SATA RAID Contoller FAQ

Q. I am experiencing detection and operating issues when using the Seagate FreeAgent drive with Addonics eSATA/SATA controllers. What may be the cause of this?
A. There have been reports of incompatibility with the Seagate FreeAgent eSATA enclosure. It is recommended not to use this enclosure with Addonics controllers at this time until further testing has been completed.

Q. I would like to boot my operating system from a hard drive connected onto the Port Multiplier. What should I do?
A. Due to the fact that PM-compatible controllers are only capable of seeing one drive from the port multiplier, you will need to install the controller drives onto the boot drive and connect it onto port one of the port multiplier.

Q. How do I boot from a RAID 5 set?
A. "Legacy" RAID must first be configured through the SATARaid 5 Manager in order for the RAID set to be booted.

Q. I have a RAID 5/JBOD SATA Host Controller. I want to connect a hard drive with data on it to the host controller. Can I add this hard drive without losing the data?
A. Yes, RAID 5/JBOD SATA Host Controllers are able to add drives without loss of data. An extra step is required to allow drives to be accessed. RAID 5/JBOD SATA Host Controllers must set Concatenation either through the RAID BIOS at computer start up, or the "make pass through device" option in the SATARAID Utility from Windows. If you wish to use a SATA Host Controller with individual drives and do not plan to create a RAID set, the SATARAID Utility does not need to be installed.

Q. I created an independent drive using a system with a SATA RAID5 Controller card. Currently, there is data on that hard drive I've created in SATARAID5 Array Manager. Can I transfer the hard drive in an enclosure which has a USB2.0 USIB cable and plug it on another system without a RAID Host Controller to access the data on that hard drive?
A. Yes, you can. In fact, the drive is hot swappable, allowing you to safely disconnect the drive without need to reboot the system. To prevent getting delayed write failure error messages upon removal of the drive, go to Device Manager and disable or uninstall the drive in the Hard Drives tab prior to removing the drive.

Q. I plan to create a RAID5 configuration set using a SATA RAID5 Host Controller card. What is the maximum number of drives I can have to create a RAID5 set?
A. The maximum number of drives you can have in a RAID5 set is five (5).

Q. What if the host controller fails? Will I lose the RAID configuration or data from the drives connected to the host controller?
A. If the host controller fails, replace it with an identical host controller and all the data will be left intact.

Q. I have a Storage Tower with Port Multiplier and 5 hard drives are connected to the port multiplier. When I connect my Storage tower to a SATA RAID5 Host Controller card in my system, in RAID BIOS, it detects only one hard drive. Is this correct?
A. Yes. When you use a Port Multiplier with a port multiplier compatible SATA Host Controller, it is expected that in RAID BIOS only one hard drive is detected. It is only in the SATARAID5 Array Manager that all the hard drives which are connected to the port multiplier are shown.

Q. I only want to use drives as individual hard drives without RAID using the Port Multiplier. Do I need to install the RAID utility?
A. If you do not wish to install the SATARAID5 Utility to detect the drives, you will need to connect each drive to Port 1 of the Port Multiplier and set Concatenation via RAID BIOS. After you have completed setting Concatenation on each drive, you should be able to detect all the drives through the operating system.

Q. Is there a maximum hard drive capacity limit when I create RAID sets using the SATA Host Controllers?
A. At this time there is no known limitation for hard drive capacity for RAID sets.

Q. What about when I use a SATA Host Controller with the Port Multiplier, what is the maximum capacity of RAID set I can create?
A. Logical drives above 2TB can be created in the SATARAID utility, but the 2TB limitation of Windows XP 32-bit still applies. This means that you will only be able to create a 5 drive logical stripe using the full capacity of your larger drives if you have Windows Server 2003 SP1 or later, or Windows XP 64-bit. These versions give you the option to create GPT disks (GUID Partition Table) to a theoretical 256TB of partition capacity. In these operating systems, the default type of disks configured would be basic disks (MBR disks), which still have the 2TB limitation. If basic disks are selected in 64-bit operating systems, Disk Management will automatically split up the volumes into 2TB partitions. Just select GPT when the disk is initializing to create volumes over 2TB. Please keep in mind that GPT disks will only work on Windows Server 2003 SP1 or Windows 64-bit, and are not compatible with other operating systems.

Q. I was able to install the SATARAID software and load the drivers for my SATA Host Controller. The operating system booted fine and was able to detect the host controller. But when I power on my hard drives which are connected to the host controller, my system just froze. What might be causing this problem?
A. This is basically due to an IRQ conflict. You have to check an IRQ conflict under the DMI Pool data in BIOS. To solve this problem you can either move around the host controller on the different empty PCI slots in your system, or disable other controller cards in the BIOS and assign a fixed IRQ number to the SATA Host Controller.

Q. What are two Configuration Types of RAID5 set you can create in an Addonics RAID5 Host Controller?
A. 1. RAID5 Set Configuration on a Fresh Install of Windows XP Operating System.
     2. Creation of RAID5 Set in an Existing Windows Operating System.

Q. What are two Configuration Types of RAID 0, 1, 1+0 & 1+S set you can create in an Addonics RAID Host Controllers?
A. 1. RAID 0, 1, 1+0 & 1+S Set Configuration on a Fresh Install of Windows XP Operating System.
    2. Creation of RAID 0, 1, 1+0 & 1+S Set in an Existing Windows Operating System.

Q. If I have an Addonics PCI-X SATA Host Controller, can I use it in a 32-bit PCI bus slot?
A. Yes, all Addonics PCI-X SATA Host Controller are PCI bus slot backwards compatible.

Q. How do I safely remove drives connected to the Host Controller without rebooting the system?
A. While USB devices have the "Safely Remove" icon on the system tray for device removal, drives connected to Addonics Host Controllers will not display this icon. To remove a drive, go to the Disk Drives section in Device Manager and right click on the hard drive you wish to remove. Select "Disable", then remove the drive. If the drive is removed without being disabled, you may receive a Delayed Write Error and risk potential loss of data.


SATARAID Operation FAQ

Q. How do I install a newer version of the SATARAID Utility?
A. First go to Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel and uninstall the older SATARAID Utility. After the older version has been uninstalled, install the new SATARAID Utility. Update to the latest Host Controllers drivers for the best compatibility with the newer version of the Utility.

Q. How do check the status of the RAID group?
A. The "Task Manager" in the Window menu will show the status of the RAID, along with information about rebuild/creation process and amount of time remaining until the action is completed.

Q. One of the drives in my RAID 5 configuration has failed. The SATARAID5 Utility shows all the remaining drives in the array as yellow, and data from the drives can still be accessed from the RAID 5 partition. What should I do?
A. It is highly recommended that you backup the existing data on the RAID 5 partition before attempting to rebuild the RAID. After you have completed backing up the data, proceed to select the "Rebuild RAID Group" option under the Raid Group menu.