This discussion is locked
1 2 3 Previous Next 31 Replies Latest reply: Apr 16, 2010 7:09 PM by KeithMoon Go to original post RSS
  • 15. Re: Does the ICH10R support RAID capacity expansion?
    FatCat Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Perplexer,

     

    Nice disseration! Especially for a nube like myself.

     

    I bought a ICH10R mobo so I could do RAID 5 and after some trial and error, I have a 3 drive RAID 5 with 2 RAID 5 volumes and am running XP Pro SP3.  I'm using 3 identical 500gig HD.

     

    I would like to add a 4th identical 500 gig drive to the array.

     

    My question is: Do I need to put the drive in, boot to BIOS IMSM and add the new drive to the existing array?  OR, should I HOT swap in the 4th drive and use the IMSM Windows Console to add the drive to the array?

     

    Capacity expansion is not my concern although with 4 500 gig HD I'm right at 2tb.  My main concern is how to add the drive without messing up my system.

     

    Can you give some advice or point me to a forum, FAQ, manual or some resource to learn how to add the 4th drive?

  • 16. Re: Does the ICH10R support RAID capacity expansion?
    Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    The reason that both volumes expand themselves is the same reason that you cannot have a mirror and a raid 5 on the same set of disks.  The raid volumes have to "line up" or use the same number of disks.  Why this is, I do not know. But, its 25 gigs of space you did not have before.

  • 17. Re: Does the ICH10R support RAID capacity expansion?
    scottdavis Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    I just tried Perplexor's instructions and thought I'd share the results.

    I have an ASUS P6T motherboard with ICH10R OROM 8.0.0.1038 and MSM 8.9.0.1023 installed on Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit.

    I attached 4 2 TB drives to the SATA ports.

    I boot from a separate IDE drive.

    Going into MSM I created Volume0 (RAID5) as the smallest I could get using 3 out of the 4 disks - something like 37GB.

    I also marked this volume bootable.

    Then I created Volume1 (RAID5, again) using the rest of the space - something like 3700GB.

    I chose this config because I planned on building another machine with just the RAID having a small boot and a huge data volume, and this was essentially a test to see if I could actually use this config and expand it when more space was needed.

    I then tried to expand Volume1 by adding the 4th disk to the array.

    This of course, as Perplexor stated, will actually expand both Volume1 AND Volume0.

    But I don't particularly care that Volume0 will get expanded because it's small and only gets a tiny portion of the extra expansion space.

    Anyways, the MSM started chugging away on expanding (rebuilding, actually) Volume0, because, I guess, that volume was created first.

    Volume0 finished, and then things went amiss.

    Instead of moving on to Volume1, the MSM reported that it was done and wanted to reboot for the changes to be seen properly.

    Okay, I complied.

    The system locked up during shutdown.

    I power cycled my machine.

    The system locked up while booting Windows.

    I power cycled my machine.

    The system came up, and much to my suprise started rebuilding Volume1...except something was horribly wrong...

    Volume1 was listed as being 12000-something GB instead of 5000-something GB.

    Yikes, that's totally wrong.

    I stopped it.

    Then I started over thinking I did something wrong.

    Same results, even after trying a third time.

    Dunnow whether this is Window's or Intel's or Asus's fault but I felt gypped.

    So I waited until the components for my newer system to arrive to try it on that one.

    The new system is a FoxConn Q45M (which is actually an ICH10DO) board, so I thought it had a better change of getting things right.

    Wrong.

    Things were worse.

    Right off the bat, the OROM refused to create a RAID volume greater than 2TB.

    That was a bummer, and, to me, a huge step backwards!

    The OROM on this board is 8.5.0.1020 - it's NEWER!

    I find it ironic that the older OROM on the ASUS board had no problem whatsoever creating volumes > 2 GB.

    To see if I could get around this, I created a small volume using the OROM, and installed Windows 7 Ultimate 64 there.

    Then I installed MSM 8.9.0.1023 and tried to create the huge data volume from within it.

