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MidnightUT

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Everything posted by MidnightUT

  1. Hey All, I 400GB drives finally got cheap enough that I ordered 3 for a nice RAID 5 setup. Naturally as I'm eagerly anticipating the UPS guy in the next day or two I started sifting through the forums to see if I could absorb some wisdom from others who have similar setups. Needless to say I was pretty disappointed to read all the posts about how terrible the SIL 3114 chipset's implementation of RAID 5 is, especially since this was one of the key features that got me to buy this board over some of the other models. Some Background Information The biggest complaint I've the most about is the horribly slow write speeds(looks like about 5-10MB/s from the benchmarks I've seen). While this will be a bit irritating it's not exactly the end of the world for me. I mainly just want a giant chunk of space for mass storage. I have plenty of smaller, faster drives for all my active use, and I can schedule overnight backups to write to the RAID 5. The most important thing for me is to have a good reliable backup, I'm going to be putting family photos, wedding pictures, all my purchased music etc on the RAID and it will be my only copy in some instances even though I'll try hard to archive the absolute most important stuff to other drives or DVD. It is also important for me to try to find as cheap a solution as possible without sacrificing reliability. In other words I know getting a nice dedicated hardware RAID5 card would be optimal, but I spent several months of savings on the hard drives so its not going to happen. But anyway enough rambling. The Questions 1) Is the built in SIL 3114 RAID 5 implementation "good enough" for my needs? Which are basically reliable mass storage where speed is nice but not really that important. 2) Would Windows software RAID5 be a better choice? By better choice I mean is it more reliable, faster, more portable, any/all of the above? I've used software RAID5 in Windows 2003 Server, so I'm mainly just interested in how it compares to the 3114 implementation. 2a) Does the registry hack to enable RAID5 in XP Pro still work? I haven't researched it yet to see if its still possible to enable it, I know it used to work. 3) I could possibly spend another $125 or less if the added reliability, portability, speed, peace of mind, etc justify it. It'd be painful on the wallet, especially with it being the holiday season, but if its an absolute must I'm not going to be unreasonable. In this case I could either use the extra money to buy a 4th drive and use another flavor of RAID, or I could buy a raid controller card of some sort. Between the two I'd rather buy a RAID 5 card of some sort, and have the ability to add a 4th drive later and the flexibility to move it to a different computer. This is actually a ton of questions jumbled together 3a) If the answer to 3 is a yes, and the consensus is that a card is the way to go, what are some good options in the $125 and less range? I like the looks of the Highpoint RocketRAID 2300 at Newegg, but I'm open to suggestions. Sorry for the long post, but thanks in advance to any guidance! -Mid
  2. MidnightUT

    RAID 5 Questions

    Thanks for the great reply! I won't be keeping my companies books on it, but family photos are probably worth just as much to me. Some great suggestions. I've looked at the FreeNAS software and had thought about going that route. I hadn't thought about the low cost of the components before you mentioned it. I've got a spare case and a solid power supply. All I'd really need would be a cheap mobo with built in video (for setup only), a cheap CPU and a stick of RAM. I've actually got a mobo/cpu/ram laying around but it doesn't have SATA ports so I'd have to buy a card if I went that route. One of my drawbacks of going the NAS route is that I'd be tempted to leave it on all the time. So that'd be one more computers worth of electricity, and more importantly one more computers worth of heat. As you mentioned I'm in Texas and its amazing what one computers worth of heat adds to a house. Granted I could just not be a lazy butt and turn it off when I'm not using it but what fun is that? And I think your right. I should toss the Windows hack out, the software raid card is probably a better solution all around if I don't want to limp along with the SIL and decide not to go the NAS route. Definitely some more options to ponder, thanks again for your suggestions and insight. -Mid
  3. MidnightUT

    RAID 5 Questions

    I'm a moderate gamer, a computer enthusiast, and a recovering college student. In other words I'm poor I'm a big fan of "bang for the buck" as it lets me enjoy my hobby to the fullest with a limited budget. And as far as "bang for the buck" goes it doesn't get any better than RAID5 as its a somewhat cost effective way of maximizing storage space while still maintaining data integrity as it gives you (n-1)/n storage space where just about every other method gives you n/2. Speed isn't the only benchmark of performance, to me reliability + maximum storage space are king. I've got my Raptors for speed, and my demands just aren't that high. As far as powering all the drives I don't think I should really have a problem. I'll let someone else chime in here as I haven't looked at power specs of different components in quite some time. I've got a good solid 520 Watt power supply, even if I was draining maximum power through the processor, video card, and all 5 hard drives at the same moment it should be enough. Close to the limit probably from the numbers I remember, but I can't think of a single instance where I'd be doing that anyway. Again definitely correct me if I'm wrong here, and I'll look up some of the specs if I get time as its something to think about. And I'm perfectly content with the speed of my processor, my 2 gigs of RAM, my nice shiny PSU. For a lot of people your suggestion might make sense. For me however I'm having a storage space shortage so hard drives are where my money is going. Thanks for the suggestions though, looking at things from every different angle helps. -Mid
  4. MidnightUT

