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RocketRAID 640 Base System Device Driver Problem due to PLX PEX 8609-8A50BC

December 3rd, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

I have recently bought a High-Point RocketRAID 640 card so that I can run some SSDs in a RAID. After installing the card by following the instructions I found that the system started getting a driver issue with Base System Device. After considerable searching on the internet I have found a post on a forum about this issue (RocketRAID Base SYstem Device Driver Problem). The issue is basically that there are no drivers for the PLX PEX 8609-BA50BC bridge chip that is used on the RocketRAID card. So, what I have done is emailed HighPoint and asked them to send me the drivers (which is apparently what they did to resolve the issue for the guy at Tweak Town who tested their device). I’m not sure why on earth they don’t just publish the driver or stick it onto their CD that comes with the card. I will update this post if I get the driver from them.UPDATE… I have received a reply from High-Point in relation to the issue with my RocketRAID 640 installation described above. Their exact answer was:

Dear Sir or Madam,

No worry,it’s just designed like that and won’t affect the card functionning.Just leaves it.

Regards
Global Support Center
HighPoint Technologies, Inc.

Besides the really poor English, it is extremely concerning when a card manufacturer tells you that their card has been designed in a way that has your system looking for drivers and not being able to find them and their solution is to just leave it as is and have the system keep complaining about a missing driver. I have replied to the High-Point Support about this problem, which I suspect doesn’t just effect RocketRAID 640 but also RocketRAID 644 and other cards that use the same PLX chip. I have asked them to provide the driver which they apparently provided to Tweak Town.

At this stage I would recommend that anyone looking at buying a High-Point RocketRAID 640, RocketRAID 644 or any other High-Point RocketRAID card that uses the PLX chip wait for this issue to be resolved or look for an alternative, as in this day and age it’s simply unacceptable for a manufacturer to be releasing half-assed products that result in driver issues on the system (usually a production server) and suggesting that one simply leaves it as a solution. Particularly when they know about the issue but don’t make it well known to the users before purchasing. Unless I get a resolution and a driver I will be considering returning the 3 RocketRAID cards we bought to the supplier and will let them deal with the manufacturer. I’ll also be making sure people are well aware of the issues with the RocketRAID cards as people need to know this kind of stuff before purchasing. My suggestion at this stage (pending any further replies from HighPoint is look for a more professional RAID card manufacturer (preferably with an engineering department that knows how to design cards that don’t result in driver issues on the system).

ANOTHER UPDATE… After I replied back to RocketRAID and asked them to provide me with the driver I still havn’t heard anything back. That is, besides having poor english, their support is incompetent or non-existent. I have also contacted the guy from Tweak Town who did the review of the RocketRAID 640 card before it came out. He told me that he informed High-Point about the issue with the Base System Device driver, but they didn’t provide any adequate response, so he actually went and found the driver from some old ASUS motherboard that he had and that used that same chip one time and another time he went and got the driver out of the SDK on the PLX website. He also said that they no longer deal with High-Point because there were just too many issues with them, which he didn’t want to go into. I suspect there were at least communication issues and High-Point saying stuff like “don’t worry about a missing driver, it’s fine”, when it’s clearly NOT FINE! I will contact High-Point again to try to get the driver out of them. At present my recommendation remains… Steer clear of High-Point products if there are other alternatives from more reputable vendors even at a higher price.

FINAL UPDATE… I got sick and tired of waiting for the useless people in High-Point support and decided sort out the driver issue myself. I ended up downloading the PLX SDK from the PLX website, installing it, grabbing the appropriate files out of and making some minor changes to the driver inf file, so that the driver would install on 32-bit as well as amd64 and em64t architecture machines. I have then installed the driver on both Windows Server 32-bit and Windows Server 64-bit (both running on hardware with dual Xeon processors). I’m happy to report that the drivers worked a treat on both the 64-bit and 32-bit machines and I no longer have an issue with the Base System Device driver missing. In fact I now have it listed as PLX PCIe 8609 DMA Controller under Other Devices. If you want you could also hack up the inf file to call it something else like RocketRAID PLE8609 Controller if you want.

