No Free SATA Connectors for Upgrade

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Charles Elliott

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H/W: SuperMicro X9SCL-F-O mobo, Xeon 1220-V2 CPU, 16 GB Kingston KVR16E11 memory, 3 x Hitachi HDS721010CLA330 1TB hard disks and 3 x HITACHI HUA723020ALA640 2 TB hard disks, Patriot Memory 16 GB USB 3 stick for O/S.

I downloaded FreeNAS-11.0-U4.iso with a view of upgrading FreeNAS from 9.10.2-U6 to version 11 Beta. I do not need this, but one of the tech support people suggested testing the Beta. In any case, when I started thinking about the install, I recalled that I added 3 hard disks to the FreeNAS as a new zpool this year, so I have no free SATA connectors to which to attach a CDROM. The obvious alternative is to offline one of the existing hard disks, attach a CDROM reader, install 11-beta, and online the offlined hard disk. However, another entry on this list says the user installed the 11-beta with a thumb drive. The resulting installation does not work well, but perhaps there is a better thumb drive installation procedure. Lastly, Newegg sells external USB 2.0 CD/DVD readers for about $20 to $119, but none of them (4) have reviews yet.

Can someone suggest a procedure for upgrading 9.10.2-U6 FreeNAS to 11.0-U4 given that all 6 SATA connectors are in use?
 

CraigD

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Do you have a PCIe slot available for use?

An M1015 HBA is an option, so is the cheaper PCIe card I use (it works)

If your pool is not using two three way mirrors an option is to destroy your pool, and create a 5 disk RAIDz2 pool with larger drives, and restore data from backups

Have Fun
 

danb35

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You can use the IPMI virtual CD-Rom for the install.
This, which is probably the best answer. Or you can use another USB stick. Either will work fine; there's absolutely no need for an optical drive.
 

gpsguy

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tech support people on the forum? at your place of business?

At this point, I wouldn't use the beta on your production system. Maybe the release candidate. Or, perhaps upgrade to 11.0 and wait for the 11.1 release.

I do not need this, but one of the tech support people suggested testing the Beta.
 

Charles Elliott

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Do you have a PCIe slot available for use?

An M1015 HBA is an option, so is the cheaper PCIe card I use (it works)

If your pool is not using two three way mirrors an option is to destroy your pool, and create a 5 disk RAIDz2 pool with larger drives, and restore data from backups

Have Fun
Thanks for your response. There is an IBM M1015 / LSI SAS9220-8i from China available on eBay for about $47 + $9 shipping, but it has to be "crossflashed" to make a plain vanilla HBA. Do you know anything about that? What is the PCIe card you use and where could I find one?
 

danb35

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How can I find out how to set up the "IPMI virtual CD-Rom"?
The motherboard manual should have all the answers, but in short, browse to the IPMI address with your web browser, log in (default user/password are both ADMIN), go to Remote Control, and then the first option (I believe it's marked Console Redirection). That will pop up a Java app that's your server's console. In that app, there's a Virtual Media menu; from there you can mount an ISO and it will appear to your system as though it's a CD in a CD-ROM drive. Very handy, and you don't need to prepare any media at all.
Or, like I said, just burn the ISO to another USB stick and install from that.
but it has to be "crossflashed" to make a plain vanilla HBA. Do you know anything about that?
Yeah, we know quite a bit about that, and there are many threads here about the process. Search is your friend. But if the only reason you want another port is to plug in the CD drive, there's no need for it.
 

Charles Elliott

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This, which is probably the best answer. Or you can use another USB stick. Either will work fine; there's absolutely no need for an optical drive.
Thanks for your response.

Can I use the Nero Burning ROM program and its Image Recorder to unpack/record the *.iso to the USB stick and then boot from it? There is another entry on this website that implies that booting the 11-beta from a thumb drive did not work so well for him.
 

Charles Elliott

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tech support people on the forum? at your place of business?

At this point, I wouldn't use the beta on your production system. Maybe the release candidate. Or, perhaps upgrade to 11.0 and wait for the 11.1 release.
An ixSystems tech support rep responding to a bug report.

> I wouldn't use the beta on your production system.
I so much agree; I would rather have a stake pounded through my head than mess with the working FreeNAS installation. It has EVERYTHING on it. But the tech rep did ask, and I do use FreeNAS for nothing. The version I would install is FreeNAS-11.0-U4.iso; maybe that is the release candidate.

Thanks for your help.
 

chris crude

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danb35

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Can I use the Nero Burning ROM program and its Image Recorder to unpack/record the *.iso to the USB stick and then boot from it?
Not sure; I haven't tried that one. Have you checked the FreeNAS manual? It suggests three programs to do this, all of which are free. I can't vouch for any of them; I use a Mac so I just use dd.
The version I would install is FreeNAS-11.0-U4.iso; maybe that is the release candidate.
That isn't a release candidate (or a beta), that's the release.

Edit: In the short term, just burning a USB may be the quickest and simplest path. But if you're going to be involved in the ongoing administration of this box, you owe it to yourself to figure out IPMI, as it can save you quite a bit of effort--especially if the server isn't very accessible.
 

gpsguy

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Rufus works well and is a great little utility.
 

Ericloewe

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Why are you not simply running the webGUI's update function?
 

danb35

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Why are you not simply running the webGUI's update function?
...and there's the obvious question we all should have thought to ask earlier.
 

Charles Elliott

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Why are you not simply running the webGUI's update function?
Because when I tried that by clicking on "Check Now," it responded with something like nothing to do. However, just now I used the dropdown box to select the version 11-stable train, to which it updated the system with only one minor hitch (it would not, will not, let me download the configuration database). I tried copying a 3.5 GB file from the FreeNAS to the Windows 10 box; the average transfer rate across the network was about 420 Mbps, about twice the previously observed speed. It verified at about 720 Mbps across the network. It was almost certainly verifying with the cached version on the Windows 10 machine, and probably with the ARC cache on the FreeNAS, but still it was the fastest transfer I have ever observed on the Ethernet interface.

Thanks for your help; it solved the problem.
 
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