Promise 278 RAID controller not detected on ASUS P4800E

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by mikedeissler, Aug 2, 2006.

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  1. mikedeissler

    mikedeissler Registered Member

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    I have 6 ASUS P4800e deluxe boxes that are using the onboard Promise 278 Fast Track RAID controller. The RAIDs are all mirrors. I have used TI v.'s 8 through TIW 9.1 and at some point I used the Emergency restore CD to clone an image to them all, but I can't be sure what version's emergency CD I used to do this.
    This weekend I had a RAID die and when I popped in the TIW 9.1 emergency CD (using the most recent build...), the software could not detect my RAID or any of the SATA drives connected to the motherboard.
    I was reading through the fora and think I have gleaned that the emergency CD is based on the Linux kernel, is this so ? Because I also know that about a year ago the most recent kernel (2.4 something, I beleive) stopped supporting the Promise chip. If this is the issue, I'll stop trying to get things to work by swaooing MB and drives etc. Also, if this is the issue - what is the best approach to take for a fast recovery?
    I did get around the problem by (1) reinitializing the array, (2) on a second machine, restoring the image to a spare drive, (3) installing that drive as a SATA drive on the machine with the newly initialized RAID, (4) changing the boot drive to one the newly restored image from the second machine, (5) in Windoze, cloning that drive to the blank RAID, and (6), finally, removing the spare SATA. What could be easier ? No seriously, can anyone think of a way, to do this a better way.
    The machines in question do nightly, full images to a local and network drive.
    Any help or clarification about the boot CD would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,Mike
     
  2. Maker

    Maker Registered Member

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    1. Change the controller to standard SATA mode by turning off the RAID.
    2. Restore to a single disk. (The image won't care at this point) :)
    3. Renable the SATA controller
    4. Recreate the array
    4a. Set the first drive as the master/primary
    4b. Don't initialize the array just let it start to sync
    5. Reboot and you should be done. It will be slow until it has fully synchronized but it will be working.

    Hope that helps,

    Maker
     
  3. mikedeissler

    mikedeissler Registered Member

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    On the motherboards in question here, the RAID controller has 4 ports, 2 SATA and 2 ATA, allowing for a 0+1, 2 0's, etc. In addition to those 4 ports dedicated to the RAID, there are an additional 2 SATA ports which can be used as stand alone drives (HD, DVD etc). As I tried to indicate in my 1st post, none of these 6 ports are detected on any of the 6 MBs in question, so simply restoring to the solo SATA ports won't do the trick either.

    Thanks for the post though, :D

    Mike
     
  4. Maker

    Maker Registered Member

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    Ok, so is that to say you have tried disabling the raid feature or you have not? If you switch off the raid functionality you are switching off the Promise chip and going to the other controller chipset, usually Via or Intel. If it isn't detecting any of your SATA drives even after turning off the Promise chipset then you may very well be dealing with a very serious compatability issue. If that is the case then:

    Follow the steps in https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=55317 and contact support with the information.

    In the meantime, if disabling the raid doesn't work, as long as you can find any computer with a SATA drive that can be recognized you can still perform the steps I outlined in my first post. You'll just be performing an extra step in transfering it from the other computer.

    Hope that helps,

    Maker
     
  5. mikedeissler

    mikedeissler Registered Member

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    Hi Maker,

    We've pretty much determined that the linux kernel used to make the boot cd does not have hardware support for the promise chip, although the earlier versions of the boot CD did. This is because the current linux kernel does not support the promise chip. This is why these workstations are running Windoze now not SUSE; the newest kernel doesn't have a driver for it yet. We are hopeful that subsiquent versions of the kernel will incorporate support for this chip and that Acronis will release an update.

    Thnaks Again, Mike
     
  6. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello mikedeissler,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Workstation Disk Backup Software.

    We are very sorry for the delay with the response.

    Please be aware that the 'Full' version of Acronis True Image Bootable Rescue CD utilizes the latest RedHat Linux kernel with some Acronis patches having it's own assortment of drivers for a wide variety of modern hardware devices built as modules and stored in the so-called RAM disk. Actually, it should support Promise SATA\RAID controllers.

    First of all, please make sure that you use the latest build (371:cool: of Acronis True Image 9.1 Workstation which is available for downloading in the Product Updates section of your account at Acronis web site.

    You can find the full version name and build number by going to Help -> About... menu in the main program window.

    To get access to updates you should create an account then log in and use your serial number to register the software.

    Please uninstall any previously installed build by following Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Add or Remove Programs -> Acronis True Image, prior to installing build 3718.

    Please create new Bootable Rescue CD after installing the update, boot your computer from this CD and see if the problem still persists.

    If the problem persists with Bootable Rescue CD created using the latest build (371:cool: of Acronis True Image 9.1 Workstation and your RAID array still cannot be recognized then please try booting with "acpi=off noapic" parameter as it is described in Acronis Help Post.

    If booting with "acpi=off noapic" parameter does not help then please create Linux system information (sysinfo.txt) as it is described in Acronis Help Post.

    Note that sometimes the sysinfo.txt file is not readable from under Windows. In this case please try entering the file name using capital letters (SYSINFO.TXT) or follow the instructions provided in this previous post of mine.

    If you do not have a floppy drive then please take a look at this previous post of mine explaining how to save the sysinfo.txt file to USB flash drive.

    Please also let us know the exact vendors and models of both your SATA\RAID controller and hard drives.

    Then please submit a request for technical support. Provide the files and information collected in your request along with the step-by-step description of the actions taken before the problem appears and the link to this thread. We will investigate the problem and try to provide you with the solution.

    P.S. Please also note that a possible workaround is to use BartPE-based bootable CD created using Acronis True Image plug-in for BartPE. This CD allows you to boot the computer into a Windows like environment loading the appropriate drivers for any of your hardware devices at start-up. There should not be any problems recognizing your RAID array in this case.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
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