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eSata cards (with port multiplier) hangs WS2012R2 RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a server that I just fully upgraded (new CPU generation, more memory, but more or less same family of hardware) from WS2008R2 to WS2012R2. My server has an eSata card connected to an external 5-pack of hard drives that are exposed via port multiplier. I've gone through 3 eSata cards and 2 different port multipliers, but for each one, I get some degree of freezing. With the Siig card, Windows would take over an hour to boot (unless I pulled the eSata cable...plugging it back in after booting caused the system to slow to a crawl). Siig says that card is not supported on 2012.  From there, I went to an Aleratec card and got the latest drivers online. I could see the drives here, but as soon as I accessed any of them, the system would freeze up (Explorer.exe would give "Not responding", and Disk Management would hang trying to connect to some service while HyperV would freeze trying to display VM settings...for reference, this is a HyperV server running another WS2012R2 instance as a guest that uses the drives). My 3rd card is a Mediasonic eSata card (2 port), drivers downloaded from their site. This one appeared to be great...I can on/offline the drives in disk management, and I copied 1.5 TB from one drive to another one twice. However, once I put the covers back on, it started behaving more like the Aleratec card...I can see the drives, but as soon as I get any kind of directory with more than a few entries, the whole system hangs. My remote session is still alive, but if I disconnect, I cannot reconnect to the server without a hard reboot.

    I'm wondering if maybe the problem lies in HyperV trying to access the drives (with the Mediasonic card...I'm not sure the Aleratec worked even without getting into HyperV). This only came up between 2008R2 and 2012R2, since my 2008R2 server setup handled everything fine. The motherboard manufacturer, etc. is the same, but it uses the 1151-pin Intel chipsets, but my BIOS is up-to-date.

    PS: I am about to give the latest WS2016 CTP a try to see if that helps. If that fails, I will go back to 2008R2 to see if I can rule out the motherboard as the cause. It is my hope that it is a version-specific HyperV + driver issue that might luckily go away in 2016, but I also hold out hope that there is some kind of configuration change I can make somewhere to fix the issue.

    Wednesday, June 22, 2016 2:03 PM

Answers

  • I believe the issue is resolved now. Classic driver problem. I had downloaded drivers for the previous two cards, but for some reason, port multiplier worked with the out of the box windows drivers on the 3rd card...initially. It abruptly started doing the usual behavior of handing the system after I had already used HyperV to copy over 4 TB of data! But the new drivers (ASMedia 106x 3.02 driver) work flawlessly, and my drives are now coming up OK again.
    • Marked as answer by RKPatrick Sunday, July 3, 2016 2:41 PM
    Sunday, July 3, 2016 2:40 PM

All replies

  • FYI, I no longer believe that this is a HyperV problem. I thought so initially as I successfully worked with the drives prior to offlining them for the VM. However, now that everything is put back together, the hardware is flaking again to the point of Server taking over an hour to boot (TONS of messages about waiting for the HDs to become available). I'm going to try some more specific drivers in hopes that maybe the ones I have don't support port multiplication, and I had a couple of working drive copies just on luck.
    Wednesday, June 29, 2016 5:36 PM
  • I believe the issue is resolved now. Classic driver problem. I had downloaded drivers for the previous two cards, but for some reason, port multiplier worked with the out of the box windows drivers on the 3rd card...initially. It abruptly started doing the usual behavior of handing the system after I had already used HyperV to copy over 4 TB of data! But the new drivers (ASMedia 106x 3.02 driver) work flawlessly, and my drives are now coming up OK again.
    • Marked as answer by RKPatrick Sunday, July 3, 2016 2:41 PM
    Sunday, July 3, 2016 2:40 PM