How to pick a  RAID card, not using the OEM versions (HP/DELL)?       
           See heat issues first.

Given, you already decided Hardware RAID over pure software raid.
( One advantage of Hardware RAID is the firmware cannot be virus infected)
You desire RAID only for the UPTIME (and even 2 drives fail but the Array is ONLINE) reasons not for Backup. (backup is a whole other topic and very important additional strategy/task)
The only detraction on HW RAID, is cost, many say it costs too much, but in fact you can buy the Last Generations of cards cheaply used. (the flashed fresh).
(No lie ZFS RAID-Z is good or better but you will need to learn SUN Solaris, or not so good  as seen here, but gee why not just build a new NAS and copy old NAS to new.? (due to expansion limits on old NAS ZFS))
Before deciding what to buy , consider what you will want there 1 to 5 years looking forward (bigger arrays?) or SSD swaps or even more important what if one drive fails hard. (hard fail means hdd x is zero RPM dead)
The one thing that everyone wants is the best management tools, (like MSM or like HP tools for RAID.) ( add a drive , swap one, or migrate a volume  or other jobs relate are key to your success and downtime avoidance)
My comments are for SOHO, Small office/home office. Say 10 Drives max. (not a server farm , making up some  kind of CLOUD) {SCALE SMALL below}
My home servers only server 2 purposes (both ) MKV streaming video server (1TB) {zero porn here!}  and a home photo server (50 years of photos; even back to Viet Nam and a backup mkv video file server only) (sub lan only)
One side topic is to save lots of money with only one SSD 2.5"SATA drive , and all you have onboard your old 2008 PC, is a slow SATA-II (ver2) 3Gb/s slow. 300MB/s slow.
The cheap fix here is the LSI-9211 card (with 4 ports is cheaper still) or CROSSflashing it to HBA ROM.(free) (or the IBM M1015 (best price of all ) , Dell H200 (best Dell price used) PERC or H310 card same) Find the card that costs less now and buy one.
The fact is many (vast) servers are now taken off line, world wide the secret is to grab a cheap card now.  (all are 6Gb./s cards)! See my bench mark here for 1  SSD
This card is SAS bus ports that  do in fact run any SATA drive made, with the correct cables. (or shop other cards that have the spec, 6G ! the cheapest $10 cards are not.

Let us dig in to HW RAID IDEAS:
Cash , how much is your Purse?  Lets say $500 max. (every pocket has limits, but this is mine )
Time , or how old should you go (technology wise), answer 10 years, old max.
The magic of " Redundant Array off inexpensive disks" R.A.I.D technology.  (avoid all SFF8484 relic cards)
On Hardware raid,  software raid is another animal, and is as NEAR as good , in the high end, market. (read up on FreeNAS)
The below assumes you do not run external HDD. (or boxed drive cages using special external RAID cards)
This page is for home use not Enterprise servers or production of any kind, one example is  great home video server. Sub-LAN bound, (and a backup server)
We want to use true firmware Raid and not run HBA+ZFS software raid.
If you did run ZFS(Raid_Z) you'd need and HBA card to get you to 10 drives, or more, as most home PCs (non servers) do not have 10  drive ports. (3 to 6 is par) So you still need a new card (new to you)
If wise you want to run real SAS drives, not SATA or silly SATA with SAS converters in them or attached. REAL Enterprise grade SAS from Seagate or IBM /HP or the like.
We want  internal SAS controller,  (one best bang for buck controller is LSI-9260 for $36 used {drivers-here}  But for me the dirt cheap 9211 works great and my P410 (my favorite is this card from HP)
The 9260 is known to work best on SSD drives.(raw speed) using the "800MHz PowerPC LSISAS2108 ROC" chip. +72 hour battery backup to boot.
You have a mobo(motherboard) with 1 free express x8 v2.+ slot that works correctly or x16 v2 or 3, slot that is not crippled as many cheap mobo are. All eight lanes X8 work right.
You want RAID for one reason, so if 1 drive fails,  the system does not go Off-Line.  (a very very noble cause if ever there was.... IMO) other wise buy a 1TB SSD and be happy.
RAID will not protect you from virus damage, or applications (or people) going wild and damaging data nor the PSU exploding, and blowing up tons of electronics connected. (over-voltage events or lightning damage)
Know that the free application program from Broadcom.com  called MegaRaid management runs on all LSI cards listed  here and below. 9211 and 9260 (the software has  readme.txt that covers this, RTFM.
The 9211 is and its clones are by far the best deals sold uses $20 easy , bid or make offer Ebay. (used for RAID or HBA )