    It immediately warned me that the volume would be marked as "Incompatible" in the OROM.

    Huh?

    I dismissed the warning and let it proceed.

    It seemed to work, but then a reboot made everything fall apart.

    Indeed, the 3 disks in the array were listed as status "Incompatible" during POST, and even worse, the small bootable volume would no longer boot.

    Gah!

    Why is this happening?

    Is it ICH10DO?  The particular OROM?  A FoxConn BIOS limitation?

    Can I get around this or do I need to return this board for an ICH10R board like my ASUS and then limit myself to 1 volume (so capacity expansion doesn't crash on me).

    I'd appreciate any input here.

  • 18. Re: Does the ICH10R support RAID capacity expansion?
    az-djt Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    The OROM does not support volumes over 2TB and won't report the information correctly.  You probably want to keep you volume sizes under 2TB.  You may also want to upgrade to the latest RST 9.6.0 driver to avoid some random drive FAILED conditions that occur in 8.9.0 and 9.5.0.

  • 19. Re: Does the ICH10R support RAID capacity expansion?
    scottdavis Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    After complaining to FoxConn, they delivered a BIOS update (in under a week no less) that fixed the 2 TB limit, and I am happily enjoying my 4 TB RAID 5 array.  However, the ability to expand an array containing two volumes still does not work.  Like on the ASUS board, an attempt to expand an array with two volumes results in the first volume migrating correctly and then the second volume not being migrated at all, although the second volume gets marked with the new size; this then results (on the next boot) in Windows crashing (because no migration occcured) and the second volume being given a size that is double its real capacity.  Then Windows boots again and tries to rebuild the second volume as if it actually had this wrong size (it would be nice to magically have twice the storage).  I did not wait for this to complete assuming it would eventually crash.

  • 20. Re: Does the ICH10R support RAID capacity expansion?
    KeithMoon Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hello-

     

    I am replacing my Apple TV/Drobo combination with a media server running Win7_64 (which would be the first windows-only machine I've built or purchased for myself in about a decade ...Job's reluctance to include bluray playback support has resulted in one less mac mini sale).

     

    I will be using Gigabyte's GA-EP45T-USB3P (or something like that...can't remember off the top of my head), which sports Intel's ICH10R southbridge.

    I wanted to create a 3x1.5TB RAID 5 array and upgrade to a 5 disk array when need dictates.

     

    If I have read correctly, this thread is (mostly) concerned with expanding an array with multiple partitions.  I will boot Win 7 off an SSD and will only have a sole partition on my 3TB RAID 5 array.  Will I run into any issues expanding to a 5 drive set up in the future?

     

    I am also a bit unclear about what an OROM is...is this something Intel provides Mobo manufacturers for their firmware?  Or is it something I can apply independently?  Will I not be able to rock a >2TB volume if Gigabyte has not implemented Intel's updated OROM in their firmware?

     

    From my understanding,  I can set SATA mode to RAID, boot into windows, set up a 3 disk partition using Intel's software, and format in GPT to have a partition greater than 2GB.  I can later use Intel's RAID software to add two more drives when needed.  Is this remotely close to being true?

     

    I hope I haven't derailed this discussion.

  • 21. Re: Does the ICH10R support RAID capacity expansion?
    scottdavis Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated
    From my understanding,  I can set SATA mode to RAID, boot into windows, set up a 3 disk partition using Intel's software, and format in GPT to have a partition greater than 2GB.  I can later use Intel's RAID software to add two more drives when needed.  Is this remotely close to being true?

     

    Yes, this will work exactly as you say, however be careful about:

     

    1. Make sure your BIOS/OROM supports RAID volumes > 2 TB.

    It should, because the Intel spec says it should, but...some BIOSs and/or OROMs do not.

    Don't know whether it's a bug or a choice by the MOBO maker, but in my case I was lucky enough to have my MOBO maker fix it for me.

     

    2. Don't use Matrix RAID (creating more than 1 volume on an array).

    I was unable to get online capacity expansion to work when more than 1 RAID volume exists on the array.

