ICH8R and SATA drives at boot

Bruce Caruthers bkc-freebsdlists at dreamfire.com
Fri Jul 27 02:32:42 UTC 2007

After much googling and poring through the Intel
site, I'm stumped, so I hope you don't mind my
asking here, even though it is technically not a
FreeBSD question, since this is before it even gets
to the loader...

My system:

* Intel DG965WH mobo
* Pentium 4 (631, HT, EM64T) 3GHz
* FreeBSD 6.2R/amd64 (w/Marvell patch)
* Kingston KVR800D2N5K2/2G RAM (2x1GB)
* ICH8R wRAID5 (only using RAID-1)
* Intel Matrix Storage Manager option ROM v.
* 4x Hitachi Deskstar 320GB HDT725032VLA360 SATA300
  -- set up as 2 pairs of RAID-1
* Pioneer DVR-109 DVD+/-RW

During boot, it takes about one minute for every
drive I have attached to the SATA ports before I
get the listing of detected drives and RAID arrays
("Press Ctrl-I to ...").

When I had 2 drives, it took 2 minutes, when I
added an additional 2, it became 4 minutes.  And it
seems precisely one minute per drive, which leads
me to believe it is some sort of query timeout.
(Reminds me a lot of an unterminated SCSI chain.)

I have tried disabling all other potential boot
devices (optical, network, USB, removables, etc.) in
case the BIOS was probing for them, but the timing
remained the same.  All cables are solid to the tug,
and it all works fine in FreeBSD, so far (no errors
in the logs or to console, although it hasn't really
been stressed yet).

Is this normal?  I'm thinking it isn't, since I
cannot seem to find anyone complaining about it on
any message boards.  Or is this kind of startup
time considered normal nowadays?  4+ minutes of
hardware booting, followed by 25 seconds of FreeBSD
booting seems ridiculous...

Thanks for any advice or pointers!

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