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Thread: Miles 2 - Virtual Memory

  1. #1
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    Was doing a clean install on a Beige G3 desktop with a new Miles 2 card and started running into problems when using the new disks - freezes on long copies, crashes during TT3 volume tests, etc. After booting with base extentions, then with no extentions & cp's, and then with extentions off, I finally figured out that the problem was that I had virtual memory turned on.

    Now I know that in general I want this off, I must have missed it after my last Prom reset. However, shouldn't it work with VM on if it needs to?

  2. #2
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    I think I remember an issue like this. You might need to move the VM to a different parititon or you might need to run with it off. Also I think there are settings (if you used SoftRAID say) that can cause problems (like Photoshop acceleration?).

    The other question is do you really need VM?

    How much memory do you have?
    What kinds of apps are you using?

    With Mac OS 9 VM is fairly fast, but for some thing it can slow you down (other things can be slightly faster too). It also makes the app use memory more efficiently since it no longer needs to load ALL its code into RAM. If you check the GET INFO they will often say memory requirements will increase by X if VM is turned off or memory requirement will decrease by X if VM is turned on. Some apps like to load all into RAM anyway and wont change much - other will. One nice poweruser feature of Mac OS 9 (and 8) is that you can turn VM off, on and set it to whatever you want (just about) and you can also increase memory to various applications depending on what you do - so they run faster.

    As a general rule I would think if you have 512MB or more that you probably do not need VM. If you run with 1GB of memory or more VM is automatically turned off in 9. The Max you can have in a beige is 768 though so... YMMV.


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  3. #3
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    I'm sure I don't need to use VM, and I'm not planing to use it. It just seems strange that I can't use the Miles2 with it on and I wanted to be sure there wasn't more going on that I should know about. I was impressed with the massive amount of info the MacGurus Initio page has, I wasn't even planing to buy a Miles2 until reading their pages. I was hoping they might have more info on this.

    I have my machined maxed out at 768, and I did try moving VM to different partitons before turning it off.

    Thanks

    [This message has been edited by jnaz (edited 19 March 2002).]

  4. #4
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    I have had VM turned on my 7500 with the XLR8 G3 400MHz AND the 10k Cheetah and Miles card. No problems. It is not my practice and it is off all the time. I am only running 288 megs RAM in that machine - it is fine for what I have it doing.

    I just recently reinstalled everything and it ran with the default VM on for 2-3 days before I turned it off. I do not know the inner workings of the 7500 vs. the Beige G3 good enough to know if thats an issue or not. What OS version are you running?

    You have plenty of RAM so turn VM off. But why won't it work - is still the unanswered question.

    Randy

  5. #5
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    I would suspect the driver, the mode page settings, maybe reset open firmware and nvram or something. VM when it came out (OS 7) was a bear and took developers a long time to get things working. 9.1 is the first VM that I think comes close to working decent.

    Usually starting from a virgin OS and giving even control panels and stuff more memory helps, a lot of little stuff. You can use SoftRAID or even FWB HDT (4.5.2) to tweak mode pages - even if you end up using Drive Setup.

    I have had freezes on large copies. I use to do it when I first got a drive just to punish the system and fill the drives. Then I started looking at better terminators, cables, the long road to scsi heaven has lots of rocks in the road.
    I like to use Drive Setup to initialize, quick safe and decent. Then run Test to scan the drive to fix any bad blocks before using SoftRAID.

    I have an ATTO controller that can't 'remember' the system folder, OS X bootx or tbxi file for OS 9. Don't know why and I don't use ATTO software. But I also can't get an RMA - they want to look at it on their machine and may send it back. I won't accept that. It seems that hardware is not as much plug and play as playing well together - and not everything always does.

    I don't use TTPro but if that was my setup and had that happen, I'd do Test in Drive Setup. I do not like to do a low level and the need just isn't there usually with today's drives. And I would hate for something to happen during a low level. Also, doing a low level seems to put out a lot of heat - and heat is what drives don't like. And, I'd assume that heat might even affect track drift even slightly.

    VM also is giving the drive a workout.

    No answer, but I'd do some more tests.

