RAID Card with no RAID

My usual hard drive guy has no SATA Hard Drives in stock at the moment other than 2x 14TB SAS Hard Drives, I would normally wait for new stock but I am getting booted form my old college’s email account because I didn’t graduate and the Google Drive has most of my TV Shows and movies on it, I was using rclone and plex to stream.

But now I have 90 days to vacate and download my data I have rented a 4x12TB server in the cloud that is now full and I need to download the rest to my home computer. I will set up a nice 24bay FreeNas/TrueNas when I finish college next year and get a REAL job, for now I am loading up single drives no Redundancy and once full powering off and storing them safe. My tight budget just about allows me to purchase 1x 14TB drive every 2 weeks. I will just about have enough resources and time to download my data.

Anyway with the SAS HDD shortage there are 2x14TB SAS drives available and I was wondering before I purchase them can I attach the drives to this RAID card and address them as single drives without setting them up in any RAID array just like connecting them to my Workstation motherboard through SATA.

My motherbaord is the Asrock X399 Tiachi, it has a U.2 port can I connect the drives directly to the motherboard with this port I had a search for cables but no luck.

Has anyone got any ideas of the most cost effective way to connect the SAS drive to my motherboard?

I have chosen this card as an example.

There are flashed OEM versions of these HBAs available on ebay for cheap. Like 100-150€ depending on your needs. IT mode offers that what you are looking for. We ZFS guys hate hardware RAID cards :slight_smile:

“LSI 9200/9300 freenas IT ZFS” people are selling them in the hundreds.

An HBA is the term you are looking for

LSI 9207-8i is my go-to for just 6Gb/s SAS

Just a plain HBA, no RAID

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One Could create a single “raid0” volume on a single drive, and use it on it;s own, but then one would have to use the same raid software, and be locked to it.

It’s not a Good solution, but OP is proposing only for temporary access.

I suspect though, that it will end up semi-permanent, so other suggestions of a HBA / IT mode card should be looked at first.

The M5015 can be brought in IT mode (like a HBA), and is a pretty solid card, iirc

@cornflake56 sounds like an ideal use case for snapraid+mergerfs … basically tons and tons of immutable data with minimum cost overhead for redundancy is ideal for snapraid.


Basic idea is that you evolve your storage over time by buying the biggest drives with the lowest $$$/byte and when you do parity computation, you do it “offline” e.g. overnight.

I second this.

The controller listed says MegaRAID, so it’s a common LSI hardware RAID card, no software required. Additionally, Linux’s mdraid can utilize LSI/MegaRAID signatures, so you can continue to use those drives without wiping them, after moving them to a SAS HBA, or flashing the RAID card to IT mode, if using Linux.

Even more interestingly, mdadm provides options to erase RAID signatures on drives without disrupting the contents, though I haven’t tried that on former LSI MegaRAID drives.

good to know, Thanks!

Thanks for all your replies I end up purchasing the card below, On the Adaptec support page it supported drives upto 12TB and 14TB were “Not Tested” I decided to take the risk.

I had some initial problems with getting the card to boot on my X399 Tiachi the card was having Kernel Panic with or without the drives installed, I tried the card on an older system I had in storage an i5-2500K with a generic Asrock board the kind they still sell after the chipset has been abandoned for the next one.

The card booted without the Drive installed but will not boot with the card installed the issue was that the Drive is a 4Kn drive and not a 512e version of the drive, and I needed another more recent card with Native 4kn support.

OK I’m not going to get one of these cards for 15 Euro/15 Dollars anywhere like I did the one linked here.

I have upped my budget to 60 to 100 I would like 14+ TB drive and native 4kn support. I have been looking around for just HBA and JBOD ONLY cards with no RAID support does such a card exist??? does anybody know.

Either way can anyone recommend a good card, just like the i5-2500K was the king of Desktop CPU’s for a couple of years there has to be a HBA JBOD 4kn card to rule them all hopefully within my meager budget?

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