View Full Version : bizarre drive problems...maybe

02-20-2001, 12:54 PM
I’ve also emailed Breeden and Morgan regarding this problem – both have been great and their responses are integrated in the post. Still having issues and I hope that a Guru can shed some light.

I've been having drive problems recently and, having spent the past two weeks trying to figure this out.

I've recently installed an xlr8 G4/400 (VRM & ROM are clean) and a Sonnet Tempo card in a G3 DT rev B running 9.1. The Tempo has an IBM 20GB 34GXP (startup) and a Maxtor Diamondmax 60GB on it, both as masters. The G4 was originally overclocked at 466 with no problems or crashes - the temp was between 22-29 C, which is probably very optimistic but it's winter in Chicago and ambient temperature is probably around 65F.

It ran fine for days with no restarts, but when I went to finally restart the other day, Norton Filesaver reported a Volume Bit Map errors and cross-linked files. I restarted off my 9.1 CD and Disk Doctor'd them. Later, there was the same problem. I downgraded to 433mhz and finally to 400mhz and it's the same problem. Now mind you, there are no operating problems or visible data errors - the drives seem to work fine under many applications (Photoshop, Netscape/IE, etc.), but the utility programs keep reporting errors.

I finally ran Techtool 3.01 last night and it reported that both drives could not self-diagnose and had "rezero" errors. The latest Disk First Aid reports no problems, helpful regarding the VBM error...not so much the cross-linked files. Here's where it gets interesting. Norton doesn't report the VBM and cross-linked errors when the Mac is booted off and running Norton off the 9.1 CD, it only occurs when booted off and running off the IBM drive.

So, I'm thinking that the overclocking has a low possibility of having done this, especially since it seems Norton has reported correcting the problems several times (and then the crop up again) and the xlr8 cards are pretty conflict-free. I read on some sites that there were problems with the Drive Setup 8.1.4 and the Tempo, but it seemed limited to copying large files over ethernet. I downgraded to firmware 3.08, which helped people with crashing in pre-G3 machines, but still the same problems.

Rob Morgan had also suggested it might be a Tempo/Acard firmware problem and that I try a VST Ultratek - it was something of a mess. However, I also installed a leftover ixTV card and attached an MGE UPS and Intellimouse to the Macally Firewire/USB card - the Macally card had nothing attached and the ixTV was not installed when the Tempo was there. I haven't had time to play musical-PCI-cards yet since it takes a while for the VST problems to surface.

With the VST, it "soft-crashed" 100% of the time. That is, the mouse would move, but everything else seemed frozen. You could force quit the application you’re in, but then you’re stuck. I noticed that the VST manual said that it was for Blue & White G3's & G4's only - would this make a difference?

Putting the Tempo back (I also went back to firmware 3.10) solved those issues, but brought back the Norton VBM/cross-linked files errors. Norton would soft-crash while the VST was running, but didn't report any problems before hand. I'm beginning to think that Norton has issues with the SCSI-fakeout that these PCI cards pull. After all, the drives under the Tempo were fully functional and I didn't run into any actual data corruption. In addition, Disk First Aid reports not drive problems and TechTool 3 reported no file problems (but reported some drive problems which seems to be a common bug).

I don’t have DiskWarrior, though I might buy it later since people seem to sing it’s praises…all these utilities are biting into my pocket tho’.

02-20-2001, 01:16 PM
your problem is FileSaver. Do a clean install and forget about the FileSaver software.


02-20-2001, 01:18 PM
Ah, thank you - that's what I suspected. Why does it muck things up and how does it work differently than Norton by itself.

PS - just clean installed 9.1 last night.

02-20-2001, 03:17 PM
I think Jorge has it. Last night on my wife's 500 MHz beige G3, Norton File Saver (v5.03) threw a fit about florfed directories at shutdown. I ran NUM 6 and DisKWarrior 2.1, both from their CD's. Neither found problems.

[This message has been edited by Louie (edited 20 February 2001).]

02-20-2001, 03:19 PM
Thanks for all the feedback - does anyone know if the VST is definately "new-world mac" only? None of the reviews etc. I've seen specify that, but the manual does...

02-20-2001, 08:18 PM
If I have the correct card, here is what they say http://www.vsttech.com/vst/techspecs.nsf/ByProduct/ATARAID


02-20-2001, 09:13 PM
Hey bk,

Before you give up on FileSaver completely, you might want to try one thing. FS can be a real pain in the butt but you can configure it to be less intrusive, with scans and updates in the middle of the night and soforth. It can and probably will save your butt one day..it has mine in the past. However, one of the most insidious crash bugs you can encounter is when one of the invisible FileSaver files takes a hit and goes bad. FileSaver (and thus, Disk Doctor, will constantly think something is wrong.

