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Thread: Miles2 SCSI questions..

  1. #21
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    I have dropped the original thread because this seems to be the hotbed of discussion. I have a 9600 and a G3 400 from XLR8 so will give duplication a shot. I also sent Winston the history from yesterday with all the notes and configurations to see if any of that may jog his memory to a solution. I will post as I get details. The next step seems to be getting in touch with XLR8. Does this happen with the stock CPU?

    Bob McWilliams
    Initio

  2. #22
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    Terri & Bob
    As I see it, the problem is not specific XLR8 or it's drivers related.
    I reproduced the problem with various Newertech G3's and at present a Metabox G3. I use internal and external Granite cabling and active terminators.
    Terri:
    Booting from a different disk was no solution for me, instant crashes as soon as the raid was accessed, so I would hesitate buying another 10K Cheetha for a bootvolume if I were you.

    Btw, where's Louie?

    [This message has been edited by Ton (edited 22 March 2001).]

  3. #23
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    As you can see Bob, this problem is alot more broadbase that even we thought.

    I upgraded to the G3 before installing the miles2, so can't help you there...

    As you can see, Ton, who was the originator of the cure by enabling "write through" can't even access his RAID when booting from another single HD, and has reproduced the problem with other processor upgrades and the miles2 combo.

    Being able to boot from or access 2 miles2's with two HD's RAIDed, is a big selling point for your SCSI card, otherwise you can no longer advertise 80MB's per second, as a RAID is required to achieve this speed. Also, I think it has been shown that this problem also exists with 10k cheetahs, as well as the 15k's.

    Hope this helps you define the problem better, I encourage everyone who has a problem to wiegh in on this issue as soon as possible.

    Terrible

  4. #24
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    I exclusively use Granite cables, Terri.

    I'm not sure if anyone has ever reported this problem with a 9600. It could be specific to the PowerTower Pro....ah, no. Ton has the problem in a 9500.

    I suspect because I am not using a dual-channel RAID at this point, that I am missing this particular issue.

  5. #25
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    Littlebit offtopic here but I feel I have to say this: a really big hand for Kaye in this matter. He went through an awfull lot of trouble to get other peoples problems fixed while he himself was not even a victim!
    Thanx Kaye!

  6. #26
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    Ton: (By the way, where's Louie)

    Louie is home and mad as hell; so mad that I have hesitated to post on these forums for the past 36 hours. In fact I'm considering resigning from whatever position I have on these forum and not ever posting here again. Before I explain my position (again), I owe Ton something:

    Ton, you were in fact the first to present this problem that I know of. I remember reading that or those threads during the summer. At the time, I didn't really understand or appreciate the problem because I had never done RAID up to that that time. I remembered your Write-Through work-around, because it is what saved me when I couldn't boot from my fancy RAID in November. I want to thank for that. I've tried to keep you in the loop as Kaye and I have tried to get this MESS resolved.

    Bob; please explain "I have dropped the original thread............". Does that mean that you will start a new thread to keep us up to date? I'd really like to know where to keep watching. After you contacted me by email yesterday and asked me to try something, I've been watching there. I'll just open a new thread for you specifically for you and this problem.

    Magician: I'll be back afterwhile to explain my position to you once again. I don't like being painted as a malcontent.

    [This message has been edited by Louie (edited 22 March 2001).]

  7. #27
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    C'mon man, don't go, you're expertise, insight and energy are much more appreciated by the users of this forum than you can possibly dream of. Let's get this and other things solved in a positive way!
    Ton

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    Ton;

    You are absolutely right! If it weren't for Kaye, we would be nowhere with this. He did days worth of assembly, disassembly, changing drivers, tests in order to duplicate the problem. Then he found Bob McWilliams at MacWorld and asked for help. Then he left his machine at at Initio for over two months. Each report from Initio was favorable until the day before yesterday. This was puzzling enough, but why now are they trying to duplicate the problem. What were they doing while Kaye's machine was there? I offered to take mine out there in February but never received a reply. Kaye did this for Ton and me (Terri hadn't happened yet) and I also want to thank him publicly.

  9. #29
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    You are all welcome. What I don't know is if the RAID still works without write-thru enabled. The drives are still in a cardboard box. You know what, I'm going to post on the new thread that Louie created, offering to take the PTP and cardboard box back to Bob if it will be better than the 9600 he is putting together.

