Cable set F/ MCIO connector not communicating with backplane

I’ve gone through just about everything I can think of with this build and still can not figure it out. I am hoping someone can help.

I have an AsRock Rack BERGANID8-2L2T motherboard and originally ordered the HL15 with data cable set F. When it arrived, I noticed the MCIO cable was not correct and reached out to 45Homelab support and they sent me a different MCIO cable set to connect to the backplane. This time the connector was right. Althought now I am not able to communicate with the drives, through cockpit or manually with dalias -t. I changed the MCIO width in the bios thinking maybe it was that, but the MCIO connector isn’t showing anything plugged into the motherboard as well.

I know the backplane is functional, in my frustration and waiting for the new cables to arrive, I ordered a cheap HBA card and some SFF-8643 to SFF-8643 cables. With that installed I was able to see the hard drives. I really didn’ t want to go this route, but unless someone has some insight, it may be my only option.

Which CPU?
Which header are you trying to connect to? MCIO3? It is in SATA mode, not PCIe mode?
Are you only trying to access 8 total drives? How are you connecting the others to the mobo?
SAS or SATA drives? Spinners or SSD?

Although very unlikely, is it possible 45HL sent a “reverse” cable rather than a “forward” cable?

I think seeing the drives in the BIOS would be the first hurdle.

Latest BIOS firmware?

MCIO01 and MCIO02
Seagate EXOS 8TB Sata.
Im not sure about the cables, they don’t have any information on them except a label of P2/P3 on the SFF-8643 side.
Latest BIOS/Firmware

My reading of the manual was that only MCIO3 supported configuring it as x8 SATA connections.

Would the backplane be considered SATA? So 8 drives on MCIO03 and the rest on an HBA card? Or just buy a 4 port HBA and run them all through that and drop the MCIO connections.

Yes, each of the SFF-8643 connectors support four SATA channels (drives) each. Technically, the backplane supports a superset of SATA called SAS.

This is really up to you. I don’t know your original impetus for not wanting to use an HBA. If you just thought your mobo would support all 15 drives natively, or if you are loading out the PCIe slots with other cards. In theory an 8i HBA should require less PCIe lanes than a 16i HBA depending on the PCIe generation. Also, it looks from the manual that you can run 4x SATA drives off the m.2 slots, so if you really wanted to avoid an HBA you could possibly put m.2 to 4x SATA adapeters in the two m.2 slots. You’d of course then need to address your boot drive situation. I’m assuming you’ve probably got a RAID 1 boot config for the m.2s.

My guess is using MCIO3 paired with an -8i HBA would give you the most flexibility and efficient use of PCIe lanes.

Which HBA did you buy to confirm the backplane?

I don’t have any issues using a HBA, I asked for recommendations from 45HL, but they sent me different MCIO cables instead.

This unit is my personal homelab server, so I’m fine with additional costs, but I’m set to deploy 3 more of these and I had hoped to keep cost down.

The card was a quick pick up from Amazon to test out and see if the issue was something else.

My goal is for this unit to be the fastest that it can be. I have 2 2TB NVMe Samsung 990 Pro’s in the M.2 slots. The 15 will be Exo’s and SSD mixed.

I want planning a video card, but might consider it for Plex transcoding.

Assuming I am correct about MCIO3 and you get that working, I think using that for 8 of the drives and the 9300-8i for the other 7 (or vice versa) is what I’d do. If you are going to just use SATA drives, the 9300-8i is actually overkill. You could save $30 and get the 9211-8i. That would mean different (SFF-8087) cables. But, the 92xx class is all you need for 6gbps SATA.

Your “cable set” won’t be one of the standard ones, so when you order the other three units, I’d send them a note and explain what you need–1x MCIO and 2x SFF8643 or whatever–and hopefully they’ll hook you up without any additional charge or hassle.