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ML330 G3 problems with large IDE disks

John Appleby
Occasional Visitor

ML330 G3 problems with large IDE disks

Hi,

I have put a ML330 G3 in at a client with 2 180Gb IDE disks. Despite the fact that it can be configured with 160Gb disks, it seems that the on-board RAID controller is not 48-bit LBA. I have no clue how you could put a 137Gb+ disk in it, but support assure me it is possible.

They won't however deal with my problem because the disks aren't HP parts. *sigh*.

In any case I have configured both disks so they use less than 137Gb of space; this seemed to initially work. However, from time to time I get a surge of error messages "The driver detected a controller error on \Device\HardDisk0". Sometimes it's HardDisk1. At this point the server literally grinds to a halt and has to be hard-reset.

I tried putting in a HighPoint RocketRAID into the server, but it won't boot off it for some reason.

I don't think it will be possible to get the disks to work properly with all 180Gb on this controller, but maybe it could work with up to 137Gb properly.

Alternatively I would be happy to buy a RAID controller that worked properly. Does anyone know of one that definitely works with this server?

Any comments/ideas would be gladly appreciated; it's a real pain.

John
11 REPLIES
Sunil Jerath
Honored Contributor

Re: ML330 G3 problems with large IDE disks

Hello John,
Just make sure that the BIOS is uptodate on the server. I have heard of IDE raid controllers by Promise and as for as the compatibility is concerned you have to check with the folks at Promise. Their controllers are pretty reliable.

Regards,
John Appleby
Occasional Visitor

Re: ML330 G3 problems with large IDE disks

Hi,

The BIOS is indeed up to date; that was one of the first things I checked.

Unfortunately, as far as I am aware, the onboard RAID BIOS on the ML330 G3 is not flashable. I'd be happy to be proven wrong on that!

I have used Promise controllers in the past and they're not bad by any means. I would like ideally to have some feedback though from someone who has tried it, because I don't want to go spending good money after bad, if you know what I mean.

Regards,

John
Sunil Jerath
Honored Contributor

Re: ML330 G3 problems with large IDE disks

Hello John,
I fully understand as to what you are saying. I did use Promise controllers on servers but definitely not on ML330G3 specifically. Have you thought of partition magic or similar utility to get whole of the drive space??

Regards,
John Appleby
Occasional Visitor

Re: ML330 G3 problems with large IDE disks

Hi,

I'm not sure that Partition Magic would help. You see, the server sees all 180Gb of the disk but you get error messages if you use more than 137Gb of it. Windows and the BIOS support LBA-48 but the disk controller doesn't, and I believe this is the expected outcome in that situation.

I might see if I can pick up a Promise controller on the cheap to test. I can always use it elsewhere if it doesn't work out.

Regards,

John
Michael Bender_1
Occasional Visitor

Re: ML330 G3 problems with large IDE disks

I have a simmilar problem. ML330 using a 300gb drive. Everything is fine till I start moving large files and then I get

The driver detected a controller error on \Device\HardDisk0

I am also looking into an alternate controler but quite honestly I should not have to. This is brand new server hardware and should support large ide drives. This seems to me to be a bug and should be adressed by HP.

Keith Cunningham
Occasional Visitor

Re: ML330 G3 problems with large IDE disks

I am also having the same issue. I am currently installing a Promise RAID controller that I am trying to install as a secondary controller. I am trying to prevent it from being the boot device as I have the system loaded on small mirrored set on the onboard RAID and want to use the secondary RAID to mirror two 250GB drives for data storage. I will post any outcomes.

Re: ML330 G3 problems with large IDE disks

Hi,

It's a bit of a pain really. The complete mess of a BIOS that HP made has the following restrictions:

1) Promise cards disn't seem to work at all for me, Highpoint seem to work better
2) If you want to use a 3rd party card as a boot drive, you must disable the onboard RAID
3) You can't enter the BIOS if the onboard controller is enabled unless there is a hard disk attached to the onboard controller
4) You have to keep the CD plugged into the onboard, which you can't disable

Hope this helps, the ML330 is truely one of HP's nastiest machines.

Regards,

John
Nigel_1
Regular Advisor

Re: ML330 G3 problems with large IDE disks

I also have the same issue.

I have to re-boot the server once per day because it's running exchange and the mdb file is over 3 gig in size. If I move a file that is greater than a gig it stops responding and I have to hard reboot it.

I have escalated it to HP and they are unable (at this stage) to duplicate the error.

When they get a resolution I will let you know what it is.

Re: ML330 G3 problems with large IDE disks

I think you're getting confused by bizarre symptoms.

You can format disks >137Gb on that server, BUT if you try to access the space beyond 137Gb on the physical disk, the server grinds to a halt. That makes perfect sense when you consider the limitations of LBA-32.

It's just coincidence that it only happens on big files, that are probably fragmented past 137Gb.

Use partitionmagic to reduce the size of the logical partitions down below the 137Gb physical size and you will be better.

Or if you prefer, put a new disk controller in and be done with it (Promise TX2000 worked for me, Highpoint wouldn't, picky server).

Regards,

John
Nigel_1
Regular Advisor

Re: ML330 G3 problems with large IDE disks

Well, HP came back to me with a resolution that I am very pleased with.

They are replacing my 160Gb IDE drives with 147Gb SCSI disks and putting in a SCSI controller card also (obviously).

Considering I wanted to go SCSI in the first place but couldn't due to business reasons, this is the best solution that I could have hoped for.

Nigel

Re: ML330 G3 problems with large IDE disks

Hi Nigel,

You're lucky - HP basically told me to go away, that it wasn't their problem and despite the fact that they supported 160Gb disks according to the website, because I'd put in my own disks, they couldn't help.

Regards,

John