IBM M1015 / LSI 9211-8i to 4x/8x SAS disks: Not spinning up?

Discussion in 'RAID Controllers and Host Bus Adapters' started by kachunkachunk, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. kachunkachunk

    kachunkachunk New Member

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    I managed to snag a great deal on some 6TB Seagate 7200RPM nearline SAS drives, however I am having a really hard time getting them to spin up or be found by my IBM M1015 adapters when using SFF-8087 to SFF-8482 SAS cables.

    A friend of mine also has the same drives and cables (we got the cables in a grouped order/shipment) but he has a different adapter (also 2x SFF-8087 on it). It also isn't detecting or spinning up the drives.

    I'm currently running cross-flashed with current 9211-8i firmware in IT mode.
    IR and original firmware didn't help, same with enabling or removing the Option ROM. The SAS Topology menu showed no SAS drives, ever.

    But get this. I tested to the point of sticking the drives in my Supermicro rack. And now I can detect the drives when they're sitting in it.
    (Edit: Here is the rack: Supermicro | Products | Accessories | Mobile Rack | CSE-M35TQB

    The rack supports SAS and SATA, and the back of the unit only has SATA connectors (so I guess it's all good; just a different protocol going over the same wires).
    The cables in that part of the configuration are SFF-8087 to 4x SATA forward fan-out, with the SATA connections going into the rack.
    The protocol is indeed SAS, and I believe the SAS drives aren't SATA compatible in the first place.

    Here's one drive:
    Device is a Hard disk
    Enclosure # : 1
    Slot # : 3
    SAS Address : #######-#-####-####
    State : Ready (RDY)
    Size (in MB)/(in sectors) : 5723166/11721045167
    Manufacturer : SEAGATE
    Model Number : ST6000NM0034
    Firmware Revision : E001
    Serial No : ########
    GUID : ################
    Protocol : SAS
    Drive Type : SAS_HDD

    I suspect the cables at the moment, despite the fact that my SATA drives are running off them perfectly right now. Something up with one of the ports, maybe, or it's otherwise behaving quite incompatible.
    I got them per this listing: StarTech.com SAS808782P50 50cm Internal Serial Attached SCSI Mini SAS Cable, SFF8087 to 4X SFF8482, Internal Mini SAS Cable (Red): Amazon.ca: Computers & Tablets
    I honestly couldn't find any indications that there is such thing as reverse cables in this particular format, and the description looks like it's for Controller -> Drives. And it clearly works but for SATA.

    So am I missing something with SAS enablement here? I can't for the life of me figure out why the adapter and/or OS (Linux/Ubuntu) can't see the SAS drives when directly connected.
    I'm hoping maybe you cats have some suggestions or recommended cables if you think maybe the cables are garbage or wrong.
     
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  2. kachunkachunk

    kachunkachunk New Member

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    Came across these two posts as well, but there wasn't anything more on it:
    https://forums.servethehome.com/index.php?threads/ibm-m5015-experiences.397/page-9#post-48528
    https://forums.servethehome.com/index.php?threads/ibm-m5015-experiences.397/page-9#post-49292

    Same poor/suspect experience, though. :p

    I do suspect the cards I have and my friend's, to some degree. Both are SAS-2. I guess the backplane in my Supermicro 5-drive bay is doing something to make it work? Would love some input when folks have a chance.

    I might end up snagging a 9361-8i for a good price, but it's sort of a last resort. Also my friend's still in the cold on this until we can figure it out!
     
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    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015
    adamjb likes this.
  3. adamjb

    adamjb New Member

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    Any luck getting your 12Gb/s SAS drives to work with the SAS-2 card? I'm in the same boat.
     