    Just hope that I don't get another tire blowout like I did on the way back from Initio the last time. Scary. Huge spike about 6" long in the tire. k

  10. #30
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    Space Monkeys...it sounds like a plot.....
    Terrible

  11. #31
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    Is that a reference to a line from a Billy Joel song?

  12. #32
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    Louie, I do not view you as a malcontent, and wish to emphasize that you should not derive that impression from anything I have written.

    You don't need to explain anything to me, unless you feel a need to do so. I respect your position and your feelings, and I'm pleased to do anything you might need to help. There's no need to explain anything for my benefit, my friend. You're pissed, and that's enough for me.

    if I have somehow failed, or disappointed you, let me know in clear terms so I can rectify the problem. I'm on your side on this thing.

  13. #33
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    First, for those that don't know, Magician and I have never met face to face. For some reason that I don't understand, he asked me to be a moderator on these forums back last summer when he was about to start them. Since I had recently retired for the third and final time, I agreed. Since then I have spent about 12-14 or more hours daily, seven days a week here trying to help people with Macs. Since I'm paid nothing, I feel free to speak my mind and to recommend items that MacGurus sell only if I have personal experience with the things and find that it's the best. This agrees with MacGurus stated policy of only selling the best. If I buy something from Gurus, I get modest discounts most of the time but not always.

    I've been doing G3 upgrades to legacy Macs and clones for quite a long time; going back to the time when 250 MHz was fast. When I started with the forum, I had a relatively fast PTP. It used
    an XLR8 466 overclocked to 480 and a couple of UltraNarrow drives hosted by a matching SCSI card. I have various benchmarks of all aspects of that configuration along with the same type data for all my previous machines and configurations.

    The theme of the forum seems to foster the idea that one should try to make your machine as fast as you can afford. The ultimate legacy machine is touted to be a six-slot Tsunami with a 500 Mhz XLR8 Carrier ZIF, two Miles U2W cards, multiple X15 Cheetahs and Granite cables.

    I didn't have a real need to go faster and I really couldn't afford to buy all that expensive stuff because I had recently retired and was learning to live on 1/3 my previous income. I let the mood of the forum overcome me. The final justification to myself was that by buying all this stuff, I could then help people on the forum with RAID problems. I bought a 500 MHz CPU also.

    Well, I came up with this write-through problem. And Magician, it is a problem, a big problem. It's a big problem because turning on write-through literally chokes the system. Sure, I get great sustained data transfer rates from running the ATTO test but that performance gain is more than negated by write-through all but hobbling the CPU. It's almost as bad as disabling the backside cache. Every write over 16 kb goes to the 50 MHz RAM instead of the 250 Mhz backside cache. With write-through enabled, my overall performance falls just below that of a PowerBook G3 400 and just above a PowerMac G3 400.

    I know you never believed me when I said that I was getting 18-19 MB/sec transfer rates with UltraNarrow drives until I sent a screenshot. I 'm not sending all the data to you about this because it's too much trouble and you don't have time to read it. If you don't believe me, why don't you just enable write-through and run you machine that way for a while. You will be able to switch back; we can't.

    I asked for help in November. You blew it off as a problem. I asked you to try to get Initio to help in December. You didn't. Then Kaye did what he did. I asked you to try to find out why they had Kaye's machine so long. You told me to.

    Thinking that a solution was forthcoming from Initio, I kept right on recommending the same setup to others. Then, the crowning glory; Bob's strange report on Tuesday.

    When I complained, you used a whole lot of words to try to convince someone (you?) that this was not a problem. It also seems to me that you consider me a malcontent for considering this a problem.

    Below, I've quoted your 20 March post and have made some comments to it.

    "well, Louie, you and I are entitled to hold different opinions, and just because I don't assign as much gravity to some issues as you do doesn't mean that I don't hold your opinions in respect and esteem. you seem to be upset because I don't see this the same way that you do. Well, you shouldn't interpret my different viewpoint as anything more than that. It certainly isn't a comment on my esteem and respect for you, for your life accomplishments, and for the good work you do every day here, helping regular folks out with their problems. Just because you and I don't always agree doesn't mean that we can't value our fellowship, or even kid one another about these things.