    RAID 5 Questions

    Have you tried RAID 5 out on the SIL in a real world setting? I'm okay with "slow" as long as its not "unusably slow" for just simple data storage which shouldn't require that much speed. Granted if we're talking actual write speeds of 2-3MB/s that would almost make it unusable even for mass storage, unless you've got an insane amount of patience. About the only thing I'd actively do on the drive would be file searches, listen to some mp3s, open a few jpegs for viewing only. And occasionally watch or stream a video from it. And in the worst case for the video I'd even put up with copying the files to one of my smaller "active use" drives first. And your point on the software raid controller is well taken. I was just thinking that: 1) it couldn't be any slower than the SIL chip 2) It'd allow me to transfer the RAID to another computer if the mobo ever died on this one or if I just needed to move it 3) It might be slightly more reliable, and definantly easier to upgrade as I don't think DFI has incorporated any of the SIL BIOS upgrades into the official DFI Mobo BIOS upgrades have they?
  5. Thanks to everyone that helped. I tested things extensively last night and didn't have any problems! So the solution was to upgrade to the latest version of the firmware for my router. I have no idea why I never had problems before I reformatted my computer, it could have just been coincidence, it could have been something in the newer ethernet drivers didn't like the old router firmware, it could have been something just got corrupt in the router firmware and even reinstalling the old could have fixed it. Who knows, I'm just glad to have things working normally again. Thanks again to everyone who offered help and suggestions! -Mid
  6. I've been trying to figure this out for a few days, I've had no luck so I'm hoping someone can help me. I recently reformatted my computer and did a clean install of XP Pro. Completely up to patch, latest Chipset drivers (6.86, SMBus & Ethernet drivers only), latest nVidia graphics drivers, latest Realtek drivers, etc. Here is my problem... After I boot it up everything works normally, but after 5-20 minutes of use the internet stops working. As in Firefox, Internet Explorer etc all give your typical "This page cannot be displayed" error. However ping and tracert still work. I can still connect to my other computers over the network. My other computers can all still access the internet perfectly fine, just internet browsing stops. I've tried reinstalling drivers, I've tried using both the nvidia ethernet port and the marvell one, both suffer the same problem. In fact if I use the nvidia one until it stops, I can switch the cat5 over to the marvell one and it starts working for another 5-20 minutes then dies as well. I've tried flushing the dns, releasing and renewing the IP address. I've tried the WinsockXPFix. Nothing seems to help. I had no problems before I reformatted, but now its driving me crazy. I've searched the forums and Google and haven't found any solutions to this problem, and only a few other people that seem to be having the exact same symptoms. Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks, -Mid
  7. Hey Erico, Thanks for the suggestions. I'm using Time Warner Roadrunner. I've got a good strong connection, with downloads in the 6-7Mbps range, although my upload is crap as its capped at 384kbps. I haven't tried bypassing the router and directly connecting to the cable modem yet. I thought about this last night as I was upgrading the firmware on my router. If I am still having problems tonight when I test things out, I'll be sure to try this. So far though when I start having problems on the computer, the rest of the computers in my house still work perfectly. Granted all I did was open a browser to make sure I could get to google okay. Next time it happens I'll preform more extensive tests on the functionality of my other computers. If updating the firmware on my router didn't work, and hooking it up directly to the modem fails, I'll try using a Knoppix DVD or some other Linux LiveCD/DVD and see if I have problems under linux, if not that'll point to a software issue under windows. Again, thanks to everyone and hopefully this thread can help someone in the future once we get things resolved. -Mid
  8. Great suggestions all around! I've swapped out cat5 cables both between the wall and my computer, as well as between the patch panel and the switch, no change. I've got concurrent half connections set to 2048, with 120 second timeouts. I can move that up to a max of 4096, but supposedly things get a bit unstable if you use the max, so I'd probably move it up to ~3000 if I notice 2048 to not be enough. So far I haven't used much more than about 500 at once under normal heavy browsing. I've got a Linksys WRT54G v3.1 running DD-WRT v23 SP2. When I use p2p I use uTorrent. The problem happens whether I run uTorrent or not, although it does seem to happen a bit faster if I've got it running (by about 5 minutes or so, but thats pretty subjective). In any case after yesterdays upgrade to v23 of DD-WRT I was only able to use the computer for about 10-15 minutes, and it didn't mess up. So I'm hopeful that this fixed the problem. However, its gone that long before, not often but it has so I'm not completely sure the problem is fixed. I'll do a lot more testing tonight. Thanks for everyone's help! My sanity appreciates it. -Mid
