FastTRack TX4310 : Wester Digital Red 4To recognised as 1.8To only ?

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  • Last Post 26 April 2016
Andrea Baranzini posted this 21 April 2016

Hello,

My TX4310 card is working fine for many years with 2x2To RAID1.
The TX4310 BIOS (version 2.8.1.0004) detect my 4x2To Hitachi drives as 2000Go each one.

One of my 2To RAID1 cluster is full. So I need to upgrade it to a larger capacity. Then I decided to upgrate it to 4To. And bought 2x4To Western Digital (Red) drives.

But my TX4310 card detect my 2 new 4To drives as 1800Go drives only.
This capacity is lower than my old 2To drives.

How can I assign the 4To capacity as RAID1 with my TX4310 card ?

I tested my 4To drives with the motherboard and it found around 3800Go as expected.


Best regards
Andea

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Joe Engledow posted this 21 April 2016

Western Digital Red 4TB (4To) drives are not on the compatibility list for this RAID card. Only the drives on that compatibility list (in the Legacy section of the Download Center) will be supported. Several versions are on the site and they go by which BIOS version is installed on the card.

This card was designed and built when the largest drives were 1TB.

It does not have the capability to address 4TB drives.

Joe Engledow, Promise Technical Support

Andrea Baranzini posted this 21 April 2016

Thank you Joe.

My motherboard embed an Intel ICH8 chipset with SATA2 (it was released in 2006 like TX4310 controller). The ICH8 can allocate the 4To disk space available in my 2 new SATA3 drives. It means SATA2 supports more than 2To.

Because TX4310 technical documentation doesn't specify the max disk capacity for each drives, I was thinking the TX4310 will be able to use my 4To drives too. TX4310 documentation just talks about a full SATA2 capability.

So which Promise controller card can replace my TX4310 ?

I need at least 2x RAID1 clusters, Windows 7 and Windows 10 driver capabilities, at least 4To per drive capabilities. I have PCI and PCI-e x1 slots. My motherboard is ASUS P5B-Plus.


Best regards,
Andea

R P posted this 21 April 2016

Hi Andrea,

Although I do not have any design documents and the manual is rather confusing on this issue, I'm pretty sure that the TX4310 uses a 32-bit LBA internally (which was common in 1996), that is, it cannot address anything over 2TB. So 4TB drives will not work.

The TX4310 does not support changing the sector size, which is about the only potential workaround I can think of.

Regards,

--Rich

Andrea Baranzini posted this 21 April 2016

 Thanks Richard I confirm : it will not works.

I created a RAID1 cluster in my TX4310 and only 1.8To was really allocated.
I tried to transform it into GPT entity but Windows 7 can only see 1.6To.

For now, I'm testing the Windows 7 mirroring (RAID1) as temporary possibility to employ my 4To hard drives. The motherboard BIOS detects 1.8To per disk. However Windows 7 (x86 32 bits) can allocate 3.6To. It looks very correct.

But the Windows 7 software mirroring data transfer looks slower than hardware RAID1. So, my old TX4310 is more confortable. Now, I'm currently testing to feed it with more than 2To. And check what's happen if one of my 2x4To disk won't start electricaly.

Also, I'm really looking for any hardware mirroring solution via a slot-in card. Compliant with my motherboard and supporting SATA3 for a better transfert rate.

If Promise have ones, I'm interested in. I browsed Promise's website but I only found NAS solutions.


Best regards,
Andea

Andrea Baranzini posted this 22 April 2016

Finally I keep my TX4310 controller with 4x2To drives.

I bought a new computer case with better air cooling (Fractal Design R5) where I will install all my hard disks (8 drives). Because the Windows 7's mirroring functionality is cheaper than bought a new SATA3 controller card with RAID capabilities (between 250 and 650 Euros). And I will have a larger redundant disk space (4x2To + 2x4To).

So now, I expect to transform my 2x2To RAID1 clusters in 4x2To RAID10 cluster.

But I have an important question about it before ! In case of my TX4310 controller is definitively dead, can I retrieve easily all data stored in my RAID10 cluster ? Can I read properly my disk drives associated with my TX4310 on any other SATA controller ?

Currently I can retrieve my data from RAID1 created with TX4310 controller on any computer because each drive is a miror. But RAID10 makes a data mix between all drives. So, I'm not sure to be able to retrieve my data without a TX4310 controller card. I can see the TX4310 card model is no more available in shop and no more supported by Promise.


Best regards,
Andea

R P posted this 26 April 2016

Hi Andea,

As you mention, with a RAID1 your OS should be able to read either disk. But with RAID10, the data is striped across several disks and you'll need a RAID card to read the data. It may be possible to use any RAID card in the FasTrac family. I do not know if Supertrac cards will read RAID disks from the Fastrack family, but I think it very likely that they can.

Regards,

--Rich

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