The RAID features are rich and complex,  in fact the newer the card (or system) the more complex and smarter the cards have become....  (endless topic , wiki it please)
Reasons to be here:
  • Bought  a server did you (cheap)? that has no RAID support at all inside,  not such a good server is it?, now you get to upgrade it to RAID SAS.
  • Have a old PC (or Work Station) and want to run RAID for any reason what so ever. (You have no real server, but we can even use real HP RAID cards in alien PCs .
  • You want to spend less that $100 to  do this, sure. (drive costs not included, 3  to 10 drives are typical to deploy at least)
  • You tried to make SAS drives, run on SATA port, sorry that don't fly at all. (even with a china adapter sold (wow) @fleabay that is totally useless!, well don't buy those...)
  • You love the Idea of SAS drives with 5 year warranty and 1.6 Million hour MTBF ratings. (sure you do, so do huge server farms)  (if you dig deep the Enterprise drives are de-rated to make the LAST and less heat and power)
  • You can't afford a  huge 1TB+ SSD drive, but learn that an  array of SAS DRIVES,  say 10 drives runs faster. wow!  (Google bench marks on hardware RAID)
  • You like the idea that large RAID arrays 1 or 2 drives can fail and you don't lose data, and you can replace the drive and it self repairs itself. 
  • You want a real RAID card with real CACHE RAM (NVRAM of vast types) and a battery for it or as HP uses a 3 FARAD SUPER CAP (that acts like a battery but is NOT) To prevent data loss at power loss time.
  • The CACHE ram also allows very fast drive, replacement or migration,  ( we are talking hours rebuild time; not DAYS or weeks)
  • despite all the above you are always backed up. (even off site) Backup is your job, and not RAIDS job. OK? (now withstanding , 2 drives can be dead, and the array can still  run ok, but a bit slower)

My choices , are in no order below. (all are used cards, new cards cost  too much in a world glut of used cards) 
If you have extra cash, to spend, try a nice LSI-9360 card, (if not the 9260)
One idea too, is some cards newer have a HBA/RAID switch, no need to flash from RAID FW to HBA FW (FW =firmware)

I am s
howing only cards that are low cost and used. ( the cables are another topic, seen below are top examples of SFF8087)
The best deals I find (a fast card) are LSI , SuperMicro(tm), Adaptec and HP. (or Dell H700 PCI) (From as low as $14 to $50 price range) or even my HP P410 or Dell H310.
Know that cards can be cross flashed to  save money, ( eg. flashing LSI to some IBM card with same chips on card, is done all the time)

The H310 is  re-branded LSI-2008 card, but with weak queue depth of 25 , LSI firmware is 600, and very good to run, LSI firmware. Posters say, "Dell says buy H710 card $100 used, as only cure.(cost wise)"
The famous and common and loved,  LSI-9211 card  (badged names are many) Vendor 1000, DEVice= 0072

(also known and sold by Broadcom and Avago last) (9210 is ports rotated different only)
In all cases running true RAID and wanting server class performance, use cards with full WRITE CACHE and a battery, and sure H710 or HP 410 or better cards do that, my page below is for skin flints.

Let me be clear I have not tested the DELL cards, but they do work, in most cases. (by work I mean in Alien PCs, not real DELL servers ,which do work as expected.) (if the SMBUS pins are not upset, that is)
Keep in mind the cards come in flavors (port counts, internal or external jack ports or both type ports on one card and come in low height and tall standard height cards or just with brackets sized to do that only)
All comments are for SAS drives and for SFF  cables, no SFF-8484 cards (seen below) < DO NOT BUY THESE.

