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Raid Card Overriding Motherboard Raid (Highpoint 2300)

Omgea740

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#1
Hey guys. I've been looking to build a surveillance/file server for my office, but I am running into issues with the raid controller overriding my motherboard's raid controller. The controller I am using is a Highpoint 2300 that controllers 4 HDs at SATA II speeds. Since the explanation of configurations is somewhat of a length process, I copied what I have already sent to Highpoint to describe the issue. I have read many testimonies that Highpoint doesn't ever respond to support requests, so I am posting here as well.

================================
Problem Description:
BIOS/Firmware Version: _v2.2__
Driver version: _N/A___
WebGUI version: _N/A___
Serial No: _XXXXXXXXXXXX_
Purhcase Date: _12-26-2012_
Purhcase From: _Newegg.com_
Operating System: _Windows Server 2008 r2_
Motherboard Model: _Gigabyte GA-A75-UD4H_
System BIOS version: _F7_
System memory size: _8 GB - 1866 MHZ DDR 3_
HDD Model: _4 - Western Digital Red 3TB- WD30EFRX-68AX9N0__
HDD Firmware version: _Unknown_
RAID Configuration: __Raid 5 (4 Disks - 4 WD Reds)_

Other configuration information:

2 additional 120 GB SSD HD OCZ Vertex 2 (Raid 1) - OS Drives

Intended Configuration:
Surveillance/File Server
OS is installed on Raid 1 SSD HDs. Raid for this configuration is controlled by the on board raid controller.

File/Media Storage will be utilized in a Raid 5 sequence. The raid configuration is Raid 5 and is controlled by the Highpoint 2300 card.

Both controller configurations have already been programmed separately and correctly. Both configurations are able to function apart from one another.
Problem:

All signs indicate that the Highpoint Raid card is overriding the motherboard's raid/hd controller when both controllers are enabled. The SSD raid 1 configuration runs smoothly until the card with the raid 5 is inserted back the system board. Typically, without the Highpoint raid card, the motherboard runs through a controller initialization prompt similar to Highpoint's bios menu. Also, the SSDs are recognized within the motherboard bios.

After inserting the pre-configured (Raid 5) Highpoint card into the PCI-E slot and rebooting, the raid 1 SSDs are not recognized within the motherboard's bios, nor does the motherboard raid controller prompt become apparent. The system then hangs looking for an operating system ("Loading Operating System") upon which it never does.

I then attempted to remove the raid initialization setting within the motherboard's bios. The 2 SSD hard drives are recognized individually but only when I disable the onboard SATA(or AHCI) and run the SATA SSDs in IDE Native mode (which generates much lower speeds).

I suppose the main cause would have to do with Highpoint's invasive bios management system. It seems to pop up around the same time that the motherboard's raid management pops up.
==========================

I'm kind of surprised I wasn't able to find much documentation on this sort of problem, but haven't. Please let me know if anyone has ran into a similar issue.
 
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#2
Highpoint said:
If you do not need to boot from the host adapter card, disable both the "Reallocate EBDA" and "INT13" options.
If you go into the Highpoint BIOS and disable those options, it'll hopefully allow the onboard controller to load.
 
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#3
Yeah that should be it.
 

Omgea740

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#4
Unfortunately, my raid card's bios does not contain these shut off features. Unless I'm not going into the BIOS? It's the (Ctrl+H) bios utility with version 2.2. The only options I see available other than making arrays is setting the boot device from the card or enabling staggered spin.

I'll look more into this. Maybe the BIOS need to be upgraded. Or it could be possible that Highpoint is referring to another cards BIOS.

Thanks for the speedy replies.
 
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#5

Omgea740

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#6
Awesome, I'm going to try it then. Kind of odd that Highpoint would release a card that won't let you boot into your PC's OS out of the box. No big. I'll let you know if I run into any other snags.
 

Omgea740

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#7
Alright, so check this out. Highpoint provides a means to flash the bios of the raid card through DOS. Copied the files on my USBDOS Flash drive and loaded them up. Went back into the pre-OS Raid BIOS Prompt (Ctrl+H) and my options didn't change.

Apparently what Highpoint was mentioning when turning off the INT13/EDBA was actually flasher utility that creates a customized bios file from the stock version downloaded off of their website.

The bios file comes with a flasher called hptflash.exe which will then allow me to create the custom .v25 file I want to flash. Mind you these features are not available for enable/disable through any other means.

This is kind of backwards considering (those w/ a Windows setup) that you have to get into the OS, install the drivers for the OS to recognize the card's presence, then run the hptflash and make your file. Then flash the card outside of windows and hope that it doesn't interfere with your mobo's raid scheme.

In my case, I had a fresh install of windows that I could not access b/c the card was blocking the setup. So I had to install the OS on a singular drive to flash the card with the correct customized bios.

Now that everything is good to go on the card end, I will probably have to re-install the OS once I get it to work in RAID 1 as well :/. I wonder if a pricier would have made me waste so much time? Learning all this and going through this oddly ordered process has, undoubtedly, cost me more than the price difference is worth.

Oh well, now I know and can share my battle scares with the world :). Thanks for the help guys!
 

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#8
I'd just like to point out that this isn't really a case of Highpoint having an agressive BIOS that is overriding the onboard card.

However, what is happening is actually a fault of the motherboard. The traditional BIOS can only address so many pieces of hardware a boot time. UEFI can address a lot more. And while the board you are using uses "HybridEFI", that is really just a fancy name for a traditional BIOS that has been patched to read drives larger than 2TB.

So what is happening is that when you put in the Highpoint card, there is no more room to address extra hardware, so the board has to make a decision to either address the onboard RAID card or the dedicated RAID card. It makes the decision to address the dedicated RAID card, because it assumes you want to use that over the onboard.
 

Omgea740

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#9
Interesting input. What still is bugging me about this is that the Raid card was released in 2008. A time period when UEFI bios based mobos were not the prominent yet. It may be the case that my mobo is severely limited to the amount of addresses that it can tap into in the boot up sequence.
 

newtekie1

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#10
The card has nothing to do with it, if you added in any RAID card that has the option to boot the motherboard would do the same thing.

The problem is that so many devices have been integrated into the motherboard these days the traditional BIOS just can't handle it.
 

Omgea740

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#11
Oh my. Not good. I tried the flashing the card with INT13 & EDBA disabled and the configuration still does the same thing. I wonder if there is any hardware on the motherboard that I can disable through the bios in order to open an additional slot for the second raid controller...Although that sounds kind of idealistic. Probably can't do that.