Yikes! Dire trouble with 9500S-4 installation :(((
ogreve at millennics.com
Mon Nov 28 09:50:55 GMT 2005
Firstly: thanks a lot for all your replies, they were actually very
helpful in deciding what to install, and I'll get back to them a bit
further ahead in this message...
However, unfortunately, last weekend Murphy struck, correction, he
struck raised to the power of three. :(
Firstly, we were hit by a blizzard over here on Friday, effectively
knocking out most roads, and hence depriving Versatel of the means to
install the new ADSL modem at our home. So, off to a bad start, I have
been Internet-less at home as of last Wednesday, and it will not be
before tomorrow that they'll install it. Furthermore, due to the same
reason, the machine could not be delivered to my home on Friday.
Secondly, on Saturday, the client and I made a brave effort to force
luck our way by going to the site where the machine is at (not exactly
straightforward due to the snow). When we were finally there, we could
at least get some hands-on work done. A nice surprise for me was that
the guy who normally assembles the machines was ill, so the client
worked on that, while I read through the various messages regarding the
9500S-4 + FreeBSD 5.4 vs. 6, etc. When that was done, I had a strategy
set out (FreeBSD 6.0 + MySQL 4.1.x built from the ports), and gave the
client some help in assembling the machine.
Once that was out of the way, I booted up the machine, configured the
RAID 10 array as I would on any RAID controller (no surprises there),
and then I decided to give FreeBSD 6 a go (I actually agree with Ray on
preferring to stick with "non .0" versions, but given the other messages
I gather that FreeBSD 6.0 has actually already been pounded on a lot).
Surprise, surprise, stuff did not work as expected. Firstly, FreeBSD
choked on the Gigabit NICs we had installed, and then on the RAID
controller. I tried various things, removed the NICs, verified the RAID
array from the controller's BIOS itself (checked out all ok), tried the
various different settings with enabling/disabling the write cache etc.,
tried it with FreeBSD 5.4 and all to no avail. :((((
Very frustrating. To compound matters, it started to snow heavily again,
so we had to dig the car out and head back for our living places. We
decided to leave the machine at the client's site as we didn't want to
risk it getting damaged and I didn't have Internet at home anyway.
Nowwwww, does anyone have any ideas what could be wrong? To give a bit
more detail, the machine has an Asus motherboard with 939 socket (dunno
the number from memory (but if deemed relevant I can request it), but
it's something like the K8N or A8N or so), and the processor is an
Athlon dual core 4400. The 9500S-4 is installed in a normal 32-bit PCI
slot, and I cannot see any hardware errors (FreeBSD recognises it as
well), and the RAID verification went fine (though of course there is no
data yet on the drives). The drives are Maxtor drives of 189Gb each
(dunno the exact type number) and they were recognised properly by the
Yet, upon booting, it is very weird that the NICs (or at least one of
them) and the 9500S-4 all gave trouble, especially since all of them are
brand new. I _think_ we didn't make any errors in the assembly of the
machine, but given the trouble I cannot be 100% sure. The errors given
by FreeBSD 5.4 and 6 all seem to be related to the twa interrupt handler
(I hope I identified that correctly).
I didn't write down the very error messages, but I did Google them when
I was over there and the only hits I found were basically the various
sources of the driver. By doing a Google search just now, I found one
such example at (note: this may not be the very driver that 5.4 or 6
uses, but it should indicate the same source of error):
The types of errors I saw passing by were things like:
"Failed to fetch AEN"
"Response queue empty"
"Unposted command completed"
I _think_ I've seen the first two, and I've definitely seen that last
When doing a more general search on these issues in Google using the
terms "3ware freebsd twa interrupt", I found several more people who've
had issues, but none of them sound like te very thing that happened to me.
The nasty thing is that this goes wrong already upon booting from the
installation CD and once FreeBSD enters sysinstall, it doesn't find any
drives, so there's no chance for me to first install it and then fix the
driver or so...
Any help/ideas would be greatly appreciated....
Cheers, and thanks a lot in advance!
PS: I didn't try booting in any other mode than the default one; perhaps
one of the other modes works better???
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