Recommended SATA controllers

Gary Corcoran gcorcoran at
Mon May 21 23:25:58 UTC 2007

Tim Aslat wrote:
> In the immortal words of Adriaan de Groot  on 05/19/07 18:26:
>> Various Promise controllers (TX2, TX4, 4302) fall in the high end of 
>> that range, as do (PCI 2-port) SiI 3112 controllers. There's also the 
>> SiI 3124 (PCI-X 4-port) and SiI 3132 (PCIe x1 2-port) but those are in 
>> -CURRENT only or you need to MFC them yourself (I can give you a 
>> tarball of that, but obviously those are all way off the supported 
>> track). Those SiI cards will go for about $30, I think.
> I'm running (well, trying to) the TX2 card from Promise but I've had no 
> end of trouble lately with it losing drives.  I'm actually suspecting 
> the mainboard as the board has been suspect for some time, but since 
> this is a backup server I was hoping I might have gotten away with it.
> Alas, in the gmirror raid configuration I have, I regularly lose at 
> least one and sometimes both drives, and my only option is to power off 
> the machine and restart.  This problem has been getting progressively 
> worse now over the past couple of weeks, and I'm not sure if it's the 
> controller or the mainboard.
> Anyone else having this problem?

I've had drives go bad, such that upon powerup, the Promise controller BIOS
wouldn't even see the drive.  And later, as the drive got closer to death,
it started making the *other* drive on the same IDE cable also "fail".
Removing the dying/dead drive from the cable made the other drive work again.

> Incidentally, the machine is running a reasonably recent version of 
> FreeNAS (based on 6.2 Release) 1G Ram and p4 CPU.  I don't know offhand 
> the mainboard spec but I can find out if it's needed.
> Hopefully someone can tell me it's the mainboard rather than the 
> controller, since it's going to be easier getting a new mainboard.

I'd look into the possible need to replace one of your disk drives...


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