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  4. Sleyk

    Sleyk Active Member

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    Hello friends! I was visiting the M5015 thread and I saw you asked about this there. I'm glad you had created a thread. I will try my best to see if I can help you. So first things first, just a tidbit of info. Seems like the specs for SAS 8087/8088 only go up to 6Gbps. This is inline with 2nd gen LSI cards. Now, I am not sure if people have gotten 12Gbps SAS drives to work with these cables, as I see 8088 to 8644, as well as 8087 to 8643 cables being sold, which is both 6Gbps to 12GBps.

    Now, as for your supermicro cage, it appears to be using a chip on the backplane that allows sas drives to be seen through the sata interface. In other words, the drive internally connects to SAS, but the interface allows an sata cable to be plugged in and the data is "translated" back to SAS. I use the term "translated" loosely, because the 8087 cable isnt actually taking a SATA signal. It is taking a SAS signal but passing it along a SATA interface. This works due to the fact that SATA protocols are a subset of SAS. Therefore, the connection or plugs allow the data to flow to/from the drive since it is compatible. This works because the hba/card itself is SAS. So it works. I do believe that your supermicro cage backplane has a built in chip to help with that though.

    This leads me to my suggestion. Lets try to replicate this to the drives.

    What I mean by this, is that we should create the same scenario for the drives as in the Supermicro cage. This should work to show up the drives. I know that this is going to cost a few bucks more, but are you willing to grab a extra item to see if it works? Just one of each will satisfy to test. Try this:

    HP 398291-001 SAS HDD to SATA Workstation Hard Drive Converter Adapter Connector

    If you can wait for the item to ship from China, you can grab this one. It is alot cheaper:

    SAS 29Pin Female to SATA 15 + 7 pin 22 Pin Male Plug Adapter Converter Connector

    Since this is a test, I recommend you grab both. It is possible that it may not work, but I feel it is a good shot since you are coming from 12Gbps SAS to 6Gbps SAS. Also, nothing to lose right mates?

    Then, all you need is a 8087 to 4x SATA cable. MiniSAS 36Pin(SFF-8087)Male to 4-SATA 7Pin Female Cable,1.6ft,CS0003

    Attach the 8087 end to the hba, and the sata end to the SAS adapter, then the SAS adapter to the drive
    .

    Hopefully this can allow the drives to be seen my friend. If you order either part or both parts (i recommend) it may take a while to receive, so keep me posted when you get a chance, and let us know if it works. I will keep thinking/researching other solutions for you.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
  5. adamjb

    adamjb New Member

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    I have a Dell PERC H310 flashed to IT mode to become an LSI SAS 9211-8i (although I've also ordered a 9207-8i that should be here today).

    I have a U-NAS NSC-800 case which holds 8 SAS2 or SATA drives. To accommodate these drives, there are 2x 4-port SAS backplanes that accept 4 SATA data connections each (See: PhreshJive's 8 HotSwap Bay U-NAS NSC-800 Low-Power mITX Silent Virtualized Build for pictures of the backplane). The case comes with 2x 8087 to 4-port SATA cables (See: MiniSAS to 4 SATA cable). My understanding is that I should be able to plug SAS drives into the backplane and have them recognized by the 9211-8i card, but they aren't even spinning up.

    My drives are HGST Ultrastar 7K6000 HUS726060AL4210 which claim SAS 6Gb/s 6Gbps compatibility on their product page (See: 6TB & 5TB Hard Drive | Ultrastar 7K6000 | HGST). These are 4Kn drives if it matters.

    To troubleshoot, I have ordered an LSI 9207-8i and these cables: Amazon.com: CableCreation Mini SAS 36Pin (SFF-8087) Male to 4x SAS 29 (SFF-8482) female with 4pin Power Cable, Mini SAS Host to 4 SAS Target Cable, 1.0M: Computers & Accessories . I will update this post when I have had a chance to test.
     
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  6. adamjb

    adamjb New Member

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    The 9207-8i got here and the drives still aren't showing up. The 8087 to 4x SAS cables will be here tomorrow.
     
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  7. Terry Kennedy

    Terry Kennedy Well-Known Member

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    [This is general advice, not aimed at any specific poster/post.]