    ( Louie: that's great.)

    That said, I'm still trying to understand, if only because you want me to do so. You're upset because you run some benchmarks when you boot from a narrow drive and get the same results as when you boot from an array with write-thru enabled? Ok. I think I get that much. Do you not reap performance gains anywhere else? Or are you focusing on a specific, finite set of benchmarks at the expense of an overall assessment? if you are saying that the overall performance of a PTP with Miles2 and X15's is equivalent to that of a PTP with single-ended narrow drives and a Bluenote, as long as write-thru is enabled, I would find it hard to believe. Still, since you are Louie, I would have to consider that statement very carefully, and confirm it, rather than just dismiss it. While I do not always share your perspective, your skills and expertise demand respect and consideration.

    (Louie: you should have been trying to understand back when Ton reported it. If not then, back in November and not just because I'm pressing it now. I've already explained the other part again. Believe me!)

    So. If you can persuade me that overall performance between an X15'd PTP is the same as that as a PTP with a Bluenote and a SE narrow drive, what then? Is there still not value to be gained using that hardware? For example, Terrible Terri has been using her upgrades to capture video and make movies, and is apparently even considering another pair of drives, even though K has alerted her to the usual downsides, if I am not mistaken. Does this mean that her machine is not much more usable than it was? Or that she is not reaping even more value from her machine? merely because write thru needs to be enabled on some PTP's does not, in my opinion, lessen the value of the upgrades in those machines, depending on what you are doing with the machine, and what sort of performance enhancement you are seeking. By the same measure, the superior PCI performance of the PTP over the 9600 is merely something to be aware of--there's not a lot any ofus can do about it. It's built into the machine. I still find the 9600 to be the best machine for working as I work. And this is not the first weird thing we have learned about PTP's, as we all well know. Steve Jobs would have us all discard our machines every other year, or even annually. I don't know about anyone else, but I can't afford to do that. I've been riding this 9600 for a few years now, and my next machine will need to deliver much better performance to entice me away. No way I expect my next machine to deliver this much value or longevity. I think Apple will make sure it never does that again.

    (Louie: Your example of Terri's situation is not valid. She made the leap from a 604e and 10 MB/sec drives. Of course, she sees an improvement. What she hasn't seen is what she could have done for a thousand dollars less./ I'm not buying any BS about PTPs being so different that things won't work on them. That's an excuse of slimey hardward and software vendors. There are still people walking around believing that they can't upgrade to OS 8 because of Apple's misleading crap.)

    this is merely my opinion, at this point, and I see no reason why anything I believe should upset you. You know that you have utter license to speak the truth as you know it on these forums, and all that I have ever asked from you and the other moderators is that you not get us sued. Telling the truth, as we know it, at all times is the best protection against that sort of thing, as other companies can't sue if we are merely stating facts.

    (Louie: That's what I'm doing; speaking the truth)

    As I read Bob's statement, he is obviously confused between G3's and G4's, as G3's have never been amenable to SMP, and this issue of write-thru in PTP's has never been related to SMP or G4's as far as I am aware. I do think that cache coherency is part of it, and by that, I mean the requirement to write data thru the cache to main memory to ensure that the contents between the two correspond. Corruption could obviously ensue if incorrect data were retreived from the cache. You do see issues with cache coherence when using dual-G4's, particularly in machines that don't handle speculative processing correctly, but that is irrelevant in this case, as I understand it.

    (Louie: that whole thing is so confusing that I can't comment on it)

    I do recall reading somewhere that write-thru is automatically toggled when processor speeds exceed 500MHz. I'll have to search around to find that source, or maybe we can get Cooksie back in here to say something intelligent about it all. I could almost swear it was in his post here. We'll have to search the archives for it, I guess.

    (Louie: Cooksie said the Write-Through box appears when the CPU is faster tha 510. It gives you the choice of enabling it. I expect my machine to run without it. Write-Through is not even mentioned in the manual. I had to ask to find out how to see the choice box. All of my machines have run perfectly without it. If I was overclocked past 510, I could understand, but I'm not. I only becomes necessary with the Miles U2W cards are in place)

    But what I do get from Bob's statement is that he has talked to Winston, their driver programmer, and fixing this issue will not apparently be a matter merely of changing some parameters in the Miles2 firmware. It will require some assistance from the daughtercard companies, as well. As you can imagine, getting something accomplished within one company is difficult enough. Getting something accomplished when two different companies must collaborate is ambitious, indeed.