Do keep in mind at all times, if you read old 10 year old data sheets, the list of drivers will be wrong, always check the makers site first for the true current list of drivers for all "OS" operating systems and current firmware (flash updates)
If wise get a matched set of CARD/DRIVER/Firmware and MSM manager as a set. (so they all play nice as a team !)
My HP P410 card, the BIOS ROM hot key is dead. (due to iLo3 missing, in all PCs made) but works perfect with the free HP, configure disk (called offline boot CD configuration)
I have P410 running on Windows 10-64bit, in  a workstation and in a real  Proliant Server.
In call cases, makes sure the PCI-express slot used in your actual PC mother-board, can do 8 channels, some x16 slots can not do that, and only works with a Graphic card.(cheap junky motherboards, do that nasty bit)
Make sure that mobo also does PCI-express, ver2 (not v1) or higher, or the card may run slow.  (for sure running SSD or a  huge fast array of SAS drives setup for speed.)
Now a review of some cards I have tested:

One good choice is : (loved by the FREENAS, folks)
LSI 9211

Costing as low as $14 -$20 at newegg and no shipping costs and no tax, wow what a deal.  LSI changed names 3 times and is now called "AVAGO"
See the other names for the LSI- 9211 here.
There are better and more costly LSI cards just as great and faster. (research them)

Next Is this card:  (sold dirt chip $13 due to the fact the backward deal scares buyers to death, (good for me)) The price of a potted plant at "Home Depot".
SuperMicro™  AOC-USAS2-L8i   but most are made physically made  backwards, but is easy to cure this with a new mounting bracket (even a  home made one)
Shows up as : (pci scanned, lspci)
 LSI Logic / Symbios Logic SAS2008 PCI-Express Fusion-MPT SAS-2 [Falcon] (rev 02)
I get benchmarks from 1x SAS drive, 10k 2.5" Server drive of , 85 to 50 MB/S (depends on what track (cylinders) its tested on and burst mode of 82 MB/S (HD tune) A raid setup for 5 or more disk would be lots faster.

HP Cards are GREAT (love them I do):
My HP P410. (runs on w10 too) Vastly smarter that the 2 above. (if that is important to you) $50 card, not $13.
See me get 600MB/s on this card a real  array.(tested it on many PC's not just Servers real)
The choices here, are based on , the card has W7 support and no need for real server software.(some cards only have real server OS drivers like "Win Server 2003/2008/2012,etc )

The advantage to many folks is the ability to flash the  firmware to HBA mode, or HBA to RAID, at any time. (and any direction at any time)
One top reason to flash it , step one,  so that you can cross the 2TB boundary, if using huge drives for array's.

There are lots of cards that are affordable, some for $4 with the old SFF-8484 connectors, I consider junk cards (today), some are just slow, you do want 6GB/Sec speeds per channel minimum.
Hardware RAID has one good features, in that the firmware can not get infected with a virus. (unlike booting to  software RAID)
I my opinion a good card would be one that has a good, software monitor agent that can keep you the Admin, informed at all times, even to the point of sending email to you if the RAID every has issues.
MSM (LSI) can do email ! So can HP storage tools.
EG: (example) 1: "RAID array 1, disk 9,  is overheating". (emailed to you)

The old company and Famous Adaptec (now MicroSemi)  sells the ASR-6405 card, ( very full featured card and can be had for $50 used)  The 6 Series is covered here.

Very good links to facts here, and modifications of FIRMWARE


And FREENAS (OS), if you like a free server operating system and shun Microsoft complex licensing rules and costs (huge if on the web but is not costly for home SUBNET ONLY SERVERS)

Cross flashing , to HBA?

see Microsoft's PnP servers for 9211 Hardware ID's code, 1000 and 72 (VEN/DEV) {see page 10 of 19 for Windows 7 support) for Dell H200 too.