    First, SATA PUIS (Power Up In Standby) and SAS spin-up are completely different operations. I've never seen a LSI IT-mode SAS controller be able to spin up (or do anything else with) SATA drives with PUIS enabled. On the WD drives I was using (WD2003FYYS) I had to remove the PUIS jumpers in order to use the drives on a LSI 9201 controller. If there is an expander backplane in the middle, all bets are off.

    Next, are you sure these are either 512-byte-per-sector drives (or 4K drives operating in 512e mode) or 4K Native (4Kn) drives attached to a supported 4Kn-capable controller? A number of OEM drives come with oddball sector sizes (520, 528, 4160, 4224) and most controllers / drivers / operating systems won't do data transfers with those drives, even if they "see" them. There's a guide in the forums for reformatting drives to a standard sector size.

    Last, when you post anything about a disk drive, you need to make it perfectly clear whether this is a generic drive or an OEM version. If the serial number isn't X'd out, I can look up the serial number which will come back as either "in warranty", "out of warranty", or "OEM - no warranty". That at least provides a clue.

    Far better to link to a picture of the disk drive in question (blur out the serial number if you must, but it seems silly for an out-of-warranty or no-warranty drive) so people can look at things like any OEM markings (such as the Dell "Enterprise Class" starburst, the HP holographic bumper sticker, etc.) and the firmware revision reported on the label.

    OEMs often order their drives customized. One of the most common customizations is disabling spin-up. It lets the OEMs use much smaller (cheaper) power supplies, since they don't have to deal with dozens of drives all starting at the same time.

    Having said all that... On an LSI controller, go into the BIOS menu (you did flash MPTSAS2.ROM, right?). Select one of the "problem" drives. There should be a key for a menu option named something like "Advanced PHY properties". There's a manual spin-up command in there - give it a try.
     
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  8. adamjb

    adamjb New Member

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    The drives are new full-warranty non-OEM drives according to HGST support who I called and gave SNs to. I have 4 drives of which I've opened and tested 2. They were purchased here: Amazon.com : HGST Ultrastar 7K6000 HUS726060AL4210 6 TB 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - SAS - 7200 rpm - 128 MB Buffer - 0F22790 by Generic : Electronics from the seller "Daytona Web".

    They are 4K native drives according to the specifications. They both use and report 4Kn according to specification. HGST makes SATA and 512e versions of this drive, but that's not what I have.

    I did flash the BIOS to the PERCH310/SAS9211-8i, but the drives don't show up in the BIOS.

    I also purchase a brand new SAS9207-8i from Newegg, and the drives don't show up in its BIOS either.

    At this point it could be the SAS cards (not 4kn compatible or won't work with a 12Gb/s SAS drive (even though the drive claims 6Gb/s compatibility)), the SAS Mini 8087 to 4x SATA cable (although I have tried two different cables, they may just not work with 12Gb/s SAS drives), the backplane (Came in U-NAS NSC-800) or the drives themselves.

    I will post pics of the drives later.
     
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  9. Sleyk

    Sleyk Active Member

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    Hello Again! I wanted to touch on a quick point that Terry mentioned:

    This is true. We have to be careful associating cold, power on spinup with spinup from standby.

    The reason I mentioned this is that I wanted to make a small point. A drive should always spinup, regardless of if it is connected to the data interface of SATA or SAS. As long as power is connected to the drives, they should spin up. I only mentioned this, because if a drive isn't spinning up after applying power, then you have to look at power issues instead.

    Now, I do actually think when someone says "spin up", they mean that the drive is not recognizing, but actually spinning? Not entirely sure in all cases what someone may mean though.

    Ok, so now to Adamjb's problem:

    I think for your case my friend, a way to go from SAS to SAS might be in order. I was reading through your post, and i see that you already have a backplane with compatibility for SAS or SATA. Strange that your SAS drives aren't recognizing, especially when the backplane is literally built to do just that.

