View Full Version : Softraid Woes

07-13-2002, 11:37 PM
Hi all

Still having no luck with Softraid :-(

Formating a raid with Softraid works fine until I restart and then a Smiley hang. AFter this I have to zap the pram to get back my former boot drive AND I have to hot swap (power switch) the softraid'ed drives to make them available for reformatting with another tool.

I am pushing my luck with that hot swapping stuff.....

Running 9.1 on a 9600 G4 450 Dual oem 2940U2B's No scsi ID probs or termination probs. This setup works fine using HDST but that tool will only let you stripe 2 drives Maximum

Softraid 2.2.2

This just screams "incompatible driver" to me but according to SR all my hardware and software is compatible

Can you put HDST raid/single driver and softraid on tha same Mac?

Sigh.... going to SR's site now to poke around..


Damien's Stuff (http://www.macmeisters.com/Damien/)

[This message has been edited by Damien (edited 14 July 2002).]

07-14-2002, 09:05 AM

Some possibiliies particularly important with dual SCSI cards and SoftRAID striped across both cards, in addition to the same old phrase of having identical drives, exact same model number, and even same drive firmware recommended.

The first with dual cards is what Magician calls symmetry. Same number of drives on each card, same SCSI cabling/terminators, meaning all Granite or all Initio or all Foxconn. Even important is that all drives internally connected or all externally. We had a case here long ago where drives on one card were internal and drives on the other card were external. Didn't work well. SoftRAID is very picky about a lot of things, even more so in the case of dual cards.

The second, with dual cards and your G4, is the problem of needing both cards in the BusMaster PCI slots (slots 1 & 4) and your G4 making many BusMaster cards in the lower three PCI slots, particularly slot 4 in your case, problematical. My guess is that your second 2940U2B is misbehaving in slot 4 because of the G4, unless you have the xlr8 G4 SSE which was designed to restore all capabilities of the lower three PCI slots with a G4.

One other possibility is that some with dual SCSI cards have discovered that enabling Write-through is essential for stability or just to even boot. And you have tested your memory?

Please understand that I'm NOT recommending the SSE Carrier card. There are many horror stories here and elsewhere about problems with getting the xlr8 G4 with SSE Carrier combo to work properly, never mind whether it solves the lower three PCI slots problem. Just a few have been able to get this combo to work, that I have seen.

Anyone want to correct me (my bad memory) or add to what I have said? k

[This message has been edited by kaye (edited 14 July 2002).]

07-14-2002, 11:15 AM
Hi Kaye

All great advice but unfortunately been there, done that..... on most of it.

I do have the carrier SSE and have never had a problem I could blame on it yet

Also I forgot to mention, Just the Softraid driver EVEN on a single drive will cause this behaviour

This also happens if I take the 9600 back to stock config (including the processor and ram!)

All the drives I have tried to stripe have been identical and have had (off an on) symmetry in my Mac. I have tried assymetrical setups as well with no luck. But since it does it with just a single drive formatted with SR I think that it is not a Symmetry issue. Also all of the drives will stripe just fine and run great using HDST

My U2B's are in slots 1 & 4 and both function just fine in every way as long as the SR driver is not present anywhere on the system. As I said I DO have the SSE card.

Just checked and write through is enabled, this was the default setting by XLR8 I assume because I have never changed this setting.

My G4 is a true 450 as well, I have not overclocked it....yet

My 9600 started life as a 233 I have a TON of upgrades in it but as I said it does this if I take it back to stock config.

One item in your post I have NOT tried is testing my memory. I have 2 new 128MB sticks and it is interleaved. What's a good (free) memory tester?

Another thing I have not tried is reverting back to an earlier OS

One other oddity is this: this 9600 absolutely will not boot if my Radeon 7000 is installed. In any config! I think this is unrelated though because I have 4 legacy Macs and NONE of them will boot if the 7000 is present.( 7500, 7300, 8500, 9600) The radeon specs say it should work though....I blame ATI for this one (I like blaming ATI for things http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif )

As I said, it will behave this way in any config but here is a rundown of my PCI bus anyway

Slot 1 - 2940U2B
Slot 2 - USB card
Slot 3 - Firewire card
Slot 4 - 2940U2B
slot 5 - 10/100 Ethernet card
Slot 6 - ATI Rage 128 OEM Apple card

It occurs to me that the one NON stock item in the mac that has been present in all tests is a 40x Plextor as the cdrom on the internal 10MB bus. It is all alone on the on board scsi busses (nothing on the 5MB bus) and I have it terminated by an internal inline 50 pin terminator

Also there is no floppy drive in the machine.