SuperMicro , page, (click drivers there, see that it does have XP OS to w8 support and lots of server OS supported all in one win.zip file)
As you can see the last 2017 release covers all this in one file.  srv = Microsoft Windows sever OS. 03 and 08.  XP ,VISTA, W7 and W8.  see that?  the bottom one is XP 32bit.
The makers say, no w10-64bit support will never happen ever and to run server 08_x64 in compatibility mode, for w10 OS. (run the installer in that mode) after trying w8 first of course and that fails.

Cables for SAS (SFF only are used)

The SAS direct drive cable is best seen here, with full disclosure of how it works unlike Fleabay crap sold. (china junk)

The Down sides of using Non HP RAID cards in real HP servers. (or  non Dell PERC cards in DELL servers)
The RAID card does lots more things, that my not be at  first blush apparent.
  • The HP server say a Win Sever 2012,  runs HP RAID monitoring software (SSA or SPP) and will be useless for any non HP raid card ,  a very serious limitation this.
  • The iLo system is tied to that HP raid card, allowing full remote monitor of the RAID card log files, and more.  ALL dead now.
  • Good luck getting help from HPE.com with alien devices in your server.   (hopeless for sure)
  • The non HP card does not connect up to the SAS drives 7  VPS pins (sp) , so the HP backplane logic for VPS will be dead.  (making the status lamps for that dead) VPS is the SAS error port.
  • See Page 20 here, to see what may or may not work using wrong parts in any HP server.
  • The HP software can't send you email when one drive fails, or is weak (S.M.A.R.T) error reporting. (over heating error, or SMART found out that the spare clusters are now depleted (EOL , end of life)
  • The HP RAID card missing now, can not do the advanced , repair modes that are classics and very useful, maintaining the Mirror drives or striped sets (Syn drive, add drive, or migrate drive may not be offered, or erase drive.)
  • I'm sure there is more, but I stop here. (all you save is $35 doing this wrong, non HP parts used)
I also have a page called putting HP RAID in any ALIEN PC or WS works station.

Some fast Jargon: (and documents related and my comments and general recommendations)
(a.k.a. + Geek_speak, Buzz words, and Tech talk.)

SAS means  ,  is  Serial bus,  unlike  the last  evolution of Parallel SCSI drives (ended at Ultra -310 as seen here)  SAS means Serial Attached SCSI,  (and is faster and best if dual ported)
SAS controllers can also communicate with SATA Devices by using a SATA tunneling protocol (STP). (the reverse is NOT TRUE)
SAS still uses the old command sets
(and extended) of the old Parallel SCSI hard drives, used long ago. 
SAS one can stage up the HDD motors, 1 by 1
and not overload the PSU.
is one common method of blinking the server SFF hard drive bank of ERROR LED's  16 to 32 LED, (8 to 16 SAS drives) all in a CAGE. 
SFF, small form factor , not only the sever size is SFF and card heights, but SFF is a type of standard cables used on SAS servers. That are more secure and can run up to 10 meters long. (unlike SATA)
Expander cards, this is a simple card is a buffer and arbitrator logic on it, it is NOT A RAID card, A high port count controller is very expensive but you can add lots of drives with 1 expander and save cash.
See  this card?
Expander chips can also be seen on card cage backplanes

Serial Attached SCSI [SAS] uses three transport protocols: (command sets)
... 1; Serial SCSI Protocol [SSP] which maps in SCSI, supporting multiple initiators and targets
... 2; Serial ATA Tunneled Protocol [STP] mapping Serial ATA, supporting multiple initiators and targets
... 3; Serial Management Protocol [SMP] a management protocol.

SAS  drives are hot plug  certified, unlike most SATA. (no server down time is why this is great feature is used)
Plugging in a SATA cable to SAS drive
, you are blocked by the key, and for good reasons, doing show blows up the error logic driver in the SAS drive for error pins. "Seagate states do not short these pins S8-14)"
HP states the same fact.
SAS life ratings are (MTBF) for SAS drives is up to 1.6 million hours  ( an amazing number) but for sure longer than 10 years, as  PC might last.

This Card cage back plane connector is the exception to the rule (SAS/SATA both)
SAS Drawings on Drive side.  The left side is power, and right is signals, S9 to 14 are for sideband errors to the backplane LED logic chips.

