Aiby II and Dell 1600SC

Basil Hussain basil.hussain at
Fri Oct 29 04:15:00 CDT 2004


So, you have one of the Aiby II units as described on this page, yes?

May I ask, as the Aiby unit itself does its own RAID processing, why you are
connecting it to the external channel of your PERC4/SC card? It doesn't make
sense to have an external RAID unit controlled by an internal RAID
controller (you are trying to do IDE->RAID->SCSI->RAID). The only possible
way you might get this to work would be to have the Aiby 'drive' (as the
PERC sees it) configured as JBOD, or possibly a one-disk RAID 0.

Anyway, what you should be doing is connecting the Aiby to a 'straight' SCSI
channel (e.g. via a PCI card for the 1600SC, for example Adaptec 39160). I'm
pretty sure you can't get the external connector of a PERC4/SC to operate in
straight SCSI mode, as the board is only single-channel.

Being single-channel, your problems are likely to do with clashing SCSI IDs
or termination. I believe on the PERC4/SC, both the internal and external
connectors both belong to the same channel, so your internal drives and the
Aiby unit are sharing the same SCSI bus. So, check that the Aiby unit has a
SCSI ID set that doesn't clash with any of the 1600's internal drives, and
make sure it has termination set appropriately (probably a front-panel menu
option, or you may need an external terminator).

Hope this helps.


Basil Hussain
I.T. Systems Developer and Administrator, Kodak Weddings
basil.hussain at

> -----Original Message-----
> From: linux-poweredge-admin at
> [mailto:linux-poweredge-admin at]On Behalf Of Kanwar Ranbir Sandhu
> Sent: 29 October 2004 04:42
> To: linux-poweredge at
> Subject: Aiby II and Dell 1600SC
> Hi Everyone,
> Let me introduce myself: my name is Kanwar Ranbir Sandhu, and this is my
> first post to this mailing list.  I found out about this list from an
> article on a website sometime last year, but have only now subscribed.
> My question isn't quite on topic because the problem isn't with Linux
> distribution (at least it wasn't at first).  If it is off topic, I
> apologize and will go elsewhere.
> Anyway, we have a Dell PowerEdge 1600SC running RHEL 3.  We recently
> purchased an Aiby II to use as an external storage device for backups.
> It's connected to the external port of the PERC4/SC RAID card.  The Aiby
> II is setup as RAID 5 (four drives), and the server's internal SCSI
> drives are setup as RAID 1 (2 drives).
> Upon connecting the Aiby II to the server and booting the server (the
> power on the Aiby was turned on first), the server started to scream
> (the mega-horn, as I like to call it).  Upon entering the RAID
> controller's config utility, I discovered the second SCSI drive in RAID
> 1 (ID #1) had failed.
> Poking around a little more, and I noticed that the response from the
> RAID utility starts to slow down.  I took a look at the status of the
> physical drives, and the controller appears to be having a hard time
> communicating with the Aiby II.  For example, sometimes the Aiby is
> detected as a 80MB/Sec device, other times it's detected as a 40MB/Sec
> device.  There are also frequent lock ups (or what appear to be lock
> ups) in the config utility.
> The Aiby II itself will not initialize (keep receiving errors) after I
> configured it as a separate logical drive.
> The Aiby II is connected to the external connector of the PERC4/SC with
> a HPD to VHDCI SCSI cable (it's brand new).  But, I'm starting to
> suspect that the cable is faulty.
> Also, now when the server boots, there are a bunch of I/O errors being
> reported on drive 1 of the server's internal array.
> Does anyone have any insight into what the problem might be or where I
> should look?  I'm plumb out of ideas (as well as my co-worker), and for
> the life, I cannot figure out why the RAID controller isn't working with
> the Aiby II.  As far as I can tell from the Aiby II's LCD interface,
> it's functioning normally.
> I would appreciate any pointers.  Thanks in advance.
> Regards,
> Ranbir
> --
> Ranbir
> Systems Aligned Inc.
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