I am going to boot my 7300 and do some testing with SR and old OS's and such, will post back my results


Damien's Stuff (http://www.macmeisters.com/Damien/)

[This message has been edited by Damien (edited 14 July 2002).]

07-14-2002, 11:40 AM
Hey Buddy,

?I can't believe you're having all this trouble, what with all the donations and sacrifices you've made to the Mac g*ds and all. I haven't a clue how to help your problem directly. But:

?Best ram test is XLR8's Power Control. Run Power Frax in background and let Power Control run all night, you'll know your ram. (turn off energy saver and other functions don't work since it was written pre G4 and pre OS9)the ram test works great. You can download it from the Gurus ftp site.

?If you think it would be nice to test with I am currently not using my copy of FWB HDTK. I'd be happy to send it to you to try out the RAID and see if it's stable.

?Somehow, someway........


07-14-2002, 12:07 PM
Thanks Rick I will get the Power Control and run it

HDST raid runs just fine on this Mac in about any config I throw at it and I would rather run HDST than FWB (No offense ) Thanks for the offer though.

I booted the 7300 which has a G3 266 and tried out Softraid on it and SR worked perfectly in every way even with my SEVERELY mismatched scsi drives/busses/cables that I set up from my "Pile O'SCSI stuff" (perhaps you are familiar with the infamous "Pile O'SCSI stuff" I am sure you have one too)

Something about the 9600......

Could be worse I suppose, I like HDST but I want my Burly raid (4 x15's) to be all one volume and HDST will only stripe 2 drives at a time

Going to poke around in the gurus ftp site now


Damien's Stuff (http://www.macmeisters.com/Damien/)

[This message has been edited by Damien (edited 16 July 2002).]

07-14-2002, 12:40 PM
I did a 10 minute test and no errors were reported I will let it run all night tonight and see what happens

Have found NO reference at all to the SSE on XLR8's site........


Damien's Stuff (http://www.macmeisters.com/Damien/)

[This message has been edited by Damien (edited 14 July 2002).]

07-14-2002, 03:04 PM
BTW Damien, xlr8 does not recommend, in fact discourages, interleaved RAM with the xlr8 G4 with SSE Carrier. k

07-14-2002, 03:18 PM

I just remembered something from way back, another 9600 owner, 4MB Boot RAM limit at startup:

"posted 28 October 2000 06:01 ??? ? ? ??
Okay, gang. I have some interesting news on the workaround for my very odd situation.

To recap, I could not boot from an HFS Plus, striped volume with two Miles2 cards and three display cards installed in my 9600. I *could* boot from an HFS regular, striped volume.

After eliminating hardware variables, I suspected this had to do with the amount of memory that the system has at bootup to load drivers, Appletalk, ethernet, SCSI, video, etc. I spoke with Mark James of SoftRAID and he confirmed this. There is a 4MB Boot RAM limit at startup, and the combination of all the resources in my system exceeded that limit. Why the difference with HFS Plus?

On older hardware, HFS Plus has a small wrapper with literally a condensed system in it, so that the Mac can identify the HFS Plus file system. It takes a fair amount of RAM, and that pushed me over the edge.

The solution (for now) was to reformat my array with the boot volume HFS and the other volumes HFS Plus. While it is a compromise, I can definitely feel the speed boost."

What he discovered is that HFS+ uses up more of the allowed 4MB for a boot volume than HFS, as of course does a lot of PCI cards. This may be the problem. My original post was based on not knowing what you have. k

07-14-2002, 04:21 PM
I will try de-interleaving the ram. I have had no ram troubles though, in fact this has been a VERY stable OS 9.1 system from day one as long as there is no softraid driver present.

The 4MB thing ..... I thought I had heard a little bit about everything but that one is all new to me http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I AM currently booting from a striped array though, using 2 10K cheetahs one on each bus, using HDST driver. Formatted HFS Plus..

In the past I have always liked SR and it is a few MB's faster than HDST but I am not sure it is worth all this.......

I hate leaving an issue unresolved though!

I have yet to risk my boot drive on Softraid, it has remained HDST throughout.


Damien's Stuff (http://www.macmeisters.com/Damien/)