The controller sees all errors on all drives, via, smart scans on all drive, in place full time.
The Backplane has 2 chips U1 and U2, to decode errors to and run 16 LED for errors. (HP does not tell this secret, nor do I attempt to reverse engineer it, I only show that it exists and must be dealt with , mostly blind)
Below is the SFF pin names, the sideband, is vendor specific or uses SGPIO initiator interface (see SFF-8485).
SAS runs full duplex signals, using  4 wires, in differential pairs.  So 6GB/S on one channel is 24 (6x4) on all four,  that is why the raid can be super fast, even faster than 1 SSD. (SATA can not do that magic)
Most RAID cards have 4 ports on both of 2 sockets, 8087. or 4 sockets.

See more here. (T10 committee)
This topic below is only to show how HP  fancy error LEDs work and show why you can have this features.(the why)
I think U1 and U2 chips run the 16 LED for HDD errors and works as expander chips?. (and ARRAY status)  The lamps show blink unique , even when the controller is adding a drive (Sync) or migrating , etc. 
Note the standard SFF-8087 cable jacks, below. (goes to HP P410 (my case) or to the HP expander.
Below is in my HP GL380G7 server card cage , back plane card,  I have a spare and U2 , pikes my curiosity.

You want only cards with these connectors, below (SFF-8087) modern. (and sure cables to match both ends)
Remove the protectors  from all cable connectors new, and the card side. FIRST.  If you don't see an empty steel cage below, it has a protector. (seen mostly on only new cards or even cable ends)

  This 2nd photo is in the connector datasheet page. red arrow is the protector blank plug.

Avoidance opinions: (relics best forgotten)
See those 2 black connectors SFF8484 below , avoid them  P400 or Dell 6/IR or older.  use only modern cards with 8087 connectors, seen above.  In the HP use P410 cards or newer.

IMO Obsolete , AVIOD old legacy devices like this.
Life is too short for 8484.

I like the LSI9211 cards (or SuperMicro(tm) with same base card) sold and used by IBM and many companies, but the LSI is what  it is and was.
That card is loved by the FREENAS , community.  They set it up as HBA mode (IT mode) (JBOD) and run the JBOD using software RAID. Some cards sold do not do JBOD at all (LSI-9750 is one)
It is loved due to 3 facts:
  • Updated firmware handles any drive size you want.  (even as new s 2017 updates) 
  • Firmware to change it from RAID to HBA and even MegaRaid support. (finding  free copy of Application Megaraid, manager, is not easy, but is useless doing HBA + JBOD)
  • Drivers that run from XP to W10 (the W8 driver works in w10) (2017 update is best)
  • It's fast. 6GB/Second  times the number of ports.
  • $160 new,  $15 used, at newegg.  (there is a glut of these cards as professional servers are scrapped)  See it here, one of the best SFF SAS sites out there.(IMO)

Parting SHOT !, why not just buy a real SERVER, used for near a whopping $100 with all this working, as a system.  My DL380-G7 does that.
The  newer cards support more RAID ARRAY, types, including nested Arrays, and even 2 arrays, 1 for boot, and 1 for data.
Check out RAID format 6 (with 2 drive failures possible)
These cards used in a PC (non server) will run too hot, that heat sink above, needs to be kept cool, if not it will overheat. (the real server has fan tunnels/baffles that direct air to this spot !)
The best way to cool it is with a Vented, J Bracket see on the left.  and  PC front fan in the case, putting positive air pressure to the card and out the rear, same as we do on all hot graphics cards, lacking a card located fan.
Mine overheats to 120F fast lacking fans (IR gun measured) case open.  (if your case is too hot case (chassis) closed, no fan will help much.
The simple cure is here. It sucks cold are from the rear and blows it up ,dead center on this fan. (2nd best is fan mounted below in any why or front of case fan blowing to the rear, and over heatsink then out those grill hole seen on the J bracket above. This chip runs hot, and the more expensive cards run hotter (they are faster and do that , under full load)

See my new card below and my page on how to use CLI and the MSM (windows manager)
I also have LSI 9360CV-4i card with cache vault, but no battery, that screams with real SAS drives,  in RAID 0 form. 
The cache vault has 3 screws on the right. Battery option CVPM01 missing. Circa 2012 made, with a battery it makes building arrays fast, and adding drives and migrations far far faster. Get it with the battery option !
The battery is missing below.  My card SCREAMS, with any large array, set up for speed. Those vent holes are not for style, they help air flow across the heat sink, best is a front case fan blowing to  this point below.

