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View Full Version : Cheetah RAID on ATTO - End of MY Rope!



Squid 80
12-17-2001, 11:42 PM
A few months ago i purchased from Macgurus all the components necessary for configuring an internal RAID for my G4/500 Sawtooth. I got 2 Cheetah 36 gigabyte drives, an ATTO UL3d pci card, granite digital cabling and termination, and Softraid 2.2.2. For a month or so everything worked great. I finished a very large After Effects project which took nearly 80 hours to render. Shortly after i finished this project, but not right after, the Cheetah RAID stopped showing up on the desktop. I tried reflashing the firmware, zapping the PRAM, hunted for extension conflicts, took all the components out and put them back in, reinstalled OS 9.1, rebuilt the desktop, and re-installed SoftRaid. After all this, still nothing showed up. Not in Softraid, not in Hard Disk Took Kit, SCSI Probe, Disk First Aid, System Profiler, ATTO Express Pro Tools, or Drive Setup.
So i figured it must be damaged hardware. The first thing i returned was the cabling and termination - i thought maybe they had gotten crimped up, or i had bent a pin or something. Got new ones - to no avail. Next i returned both drives to Seagate. They sent me new ones but i lost all my data. I hooked these up today - and still nothing - having repeated all of the previously mentioned checks. This leaves the ATTO card. The card and both of its channels show up fine in the ATTO express pro tools software. This, according to ATTO indicates that the card is working fine. At least i know the PCI slot is okay. I asked ATTO if i could return the card to them to test or replace - it's still under warranty- but they said that since it shows up in their software, and since i don't have other drives or another computer to test it in, they can't really exchange it. The one thing they can "do for me" is let me buy a new card and then pretend that i've changed my mind about the purchase, returning the older card for the 30 day refund. Well, unfortunately i don't have $600. lying around so this is an almost impossible option for me. Besides, does that little exchange deal seem professional? I thought a warranty was a warranty. Well, anyway, i've been without working drives for over three months now, and its seems like i've run out of options and have flushed fourteen hundred dollars down the toilet. Have i slipped into the twilight zone? PLEASE HELP!
Joey

lasvegas
12-18-2001, 12:14 AM
Take a look in the Devices and Volumes section of Apple System Profiler (Under the Apple menu). It should show the drives connected to the ATTO as devices on SCSI Bus (3). If so, your problem is software.

Santilli
12-18-2001, 12:35 AM
Boy, sounds like my former problem.

I wonder if you wouldn't be better off using the card, and system, under 8.6, if your Sawtooth supports that os.

I also wonder if you haven't created a software conflict, since you appear to have both ATTO Express pro tools, and Softraid installed at the same time.

Finally, if the above don't sort it out, send the card back. I had to go to a manager before I got any sort of knowledgable tech support on my card. He finally took the card back, when I described how none of the settings in the bios worked...

Turned out, flashing the bios on the card didn't go well, and the bios was all screwed up. They fixed it, and the card works fine in 2000, doesn't have any functioning drivers in 98, and they want to blame it on asus, or someone else;-)

Last time I checked, they didn't have any drivers for XP, and, I think they just got Express Protools to work with OS X.
In other words, they are likely assholes and elbows deep in work, since the pc side, and the mac side changed os, at the same time. Wouldn't bet their cards are a go for Linux, either.

http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif

You might be way better off buying one of these from the gurus:

Enter a quantity, then click on the Add Items button to order.

OEM Apple/Adaptec SCSI PCI Boards!
Description Price Quantity
Apple/Adaptec AHA-2940U2B LVD U2 Single-Channel SCSI PCI Card $79.99 ea

That would give you a card you know will work, and, if you really want dual channel, and have the slots, try two of them. The burst rates are generally higher on dual cards then a single, at least in my experience.

I ran dual first generation cheetahs, on 8.6, with dual adaptec uw cards, and they were way faster then they should have been. Burst rates, on small block sizes, 4k and less, in the 170 MB/sec range, and sustained data transfer in the
27 MB/sec range. Despite the low SDTR, the actual experience of working on them, in raid 0, was amazingly fast.

gs

kaye
12-18-2001, 12:36 AM
Another question, what firmware is showing for the UL3D in ATTO ExpressPro Tools? Should be something like 1.50, 1.63, or 1.64. I wonder if the firmware is corrupted? And I would try another PCI slot just to be sure to rule out the slot. Card firmly seated in the slot?

