Question Adaptec ASR-6805T Raid Controller not recognized

doccie

Junior Member
Mar 12, 2022
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Hi,

I bought a Adaptec ASR 6805T Raid Controller but I'm having trouble getting it to play nicely with my Asrock H470M-HDV Motherboard and Ubuntu 20.04.

I used this user manual to install and configure the controller:
Adaptec RAID Controller Installation and User’s Guide

Steps I took:
  1. Installed the physical Raid Controller and disks following the steps outlined in Chapter 5 of the user guide (Installing the Controller and Disk Drives).
  2. Installed the Raid Controller drivers using modprobe instead of the proposed Driver Disk install outlined in Chapter 8 (Installing the Driver on an Existing Operating System) of the user guide.
    1. The instruction manual is outdated (Ubuntu v10 or v11)
    2. Ubuntu 20.04 has built-in support for the AACRAID drivers (Ubuntu Manpage: aacraid — Adaptec AACRAID Controller driver)
    3. I didn't want to brick my kernel by building my own, so resorted to the instructions outlined in this article: [SOLVED] loader.conf????? (ubuntuforums.org)
Once installed, there are three ways of configuring the RAID Controller according to Chapter 9 of the user guide (Managing Your Storage Space)
  1. Adaptec Storage Manager (Adaptec - Adaptec Driver: maxView Storage Manager v2.05.22932 for Linux x64 Download Detail (microsemi.com))
    1. Web GUI
    2. Once installed (which was a PITA), I was able to open the Storage Manager web portal and log in.
    3. My Controller was detected, but even though I had two 14TB drives connected, I did not see them under Physical Devices
    4. When running a full rescan of the system, the application stopped working and my computer needed a hard reboot
  2. Adaptec RAID Controller Configuration Utility (Adaptec - Adaptec Driver: Microsemi Adaptec ARCCONF Command Line Utility v2.05.22932 Download Detail)
    1. Command Line Utility
    2. Once installed (again... a PITA), running `arcconf list` gave me 'Controllers Found: 0', so that's basically the end of that...
  3. Adaptec Raid Configuration Utility
    1. BIOS Configuration tool
    2. According to Chapter C (Using the Adaptec RAID Configuration Utility) of the User Manual, when booting the computer, you should be able to use 'Ctrl + A' to be sent to the BIOS Configuration Utility. Unfortunately, that key combination does nothing and I don't find any reference to the RAID Controller in my UEFI interface.
Stumbling onto this article from Adaptec (Adaptec controllers and UEFI motherboards), I have tried to disable UEFI in favor of BIOS, but that option isn't available to me. I also tried to enable the Compatibility Support Module (CSM) for Storage OPRom from the UEFI interface, but this caused my computer to not even boot to the BIOS splash screen. I needed to remove the battery from my motherboard in order to reset the UEFI settings to default to resolve this.

I just noticed the note at the bottom of that Adaptec article, which notes that my 6805T is supported, but needs to be updated to the latest firmware version. So my next step is going to be to try and upgrade that firmware...

If anyone has any other advice, that would be much appreciated :)
 

Tech Junky

Senior member
Jan 27, 2022
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Any reason for Raid over HBA?

I would opt for the passive HBA over any Raid controller and setup with MDADM for Raid in the OS. There's not much of a performance difference and MDADM is much easier to deal with.
 
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doccie

Junior Member
Mar 12, 2022
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No particular reason. I'm pretty new to the RAID Controller / HBA / SAS Expander domain...
In a similar setup I use an 8-port SATA controller instead, but this RAID Controller was fairly cheap (100€), so I went with that.
I'm not necessarily looking for RAID (hardware or software), I'm looking for a way to expand my server with 8 (separate) disks. :)
Which card would you recommend in my situation?
 

Tech Junky

Senior member
Jan 27, 2022
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I would keep it simple with a HBA. 8 drives would probably be best to split them between 2 HBA's depending in if you're using spinners or SSD's.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BHZQVP7/ - 5 ports / $43
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09C4G57PW/ - 6 ports / $53

If you want to venture into an M2 HBA

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07T3RMFFT/ - 5 ports / $44

The only benefit beyond expanding the number of ports would be the use of the higher PCI slot that allows for using the CPU lanes vs PCH lanes on older systems. With the newer ADL boards though the PCH lanes are now DMI 4 and allow for more bandwidth compared to the older chipset. The new PCH lanes are double the speed.

