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Thread: Booting From RAID

  1. #41
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    Louie, if you can tell me where to look for it I'll get back to you asap.
    Btw. I'm following your efforts with great interest. Despite being SR the possible cause, from your experience it seems that there's no descent alternative. I'm running the raid for about 2 months now. At 67 / 61 read/writes its stable and fast as hell. Up to now I haven't experienced any file corruption either. Thanks for not giving up.
    Ton

  2. #42
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    Ton,

    Bottom right side of the mobo, almost behind the square plastic that goes around the speaker cover. Mine says PCC 5000-0121-05, 05 being the revision level. On the back of my PTP under the screw just below the AC power connector is a tape which says AUG-1997, the build date I guess.

    Louie,

    That is disappointing. Well, the ram is eliminated as a possibility. I am running that same ram in the PTP and was running it in the picky Newer G3 S900 with no problems and it is 50ns as you say. I just was never able to find out the significance of the 3 instead of 2. Newer Tech told me it would work fine but, of course, never told me what the 3 meant, then you have to factor in whether they were just guessing or what.

    We can also eliminate the possibility of your xlr8 card being the problem.

    So we are down to SoftRAID or the Initio firmware or, as magician says, something low level. Maybe I should check the part numbers on my Bandit chips and whatever else to compare.

    BTW, melt the xlr8, run it faster while you have it, and tell us where it stops. I never did try faster with the switches than 540/270 though it complained and did ask for incrementally faster, around 544/272 as I recall. I did accept those speedups. Running it faster, if it will, also might tell us something about your mobo. Don't worry about the card.

    I guess you are to the point where trying ExpressRAID 2.3.1 might be worthwhile though it looked like a pain to me also. I hate to read the docs. k

  3. #43
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    If ton's mobo dash number is 04 like mine, that will be at least one thing in common. If my memory serves me, it was the last version, -05, that caused the biggest problem for XLR8. They actually reverse-engineered it and modified the Carrier card to work properly on the PTP and all the rest.

  4. #44
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    Louie, looked it up for you and my 9500 says NM3 94V -0. anyway thats all the print I could find on the mobo.
    It's an early 9500/132 so that would be one of the first series I guess?
    Doesn't seem likely that revionsnumbers of macs/clones mobo's are parallel would they?
    Ton

  5. #45
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    My mistake Ton. I was thinking you had a Power Tower Pro. All PTP's have a 9500 ROM, but Kaye doesn't have this Write-Through problem. I was looking for any commonality.

  6. #46
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    Ton,

    Not sure about Louie but I was thinking you have a PTP. Your configuration of drives and cards, dual Miles2 with a drive connected to each card?

    Louie,

    I just had a thought. HDT whether RAID or not, has in its driver (not mode page parameters), by default, an item checked called "Synchronize cache on shutdown". It says shutdown but it also does this on reboot. What I remember of this is that it saves what is in the drive's onboard cache before it allows a shutdown or reboot. This only applies to PCI machines. I encountered this on my NuBus Macs because there is about a 4 second delay before shutdown or reboot. I unchecked it since the HDT docs said it was only required for PCI machines.

    What I wonder is whether SoftRAID, when you have dual Miles2, is properly flushing/saving what is in the cache of drives connected to both cards. It may only be properly handling the drive cache on one card. Just a thought. k

  7. #47
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    Louie,

    Just reread SoftRAID's site and saw this:

    We have had a few odd reports which we have not been able to pin down to a specific cause with some G3 upgraded cards. What happens is that the system may not boot properly, or may have occasional or frequent hangs. If you have a G3 or G4 upgrade card, test your system with all SoftRAID driver acceleration disabled. If your system is stable only with SoftRAID driver acceleration disabled, then you may need to leave SoftRAID acceleration disabled on your system.

    You might try disabling SoftRAID acceleration, disabling Write-Through, and try booting. k

  8. #48
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    Hmmm. Can I do that without having to rebuild my RAID volume? I might try that and see if the trade-off is worse or better than Write-Through.

    [This message has been edited by Louie (edited 06 December 2000).]

  9. #49
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    Yes you can. Just start SoftRAID. In the menu bar select Driver (I'm on my P120 so this is from memory) which opens a window called Driver Parameters. Uncheck Write Acceleration and uncheck Read Acceleration and uncheck Photoshop Acceleration, if checked. Click OK. Done. See what happens.

    If problem persists, open SoftRAID again. Now you want to play with reducing the number of Maximum Concurrent I/Os which will also reduce the Memory Pool Size. Click OK and see what happens.

    I'm not saying that this is the way to run, just an experiment to see if the problem is SoftRAID. k

  10. #50
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    Louie,

    I went out to get the mail and realized I forgot to mention -

    After launching SoftRAID, highlight one of the X15's, then go to the menu bar and select Driver...

