Sign in to follow this  
Pepsione1

Yet another failure in raid0 setup. Please help me.....

Recommended Posts

I have two maxtor d740x hds in raid0 with a hacked promise fasttrak66 controller card.

Results are terrible, I am only getting about 56.4mbps burst read, 31.8mbps avg read and 12.3secs random access time.

I want to post of a screen shot of HD Tach 2.61. Anyone know any free image hosting provider?

Please help me out, because I am getting pretty tired or messing around with raids. I used to have ibm gxp75 in raid0 with the same controller card and the performance was just as bad. All bios and drivers are latest revisions and the card is not sharing any irq and both drives are on seperate channels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That card should be able to sustain close to 66 MB per second from those two drives.

Something else is wrong, either try another PCI slot for the card, it might be an IRQ problem, or perhaps try another stripe size.

Also, be sure the drives are blank when you run the test.

Use GeoCities to host the image...

Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The card is not sharing any irq with any other devices (according to the list of devices at the boot up screen). Its using irq11. It is already in a different slot, i moved it when I build this new array. The drives are not blank but it shouldn't matter that much, I think. As for stripe size, its using 64k at the moment, which has been tested by many others and it should be fine.

What other possibilities would exists? I am really going crazy almost.

Don't hesitate to reply, I want to get this fixed!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The card is not sharing any irq with any other devices (according to the list of devices at the boot up screen).  Its using irq11.  It is already in a different slot, i moved it when I build this new array.  The drives are not blank but it shouldn't matter that much, I think.  As for stripe size, its using 64k at the moment, which has been tested by many others and it should be fine.

What other possibilities would exists?  I am really going crazy almost.

Don't hesitate to reply, I want to get this fixed!!

While the card might not be sharing an IRQ, there are motherboards that reserve some slots for exclusive use when in demand.

For example, my motherboard doesn't want any IDE card in slot 2, because that is the slot it demands to be free for exclusive use of the onboard IDE controller. Don't ask me why, but performance tanks when I put my IDE card in slot 2, but it rocks in slot 3.

Just a bit of personal experience there on how changing slots, even when it doesn't seem to make sense, works. :) Something to try anyway.

If the drives are your boot drive, then it does matter...

If the drives are just data drives, and they are nearly full, then HD Tach is probably testing near the end which is slower. Also, fragmentation doesn't help, even if minor. But if just data drives, then it matters less...

What file system do you use? Is indexing turned on?

Normally, went you test a drive, you test it without any partition, totally blank. That way you avoid the problems of file systems and other OS concerns. :)

Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just build this array yesterday and so far it has a 20gig ntfs partition on it and the rest is blank.

I am using win2k and it is my boot drive.

I might try moving the card into different slots to see if that makes any difference.

I am about this *---* close to run around my house and say f****ng peice of crap while slam my computer against the wall.

I spent a totally of 14 hours yesterday and today working on this thing non stop. But I still couldn't get it to work right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally undersand the feeling, been there, done that, have a closet full of t-shirts...

I completly sympathize with you...

Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been there and done that too, for so many times. This time is different, its personal!!! lol I dont' know why, I just feel very very unsatisfied this time.

Ok, I tried every PCI slot (1-5) and they all yield the EXACT same result. Its like it can't break the 35mbps barrier or something. Everytime when the graph hits 35mbps, it drops lil' by lil' to 30mbps and then up again. All the bigger drops happens at the exact point everytime (approx 7.14gig).

Now I begin to wonder again, if this could have anything to do with my Ultra66 Cables. Maybe one of the cable is crippled somehow and its affecting the whole setup and it also explains by it can't go higher than 35mbps.

One thing is for sure, THIS IS NOT AN ISSUE OF IRQ CONFLICTS.

Common, someone ought to know the answers to my questions. I am really feeling down right now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you tried other cables? Try moving them around first, then replace them.

It is possible you're actually running in Ultra33 mode.

While 35MB per second is a bit above the 33MB limit of that mode, it is also close enough that it might be the problem.

Have you tested just one of these drives to see what result you get?

Have you tested them in a software strip to see what result you get?

Just more ideas. :)

Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish I could do more testing with single drive and software raid. But I have 60gig of data that I need to move around each time when I make a move like that. So it will literally take hours to rebuild a raid and reinstall win2k.

Cables, I think thats the problem, well at least I hope that IS the problem. I wish it wasn't so late because all the stores are closed and I can't get cables anywhere now. 7:30pm right now. Unless I go to a future shop but nah...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't have extra drives to move the data to?

Is this your boot drive? If so, all bets are off as to drive testing...

Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, I just came back from future shop and picked some new ide cables. I popped them in and fired up hdtach, same freaking thing. lol

It still wouldn't go pass 35mbps.

So far I can conclude, NOT IRQ CONFLICTS, NOT IDE CABLES.

hmm.. what else?

I was going to benchmark just one drive, but fat32 doesn't support 60gig drives and I didn't want to mess around with it too much so I left it alone.

Software RAID, I dunno why, but I just don't believe in software raid. Especially if it is designed by Microsoft.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First off, HDTach is a lousy test for RAID setups.

Try ATTO Bechmark http://www.attotech.com/

Or try Winbench.

Second, Promise RAID SUCKS. Been there, tried that, now I'm bald from pulling my hair out. The Promise/Maxtor combination sucks donkey balls.

Try a 3Ware card if you insist on a hardware RAID. Win2k software RAID is just as good. Just use Promise card as an adapter, putting each drive on its own channel.

