Thursday, November 29, 2007

M2N-E MediaShield RAID Problem

I was experiencing an interesting nerve break down while working on this project. It is about the same machine I mentioned in my earlier post. The motherboard is ASUS M2N-E with a nForce 570 Ultra chipset I consider it a very nice mobo.

So about the issue. I've tried to connect four hard disks of 1TB capacity each into RAID0 (stripping) mode, but every time I try to create an array more than 2TB(more than two hard disks) the nVidia's MediaShield Tool shows only 1.65TB. I've tried searching the Asus website about this (which is quite slow and can be a real pain in the @$$) and found out the following:


My M/B cannot detect the total volume of my HDDs correctly when I use Raid over 2TB volume, why?


Due to the limitation of all the chipsets of Raid controllers, currently volume over 2TB will not be recognized correctly.

After reading such an answer more "why's" and "how's" started popping into my mind, and so I decided to write to the support staff to which he replied to me with a pdf file attached. The file contained some letter from seagate explaining that the limitation of 2TB is due to the drivers in the RAID controllers and never really contained the answer I was looking for.

So I've finally given up the idea of connecting the four 1TB into one big RAID monster, and decided to go for two arrays made up of two hard disks. But as soon as I created the arrays windows just won't see them. I had windows xp installed on an 80Gb Excelstor which was connected on one of the sata ports. So again I banged my head against the wall all night and couldn't get this right. Then suddenly I've tried to clone the 80Gb Excelstor to another 80Gb Excelstor on Parallel ATA. And here was the turning point. I accidentally booted from the 80Gb Excelstor on PATA and bam there were the two raid arrays I've previously created. I don't know why was this, but I surely changed my mind about PATA disks one more time.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

It Is Now Safe to Turn Off Your Computer

I had an order from a customer for a nice home server, within a reasonable price range. So since I had already sold too many M2N and M2N-X motherboards, I have decided to put my trust into their bigger brother M2N-E, and I wasn't wrong of course. The specifications of the pc I've built are:

MB: Asus M2N-E nForce 570 Ultra chipset
CPU: AMD Athlon64 4000+ Dual Core
RAM: 1Gb Apacer DDR2 800MHz
HDD: 4 x Western Digital 1Tb and one ExcelStor 80Gb for the OS
OPT: Pioneer DVD-RW DVR-212 (One of the best sata dvd-rw in its class)
VGA: 6600 nVidia 128Mb
PSU: Cooler Master 850Watt Real Power

and a lot of coolers :)

So what amazed me was that when I turned off the computer in windows xp it won't shut down directly. Instead the very old and famous screen with the message: "It is now safe to turn off your computer" would appear. So the solution to this was to enable the APMS. You can do this like this:

Click Start -> Control Panel -> Performance and Maintenance -> Power Options Tab -> Select APM -> Enable Advanced Power Management Support

Friday, November 23, 2007

Excelstor's bad support driving me nuts!

I had a customer complaining about a hard disk which stopped worked all of a sudden. He had high confidential financial data and didn't want to send it for a replacement. I've tried repairing the hard disk, but it just had too much bad sectors and it barely worked. So I've decided to have a little chat with Excelstor's online support. Now I've had many different situations and have chatted with so many support guys, but this one was the worst. Actually there was no support guy at all. I've tried writing my question, but the submit form kept refreshing every 30 seconds and my question kept getting deleted. Yeah very frustrating moment for me, thats why I decided to share it with you. Anyway if you have an issue with excelstor, and decide to consult them, just forget their support, its useless, especially online.