Chieftec SATA Backplane: Stay away

I am talking about these here: http://tinyurl.com/5trvx
They are also avaibable in white and also seem to sold
unbranded.

I had serious problems with them under Linux, other
operating systems may be affected as well.

I got numerous hard and permanent kernel freezes with a Promise 150
TX4 on disks in the third slot from the top when resyncing a RAID5 on
them. (Observed with two different backplanes.)  The signal lines on
this slot (and possibly to a lesser degree on the other ones) seem to
have a misalignment problem, possibly due to long signal lines on
the PCB and imprecise manufacturing. The misalignment leads to command
timeouts on the SATA data bus. This can habben within seconds
of disk access, but I also had one case were no problem happened for
several hours of intensive disk access.

This was with Kernels up to 2.6.9-rc2 (newest at the time of test)
which cannot handle the resulting problem gracefully and freeze after
a short error message. The disks were 8 Maxtor 6Y250M0.

See bug 3418 (http://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=3418)
on the kernel bugzilla for the whole adventure I had before
I finally identified the problem.

Side note: The cooling is also not very good. The disks are hot,
even in an air-conditioned server room and with little disk
activity.

Arno
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