5,1 Caldigit FASTA-6GU3 Plus cards internal drives stopped enumerating

haralds

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 3, 2014
1,202
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Silicon Valley, CA
I have had two CalDigit FASTA-6GU3 Plus cards for a number of years. They have 2ea internal slots connected to internally mounted SSDs. They also have two external slots plus USB 3 connectors.

The external connectors work fine. The internal controllers show in the System Report, but drives have stopped enumerating. I am down to one!

I have done the usual. SMS and NVRAM resets. Swapping drives and cards into different slots. Nothing is helping.

I moved my boot SSD to the Intel controller pulling a regular drive.

I am now wondering whether the new EFI 138.0.0.0.0 is causing this. It is odd, since it did not happen immediately, things just flakier over a couple of weeks.

I am going to move and test the whole shebang in my 2,1. Frustrating...
 

bsbeamer

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2012
3,682
1,950
Had a CalDigit USB card "fail" several years ago after a software (and believe firmware) update. Believe this was back in 10.11, but it's been awhile. Was a known issue at the time and believe it was driver related. Basically was causing the machine not to start, or kernel panic. Removed and replaced with a cheap KT4004 card at the time. Immediately fixed all issues. They never released an updated driver.

Did you install any drivers with your FASTA-6GU3+? If so, that could be the culprit with the firmware update.

I've stopped using CalDigit PCIe cards. Love their old external drives (like HDPro/HDPro2), but they required PCIe expansion cards and CalDigit stopped supporting those "legacy" products when the software became too much of a burden for them to update. When dropping the kind of money those storage systems were costing back then, it was a slap in the face to the buyer. After the PCIe USB card also "failed" it was kind of the last straw for me.

Again, love their products if/when you use them on the current OS version for the release. Just do not expect updates beyond that.
 

haralds

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 3, 2014
1,202
360
Silicon Valley, CA
Had a CalDigit USB card "fail" several years ago after a software (and believe firmware) update. Believe this was back in 10.11, but it's been awhile. Was a known issue at the time and believe it was driver related. Basically was causing the machine not to start, or kernel panic. Removed and replaced with a cheap KT4004 card at the time. Immediately fixed all issues. They never released an updated driver.

Did you install any drivers with your FASTA-6GU3+? If so, that could be the culprit with the firmware update.

I've stopped using CalDigit PCIe cards. Love their old external drives (like HDPro/HDPro2), but they required PCIe expansion cards and CalDigit stopped supporting those "legacy" products when the software became too much of a burden for them to update. When dropping the kind of money those storage systems were costing back then, it was a slap in the face to the buyer. After the PCIe USB card also "failed" it was kind of the last straw for me.

Again, love their products if/when you use them on the current OS version for the release. Just do not expect updates beyond that.
These cards do not offer or required drivers for the recent versions of macOS and Windows 10.
All is working really well now, so I do believe SIP was the culprit. My theory is that I can turn it back on now that the drive configuration is registered.
 
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trifero

macrumors 6502a
May 21, 2009
798
591
I hope anyone can help me. Extracting a FASTA 6GU3 from my Mac Pro I broke two condensors. Anyone can post a deatiled picture of the card? I need to know the exact values son I can resolder. Thanks.
 

foliovision

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2008
43
28
Bratislava
I disabled SIP and the drives all showed up. New security?

I also just moved the boot drive back and it all worked.
I just "upgraded" to 10.13.6 and then ran the security update. My Caldigit FASTA-6GU3Pro Card just disappeared. I'm only using it for external USB 3 so fortunately only a couple of drives went down but I can't use my external USB3 at USB speeds. I've got five of these cards (most of those Macs have no plans to go up past El Capitan) so I'd love to get to the bottom of it. I'm posting here as Haralds might have some ideas on what to do.

I already have SIP disabled (when you like to tinker with Silver Towers, SIP is just an enormous obstacle to working on your own machine). I believe I disabled it to do HFS+ install of High Sierra.

Anyway, even with SIP disabled, my Caldigit FASTA-6GU3Pro Card isn't working now. If I figure it out, I'll post. If anyone (Haralds) has any ideas of steps to try, please let me know.
 

trifero

macrumors 6502a
May 21, 2009
798
591
I just "upgraded" to 10.13.6 and then ran the security update. My Caldigit FASTA-6GU3Pro Card just disappeared. I'm only using it for external USB 3 so fortunately only a couple of drives went down but I can't use my external USB3 at USB speeds. I've got five of these cards (most of those Macs have no plans to go up past El Capitan) so I'd love to get to the bottom of it. I'm posting here as Haralds might have some ideas on what to do.

I already have SIP disabled (when you like to tinker with Silver Towers, SIP is just an enormous obstacle to working on your own machine). I believe I disabled it to do HFS+ install of High Sierra.