    (Louie: Winston is Winston Hung, Director of Software Engineering. I'm guessing that both he and Bob have our problem mixed up with the problem with MP Macs with both Mac OS and OS X which they discovered as a result of our plea.)

    That said, I can think of no two companies that listen to users better than Initio and XLR8, so we shouldn't assume that this is the last chapter. If we can make a compelling case to these guys, who are, after all, focused on profit, that this deserves manhours and effort from their programmers, maybe something can actually be accomplished. The wild card in that scenario, of course, would be Apple. It may be that the problem is so deeply rooted in the way that MacOS works that nothing can ultimately be done. I think we can all assume that Apple will have little interest in listening to anything we have to say. They have historically ignored us, and frankly, that hasn't always been a bad thing.

    (Louie: I thought from the beginning that XLR8's software was involved because the machine hangs instantly when their extension loads. The fact that Ton has the problem using other companies G3's and software shoots that down. Hey Ton: did you flush the NVRAM to get XLR8's "Virtual Firmware out of there? XLR8 was very closed-mouth about this.)

    If that proves to be the case, as I understand this issue now, I still wouldn't agree that you had deceived anyone. Certainly no one here even had a glimmering that toggling write-thru was anything more than a troubleshooting measure that improved stability in certain circumstances. I stumbled on the write-thru option when dealing with audio engineers working with XLR8 daughtercards. These guys could get nowhere with Sonnet boards. And their XLR8 boards were finicky, but only when using audio applications. Toggling write-thru, for some reason, delivered rock-solid stability, they were happy, I was happy, and I moved on to other pressing matters,
    which as you know, arise daily in this business.

    (Louie: We all learn something everyday)

    Anyway, you know that you don't need my agreement to be pissed off about anything. If this issue pisses you off, fine. If you need me to do something, or assist you, just let me know. You and the other moderators should never fear that I intend to muzzle you. Speak freely and clearly. Sure, we should have some manners, and we all know we should keep our dirty laundry within the family, but your mission here is to help people the best you can, using all your experience and expertise. If that means that some upgrades should not be recommended in some cases, fine. How many times have we warned folks not to buy ATTO boards for use in vintage Power Macs? How many times have we warned six slot owners to be careful where G4 upgrades are concerned? You're entitled to be upset if you need to be, and I sincerely apologize if my inability to appreciate this problem as you do has caused you stress. Don't put that on me! I have too many other things going on, and I have no desire to alienate anyone, least of all my moderators."

    ( I am definitely pissed and I thank you for approval! I've already said what I'd like you to do)

  14. #34
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    Here's the results of the same test that Ton ran:

    Memory Bandwidth Test - Write-Through Disabled
    ---------------------

    Press return to start...


    Do not disturb, processing...

    +---------+----------------+----------------+
    | Size | Write | Read |
    +---------+----------------+----------------+
    | 4 KB | 837.8 MB/s | 808.4 MB/s |
    | 8 KB | 837.8 MB/s | 822.9 MB/s |
    | 12 KB | 822.9 MB/s | 837.8 MB/s |
    | 16 KB | 822.9 MB/s | 822.9 MB/s |
    | 20 KB | 731.4 MB/s | 606.3 MB/s |
    | 24 KB | 687.8 MB/s | 568.9 MB/s |
    | 28 KB | 687.7 MB/s | 506.4 MB/s |
    | 32 KB | 687.8 MB/s | 495.5 MB/s |
    | 40 KB | 667.8 MB/s | 495.4 MB/s |
    | 48 KB | 698.1 MB/s | 480.0 MB/s |
    | 56 KB | 698.2 MB/s | 480.0 MB/s |
    | 64 KB | 698.2 MB/s | 480.0 MB/s |
    | 128 KB | 677.6 MB/s | 460.8 MB/s |
    | 256 KB | 677.6 MB/s | 480.0 MB/s |
    | 384 KB | 640.0 MB/s | 480.0 MB/s |
    | 512 KB | 677.6 MB/s | 460.8 MB/s |
    | 640 KB | 677.2 MB/s | 442.8 MB/s |
    | 768 KB | 640.0 MB/s | 443.1 MB/s |
    | 896 KB | 638.8 MB/s | 425.8 MB/s |
    | 1024 KB | 523.6 MB/s | 384.0 MB/s |
    | 2048 KB | 137.1 MB/s | 101.1 MB/s |
    | 3072 KB | 137.5 MB/s | 100.8 MB/s |
    | 4096 KB | 137.1 MB/s | 102.4 MB/s |
    | 5120 KB | 136.4 MB/s | 102.7 MB/s |
    | 6144 KB | 137.5 MB/s | 102.2 MB/s |
    | 7168 KB | 137.5 MB/s | 102.2 MB/s |
    | 8192 KB | 137.1 MB/s | 102.4 MB/s |
    +---------+----------------+----------------+