    Either way, you won't be able to connect the drives permanently even if the 8087 to SAS cables do allow the drives to show up when troubleshooting, due to you needing to use the backplane. Thus, the solution must lie with the hba/sas card.

    I am starting to feel like there is some sort of compatibility issue when going from a 12Gbps drive to a 6Gbps SAS hba. This is odd to me too, especially when the drives do claim 6Gbps compatibility. This is the same problem the OP had. Giving the drives the benefit of the doubt, and believing that the drives do in fact, have 6Gbps compatibility, which I believe they do, it would mean that the SAS hba doesn't like your new shiny 12Gbps girls, and are rejecting them.

    I recommended the OP buy a SAS to SATA adapter to try out. I'm not sure it will work the same for you to test, as you already have SATA interfaces set on your backplane.

    So, in your case my friend, I agree with Terry. Perhaps a new or re-flash of the IT firmware with the mpt2sas.rom bios for the dell H310? Also, another thing people forget is that there are multiple versions of the 2nd gen controller firmwares for the SAS2008 chipset. I have a 9211, a 9223, a 9220, etc. Perhaps try a different firmware flash of the respective IT firmwares to see if this works?

    Perhaps the 9211 IT firmware doesn't allow 6Gbps to 12Gbps drives, but maybe the 9223 IT firmware might? Who knows, no harm to give it a try though. I do caution you to just be careful and make sure the firmware is correct. There are multiple 92xx cards, but some of the firmwares are not compatible, like the 9201. This is a 16 port card, so it won't work for a 8 port card, also I believe the chip is different anyway.

    Let us know how things went. Don't give up guys!
     
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  10. Terry Kennedy

    Terry Kennedy Well-Known Member

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    Daytona Web is fine. They're the folks behind seller tm_space on eBay, who I've done a lot of business with (including Hitachi drives).
    Ok. I just wanted to clarify (for the general case of not spinning up, in case other people look to this thread in the future.]
    I have HUH728080AL4200 drives on a 9201-16i with firmware 20.00.07.00 (and previously 20.00.04.00) working fine.
    The HUH728080AL4200 drives I have are also 12Gb/sec and work with the 6Gb/sec 9201-16i controller.

    You wouldn't happen to be in the NYC area, would you? If so, you could bring a drive over and we can test it in one of my servers. That would rule out the drive itself as part of the problem.
     
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  11. adamjb

    adamjb New Member

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    No, not in the NYC area unfortunately. I did however purchase this cable: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013G4FC2W/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 and my drives are showing up in the LSI/Avago BIOS and in Windows 10 (temporary OS, I will be installing proxmox and FreeNAS with PCIe passthrough once this is all sorted out). So now I know that the drives are working, and it is a problem with either the backplane or with the 8087 to SATA cables (or both).

    On an unrelated note: even though the drives are working, I may request replacement drives from Daytona Web / tm_space anyway, because the drive packaging was pretty poor and I am worried about long-term reliability.

    The cable/backplane problem is truly unfortunate, as I really like this case. I have an 8-core Xeon D with 64GB of RAM and 10GBe in basically the smallest amount of space possible.

    I have emailed U-NAS support and am waiting to here back from them. Hopefully I can get a new back plane or new cables to sort this out. I may just order a couple of 8087 to 4x SATA cables off of Amazon so I can at least rule out the cables without having to wait on shipping from China where U-NAS seems to send everything from.

    I will update when I here back from them or when I have tested new cables.

    I am curious if you guys think that going from an 8087 connector, to SATA, and back to SAS again should work or not. It is my understanding that SAS has more pins than SATA (7 extra if memory serves, on the top of where the SATA slot would go). I believe that these pins are essentially a second SAS lane, which can be used either as a backup or in a dual-host configuration, but I think I've read somewhere that some 12Gb/s SAS drives may need these extra pins? Information on "dual-lane" SAS seems unclear and scarce.

