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Flexraid doesn't work like this though right? It pools the drives and does parity too?
No, this is exactly how FlexRAID works also. The difference is that SnapRAID does only parity (and fake read-only pools but that's another topic altogether), vs. FlexRAID that does both in one software package and has one configuration option that does both behind the scenes. But it's just an illusion, it's still vitally important that all users understand that pooling and parity are vastly different and wholly unrelated to each-other, regardless of whether you use FlexRAID, SnapRAID, disParity, DrivePool, whatever...

Pooling in FLEXRAID F does indeed remove the drives. They disappear and only the pool shows up after you install and configure flexriad-f.
This is true only if you use Cruise Control mode. I always argue that Expert mode is the "correct" mode, and in that instance the configuration is far more similar to SnapRAID. It does not take over control of your drives, it does not change any hardware configurations, etc.

Finally got my IBM M1015 flashed and installed last night using Mfusick's instructions on page 140. Only thing I did different was to get the latest LSI 2118it.bin (P20) from LSI and replaced the one that came prepackaged which is a couple years old. I was unable to flash it with my AsRock Z87 Extreme4 so had to go to a friends house and use one of his older, non-uefi PC's to flash the card. Works great and I really like how the mini-SAS breakout cables cleaned up my bay!
I highly recommend using only P19 or older. P20 has been known to cause multiple issues and is difficult to downgrade from. Maybe it'll be fixed if they do a P21.

If I migrate to SnapRaid, is there any difference in overhead or function between FlexRaid or Drivepool? I already own fRaid so I can use that just for drive pooling. If there would be an advantage to DrivePool, I don't mind purchasing it.
I own both DrivePool and FlexRAID. I currently use FlexRAID for pooling but I have not yet even tested DrivePool. Both have free trial periods, so you can give them both a shot. I will say that FlexRAID pools have some issues with software that doesn't follow proper "etiquette" for opening and writing to files. FlexRAID is very strict in not allowing "proper" usage. I don't know if DrivePool is the same. For the time being, I'm sticking with FlexRAID pooling specifically for the virtual Recycle Bin. DrivePool is a much more "powerful" pooling solution aside from the lack of a virtual Recycle Bin, but I don't know that it's any faster.
 

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I highly recommend using only P19 or older. P20 has been known to cause multiple issues and is difficult to downgrade from. Maybe it'll be fixed if they do a P21.
Read your reply and I googled up issues with the P20 firmware and sure enough......Great!! Just my luck that I didn't know about this before I flashed mine with P20. I saw where others said they were able to downgrade back to P19 so I'll give it a go when I have time.

Thanks for the info.

habe
 

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Read your reply and I googled up issues with the P20 firmware and sure enough......Great!! Just my luck that I didn't know about this before I flashed mine with P20. I saw where others said they were able to downgrade back to P19 so I'll give it a go when I have time.

Thanks for the info.

habe
Quaraxkad, Thanks for the P20 firmware info. I was able to successfully re-flash (full flash process; no issues moving backwards from P20 to P19) my card using P19 firmware. I also figured out how to get it to work on my Asrock UEFI mobo so I eliminated the step of pulling the card out and traveling to my friends house for flashing.

Everything appears working and normal.

habe
 

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Can you elaborate? Do you use FlexRAID? I'm still deciding on my final product for my server and so far software configuration is pretty confusing.



Correct me if I'm wrong but "pooling" doesn't remove the individual drives from "This PC" under "devices and drives" it just creates another drive under "devices and drives" where all the pooled drives are in one virtual drive?



This is so much different than hardware RAID and thus confusing. I would like a product that replicates hardware RAID but isn't hardware RAID... I know that is a lot to ask for. I just don't want to waist all my time managing the media would just prefer to swap out a dead drive every now and then.

So you have three choices when you create a volume on your drive. You can select a drive letter, which is the most common thing to do. You can mount it to a folder or you can leave it unmounted.

I would prefer to just leave it unmounted but drivepool doesn't like that so I am forced to mount it to a folder. Flexraid has no problems with unmounted drives and in fact prefers you to use an unmounted raw drive for parity iirc.
 

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Quaraxkad, Thanks for the P20 firmware info. I was able to successfully re-flash (full flash process; no issues moving backwards from P20 to P19) my card using P19 firmware. I also figured out how to get it to work on my Asrock UEFI mobo so I eliminated the step of pulling the card out and traveling to my friends house for flashing.

Everything appears working and normal.

habe

I thought p20 was only a problem outside of windows? I have no problems with it in windows. So far at least. What is the supposed issue?
 

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I would prefer to just leave it unmounted but drivepool doesn't like that so I am forced to mount it to a folder. Flexraid has no problems with unmounted drives and in fact prefers you to use an unmounted raw drive for parity iirc.
To clarify, RAID-F can not use unmounted volumes at all, but tRAID can. What was the issue with unmounted drives in Drivepool? That's supposed to work.

I thought p20 was only a problem outside of windows? I have no problems with it in windows. So far at least. What is the supposed issue?
That's what I thought too, and it sounded like it only caused problems with SSDs on Linux, so I flashed to P20. Then I started getting tons of ATA CRC errors (SMART 199) on every drive. Since flashing back to P19, not a single one.
 

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So you have three choices when you create a volume on your drive. You can select a drive letter, which is the most common thing to do. You can mount it to a folder or you can leave it unmounted.