Anyway, even with SIP disabled, my Caldigit FASTA-6GU3Pro Card isn't working now. If I figure it out, I'll post. If anyone (Haralds) has any ideas of steps to try, please let me know.
I can assure you that should work like a charm. Been using that card, and the Plus one, from 10.12. Always aupdated to each of the macOS versions and never stopped working. I have run them with and without SIP and even in HFS+ format some times. Anyway, if I can be of any help, just let me know.
 

foliovision

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2008
43
28
Bratislava
I can assure you that should work like a charm. Been using that card, and the Plus one, from 10.12. Always aupdated to each of the macOS versions and never stopped working. I have run them with and without SIP and even in HFS+ format some times. Anyway, if I can be of any help, just let me know.
Thanks for sharing your positive experience. Until today mine was the same. It turns out I was able to run the SATA part of the card throughout the upgrade but the USB3 was not communicating properly (recognised in system report in PCI slot 3 though). When I reseated the card and restarted with my silver tower on its side, the Caldigit FASTA-6GU3Pro Card started to work properly again and I was able to use the USB 3 functionality again. If reseating had not worked, I would have tried swapping in the extra card (was looking around for it before I tried reseating).

The poor communication had been generating `AppleUSBHostController::hardwareExceptionThreadCallGated` errors in the console ever 10 seconds which is why I decided to upgrade in the first place (I try to leave a working system running after decades of experience with Apple OS X updates, this one is on High Sierra only because it's FCPX machine). Probably if I'd reseated the card instead of running updates, those errors would have stopped, as I couldn't find any consistent explanation for that message (usually problematic USB cards/hubs).

The positive: my silver tower is fully upgraded, both OS and app store apps. The negative: I think I'll be better off leaving it on its side which I don't like for aesthetic reasons. I like spending time troubleshooting even less though.
 
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foliovision

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2008
43
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Bratislava
It´s a great card. Almost turns the "old" MP into a new machine. Have three of them.
It is a great card – it means enjoying two really fast SATA internal drives and 300+ MB/sec USB3. The only downside is that the USB 3 drives force eject on sleep. I've been meaning to install software to auto-eject on sleep. Have to get back on that.

***

Mountain seems to do the trick (didn't install it before as it was AppStore only). The Unmount and Sleep command only unmounts. The most useful feature is being able in Advanced Preferences choose which disks not to unmount on sleep (internal drives which show up as external on desktop).

I'll need to do some more testing with blocking applications open. Single button beats chasing individual volumes around moving Finder windows and manually going after all the blocking applications (with something like What's Open).
 
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foliovision

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2008
43
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Bratislava
I've just upgraded to 10.14.3 (by accident, I was troubleshooting an issue with sleep which turned out in the end to be caused by printer queue on zombie printers and not by an upgrade to 10.13.6 as I imagined). I've decided to try to make a go of it as the reports in about Mojave are good, it might run my Radeon RX580 better and it saves me struggling through an upgrade in the future.

One of the consequences though is that the USB 3 portion of my Caldigit FASTA-6GU3 Plus has stopped working. The SATA internal ports are working, I didn't test the external ESATA ports but I have no reason to think they aren't working.

I've replaced the Caldigit FASTA-6GU3 Plus with a Inateck KT4004 which I had in a backup computer. It was a simple drop-in with no drivers and no hassle happily. I say replaced rather than augmented as my other two PCI slots are filled with very fast AHCI drives which I'm loathe to give up, including my boot drive and main video drive. I'm out of slots. This means my internal SSDs now run on the built-in ports at 260 MB/sec and not 480 MB/sec. On the other hand, the Inateck KT4004 runs my USB drives at 330 MB/sec and not 230 MB/sec like the Caldigit FASTA-6GU3 Plus.

My question here is - has anyone else tested the Caldigit FASTA-6GU3 Plus and found an easy and reliable way to activate the USB 3 ports under 10.14.3?

Most of my Mac Pros are going to hang tight on either 10.6.8 (FCP Studio) or 10.11 (main work OS now, this one is my FCPX machine, hence latest OS) so I'll find a use for these Caldigit FASTA-6GU3 Plus but I'd be very happy to be able to keep using it in my main machine (SATA 3 and USB 3 in a single card, awesome).
 

trifero

macrumors 6502a
May 21, 2009
798
591
Well, I have an Caldigit FASTA-6GU3 in 10,14.4 and the USB part works like a charm, no problems.

