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Drive IO errors on external SAS JBOD

Discussion in 'RAID Controllers and Host Bus Adapters' started by iriscloud, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. iriscloud

    iriscloud New Member

    Jan 13, 2015
    Likes Received:
    I just finished building a new JBOD and can't read any drives! oh how frustrating our hobby\lives can be. Hoping some others have also tried a similar setup and can point out where the failure may be.

    (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

    Server --> LSI9200-8e --> sff-8088 --> SFF-8088 to SFF-8087 pci bracket --> Intel RES2SV240NC > Supermicro 846TC

    SFF-8087 to SATA breakout cables are 1m
    SFF-8088 is about 10ft

    When the JBOD is connected server 2012 r2 won't boot. If the JBOD is connected after booting, most of the disks won't be detected and those that are experience IO errors. I have connected 8 drives without the Intel SAS expander, using both ports on the lsi9200, to isolate the issue however the same IO errors persist.

    During testing installed a motherboard\processor in the 846 and the drives are detected when connected to onboard SATA or onboard SAS.

    After all this troubleshooting i fear i am running into signaling issues due to the long path to reach the controller. I've read about SAS drives supporting different voltage levels to compensate the long path but nothing for SATA.

    If this is indeed the case my plans of one server having several JBODs attached has died and i will need another solution or 1 server per set of 24 drives. (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

    I've seen others with this setup and even found a post by Patrick with a similar setup, what could be going so wrong. Could this be a bad LSI9200 or a firmware update fix?

    SAS Expanders, Build Your Own Cheap JBOD DAS/ SAS Enclosure

    Hope someone out there can give me that 'could of had a v8 moment'.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  2. Stanza

    Stanza Active Member

    Jan 11, 2014
    Likes Received:
    SATA cable length limit is 1metre I believe....


    SATA is encapsulated within the SAS packets....so in theory your only SATA cable sould be from the expander to the backplane / drives.....
    And shouldn't include the rest of the cabling ??

  3. DaSaint

    DaSaint Active Member

    Oct 3, 2015
    Likes Received:
    When i was building mine, i had some similar issues

    1) got some bad cables
    2) 8087 to 8088 Bracket had a bent set of PINS in it causing it to Identity but not work..
    3) Firmware was outta date v20 is the last of the 92xx based series and seems to be the most stable...

    Highly check all 3, especially that bracket b/c caused me a lot of issues but when i went around it i found that stuff started working...
  4. iriscloud

    iriscloud New Member

    Jan 13, 2015
    Likes Received:
    I think i have the issue solved. Turned out to be a BIOS setting on the PCIe ports. They were set to EFI rather than legacy and thus couldn't boot the controller. I was worried the SATA cable length spec was causing the issue but it looks like it is indeed reset by the SAS expander.

    Thanks for all the help @DaSaint & @Stanza. With so many different failure points i'm happy to have it up and running.

    Plan B was much more expensive :D
  5. vanfawx

    vanfawx Active Member

    Jan 4, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Cable length should be fine. I have almost the exact same cable setup to my JBOD, including the same expander and it's worked like a champ without IO errors.
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