    Gregory

  6. #6
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    I like to use Drive Setup to initialize, quick safe and decent. Then run Test to scan the drive to fix any bad blocks before using SoftRAID.

    I like Drive Setup to and hey - its FREE and generally more compatible than anything else. What is this 'Test' you use to scan the drive with. What did I miss?

    I have an ATTO controller that can't 'remember' the system folder, OS X bootx or tbxi file for OS 9. Don't know why and I don't use ATTO software.
    Strange.
    There really is not any 'ATTO' software - at least there are not any bootable SCSI drivers for these types of cards. I know they make 'Express Tools' and a few other things, but I rarely use the vendors software - unless of course there is a firmware update. I guess you already tried the firmware updates?

    I did have an issue with the startup control panel in 9.1 - it would either not work or crash the system. I think it might have been a combo of a G3 upgrade on a vintage Mac and Netware and/or MS Office '98 (the TRIFECTA ) Anyway - I used the startup control panel from 8.6 and it works fine.

    I do not like to do a low level and the need just isn't there usually with today's drives. And I would hate for something to happen during a low level. Also, doing a low level seems to put out a lot of heat - and heat is what drives don't like. And, I'd assume that heat might even affect track drift even slightly.
    LL Formats take F O R E V E R - then there is ZERO'n out the data which can add MORE T I M E. I suppose its possible there could be issues with a SCSI drive if the LL went FUBAR. I had issues with one LL but it turned out OK in the end. I basically gave up on the LL formate after about 16hours of non stop 'formatting' with little to no progress half way through. SCSI drives are made for LL formatting though - you can not really do this to IDE/ATA. You may see a LL option, but it normally is only for zeroing out the data. I guess would generate a lot of heat since the drive is moving as fast as it can and is not limited by the OS, CPU, SCSI card, PCI bus, application stalling, etc... but I am fairly sure that all drives (esp new ones) are very good about adjusting to heat expansion when necessary. Hey - SCSI is rated for 5 years, IDE only gets 3.

    I wounder how your setup would work in X? Not that I would try it IF you system is your MAIN system, but X automatically uses VM when needed (probably not often with 768MB, but open a few GB of files in photoshop 7 and run classic environment just to make sure). I think X changes settings in NVRAM and because Beige isnt NewWorld there are issues that Apple has not fully ironed out.

  7. #7
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    Randy, were you booted off a drive connected to the Miles? I noticed that my problems were much worse when booted off a drive connected to the Miles (until VM was turned off). I'm running 9.2.2.

    Gregory, I'm going to reload the driver but it will be a few days before I can crack the case open and disconnect the drives. I'm running the OSX beta driver now and I'm kinda hoping that backing out to the supported 0S9 driver doesn't fix things. =) I'm also to going to zap the PRAM again and/or hit the reset switch when I open it up. I tested on partitions set up with Drive Setup and with HDST both had the same problems. I can't belive that ATTO won't take your card back, they aren't trying hard for our busness. My hate of Norton drove me to TTPro - I've had issues with Norton long before System 7.1.2 saved me from my heathen ways. I was thinking about doing a LLF but other tests have either failed or not depending on my VM setting so I don't think that's the issue.

    dragon_x, I spend quite a bit of time in X and only had problems with drives connected to the miles once. I'm hopeing there won't be issues, I'm planing on switching over full time in the next week or so. It was going to be last weekend until I spent all my time tracking down this problem.

  8. #8
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    dragon_x - Drive Setup => Functions => Test

    Doesn't really take long but scans every track for bad blocks and if it finds one will add the block to the bad track list and use one of the spares. It also tries to if it can copy the data content and any pointers. Basically the same as what a low level would do. Works on SCSI and IDE. I had an IBM Deskstar with a bad block at one point and after letting Test run and then rerun never had trouble since.

    Other programs will do a media test like Norton, but it only does a temporary fix by putting a file there and locking it down, besides being slow. Some other programs are even slower. And Drive Setup's Test can be stopped at any time, safely. Besides being free, it finally works with today's IDE and SCSI drives (though I've heard users say that Disk Utility, part of OS X, will format drives that Drive Setup would not).