The new Seagate drives, you could not initialize them with SoftRAID because SoftRAID could not see the drives? k

Santilli
12-18-2001, 12:40 AM
Are you booting from the raid, and what software are you using?
I strongly suspect when you reflashed the card, you screwed it up.

Flashing ATTO cards has NOT gone well for me.

Insist on sending the card back to them, and having them warranty the damn card.

Intresting that they are advising you to commit fraud. Guess when you send them the old card they can say you are sol, since you lied, and misrepresented which card you are sending back.

Are you booting from the raid array?
gs

Santilli
12-18-2001, 12:43 AM
Kaye: Doesn't this sound exactly like corrupted firmware to you?
That's exactly the problem I had on my pc. I would open the bios to define the array, and NO Drives showed up in the raid bios, on the card, to set as an array.

With a mac, you don't define the array in the card bios, do you?

I also wonder if he installed softraid on top of atto express tools, and screwed up the card bios????

This wouldn't surprise me if it was either 1.63 or 1.64 firmware. I had problems with both.

gs

kaye
12-18-2001, 01:06 AM
gs,

It does sound like it could be a corrupted firmware but flashing the firmware on a Mac has always been easy and foolproof for me. And no, you don't define an array in the firmware for Mac. I must have flashed the firmware at least a half dozen times on each of my UL3Ds during testing, perhaps even more since I also tried a 1.65 beta but settled on 1.64 as the best for me. 1.64 is the latest that I know of for the Mac.

I have gone from SoftRAID to ExpressRAID and back to SoftRAID without incident. I also wonder what LEDs are on if any with the Granite LVD terminators. k

Squid 80
12-18-2001, 02:05 AM
Thanks a lot for all the prompt responses. I'll try to respond to each one:
1. I have looked in the devices and volumes section of the System profiler.
The ATTO card is there, but the drives are not.
2. I had Express ProTools and Softraid running together just fine for over a
month with the drives working flawlessly. Also, burst rates seem to be
irrelevant for video work and i could get faster sustained transfers from
a firewire drive. I wanted to build my array up over time so that i can
eventually work with uncompresses D1, Betacam, etc.
3. I was originally using firmware 1.64 which was working fine and stuck
with that through the hardware swap-outs. Only today did i try 1.65 beta
which ATTO sent me. They said it was designed specifically for G4's
conflicting with Cheetahs...in OS 9.2, under which the drives don't
show up from the get go. But, as i've said, mine showed up & worked
fine for a good while. And i have tried all the PCI slots. The card
shows up in each, so they all seem fine. And correct, SoftRaid can't
see the drives. Nor can the mighty SCSI Probe.
4. No, i'm not booting from the RAID, which doesn't exist anymore. I'm
booting from the factory-installed IDE drive. It and its companion IDE
drive are working fine, as are my Zip and DVD-Ram. The rest of the
computer is singing.
5. As for the terminator, the only light on is the green TRM. When i restart
or zap the PRAM the red REQ light blinks once.
Again, thanks for the responses. I wish ATTO would just let me exchange this card for a replacement. Why won't they?

Santilli
12-18-2001, 02:27 AM
Squid:

Ok. You are using two of the same raid software packages. Either use Softraid, or Express Pro tools, but not both. They do the same thing, and conflicts are likely.

Here is what I would do. First: remove the ide drive from the system.
Then install the atto card, and one Cheetah. Boot from cd or floppy, and see if your system can see the drive. If so, install the other drive.

See if both drives are visible from the cd, installer for the os. If yes, then you know you have a problem with software conflicts.

It is all together likely that you cannot have both ide, and scsi raid, and have the two co-exist.

I know with my beige, it insisted on booting from the ide drive, and would not boot from the scsi raid no matter what I did.
So, get rid of the ide drive.

What I did was install the entire software package on one startup designated drive, of 4 drives.

I booted from that drive, then used softraid to define an array on the remaining two drives.

I take the entire os from the boot drive, and copy it onto the raid 0, and use that as the boot drive, and it takes about 30 minutes to completely configure, and setup, a raid 0 boot drive. This is under 8.6 on a beige.
It will not allow me to use the ide connectors, since it wants to boot from them. No great loss, I just use those for non-system items.

Did you ever check, and even see if Sawtooth supported raid?

