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eSATA issue with external enclosure (Acer H340 server) RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a Acer Easystore H340 WHS server that I use with a MediaSonic HF2-SU2S2 Pro Box eSATA enclosure. The enclosure works ok in USB2 mode but when connected by eSATA the server would not boot into WHS. Any ideas? I'm guessing I should update Acer's disk controller drivers but I'm not sure where the drivers are. Acer's website doesn't provide it. In device manager it says IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers  - Intel(R) 82801 GR/GH SATA AHCI Controller, whereas under SCSI and RAID controller it says Marvell 61xx RAID controller
    Wednesday, January 27, 2010 11:44 AM

Answers

  • The Marvell controller is probably the one the eSATA port is connected to. And your problem is probably related to the fact that your enclosure has a port multiplier. If the driver for the eSATA controller on the motherboard isn't able to handle a port multiplier, you may have a number of issues. Note: this is mostly a guess on my part. I'm sure the enclosure has a port multiplier, but I'm not sure that the driver you already have won't allow the Marvell HBA to support it.

    Assuming I'm right, unfortunately Marvell doesn't make reference drivers available for their storage controllers, so you'll either have to go the "unsupported" route, take a risk, and hunt around online for a driver that will work (find a motherboard manufacturer that uses the same controller and use a driver for Windows Server 2003 or XP), or you'll have to wait for Acer to release one.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, January 28, 2010 2:54 AM
    Moderator
  • I can confirm the same issue: the server would not boot after adding the 3rd drive.

    I eventually managed to boot up by manually powering up the enclosure first prior to the server, then boot up the server. Not sure if this will continue to work.

    This suggests that the external enclosure powers down automatically and spins down the drives that are installed in it, then (probably) staggers drive spin-up when it restarts. See if you can either configure it to not power down at all, or turn off staggered spin-up.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, January 30, 2010 2:58 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • The Marvell controller is probably the one the eSATA port is connected to. And your problem is probably related to the fact that your enclosure has a port multiplier. If the driver for the eSATA controller on the motherboard isn't able to handle a port multiplier, you may have a number of issues. Note: this is mostly a guess on my part. I'm sure the enclosure has a port multiplier, but I'm not sure that the driver you already have won't allow the Marvell HBA to support it.

    Assuming I'm right, unfortunately Marvell doesn't make reference drivers available for their storage controllers, so you'll either have to go the "unsupported" route, take a risk, and hunt around online for a driver that will work (find a motherboard manufacturer that uses the same controller and use a driver for Windows Server 2003 or XP), or you'll have to wait for Acer to release one.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, January 28, 2010 2:54 AM
    Moderator
  • I have the same setup. I thought mine was working fine with eSata, but then I added a 3rd drive to the enclosure. As soon as I did that the machine would not boot. Remove the drive and it works fine.
    I did find a newer (I think) Marvell driver but it makes no difference. It is presently at version 1.2.0.7100. I'll be adding a port multiplier in the machine when I return from vacation.
    Thursday, January 28, 2010 8:34 PM
  • I can confirm the same issue: the server would not boot after adding the 3rd drive.

    I eventually managed to boot up by manually powering up the enclosure first prior to the server, then boot up the server. Not sure if this will continue to work.

    Saturday, January 30, 2010 6:54 AM
  • I can confirm the same issue: the server would not boot after adding the 3rd drive.

    I eventually managed to boot up by manually powering up the enclosure first prior to the server, then boot up the server. Not sure if this will continue to work.

    This suggests that the external enclosure powers down automatically and spins down the drives that are installed in it, then (probably) staggers drive spin-up when it restarts. See if you can either configure it to not power down at all, or turn off staggered spin-up.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, January 30, 2010 2:58 PM
    Moderator
  • Shawn, glad that works for you. For me, it doesn't :-(

    I did some experiments with my server yesterday, using a spare boot drive. Using the original driver installed during Server Recovery, H340 does not like drives 3 and 4 being in the Mediasonic cabinet.
    Thus driver versions 1.2.0.68 and 1.2.0.7100 exhibit the same behaviour for me. I might try an older version of the driver.....
    Sunday, January 31, 2010 8:29 PM