Much easier than I was expecting. I'm running Ubuntu server 7.10 on an ancient 32 bit Athlon, Abit mobo with no SATA support - this card was detected by the kernel at first boot and presented my new drive on /dev/sda. Ten minute job, no pain whatsoever - penguin fans take note.
Not explicitly stated in the BT summary of this product, I had to go looking on the StarTech site - so just in case someone else passes this way looking for this info .... Yes! you can just run your 4 SATA drives in JBOD mode (i.e. each drive stays separate). With one of these, and four 750GB SATA drives (see such a drive at quick linx 42L2WS) you could build a i/o subsystem that would provide the better part of 3 Terabytes (3000 Gbytes) with very good performance, for around £700!
Great little card, however contrary to some of the reviews, note that it doesn't support RAID 5. I have downloaded the relevant BIOS update and drivers from the Silicon Image website, however windows doesn't allow the install of the drivers (I choose to update the driver for the card, and the RAID5 driver doesn't even appear in the list of options), nor does it allow the update of the card's BIOS through the control panel or the device manager (as described in the SI manual). So while it is an SiI3114 according to device manager, don't buy this expecting to be able to upgrade it to support RAID 5 (at least in hardware). This appears to be different from the BT value card, which people have said has been successfully updated to support RAID 5.
I installed 2 of these into one of my Windows Home Server machines, they are the perfect way to expand your system HDD capabilities.
I brought and installed this card attached four hard drives too it, booted up my PC not expecting the hard drives to be found, but they was. Windows loaded I could see the drives and did not have to use the included CD to install anything else. So far so good, and I have eight hard drives in one machine.
With Windows XP first format the disks using Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Computer Management/Storage. I then found it best to forget the GUI application that comes on the CD and just set up the RAID 1 array using the DOS application accessed by pressing F4 during start-up. So much easier and quicker. To check it has worked, create the array, write a file to the new the combined drive and then re-boot and delete the array. When you re-boot again both drives should be visible with the same file on them. Delete the files (to be on the safe side) and then create the array again as before.
I previously posted an incorrect review saying that the card did not work with Windows Server 2003. Well it does! (I think one of my PCI slots is broken). When working it is very simple to set up. A big bonus is that it does work with Windows Server 2003 as not many cheap four port cards say that they do.
Nice and Easy to configure.I have four SATA-II drives connected to the device, running a dual RAID-I (mirror) setup on a Fedora 14 Linux Server. The device automatically detects the drives connected and prompts for the type of RAID to be employed. The card can also simply be used as a device to provide extra SATA connectivity (minus the RAID). When creating the RAID-I setup, the device allows you to use a drive that already has the O/S installed (irrespective of whether it's Windows / Linux / etc) and gives you the option to mirror the contents straight away onto the blank drive - basically this means that you don't have to start with 2 blank drives. As mentioned I am running a dual RAID-I setup, one set is a RAID-I containing the Fedora 14 Operating System (During the O/S installation, Fedora immediately detected the controller card, and RAID setup), the other RAID-I setup contained the mirror for the data storage.
For such a cheap product it performs perfectly. Great stuff!
From what I have read, a few people seem to be having issues with this chipset (not just this startech card) under Linux. Problems vary from total lock up of the machine to drive incompatibilities.
My experience is one of having random read errors. Both my Linux X64 and my FreeBSD (x86) boxes suffer from random read issues. I bought 2 cards, not expecting that much based on the cheapness of the cards. Seems they write data fine.
But despite my problems it looks like a lot of users seem to have no problems with cards based on SiS 3114 chips, this one is no exception.
I've got to say good value for money, as long as it works for you.
I've tried various drives and they all suffer from the same problem, but are fine on the internal via controllers on my motherboards.
Easy to install.
Going to have to see if I can upgrade the firmware and hope that will fix the issues for me.
I initially had real problems with this card and two 750gb disks, the computer would freeze during or shortly after the bios screen when a disk was connected. This was caused by the card shipping with an ancient bios version which couldn't handle my new disks, and was solved by flashing the latest bios from Silicon Image's website (Startech themselves don't provide an updated bios so i had to get it directly from the chipset manufacturer's website). Working great now in Ubuntu 10.4 with a single raid-1 mirror.