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Dell SAS 6/iR / LSI 3081e and undiscoverable device 0x2

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I've got a Dell SAS 6/IR that refuses to discover, and appears to corrupt the LBA of, two 160 WD RE2 drives (WD1601ABYS). The controller works fine with every other drive I've attached on any port (including two 250GB RE2s). The RE2s appear to be fine as well. My first thought was an HPA left from a previous (and old) RAID controller they had been on. Connected them to another PC with an ICH7 chipset (not even AHCI), POST would throw an error about detecting them properly, but they would list in the BIOS setup (as unknown capacity). MHDD complained about the drives not having an LBA table, so I used testdisk to delete the MBR and partition table. After that, the POST would enumerate them properly. To be on the safe side, I also DBAN'd the disks and wrote new DOS Partition tables to them. Writing data to them worked fine and without any issues, everything looked good in hdparm. Back in to MHDD, it worked fine, used NHPA to make sure there wasn't something I missed, rebooted and ran a full MHDD test - everything looked good.
Once I connected them back to the Dell SAS 6/IR, same thing all over again - discovery error 0x00000002, SAS configuration hangs if you try and go in to adapter properties, and the drives aren't picked up properly on another system until the MBR and partition table is wiped and MHDD complains about them not having an LBA table.
So, I thought maybe it was a bug / quirk with the controller and these specific models / drives. I cross-flashed the card to an LSI 3081E-R (to get a more recent firmware) and made sure the nvdata was not mismatched afterwards. No difference at all in behavior - LBA on these 2 drives is corrupted every time I connect them, they work fine on other PCs, and the card works fine with every other drive.
Kinda pulling my hair out on this one, since these are the best drives I have to use for a boot mirror... Ideas?

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