  9. Thanks again for the responses. I've been keeping an eye on the event viewer from the beginning and nothing that could/should be relevant to my problems. I also forgot to mention earlier I installed the EventID 4226 patch as part of my normal routine, but I was actually having the problem before I got around to installing it so it was not a cause nor a fix. As far as firewalls go I don't run one typically. I keep my boxes good and secure, and on top of that I'm behind a NAT router which is as good enough for me. I just turned on the Windows firewall the other day out of desperation for something to "magically" work. HotGaxAxe, Thanks for your thoroughness! Great minds must think alike. About the only thing I hadn't messed with was my router, other than rebooting it etc. I figured it was time to revisit DD-WRT v23, I tried back when v23 SP1 had just been released and it was very unstable for me so I reverted back to v22 which was a bit flakey now and again but stable for the most part. In any case I went through the hassle of upgrading to v23 SP2 and getting all my settings and tweaks reconfigured, and so far I must say it doesn't have the stability issues of the first releases of v23. I hope it continues to be solid because its got a lot to offer over v22. I haven't had a chance to see if it fixes my problem yet or not as I've been busy getting ready for the upcoming work week. I'll report back when I know more. And to further clarify, my DHCP leases are assigned to my computers by MAC address and the lease times are set to "forever" so my box always has the same IP address. Even if not I shut it down every day, so its typically only on for 6-10 hours at a time. Also I've got my IP Filter settings set to 2048 maximum ports, and 120 second TCP and UDP lease times. Version 23 has a nice way to monitor the number of open ports so if I start getting close to 2048 I'll bump it up some. Thanks again! -Mid
  10. Manually assigning my computer its IP address did not fix the problem. The internet still stopped working after a few minutes. I also tried reverting to the 6.66 Nvidia chipset drivers from the DFI website, but no change in behavior. However I have found that once the internet stops working if I unplug the cat5 from the switch, wait a few seconds, and plug it back in everything starts working again for another short period of time. I'll continue tinkering and see if I can find a solution. Thanks again, -Mid
  11. Thanks to all the replies. Some good suggestions that I hadn't thought to try. Next time it dies I'll put in proxy settings to see if it starts working. I'd prefer not to use this as a long term solution, I'd rather find a fix that lets my computer just behave normally. But it will be good to know if it works or not, and hopefully it'll narrow things down further. My IP is statically assigned to my computer through DHCP by my router (Linksys WRT54G running DD-WRT .22). I havn't tried manually assigning this ip to my computer. Good idea though, I'll give it a try. I also haven't installed any nonstandard software. Just drivers, firefox, speedfan, a game or two, and Windows patches. No optimizers, no Nvidia firewall, tried with Windows firewall on and off no change. I'll report back if any of these fix my problems. Thanks already! -Mid
  12. Yes that is similar to what I am experiencing. So long as it is shut down normally I can do the "quick tap" method to reboot it. However if I shut it down during post it is dead as dead can be until I turn off the rocker switch on the PSU and let the power drain.
  13. Hey Guys, First off I want to say I think DFI is an awesome company and I love how they cater to the end user. It has been a wonderful experience. I too have the cold boot issue with an OCZ 520W and am a little bit dissapointed with how the issue has been handled by DFI, way too much finger pointing has gone on and it took way too long for DFI to even admit there was a cold boot problem. To me it looks like both the motherboard AND powersupply companies are to blame and it'd be great if they'd get together and resolve this issue. Obviously there is a specification somewhere that isn't being adhered to and hopefully there is a fix. I'm not overly upset with DFI because the problem exists, it would have been hard for them to forsee this issue. What does dissapoint me is that DFI really needs to update the reccomended power supply list (if they haven't already as I haven't looked at it lately) and point out the power supplies that some users have had problems with. I'm sure many users out there are in my situation and don't have a lot of money. When I was picking out my components I didn't realize that this motherboard had such a high powersupply requirement, and that the 450W Antec I had barely missed the cut. While I'm sure it would have been fine I was planning on overclocking and eventually adding RAID5 so I wanted to be sure and have enough power. I saved up and bit the bullet and afte rmuch research through the forums I picked the OCZ520 from the power supply Alist. Only to find out that I had more problems than with my solid little 450. All I know is that now that this issue does exist DFI needs to own up to it and at least inform the users so that they can hopefully avoid it. Anyway, sorry this has rambled on so long but just one more quick thing. As I can't afford another new power supply right now, nor do I really want the hassle of sending in the motherboard for a possible fix to a problem DFI says they don't have and that I haven't even heard much about. Despite this the cold boot problem isn't really effecting me right now as I'm doing the "Quick Tap" method I mentioned in a previous post. I turn my computer off every night, and when I start it up the next day just a really fast tap to the power switch fires it up every time. I'm not sure it will work for everyone but its at least worth the attempt as it has saved my sanity. I just hope this method isn't damaging anything I don't know about Thanks, Mid
