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Thread: Setting up Raid5 via Uefi / Asrock FM2A88X-ITX




  1. #1
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    Question Setting up Raid5 via Uefi / Asrock FM2A88X-ITX

    Hello TT,

    I'm experiencing an issue trying to set up raid5 via the UEFI / efi shell for my home server. I've tried seeking help in other places, and have spent over 5 hours on google trying to find a similar problem or topic.

    My setup is as follows (listed only relevant parts):
    Asrock FM2A88X-ITX motherboard - A4-4000 processor
    4x WD Red 4TB EFRX -- This should be a raid5 array
    2x WD Red 3TB EFRX -- misc. storage, jbod

    My plan is to partition the r5 array, and install WS 2008 r2 on one of these partitions. The 3TB drives have been carried from my old server, all the other hardware is new and unused.

    I started out by flashing the firmware of the MB via the internet-flash to v2.10. I then followed the steps in the manual to set up raid5. I hope I followed it correctly, I ended up successfully following steps A-E starting at the bottom of page 9. Step F is where I more or less get stuck. I flashed a USB drive to FAT32, and added the rcadm.efi file to it. I can enter the efi shell and make calls to rcadm, which works and displays part of the disks I want to set up. Screenshot

    This is where I get stuck. I'm trying to create an array of 4 disks, yet only 2 of the disks are listed in the disk list. I therefor cannot initialize or perform any useful action with them. What am I doing wrong? I can see all disks in the UEFI, and when I briefly connected an SSD with windows in AHCI mode all disks were detected in disk manager.

    Any hint or help would be greatly appreciated. :)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Setting up Raid5 via Uefi / Asrock FM2A88X-ITX

    I am experiencing essentially the same issue with the same board. I know I can set up a raid 5 array of 1TB drives using the legacy function but it maxes out at 1.8TB, which is pretty much pointless when running 4 disks, and I haven't been able to get the UEFI raid 5 to work either so any help would be awesome!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Setting up Raid5 via Uefi / Asrock FM2A88X-ITX

    I managed to make some sort of progress with my issue, after many hours of trial and error today. Turns out the shell refuses to acknowledge the existance of my hdds connected to SATA port 5+6. Connecting the drives I'm trying to use to SATA 1-4 caused them all to show up in the shell.

    Advancing me now to a point where I still cannot get the shell to actually do anything with them. Trying to initialize the disks with 'rcadm -M -id -d 0 1 2 3' (which is what the manual describes) returns 'Uninitialized disk or disk with unknown state found, Unknown Online, Disk X. Disk X not present or valid', where X is the number 0-3 for each disk.

    I'm not blaming the board for this, as it's not day-to-day use I'm trying to get out of it. Yet it feels odd that with a UEFI as user friendly as the one that comes with it it's such a devious and time consuming task to create an array like this. I can't help but feel that I went horribly off the right path at some point.. :P

    Screenshot3

    Again, any form of help would be greatly appreciated!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Setting up Raid5 via Uefi / Asrock FM2A88X-ITX

    I wonder if you initialize the disk using the legacy raid controller and then switch everything back to uefi if it will accept the configuration.

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    Default Re: Setting up Raid5 via Uefi / Asrock FM2A88X-ITX

    After days of fiddling I managed to resolve my issue. It turns out the EFI shell creates a new array for every disk connected, if no array exists that contains them. This didn't allow the disks to be re-initialized, as they were already "part of an array". Running 'rcadm -D -a 1 2 3 4' prior to 'rcadm -M -id -d 0 1 2 3' caused the disks to initialize, allowing them to be used for new arrays.

    @rossmilkq: Your solution didn't solve my issue, but was very helpful. The legacy controller gave me better feedback as to why disks couldn't be used, thus making me think about arrays I never created :) - So thank you for that!

  6. #6
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    Unhappy Re: Setting up Raid5 via Uefi / Asrock FM2A88X-ITX

    I am glad it started working for you. I finally got around to trying the shell and UEFI version, and it failed miserably it won't let me use the rcadm command saying its not recognized.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Setting up Raid5 via Uefi / Asrock FM2A88X-ITX

    Quote Originally Posted by rossmilkq View Post
    I am glad it started working for you. I finally got around to trying the shell and UEFI version, and it failed miserably it won't let me use the rcadm command saying its not recognized.
    The RCADM command isn't included in the standard EFI shell. You need to download it here: ftp://europe.asrock.com/<wbr>drivers/AMD/SATA/BoltonRAID(<wbr>v6.1.0.00117).zip
    Just put the rcadm.efi file on a FAT32 formatted USB thumbdrive and plug it into your computer during boot. The command will then be accessable in the EFI shell.
    It's kinda bad that it's not automatically included -_-

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Setting up Raid5 via Uefi / Asrock FM2A88X-ITX

    Quote Originally Posted by thetrueman2 View Post
    After days of fiddling I managed to resolve my issue. It turns out the EFI shell creates a new array for every disk connected, if no array exists that contains them. This didn't allow the disks to be re-initialized, as they were already "part of an array". Running 'rcadm -D -a 1 2 3 4' prior to 'rcadm -M -id -d 0 1 2 3' caused the disks to initialize, allowing them to be used for new arrays.

    @rossmilkq: Your solution didn't solve my issue, but was very helpful. The legacy controller gave me better feedback as to why disks couldn't be used, thus making me think about arrays I never created :) - So thank you for that!
    I followed this suggestion (thanks thetrueman2), but I had a nightmare with deleting the arrays, the answer to "Deleting array X, Are you sure (YES, NO)" is really daft and archaic. You are required to type in Capitals, and the word YES or NO in full. But what makes it so awful is that there appears to be a random timeout such that it will abort after typing "Y" or "YE". I finally got success after trying this about a dozen times. Crazy. It makes me wonder how many people have just given up at this point.

    FWIW, I have use the same disks in my other machine (Asus/Intel) and the raid setup works like a dream, nothing like this nightmarish circus.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Setting up Raid5 via Uefi / Asrock FM2A88X-ITX

    Quote Originally Posted by thetrueman2 View Post
    After days of fiddling I managed to resolve my issue. It turns out the EFI shell creates a new array for every disk connected, if no array exists that contains them. This didn't allow the disks to be re-initialized, as they were already "part of an array". Running 'rcadm -D -a 1 2 3 4' prior to 'rcadm -M -id -d 0 1 2 3' caused the disks to initialize, allowing them to be used for new arrays.

    @rossmilkq: Your solution didn't solve my issue, but was very helpful. The legacy controller gave me better feedback as to why disks couldn't be used, thus making me think about arrays I never created :) - So thank you for that!
    Thanks very much for posting your solution thetrueman. I've been having the same struggle with a similar configuration. In my case the 3 3TB drives were brand new, but they were still each put in individual arrays. Deleting those in rcadm arrays worked, and I was able to re-initialize them.

    BTW, I had previously tried deleting the arrays through RAIDXpert2 in Windows, but that was not possible.

    I have to say that I think you're a bit too forgiving of the ASRock set up procedure and manual description for GPT RAIDs. The process itself is unnecessarily convoluted, the manual is extremely vague and the apparently critical step of deleting the system-created arrays is not described at all. I wonder if there is any situation in which "Way 2" on pages 9, 10 and 11 would actually work as described.

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