    I'm also not sure what the backplane is doing. Is it entirely passive? Because there are a few components on the backplane, but they may just be used to ensure even power distribution. I'm not sure. The 8087 to 4x discrete SAS cable that I purchased seems passive (although I haven't disassembled the connectors to see if there are components in there.
     
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  12. Terry Kennedy

    Terry Kennedy Well-Known Member

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    This picture of the case's "power distribution" gives me the heebie-jeebies:

    [​IMG]
    For pinout info, go directly to the T10 spec (page 6+ of draft spec PDF here). Generally, you will see single-link cables. Most backplanes that support dual-link (which the U-NAS doesn't) bundle the 1st ports of 4 drives onto a multi-lane connector and the 2nd ports to a different connector.
    For what you care about, it is passive. There are some noise reduction capacitors and a big filter cap / hot-swap driver on each port. The data pins are the upside-down "L" wires on the circuit board (each SATA socket has 2 of these "L" groups, and each "L" is actually a pair of traces (SAS/SATA uses differential signalling). The 7 round dots above the group of 7 where the "L" wires connect are for the second SAS port. The connector has it (it is mandatory in the spec) but the pins don't go anywhere (as using them is optional):

    [​IMG]

    There are 2 kinds of multi-lane to single-lane breakout cables - forward and reverse (depending on whether the multilane part is on the controller or the backplane). If one doesn't work, try the other - that's why people normally have a "parts bin" which includes a bunch of various cables for testing.
     
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  13. adamjb

    adamjb New Member

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    I don't see how the power connectors are that big of a problem. As can be seen from the backplane picture, each backplane has two molex connectors. With two backplanes, that is a total of 4 molex connectors. The U-NAS comes with two female molex to 2x male molex Y connectors, so at the side of the case, you end up with two female molex connectors. The picture you linked seems especially bad, because I think they are using another Y connector (1 female to 2x male) because their PSU doesn't have enough plugs, and they also have a fan adapter thrown in.

    In my case, my PSU has two free molex connectors, and the fans are plugged directly into the MB. Looks much neater.
     
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  14. Terry Kennedy

    Terry Kennedy Well-Known Member

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    That's the picture from someone's build linked earlier in this thread.

    If the backplane has 2 Molex connectors, that's either because it requires more power than can be supplied by a single connector or because one is extraneous and not needed. Given that the 16-drive backplane in a Supermicro SC836 only has 4 Molex connectors, it would seem to be the latter.

    Those connectors are not designed for crimping 2 separate wires on each pin. The tooling (both manual and automated) will let you do it, but I've seen lots of bad crimps - even from companies that should know better. And the daisy-chaining of multiple sets of connectors increases the possibility of a problem from a partially-plugged connector when the user integrates the system.

    There are 2 kinds of chassis - those that come with specialized power supplies and where the whole assembly is designed as a unified solution from the manufacturer, and those where the user is expected to install their own power supply. The first is (often) more expensive and may limit the choices for future power supply replacements, while the latter can lead to sub-optimal cabling and / or manufacturer finger-pointing. As one example, while I have no personal experience with Norco cases, it seems that the manufacturer responded to many reports of fried backplanes / drives by saying it must have been the user-provided power supply that caused the problem.

    In your case (no pun intended) I don't think you have yet been able to determine if the problem is with the data cable or the power cable. If you have a meter, it might be interesting to see if you are getting power to the drive backplane (both 5V and 12V). If you don't have a meter or have any concerns at all about performing that measurement, then I'd suggest not doing it - the last thing you want to do is short something by accident and damage some components.

    In an attempt to be constructive and not just try to force my opinions about system design on other people, the following is something you can probably try without difficulty:

    If your motherboard has on-board SATA ports, just run a cable between one of those ports and one of the backplane connectors. Then grab any old SATA drive you might have around and mount it in that backplane position. If the drive is detected by your motherboard, then you almost certainly have a data cable problem. If the system doesn't see that drive either, then you probably have a power cable or backplane problem.
     