This is the BEE's KNEE's as they say.  If you can find one cheap, JUMP fast.  (sell wide screen TV to buy this?) I bet not.  (12GB/S rated)

Bass Ackwards Cards: (SuperMicro(tm) only)  (it works !)
Here is the backwards silly SuperMicro(tm) card , reverse UIO,  card, note the bracket is backwards as is the card, it is a reverse imgage of any real Express card. (to use this, a custom bracket is needed.
Silly from a PC perspective , not so with the makers server on your bench. Sure.
Look below then look above see that horror? below,  a queer card that does fit SuperMicro(tm) servers. (pan cake servers/ SFF,,small form factor servers)
First of all those components on the wrong side may hit other things above, try it first and see, or use the next motherboard, X8 slot below. (mine did not hit)
If the card fits, with bracket off, then take that bracket , off, get a used bracket normal off any regular PCI card, and mount it back on here. (as seen a  here1 below link)  I could only get the bottom hole to fit.
BTW: the correct bracket has 85mm spacing between the 2 tab screws. (not common)
That LED1/2  plastic, thing there must be removed, or it hits the rear case frame, It is worth the effort, the card is $15 and FAST.  (took me 15minutes work)
Mine came as IT mode flashed, HBA. ver16,  I upgraded it to v20 with freedos method. Google Freedos, get it make a USB stick.

The 2 firmware flash binaries are here. (IT, IR and IMR,  IMR is megaRaid version, if  have that program, good, but if not use IR or IT.
I boot my old PC and type Control +C and the SUPER BIOS loads and presents it self. (called OPROM) The manual covers all this, and how to flash it to your needs.
You can change your mind later and Re-flash(burn it) it to IR mode RAID.
Ok it works as seen here1here2  , here3 and here4.  
The ASS backwards Super card. below. see that bracket on the right and not left side? oops... (I hand to change out my bracket to fit any normal PC) This below fits only SuperMicro(tm) servers (not modified)

I made a freeDOS USB stick (free of cost if you old tiny USB MEM stick.) Freedos is only half a megabyte , 1/2 a floppy. So any USB stick made even $1 used old stick works. 
I placed the files in the link above for (IT)flash, onto the stick and ran the SMC2008T.bat file (a DOS batch script simple) you need the cards SAS address, first, the last 9 digits to do this (yes one can have 6 SAS cards in  server)
If only 1 card, all zeros will work here.

To flash the firmware the SWR5 jumper if present, must be in place (if found), flash the EEPROM, then remove the jumper.  Click the card on the first screen and see sAS address, mine is 50030480:00000000
So when asked type  9 zero's.
Boot to DOS USB STICK (Freedos is best and well FREE) Nothing beats DOS for burning firmware, safely. (Worse of all is under Windows. Multitasking OS is very dangerous for burning.)
I have my files in DOS folder C:\SM-L8i
I issue the command line , I type,  CD \SM-L8i
I run smc2008t.bat by typing that at the command line. ENter.
It burns the EEPROM segments 1 block at a time, talks 5minutes or longer, do not interrupt it.
Last it asks for address and I type, 000000000 , enter.
It then says successful.
I reboot and all is good V20 firmware. (a seen on OPROM page (contr+C).
I boot to a Windows 7 PE , CD,  and shows this.
I told disk manager to add drive letters
I then formatted both drives. (2x SAS)
and tested them, and they work great.
Enjoy your new SAS drives.