    One reason I avoided the Miles2 is I wanted OS X support, and I'd heard and assumed ATTO didn't need any firmware - and OS X uses its own extensions and drivers. I use OS X full time - not using Classic or OS 9.

    However, I think there may be something about ATTO card and the Startup Disk and Open Firmware. I just have ZERO faith in ATTO support and their software after six months going nowhere fast. The card works fine in 7300 w/ G3 CarrierMPe. The only Startup Disk I use is built-into OS X but I have played with System Disk 2.1, 3.3.1 and up to latest, 9.2.3.

    After hearing people talk about zapping PRAM for years, and 'cuda reset, I find that Apple only refers to a 2nd bong restart and nothing to be gained beyond that yet "urban myth' has people holding down for 3, 4, 5 reboots. Resetting the Open Firmware to nvram defaults and a short PRAM reset and all is go. Booting through multiple OF resets can be programmed and used to test a machine.

    I think there is a bad or marginal block on one of the drives in this case and let Drive Setup Test take a 15 minute crack at it. That is all it takes on 18GB 10k drives, especially one of the new ST318406LW models.

    Gregory

  9. #9
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    jnaz

    I have had my Miles2 and Cheetah for about a year. I have used OS 8.5, 8.6, 9.0, 9.0.4, 9.1 with the machine. It has worked fine.

    I will turm VM on today all day and see what happens... I am running OS 9.1.

    I will get back to you tonight 6-7-8 MST or sooner if I have problems.

    Randy

  10. #10
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    Yes I was booting from that drive - the Cheetah. The Cheetah is the only drive I was using then. I just put an old 2 gig drive in as a boot drive - last week.

    Since my last post I turned VM on and have iTunes running and it has a little glitch about every 5-8 seconds - thats new.

    I'll boot from the 2 gig and try. I am only running with 1MB of VM on.

    Randy

  11. #11
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    OK - I just booted from the 2 gig drive and it is connected to the stock bus. Well iTunes really stinks like that - glitches in the sound all the time.

    I am back running off my Cheetah and Miles card without VM so I can listen to my music. I need it.

    I never did experience the freezes and/or crashes that you described. I have been nothing but happy with the Miles and Cheetah Combo.

    If I were you - I would turn VM off and forget about it. It is a curious question/problem however - thats why there is real RAM.

    Randy

  12. #12
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    I really appreciate you guys downgrading your machines to test this for me. I guess I'll scan the disks, try zapping the pram again, and downgrade the firmware to see if it makes a difference. Then I'll send a quick note to Initio about my problem and then just enjoy my new SCSI speed. I guess I'm lucky that it doesn't need VM on =)

    Gregory I understand, your feelings about pram myths. I use TTPro to wipe the pram because it's easier, but don't belive using TTPro or going more than two chimes is really better. I did read a Apple Tech note once that said using the Cuda reset was better when adding or removing hardware, so I presume there is something extra going on there.

    Thanks

  13. #13
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    I was having trouble with my system after putting ATTO UL3S into an empty PCI slot. From that point on, even after removing, OS X was looking for startup volume every restart and cold start. Never did that before. Even with the UL3S pulled later. Finally when I could not print, I booted from OS 9 CD, run Disk Warrior (found boot block errors on each system volume that had OS X (3)) and ran Norton DD 6.03 to fix minor and major errors.

    Inserting a card caused all this and more. A card that ATTO still won't RMA or refund on. Spend 5 solid hours doing diagnostics - and system isn't 'perfect' as it was days ago before I gave the UL3S "one more shot."

    Someone else has the ATTO UL2D which won't work in QS and shows the 2 minute search for a startup volume but works with the UL3D.

    Controllers and systems have a LONG way to go to be "plug and play" and even then. Adaptec has had a year to get drivers for their cards. SoftRAID had to wait until after 10.1 and then had to wait even longer for more tools, API documentation etc. And developers are 'asking' (screaming) for better method of documentating, providing API's and not just 'documenting' "after the fact" without working like in the old days.

    Sunday OS X 10 will be a year old. Carbon has turned out to be a joke of sorts. OmniWeb is 'closing in' on 4.1 being "GM." Oh well.

    Gregory

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