    OK

    Memory Bandwidth Test - Write-Through Enabled
    ---------------------

    Press return to start...


    Do not disturb, processing...

    +---------+----------------+----------------+
    | Size | Write | Read |
    +---------+----------------+----------------+
    | 4 KB | 822.9 MB/s | 808.4 MB/s |
    | 8 KB | 822.9 MB/s | 808.4 MB/s |
    | 12 KB | 808.4 MB/s | 808.4 MB/s |
    | 16 KB | 808.4 MB/s | 808.4 MB/s |
    | 20 KB | 272.7 MB/s | 640.0 MB/s |
    | 24 KB | 170.7 MB/s | 535.8 MB/s |
    | 28 KB | 154.6 MB/s | 495.5 MB/s |
    | 32 KB | 156.7 MB/s | 490.2 MB/s |
    | 40 KB | 152.1 MB/s | 480.0 MB/s |
    | 48 KB | 150.6 MB/s | 480.0 MB/s |
    | 56 KB | 149.1 MB/s | 480.0 MB/s |
    | 64 KB | 147.7 MB/s | 480.0 MB/s |
    | 128 KB | 145.8 MB/s | 460.8 MB/s |
    | 256 KB | 144.0 MB/s | 460.8 MB/s |
    | 384 KB | 144.0 MB/s | 460.8 MB/s |
    | 512 KB | 144.0 MB/s | 460.8 MB/s |
    | 640 KB | 142.1 MB/s | 426.4 MB/s |
    | 768 KB | 140.5 MB/s | 411.4 MB/s |
    | 896 KB | 140.2 MB/s | 359.3 MB/s |
    | 1024 KB | 138.8 MB/s | 329.1 MB/s |
    | 2048 KB | 137.1 MB/s | 101.1 MB/s |
    | 3072 KB | 140.0 MB/s | 100.8 MB/s |
    | 4096 KB | 137.1 MB/s | 101.1 MB/s |
    | 5120 KB | 138.9 MB/s | 101.4 MB/s |
    | 6144 KB | 137.5 MB/s | 98.2 MB/s |
    | 7168 KB | 135.0 MB/s | 100.8 MB/s |
    | 8192 KB | 139.6 MB/s | 101.1 MB/s |
    +-------- +-------------- +----------------+

    OK

  15. #35
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    It sounds as if Bob,(and initio) have been confused about our problem since the beginning, and have many other problems on thier hands they are attempting to address. We have all dealt with companies that just ignore us once they have our money. Bob is at least trying.

    Kaye gave them his machine to study, sounds like it never even got put together and tested.Perhaps because they were confused about the problem to begin with.

    Louie, I admire your tenacity and this forum is built around your "get it out in the open and get it fixed" attitude.You cut the crap and get to the real issues.You patiently answer my endless stupid questions that you've answered a hundred times before.I stand firmly behind you.

    Magician, you're a great guy in my book because you took my problematic MPe back and sent out a new carrier to me with no hassles.You really do care for the customer, and take alot of crap for your efforts.I've never seen a company care for it's customers so much, and you personify that attitude.

    Kaye, what can I say, your dogged determination to right a wrong makes you a crusader par none.And you're always there on the cutting edge, ready to take on any challenge and then post that information in great detail for all of us to learn from.

    Ton, you defined the real problem, came up with a temporary fix and are our best chance at getting to the very root of the problem since you have extensively tested many processors and SCSI card set-ups to eliminate other causes.

