Adaptec 2400A update

Kung Foo Ham[p]?ster freebsd at
Wed Aug 13 16:45:26 PDT 2003

Jason Sopko was kind enough to send me this information in regards to my Adaptec
2400A issue...

(this is being posted with his permission, of course)


----- Forwarded message from Jason Sopko <jason at> -----
    Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2003 17:38:44 -0400
    From: Jason Sopko <jason at>
 Subject: Re: Adaptec 2400A update
      To: <freebsd at>

I saw your posting on the FreeBSD Questions list here:

I might have a solution for you. I had a very similar problem happening 
to me, and I couldn't figure it out for the life of me. This sounds 
absurd, but the problem could be your hard disks. I worked with Adaptec 
to diagnose the problem, and eventually pinpointed the problem to be the 
Western Digital disks that I was using (there is now a Knowledge Base 
article on Adaptec's site because of this). I noticed by the serial 
numbers of your disks (output of raidutil) that you're also using 
Western Digital disks. Western Digital decided that it would be a good 
idea to implement new technology into their ATA disks to reduce noise 
(without telling anyone of couse). The side effect of this new 
technology is that it breaks compatibility with ATA RAID controllers, 
including the Adaptec 2400A. If you go to this URL: and select 'Search Our Knowledgebase' and 
then search by 'Answer ID' for '913' you'll find the following:

IMPORTANT: Information for customers using a RAID configuration.

Why do EIDE drives disappear from the IDE RAID array or system after a 
short period of error-free operation?

Affected drives:

- WD drives with capacities between 40GB & 120GB

- WD drives between 120GB and 200GB capacity with manufacturing date 
codes earlier than 3/25/03

WD EIDE drives are dropped from an IDE RAID array or system after 
several days or weeks of error-free operation.

The problem is a result of a feature that reduces idle acoustic noise in 
desktop drives. This feature may cause a timeout likely (though not 
exclusively) in an IDE RAID environment. To disable the feature, you can 
run a simple Western Digital utility to turn off a single bit in the 
drive?s run-time configuration. Disabling of this feature will NOT 
impact normal system operations. No firmware or hardware changes are 

- IDE Upgrade Utility (Non-3Ware controller cards)
For all configurations other than 3Ware controller cards, download the 
IDE Upgrade Utility for the Desktop PC.

You'll find the same thing on Adaptec's Knowledge Base in Answer ID 
'8888'. I've found that it affected my 60GB Western Digital ATA disks. 
Unfortunately, their 'fix' did not work, but replacing the disks with 
60GB IBM (Hitachi) ones did solve the problem. Personally, I'll never 
buy another Western Digital product again. I hope you find a solution to 
your problem, good luck.


----- End forwarded message -----

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