FreeNAS USB3.0 on the New HP Gen8 G2020T Microserver

Well the long-running saga of not having any working USB3.0 on my microserver NAS continues. In my previous post I said “It works perfectly”. Well when I dug a bit further I found that to not be the case. I assumed quite incorrectly that since the 4TB Seagate Expansion Desktop spun up, that it was working at USB3.0 speeds. Bad assumption.

To recap, I needed an external disk drive to my NAS so I can backup files from the NAS using ZFS snapshots that I can browse through with Windows VSS.

Here’s what happens when I plug into Renesas D720201-powered USB3 card:

 umass1: <vendor 0x0bc2 product 0x3312, class 0/0, rev 3.00/3.19, addr 1> on usbus0
 (probe0:umass-sim1:1:0:0): INQUIRY. CDB: 12 00 00 00 24 00
 (probe0:umass-sim1:1:0:0): CAM status: CCB request completed with an error
 (probe0:umass-sim1:1:0:0): Retrying command
 (probe0:umass-sim1:1:0:0): INQUIRY. CDB: 12 00 00 00 24 00
 (probe0:umass-sim1:1:0:0): CAM status: CCB request completed with an error
 (probe0:umass-sim1:1:0:0): Retrying command
 (probe0:umass-sim1:1:0:0): INQUIRY. CDB: 12 00 00 00 24 00
 (probe0:umass-sim1:1:0:0): CAM status: CCB request completed with an error
 (probe0:umass-sim1:1:0:0): Retrying command
 (probe0:umass-sim1:1:0:0): INQUIRY. CDB: 12 00 00 00 24 00
 (probe0:umass-sim1:1:0:0): CAM status: CCB request completed with an error
 (probe0:umass-sim1:1:0:0): Retrying command
 (probe0:umass-sim1:1:0:0): INQUIRY. CDB: 12 00 00 00 24 00
 (probe0:umass-sim1:1:0:0): CAM status: CCB request completed with an error
 (probe0:umass-sim1:1:0:0): Error 5, Retries exhausted
 ugen0.2: <vendor 0x0bc2> at usbus0 (disconnected)
 umass1: at uhub0, port 1, addr 1 (disconnected)

I also tried another card that has a newer Renesas D720202 chip – same deal. Here’s what happens plugging into USB2

 ugen2.2: <Seagate> at usbus2
 umass1: <Seagate Expansion Desk, class 0/0, rev 2.10/3.19, addr 2> on usbus2
 da1 at umass-sim1 bus 1 scbus7 target 0 lun 0
 da1: <Seagate Expansion Desk 0319> Fixed Direct Access SCSI-6 device
 da1: 40.000MB/s transfers
 da1: 3815447MB (976754645 4096 byte sectors: 255H 63S/T 60800C)
 da1: quirks=0x2<NO_6_BYTE>

The disk shows up fine, but of course is slow being USB2.

Not happy with that, I bit the bullet and bought the new HP G2020T Gen8 Microserver.  It was a big outlay but when an issue gets under my skin like this – I go all out! I was hoping that somehow it was the Renesas line of chipsets at fault not being properly supported in FreeBSD/FreeNAS. Surely the Intel native chipset will work?!

As an aside, when I was swapping disks over from my old NAS I dropped a disk and it was a write off. I ended up buying four new 4TB Seagate NAS drives as I’m a big fan of Seagate’s reliability.

Unfortunately, even with the newly-released FreeNAS 9.1, I still can’t get USB3.0 working with my Seagate external drive, even on the new Gen8 Microserver! I believe it’s an issue with the FreeBSD XHCI USB3.0 driver. I’ll have to run it at USB2.0 speeds for the time being and keep an eye on the errata for new versions of FreeNAS.

Update: in my new Gen8 Microserver with FreeNAS, I have a MicroSSD card and it shows up as “da1”, and the external USB2 drive shows up as “da2”. In the old NAS, the external USB2 drive shows up as “da1”. Be mindful of this if upgrading NAS and copying your settings across.

2 comments

  1. Gav, have you actually enabled USB 3? It’s disabled by default in FreeBSD/FreeNAS 9.x. To enable it you need to create a tunable named xhci_load, set its value to YES, and reboot the system. (System->Tunables->Add Tunable) Note that the XHCI driver is quite inefficient, so rather than decreasing CPU load, like USB 3 is supposed to with respect to USB 2, it will probably increase it due to an increased interrupt load. This load on my 2.2GHz Intel Celeron 450 (Core arch) is non-trivial.

    1. Wow that’s an excellent tip. I haven’t tried that no – thought that USB3 would be “baked in”. I’ll get it a go – thanks!
      (update) I should state that this fixed my issue. Thanks so much! 🙂

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