Bozo :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was going to benchmark just one drive, but fat32 doesn't support 60gig drives and I didn't want to mess around with it too much so I left it alone.

Software RAID, I dunno why, but I just don't believe in software raid.  Especially if it is designed by Microsoft.

FAT32 supports drives up to 2TB, but Windows 2000 and XP won't let you do it.

Why partition the drive? You'll get better test results with an unformated drive anyway.

As for software RAID, you're already using software RAID. What do you think those cheap IDE RAID cards are? Just like a WinModem, they are software driven.

Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hm.. really, but just the name SOFTWARE raid gives me the creep. Try and convince me that I should make the switch. (what if the os crashed, do you lose the array too?)

I just noticed that "write cache" is not enabled, it is greyed out and I can't change it. Does it matter? It is under "Disk Drive ---> Disk Property" in Computer Management (aka device manager).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, keep trying to convince me that I should make the switch to software raid while I try it out.

But where do I start? Given that you have two hd ready to for software raid with no partition and no os. (or is it easier if I just upgrade to dynamic disks right now in my current os (win2k). maybe starting fresh is better.)

hm... i wonder if I could do software raid with my fasttrak66 or do I have to go back and use the highpoint udma66 onboard controller.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hm.. really, but just the name SOFTWARE raid gives me the creep.  Try and convince me that I should make the switch.  (what if the os crashed, do you lose the array too?)

You're already using software RAID.

Windows stores the RAID info on the drives, not somewhere else.

You can take the drives out of your computer, plug them into another computer running the same OS, and they will work the first time.

You can plug them into new controllers, even change their order, they still work fine.

Software RAID is better than most of the cheap IDE cards...

I just noticed that "write cache" is not enabled, it is greyed out and I can't change it.  Does it matter?  It is under "Disk Drive ---> Disk Property" in Computer Management (aka device manager).

That doesn't matter, Windows treats those kinds of drives as SCSI devices, and doesn't have write control over them, the SOFTWARE RAID driver does. Yep, you are running software raid right now and don't even know it. :)

Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But where do I start?  Given that you have two hd ready to for software raid with no partition and no os. (or is it easier if I just upgrade to dynamic disks right now in my current os (win2k).  maybe starting fresh is better.)

You cannot boot from software RAIDed drives... You must have a single boot drive to work with.

hm... i wonder if I could do software raid with my fasttrak66 or do I have to go back and use the highpoint udma66 onboard controller.

You can use any controller you want. Just don't setup those drives as a RAID on that card, use the card as a standalone controller.

Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Second, Promise RAID SUCKS. Been there, tried that, now I'm bald from pulling my hair out. The Promise/Maxtor combination sucks donkey balls.

Try a 3Ware card if you insist on a hardware RAID. Win2k software RAID is just as good. Just use Promise card as an adapter, putting each drive on its own channel.

Bozo  :D

I have 2 Maxtor 740X 40GB drives in RAID0 on a Fastrak100. It's working fine - ATTO reports over 60MB/s for the writes, and over 70MB/s for the reads (roughly - I forget the exact numbers)... I also ran HDTach, but the graph had a bunch of peaks and valleys around 6GB wide each - I'm thinking that it isn't working too well on the array. I haven't tried Winbench. Performance feels fine, though - the drives copy stuff really quick.

The setup is running WinXP on an Epox 8KHA+ (Via KT266A) with Athlon XP 1600+, and 256MB DDR. I'm also running the latest 4in1s (4.37), and the latest BIOS/drivers for the Fastrak. Stripe size is 64kb, main partition is 32kb cluster FAT32. I also tried with and without the Via RPP (Raid Perfornance Patch - you can get it at http://www.viaarena.com), but didn't really see any changes.

I also tried the same drives on the HPT372 (ATA133 RAID) controller on my Iwill XP333-R board (Ali Magik1 Rev. C). I got pretty bad results, and never got them working well on it. Compared to the Highpoint controller, the Fastrak100 is working much better... (I know some such as Bob.D got great results on with the 740X on the HPT372 on the Abit KR7A-RAID, but on the Ali chipset it just doesn't want to work... maybe we need a PCI latency patch for this sucka...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just use atto to bench my drives and it just wouldn't pass 33.9mb/s for write and 41.2mb/s for read.

This is weird, I wonder if it has anything to do with my fasttrak66 controller.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the controller bios screen, it displays "mode = 2+0 Stripe". Does that mean anything to you guys? is raid0 with two drives?

I am really running out of ideas of what could be the cause of this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In the controller bios screen, it displays "mode = 2+0 Stripe".  Does that mean anything to you guys?  is raid0 with two drives?  

I am really running out of ideas of what could be the cause of this.

It is either the controller, or the drives, or perhaps your motherboard on the outside chance...

Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My experiance with the Promise/Maxtor problems goes back about two years. I sold the FastTrak and Maxtors and now run a 3Ware 6200 and two IBM 75 GXPs.

I tried Win2k software RAID with two IBM 75 GXPs on a Ultra 100. Performance was great. Because of the software testing I do, It wasn't practical to keep. Also, the dual boot with Win98 made the RAID array invisible to Win98.

If you are running RAID 0, you have the same chance of losing everything as you do with software RAID.

Bozo :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know there are chances of losing data, but i don't want to spend too much on IDE controller cards (how much are the 3com's anyway, very expensive right).

As for my problem, what else could be the cause. I am not going to give up until I find the reason. lol

What are the usual causes for under-performing raids?

I already ruled out that it is not IRQ conflict and not a cable problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this