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Filled up PCIe x1 slots in Zen


  10:56:35 pm, by The Dreamer   , 849 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Storage

Filled up PCIe x1 slots in Zen

When I had gotten Zen (HPE-450t), I couldn't resist and opened it up to see what it had inside, etc. And, one of the things I noted was that there were two available PCIe x1 slots.

Later during the initial setup, I found myself running out of physical USB 2.0 ports on the back. I did have a 7 port USB hub, but there's so many things out there that just don't like the extra layer of a hub. And, I had a lot of this things. While, I did later get a 24-port USB hub to help get everything connected to Zen. But, I felt that I needed to eventually get something in additional real USB 2.0 ports.

And, eventually I settled on wanting to get a StarTech 7 Port PCIe LP USB 2.0 Card (PEXUSB7LP). It actually only has 6 ports on the back, but it was the highest density PCIe x1 card I could find (there's an internal header, but its no use for me). I bought this back on Feb 3rd using Amazon Prime, of course.

Later as I was thinking of making my local backups go faster, I thought that I would grab one of the extra SATA RAID adapters (SIL3132 based)...that had come with the TR5M or its Rosewill clone...I didn't use either, because I had purchased on before I knew I was getting these enclosures for orac. And, the TR2UT that I had gotten initially didn't have a card....

Put that in Zen, and change how the TR2UT is connected to Zen now. Currently its using its built-in RAID1 ability and connected via USB2.0. I had tried both kinds of Windows 7 backups, but the file backups were taking longer than 24 hours to do the daily differentials...so I stopped doing that. But, the System Image Backup had saved me once before, so even though its a pain...I do that weekly...or try to.

I makes Zen pretty slow...the VSS really hurts things I guess, and it can take close to a day to run. Though it had been getting shorter, though for no reason that I know of. I used to start it at 11pm on Tuesdays, in the hope that it wouldn't impact me too badly come Wednesday night (I tend to be out the early part, so it would help). But, then it started taking less time. Perhaps there's been a Windows update to it. So, now I start it at 10am on Wednesday...usually well after I get my morning stuff done and off to work...and hope that in finishes before I return from my Wednesday evening activities....

Or come home to find out that it failed for some unknown reason and try again.

So anyways...on February 13th, I evidently bought a 2m eSATA cable from Amazon Prime for that project.

Meanwhile...Drobo S....

Having not done either of the things I thought of adding to Zen yet...and noting that it does have a pair of USB 3.0 ports in it. I thought about getting USB3.0 drive for. First a non-RAID external, a 3TB one...but Amazon Prime wasn't fast enough for the instant gratification of going that route and the local computer store had it for much more than Amazon did....

I then thought of other USB 3.0 options...and read that the second generation Drobo S would do USB 3.0....I've often thought about getting Drobo...since I've been collecting various large extra SATA drives. I had 2 1TB and 3 1.5TB drives that could go towards this....and eventually, I'm sure others will appear for future growth in this backup storage. So, a Drobo should fill this niche. Though one of the 1.5TB drives is now on TARDIS.

Though its kind of an investment...and there's a number of big purchases that I have on my list where I can only go with one at a time....and its more likely I'm back to getting the duplexing color laser printer that I was originally going to go for after I pay off the fridge (next month). Other possibilities include a D-SLR, new Stove, Windows 7 Netbook, MacBook Air, CPAP Battery, Intellipap Auto, 2m/70cm radio, HF Rig, or some combination of one or more... :hmm:

Tbough HVAC/HW improvement is likely to also be coming sooner than later.

But, as the idea of Drobo S being more and more likely, I started to wonder if I would go eSATA or USB 3.0 with it...and whether adding card would work or not. And, whether I would be getting some kind of intermediate drive before I get it. Plus its still a big of an investment. And, they do make enclosures like the TR2UT, but in 4 or 5 bays. Plus, I don't know if I need to have future growth in my backup raid. Perhaps another TR5M wouldn't be so bad. THough I'll probably need to study what the capabilities are of that, and figure out if I need to buy some new drives or can I get something using what I have.

Anyhoo...the System Image Backup seems to have taken just little big over 4.5 hours. Guess the upgrade is working and working well.

Wonder what I'll plug first into the new USB 2.0 card?

1 comment

Comment from: The Dreamer [Member]  

So, decided to go and pull the trigger on a TR5M-BP for NewEgg.com (only 0.4% to iGive/Sunflower CASA)….saw they offered 6 months to pay with bill me later if I got my order over $250….hmmm, wonder if it’ll still be there come July when I finish knock off another (of several) 6 months to pay deals on my bill me later account. :) Though I might not have the credit in my bill me later account, if I keep buying all the little things on eBay. Though I can’t carry any interest on the account….yet. Just seems easier than watching dozens of separate charges to Visa because I bought dozens of things on eBay the same day…..

Now this enclosure comes with a RR622 6G eSATA card. Instead of the SIL3132. Not using its RAID features yet, so I guess I’m not locked into anything. And, from what I’m reading…its much better on RAID5 performance than the SIL3132 is. Which I’m leaning towards doing for local disk backup for Zen (unlike the backuppc pool on Orac, which is RAID 10) Wonder if ubuntu/mdadm would see any advantage from switching from SIL3132 to whatever the RR622 uses? Wonder if it supports it. Had originally gotten the SIL3132 because it was going to be supported, but wasn’t when I first installed Orac….the support for the chipset came later.

I’d guess that mdadm doesn’t know or care about any on chip cpu assist features….probably would need to use the fakeraid support stuff, but I never had much success with them in the past…and don’t feel like futzing around with things on Orac. Perhaps something to look at when I re-build lhaven.

06/30/11 @ 09:22
Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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