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Question regarding Replacing HBA card in WHS RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a custom built WHS that I also have attached to Sans Digital TRM5-B enclosure for added storage. I am also using the Home Server SMART add-in, which among other things provides SMART data on the drives that are able to provide that data. I recently discovered that any disks installed in the TRM5-B enclosure are unable to provide SMART data. Per conversations with Sans Digital, this is due to the stock PCIe HBA card that the enclosure is connected to lacking this functionality. Upon request, they pointed me to an alternative HBA card that they resell (Highpoint 2314 to be exact) that would provide this functionality. As I would like to have this data available for any drives installed in the enclosure, I am prepared to buy it but had some questions regarding transitioning over to it.

    At present, I have two drives in the enclosure( 1X1.5 TB and 1X2 TB). If I pull the existing HBA card and replace with the Highpoint, WHS is obviously not going to see any of the drives until after I've installed the drivers for the card, which is expected. What I am unsure of is whether I should remove the drives from the storage pool beforehand (presuming WHS determines that enough space exists to relocate data to other drives, which should be the case) or if WHS will function "normally" again after doing the HBA card swap / installing the drivers so that it's able to see them.

    If anyone can provide any insight / feedback here, it would be appreciated.
    Thursday, April 1, 2010 3:40 PM

Answers

  • Assuming your system disk is a SATA drive, just make sure that it's on the lowest numbered port on the primary SATA interface. Usually that's port 0 or 1. And make sure that you don't add any IDE hard drives, because you will sometimes have problems in a reinstallation (the server will detect the IDE drive as a boot device and ignore the actual SATA system drive, which can prevent getting the option to recover/reinstall).
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by WSJR Friday, April 23, 2010 3:04 AM
    Monday, April 5, 2010 10:21 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • You can try installing the drivers for the Highpoint prior to the swap, or you can install them after the fact. No harm will come to your storage pool from having several missing drives, as long as you complete the swap.

    Personally, though, I would probably leave it alone (not swap the HBA), because presumably you've already got a stable configuration. It's not broken today, so don't try to fix it, eh?


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, April 1, 2010 4:39 PM
    Moderator
  • Ken, thanks for the feedback.  Yea, I do have a relatively stable configuration.  My concern lies in the fact that if the any of the drives in the enclosure start to have any issues that I won't get the advanced notification that is made available via SMART.   Your point is well taken though so will need to reconsider.
    Thursday, April 1, 2010 5:09 PM
  • You might want to read this Google research paper.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, April 1, 2010 6:00 PM
    Moderator
  • Interesting paper to say the least --- that will make me think even further about getting the new HBA card or not.

     

    Thanks!

    Thursday, April 1, 2010 6:27 PM
  • Ken,

    A user in the Home Server Smart forums suggested re-arranging the port assignments for the discs in the server.  He had a similar problem and found swapping the SATA port assignments for some of his disks and DVD drive did the trick.  I am open to this but not sure if this will cause any issues with WHS in terms of it seeing the disks / data properly.  If I move the SATA port connections around, should WHS not really notice or will I run into some issues upon booting?  I realize that I probably don't want to muck with the system disk but aside from that, any issues in doing so?

    Monday, April 5, 2010 6:40 PM
  • Assuming your system disk is a SATA drive, just make sure that it's on the lowest numbered port on the primary SATA interface. Usually that's port 0 or 1. And make sure that you don't add any IDE hard drives, because you will sometimes have problems in a reinstallation (the server will detect the IDE drive as a boot device and ignore the actual SATA system drive, which can prevent getting the option to recover/reinstall).
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by WSJR Friday, April 23, 2010 3:04 AM
    Monday, April 5, 2010 10:21 PM
    Moderator