SATA RAID 2 with AMCC 9950 SE SATA 2 Conroller in x64

Discussion in 'Windows 64bit' started by Jim, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. Jim

    Jim Guest

    I just made an interesting discovery, after *two years* with my Maxim
    PC "Dream Machine Plus." I had built an x64 dream server with a Tyan
    K8WE (S2895) motherboard, Dual Opteron 270s (all I could afford at the
    time), 8 GB of memory, a *brand new, latest and greatest AMCC 3ware
    9950 SE RAID controller, and four new Hitachi drives. This RAID
    controller was one of the first RAID controllers on the market to
    support SATA 2 naively.

    At the time I originally installed the drives.I called Hitachi Global
    Technologies technical support to make certain that the drives were
    configured to run in SATA 2 mode. I was assured that they shipped as
    SATA 2 drives. I proceeded to set up a RAID 5 array.

    I had always had difficult with finding all four drives powering up
    properly at boot, and I often had to rebuild my array. As I had a PC
    Power & Cooling 1 KW power supply, I knew that power was *not* my

    I just recently learned, by using the log on the controller, that the
    drives were all running in SATA I mode. Hitachi had been *wrong.* I
    had to use the "Hitachi Feature Tool" to individually change a setting
    in *each* of the four drives to set them for SATA II. I was a bit
    angry that (a) Hitachi had misled me and (b) it took me so long to
    find out.

    I am posting to this forum because other users may be unaware that
    their "SATA 2" drives are actually running at SATA 1. Unless one
    changes a setting in the drive's BIOS, the drive remains SATA 1.

    Perhaps there is an easy way to know the SATA setting of the drive,
    via some sort of Windows utility; but I did not know of one. In the
    future I will always check in advance.

    Jim, Apr 10, 2008
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  2. Hmm, interesting!

    You could try two usually quite revealing utitlities and see what they have
    to say:

    where you'll find SIW.


    for AIDA32. I insert this link since the original site apparently is closed,
    and the author gone working for another company. No matter, the program is

    Tony. . .
    Tony Sperling, Apr 10, 2008
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  3. Jim

    Theo Guest

    I don't think SIW tells you whether a SATA drive is
    functioning at the SATA I level or the SATA II level. The
    only method I have ever seen for this information was the
    utilities from the specific manufacturer to view the drive's
    firmware and change the state if necessary.

    I do remember in the recent past that the SATA II drives
    were being shipped in the SATA I mode because a few
    chipsets, like VIA, were not compatible with the SATA II
    mode, so you had to use their utility to change it to the
    SATA II mode.

    I prefer the ones with jumper pins you can short if you need
    SATA I.
    Theo, Apr 10, 2008
  4. You are probably right, there. We all hate it when something defaults to
    something we don't use - if you set a default, though, it has got to be the
    logical thing to set it to the lowest common denominator.

    Tony. . .
    Tony Sperling, Apr 10, 2008
  5. Samsung drives have a jumper you change to set to SATA I or SATA II mode. (I
    use a lot of Samsung drives because they're quiet.)
    Charlie Russel - MVP, Apr 10, 2008
  6. Jim

    Jim Guest

    I would prefer that *too.* Seagate has jumpers to switch to SATA II.
    I ran the utility, but it took quite a while to disconnect all the
    drives and to flash each of them individually.

    I do *not* think SIW tells you whether the drives are SATA I or SATA
    II, and I think it would be impossible in RAID. The RAID controller
    *does* tell you, but I did not know how to use it. (It turned out to
    be fairly simple by reading the log.)

    Jim, Apr 12, 2008
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