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#1 2013-02-13 12:17:30

Registered: 2012-08-29
Posts: 17

Odd Host Protected Area when moving disk to LSI controller

I got 3x3TB disks and want to build a new raid to replace the 5x1 that's currently in Luggage (my samba storage box - naming convention: Discworld characters)

I am completely out of sata sockets at present, so I borrowed an LSI SAS 3081E-R that's currently between servers at my workplace and popped it into my server with a SAS breakout cable and one of my 1TB disks attached to see how things went. The device shows up in lspci as:

02:00.0 SCSI storage controller: LSI Logic / Symbios Logic SAS1068E PCI-Express Fusion-MPT SAS (rev 08)

The right number of disks are present, but mdraid won't accept the disk that's attached to the LSI card. On closer inspection, fdisk -l shows sdg as being a 33MB disk with a 1TB partition on it. I googled about and "1TB 33MB" turned up some results about Gigabyte BIOSes adding a Host Protected Area (HPA) to disks at random. The motherboard in Luggage is a Gigabyte P35-... something. I suspect DS4 but I'm not actually anywhere near the box right now to check. Anyway, turns out that hdparm -N gives a report on the HPA status of a disk. Here it is on sde and sdg, where sdg is the one that's bene moved to the LSI controller.

[teaspoon@luggage ~]$ sudo hdparm -N /dev/sde

 max sectors   = 1953525168/1953525168, HPA is disabled
[teaspoon@luggage ~]$ sudo hdparm -N /dev/sdg

 max sectors   = 65134/1953525168, HPA is enabled

I've shut the machine down and moved the disk back to the onboard controller. With no further mucking about, fdisk -l and hdparm both show it as being normal again and mdstat shows a complete and happy raid. I'm running fsck on it overnight to make sure nothing's gone too badly.

Anybody know why the HPA would be appearing on a disk when it's plugged in to the LSI board, and have any hints or theories as to how I can make sure the disks stay happy as I move them back and forth between controllers?


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