I started some FORMATs running, and after about three hours the formats all failed.

Yes, we have occasionally seen this problem. Most of the time it is caused by a Windows feature called PCIe Link State Power Management (LSPM).

LSPM is an OS power savings feature which will turn off PCIe cards if they haven’t been accessed for some period of time.

When a SCSI command which takes a long time to complete, such as a FORMAT command, is issued to a drive the command is in an intermediate state until the format operation completes. To the operating system this appears as being inactive and so eligible for the LSPM feature to shut the power off to the HBA.

This has disastrous results – when the Format completes the drive signals this to the HBA, but the HBA is asleep and so ignores the completion of the command.

The end result is the Format command never completes and so the drives format is corrupted, leaving the drive showing up with zero blocks capacity.

The cure to a corrupt format is to reformat the drive and be certain that the format completes.

To view your test systems’ LSPM settings go to the Power & Sleep settings by typing Power and Sleep into the search box. Scroll down to Related Settings -> Additional Power Settings, choose Change Power Settings, then choose Change Advanced Power Settings

Scroll down and select the PCI Express choice and open the Link State Power Management choice

The only proper setting is OFF – if your system is set to anything else then change it to OFF.

This will prevent the OS from shutting down your HBA .