D975XBX2 configuration question (7 drives)

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tclanton
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D975XBX2 configuration question (7 drives)

Post by tclanton » Sun Jan 13, 2008 11:56 am

I have the Intel D975XBX2 motherboard and I have flashed the BIOS to the latest (86A 2809 released 2007-12-13). I want to set it up as follows:

Intel SATA
4 x 500 GB Samsung (HD501LJ) HDDs in RAID5 for data.

Marvell SATA
1 x 500 GB Samsung (HD501LJ) HDD for OS (Windows XP Pro SP2).
1 x 500 GB Samsung (HD501LJ) HDD on red eSATA to external AMS enclosure
1 x Lite-On 20X DVDR (LH-20A1L-06)

I need RAID5 on 4 drives for redundancy for important personal data.
I need an external drive & wanted to use eSATA for speed rather than USB2.

What do you guys think? Is this going to be a nightmare due to the unstable nature of the Marvell controller? Or has the latest BIOS revision addressed enough of the problems?

If possible, what would be the recommended install order and methods/drivers for making this work correctly?

Would a 4 drive RAID config on the Marvell SATA controller be stable?
Will the Intel SATA controller work for OS drive, DVDR, and external eSATA solution?

Thanks in advance.

PS - Sorry for the double post but I just realized that I had sort of hikacked another thread. I'm a noob here, sorry!

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Re: D975XBX2 configuration question (7 drives)

Post by Methious » Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:31 pm

You already know there's a lotta lotta problems with the Marvell SATA, most of the people I've seen just disable that controller. So i guess the decision your looking at is unstable raid array, or unstable operating system. If data integrity is your goal then the Marvell SATA controller is a poor choice for a raid array, or an operating system controller. Put the operating system on marvell and it crashes you can't get to the data, put the raid array on the marvel and it crashes same thing. If you exceed the generally accepted limitations of a given piece of equipment disregarding past experience you can probably expect problems.

Couple of customers got that board because of it's nick name "Bad Axe 2", not knowing they put drives on the Marvell controller, most cases within 2 weeks I was reworking their lay out.
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Re: D975XBX2 configuration question (7 drives)

Post by tclanton » Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:45 pm

Thanks.

Maybe I should begin looking at SATA RAID controllers. I actually have 2 of these boards in 2 systems so my idea was to use the 2nd one as a backup SATA RAID controller should the 1st one fail for important data. So the thought of buying 2 new SATA RAID controllers kind of sucks. But I am sick of losing data so I will do what is required. Can anyone recommend a quality 4 port SATA RAID controller?

Oh yeah, what about running eSATA drive, OS drive and DVDR on the Intel SATA controller? Anyone know if it will handle an eSATA connection?

Thanks for the help.

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Re: D975XBX2 configuration question (7 drives)

Post by DL126 » Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:26 am

The config you mentioned in your first post ...

I'd hook the drives to the Marvell controller and install the OS.
When finished, hook the drives to the Intel controller and set up the raid.
And wouldn't think twice about it.

I have a couple of these boards in the field with drives on the Marvell only and have had no problems out of 'em since build time.
Going on about 8 months now.
And both of these machines have whatever BIOS & drivers were available at the time.
They've never been updated.

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Re: D975XBX2 configuration question (7 drives)

Post by cyclo » Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:56 am

I am using the Marvell controller (red port) for my eSATA drive for 4 months or so now. No problems.

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Re: D975XBX2 configuration question (7 drives)

Post by ubiquityman » Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:09 am

The Intel Raid5 is painfully slow when writing to the array. Reading is OK though.

Marvell controllers has been incredibly unreliable for me. I would not put any drives on there that you need to boot from.

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Re: D975XBX2 configuration question (7 drives)

Post by hkancyr » Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:37 am

I got rid of my redundant arrays and run 1TB RAID0 (2X500)on each controller, one is used as a backup for the other. The other slots are running 2 500's and 2 160's which do various backup and caching. My experience with the Marvell controller is good rather than bad, I've never had a problem with it. The redundant RAID 5 I initially ran on the Intel seemed to be rebuilding too frequently. The rebuilding left the computer severely crippled for hours. I also ran the Intel controller as RAID 1 and that too did lots of rebuilding. The price for automatically safe data seems too high for me. The RAID0 really increases performance as you would expect and that is very nice. My back-ups are extensive and rebuilding is not a problem so RAID0 works well for me.
Old one- D975XBX2, QX6700, 6Gigs Corsair DDR2, 8X500Gig HDD's, 470 GTX , Koolance EXOS2, 24" BenQ, Win7 Ulti.
New one- Asus Z77 Sabertooth, I7 3770K, EVGA 670 GTX, Crucial M4 256GB SSD, 2TB WD Caviar Black, Corsair H100, Corsair Vengeance 16GB, Corsair 850 PSU, Corsair 500R case, Win 7 64bit Pro

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Re: D975XBX2 configuration question (7 drives)

Post by ubiquityman » Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:45 pm

My experience is that the array NEVER rebuilds unless you don't shutdown properly.
When it does rebuild, I simply cancel the rebuild and do it at a more convenient time.