    It failed on both my Asus and my FoxConn MOBOs.

    I know that one of the prior posters got this to work, but Gawd know how.  I wouldn't risk it.

    I even chatted up an Intel rep via their online chat and he admitted that OCE does not work under certain configurations.

    I feel sorry for anyone who tries to increase the size of their Matix RAID volume set without backing it up first.

    Speaking of which...

     

    3. Always, always, ALWAYS have a backup before initiating an expansion.

    If the expansion fails, you can lose the entire array and its volume(s).

    In my case, to ensure safety, I built 2 storage servers, a primary and a backup.

    The backup is off most of the day but springs to life in the middle of the night and sychs with the primary, setting aside deletions for my approval.

    When it comes time to expand the array, I will do so, and if for some reason it fails and I lose it, I have everything on the backup server.

    Costly? Yes.  But not as expensive as losing everything because I didn't have a backup.

     

    So, to sum it up...

    If your MOBO has a good BIOS/OROM and you stick with creating one huge GPT volume, and boot off a regular SATA disk, you should be good to go.

    That is what I am doing now, except I boot off of a WD Green 500 GB drive (attached to a VIA SATA add-on card) instead of a SSD.

     

    About the OROM.  I believe this stands for Option ROM, as in special ROM code added to the base BIOS ROM code to handle some of the critical RAID functions (creation/deletion) without needing to boot an OS.  The OROM is supplied by Intel to the MOBO maker, but it may or may not be tweaked by the MOBO maker; and no, this is not something you can update separately (by mere userland mortals anyways) - it is updated as part of a BIOS update.

    When FoxConn updated my BIOS to fix the 2 TB limit, they also upgraded the OROM from 8.5 to 8.9.

    That was really cool because 8.9 has functions for recovering an array and 8.5 does not.

    However, I don't believe the 2 TB bug was in the 8.5 OROM, because my Asus board uses 8.5 and handles 2+ TB volumes just fine.

    So the bug was really in the base BIOS, and FoxConn just threw in OROM 8.9.

    How nice of them!

  • 22. Re: Does the ICH10R support RAID capacity expansion?
    KeithMoon Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hey Scott, thanks for the quick reply.

     

    via your numbering scheme:

     

    1.  Any ideas on where I can find the version history of these oroms?  I emailed GB's support and the rep claims the RAID is not compatible with volumes larger than 2GB (and therefore cannot be expanded beyond this).  Maybe he thought I was trying to boot off the drive?  Maybe GB's firmware is less than capable  when compared to other vendors'?  I emailed him back hoping to clarify.

     

    2.  As Jack Black would say: "One's all [I] need."

     

    3.  I wouldn't do it any other way.  I have spent entirely too long scanning film to risk losing my tiffs or aperture library   .  Although, I should really ditch the tiffs as they are all in my aperture lib and gigantic.  Though not karmically sound, I was thinking of purchasing a 1TB drive to hold my data while I construct this computer/raid array and then returning it.  I need the two drives in my drobo for the new array.  Even this makes me nervous, though.

     

    Hopefully Gigabyte's firmware guys are on their game and their rep doesn't know what he is talking about, haha.  Though this board is the last 775 board GB made (I think), I am still worried that the firmware is still on 1.0.

  • 23. Re: Does the ICH10R support RAID capacity expansion?
    scottdavis Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated
    Any ideas on where I can find the version history of these oroms?

     

    I have not tried to find these, but you pique my curiosity now.  I think the latest is 8.9 because I recall seeing a thread mentioning it as being the latest while I was wading (via google) through dozens of threads on the topic.  Let me know what you find if you investigate and discover the answer.

     

    I emailed GB's support and the rep claims the RAID is not compatible with volumes larger than 2GB (and therefore cannot be expanded beyond this). 

     

    This is disturbing as it is the second instance of a MOBO vendor rep claiming you can't go over 2 TB when you can.

    And the 2 vendors are the biggest guys out there: Asus and now GigaByte.

