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Dell SC1425 SBS 2k3 Crashing on high disk activity

Posted on 2007-11-26
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We have a Dell PowerEdge SC1425 with a built in SATA raid. We have recently rebuilt the machine with SBS 2003 R2 and replaced the original drives with 500gb SATA II Drives. See spec below. The machine also running Virtual Server 2005 SP1.

The machine hangs when the virtual server runs an NTBackup, and anything that requires high disk activity.

I am aware that the built in raid card is SATA I and we have used the jumpers on the drives to limit the speed of the drives to SATA I speeds but the system still crashes. We have had the motherboard replaced under warranty as we are suspecting a Raid card problem and we still having the same problem. The drives are brand new and pass all the Dell Diagnostic tests. Dell said that the Machine should run fine with the new larger 500gb SATA II drives. However I still suspect a problem with the Raid card and the SATA II Drives.

The raid card seems to be the same as the Adaptec 1210SA which i have see a number of posts of people having problems with but not the same ones as us.

We have tested the Virtual server on 2 other different hardware configurations one SCSI raid and the other single SATA drive connected to an on-board controller in different hardware and the virtual is working fine and the backup runs fine so we know the virtual is fine.

We are currently rebuilding the machine Host OS with 2003 std server as Dell say that SBS is not a supported OS on that hardware.

Spec:-

Dell PowerEdge 1425SC
2 x 500gb Western Digital SATA II drives
4gb Ram
Dual 2.8Ghz Xeon Processer

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Question by:BirchenallHowden
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by:mdcsea
ID: 20352054
If you check the RAID controller software logs or the Windows System Logs, do you see any controller or disk errors?  I really don't think this is SBS.

Have you tried different drives than the WD product in the array?  I have had many problems with WD drives - especially in Dell systems.

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by:lnkevin
ID: 20384747
It is not the OS does not support on that hardware, but normally people who run SBS always have heavy disk usage due to the main role such as: DC, Exchange, fileshare.... therefore, the hardware is not recommended to run this OS due to the performance issue as you have seen. I know that you are aware of the backward compatibility, but if you put a slow performance controller to work on a monster disk size, it will surely decrease the performance.

K
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by:BirchenallHowden
ID: 20913325
We eventually tracked down the problem, which it turns out affected both normal W2K3 and SBS2003 so it wasn't a uniquely SBS issue.

The 1425 has a RAID card which is a rebadged Adaptec 1210SA (This only supports SATA1 drives incidentally)

Whilst this RAID on paper can handle large drives it seems that in practice it could not seem to function when there was a lot of disk activity. We upgraded the RAID controller to a newer one (Adaptec 1420SA) and it seems to be functioning fine. It took a while before we were happy that the machine was completely stable.
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