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Re: D975XBX2 configuration question (7 drives)

Post by hkancyr » Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:49 pm

Uman, that is correct, my XBX2 still has a problem with 1st starts, in that it always crashes. So, that would explain all those rebuilds.
Old one- D975XBX2, QX6700, 6Gigs Corsair DDR2, 8X500Gig HDD's, 470 GTX , Koolance EXOS2, 24" BenQ, Win7 Ulti.
New one- Asus Z77 Sabertooth, I7 3770K, EVGA 670 GTX, Crucial M4 256GB SSD, 2TB WD Caviar Black, Corsair H100, Corsair Vengeance 16GB, Corsair 850 PSU, Corsair 500R case, Win 7 64bit Pro

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Re: D975XBX2 configuration question (7 drives)

Post by ubiquityman » Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:54 am

Yes, I have problem with 1st starts too.
Didn't originally, but the latest marvel drivers (or a reinstall of the old ones) caused this to happen.

What used to happen was that sometimes on a 1st start or a warm boot, the marvell drive would "disappear" on boot up, but the system would boot up. (marvel drives disappearing after suspend does not cause my system to hang, thank goodness)

Now, I can only speculate, but I suspect when the marvell drive disappears, the system does not boot. It starts to boot, but hangs with the drive light cycling between on and off every 15s or so.

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Re: D975XBX2 configuration question (7 drives)

Post by sygnus21 » Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:59 pm

Strange one here: I had 2 hard drives setup on the marvel controllers in RAID 0, (no operating systems), it stayed that way for about a month, then one day, I go to get data off the drive....can't access the drive...puff....RAID's gone. What? For some strange reason my raid array just disappeared. Both drives were good, no bad sectors, or anything. RAID just disabled itself! WTH???

So now I just us the marvel controller as a standard controller and have the two drives setup independently, no problems thus far.

I have four 320gig HD's, 2 on Intel, Vista and XP Pro, 2 on Marvel, game drive and a spare drive.

There are a lot of complaints about the marvel controller on this board. Since my RAID debacle I’ve been leery about putting any critical files on the drives attached to it.
New to "this" forum, not forums!

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Re: D975XBX2 configuration question (7 drives)

Post by hkancyr » Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:49 pm

I guess I shouldn't really mention that the Marvell controller is so good for me, it might turn on me. It really hasn't given me any grief.

I can't really say what is causing my 1st start issue. I am currently fooling with the voltages on the FSB and the MCH/ICH thing, tried slightly higher and now I am trying slightly lower. I have a sneaking suspicion it is software related because after my most recent rebuild the problem was gone for a month or two then as I kept loading up the TB C: drive it cropped up again. I have gotten it to change character a bit with the FSB MCH/ICH voltages so I think I am on the right track. I am basically shooting in the dark, if I ever get it fixed it will be a miracle.
Mine makes a click noise upon initial lock up, then I can't reset until it makes another group of clicks. It has become a non-issue for me because I am so used to it, which is not to say that I wouldn't love to solve the problem.
Old one- D975XBX2, QX6700, 6Gigs Corsair DDR2, 8X500Gig HDD's, 470 GTX , Koolance EXOS2, 24" BenQ, Win7 Ulti.
New one- Asus Z77 Sabertooth, I7 3770K, EVGA 670 GTX, Crucial M4 256GB SSD, 2TB WD Caviar Black, Corsair H100, Corsair Vengeance 16GB, Corsair 850 PSU, Corsair 500R case, Win 7 64bit Pro

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Re: D975XBX2 configuration question (7 drives)

Post by DMB2000uk » Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:53 pm

It has become a non-issue for me because I am so used to it, which is not to say that I wouldn't love to solve the problem.
I love how we all get used to working around a problem when we can't fix it. We may not be efficient, but we're quick at it :P

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Re: D975XBX2 configuration question (7 drives)

Post by flying a kite » Wed May 20, 2009 2:31 am

Not trying to dig up this thread but it somewhat relates to the OP.
Problem is that I have Sata HDD's.. But im filling them up. I just baught another 1tb sata HDD and I already filled up the intel sata section. I now have to start using the marvell sata ports. Is it possible just to keep adding sata HDDs to this motherboard without having to setup a raid or anything. Im pretty new to the whole raid system itself.

I don't want anything complicated, I just want more HDDS in my comptuer lol

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Re: D975XBX2 configuration question (7 drives)

Post by ubiquityman » Wed May 20, 2009 12:30 pm

You don't need to set up a RAID array.
The controller can remain in RAID mode and have single drive connected to each channel.
However, once you've set up Windows with the controller set on RAID, do not switch to AHCI, even though each drive is in single drive mode, otherwise, the OS may not boot.

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Re: D975XBX2 configuration question (7 drives)

Post by flying a kite » Wed May 20, 2009 3:12 pm

I see, now I just have to get the SATA Drivers installed. I tried to install some of the drivers from the intel website but im not having a lot of luck getting the sata driver installed. But from what your telling me if I get it installed then the other HDDs that I installed will show up.

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Re: D975XBX2 configuration question (7 drives)

Post by flying a kite » Thu May 21, 2009 12:10 am

Anyone having problems installing marvell drivers in windows 7?
I have tried manually installing the drivers from the intel site as well. nothing just seems compatable ATM

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Re: D975XBX2 configuration question (7 drives)

Post by jtm55 » Sat May 23, 2009 1:09 pm

Hi All

Flying a kite, do you have the latest BIOS installed? When I was installing Windows 7 RC I was able to get all the way to the point where Windows was suppose to install & it would just hang there. Once I installed the latest BIOS it was smooth sailing afterwards.
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