Computer Hardware

bitfeniex prodigy with 7 hard drives

I bought this bitfenix prodigy case for about $30 off craiglist, someone didn’t like that it was white, and for $30, couldn’t be beat for this case. As it was retailing for about $80 at newegg/microcenter. I was going to build my girlfriend a new PC and thought ITX was the way to go, after building my own gaming rig on ITX, but using an SG05 ( linky to build ). We went to go look at some monitors at mirceoter, and ended up coming up with a sweet touch screen Dell for her. Nice and neat, and it saved us $1500 from buying an imac, LOL!

So what to do with this case, well, my current NAS was about 3~ years old, had about 2TBx7 HDD’s, and was running JBOD, so nothing fancy. It was a neat little water cooling server in an Antec 300, but I wanted to do something different. I actually had 7 WD 2TB RE4’s laying around not doing anything, so I thought lets build an awesome ITX NAS box! So here we are, throwing together a 7 HDD + 1 SSD NAS box running Windows 7.

I love building PC’s, and I love the fact I do it without cutting, or modding (maybe someday i’ll cut and mod), but I like to keep things stock as possible.

I purchased:

Adapec 5805 off ebay for $100, which has 2 8087’s internal, so I could use 2 fanouts for at least 8 drives. It also has 512MB of onboard memory for the raid 5 I wanted to do. Kicker was it came with a working BBU!

I also snagged a 150mm PSU that I read would fit nicely: Seasonic 360W 80PLUS Gold ATX12V Power Supply SSR-360GP
I got a Intel Pentium Processor G3220, nothing fancy, but it is a slight upgrade to my Q9550 that the server is currently running. No worries though, as I need ZERO cpu to RDP and just make sure everything is hunky dory.
I got a ASRock H81M-ITX, which is my first ASRock mobo, so far so good running this thing.
Couple with 4GBx2 DDR3 I had to purchase as well.

So far i’ll be using the intel CPU cooler, and might swap it out for something decent if I find this thing’s too loud.

I got some molex to SATA power adapters, as the PSU only came with 5 SATA power connectors. I also got some 8087 fanout cables I did not have, ran about $15 bucks for the 2 8087’s, and $10 for the 2x molex to sata connectors.

Swapped out the stock bitfenix brushless fans (model BFF-SCF-12025KK-RP) for my scythe SFLEX SFF21G’s hooked up to some devolts to 9v, so they’re nice and silent. I also purchased a nice bitfenix spectre 230mm fan, threw it up front to see it push some air. If this does not work, i’ll grab a 140mm or 120mm scythe i’ve got laying around and use that. I don’t need a LOT of airflow, but the more I can get while keeping silence would be great.

Here’s what 5 of my 6 drives look like … the SSD and other 2TB are in the 5.25″ bay.

[zp src=”P1040631.JPG” album=”blog/Bitfenix/” width=”600″]

I had one problem where I realized the 8087 connectors are a little tight … so I am not snapping in the 3 bay disk set as to not stress the card. This is what it looks like snapped in/stressed:

[zp src=”P1040629.JPG” album=”blog/Bitfenix/” width=”600″]

This is how i’ll leave it:

[zp src=”P1040630.JPG” album=”blog/Bitfenix/” width=”600″]

Computer Hardware Hard Drives

Windows 7 – Windows cannot be installed to this disk

I was trying to install windows on my new ASRock H81M-ITX motherboard and for some reason loading windows 7 pro 64bit to my OCZ agility 2 I got this error message:

Windows cannot be installed to this disk. This computer’s hardware may not support booting to this disk. Ensure that the disk’s controller is enabled in the computer’s BIOS menu.

BIOS saw 60GB SSD, the windows installer tool saw and let me format 60GB SSD, so if you are in my shoes and sounds similar, what I did to fix it was go to BIOS, enable SMART, DISABLE EXTERNAL (this seemed to do it), and enable HOT PLUG (not sure if needed, but I did enable).

Hope that helps!

Computer Hardware Hard Drives

Can Dell PE860 (power edge 860) run 3TB drives on the motherboard SATA?

I found out the answer is yes! I have hooked up 2 3TB drives into the onboard SATA and was able to successfully raid 1 them within Ubuntu 12.10. I was not able to do this with the Perc raid controller, as it only saw 2.2TB.