As for the AHCI drives, I suppose you know you can use Nvme drives now, cheaper and faster. Just a firmware update that comes with Moojave installation. Anyway, I´m using 2 pci SSd drives also, but from one slot. And in a faster way with an
I/O CREST SI-PEX40129, and that gives me an extra Pci port.

https://www.amazon.com/CREST-SI-PEX40129-Ports-Bifurcation-Controller/dp/B07HYZY7P2
 

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foliovision

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2008
43
28
Bratislava
Trifero, thanks for letting me know your Caldigit FASTA-6GU3 is working under 10.14.4. There's a lot of versions of this card. It's important to be clear which one. Mine has 2 x USB 3 A connectors and normal USB 3 speed. I think it was called the Pro version (replaced later by the Plus version which instead has one USB A replaced by USB C and faster USB speeds).

Next time I'm doing a round of upgrades/troubleshooting, I'll put it back in the Mac Pro. Good to know that finally we can use NVME drives. I still want to be able to boot older OS so I won't be switching over unless NVME will work on older OS.
 

trifero

macrumors 6502a
May 21, 2009
798
591
Trifero, thanks for letting me know your Caldigit FASTA-6GU3 is working under 10.14.4. There's a lot of versions of this card. It's important to be clear which one. Mine has 2 x USB 3 A connectors and normal USB 3 speed. I think it was called the Pro version (replaced later by the Plus version which instead has one USB A replaced by USB C and faster USB speeds).

Next time I'm doing a round of upgrades/troubleshooting, I'll put it back in the Mac Pro. Good to know that finally we can use NVME drives. I still want to be able to boot older OS so I won't be switching over unless NVME will work on older OS.
My pleasure. Yes I know, I had all versións. Now a Plus and a Pro, in two Mac Pros and as I told you, both are working under 10.4.4 like a charm.

The Nvme compatibility is thanks to a firmware update that comes with the Mojave installation, at the beginning. But after the update is complete theres no need to continue with the installation. You can maintain High Sierra is you like better.
 

foliovision

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2008
43
28
Bratislava
My pleasure. Yes I know, I had all versións. Now a Plus and a Pro, in two Mac Pros and as I told you, both are working under 10.4.4 like a charm.

The Nvme compatibility is thanks to a firmware update that comes with the Mojave installation, at the beginning. But after the update is complete theres no need to continue with the installation. You can maintain High Sierra is you like better.
Good to know you've tested both versions. I'll try again on the weekend.

To be honest I like El Capitan better. And Snow Leopard even better. Won't be running either of these though on this computer due to the RX580 now that I think about it.

My technical question though is after the Mojave firmware updates which OS X versions support Nvme compatibility?
 

tsialex

macrumors 604
Jun 13, 2016
7,873
8,492
Brazil
Good to know you've tested both versions. I'll try again on the weekend.

To be honest I like El Capitan better. And Snow Leopard even better. Won't be running either of these though on this computer due to the RX580 now that I think about it.

My technical question though is after the Mojave firmware updates which OS X versions support Nvme compatibility?
Sierra for NVMe drives/blades that have 4KiB sectors and High Sierra/Mojave for 512B and 4KiB. Nothing before Sierra has support for NVMe.

Read the first post: Blade SSDs - NVMe & AHCI
 
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foliovision

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2008
43
28
Bratislava
Sierra for NVMe drives/blades that have 4Kb sectors and High Sierra/Mojave for 512b and 4Kb. Nothing before Sierra has support for NVMe.

Read the first post: Blade SSDs - NVMe & AHCI
Thanks for all your hard work on Blade SSD's Alex. After reading that post again (I believe I read an earlier version a couple of years go) carefully, I'm so very glad my Samsung AHCI blades just run. Won't be changing them any time soon, although I would like to upgrade the 256GB one to something larger (currently it's just the boot drive and the 1 TB is the scratch/RAW video drive).
 

trifero

macrumors 6502a
May 21, 2009
798
591
I've just upgraded to 10.14.3 (by accident, I was troubleshooting an issue with sleep which turned out in the end to be caused by printer queue on zombie printers and not by an upgrade to 10.13.6 as I imagined). I've decided to try to make a go of it as the reports in about Mojave are good, it might run my Radeon RX580 better and it saves me struggling through an upgrade in the future.

One of the consequences though is that the USB 3 portion of my Caldigit FASTA-6GU3 Plus has stopped working. The SATA internal ports are working, I didn't test the external ESATA ports but I have no reason to think they aren't working.

I've replaced the Caldigit FASTA-6GU3 Plus with a Inateck KT4004 which I had in a backup computer. It was a simple drop-in with no drivers and no hassle happily. I say replaced rather than augmented as my other two PCI slots are filled with very fast AHCI drives which I'm loathe to give up, including my boot drive and main video drive. I'm out of slots. This means my internal SSDs now run on the built-in ports at 260 MB/sec and not 480 MB/sec. On the other hand, the Inateck KT4004 runs my USB drives at 330 MB/sec and not 230 MB/sec like the Caldigit FASTA-6GU3 Plus.

