Need help with PCI to IDE controller card
June 22, 2006 8:19 AM   Subscribe

Having problem with S.M.A.R.T data collection apps with IDE drives on a PCI to IDE card.

I have one of these PCI to IDE controller cards either from Sabrent or Syba. Both of these companies seem to sell almost identical cards based on Silicon Image chip.

This supports RAID. But I have not set it up to use RAID. I have an Abit AN7 mobo with an AMD Sempron CPU. This card is supposed to allow attaching up to 4 IDE drives.

On the primary channel I have two drives hooked up in Cable Select mode and using removable drive cages. On the secondary channel I have only one drive in Cable Select mode and using a similar removable cage.

Whenever I try to use one of those Hard disk monitoring apps that collect S.M.A.R.T data I get a hang when the apps gets to these drives and in the event viewer I see a timeout event. I dont have the exact message here with me. Then after a while I need to basically reboot the machine because everything starts to hang soon after this.

I have narrowed the problem down to connecting two drives to the primary channel. I did not try adding two drives to the secondary channel since I need to open the case and juggle things to do that. But as soon as I remove any one of the drives on the primary channel the SMART apps work fine. Do not know if the removable drive cages have anything do with it, or whether the card is bad, or I need to enable some settings somewhere.

I dont think the drives are the problem because I have tried a few different disk drives that I have lying around.

I was wonderinf if somebody has any idea about what may be the problem.
posted by flyby22 to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Have you tried setting the drives to be explicitly master/slave instead of using cable select?

Personally I've never had much luck with IDE cable select.
posted by chuma at 8:46 AM on June 22, 2006

My experience with IDE RAID cards is limited - but in general they like having one drive per channel. Maybe double check your docs and make sure that the card isn't trying to run in RAID mode?
posted by wfrgms at 8:48 AM on June 22, 2006

Also, what chuma said.... C/S is hit or miss sometimes.
posted by wfrgms at 8:49 AM on June 22, 2006

To do C/S properly you need:
  • drives that support CS and are jumpered to do CS.
  • an IDE controller that supports CS
  • an IDE cable that is wired to do CS. Meaning that on one of the IDE connectors pin 28 is not connected. The drive attached to that connector should become the slave.
It's possible that your IDE cable isn't wired in this way. Try another one or just ditch CS.
posted by chuma at 8:58 AM on June 22, 2006

Response by poster: Tried ditching the CS on the primary channel and set the master and slave jumpers on the drives. Did not help :-(
posted by flyby22 at 5:52 PM on June 22, 2006

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