    After done, you must highlight the other X15, and make the driver changes for it. Sorry, k

  11. #51
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    Right. I just tried turning off all SoftRAID acceleration, restarted, unchecked Write-Through and it froze. I ran ATTO with accelleration off and got essentially the same numbers; 77 and 71. Odd.

    It was a good idea.

  12. #52
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    Nuts! Oh well. BTW, turning all that stuff off didn't make a noticeable difference for me in ATTO but it did in MacBench 5. About 5% in Disk and almost 10% in Publishing Disk. I ran that test when I was building up the S900 and comparing the SoftRAID driver with the HDT 3.0.2 driver with 2x 10k Cheetahs striped on one Miles2. SoftRAID with all acceleration off was almost exactly equal to HDT 3.0.2 in MacBench 5. So the SoftRAID acceleration items use main memory to further tweak their driver for some performance gain. k

  13. #53
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    Louie and Kaye:
    My config. and issue in a nutshell:
    pm 9500/Newertech G3 400/1MB/2 x Miles2/2 ext.10K cheetah's/2 internal 10k Cheetah's.
    Only when the 2 miles/4 Cheetha's are bus duplexed to one SR volume I have the same problem as Louie: Without write thru enabled the machine freezes when the backside cache kicks in. Using the Miles independently makes it go away.

  14. #54
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    Ton,

    What OS are you running? And have you tried other/earlier/later versions? k

  15. #55
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    Kaye,
    I'm running 9.04 and trying another OS version didn't come to mind,
    so maybe I will try this. I think the problem isn't only tied to the backside cache vs.bus but a combination of things. When I boot of another disk, I mean not the raid volume, I succeed in booting succesfully with enabled backside cache and "write back". It's just impossible to run apps from the raid. Either they will freeze almost instantly after startup or crash within a few minutes of use, especially when heavy disk access is required for instance while saving to disk or loading plug-ins or fonts. Dunno if Louie's experience regarding this is the same. I don't think it has anything to do with the upgraded processor though. I tried the original 604 and a slower 266 Mhz G3/512 kb backside cache with no change. Also I tried the latest drivers from Newertech/XLR8 and Sonnet for the G3 cards with no success so I really think it points to Softraid and/or the Miles firmware.
    Ton

  16. #56
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    Ton,

    I think Louie's experience is the same but with more disastrous results, a couple of HD's, not part of the RAID, hosed.

    So far on my PTP, with OS7.6.1 and 8.6 and 9.0.4, I have not duplicated this problem. I have yet to try OS8.0. Just got a replacement CD for 8.0. Loaned mine out and I think it is a goner. If I could duplicate it, hopefully without losing a drive, I could get permission to take it to Initio, but I have to take a machine with the problem staring us in the face.

    I did suggest to Louie trying dual ATTO UL3Ds, running an X15 off of one channel on each card, and that I could send him my UL3D if he could borrow another. That way we could see if the problem is the Miles2 or firmware. Also suggested trying ATTO RAID to see if SoftRAID is the culprit. But, as you can understand, he is just a little jumpy about losing any more HD's. k

  17. #57
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    I think I may have found another ATTO UL3D so if you are patient Ton, and Louie wants to try, I may be able to send him two UL3D's to see if it is an Initio problem. He already has the ATTO RAID I think in case SoftRAID is the culprit. Anyway, we may be able to get to the bottom of this. k

  18. #58
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    Ton:

    How did the problem manifest itself when you ran the 604e card? There was no backside cache to kick in.

    Do you mean that it froze as soon as the XLR8 extension loaded?? (which it will do even w/o a G3 card). If so, this sounds like an XLR8 software problem.

    [This message has been edited by Louie (edited 07 December 2000).]

  19. #59
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    Louie:
    I made a mistake in my post regarding the 604: It should have been: G3 266@133 mhz/512 k no go. 604 Ok. Sorry about the confusion I've caused.
    Regarding the G3 drivers: I've used the Machspeed drivers and the Maxpowr drivers from Newer and I don't see much difference between the two. Bot drivers allow write thru setting and with both drivers I need those settings to boot or work reliably from the raid.

    Louie and Kaye: I'm sorry to hear Louie lost a couple of drives in the process, I didn't know that. I have another disk in the 9500, an older IBM for emergency startups etc. and that was never affected by the problem. I just tried booting from this disk with "write back" enabled and it starts up fine. But it's not possible in this situation to run applications from the raid, they will all freeze.

    As I've said before in a previous posting: I don't make a very big deal out of not being able to use the write back option. I love the speed of the raid and I'm willing to sacrifice a little processor performance for this. But in the meantime I'm following you efforts to get to the bottom of this with great interest.
    Thank you

  20. #60
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    I have installed the dual ATTO cards in my PTP with some interesting results. Go to the Step-byStep for PTP-250. k

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