RocketRAID Woes - disks no longer initialise

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by oz1, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. oz1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #1
    I have a Rocketraid 2644 in a MAC Pro (early 2008) connected to an Addonics mini storage tower containing 4 x 1 TB drives in a RAID 0 array.

    The RAID array has been working OK but when I started up the MAC, the Addonics box started clicking & the arrays are no longer there.

    The MAC will not initialise the external drives in the Addonics box. It will not initialise any of them when inserted in one of the internal bays in the MAC.

    I tried them in an external USB drive box on a PC also but they won't initialise on that system either.

    Does anyone have any suggestions or are my drives junk?

    I have heard that once Rocketraid cards initialise a set of drives nothing else will initialise them. A good reason to beware if true.

    Thanks.
     
  2. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #2
    Something similar happened to me as well. The HDD will not initialize in the internal drive bay. I got it working with an Areca card though. The RR seem to screw up the boot record in a particular way that will only let Raid cards initialize the HDD.
     
  3. oz1 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #3
    Unfortunately, I haven't got an ARECA card. Which one are you using?

    I checked the prices & they look more expensive than my four 1TB drives.
     
  4. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #4
    I'm using an ARC-1210 for 230€ in Europe. From 220$ in the US.
     
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #5
    They make some 4 port cards that are decent on price. The ARC-1210 that gugucom uses, is SATA port based. The next one would be the ARC-1212, which uses an SFF-8087 port (aka MiniSAS/iPass connection), that allows you to connect the HDD bay cable directly to the card. The ARC-1212 is a little more expensive though, and is a step up in terms of performance/features. Street prices are ~$320USD (here).

    That said, I'd recommend an 8 port if you want to be able to expand an array without having to swap the drives to increase the capacity. It allows you to just add additional drives (and maybe an external enclosure, if you can't fit them internally). But those that use SFF-8087 ports, one can attach to the HDD bays, and the other to an external enclosure (4 bay unit) with a single cable.

    There's also cables available that would work with your existing enclosure, but I'd need to know the correct ends to link you to the right one, as there's multiple variants.
     
  6. oz1 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #6
    Thanks guys.

    Addonics box is a MST4ML http://www.addonics.com/products/raid_system/mst4.asp with a 4 band multilane connector

    The cable I'm currently using is a Highpoint External mini-SAS to screw infiniband.

    I need to use a RAID card that supports an external box since all 4 bays in the MAC have drives plus I also have drives on the 2 hidden SATA ports.
     
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #7
    There's cards that have both internal and external ports. You can also use a cable that allows you to go from internal (SFF-8087) to a MultiLane connector for the external enclosure you have.

    I'm not sure what you want to do, so further details on the exact setup would help members send you in the right connection.
     
  8. oz1 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #8
    Thanks Nanofrog. You're a real asset.

    At this stage, I want to leave all the internal drives directly connected to the MAC. I will then use the Addonics external enclosure for RAID via a RAID card & a SAS-infiniband cable.

    I can see two possibilities.

    1. Use an ARECA 1211X which has an external miniSAS connector.

    2. Use one of the RAID cards you suggested but route one of the internal connectors to the external enclosure. I presume that I need a special cable for this? can you suggest something. Also, something that sits in one of the slot covers at the back of the MAC?
     
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #9
    I'd need more information to help.

    • Drive quantity (try to figure for future expansion if you're going to need the ability to add drives as well as swap existing units for larger capacity units).
    • Array type (0/1/10/5/6... levels of support you need). Again, think a bit on the future, as buying too small a card now will cost you more later, as you'll have to upgrade the card too. RAID levels and port count are big ones here, but so are features such as boot capabilities.
    • SAS capability or SATA only
    • What kind of OS boot support, and what OS driver support

    There's plenty of models that can work, but it's too hard to recommend much without details. There's quite a bit of difference (port count, features), and it's reflected in the cost.

    BTW, the ARC-1211 doesn't exist. And you can get internal to external cables. That's not really a problem. Worst case, it may have to be ordered, but they can be had. The cards, and specifically the drives, will dictate the cable lengths, since the Addonics enclosure you have is a passive unit (1.0m for SATA, and up to 8.0m for SAS).
     
  10. oz1 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #10
    I'm just after a basic setup with a single external box. I'm unlikely to connect internal drives to the RAID card.

    I figure that this Mac will last me four years then I'll upgrade & will probably have to buy a new RAID card by then.

    Boot capability might be nice but not vital.

    SATA drives only. Four would be enough as I already have 7 TB of storage in the internal bays. If I need more storage I'll use larger drives.

    RAID array type 0/1 as a minimum, others would be a bonus but are not vital.

    Access from OS X (currently running Snow Leopard but will shortly go back to Leopard as my printer driver & some apps are not working). Also from WIN 7 running in Bootcamp although I could use Macdrive for that.

    The ARECA website lists a 1211 http://www.areca.us/products/externale.htm
     
  11. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #11
    I forgot the x when searching for locations that sold it (ARC-1211x). The ARC-1210ML would be a better choice, and it's less expensive (here, available for $360USD), even with the cost of the external cable. I found the ARC-1211x for $455USD. So about $45 more including the necessary cable, and the cable (eSATA to ML) is much harder to find (it would have to be a custom I think). With the ARC-1210ML, you'd only need a SFF-8088 to Multilane <SFF-8470> (here).

    It will do what you want, but OS X support is driver only (boots Windows and Linux only).

    If you decide you'd like to boot OS X off of it, you'd need to go for one of the SAS models (i.e. the ARC-1212, which is internal, but the cable exists to go internal to external, or the ARC-1680LP for example <would use the same cable linked>). Both use faster processors, and have OS X boot capability.
     
  12. oz1 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #12
    Thanks Nanofrog. Looks like it's the 1210ML for me with the RR2644 off to the recycler. Incidentally, I've had no response from Highpoint tech support which is pretty unimpressive. All I can say is that I'll not buy any of their gear in the future.
     
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #13
    The only Highpoint card worth anything is the RR43xx models IMO. They also happen to be an Areca designed and manufactured card (based off the 1680 series). :eek: :p

    Highpoint doesn't actually make their gear, and they're not that wonderful with support as you discovered. :rolleyes: :( It makes a difference. Though it's not easy if they do, as the products originate from Asia. English is a second language, and thier replys can be rather cryptic (difficult to make sense of at times). Even if you're an old pro with RAID.
     

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