questions re fried SATA drives

Discussion in 'hardware' started by hierophant, Feb 13, 2010.

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  1. hierophant

    hierophant Registered Member

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    Some months ago, I played with approaches for inexpensive SATA-based mass storage. It didn't turn out well. I worked with five 500GB SATAs (three WD, and two Seagate) and five 1TB WD RE3 SATAs, a Dell SC1435 server and a generic external drive enclosure.

    In my first experiment, I attached them to an old PCI-Express LSI MegaRAID two-port U320 SCSI card using Addonics SATA-SCSI converter cards (ADSALVD160). That failed abysmally. Although I did manage to create some RAID arrays, I couldn't modify or even delete them. After this failure, I checked each of the drives on a motherboard SATA channel, and they seemed fine. In the process, I deleted partitions.

    In my next experiment, I connected them to a two-port PCI-Express SATA RAID HBA (SIL3132-based) via two Addonics 5X1 eSATA port multipliers (AD5SARPM-E). At first, I could see all ten drives, but intermittently, and just as individual disks, with no RAID capability. I then realized that the HBA hadn't been flashed with the (compatible, supposedly) RAID firmware. And so I did that (unfortunately, perhaps, with the port multipliers and drives connected).

    After that, I couldn't see any of the drives. Worse, I tested a few on a motherboard SATA channel, and they appeared to be stone cold dead -- even with diagnostic software from WD and Seagate. However, I just checked another, and it seems fine. I plan to check the rest when I have time.

    I'd appreciate any insight that y'all might into what I've done, and how it might be fixed.
     
  2. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    Since you did not get any response, perhaps due to the advanced and technical nature of the question, I will hazard a guess.

    First, I am not an expert in the RAID setups/troubleshooting etc. But, I think your problem is related to the firmware upgrade. Since you flashed the HBA's firmware with the drives connected, I am assuming the drives firmware got flashed instead. Flashing a drive with an incorrect firmware might cause the drive to appear to be dead. Have you tried flashing the drives with their own firmwares? In my opinion this will correct the problem.
     
  3. hierophant

    hierophant Registered Member

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    Thanks, Raza0007. That did occur to me. However, I don't get how to flash the firmware of a drive that doesn't show up as connected. I've resisted calling Seagate or WD tech support, because these are OEM drives (and because I've abused them). Perhaps they'll take pity. Given that they're so inexpensive and contain no data, I can't imagine that sending them anywhere for repair would be cost-effective. And yet it bugs me to just toss them. Thanks again.
     
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