Adaptec 3805 – It’s rubbish

An update on my previous posting about the Adaptec 3805 and my troubles with getting compatible drives.

I’ve been running a RAID-5 with the 3085 using 4 Samsung SpinPoint F3’s for about 2 weeks, and two days ago it started to give problems. The fourth disk in the array just dropped out, with no visible SMART issues or physical defects.

So, after waking up to this news I added it back into the array (probably not a great idea, but usually its fine). The moment the full initialization completed, something occurred that caused one of my Virtual Machines running from that RAID array to stop functioning (it was a mail server). There was another machine on there with much lesser activity, that kept running without a problem – but it did all but destroy the other virtual machine. Luckily, i have backups.

Not only did it knock off one of my virtual machines, it kicked out a different disk from the array, and started complaining again. So then I broke down, and ordered 2 ES.2 disks from Newegg which are on the HCL for this controller. However, 8hrs later, the controller barfed up completely and started giving timeouts to the host to the logical drive – even with 3 perfectly useable drives. The host became very unstable, i had to shut down the virtual machines, and reset the machine (thank god for Lights out control).

Upon reboot, the logical raid-5 array was unusable, and had to be forced online. I copied the two files that i absolutely had to have, and finally destroyed the array. When i go up to the data center again, I’m removing this card and burying it. Going to go back to my trusty Highpoint RR2224 which I’ve had for over 5 years now, without a single glitch.


Adaptec 3805 Compatibility Issues with Western Digital Blacks

Hello, a quick post / announcement that the Adaptec 3805 SAS Raid controller has compatibility issues with Western Digital Caviar Black drives. I don’t know if its an issue with all capacities of the Black series, but the ones i had were the 1TB ones, model number WDC-WD1001FALS-0.

After doing some research, it appears that the WD Blacks are NOT on the HCL for the Adaptec 3805 controller, but it took me some time to find this. I hope this post helps anyone who was going to go down this route.

Since i’d already gotten the WD Blacks, I ended up using Samsung Spinpoint F3’s from some of my servers. The WD Blacks work fine on Intel ICH Raid. I think next time, I’ll stick with these Samsungs. Cheap, good warranty, and FAST.

Now in general, why can’t Western Digital make standards compliant drives? I could easily blame Adaptec as well, but in this case, i think it has to be WD’s fault. They are known to make ATA drives that don’t work the same way as everyone else. How hard can it be? Even Samsung got it right.

Update, see my second post on this

Routers and CD’s

You know. I’ve seen so many people have trouble with wireless routers. D-Link’s, Linksys’s, Belkins.. you name it. So, heres my public announcement.

When you get a new router, throw away the cd that comes with it. You dont need it. All modern routers have a WEB interface. That means you can get to it using your browser. The cd that comes with it, is just useless. Just plug in your laptop or pc to your router, and go straight to the router address. How do i find my router address? its the default gateway. Look around your PC / Mac for the network ip address you got from the router, and it’ll tell you what the gateway is. then type in http://<gateway ip>


Warning – Dell Inspiron 8500 Video BIOS Flash

So, a warning to all users of Dell Inspiron 8500 Laptops with the GeForce 4200 Go video card. Do not attempt to flash the bios on this video card using the Dell utility from their website. It doesnt work, and will brick your video card. When you download the utility, it appears to be nice and safe and made by nVidia. However, after you start it – it’ll tell you it’ll take a few seconds to flash. After minutes and even hours, that message won’t change. You have thus killed the bios on the video card. You can kill/close the fladhing program window, and still resume your windows activities but the system will not boot up again.

You have been warned

Update : Just looked at the download page again, it still says “Recommended”. I recommend you ignore this patch till they fix it. I’m talking to Dell support, and will update this entry with any information.

Update : Spoke to dell. They replaced the video card on the machine for free, and they will be investigating the bios update on the site that reads recommended. Thank you dell.