Help needed with multiple internal RAIDs

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by shelant, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. shelant macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Hello fellow forumers,
    I need some urgent help with expanding the internal hard drive space. Here is my set up now:
    Four 3tb drives set up as 2 Raid-0 volumes (1-media library, 2-original video footage library), 80gb intel X-25 SSD in a lower optical bay for OS+Apps.
    The second 6TB volume is completely full, so I would want to install two additional 3tb drives in lower optical bay using this: World Computing/MM52T35/
    I would move the OS ssd to one of the 4 hd bays. Ideally, this would allow me to have 6tb (in lower optical) and 9tb Raid-0 volumes. As a side note, I use Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 drives raiding it with Disk Utility (software Raid). Also, I do have multiple external backups of all my data, so no worries here :)
    So the questions I have are:
    1- Is this set up at all possible on 2009 2.26 Mac Pro without a hardware Raid card?
    2- I am relatively new to mac pro, so how do I connect 2 drives in a lower bay to only one SATA connector available (I do have a Blu-Ray in the upper optical, utilizing the second SATA)? Which cables do I need to make it work?
    3-I've been booting from ssd installed in an optical bay, if I moved it to one of the 4 hdd slots, would I have any problems booting from it? Do I need to set up anything in the os (boot preferences?)
    If gurus like nanofrog could advise me on that, I would appreciate it tremendously!!! Thank you all in advance for your help.
    Sincerely, Anton
  2. shelant thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2008
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    OK, if I'm understanding your post correctly, you currently have a total of 5 disks installed + 1x ODD in the upper optical bay (4x mechanicals in the HDD bays, and 1x SSD in the optical bay).

    And you want to add another pair of disks via the mount you linked....

    Assuming this is the case, then the mount will work. The problem however, is that computer only has a total of 6x SATA ports. 4x for the HDD bays, and 2x for ODD bays (1x per bay at each location). So you're 1x port short to fit your goal.

    Get the Highpoint 620 (not my favorite card by a long shot, but it does work and is internal). Another member that has one, has indicated it will even boot OS X (wouldn't suggest you rely on this long term though, until further information becomes available).

    As you're running stripe sets, you do not need a hardware RAID card. OS X is fully capable of running a stripe set (or other levels, as it's capable of 0/1/10 and JBOD). OS X's software RAID functions will work with disks attached to a SATA card or eSATA card (so long as the disk is available to the system, it can use it, so you're not limited to the SATA ports that are part of the MP).

    To be safe, I'd keep the boot disk connected to one of the system's SATA ports (aka ICH). As per where, it won't matter. But keeping it in the empty optical bay is usually easier (and a bit cheaper if you DIY a mounting solution, such as Velcro or Zip Ties).

    You'll need both a SATA data cable (should come with the Highpoint), and a SATA Y splitter to power up the pair of drives that you'll place in the empty optical bay (you will need to buy this, but they're cheap).

    Hope this gets you sorted. :)
  4. shelant thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Thank you so much, nanofrog, yes, you got my situation correctly. I have been following your suggestions to other forum members and found them extremely helpful.
    So, if I got it right, basically this card:
    will help me to make two SATA connectors out of one (in lower optical bay)? Or, is it creating 2 extra SATA ports from PCI?
    Please, forgive me, I've had my mac pro for about 4 months and never dealt with anything but hdds and memory. Could you please explain to me, how this card is installed/connected inside? Also, should the Y-splitter be connected directly to the odd SATA connector in the lower optical? But, how about data connection? If it comes with the card, what do I connect it to?
    I am really sorry for all my questions, but I do need it set up very quickly, so don't have a lot of time to read and research.
    I immensely appreciate your's and everybody else's help.
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    This is the right card. It connects a SATA controller to the PCIe slot it gets stuffed into (no way to add SATA ports without using PCIe lanes, as that's the only way it can interface with the rest of the system).

    The SATA Y splitter will connect to the cable that resides in the empty optical bay (it's a backplane connector, which contains both data and power). So it will only plug into part of it (power side = wider portion of the connector).

    Quite easy actually, so don't panic (BTW, will only fit one way). ;)
  6. shelant thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2008
    OK, I got all components of my setup. Two things I'm having major troubles with:
    1- I don't know if there is any way to route 2 sata cables from the HighPoint sata PCI card to the lower optical bay. Any advice would be highly appreciated.
    2- Both 3.5 hdds (inside OWC mount) and the optical drive DO NOT FIT in mac pro's both optical bays. :eek: I have no idea how to overcome this problem...

    Thanks for the all possible help.
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Another member, seisend, created a video of the RR620 in his system, and it shows how he did it (involved extension cables, as the SATA cables that came with the card are too short). You could just order longer ones though...

    Take a look at his post, as it contains a link to the youtube video he made.

    As per the OWC mount in the empty ODD bay, can you take a pic?
    Might help with some ideas (try to use what you have).

    I'm not sure you could also squeeze in a 2.5" disk or not, but it might be possible (lay it on its side and tuck it between the mount and the ODD carrier).

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