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SysAdmin Blog

decommissioned my old 3ware PCI IDE RAID controller last night...

Alexander Bochmann Thursday 04 of July, 2013
...after it did it's job for the better part of ten years, protecting my data from various disk failures, the last of which happened a couple of days ago:

Jun 27 20:40:22 kernel: [10918375.319638] 3w-xxxx: scsi0: AEN: WARNING: ATA UDMA downgrade: Port #3.
Jun 27 20:40:22 kernel: [10918375.592804] 3w-xxxx: scsi0: AEN: ERROR: Drive error: Port #3.
Jun 27 20:40:22 kernel: [10918375.597060] 3w-xxxx: scsi0: AEN: ERROR: Unit degraded: Unit #2.

It was a 5000 series card, one of the first affordable "real" IDE RAID controllers (unlike the other cheap ones that did most of the heavy lifting in the driver software). I last used it in the single PCI slot of an Intel Atom board, with two 1TB SATA drives connected via IDE-SATA bridge boards - a setup that worked, but with several drawbacks (like no S.M.A.R.T support, which was added only in later 3ware products):

3ware IDE RAID controller

I've currently replaced it with a pure software solution - using the mirroring feature of Linux's new btrfs filesystem on two SATA disks connected directly to the Atom board. Remains to be seen if that works as reliable as the old setup.