    Remember the failed OCE experiment on my Asus?

    Well, I emailed them about the failure asking for help and the support rep replied with a very terse answer about not being able to go above 2 TB.

    When I emailed him back that Intel states that the RAID supports up to 256 TB volumes and that I was not booting from any volume, I got no answer.

    So I tormented him with silly emails every day until someone else (maybe his boss) emailed me another terse message saying something like "nothing had changed, all Asus boards do not support volumes over 2 TB" - this despite the fact that I had created and used a 4 TB volume on the P6T and only ran into a problem when doing OCE on an array containing 2 volumes; which, by the way, happens no matter how big or small the volumes are - I know, I tested many scenarios.

    Either I'm missing something or yeah, these poeple don't know what they are talking about.

    For kicks, I'll go fetch the Asus emails from my Outlook folders at work and post them here.

    They should be embarrassed for saying such ridiculous things.

     

    What I would do in your case is buy the GigaByte board from NewEgg.

    If the board doesn't support RAID volumes > 2 TB I'd then make a final attempt to ask GigaByte to fix the BIOS, because an Intel rep told me DIRECTLY that it is the MOBO maker's BIOS code that creates the 2 TB limit artificially.  FoxConn did the right thing, owned up to it and immediately fixed it.  Frankly I was stunned at their responsiveness, and I wouldn't expect to get that kind of service again, but hey, who knows?

    Anyways, should GigaByte not admit and/or refuse to fix the BIOS you can then RMA the board.

    This is what I did with the FoxConn board because I did not think they were going to fix it anytime soon if ever.

    When they came through in under a week I cancelled the RMA.

    The RMA had no restocking fee and NewEgg was going to pay for the return shipping - all I had to do was tell them the board did not function as advertised, and they accepted that answer.

    So, you really have nothing to lose if you go ahead and order the MOBO from NewEgg.

    Alternatively, you could post elsewhere asking others if they've constructed a 2+ TB volume on the GB board.

  • 24. Re: Does the ICH10R support RAID capacity expansion?
    KeithMoon Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    If the board doesn't work as I hope, I'll look into the oroms and let you know if I find anything, Scott.

     

    Aside from the case and CPU cooler, every component was purchased at Newegg.  I live in Southern California and usually get packages the next day from them (worth paying sales tax for!)...unfortunately, I have to wait until monday this time.

  • 25. Re: Does the ICH10R support RAID capacity expansion?
    az-djt Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    If your system OS is on a dirve/volume that is <2TB, you won't see a problem.  If the system OS is on a drive/volume >2TB the BIOS/OROM will not allow it to be bootable and I/O can not be performed.  So, for a configuration that has a volume >2TB that is separate from the system OS, the system should be good to go.

     

    Drives that a >2TB are not supported.

  • 26. Re: Does the ICH10R support RAID capacity expansion?
    scottdavis Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated
    Drives that a >2TB are not supported.

     

    What do you mean by drives - that is a very dubious term; it could mean a physical disk, a logical volume, or a partition.

    And how are they not supported?  Just for booting?  Or the config won't work at all?

     

    I'm trying to figure out if there's anything being said here that I don't know.

    It's common knowledge that you can't create a standard MBR disk partition (primary or otherwise) greater than 2 TB, because that's a limitation of the MBR partitioning scheme.  Hence, RAID logical volumes (which look like physical disks) > 2 TB cannot be MBR partitioned - well, they can, but only the first 2 TB would be usable and the rest wasted.

     

    This is why in my early experiments I used the Matix RAID feature on my 3 disk 4 TB array.

    Yes, the array was > 2 TB, but I created two RAID 5 volumes on that array: 1 a very small MBR volume so I could boot it, the other a huge GPT volume taking up the rest of the space.

    The goal being to avoid having to purchase a separate boot drive.

    It all worked beautifully, until my expansion test.

    Alas, trying to online capcity expand this 2 volume array does not work.

