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SimonP

Adding more SATA drives

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Hi, I wonder if you might be able to suggest a solution to my problem.

I have an Asus P5B Deluxe motherboard that has 6 SATA II ports which I am using as 3 x RAID 0. I want to add another 4 x 2TB drives so my options are either adding a 4 channel SATA II adaptor card or a Port Multiplier.

An add-on card seemed preferable and I tried a SYBA SY-PEX40048 as it uses PCIe x4 which would give me one lane per drive and would be nice and fast but I've had terrible problems with it. It appears that the controller won't work properly with the motherboard in RAID mode - drives in ports C and D work but if I connect drives to ports A or B it overrides the motherboard's controller and forces me to boot from one of those drives. Rosewill make a very similar card - both available at Newegg if you want to look - and there is a comment under that card saying that someone had a similar problem and attributed it to their M/B being in RAID mode.

The alternative is a Port Multiplier, which will be slower as it shares one port with 4 drives but it should be OK. My motherboard has a JMicron JMB363 chip that is not being used so it is feasible, or I could un-RAID one pair of drives and free up one of the ports on the on-board Intel P965/ICH8R controller.

I can't be the first to run into this kind of problem so I'm hoping that maybe someone can advise me on the best way around this. Can you recommend either a 4+ port controller card (preferably PCIe x4 but RAID not required) that will simply let me add 4 or more JBOD drives, or a Port Multiplier for the JMB363 or ICH8R that will do the same?

If, as I have seen with some PMs, it will only work in RAID mode on my chipsets, will I be able to RAID 0 or 5 these 2TB drives (i.e. what would be the maximum capacity) and would it work with WD's 'Green' drives, which I use?

A third option would be a 4 drive NAS but the ones I could afford seem to have problems with the 'Green' drives and I've just bought a huge tower case to fit all the drives in so it's not ideal.

Many thanks in advance. This is driving me crazy and I can't afford to keep trying different cards until I find one that works or spend a fortune on a full-on RAID controller. My budget is $100 / £80 but I can probably stretch it a bit if necessary.

Best regards,

Simon.

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Thanks for your reply. I had to give up on that card in the end and have bought an LSI SAS3041E card to try. It hasn't arrived yet but I'll update this post later in case it helps anyone.

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