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Difficulty getting HGST SAS drives to work with LSI 9305

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rigurat

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This is a continuation of my HBA issue here: https://forums.freenas.org/index.php?threads/lsi-9305-not-detecting-hgst-4kn-sas-drives.58937/ . I've seen this thread: https://forums.freenas.org/index.php?threads/lsi-hba-sas9305-24i-no-disk-spinup-at-boot.53534/ and this: https://forums.freebsd.org/threads/60688/

I am having great difficulties getting my HGST 4kn SAS drives to work with the LSI 9305 24i. The HBA works with any other drive. It has the latest BIOS and firmware.

Controller information
------------------------------------------------------------
Controller type : SAS3224
BIOS version : 8.35.00.00
Firmware version : 15.00.00.00
Channel description : 1 Serial Attached SCSI
Initiator ID : 255
Maximum physical devices : 1023
Concurrent commands supported : 5888
Slot : 1
Segment : 0
Bus : 5
Device : 0
Function : 0
RAID Support : No

It doesn't work through a Norco backplane. It sometimes works when directly attached. The drives don't spin up with connected through a SATA power cable but spin when connected through Molex power or a SATA power connector without 3.3v, in this situation only 1 or 2 drives are detected in Windows or Freenas, 8 are connected, and not all spin up. No drives are detected in the BIOS no matter what combination of cables or power I use, even when the drives are spinning up. There doesn't seem to be any obvious incompatibility remarks on the website of LSI and HGST.

Here's the summary:

Norco backplane (uses Molex for power): No spin, No detect in card BIOS, No detect in OS
Direct attach with SATA (15 pin) power: No spin, No detect in card BIOS, No detect in OS
Direct attach with Molex power: Some drives spin, No detect in card BIOS, 1 or 2 drives out of 8 detected in OS
Direct attach with SATA without 3.3v: Some drives spin, No detect in card BIOS, 1 or 2 drives out of 8 detected in OS

The cables used for direct attach are SFF-8643 to 4x SAS, I have different ones with SATA and Molex power.

This has been a real timesink trying to figure everything out. And I'm probably already past the return Window on Amazon and Newegg.
 
Last edited:

Chris Moore

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HGST 4kn SAS drives
If you are actually using SAS drives instead of SATA drives, that makes things different. You can't use anything SATA to interface between a SAS controller and a SAS drive, not anything. So, you will need to give more information on the Norco chassis so I can research it, but I will bet (based on your description of the problem) that the interface in the Norco chassis is only compatible with SATA drives and is basically preventing communication between the drives and the controller. If I am right about this, you will need a chassis that has a SAS backplane.
Looking for more details on your hardware.
 

rigurat

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Nov 5, 2017
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If you are actually using SAS drives instead of SATA drives, that makes things different. You can't use anything SATA to interface between a SAS controller and a SAS drive, not anything. So, you will need to give more information on the Norco chassis so I can research it, but I will bet (based on your description of the problem) that the interface in the Norco chassis is only compatible with SATA drives and is basically preventing communication between the drives and the controller. If I am right about this, you will need a chassis that has a SAS backplane.
Looking for more details on your hardware.

The Norco 4116 chasis worked with other SAS drives with its backplane. Just not these HGST 4TB 4kn SAS drives.

But this new setup bypasses any backplane, all drives are directly attached to the HBA and it's all SAS cabling with various power plugs (15 pin and Molex) being used. The drives spin with the Molex power connector but not the 15 pin SATA power connector unless I use one without the 3.3 volt power. Spin or no spin it still doesn't get detected by the card BIOS and if it spins it gets mixed detection by the OS.
 
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have you seen this thread which talks about the HGST's power disable pin?
 

rigurat

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have you seen this thread which talks about the HGST's power disable pin?

Yes, very much. This is where the idea came from to use Molex or 15pin without the 3.3 volt line. This workaround has gotten the drive to spin up (sometimes) but still no detection in the HBA BIOS and mixed detection in the OS. For reasons unknown, either the HBA isn't sending the commands to spin up the drive, or the drive is ignoring the signals.
 

rigurat

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Nov 5, 2017
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I somehow got it working. All 8 drives now spin up, and are detected by the HBA BIOS, and by the OS.

I have it configured as HBA directly attached to drives with 15 pin power minus the 3.3 volt line. HBA BIOS is set to AUTO for port configuration. Legacy BIOS is disabled. All motherboard BIOS settings are to UEFI, no legacy options set. This is actually the setup I've been trying to push from the beginning, not sure why it just started working now.
 
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