  14. Hey Guys, Haven't posted in a little while, because unfortunately I have no good news to report. I'm still maddeningly close to getting my box stable but dual prime keeps dieing on me after 7-8 hours if I try to run my HTT at 295 and putting my Ram on a 05/06 dvider (putting the RAM at ~242Mhz). If I prime either the CPU or RAM overclocks individually I have no problems, but as soon as I try to do both and put the RAM on a divider it'll cough and die after several hours. I don't think its a heat issue as my temps are at about 48, 48, 50 after about 4-5 hours of dual prime (dang the Texas weather). Anyway, I'm mostly just venting frustration here, but I'm welcome to any off the wall suggestions you might have. I've tried tight timings and lose timings and every suggested set of timings that have shown up here as well as a myriad of settings in between. About the only thing I've learned is my sticks really like 2.66V anything more or less prime fails about an hour sooner. Anyway, off to start another 8 hour priming session, I just wish the dang things would fail sooner I'm running out of movies to watch while I wait .
  15. Nice OC d3M0n! Hopefully I can get mine stable at 270, I didn't have time to put it through more than a handful of configurations last night. A quick question. Would it be better to run this RAM with a 09/10 divider at 270 with semi loose settings, or tighter timings with a 05/06 divider at 245.5. I was able to get my memory to run at 2.5-3-3-8 @ 245.5 with everything else at Auto for 45 mins before failing test 5 so with some tweaking it should be able to run stable hopefully. I read through Angry's thread on the subject but he is comparing two diffferent brands of memory so I don't think its a good representation of this situation. What is the general consensus on this memory? 09/10 divider with loser timings, or 05/06 with tighter? Also I'm not concerend with pure benchmark numbers as much as I am true impact on gaming/video/audio encoding etc. I will continue to research and experiement, just trying to decide which path to tackle first and thought someone might have some experience.
  16. Hey all, Just wanted to say thanks to everyone's contributions so far. I'm on a quest to hit 270 so I can run at 9/10. I had almost given up hope before I found this thread, while nothing specifically helped me seeing that 270 is definantly achievable I renewed my efforts and used some of your postings as starting points. I'm guessing I've put about 10-15 hours into this RAM (not counting testing) with it ALWAYS failing at 98% on the first run of Test #5. Specifically in the last 5-10MB with error-bits 02000000 to the tune of 20-50K errors depending on the settings used. I was starting to get dismayed again after trying almost every sensible range and combination of settings when I applied some "last ditch logic". I was thinking that since it fails in the same point in the second stick of RAM, it must be weaker, so maybe if I swap the two sticks the weaker one can nuzzle up under my giant Zalman and benefit from the unintentional cooling. Low and behold, I started up test #5 and it passed clean through 8 times before getting two errors. Anyways just thought I'd add this tidbit in case it saves anyone else some sanity. I'm not out of the woods yet, but at least I can see some sunlight through the treetops. Now off to start the whole process over for a third time but I'm hopeful once again. Thanks again guys.
  17. Hey ytareh, There is a big long thread on this issue at: http://www.dfi-street.com/forum/showthread...13&page=1&pp=15 I also started experiencing cold boot issues last night after overclocking this weekend. I found a solution in that thread that helped me, but there are several others that might help as well if this doesn't. For me if I quickly tap the power switch on my case instead of pushing it like normal the computer boots up fine. Otherwise I have to turn the rocker switch on the PSU off, or unplug it and let the status light on the motherboard die before it will boot normally. Hope this helps!
  18. Hey Everyone. New to the board, I just built my computer a week or two ago and just set to OCing it this weekend. My experience is almost the same as Gandalcrap's. My board initially had no problems with cold boot, but after my overclocking session this past weekend it has stopped cold booting without first turning off the rocker switch to drain all power from the mobo. However as Gene first mentioned and Gandalcrap repeated if I quickly tap the on switch on the case the computer boots up every time. I tried adjusting voltages to RAM etc with no luck before I found this fix, I haven't tried setting all settings back to default and return to stock speeds but I can if this will help anyone in any way. I will continue to monitor this thread as I'm interested if there is a final solution or explaination. A quick history. Built thecomputer a week or two ago, used with no problems. Switched to OCZ Powerstream 520 on Thursday, initially saw no problems. Overclocked all weekend and startes seeing cold boot issues for the first time Sunday evening. However I don't shut the computer totally off very often its possible I've only turned it off 2 or 3 times since Thursday when I put the Powerstream 520 in. Thanks for all the input from everyone, especially the quick tap solution that seems to be working for me!
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