    Just think what would've happened if Ton and Louie had never considered enabling "write through". Ever single miles2 card hooked up to a RAID would've been returned as defective. Think about how much that would've cost them in both refunds and loss of credibility in the computer community. Without Louie & Ton finding a work-around to the crash on start-up problem, they could've very well have gone out of business.By creating a work-around you actually improved thier sales and standing in the computer world. They owe you a debt of thanks.A great big one.

    Lets all take a moment to document as clearly and as carefully as we can the problem that exists for us. If you've done it before, go back and copy paste your thread and put it in the SCSI Bob folder Louie created for him.Describe your machine down to mobo's and HD's speed, right down to what kind of cables you use and all other drives on SCSI chains. I'll do it myself so we have some sort of outline to follow.Carefull documentation will keep Bob from straying off course, which is understandable if you are looking at this problem from the outside in, and are apparently dealing with other problems with legacy machines.

    We're all dissapointed that we didn't get our fix. Bob seems willing to look into it further. The door is open, lets get him the info he needs to understand what's going on.


    I'm not supposed to type, and Man am I hurtin' now, but I can feel the solution is just around the corner and I just can't let it go 'til we have the answer. I'm gonna pop some pain pills and rest up, then document my problem in Bob's SCSI thread. You guys do the same, (without the pain pills, of course).

    We've all got work to do, lets put aside the bull and get to it.

    Terribly Terrible

  16. #36
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    quote:
    Hey Ton: did you flush the NVRAM to get XLR8's "Virtual Firmware out of there? XLR8 was very closed-mouth about this.)


    Yup, when changing processors always pushed the Cuda.
    Back last summer when I experienced the problem for the first time I wasn't running XLR8 drivers anyway but the Newertech stuff in combination with their G3/400mhz/1MB.

    Ton

    [This message has been edited by Ton (edited 23 March 2001).]

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    Thanks Ton:

    I was thinking maybe the XLR8 "Virtual Firmware" could continue to lerk there. I've found that a cold start holding down the CMD-OPT-P-R keys for three or more chimes will get the NVRAM where a restart, 30 second CUDA reset or TechTool won't. The latter gets just the PRAM.

  18. #38
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    Magician:

    My 18:47 22 Mar posting was written and posted before I saw your posting of 5 minutes earlier. I spent a lot of thought and time preparing mine and I expect at least an acknowledgement that you read it before I decide what do do next.

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    Still need to add more fast storage, minimum 36 gig. Thinking of adding 36 gig 10k cheetah to Miles2 chain. Sounds like I won't need granite to do this and that booting from the 36gig won't allow me to disble "Write through" when writing to the 15k Cheetah RAID.Would then add second 36 gig 10k later on and stripe to RAID with other 10k and will have to go granite then.?

    Should I make the 10k 36gig my boot disk and write to the 15k RAID, or should I stay with the RAID as boot disk and write to the 36gig 10k. (actually, would probably just copy files to 36 gig for back-up after capturing on the 15k RAID, or uae it as a destination disk for rendering).

    A you can see, need massive fast storage, so any advice would be appreciated.

    What would you do?

    Terrible

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    Terri,

    Hard to say what the results will be. The Initio LVD cable and LVD terminator might work. The write-thru issue might work. But you will be on the bleeding edge without knowing whether any problems which crop up are the cables or the write-thru issue. Will require some testing and still won't know for sure.

    For instance, assuming Initio cable/terminator and write-thru disabled, you get a hang. So you enable write-thru. Now system does not hang. We still don't know for sure whether slowing down the throughput by forcing it thru main memory solved an Initio cable/terminator issue or our ever loving write-thru issue. Does this make sense? Or maybe I misinterpreted your questions?

    I think you will just have to try the various configs you asked about and see the results. Someone else may have better info for you because, if you recall, I never had the freeze on boot problem even with OS7.6.1, 8.6, 9.0.4 on my stock drive connected to internal SCSI, OS8.6 and 9.0.4 on a 10k Cheetah last on one of the Miles2, and 9.0.4 on the dual Miles2 with 4x X15s. Could boot from any of the system folders. I did need System Picker until I went back to SoftRAID 2.2.1 and Miles2 firmware 1.05. Then I didn't even need System Picker anymore.

    Just remember to keep your RAID drives first on the chain and non-RAID drives last. k

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