Here is the file you will need… Simply unzip it, find the Base System Device in your Device Manager, go to Update Drivers, say Browse and point it to the folder where you unzipped the files :) Enjoy and I’d love to hear comments from you on whether it worked.

RocketRAID 640 Base System Device Drivers

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  1. Andrew P
    December 4th, 2011 at 20:03 | #1

    I have the exact same issue. I’d very much appreciated it if you were to share the driver if they do send it.

  2. December 5th, 2011 at 03:34 | #2

    Havn’t heard anything back from them yet, but will post any solution that HighPoint provides.

  3. Andrew
    December 5th, 2011 at 16:17 | #3

    I also noticed that PLX Technology provides an SDK to developers that may contain device drivers for the PEX 8609.

    You have to register using a business email (it wouldn’t take my gmail address) to download, so I haven’t been able to try it out.

    http://www.plxtech.com/products/sdk/pde

  4. December 6th, 2011 at 22:43 | #4

    That was also my next step, to try to obtain the driver directly from the manufacturer of the chip rather than from High-Point who are the makers of RocketRAID 640.

  5. Bryce
    December 20th, 2011 at 22:29 | #5

    A huge thanks to you! I have a “HighPoint RocketU Quad USB 3.0 for Mac (http://www.hptmac.com/product.php?_index=77)”, which uses the same PLX PEX 8609-BA50BC bridge chip. HighPoint provide a driver package for Mac, but as I also run Windows 7, I installed HighPoint’s “RocketU 1144A USB 3.0 HBA (http://www.highpoint-tech.com/USA_new/cs-series_RocketU1144A-Series.htm)” driver under Windows, and subsequently encountered the Base System Device missing driver. I was able to use the driver INF file you provided and that solved the issue instantly! For sure there are many HighPoint products using the PLX PEX8609, and many people will encounter this problem. Thanks a lot for providing a solution!

  6. December 20th, 2011 at 23:47 | #6

    You’re welcome! To be honest I’m extremely suprrised HighPoint can’t get themselves into gear and provide a proper solution for such a simple problem. All it required them to do was to follow the instructions in the PLX SDK and re-package the drivers provided by PLX into their own driver, so that this Base System Device would never be an issue. It’s extremely disappointing that a hardware manufacturer leaves customers to sort out driver issues for their hardware and instead of providing an actual solution just tells customers not to worry about missing drivers.

  7. mark
    December 23rd, 2011 at 04:24 | #7

    hi there, Your PLX Drivers worked fine for me on Windows 7 64bit. However I am experiencing a odd problem where my RocketU 1144A does not recognise my Nexstar Vantec USB3.0 “Dual Bay Docks”. I have 3 of them and none of them get recognised. However my Nexstar Vantec USB2.0 Single Bay Dock works perfectly. Would you have any ideas on why this problem is occuring ? or is this RocketU 1144A PCIE USB3.0 Card just crap ? thanks so much

  8. mark
    December 23rd, 2011 at 19:28 | #8

    Well , after many driver re-installs i decided to switch the USB 3.0 ports for each Dual Docking Bay and see what would happen.
    It turns out that only 1 of the 4 USB3.0 ports recognises my Dual Docking Bays. The other 2 do not recognise anything and the 3rd comes up flashing with a message constantly saying “please reformat these disks to continue”.
    So i have come to the conclusion that the Highpoint RocketU 1144A USB3.0 PCIE Card i have must be faulty. This was a expensive bit of kit and its failed in all areas, not a good first impression.

  9. December 27th, 2011 at 02:32 | #9

    It’s not uncommon for computer components to be faulty, just RA the item and get a new one which should work just fine.

  10. Matt Davies
    January 2nd, 2012 at 10:12 | #10

    Hi, i have a problem with my card. when i load the drivers in the server 2008 R2 SP1 install, it says windows cannot be installed to this disk. any chance that these drivers will help with that?

