post.

    I need some ideas on how to clone OS HD and my Data drive into one drive. Since log in credentials are in my Data drive, I can't just have the OS HD in there because it won't let me log in.
  11. chaknchngo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2010
    Currently I have lots of pictures and video. Since I bought Canon 5D Mark II, video has been getting huge. So I have 2 goals, one is space and second is backup. I wouldn't want to lose 700gb of video and pictures due to HD malfunction.

    Right now I have the Mac Pro 2,1 which according to Caldigit it's compatible.

    I was also under the impression that snow leopard had built option for raid.

    My current setup I have 2 backup running. One inside HD and another external HD. Ultimately I would like to just have RAID and an external with RAID1 (which I just bought) doing backup.
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    OK, I see what you're doing. I just look at it as 10x (1 order of magnitude) better. :p And that order of magnitude is very important. ;)

    Well, you're returning the card, so it doesn't really matter. Read on, I'll give you a method to get your data off of it.

    Take a drive (it must have enough capacity to hold everything), and make a partition.

    Partition 1 = OS Clone
    Partition 2 = data from the array

    Once you do this, you can then clone the OS to another drive, and use that as a boot source or use the original cloned disk (also contains the backup files as well).

    Yank the CalDigit and get it sent off so you can get your money back out of it, and get a new card. Ideally, get the new one first if possible (that way you're up and running the same day).

    I can help you once you get the new card. But remember, any existing data on the drives used, WILL BE WIPED during the initialization process on the new card (result of a different make of card).

    So does Leopard. It's under Disk Utility, and it's software based. A level 5 array is NOT possible this way, as it only supports 0/1/10.

    There's 2x ways you can do backups with adequate capacity:
    1. Use an eSATA card with a Port Multiplier enclosure (good ease of use, and if you've no additional ports on the RAID card).

    Advantage = cheap; not only for the enclosure, cable and card, but you can use consumer grade drives here (not used nearly as often as the primary array)

    2. Get a RAID card with an additional port (it can be made to work with either an internal port or external port - the difference is the cable, and the need to run an internal out of a PCI bracket location).
    Advantage = Faster; enclosure and cable are comparable to above

    And if you use WD drives, you can use consumer models as well, otherwise it would depend on what's been PASSED on the HDD list.

    Because of this, I prefer the second option, and for another reason. It gives the ability for online expansion in the future = more capacity and improved speed (i.e. just add drives). :D Backups can then be run to an eSATA card + PM enclosure without the need to buy a more expensive RAID card (eSATA is way cheaper). It just gives you options and saves you money at the same time. ;)
  13. chaknchngo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2010
    Which Atto

    Spent last night taking my system apart. Made a image of both the OX and the Data into one 1.5T HD. Caldigit is going back today. So which Atto card should I get? A friend was suggesting R348, any experiences on those on the Mac Pro.
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    I like the R348, as it's a hybrid (you can configure it to 1 internal + 1 external or 2x internal). Unlike the Areca's that have the external port, it's not always functional, so keep that in mind. R348 review.

    Atto makes a good product, and you won't be in the situation you were in with the CalDigit. Areca is the same way, but I tend to gravitate towards them, as their products are just as functional (more so in some cases, such as models that have the ability to expand the cache via a DIMM socket), and are less expensive (best price on the Atto ~= $930USD from Dell; $850 + tax + S/H is where that figure comes from). B&H Photo is next, at ~$970USD (not tax, just S/H).

    Because they're nearly $1K, I can point you to Areca's with additional features, such as higher port counts and a DIMM slot for cache expansion. Just a thought. ;)

    If you want more than 4 ports (and internal/external requirements), I need to know that so I can direct you to the best fit.
  15. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502


    Jul 31, 2008
    Vogon Planet Destructor
    The DIMM expansion will get you very smooth performance. According to my testing, a 1G cache memory will get you very smooth performance.
    You can use any certified brand, I believe any memory with 8 memory module/single side chips will work.
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Yep. I have a habit of using 2GB sticks for the performace gain.