FAQ: (problems) and Answers (Ans:)
  • The card is dead , Ans: The express slot does not support x8 channels, (try one more time on a PC with known full 8 channels or 16 PCI-express.)
  • The HP card F8 key is dead. Ans:This is normal on any alien PC , it has no iLo3 chip there, so F8 for RAID ,key is dead. Use HP config tools SSA or SPP, get it at HPE.com
  • The card is backwards, Ans:See above answer for SuperMicro(tm).
  • Device manager shows my card is dead, SAS card. why? Ans. the driver is missing, is the internet working so PnP (or update services) can work y/n? if yes still fails, then see next line for answers.s
  • No matter what I can't see any drives in say Windows 7,  Ans: That is because the card is configured with RAID firmware , and you must set the card up to make  VOLUMES so windows can see your array's
  • Same question, The Windows 7 drivers are missing on your PC, why not get them from the RAID card makers site, or look at MS for them. At Microsoft driver CATALOG servers. (H310 example1)
  • Can I set up my card to be HBA ,(JBOD) so there is no RAID?, Ans: Sure you can , just flash it to 'IT" mode, this is HBA mode, or Passthrough mode,  so that Windows can see all drives, no matter what.
  • Can my card see SAS, SSD and SATA drives: Ans: sure it can but do  not mix drive types in 1 array.(one volume) create more than one volume to do that,  like this; bootSAS, Data1-SAS, and DATA2-SATA.
  • I can't find a driver for OS (something) say windows 10? , Ans: did you read the makers web site first? did you run W7 driver to see if it works on w8 and 10?  Try FreeNAS, or buy MS, Win sever 2008 or 12? yet?
  • Did you run the driver installer , buy clicking on the EXE and picking compatibility mode, say W7? for W10 system?
  • Can I lose data if power is lost to the PC, Ans: Sure you can , so buy a UPS or get the card with the RAID CACHE (write) and battery /supercap backup option, very cheap now , used.
  • My raid card tells me the disk has serious S.M.A.R.T errors why?:, Ans: Sure that means the HDD is slowly dying, or overheating.  (learn to read the RAID card event logs see what SMART error is really there?
  • What do I do when the SMART tells me the drive is dead or failing or out of spare clusters,Ans: we replace it and let the smart card, rebuild the array.  (this is the true beauty of this HW raid, no down time. can you dig it?)
  • Who has my drivers,? Ans: Only 3 places, the card makers support site, The System makes site, if same as card, and at MS.com Driver catalog servers. Like here H700 Dell Card.
  • I see LSI name changed 3 times, making searches fail!. What can I do ? Ans. use the new name as seen here and bingo magic happens. (at MS)
  • If I changed my cards,firmware from RAID to HBA, do I need a new OS driver? , Ans.:  Sure most times, ask your card maker that. ( each card type and generation are different , so RTFM.)
  • I still can not get W10-64 OS to work right with my card. Ans: try a card yet that does do w10-64? or run the w10 in compatiblilty mode.? "Device Driver for Windows Server 2008 x64"  click the EXE properties.?
  • Why is this so confusing, one thing to learn is the RAID card owns the drives, think of the card as a kinda FIREWALL. ( create the array and windows now seens a volume (LUN) not a drive. What you create is what you get.
  • Why must I spend all this money, answser: You don't , if you are backed up , you don't need a server, unless you need a fast streaming server, or ? If you do need a server, buy one used, get a HP-DL380-G7 dirt cheap used.
  • Why do I need any of this?, Answser you don't ever, let Microsoft cloud do all this, and not worry. The only reason to have this, for most home users is for speed. (say streaming your favorite movie and skipping past all the preamble bull crap (and 10 Trailers) seen on most DVD/BlueRay disks.  (I do this and only those disks that will not link up to MY-VUDU, (about 1/2 my disks) , and btw you can buy server space cheap online, why not do that?
I do hope this information helps someone, anyone.  Cheers.
I many build a ZFS NAS box just so I can learn now to make that go. ( I have endless time to do so, retired)

Related topics:
See my page on using the P410 card in the wrong PC.

version 1.  4-10-2018