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  15. adamjb

    adamjb New Member

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    Don't know how I didn't post this before, but SATA drives work fine with the backplane and included 8087 to SATA cables
     
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  16. adamjb

    adamjb New Member

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    A picture of my backplane is below.

    The stock wiring has all of the SATA/8087 cabling going to the far right of the case where the motherboard sits. This didn't work well for me so I added a rubber grommet and routed the SATA/8087 cables through the middle of the case. The SATA cabling also came with overly-tight zip ties (mine are relatively loose) which may have damaged the cables. The fact that I've routed the SATA cables around the power connectors may also be a problem, though I though that because the power cables should be primarily low voltage 5V/12V DC with reasonable filtering through the PSU that there shouldn't be much interference between the power and SATA cabling. Maybe this was a mistaken assumption.

    [​IMG]

    More pics (the PERC 310 has since been replaced with an LSI 9207-8i and I've added a 40mm 5v fan to the LSI card powered by my Seasonic PSU's floppy (I think) power connector.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Don't have picture of the backplane to PSU cabling on my phone right now.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 16, 2016
  17. Charles Barker

    Charles Barker New Member

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    This thread came up when I was searching for a similar problem with my new stack of HGST 7K6000 SAS drives, which wouldn't spin up when used with my LSI HBA and a SFF-8087-to-SFF-8482 fanout cable. I'm recording my solution here in case it helps someone else. I was starting down similar troubleshooting steps of swapping drives and cables when I stumbled across this:
    https://www.hgst.com/sites/default/files/resources/HGST-Power-Disable-Pin-TB.pdf

    Turns out, as of the 7K6000-series and newer drives, HGST added a "Power Disable" feature that prevents the drive spinning up if it detects power on pin 3 of the power connector, which was previously a "reserved" pin in the spec. I expect most SAS-only backplanes get this right, but some SATA power connectors do put power on this pin. Indeed, for SATA drives, HGST has separate SKUs that disable this feature for backwards compatibility. They assume the problem doesn't exist for SAS. Turns out, it does.

    In my case, using the fan-out cable, the power pins were getting directly passed through from a SATA-style PSU cable, which did put power on pin 3. I was able to verify that this was my problem by slipping a tiny piece of paper over the edge of the connector to break the connection. Et voilĂ ! Now the drives spin up and get recognized by the HBA.

    Still not sure how I'll go about fixing this permanently... Might just break pin 3 off of the PSU cables.
     
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  18. pricklypunter

    pricklypunter Well-Known Member

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    A little sliver of Kapton tape cut with a scalpel and wrapped over the pin on the disk should prevent any contact, as long as you're not frequently cycling the power connector, and is heat resistant so should be fine in use. More importantly, it's re-entrant so you can remove it again to warranty a disk if needed and you don't need to damage your power connectors in the process :)
     
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  19. Charles Barker

    Charles Barker New Member

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    I was just thinking to break the pins off of my $15 fanout cable, rather than maiming the hard drives. But Kapton tape is a good idea and I have some on hand, so I might do that if I can't figure out how to slip a knife under these little metal fingers. Thanks!
     
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  20. kachunkachunk

    kachunkachunk New Member

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    Coming back after a long while - I had gotten things to work with too much of a combination of changes to really nail it down - I had a SAS12 gen card and the cables for it were molex-based. I wasn't able to reuse my existing SAS cables that natively had SAS power + data connectors integrated.

    Anyway as of this moment, I am able to confirm that my old LSI 9211-8i card (an IBM M1015, flashed in IT mode) is able to spin up the very same SAS12 disks when they are powered via molex somewhere. Or more specifically, when SATA power pin 3 is not powered. This was correctly determined above for a different type of drive, but SAS12 nonetheless. I can reproduce the behavior where there is zero/no spin-up when using my PSU's SATA power connectors directly with my cables; like others, there is power being supplied on pin 3.

    So there you have it!
     
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