    Areca's SAS cards can actually use up to 4GB DIMM's, but the cost is higher (~$60/GB; example). The 2GB sticks work out to ~$40/GB, perhaps less if you hunt around (easier to find than the 4GB DIMM's).

    Yes, it needs to use an 8 rank DIMM as a 4x ranking won't work.
  17. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502


    Jul 31, 2008
    Vogon Planet Destructor
    Do you see any performance gain using larger than 1GB?
    I do see very reliable and steady performance using 1GB from my end.
    I tried putting 2GB but the result is as same as putting 1GB.
  18. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502


    Jul 31, 2008
    Vogon Planet Destructor

    I am going to get this product for testing.
    I will get the ExpressSAS R348 or Areca ARC-1680ix-8
    and the raidon 8 bay internal enclosure.
    My goal is to built an internal RAID 5 @ 1GB/s for 4K film work flow.
    o you think both card and 8 2.5" HDD will hit the 1GB/s mark?

    I talk to RAIDON tech support, their internal mobile rack will fit into the Mac Pro optical bay.
    I also found the miniSAS cables so the mechanism is not an issue.

    Thank you in advance.

    Attached Files:

  19. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    It will depend on what you're doing. Usage (random vs. sustained) and member count make a difference. If you can't see a difference with 1GB and 2GB, I'm not sure if it will help, unless the member count is increased (though I presume this will be the case, as you're interested in 8x drives).

    Even on a test system (takes into account the specific usage), you'll find the curve of cache size isn't linear, and the 2GB mark is a sweet spot (that is, 4GB will not double what you'll see from 2GB). But again, usage and member count are critical.


    You'd need drives that can sustain ~157MB/s for that (you'd want sustained, not burst rates), and only 3.5" 15K rpm SAS would be able to do that (right at it's limit).

    General rule of Thumb for RAID 5:
    Array rate = throughput of a single drive * n * .75

    So say SATA can do 100MB/s individually. You get:
    120 * 8 * .75 = 600MB/s (increased cache can help push the multiplier to .85, but it's not always consistent). So I went worst case average (little to no improvement from cache).

    Work backwards, and 1k desired sustained throughputs means that 8x drives would need to be faster than SATA or any 2.5" drive is capable of. So you need additional members or faster drives.

    1k MB/s = 100MB/s *n* .75; n = 13.33333, and you have to round up, so n = 14. That's getting high for a member count in a RAID 5 situation. Assuming you're using 1TB drives (SATA), then that's 14TB raw (~12.7TB after the array is created; 13000/1024, as 1 disk = parity, and must be deducted from the set's raw capacity).

    You'd be best to keep it within 8TB, 12TB on the outside (pushing it, but I've seen it done, and has been holding fairly well - there's been a few issues, but were 10.6.2 related).

    But ultimately, you'd need to go with an external enclosure, regardless of the drive type or size. You can't fit what you want internally (8x 3.5" drives can be done, but no bays left for OS (if you want that on a separate disk/array) or backup drives).
  20. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502


    Jul 31, 2008
    Vogon Planet Destructor
    I c, what if I use SSD?
    Also, the internal mobile rack fit the Mac Pro optical bay.
  21. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Technically possible, but the capacity would likely be low (save perhaps the 1TB Colossus, which is insanely expensive), and the expense really high. You'd also have to be concerned about wear leveling, TRIM, and/or garbage collection.

    I wouldn't do it. Seems to much like an expensive experiment.

    I understood that part. But without fast enough drives, it's moot. And there's a single 5.25" bay unit as well (holds 4x 2.5" drives), so you could use 2x of those instead of the unit you gave an image of (might be cheaper; example).

    The cable needed (SFF-8087 to 4i*SATA), has one per port included with Areca's internal port cards, so that will save you at least $55USD (you need 2x).

    Personally, I'd go with an Enhance E8-MS, and 2x of these cables (allows you to use an internal port card). If you use the HDD bays in the MP, you can have 12x drives available, otherwise you'd need an additional enclosure (if you get an ARC-1680ix12/16/24, it has a single SFF-8088 port on the back you can use for an additional 4 bay enclosure down the road, and those ports aren't included in the port count listed for the card).

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