Computer Hardware Hard Drives

Samsung 830 256GB in raid 0 with Z77 chipset and TRIM

Got my new drives, two Samsung 830 256GB I then dropped them into an intel ROM raid 0 with Intel RST 11.6 drivers and I get some pretty great looking benchmarks AND TRIM! These were running on my Asus P8Z77-I DELUXE ITX motherboard.

[zp src=”AS-SAMSUNGRAID0.png” album=”vivi/” width=”600″]

The benchmarks speak for themselves. If anyone would like me to run some other tests, let me know.

This is the test PC build by the way : El Linko

Air Cards Computer Hardware General Computing Laptop

Panasonic Toughbook CF-53 MC7750 4G Verizon Issues – 2101 Error

We have a few new Toughbook CF-53’s in that occasionally get the 2101 error within Verizon Access. I was wondering if anyone else was having these issues? I am in touch with Panasonic, and Verizon on trying to get a permanent fix, but it seems to be very intermittent right now.

If I get a resolution, I will update this post.


OKAY, so I have two CF53’s with the issue. Been contacting verizon with no luck, finaly got a hold of the Panasonic wireless engineer and he shared with me some new software specific to these MC7750’s, and specific to this 2101 error. Basically what was happening was that the driver software was installing some connect option for Windows 7, it would sometimes install and conflict with Verizon Access Manager. So what he did was remove that from the installer, and bingo, worked like a champ…tried this one two laptops with error 2101.

Software :

Drivers from Panasonic: linky
Software from Verizon: linky

Make sure to uninstall all old drivers, and VZAccess Manager and then install the new ones.

Any questions let me know, I will try to assist.

Computer Hardware Gaming

FPS stuck at 50 in Diablo 3

I am not sure what was happening, but every time I would join a new game, hit CTRL + R (gives you ingame FPS) it would be locked at 50FPS, even with the limiter at 61, or even off. To fix it, I had to do the following :

For reference, I have an i5 2500k, 680GTX, 16GB DDR3, 256GB SSD.

Go to \Diablo III\D3Prefs.txt

Change setting LimitForegroundFPS from 1 to 0
LimitForegroundFPS “0”

I also reset LimitBackgroundFPS from 1 to 0
LimitBackgroundFPS “0”

This fixed it for me!

Computer Hardware

Hard Lockup’s With Asus P8P67PRO and Random Freezes

My PC :

i5 2500k
corsair 1050W
4x4GB DDR3 G.Skill
Asus P8P67 PRO REV3
Corsair M4
case – Corsair 600T

My PC was randomly locking up on me whenever it felt like. It was generally under 24 hours of being booted. I was replacing stuff left and right, and on a whim, tried just unplugging the USB3 Bracket, and it fixed it. I have had my PC on for over 3 weeks, NO lockups. Check that bracket, apparently it’s shit, at least in my case it was!

Computer Hardware Laptop

Lenovo x220 BIOS 1.26 – fixes suspend problem

Looks like my Lenovo x220 got a new BIOS update!

official download link : 1.26 BIOS

changelog :

UEFI: 1.26 / ECP: 1.13
– (New) Allow to enable WWAN and WLAN device simultaneously.
– (Fix) Fixed an issue that might not resume from suspend state with combination of
specific CPU and BIOS setting for Intel Hyper-Threading Technology.
– (Fix) Fixed an issue where the maximum number of failed password attempts for WMI
was not 3.
– (Fix) Fixed an issue that error message is displayed when system is undocked from

UEFI: 1.25 / ECP: 1.13
– (Fix) Fixed an issue where SATA BIOS might return timeout error with
SATA compatibility mode.
– (Fix) Fixed an issue where updating BIOS might not be completed if it is
executed after resume.

UEFI: 1.24 / ECP: 1.13
– (Fix) Corrected a description of VERSION in this README document.

UEFI: 1.24 / ECP: 1.13
– (New) Improved memory resource allocation process to reserve more memory space
for optional hardware devices.
– (Fix) Fixed an issue that intranet account login failure for ThinkVantage
Hardware Password Manager.
– (Fix) Allowed system recovery from POST 191 error without loading setup defaults
in BIOS setup menu by press F9 key.

