A real PCI-X stumper...

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by pdpfilms, Jan 1, 2005.

  1. pdpfilms macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

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    #1
    I recently purchased a Sonnet Tempo X PCI-X card to add four SATA drives to my G5, in order to setup a RAID system. Initially, I got all the hardware installed, and booted up to see all four drives working perfectly. I played around, testing read and write speeds, and everything was fine and dandy. UNTIL....I put the computer to sleep. Upon attemempting to wake it up, i heard the fans start up, but the screen didn't show any activity. Also, my attached iPod didn't show the "Do Not Disconnect" sign, so I assume the computer wasn't actually waking up. So I did a hard restart after a few minutes, and when it booted up, all the drives connected to the PCI-x card were gone. System Profiler didn't even recognize there was a card in the slot it was in. All the drives were spinning, so it wasn't an issue of power. After several restarts, the drives all of a sudden appeared. All four, all working perfectly, operating for hours on end. So I was relieved, and ready to setup the RAID system. I gave it one last restart just to make sure they would stay, and...poof, they disappeared again, PCI-X card and all. Now I'm hesitant to setup the RAID if the drives aren't going to show up. I first thought it was a dead PCI-X card.....but then the drives randomly apeared again. I tried switching it around in the different PCI slots, but to no avail.

    What gives?

    I appreciate ANY ideas.
     
  2. pdpfilms thread starter macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

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    #2
    Ok, now it's getting funky...

    So I'm sitting here on macrumors, waiting for a post in my thread. All of a sudden, without opening any apps or doing anything that might prompt such an occurence, the gray curtain dropped slowly down my screen and told me i had to perform a hard restart. So i did, and all four drives appeared on the desktop upon startup! What is the DEAL????
     
  3. Dreadnought macrumors 68020

    Dreadnought

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    #3
    Sounds like a driver problem. Look for the latest driver on internet from the manufacturer of the card. If that doesn't work, return the card and get one from another manufacturer.
     
  4. kronos2611 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    #4
    it might be worth taking a look in /var/log/system.log to see if there are any suspicous errors, might also point towards why the machine died. Might simply be that the card is dodgy and needs to be replaced.
     
  5. pdpfilms thread starter macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

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    #5
    No luck....

    There are no drivers for this card, and no firmware updates. How do I check the var/log/system.log?
     
  6. kronos2611 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    #6
    you can get to the system log either by starting the terminal app and typing cat /var/log/system.log

    or

    startup the system profiler and select the logs item at the bottom in the left hand pane - then select system.log
     
  7. RAS admin macrumors regular

    RAS admin

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    #7
    I am also having problems with that card except I would get kernal panics even without the computer going to sleep. I took out the Sonnet Tempo-X PCI-X card and now don't have any problems. I really want to get this card working... I will contact Sonnet and let them know of the problem. Please do the same...

    My whole setup is planned around this:

    http://homepage.mac.com/rasjudah2/HDsetup/index.html

    I did the June 2004 Firmware update 5.1.8f7. I think the Sonnet card needs a new firmware update since the G5 has been updated. I will do some more tests and look for the var/log/system.log
     
  8. pdpfilms thread starter macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

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    #8
    Holy Perfect Setup, Batman!!!

    That's insane. You must be doing some serious work with that kind of equipment... do you mind if i ask who you work for? Or rather, some work that you've done?
    On the other hand, I called up TransInt'l (i purchased the swiftdata 200), reporting the bad card. They said to call Sonnet. Called Sonnet, they're not open until 8am pacific time on monday...gonna have to wait. But I'll definetly be calling them up then. I didn't pay 200 for a card that's going to work for only 10% of the time. I'm glad to know there's someone else out there with the same problem, i'm sure we'll get it solved soon enough.

    I'll post immediately after getting in contact with Sonnet.


    EDIT: In the event that Sonnet has no fix for the issue, do you know of any other PCI-X cards with 4 SATA connectors?
     
  9. EJBasile macrumors 65816

    EJBasile

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    #9
    Two Dell Support Answers

    1) Was the monitor Plugged in?

    2) Were the drives plugged in?

    (Joke)
    ------

    They actually said #1 to me once when my computer would randomly stop working- nothing would work except for the fans when i pressed the power button. The problem eventually went away.
     