.

I run 5 drives off the MOBO directly and hit 400MB/s in a R10 configuration using MDADM. Just simple WD Red 8TB drives that avoided the whole SMR-gate controversy for the past couple of years.

1647090065380.png

I guess it's a bit faster @ 480MB/s.

If you're going for speed skip R5 but, if you're going for space over performance R5 seems to be popular. Each version of Raid has its perks and drawbacks though. I went for R10 though for the performance and "backup" w/o dealing with the parity calculations / lack of speed.


Since you're using 8 drives you could get a speed boost with R50. It all comes down to speed vs capacity and redundancy if you lose a disk.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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I think its a firmware issue with your card.
If you update firmware it should fix issues if your seeing them, and adaptec says you need an ugprade firmware.

Adaptec has always played nice, unless the card is broken.
They do however heat up like no tomorrow, which is why i tend to have a dedicated fan near that sink at all times.

I also agree with Tech Junky on HBA cards for anything other then windows.
HBA seems to play nicer with Linux / FreeBSD.
But on windows i prefer a dedicated card with lots of onboard ram and the ability to have a cache SSD connected.
 

Tech Junky

Senior member
Jan 27, 2022
796
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I ventured down the R-card awhile ago and it showed a splash screen as it was being seen by the system and displayed prior to the BIOS. I tried for a few hours to get it running and it just wouldn't work. I had read up on things prior to ordering it and figured this should be a cake walk to get setup ./ working / running and be done with it. I tried every trick I could think of and find.

I sent it back to CN and it got lost in transit but, I had insured it so, no loss for me. I sent back the cables I ordered for it as well to Amazon since I didn't have the card / connectors to use them. Most of these cards are LSI based and tons of people have them and they work for them.

If I were going bare metal with a hypervisor setup I would consider them again for use but, a HBA is just so simple. The only perk of these cards really comes into play when you get 12G drives vs 6G as they will take advantage of the PCI increased speeds. as @aigomorla mentioned the chips on the Raid cards do get toasty and need active cooling, In the traditional use case where you use them in a server case with high velocity airflow to keep things cool in a confined space w/ horrible passive airflow.

There's always the temptation to overbuild things a bit but, Raid cards vs HBA just doesn't make sense until you hit a certain threshold or you just want to play with the tech to be familiar with it.
 

doccie

Junior Member
Mar 12, 2022
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0
6
Well, so I figured it was a problem with the firmware from that article on Adaptec's website.
Sure enough, it was just one revision below the one that supported UEFI. Trying to update the firmware, I couldn't boot into FreeDOS because that requires CSM (which caused my PC not to boot). Now, apparently, to enable CSM, you need a discrete GPU with a VBIOS, which is what made my PC unresponsive. I don't have an old GPU lying around, so instead, I stuck the Adaptec RAID card into my old Supermicro and booted into FreeDOS. Once there, I successfully updated the drivers and finally stuck the card back into my other PC.

I now have the Adaptec recognized in the UEFI interface, in Storage Manager, but not yet in arcconf. However, the RAID adapter still doesn't seem to find any disks. I ended up plugging my HDD into my Supermicro, to confirm that the HDD isn't faulty, which produced the results in screenshot.

Screenshot 2022-03-13 103658.png

Looking a little further, I stumbled across this article on the Adaptec website:
Support for SATA and SAS disk drives with a size of 2TB or greater (adaptec.com)

So I think:
  • Either the Adaptec doesn't support 14TB drives (up to 12TB is supported, 14TB is untested)
  • Or it's something to do with the sector size. (from the article: native support for 4K sector drives is available with Series 7, 8, 7H, and 6H only. - logical size is 512, but physical is 4K)
I think I am throwing in the towel and waiting for my 10-port HBA to arrive...
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
19,497
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yeah dedicated raid cards are a hassle in non windows enviorments.
This is also one of the reasons why people flash LSI cards to HBA mode when they throw them in FreeNAS or Unraid.

And im sure the 6805T can handle disks greater then 2TB.
I think i had 6TB HGST He drives connected to them without any issues.
 

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