SOLVED - How to get ST Lab PCI SATA controller to work with FreeNAS

Joined
Oct 19, 2016
Messages
5
Hi guys

I'm have used FreeNAS for about a year, and I recently ran out of disk space. I'm went from using my NAS for images and music only, to also to include my 700 DVD collection. I also ran out of SATA connections, so adding HDD is not possible out of the box. Had I knew I would rip my DVDs I would have bought larger HDDs right away.

I need to expand with a couple of SATA connections, and I bought a ST Lab PCI SATA 2P eSATA/SATA. When booting the computer with the card in the PCI slot, all is good (it does not appear in BIOS tho). When attaching my two WD 1TB HDD's to the expansion card, the computer does not start.

The motherboard is a ASUS M5A97 R2.0, Socket-AM3+ with six SATA connections.

Any suggestions how to get the ST Lab card to work, or is it a no-go and I need to get a much more expensive card? ;) Seeing the prices on the recommended SATA cards it may be cheaper/more sensible to build a new NAS and move all my movies there, right?
 
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Evertb1

Guru
Joined
May 31, 2016
Messages
700
None of the hardware mentioned by you is very well suited for FreeNAS. You would be better of looking for a second hand HP or Dell server and upgrade it according to your needs. I think it is a very affordable way the get a server suited for FreeNAS. I know there are several Forum members that are happy with their Dells or HP's. If you search the Forum you should be able to find usefull information. And I won't be surprised if some of the Forum members are happy to share their information and experiences with you.
 
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Joined
Oct 19, 2016
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5
Thank you for your opinion. The second hand market for anything like this is extremely small in Norway. It's even hard to get new stuff for a price that is not only suitable for corporate.

The motherboard has not given me any problems, so I think I will stick to this as for now :)
 
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danb35

Hall of Famer
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Aug 16, 2011
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15,504
When attaching my two WD 1TB HDD's to the expansion card, the computer does not start.
What do you mean by "does not start"? Does it even POST? Or does it just not fully boot? If it doesn't POST, your issue has nothing to do with FreeNAS; it's some sort of incompatibility among your motherboard, the controller, and your drives.

The storage controller we recommend most often is some variant of the LSI 9211-8i SAS HBA. They're readily available, used, on eBay for US$50 or less.
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2016
Messages
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What do you mean by "does not start"? Does it even POST? Or does it just not fully boot? If it doesn't POST, your issue has nothing to do with FreeNAS; it's some sort of incompatibility among your motherboard, the controller, and your drives.

The storage controller we recommend most often is some variant of the LSI 9211-8i SAS HBA. They're readily available, used, on eBay for US$50 or less.

Hi Dan

It stops in the post startup screen (see attached image). The motherboard has 6 SATA ports, and on the screen it says something about port 8 when the screen "freezes". It's not an error, it just stops. Looks to me like it's trying to read the ports/discs (I have tried both with or without a volume defined on the HDDs).
 

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Joined
Oct 19, 2016
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5
I just found out I never followed up this post. It's quite embarrassing. It was a loose SATA-wire... case closed (in 2017).
 

jeje42

Cadet
Joined
Mar 29, 2020
Messages
1
Hi,

Just to confirm that the card ST Lab PCIe SATA (2 channels) works great under Truenas 12.0-U3.

I installed it on a Asus P10S-WS in order to mirror boot pool and another virtual machines pool, additional disks were recognized out of the box and zfs attach worked great :) .
 
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