Try using FastFind to locate all the files with "Norton FS" in the name. These will likely be Norton FS Index, Norton FS Data, Norton FS Volume and Norton FS Volume 2 on every volume that you have. Use FastFind to make them visible (uncheck "invisible" in "settings" box), then trash them. Go back to the FileSaver control panel and cause it to relearn your volumes. It will rebuild the files it needs, repairing the possible problem with bad files. If this doesn't solve your problem, it is likely that something is in conflict with FileSaver or it can't handle the ATA/SCSI deal to which you have already alluded. Might be worth a try to save a stalwart and (usually) dependable lifeline.


02-21-2001, 12:01 AM
I've reinstalled the Tempo and it seems fine running firmware 3.10, whereas the VST has been locking up the drives no matter what. I don't think that VST differentiates between beige and B&W G3's - I suspect the VST isn't compatible on the beige ones...as the manual states, but everything/everyone else seems to dispute.


I bit the bullet and bought DiskWarrior tonight and it didn't turn up a lot of directory damage, but I rebuilt the directory anyway. I'll try deleting all the "Norton FS" files and give you an update.

02-21-2001, 12:02 AM

You are one smart so-and-so and I've been missing you again. Athough most people pooh-pooh File Saver, it can save you like you said. I use it on every drive that I can. The dual channel Miles 2/X15 RAID 0 doesn't like it though.

02-21-2001, 11:33 PM
Just tried the filesaver suggestion and trashed the hidden "Norton FS" files. FS rebuilt the files and same problem. There must be an undocumented ATA/SCSI issue - it would make sense since those cards monkey around with how a drive is recognized.

...so, to close, I'll be using the Tempo with firmware 3.10, which seems to be problem-free and ditching Norton Filesaver and the VST Ultratek. This should work.

Thanks to all of you!

02-21-2001, 11:35 PM
PS - buy.com is going to love me...I'll be returning both the MGE UPS and the Ultratek. Still no response from VST or MGE regarding their vague compatibility claims - go figure.


02-22-2001, 12:42 AM
Hey bk,

Sorry, sometimes it seems like there are no happy endings in Macland.

02-23-2001, 02:55 AM
good companies will survive. Bad ones won't.

02-23-2001, 04:58 PM
I just thought I'd chime in about the VST UltraTek/66 card. While their compatibility claims are only for later G3s and G4s, I've been using one in a Umax S900 for several months. I've also tested it in the 7200 and 7500. I've exchanged email with a fellow who did very extensive testing in most of the x500 series and the Beige G3 including installing up to three UltraTeks simultaneously. I've tried them with 604e CPUs and G3 CPUs and it seems to be fine.

So they can work with many machines and the Beige G3 in particular. I don't know why you were having so much trouble. I'm not trying to discourage you from sending it back. It's probably not worth all the hassle to find the problem. Your time has value. I just wanted to point out that those cards have worked trouble free for others.

I wonder if OS 9.1 is the problem. I don't think I've tested with that yet. Oh, and in the S900 it has a funny problem in the bottom slots. Basically, if you want to put any drives on it, or have any other cards in the lower slots, then the UltraTek needs one of the S900's top slots, but that's more of an S900 issue than an UltraTek issue.

Oh, and it will work with earlier OSs than 8.5 (their web page says 8.5 or later) but under 7.6.1 sustained Reads were about half that under 8.5. I haven't tested with 8.1 yet.

02-23-2001, 05:02 PM
I haven't returned it yet because I've been seriously considering getting a Yosemite for the extra slots & space...and the VST is supposed to work fine in them. I've had a couple of problems recently in general with the Beige machine, but unfortunately, I can't tell how much is due to 9.1 or the hardward upgrades (both happened at the same time).

Thanks for the input - I'm keeping both the Tempo and VST for now.

Any thoughts on my Yosemite thread in the Upgrade or Buy New section?

02-25-2001, 01:32 AM
ben, don't forget to update the firmware on the VST card...I'm pretty sure I've seen updaters for them, and seem to remember uploading something to the VST folder on our FTP site.

02-28-2001, 06:52 PM
My end suspicion is that the MacAlly (or any other PCI Firewire/USB) card conflicted with the VST...perhaps some bus-mastering issues? I'm eager to hear anyone who has one of these kinds of cards paired with an UltraTek. The latest firmware unfortunately did nothing.

02-28-2001, 11:54 PM
well, we don't use Macally FireWire/USB cards...we use XLR8, Apple, RATOC, and OrangeMicro.


03-01-2001, 09:32 AM
...ah, I should have been more specific and said "any" Firewire/USB card...

On another note, the VR128 I just picked up is super nice and I'm glad/lucky to have found it. None of the problems listed on Breeden's site. Capture is smooth and around VHS-quality (maybe a hair less). MPEG1 encoding via Cleaner 5 is merely ok at 17:1...makes me wonder if I'll be investing a Velocity board to dualie-up my existing 400 sometime soon. I think 10:1 with a dual 400 is probably optimistic...

Finally, I think I have a good lead on a Yose 450 with a whole bunch of stuff I don't need (DVD-RAM, 2 ATI 128 cards, etc) for $1K. Parted-out & ebay'd, I just might have found that elusive < $500 Yose revision 2 case I've been pining for.

Some days are just great in Macland http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif