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Thread: ATI card, Miles2 card, External SCSI = PROBLEM

  1. #1
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    I threw this one to Magician and he thought it may be a power supply issue. I checked that out and it doesn't seem to be the case. I thought I'd ask the rest of you... Anyone have any ideas? Similar problem?
    __________________________________________________ __________

    I have a PM 8600/300, 288 Megs RAM, OS 9.0.4...

    Internal SCSI chain '0' includes stock 4-GIG drive, stock Floppy, stock CD Rom, Stock Zip Drive, plus a Seagate Barracuda 9-Gig drive.

    External SCSI chain '1' has an HP scanner.

    I have a 17inch Sony Monitor in the Built-in monitor port. I have an ATI 128VR display card in PCI slot '1' running a second monitor.

    Everything was running just great for two years.

    I recently added a Miles2 Ultra2 SCSI accelerator card in PCI slot '2' and off that, added a Seagate Cheetah Ultra160 36-Gig drive in the bottom of my 8600 chassis.

    Now I have problems. With everything plugged in, I get two gray screens on start-up and a frozen cursor. If I unplug the second monitor from the ATI card in PCI slot 1, everything starts fine and works flawlessly (on a single monitor.)

    If I unplug the HP Scanner from the built in SCSI '1' slot, I can run both monitors, the extra internal drive, and all other internal stuff and everything works flawlessly (but I have no scanner!)

    I figured out that I can run EITHER: The second monitor AND the Miles2/Cheetah drive set-up with NO External SCSI '1' devices.
    *OR*
    The External SCSI '1' devices AND the Miles2/Cheetah drive set-up with NO second monitor.

    I am baffled. I've tried switching cards around, starting with extensions off, new disk drivers, everything!

    It comes down to an EITHER/OR thing with the ATI card or the External SCSI port.

    And everything worked fine until I added the Miles Ultra 2 card and extra Drive.

    Anyone have any ideas?

    Thanks, Jim

  2. #2
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    I have some comments/questions:

    I'm only two weeks into Miles 2 and RAID, but it is my understanding that the Miles 2 must be in tha busmaster slot, $A1 in your case, I think.

    Did you update the Miles 2 Firmware to v1.06b?

    Is the scanner terminated (well)?

    What's in the third slot?

    (BTW- the Floppy is not on a SCSI bus. It's a bastard at a famoly reunion.)

    [This message has been edited by Louie (edited 29 November 2000).]

  3. #3
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    the way you describe the problem, it almost has to be a power supply problem under load. Did you test your power supply with a multimeter with everything attached and powered on?

    everything MUST be powered on. If you have your scanner turned off, that creates the equivalent of an electronic termination power black hole which the Mac will attempt to power.

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    Louie:

    I've tried the Miles2 card in PCI slot 1, 2, and 3 with the ATI card in one of the OTHER slots. All got the exact same results.

    Yes, Firmware updated to 1.0.6.

    Yes Scanner is terminatred. There is a switch on the scanner itself I have set to terminate. If there is a better way, let me know. It's the only thing attached to the external SCSI bus. (It's been there for three years and I haven't touched it... I did double check the termination.)

    Third PCI slot is empty. But I have a Firewire card ready to go in there when I get the rest of this sorted out. (not to mention the G4 processor upgrade... urgh!)

    I think I knew the floppy wasn't on the SCSI chain... But it is in there!

    Magician:

    I tested the power with a multimeter. It took me a while to figure it out, but I also tried another Mac and got the exact same readings. I did not have the scanner or monitor attached, though. I'll try again ASAP... The multimeter blew it's fuse after testing. I have to get to radio shack.

    So you're saying I should run the whole system as it is with the side panel off and do the test THAT way? With everything ON and connected? That's when the problem happens. IF I attach the second monitor and the scanner and boot up, everything hangs and I get the gray screens. That's when I should do the test?

    It didn't seem right at the time.

    Sorry. I hate this crap. I've had a full EIGHT days without productivity on this (my main machine) and I'm getting cranky.

    Jim

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    Jimshow,

    In your last post, you said you had tried your Miles2 in all the slots, and your ATI card in ONE of the other slots.

    I'm just parroting what Louie, Magician and others have already layed out.

    As Louie said earlier, the Miles2 is a BUSMASTER card. To work without weirdness, it WANTS to be in the busmaster slot. Put it there, and then try the ATI in slot #3. I'm a greeny, but things working that shouldn't, and things not working that should, do seem to happen. (Look at how fast Kaye's runnin his PTP g3/500, no jinx intended kaye)

    Louie or Magician, how many watts is the power supply rated in the 8600/300?

    Is the ZIP drive molex powered, and does it draw power w/o media in it? If so, unplug the zip drive, and leave all the other devices as you indicated and see if it works then.

    Or Jimshow, check the back of the case, or the powersupply itself for watt rating, and then find/figure out how many rated watts your powered devices are and break out the old calculator. If you're pulling too many watts, that would backup Magicians sage diagnosis.

    At least you'd know where you're at.

    Please forgive any ideas which might be technically absurd. I'm just throwing some ideas out there, and you can sort through them and try any with merit.

    Good luck,

    Dave aka c8

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    My gut feeling is the cabling/termination of the external buss is the problem. The Miles 2 really needs to be in $A1.

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    C8's,

    I've tried that combination already. At first, I had the ATI in slot 1, Miles in slot 2. THen I read about the Miles2 and found that it should be in slot '1' so I tried that:

    Miles2 - PCI slot 1
    ATI - PCI slot 2
    exact same thing happens.

    So I moved ATI to PCI slot 3, nothing in slot 2 and Miles2 in slot 1. Same problem.

    THen I juggled the cards in as many other combinations as I could think of. I've determined that's not the problem. No matter where I put the cards, I get the same results...

    I get the start-up 'bong', the monitors fade up to gray, and the cursor is frozen in the upper left corner of the left side screen.

    All I need to do is unplug EITHER the monitor from the ATI card, OR the scanner from the external SCSI port, do the re-start keystroke, and everything starts up fine.

    I'm no expert on power and wattage, but the only thing that changed originally, was the addition of the Miles2 and the Cheetah. ANd even with everything plugged in, everything spins up (I can hear the drives going) and the Monitors have power (the screens are the gray color you get right before the happy 'mac') It's just that there's no happy mac, but everything is spinning. I can hear that.

    I'll get my multimeter working and try again. It just seems like it's something else.

    Jim

  8. #8
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    Louie,

    Is there a better way to terminate the scanner than the "termination" toggle switch on the machine itself? I'll try anything!

    The scanner was working perfectly with the ATI card for two years before I added the Miles2 in the PCI 1 (or 2 or 3!) slot. Nothing changed except the addition of the Miles2 and the cheetah.

    I didn't change the cabling, change termination or anything on the scanner. It's three years old and has worked in my system for 2 years. It's too much of a coincidence that it would just stop working the day I added the Miles 2. Again, if I unplug the second monitor from the ATI card, the scanner works with the Miles2 and the cheetah. Just not all three together!

    Jim

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    i forget what the voltage rating is on the 8600 power supply, but it is beefy, as that machine was designed to accommodate a ton of internal drives.

    you do need to test the power supply with ALL devices attached, as that is when the machine is most under load. I suspect you will find that with everything attached, you are not getting a full and clean 5v or 12v off the powered leads.

    remember: these machines are aging, and it is to be expected that power supplies are beginning to fail in them.

    don't forget to check your battery, too!

    you can get a multimeter at Radio Shack for like ten bucks or so, and they are useful to have laying around.

    remember that you want the hot lead in one of the outer holes of a Molex power connector, and the black ground in one of the two inner holes. The outer holes mate to colored wires, typically red and yellow, and the inner holes mate to black ground wires.

  10. #10
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    OK Dudes! I've done a bunch of new tests.

    Magician, it's definitely not a power problem. Battery is fine. I tested every molex plug I could reach.

    I tried pluging EVERYTHING in, started up, got the gray screens and frozen cursor I've grown accustomed to... then I checked the plugs just like you said. Got a strong 12V and 5V on every empty plug.

    Then I shut down, unplugged the External SCSI cord to the scanner and restarted. Started up no problems and got the exact same power readings.

    Then I tried pluging the External SCSI cable in and unplugging the Cheetah that was attached to the Miles2 card (but I left the Miles2 IN, but with nothing plugged into it) and got the same gray screen hangup deal. I had to actually remove the Miles2 CARD from the PCI slot in order to start up with the External SCSI and the ATI card with the second monitor. (I didn't expect that.)

    I tested power at every configuration and kept getting the exact same readings. 12V and 5V.

    There is some kind of conflict with the ATI card, the Miles2, and the Built-in SCSI bus. I can work with any TWO, but NOT ALL THREE!

    I don't think there's a problem with any ONE thing, because they all work independently, just not together.

    I need a solution.

    Jim

  11. #11
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    Hey js,

    Try leaving all connected (Miles in slot #1) and start up with all ATI extensions disabled. If this works, use selective enabling or ConflictCatcher to enable extensions one by one until the problem recurs. Then try reordering that extension to load earlier or later. The ATI bucket o' extensions has been the root of more than one problem like this.

    Also, your scanner is a little long in the tooth by computer time standards. Are you sure your driver is completely OS9 compatible and no updates are available? Try disabling the driver to start up.

    [This message has been edited by MacMikester (edited 30 November 2000).]

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    jimshow:

    My only experience with SCSI scanners is with two models of UMAX. Both came with large, active terminators that plug/screw into the "SCSI Out" connector. I am therefore unfamiliar with the type you have. Scanners are notoriously "dirty" SCSI devices and usually work best at the end of the chain (so signals from the other devices don't have to pass thru them) and with ID's of 5 or 6. Zips like ID's 4 or 5.

    Is the scanner the only device on the external bus? Do you have any other device that you could try on that bus to temporarily replace the scanner? If it boots like this, then you next look for better termination for the scanner.

    Also, check your external cables and fittings very closely.

  13. #13
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    MacMikester,

    I tried many different extension sets. Including all ATI ones off, some on, some off, every configuration imaginable. I also tried all extensions off completely. Every time I was able to recreate the problem exactly.

    Louie,

    I got an external SCSI terminator and added it to the back of my scanner, in addition to the 'terminate' toggle on the scanner itself... that bad boy is TERMINATED. I don't think it's the Driver, because the scanner has worked perfectly with OS 9 since January and I updated to 9.0.4 this summer. And it still works perfectly... as long as the Miles card is unplugged (Or the second monitor is unplugged.)

    I have had it with the whole situation. I called Initio and Dan over there was baffled, as well. He said it may have something to do with the system heap. Anyone know anything about that?

    I just pulled the Miles2 card and the Cheetah. I WOULD just want to return them because it looks like they simply won't work in this set-up. However, I think I'll hold on to them. I'd like to get a real G4 after the first of the year and (hopefully) they'll go nicely in there. Anyone want to confirm this?

    I'm willing to try something else if someone has a radical solution, but I'm just about at the end of my rope. It's been NINE days of juggling cards, reinstalling software, and basically pulling my hair out.

    I can't spend another day dealing with this. I have to get back to work. My two monitors and scanner are more important that the Cheetah at this point.

    I appreciate all your suggestions... and any others you may have!

    Thanks,
    Jim

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    Ol? Jimshow, another 2.............

    Guru's tell me if I'm wrong, but from what I've perused here, folks seem to have more conflict problems with other PCI devices, than they do with Miles2 with the latest firmware.

    JS, in the world of software code specs, apps/drivers/cdev-s.w. working well in a "prior" config of your overall system, is by NO means indicative of an absence of bugs in that software(s) code. Really, with all due respect, that is a serious fact.

    When I worked in tech support for a mac OS software developer, our small team of core programmers were BRUTAL in their compliance to apple spec. Hearing customers tell us of problems that appeared only AFTER they installed and ran our software were common occurence (and some of my least favorite calls).

    But 4 out of 5 times we found that it was a problem with one of some other cdev software on the customers machine. Getting a vendor to acknowledge bugs can be trying. The core programmers in our group stayed fairly current on known bugs, and we had no pickle with the reality of having to tell our clients; "Yeah, that's a bug, we're working on it!".

    You didn't specify in any of your posts whether you had gone to HP and verified you had the most recent driver for your scanner. Check that out.

    Again, just because it's worked under OS 9.04 before, doesn't mean that one of your device drivers hasn't found a bug. One of the ways bugs are discovered by vendors is when software runs into a conflict with something else, even though "it worked before".

    Has HP done a good job of supporting driver revisions for that scanner?

    With all the sweat you've put into it so far, it's almost got to be a software conflict. It is possible that going to a newer machine won't erradicate the problem, if you're using the same devices.

    If you're scanner driver checks out as latest, can you borrow a scanner and software other than HP that you can try? With the difference you will notice running the Miles2 and Cheetah, it's a cryin shame not to get at that extra SPEED!!

    Good luck,

    c8 aka "the verbose student".

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    I would still like to know what would happen if you had a completely different external SCSI chain connected, such as a CD player, etc. with a different external cable. Also, are you sure that nothing is connected to the "External" SCSI connector on the logic board? Have you verified the ID's and termination of the Internal SCSI bus (I know it worked before, but it has much more to contend with now)?

    Darin, I think, had a wierd system heap problem.

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    It wasn't really a system heap problem but there is a 4MB limitation on the amount of code the ROM allocates for booting. This is I guess where all the driver and device code gets loaded before the system heap gets loaded. It doesn't seem like js has near as much to load as Darin did with two Miles card arrays and three video cards---I dunno, maybe it adds up.

    js, have you tried clearing the low PRAM registers to see if maybe you have some corrupt code or memory fragmentation causing your problem? You can do a Command-Option-P-R restart and hold for at least three chimes, hold your CUDA button in for at least ten seconds, remove your battery for a few minutes or use TechTool to reset PRAM.

    Also try replacing your core System Folder files (System, Finder, PowerPC Enabler 9.0.4, System Resources) with fresh copies.

    [This message has been edited by MacMikester (edited 01 December 2000).]

  17. #17
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    Darn it, you guys... I wish you were here to see what I've been through with this thing!

    As far as the external chain is concerned, it originally contained a Zip drive, then an old 1 Gig Lacie drive, and then the scanner - terminated on the end. That's what was originally attached. When I realized I was getting conflict between the ATI, the Miles and the built in SCSI bus, I removed the zip and the Lacie drive from the chain thinking the DRIVES may be conflicting somehow. Then I reattached the scanner because that's been the most stable thing on the chain from the beginning.

    I never even looked for new drivers from HP because the scanner has worked flawlessly since I attached it back with system 7 and all the upgrades since! As they say... if it ani't broke...

    FYI, I just went to the HP site, and I do have the latest scanning software... there's no drivers for this scanner! Just a scanning application that works through Photoshop. (And HP hasn't updated it since '97) No extensions, nothing loading at startup. Only an app that loads when I use it. So that's a non-issue. (I never remembered any scanner drivers!)

    So I've zapped PRam at least four times in the past week, but I didn't hold the command-option-P-R down for THREE chimes. I could try that. I did remove the battery to test it, and along with this mess, I've also been trying to get a G4 processor to work... so I've switched the processor back and forth three times, pressing the Cuda button for 5 seconds each time.

    I could try re-installing OS9 and the 9.0.4 enablers if you all think it's really worth it. But I'm hesitant to screw with things...

    Like I said, aside from the fact that I don't have a screaming 36 gig cheetah in the base of my 8600, EVERYTHING works flawlessly. I don't have crashes on this machine. I've had maybe three or four Netscape freezes in the past 12 months (and that was at crappily written Java heavy web sites.) I do lots of Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Freehand stuff and I'm happy at 300Mhz.

    In a perfect world, I thought I'd toss in a 450 XLR8 G4, 36 gig Cheetah, and Firewire and be off editing video... So much for that! On top of all the SCSI problems, the G4 card I got ran really HOT and had me crashing every 5 minutes or so (even with NO miles card installed.) [Darin-- After adding the heat sink compound and setting the switches and jumpers like you told me, it ran slightly cooler, but still crashed in all the same places.]

    I think I'll buy an actual G4 in January (after the price drop) and put the Miles2 and cheetah in there and use it as a dedicated Video machine. I'll keep the 8600 for everything else.

    What a big fat pain in the ass this has been! I think I secretly want to get another Mac anyway.

    Jim

  18. #18
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    you may have overterminated your scanner.

    use just one means of terminating it.

    there is no reason why all this should not work together. Something is misconfigured somewhere. All these boards work together in the 8600. It is possible to run these machines with devices attached to all buses.

    you must be missing something. It may be obvious. I was thinking it might be PRAM, but you've checked that box by hitting the Cuda reset.

    logic suggests that it is a termination issue, or even an addressing issue. The PCI card memory limit generally doesn't come into play unless you are loading a lot of drivers at boot. Darin encountered it because 3Dfx and Formac's drivers are too bloated. He actually has to boot off an HFS partition to slim down the memory space required by his dual Miles2 and SoftRAID at boot.

    we've got machines stuffed with cards here, and memory, running devices on all buses with no problems. There are no problem reports suggesting incompatibilities between your cards and machine. It has to be something you are missing.

  19. #19
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    My arms are in the air. Logic says this should all work. I've gone throught it step by step.

    I'll try one more time, but I need your help.

    Let's start with termination:

    Internal SCSI bus 0:
    ID=0 Quantum Fireball (Stock Apple) 4.3gig Drive - bay above power supply.
    ID=3 CDRom Drive (Stock apple) - bay below Floppy
    ID=5 Zip Drive (Stock) - bay below CDRom
    ID=6 Seagate Barracuda 9 Gig (narrow) -last bay, below Zip
    (And I assume the CPU should be ID=7? That's what SCSI probe is telling me.)

    Tell me exactly where termination should be on the above chain.

    External SCSI bus 1:
    ID=2 HP 3c Scanner (Terminated)

    That's all that's attached to that bus.


    PCI Slot 2 - ATI Display card RAge 128 VR with second monitor attached.

    I've removed the Miles2, but it was in PCI slot 1. Attached to it was the Cheetah, mounted in the base of the 8600 chassis. THe Cable that came with the Miles2 had termination built in to the end of the cable. I had the drive attached to the FIRST plug on the cable. But I also tried it in the LAST plug on the cable, just before the termination. When it was there, it actually felt kind of sluggish. So I moved it up to the first plug on the cable and it was nice and fast. (Either way, I still had conflicts with the ATI and the SCSI bus 1.)

    Should the Cheetah have been terminated? In the manual, it said it wasn't necessary because the Miles cable had a built in terminator. Let me know.

    Again, all these things worked independently or in pairs. But when all three were attached, none would work. That's why I think the cables are fine.

    Let me have it!

    Jim

  20. #20
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    ok...trace the internal cabling off your internal SCSI bus, and tell us which devices are in what order, beginning with the logic board, and ending with the last device.

    all devices should be pulled and inspected to ensure that no pins are on the pins marked TE or TP (term enable and term power, respectively). Inspect all connectors under a bright light using a magnifying glass. Ensure that no pins are bent, crunched, or missing.

    only one device should have jumpers on TE pins: the very last device on the connector farthest from the logic board. Your addressing is fine. The logic board is ID7, as is true for any SCSI host, including the Miles2.

    make sure that you are terminating your scanner using only one form of termination. What is the interface on the scanner? If it is 50-pin MicroD or 50-pin Centronics, we have Granite terminators which will be worth investigating. If the interface is DB25 Apple, then we'll have to come back to it, using the built-in termination for the moment (which is an assumption we will have to revisit).

    the Miles2 should be in PCI slot 1, the top slot vertically, nearest the processor daughtercard. You should attach no devices to it initially, and flash it using SmartSCSI 1.03 with the latest 1.06b firmware file in the SAME FOLDER. Hit the update button in SmartSCSI, and then the defaults button. Execute a restart, reacquire your PCI card in SmartSCSI, and confirm that the window title bar states that you are running firmware 1.06.

    for cabling on the Miles2:

    there are two ends to the cable, obviously.

    one end has a terminator stub.

    one end does not.

    the end without the terminator stub is the connector that you attach to the internal connector on the Miles2.

    the other connectors are for drives. You can use any of them.

    what you are doing here is ensuring that the terminator stub is BEYOND the last drive. The Miles2 will terminate its end of the bus at ID7. The terminator stub must terminate its end at the far end of the bus. You can use any ID for your drives attached to the Miles2 except ID7.

    make sure that you are addressing your drive using the pins on the lower right front of the drive. Do not use the rear pins between the SCSI and power connector.

    the easy way to do it is to leave all addressing jumpers OFF the lower right front of the drive. That addresses the drive to ID0.

    scan your buses with SCSI Probe and ENSURE that your internal devices are on one bus, and your external devices are on another. Your Miles2 should show up as a THIRD bus.

    test your battery, and firmly seat all cards. While you are in there, blow the logic board out with a couple of cans of compressed air, and get it nice and clean.

    Reseat your DIMMs. Make sure you are pressing downward on DIMMs and cards hard enough that the logic board gently bends beneath the pressure. Avoid side-by-side flexion. You can make your slots loose, and muck up the internal contacts.

    If you really want to be careful, gently rub all gold leads on DIMMs and cards with a new rubber pencil eraser to remove oxidation. Blow them off with your compressed air to ensure no rubber shavings remain to be introduced into the slots.

    concentrate air from your compressed air cans into all slots. Make certain that nothing remains inside them by inspecting with a very, very bright light and a magnifying glass. Make sure that no leads in any slots are bent. If you have bent leads, or leads which do not seem to have any spring left in them, you can sometimes train them back into alighnment using a small dental pick. Obviously, good anti-static procedures should be observed. Just leave your power supply plugged-in, and periodically touch it to dissipate any charge in your body.

    make sure you are wearing all cotton clothing, no synthetics, with rubber-soled shoes. No leather-soled shoes! Make sure you are working on concrete, or rubber, or linoleum. Do not work on carpeting!

    keep us posted!



    [This message has been edited by magician (edited 01 December 2000).]

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