     

    I've been wondering, though, if the 2 volume OCE failures have anything to do with the fact that the second huge volume was not initialized at the time of expansion.  Initialized meaning, of course, having the Matrix Storage Manager construct the parity bits for the volume.

    It takes 3 days to initialize a 4 TB volume, so I didn't bother initializing it before running the expansion test.

    The Windows drive--created by GPT partitioning this entire 4 TB RAID volume--still worked, and was reading and writing, despite not being initialized, so I didn't think it would be an issue.

    But now I'm not sure.

    Maybe all volumes must be initialized before starting a OCE.

    I may have to go back and run the test again, this time first waiting the 3 days for an init to complete on the huge volume.

  • 27. Re: Does the ICH10R support RAID capacity expansion?
    az-djt Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Sorry for the confusion.  The Intel RST driver does not support Hard Disk Drives that are larger the 2TB.

     

    I am not trying to say anything new, just confirm what you are seeing.

     

    You don't what to try to expand a volume until the initialization process has completed.

  • 28. Re: Does the ICH10R support RAID capacity expansion?
    scottdavis Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Here is a transcript of my intereaction with ASUS on the subject of RAID volumes > 2 TB and OCE.

     

    What I asked:

     

    [Problem Description]
    The ICH10 raid online capacity expansion does not seem to work correctly.
    If I create two RAID volumes, vol0 and vol1, both RAID5, with vol0 = 37GB and
    vol1=3700GB (using 3 2 TB disks) and then I try to expand vol1 using the Matrix
    Storage Manager, the operation expands vol0 instead and asks to reboot when done.
    The reboot always freezes the computer, and Windows then freezes after a hard reset
    and another reboot. On the third reboot Windows comes back and Matrix Storage
    Manager starts resizing vol1, but vol1 is listed as being the wrong size (12000GB
    instead of 5000-something GB). The rebuild fails because of this.

     

    Replys I got:

     

    #1 misinformed statement:

     

    The ICH10R chipset is not designed to take a RAID larget than 2TB. Any attempt to create a larger array will give the problems that you have described.

    Chad R
    ASUS Linux Support
    ASUS L2 Technician

     

    #2 misinformed statement:

     

    Nothing has changed. Our boards still will not support a RAID larger than 2TB combined.

    Krisenda Allen
    ASUS Tech Support/L1 Support

    ----------------------------------

    Notice how they sicked a level 1 peon on me after Mr. Level 2 decided he no longer wanted to deal with the question.


    Who needs enemies when you get tech support like this?

     

  • 29. Re: Does the ICH10R support RAID capacity expansion?
    scottdavis Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Sorry for the confusion.  The Intel RST driver does not support Hard Disk Drives that are larger the 2TB.

     

    I am not trying to say anything new, just confirm what you are seeing.

     

    You don't what to try to expand a volume until the initialization process has completed.


    Actually this is news to me!

    Thank you very much.

     

    #1 You confirmed my suspicion that I horked the OCE by doing it on an unitialized volume.

    My bad, but..the software should be smart enough to say, "hey fool, you can't expand the array - one or more volumes are not initialized".

    Instead, the software allows you to do something that ultimately leads to data loss.

    Tsk tsk.  Intel should fix this.

     

    #2 You are saying that you cannot use physical drives > 2 TB (in an array or by themselves I imagine).

    Did not know this either, although no biggie because no one makes these yet.

    Doesn't suprise me though, given that physical volumes bigger than 2 TB will exceed the limitations of existing legacy addressing designs that have been around for quite a while.

    I understand that physical sector sizes are going to need to increase, and increasing physical sector size is going to break LOTs of code that makes the assumption "1 sector == 512 bytes".

    Good thing I plan on not needing anything bigger than 2 TB to expand my array to 10 TB in the future using 3 more drives, and after that, well, maybe SSDs will be cheap, and we'll have some new LBA addressing scheme so I could rebuild my RAID to 60 TB using 6 10 TB SSDs...

    One can dream...

     

    Do you work for Intel?

    How do you come to know such things?

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...