I would prefer to just leave it unmounted but drivepool doesn't like that so I am forced to mount it to a folder. Flexraid has no problems with unmounted drives and in fact prefers you to use an unmounted raw drive for parity iirc.
Thanks for your response. Since I'm only going to be using between 3-5 HDD for now I should go ahead and assign drive letters then?
 

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Forgive my newbness... an empty folder on an existing drive that will be added to the pool? Or an empty folder on C drive?

Should I mount all the drives to the same empty folder?
Create an empty folder anywhere on the C drive. One folder is one mount point. One folder/mount point per drive. I use folders under C:\!MountPoints\, each called A0 to D5 to indicate their location in my case. Once you create the mount point in Disk Management, you will see the contents of that drive just as if the files were actually in that folder.




Then when you create the snapshot array or pool, instead of using D:, E:, F:, etc, you will use C:\!MountPoints\A0, C:\!MountPoints\A1, C:\!MountPoints\A2, etc. Use descriptive names for each mount point folder so you know what physical drive it correlates to.

EDIT: If you end up using RAID-F Cruise Control, then these mount points will disappear after you create the RAID-F configuration. But they will still be labeled in the UI based on the folders they were mounted as, so you will still want descriptive names. This is one of MANY areas that confuses people when they use CC mode, they end up with multiple drives labeled E:\ in FlexRAID even though there is no drive mapped to E:\, and they have no idea what drive to replace when one of them fails.
 

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Mfusick's How to build an affordable 30TB Flexraid media server: Information ...

To clarify, RAID-F can not use unmounted volumes at all, but tRAID can. What was the issue with unmounted drives in Drivepool? That's supposed to work.
Correct, I should have noted that I meant traid. I thought it was drivepool that did not like RAW drives. I guess I was mistaken and it was snapraid instead. I knew it was one or the other and it only takes one of them to make it not work out.



That's what I thought too, and it sounded like it only caused problems with SSDs on Linux, so I flashed to P20. Then I started getting tons of ATA CRC errors (SMART 199) on every drive. Since flashing back to P19, not a single one.
I'll keep an eye out. The only errors I see for LSI are code 11. Do these errors happen only on multiple small file copies? I've not done that yet so maybe that's why I'm not seeing them.

Just to make sure, the file I flashed is 2118t.bin and I doubt it matters but I installed via uefi.
 

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I'm RMA'n my ASrock mobo, i7 cpu, and 16gb of ram... i want to get server grade hardware since I'm tired of unstable consumer stuff... I need something that will be zero problems or at least very low chance of problems...

I'm torn on dropping $1k+ on server mobo, xeon, ecc ram, SAS cards, and 24bay chassis ... or either getting a $600 refurbished one such as: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA4GH27M2356
The down side is the two damn xeon's that are 100w each and two 900w PSU's, but can't one PSU be taken out? or are you forced to run both? the chassis is $1200 new, and that adaptec card is pricey separately as well, but that card may be dated and I would need to replace it anyway? I should be able to replace loud fans, etc fairly easy and inexpensive?

Help me rationalize which way to go, or a better road I haven't thought of?

Thanks
 

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@mlah384

Honestly I think you just got a bad mobo. It happens every once in a while. Of all of use here, we use a ton of asrock mobos and I've never had one DOA or flake out like the issue you were having. It sounds like your issue was definitely with the mobo, possibly a loose heatsink on the intel chipset (which routes video) or even a flaky hdmi chain after that

I hope you understand that with the history of this forum, that was definitely the exception and not the rule. Branding was something I thought used to matter a great deal, but I've helped a couple different folks here troubleshoot their stuff for a few days and they ended up having a bad mobo (one was Asus and the other was Intel, both rock-solid stable brands in my opinion which meant I ruled them out of even being a problem at first). Me and a large majority of others use asrock+intel on every build just about, and don't have issues

As to not getting the Intel Nic going inside your WS2012 install due to using a consumer nic I can't help at all on that. I can say that in my experience using WHS was a chore compared to windows, and I can't imagine WS being any less of a chore. I'd recommend just going with W8.1, but there are many more knowledgable folks that could hopefully help you out like andy_steb, ken f, ajhieb, techmattr or a few others who I can't recall that I think run ws2012 or have experience with it
 

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Help me rationalize which way to go, or a better road I haven't thought of?
You can take out one PSU. The second one is there for redundancy, not because it needs that much power. Though one thing you might not be considering is noise. Without any modifications, this system will be *extremely* loud. I don't mean just like "a loud PC with some fan noise". It's LOUD loud. Fans are replaceable, but the PSU is where a large portion of the noise will be coming from. You may be able to fit a full-size ATX PSU in there to quiet it down. But if you are going to start making case modifications like that, you're probably better off buying one of the much cheaper SuperMicro or AIC 24-bay cases on ebay from Tamsolutions. There's a whole thread here about those systems and how to modify them to be no louder than a typical PC. http://www.avsforum.com/forum/26-home-theater-computers/1412640-you-looking-less-expensive-norco-4220-4224-alternative.html

In it, I posted this video to demonstrate how loud a typical 4U server is with no modifications:
 

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I loaded 8.1 and it worked fine and suddenly is corrupt and wont boot. Win CD wouldnt repair, ISO on USB wouldnt repair... i switched the Bios B and it booted fine, ran for an hour or so, the BSOD... now wont boot.
 

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I loaded 8.1 and it worked fine and suddenly is corrupt and wont boot. Win CD wouldnt repair, ISO on USB wouldnt repair... i switched the Bios B and it booted fine, ran for an hour or so, the BSOD... now wont boot.
Does that mobo have an onboard debug display?
 
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