  10. RAS admin macrumors regular

    RAS admin

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    #10
    I used to do post for the "Book of Pooh" TV show on the Disney channel. Right now I'm doing some post-production work on a stop-motion animation TV show for a company called Wreckless Abandon. We are using high-rez TIF image sequences (1504x1000) in After Effects so the 30" Cinema and extra processing power definitely comes in handy. I am building this system as the basis of my own production company. Just waiting for the Panasonic P2 DVCPROHD video camera...

    I bought the bare Swift DATA mounting kit on eBay for $100 but it didn't come with any cables. The Maxtor MaXLine III drives don't have Legacy 4-pin connections and require the new SATA power cables so I had to do some power splitting from the optical drive.

    I actually started the setup with a Highpoint RocketRAID 8-channel SATA card. This card has 8 internal ports and works fine but requires drivers and a RAIDman utility that looks like PC software. I don't need 8 internal ports so I sold the RocketRAID on eBay and bought the Sonnet when it came out. I will eventually get the FirmTek SeriTek external hot-swap SATA drive enclosure to make use of the external ports on the Sonnet.

    Now I wish I still had the RocketRAID until I get a working Sonnet...
    I will call Sonnet on Monday and post here with any news.
     
  11. advocate macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    #11
    If you don't think those questions are worth asking, you've never worked at a help desk. "Actually, since email is transferred over the Internet, you have to be connected to the Internet in order to download your email." is not an uncommon point to be made. "When you're asked to type in your password, you need to type in your password." needs to be said pretty often, too. I've also said "I'm sorry, but we are not able to retrieve an email you deleted three years ago.", "You need to type in your employee number in the box next to 'employee number', not your email address.", and "No, you can't connect to our wireless network from a hotel on the other side of the continent."

    I've fielded questions about why dialling in long distance to our modem pool over a satellite link doesn't allow a 56k modem to connect at 56k, why antivirus programs need to be updated more than once per decade, why someone's mouse is jerky ("Well, you see, dust collects on your mouse ball and sometimes it needs to be cleaned out."), why Notepad can't open PowerPoint files, and lots more.

    So please, be kind when your technician asks a stupid question. Chances are, that question has solved hundreds of problems before.
     
  12. Mertzen macrumors 6502

    Mertzen

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    #12
  13. RAS admin macrumors regular

    RAS admin

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    #13
    I used to use hardware raid arrays but I got rid of them on eBay. I was using Medea VideoRAID RT arrays (man those things are LOUD!) stripped on dual channel U160 scsi cards.
    Hardware raid is more robust but I wanted an internal solution that will allow me to use each drive seperately or stripe them for throughput. As of right now I'm not capturing or exporting HD footage so I don't need the throughput yet. Also, the RAID is pretty cheap (compared to the computer and monitor). I bought 1 Maxtor MaXLine III 300GB drive from ZipZoomFly for $220 when they first came out (now retail is $300). I got 3 more brand new Maxtor MaXLine III 300GB drives on eBay for $550. I got the mounting kit on eBay for $100. The card and cables, add another couple hundred and I have 1.2 TB internal RAID at 240+ MB/sec. throughput for a little over a $1100.

    These two resources helped with my decision to go with this do-it-yourself raid setup for max throughput with low cost.

    http://www.barefeats.com/hard44.html
    http://www.hdforindies.com/

    note: I don't actually have the Blackmagic stuff yet. When I get a video camera I will get the card and HDLink monitoring solution. I have all the other stuff though... but my Sonnet card is pulled and I am only able to use two drives.
     
  14. Mertzen macrumors 6502

    Mertzen

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    #14
    I do wonder what the CPU load is going to be when you are capturing and writing to the RAID array at the same time .. you can always go for the rocketRAID that is mentioned in that barefeats article .. but I guess time will tell ..
     
  15. MrCommunistGen macrumors regular

    MrCommunistGen

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    #15
    WOW!

    :eek:

    Holy God that must have been fast... stripped U160 SCSI drives! especially if the drives were loud. Were they 10K RPM or 15K RPM? Isn't it true that SCSI drives are faster than (P or S)ATA drives with the same rotational speed and cache size? Would this be because when it comes to moving large amounts of data that the SCSI protocol was better suited for heavy use?

    Sheesh... I wish I had a nifty rig :rolleyes:
    -mcg
     
  16. RAS admin macrumors regular

    RAS admin

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    #16
    Man, I hate waiting for the next available customer service representative........ I was waiting for like 15 min. before I gave up and hung up the phone. Maybe I'll have better luck with the email I sent to Sonnet sales last night. I will try calling Sonnet tech. support again later.