I don't think apple does support it on sawtooths, because they have designated
the ata channels as boot, and any drive on those channels will mean that's the boot drive.

Now, there maybe more to it then that. I had a guy from NASA working on my G3, and his solution was pull the ide drive, and don't even look back...
gs

Santilli
12-18-2001, 02:29 AM
I would also wipe and reinstall the os on the ide drive first, with either softraid, or ATTO Express tools, but not both, and then try installing the array.

This is a clean install, since I think you have something corrupted in your os disk.

gs

Santilli
12-18-2001, 02:30 AM
"Companion ide drive?"

Has it ever occured to you that the mobo may not support two ide drives in that machine?
Beiges are like that. Check it out.
gs

Squid 80
12-18-2001, 03:03 AM
Santilli,
Thanks for responding. Express Pro Tools does not work as RAID formatting software on the G4. It just lets you set parameters for the card. Express Pro RAID does, but that's not what i'm using. Also as i said, this setup worked great for over a month of intensive use, both programs (Express and SoftRaid) were installed. And according to Apple, you can't boot from RAID, and i don't want to. But RAID aside, it seems the motherboard and/or the other programs i've mentioned should at least be able to see the drives. And i've also booted from the original OS9 cd and with extensions off, and there's just no sign of the drives anywhere.
I don't have an IDE RAID. When i wrote "companion IDE" i just meant a second IDE drive that was also factory Installed. They aren't connected in any way.

Santilli
12-18-2001, 03:19 AM
Squid:
"Thanks for responding. Express Pro Tools does not work as RAID formatting software on the G4. It just lets you set parameters for the card. Express Pro RAID does, but that's not what i'm using. Also as i said, this setup worked great for over a month of intensive use, both programs (Express and SoftRaid) were installed. And according to Apple, you can't boot from RAID, and i don't want to. But RAID aside, it seems the motherboard and/or the other programs i've mentioned should at least be able to see the drives. And i've also booted from the original OS9 cd and with extensions off, and there's just no sign of the drives anywhere.
I don't have an IDE RAID. When i wrote "companion IDE" i just meant a second IDE drive that was also factory Installed. They aren't connected in any way."

OK:
Squid, what I am saying is you do not need two raid programs, period. Softraid also defines the parameters for the drives, and system. You PROBABLY HAVE A SOFTWARE CONFLICT THERE.
Get rid of one or the other, and try it again.

You can also have corrupted some sort of os software, as well.
Again, the only suggestion I can make is to clean install on the ide drive, and try it again.
Also, some of the ATTO cards are famous for having one channel dead, and the other working, so make sure you try the drives on both channels.

Your comments about the light on the terminator not working, by not flashing, really makes me think this is a scsi id problem, if it's not the card.

What are the scsi id's of the different drives? They should be between 2-6 on each channel. Also check your other drive jumpers to make sure all settings on the drives are correct. Call Seagate, and have their tech support walk you through it, they are really good.
gs

Damien
12-18-2001, 08:19 AM
OK You can't boot from a software raid array in a Sawtooth But the ATTO and a single scsi drive is completely bootable

About this terminator light......on my terminator a green light means that you are running in SE mode and if your drives are not jumpered for SE then they will not show up anywhere. An orange light signifies proper LVD Termination. Admittedly my term is a different model but this is worth checking into. If your term has died it could be the cause of all your troubles.

Do you have any other devices on the scsi card besides these drives?

I am running a 733 Digital Audio with an ATA boot drive and a UL3D ATTO ultra 160 dual channel with 2 15k cheetahs. OS X.1

[This message has been edited by Damien (edited 18 December 2001).]

Squid 80
12-18-2001, 08:24 AM
Well, i changed the jumper id settings (from 0 & 1 to 3 & 4,) switched from one channel on the card to the other (i've done this numerous times,)
got rid of ExpressPro Tools, and performed a clean install. Still nothing. Sure seems like it just might be the ATTO card. I'll just have to ask them again to please consider upholding their end of the warranty. But they're not gonna like that.

Squid 80
12-18-2001, 08:33 AM
- Nope, i had the terminator replaced right after this first happened. One thing i guess i haven't stressed enough is that for over a month everything worked - beautifully. I didn't change anything. One day i restarted the computer and the drives weren't mounted. That was the beginning of the end. See my first post.
- Nothing else on the card.

