[Solved] HBA Selection for TrueNAS and HDD Failure

Hello everyone, good day.

I am looking for a way to improve the reliability of my home user system NAS. Recently, I lost/degraded 3 HDD in my system. 2 of them are new and from the same batch. In addition, in the last couple of years, I lost another 2 drives. I am getting desperate, really desperate because I am unable to find the issue. Or perhaps I have the worst luck ever :sob:. Due to a recent experiment, I noticed that perhaps it might be my SATA Card.

Background:

  • OS: FreeNAS
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2400G with Radeon Vega Graphics
  • MB: Asus Prime Pro X370
  • SATA Card: SYBA SI-PEX40071
  • M.2. Drive
  • Case with 12 HotSwap Drives: Rosewill RSV-SATA-Cage-34
  • PSU: Corsair CX Series 430 Watt ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Bronce
  • RAM Non ECC: Total 64 RAM - 2X Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4 DRAM 2133MHz

Test:

  1. Checked Power Supply, seems ok with the voltages. (multimeter)
  2. Reviewed the HDD, no physical damage detected. However, once inserted they make a lot of noise. They are detected by the OS, but after 4-10 minutes, the hole PC crashes. HDD connected directly to MB, non SATA Card.
  3. Inserted failed drive in SATA Card and notice that I lose all HDD Connected to the cards. It seems they are not isolated somehow. Removing the drive makes the work ok again.
  4. Inserted failed drive in another machine with a HBA SAS controller and the other HDD connected to the card seems ok, they continue to work.
  5. Installed TrueNAS Beta due to its compatibility with Ryzen CPUs. Somehow the failed drives are now detected but makes the PC crash after 10 minutes.

Consideration:
-I live in a non US country, so the hardware is more expensive and have less variety to chose from.
-I know I do not have an ECC memory, it is too expensive and almost impossible to get in my country. Also, If I am not mistaken, this might only impact the data written in the HDD, not to make one malfunction. Please correct me if I am wrong.
-The hot swap bays use a molex connection, so I use an adapter to transform sata power connector to molex. Tested Power Also, and it seems fine.

  • I know TrueNAS is Beta, but right now, not even with FreeNAS I am getting a good NAS experience. The NAS has only my home movies. I have backup for everything (DVD and Blurays).

Questions to the community:

  1. From what I shared with everyone, am I making something wrong?
  2. Assuming my SAS Card is the issue (not sure), would replacing it by SI-PEX40137 8-Port PCI Express 2.0 SATA Controller Card adds 8 AHCI SATA III ports improve my situation? I choose that card because it is the only one that is being sold in my country for cheap and easy to get.
  3. Should I just abandon FreeNAS/TrueNAS and try a linux distro?

I appreciate the help of everyone. Thanks. :grinning:

You want an LSI controller based card for the best support. The 9207-8I is the best choice.

Global shipping options available on EBAY
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=sas+9207-8i&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=0&rt=nc&LH_PrefLoc=2

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The kind of card NickF suggested is a good idea, and used hardware from China/“Hong Kong” is pretty affordable.
Also, which drives are they? Just out of curiosity if they are the same model?
I’m running a bunch of consumer drives, with WD greens mixed in with Seagate barracudas and others.
Not ideal, but still better than dm-SMR

I recommend getting an HBA from The Art of Server on eBay. They come preflashed in IT mode and tested.
https://www.ebay.com/str/theartofserver

Here’s a link to an 9201-i8: https://www.ebay.com/itm/LSI-6Gbps-SAS-HBA-9201-8i-9211-8i-P20-IT-Mode-ZFS-FreeNAS-unRAID-low-profile/162953220514?hash=item25f0c4d1a2:g:OGgAAOSw57ZcXqJK

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He is a great seller, he tests everything and makes sure they are updated to the latest rev. He does mark up his prices higher than others.

And check his You Tube channel too!

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Already been there :slight_smile:

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Not you donut, OP should view it.
I presumed you learnt of the ebay store through the channel, but it doesn’t always go the other way…

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They are not shipping it to my country :sob:.

Do you believe the card I added to the main post will work?

Thanks for the help. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the reply. Ebay is not sending stuff to my country right now :(. As @Donk, do you believe the card I listed will work?

The card you’ve linked has some mixed feedback both on the amazon page and on reddit, atlest what a quick google searched showed.

There are also LSI based hbas on sale on Amazon.
I changed the shipping country to Mexico, and it looks like shipping isn’t a problem.

This one is in IT mode, which is what you want for Freenas.

75 USD + shipping.

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I can vouch for the 9211-8i. I’ve been running one of those in my FreeNAS box for 5 years now.

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I run 9211-8i’s exclusively. They are rock solid and easy to flash if they’re not already in IT mode. I’d go with those. Plus they’re relatively cheap. can be had for $80ish US dollars or sometimes less.

Thank you very much everyone!!! :star_struck: The card arrived yesterday.

The LSI recommendation is the one card to rule the all! Love the proposal :hugs:, zero issue and reliable.

It did not came in IT mode. Had to flash it. A lot of tutorials on the internet. But if I could do it, certainly anyone. :partying_face: :partying_face: :partying_face: Hyped!!

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Happy to hear it :slight_smile:

It’s a bummer it didn’t arrive in IT mode as advertised, but it’s all good in the end :partying_face:

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