UEFI: 1.22 / ECP: 1.12
– (New) Add support for old type external fingerprint reader.
– (New) Add support an option to change product name and version format in
– (Fix) Fixed an issue where system boot might be slow with special condition.
– (Fix) Fixed an issue where system might be halt when some mobile phone is
attached on USB port.
– (Fix) Fixed an issue where system performance might be down in high stress
– (Fix) Fixed an issue where Flash Update utility fails when DEP (Data Execute
Prevention) is enabled.
– (Fix) Fixed an issue that Hard Disk Password is unintentionally enabled for eSATA
HDD on dock.

UEFI: 1.21 / ECP: 1.11
– (Fix) According to the smartphone issue below, following smartphones are tested:
Motorola: Droid 2, Droid X
HTC: Nexus One, EVO, Droid Incredible, Droid Incredible 2, ThunderBolt, Aria
Samsung: Captivate, Galaxy Tab<

Computer Hardware Flash Drives General Computing

Corsair CMFVY3S vs CMFVY3 vs CMFUSB2.0

I am doing a second round of tests on my Corsair flash drives, first round was here : Link

Same hardware as the test rig :

Asus P8P67 PRO
i5 2500k
16gb ddr3
Corsair 600T case

Test devices :

Corsair Flash Voyager 32GB USB 3 (CMFVY3S-32GB)
Corsair Flash Voyager 16GB USB 3 (CMFVY3-16GB)
Corsair Flash Voyager 1GB USB 2 (CMFUSB2.0-1GB)

The newest one being the CMFVY3S-32GB. I also took a picture of them, as usual, nice and weak iphone 4 photo :

[zp src=”corsair voyager2.JPG” album=”blog/corsair usb3/” width=”600″]

Right to Left (16GB USB3, 1GB USB2, 32GB USB3)

First test is the CMFVY3S-32GB

[zp src=”32gb-usb3.jpg” album=”blog/corsair usb3/” width=”600″]

Second is the older generation USB 3, CMFVY3-16GB

[zp src=”16gb-usb3.jpg” album=”blog/corsair usb3/” width=”600″]

And the third is my 6 year old USB 2, CMFUSB2.0-1GB

[zp src=”1gb-usb2.jpg” album=”blog/corsair usb3/” width=”600″]

overall, very similar speeds, in a smaller device, when comparing the two usb3 drives. The old style is a bit bigger, and the new one is the same size as the old usb2 drives, which people will like. The newer drive has about double the writes as the old drive, but the old drive seems to have higher 4K and 4KQD32 compared to the new drive, almost double!

I like them both, they’re high capacity, but I would probably go with the newer one based on size alone, and speed bump in the write arena.

Computer Hardware Laptop

Lenovo x220 BIOS 1.21 – fixes CPU throttling problem

update : 1-17-2012 a newer BIOS is out which includes these changes :

Go Here

Looks like my Lenovo x220 got a new BIOS update!

official download link : 1.21 BIOS

Version 1.21

[Important updates]

[New functions or enhancements]
– Improved system performance when heavy program is executed with 65W AC adapter.
– Improved system boots time.
– Disabled keyboarding while the lid was closed to avoid unexpected key input
when the computer was held with the lid closed.

[Problem fixes]
– Fixed an issue where the computer might not be booted from bootloader program.
– Fixed an issue where a 1820 error might occur at power-on when the external
fingerprint reader device was attached to the computer while the integrated
fingerprint reader was disabled in the ThinkPad Setup.
– Fixed an issue where the computer might fail to boot when connected the
Smartphone with the USB port.
– Improved cooling fan noise.
– Corrected spelling mistakes in BIOS setup menu.


Reports so far are that it has improved WEI score (useless, I know, but some enjoy big numbers).

One user said : “As for the throttling fix. It appears to be working, when I run OCCT (the graphic/cpu stress) the cpu does not go to 800mhz, GPU is mostly at the 1300mhz turbo boost but fluctuates a little bit, so does the CPU but its mostly at 3.2-3.4ghz on both cores during the test. Before when running OCCT the CPU would drop to 800mhz.”

A lenovo staff member is quoted saying : ”

The version released yesterday is the version I was expecting later this month as I said yesterday. I didn’t realize, but the support team expedited it through. The internal testing shows good improvement on throttling with benchmarks and lab tests.”

Other users said they still experience the throttling though. Me personally, do not have the issue since BIOS 1.19

You can view the throttle issue thread here : link