[This message has been edited by Squid 80 (edited 18 December 2001).]

TZ
12-18-2001, 09:44 AM
I identified a problem to ATTO back in September when 9.2.1 came out and they finally duplicated problem on B&W G3, 9.2.1. Using 9.1 I'm fine. Would freeze just before the menu bar clock would appear. Does not affect newer QSG4 Mac.

I posted a couple threads here about my problem - I too thought it was a bad ATTO board (just bought it at the end of August so I had new OS update as well). Took weeks to pin down and try everything and get ATTO to confirm there is a problem.

1.6.5a firmware seemed to produce reduced thruput. Happened using Drive Setup 2.07 and ExpressPro Tools as well so it wasn't a SoftRAID driver.

If you can go back to 9.1 (but use the ATI drivers etc that you need, like OT, OpenGL etc) that might help.

You said that SoftRAID isn't even seeing the drives, so I guess just reinstalling the driver won't work? But you have reinitialized and rebuilt the RAID? Have you talked to someone at SoftRAID like Mark for help? He went the extra mile and willing to talk to ATTO for me if needed.

I did find one program, Graphic Converter, had trouble with any "Undo" operation if I booted from SoftRAID mirror volume - I think GC4.2 just posted fixes this.

I am STILL waiting for more than just alpha firmware from ATTO. In my situation it seemed to be worse booting or using internal drives for my RAID - so I ended up moving everything into external boxes (ie, more cables, more terminators, the works). The ATTO Ul3S treats the internal and external bus on the same channel as two different buses.

Because you boot from IDE (I didn't) none of this may apply;(

Gregory

Squid 80
12-18-2001, 10:51 AM
Thanks, Gregory. Actually, i've never left 9.1. Just did a clean install today, even.

ricks
12-18-2001, 01:27 PM
Hi ya Joey,
Ain't you got fun. I think you have a bad card. What else can you replace?(nothin)
Santillis' comments on compatability with IDE and SCSI and RAIDS coexisting on the mac really only applied to the beige boxes that he sounds so familiar with. The Sawtooth should be able to handle any of the configurations that you are trying. (even scsi raid with ide raid, this I know works 'cause I have done this)

Apple even builds to order ATTO card/drives with the default IDE drive. You should be able to add cards/buses until you run out of PCI slots. What you have built is well within the 'normal' range of hardware installations and compatability.

Don't give up on ATTO. You need to work the chain of command until you get a 'yes' answer. Don't accept a no, ask who the supervisor is of the person your talking to and go to him/her. About the only time that won't work is when your talkin' to the CEO/Pres. You will get a correct answer eventually.

Your experience is very frustrating to me since I also rely on ATTO UL3D hardware to power my Sawtooth SCSI. They need to display some support. Jump up and down on someone.

Good luck,
Rick

lasvegas
12-18-2001, 02:28 PM
I agree with ricks. The fact that the drives aren't appearing in Apple System Profiler indicates that your problem <u>is not</u> related to software, but is a hardware problem. Check again in Apple System Profiler for the info on the ATTO card itself. What information does it show for the card? Is it properly reporting the Card type, Card name, Card model and Card ROM #? Is it showing an empty or populated SCSI Bus 2?

Santilli
12-18-2001, 06:14 PM
"Don't give up on ATTO. You need to work the chain of command until you get a 'yes' answer. Don't accept a no, ask who the supervisor is of the person your talking to and go to him/her. About the only time that won't work is when your talkin' to the CEO/Pres. You will get a correct answer eventually.

Your experience is very frustrating to me since I also rely on ATTO UL3D hardware to power my Sawtooth SCSI. They need to display some support. Jump up and down on someone."

thanks to the others that filled in the blanks.

YOU HAVE A BAD CARD. Get on ATTO's ass, and keep going up the chain of command until someone takes the damn card back.

Or, grab one of the LVD Apple oem adaptec cards for 79 bucks, or two is better yet.

Get the card fixed by atto, and sell the damn thing.

I will say, once you do get it to work, it's a very good card.

gs

Squid 80
12-18-2001, 08:25 PM
Thanks a million, all. I finally was able to get an RMA from ATTO this morning and will be shipping them the card tomorrow. I'll post again when i get it back - shortly after Christmas - to report on how things go.
Happy Holidays,
Joey

Santilli
12-19-2001, 06:08 AM
Great. Merry Christmas.
gs