well-supported SATA RAID card?

Brian Szymanski ski at mediamatters.org
Mon Mar 13 07:46:42 UTC 2006

I sent an email to highpoint tech support detailing the problems, and have
had no response after an initial ping :( ... Here is a summary of what I
sent them:

For all tests, I ran bonnie++ over and over again while concurrently
copying the contents of /usr to the mounted disk, then rm -rf'ing

I tried two configurations with 2 200G drives, one RAID-0, one RAID-1.

In raid-0 mode, the kernel error was:
IAL: COMPLETION ERROR, adapter 0, channel 1, flags=104
ATA regs: error 40, sector count 20, LBA low 5f, LBA mid 16, LBA high 5f,
device 4c, status 51
Reset channel
IAL: COMPLETION ERROR, adapter 0, channel 1, flags=104
ATA regs: error 40, sector count 20, LBA low 5f, LBA mid 16, LBA high 5f,
device 4c, status 51
Reset channel
hptmv: Device removed: controller 1 channel 1
(da0:hptmv0:0:0:0): Synchronize cache failed, status == 0x39, scsi status
== 0x0
Opened disk da0 -> 5
Opened disk da0 -> 5

At this point any attempts to access any mounted files or the raw device
die with an io error.

In raid-1 mode, I got a panic:
Fatal trap 12: page fault while in kernel mode
fault virtual address = 0x400
fault code = supervisor read, page not present
instruction pointer = 0x8:0xc073646c
stack pointer = 0x10:0xe4e05ba4
frame pointer = 0x10:0xe4e05bf0
code segment = base 0x0, limit 0xfffff, type 0x1b
- DPL 0, pres 1, def32 1, gran 1
processor eflags = interrupt enabled, resume, IOPL = 0
current process = 3 (g_up)
trap number = 12
panic: page fault

I later tried a RAID-5 array, and doing the same basic stress testing, the
machine would panic after between 3-6 hours. I didn't record the error
message, but it was something about freeing an already free page.

I upgraded the BIOS to version 1.17c from the 1.13 that was on the cards
when they shipped. This seemed to improve things, but did not eliminate
the problems. I tried fbsd 5.4 and 6.0, with both a custom kernel and
GENERIC versions. Never was I able to stress test for more than about 8-10
hours without a panic or the device becoming inaccessible.

Of course, there is also the lack of management utilities while the OS is
running which has me looking elsewhere.

I'd be willing to try further tests if folks have patches or other ideas -
I have a couple more weeks before I have to RMA the suckers, and am
willing to do testing if someone wants to make a patch...


> Interested to hear that you have a problem with your highpoint driver,
what sort of problems are you seeing?
> On Fri, 2006-03-10 at 12:30 +0000, Steven Hartland wrote:
>> What problems are you having there Brian, Im currently in contact with
the Highpoint developers over a specific issue with that card's drivers
and would be happy to raise any other issues you may be seeing.
>> Aside from the that we have had good experiences with Areca card.
>>     Steve
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Brian Szymanski" <ski at mediamatters.org>
>> >
>> > After not having much success with the hptmv driver for highpoint's
rocketraid 1820A, I'm wondering if other folks have had good luck
>> any
>> > SATA RAID cards with at least 6 ports... Is there a SATA RAID card
>> with
>> > utilities that let you manage while the OS is running that folks have
>> had
>> > good luck with? I've been happy with the megaraid series on linux at
>> my
>> > job, but I'm wondering if the management utilities are there on
>> freebsd,
>> > etc
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Brian Szymanski
Software and Systems Developer
Media Matters for America
ski at mediamatters.org

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