  11. January 2nd, 2012 at 23:12 | #11

    I don’t think the PLX drivers will help with your issue as they’re drivers for the PLX chip only. I’m not sure what exactly you’re trying to do, but the message is weird given that you have already installed windows based on what you’ve said so don’t see why you would be installing it on the RocketRAID connected drives. Perhaps you should be setting up the RAID using RocketRAID prior to installing any OS on your system. Sorry can’t help any more than this.

  12. Matt Davies
    January 3rd, 2012 at 13:28 | #12

    @admin Thanks for the reply. for the sake of clarification, I can’t install Server 2008. I set up the RAID array as normal through the RAID BIOS. i have 2x1TB in a RAID 0. i can see the drive when i load the drivers, its just the windows installer says it is unable to install to the selected location.
    I do know what the problem is now. i need to set in my system BIOS to boot from the roocketRAID. only problem is, I’ve done that and it don’t work. anyway, thanks for your time
    Matt

  13. Daniel
    January 15th, 2012 at 01:06 | #13

    Thank you Sheldmandu!

    I agree with you 100% in everything you have shared. It really irritates me when tech companies work in such a slip-shot way. Highpoint has always had great products, so I hope things aren’t going down hill with them. THANK YOU for providing the driver files and taking the extra step to rework them and make them usable by all!!! Watch now for Highpoint to get wind of your little blog here, download YOUR drivers, and include them with their products! : )

    If anyone has a RocketRAID 640 and having problems with hanging on boot, please see this link:

    http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=rocketRAID+640+review&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&cid=10579819637959537937&os=reviews

    Also, be aware, currently Highpoint has the link wrong for downloading the v1.0 640 BIOS. It currently links to the 644 BIOS. The correct link for the 640 is this:

    http://www.highpoint-tech.cn/BIOS_Driver/rr64x/BIOS/rr640-bios-v1.0-100107.zip

  14. mark
    January 16th, 2012 at 17:16 | #14

    Matt Davies :
    Hi, i have a problem with my card. when i load the drivers in the server 2008 R2 SP1 install, it says windows cannot be installed to this disk. any chance that these drivers will help with that?

    Have you tried disconnecting all USB Peripherals prior to installing Windows ?

    I had a similar problem in the past where I could not install Windows with that same error message , The problem turnt out to be my connected USB Flash Drive that was causing the problem.

    I hope that solves your problem.

  15. January 19th, 2012 at 21:30 | #15

    Yes, this could well be the issue for the previous poster!

  16. Scotty
    February 20th, 2012 at 18:23 | #16

    Any driver issues with Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 using a 640?

  17. Robert
    March 4th, 2012 at 16:12 | #17

    Hi,

    Do to you, I’m another lucky Highpoint RocketU 1144A user that now has PLX PEX 8609-8A50BC drivers for one of the few (or only) PCIe x4 USB 3.0 controllers available. As of March 2012, HighPoint’s latest drivers are still incomplete, leaving the “base system device” warning in device manager. Additionally, windows backup failed to complete to the Iomega external drive attached to the controller. Hopefully, this issue will resolve with full driver support of the device. This card is not cheap, what’s with HighPoint and why doesn’t PLX have publically available drivers for this chip, much like Intel for all their chipsets? Shouldn’t have to become a developer to get a consumer level product to function… hope it does. Anyway, thanks for your effort, driver post and stated disatisfaction of HighPoint.

  18. March 4th, 2012 at 23:14 | #18

    Sorry, havn’t tried using with Hyper-V

  19. Robert
    March 6th, 2012 at 23:46 | #19

    Despite successful load loading of the PLX drivers, I continue to suffer failures in windows backup to two different external drives attached to the RocketU 1144A USB controller. References in details mention I/O error and windows 7 backs up to an internal raid volume on an LSI controller with no issues. Anyone else having similar issues with the HighPoint 1144A? Only got this card to do USB backups to external drives…

  20. Gerard
    March 10th, 2012 at 23:33 | #20

    I downloaded this driver package and it made my “Base System Device” problem go away on my Dell T7500. The RAID5 array I set up with my 640 now /appears/ to be working…

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