My question here is - has anyone else tested the Caldigit FASTA-6GU3 Plus and found an easy and reliable way to activate the USB 3 ports under 10.14.3?

Most of my Mac Pros are going to hang tight on either 10.6.8 (FCP Studio) or 10.11 (main work OS now, this one is my FCPX machine, hence latest OS) so I'll find a use for these Caldigit FASTA-6GU3 Plus but I'd be very happy to be able to keep using it in my main machine (SATA 3 and USB 3 in a single card, awesome).
Could you fix the USB part?
 

Montyboy

macrumors newbie
Feb 6, 2016
15
6
Germany
It is a great card – it means enjoying two really fast SATA internal drives and 300+ MB/sec USB3. The only downside is that the USB 3 drives force eject on sleep. I've been meaning to install software to auto-eject on sleep. Have to get back on that.

***

Mountain seems to do the trick (didn't install it before as it was AppStore only). The Unmount and Sleep command only unmounts. The most useful feature is being able in Advanced Preferences choose which disks not to unmount on sleep (internal drives which show up as external on desktop).

I'll need to do some more testing with blocking applications open. Single button beats chasing individual volumes around moving Finder windows and manually going after all the blocking applications (with something like What's Open).
I have been using 'Mountain' for 3 days now with the same card, and it does not work. For some strange reason it worked good for the 30 test minutes every time so i paid for the licence, but when in sleep mode for a couple of hours i still get the usual disk not ejected properly.

Caldigit FASTA-6GU3 Plus
Mojave 10.14.3
2 x 3.46 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon
Radeon RX 580 8192 MB
64 GB 1333 MHz DDR3
 
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Versacepoptart

macrumors newbie
Dec 17, 2016
13
1
Well, I have an Caldigit FASTA-6GU3 in 10,14.4 and the USB part works like a charm, no problems.

As for the AHCI drives, I suppose you know you can use Nvme drives now, cheaper and faster. Just a firmware update that comes with Moojave installation. Anyway, I´m using 2 pci SSd drives also, but from one slot. And in a faster way with an
I/O CREST SI-PEX40129, and that gives me an extra Pci port.

https://www.amazon.com/CREST-SI-PEX40129-Ports-Bifurcation-Controller/dp/B07HYZY7P2
Just wanted to confirm you have a 6gu3 regular ( not a plus or pro model) and its working on 10.14.4+
I have that card sitting around because it broke after i upgraded to HS. I remember reading somewhere that some cards started working again in some newer updates but just wanted to clarify on this. Would love to have usb 3 back in my machine considering i just put at vega 56 in it. Really the last piece to the puzzle. 1gig ethernet is bottle necking me pretty hard for file transfers.
 
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Synchro3

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2014
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Just wanted to confirm you have a 6gu3 regular ( not a plus or pro model) and its working on 10.14.4+
I have that card sitting around because it broke after i upgraded to HS. I remember reading somewhere that some cards started working again in some newer updates but just wanted to clarify on this. Would love to have usb 3 back in my machine considering i just put at vega 56 in it. Really the last piece to the puzzle. 1gig ethernet is bottle necking me pretty hard for file transfers.
Thanks for the info! Still have my old FASTA (non pro).
 

trifero

macrumors 6502a
May 21, 2009
798
591
Just wanted to confirm you have a 6gu3 regular ( not a plus or pro model) and its working on 10.14.4+
I have that card sitting around because it broke after i upgraded to HS. I remember reading somewhere that some cards started working again in some newer updates but just wanted to clarify on this. Would love to have usb 3 back in my machine considering i just put at vega 56 in it. Really the last piece to the puzzle. 1gig ethernet is bottle necking me pretty hard for file transfers.
Nop. I have a Pro in a Mac Pro 3.1 and a Plus in a Mac Pro 5.1. Both with Mojave.They work also in Catalina, as I have Betas installed in another hard drive for testing. But anyway, if you only need the USB part, not the ESATA, why not buy a Pci USB? They are really cheap.
 

Versacepoptart

macrumors newbie
Dec 17, 2016
13
1
Nop. I have a Pro in a Mac Pro 3.1 and a Plus in a Mac Pro 5.1. Both with Mojave.They work also in Catalina, as I have Betas installed in another hard drive for testing. But anyway, if you only need the USB part, not the ESATA, why not buy a Pci USB? They are really cheap.
Because i have the card already. Synchro is saying his non pro works in 10.14.4. You're saying it won't still, which is a bummer. Any pcie usb 3 gen 2 cards you can recommend
 
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