    About the Medea drives, they were not that fast at all compared to the new setup. I would get 130MB/sec. sustained for the whole RAID (8 drives). The Medea VideoRAID RT are each only 65MB/sec. sustainded. The 4-drive enclosure has a built-in RAID controller and uses 4 regular 7200 rpm ATA drives with an ATA to SCSI converter. Each enclosure of 4 drives shows up as one drive on the desktop and then you just stripe the two together.

    I think some of the new SATA drives are just as fast and reliable as their SCSI counterpart. Namely the new WD Raptor 10k rpm is very fast and the new Maxtor MaXLine III 300GB drives with 16MB cache are rated for heavy use 24/7. But these drives only just came out recently.
     
  17. pdpfilms thread starter macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

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    #17
    I'll try customer service in a few minutes....hopefully it won't end up being you and i battling for the representative. I'll post with results.
     
  18. pdpfilms thread starter macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

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    #18
    alright, i've been holding for thirty minutes....hopefuly you're the one tying them up.

    EDIT: just got through. talked to support guy (neil), who was very helpful. Menitoned that this is a new product, and that the engineer is holding his work to give support for the product if needed. I emailed him a system profile so the engineer could look it over. Neil mentioned that they've been off for ten days, so he's got a load of emails to get through, but he's "going to try" to pay attention to this problem. He said likely the engineer will want to send a replacement so they can take a look at my card, and see if i get the same problem with the new one. I'll keep you up to date as it progresses.
     
  19. RAS admin macrumors regular

    RAS admin

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    #19
    I haven't tried calling them back yet. I was probably on hold for more like 20 min. before I hung up when I called earlier. I was on my cell phone...
    Anyway, the email I sent yesterday will hopefully be enough to get them to send me a new card to test. So, no, I wasn't tying up the phone but I do have an email in that load for someone to reply to...
     
  20. Mertzen macrumors 6502

    Mertzen

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    #20
    Seems to me that Sonnet brought this to the market too soon .. but at least they are dedicated to the product .. I hope it will all turn out OK for you guys .. one day I want to go SATA too ..
     
  21. pdpfilms thread starter macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

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    #21
    I aggree. If you look at the website, there's no support or anything for the card. Seems it could've gone through some more testing. Though, RAS, the techie there said that i was the first one to report this problem. Hopefully we're the only ones!
     
  22. RAS admin macrumors regular

    RAS admin

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    #22
    So, I re-installed my PCI-X Sonnet Tempo 4+4 SATA card for testing.... I have the card in slot #3 with only one Maxtor MaXLine III 300GB drive hooked up to it. I am using the built-in power source from the bottom drive bay of the G5 and just running a SATA data cable from the card to the drive.
    Now I just have to wait for a kernal panic and save the log....

    Oh yeah, I never got a repy to my email. As soon as I get a panic I will go grab the land line and call Sonnet..... ...........
     
  23. RAS admin macrumors regular

    RAS admin

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    #23
    update:

    so, after running 1 Maxtor MaXLine III 300GB drive for over a week with absolutely no problems I decided to hook up a few more drives. I now have 2 300GB drives (via mounting kit) hooked up to the Sonnet Tempo-X 4+4 SATA card, and 2 more drives (300GB + 250GB) in the stock drive bays. I also have third 300GB drive installed in the mounting kit but not hooked up yet....

    only two things I noticed so far with this setup:

    I walked into my room (the computer had been idle for like 15 min.) and my G5 just turned off. weird. Also, I went to shut down the G5 and got a kernal panic.

    The kernal panic happens every time I shut down. I hope splitting the power from the superdrive for my additional SATA drives isn't putting a drain on the power supply. maybe that is why my computer turned off...
     
  24. Windowlicker macrumors 6502a

    Windowlicker

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    Finland
    #24
    try reseting the computer?

    1. upon startup, hold down alt+cmd+p+r --it boots again
    2. hold down alt+cmd+o+f --goes to open firmware
    3. when loaded, write:
    1. reset-nvram --and hit enter
    2. reset-all --and hit enter --the computer reboots

    don't think this will help, but then again, miracles do happen, especially with computers.
     
  25. pdpfilms thread starter macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

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    #25
    got the card replaced, problem's still happening.....either my g5 isn't doing so hot or there's a firmware problem.
     

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