boot up problem (battery/raid)?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by polypus, May 22, 2008.

  1. polypus macrumors newbie

    polypus

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    #1
    hi all,

    machine:

    Jan 2008 mac pro w/ Apple raid card, 4 x 500 GB Wetsren Digital enterprise drives & 16GB RAM form OWC

    problem:

    i made two raid 0 arrays and put my boot partition on the first one (btw i know it's risky but i have an external
    esata drive for boot partition mirroring). then every morning, after having unplugged everything over night, i
    started getting the blinking question mark. the funny thing is, when i turn the computer back on a few seconds later
    it boots just fine every time, and if i reboot during the day it also works just fine.

    so i figured even though boot off raid is meant to be supported, that it was flaky, so i put boot on a single jbod,
    and made a 3 disk raid 0 array for users. this worked fine for about a week but the exact same symptoms are now
    manifesting. apple hardware test passes (although i haven't run the extended one, but that just tests RAM right?).

    my guesses in order of likelihood:

    bad pram battery
    bad raid card battery
    logic board / battery interface busted
    bad hard drive(s)
    screwy raid card

    any enlightened commentary/advice or even wild goose chase guesses very much appreciated.

    thanks,
    _c
     
  2. tyr2 macrumors 6502a

    tyr2

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #2
    Sounds to me like the disks are taking longer to power on than expected. Does the same thing occur if you power down for a few minutes, rather then just rebooting?

    Is the boot disk you're now using via JBOD one of the same disks that was in the previous RAID 0?

    Have you checked the SMART status of the disks, in Disk Utility, assuming this info is available via the RAID controller.
     
  3. polypus thread starter macrumors newbie

    polypus

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    #3
    thanks for quick reply

    > Sounds to me like the disks are taking longer to power on than expected. Does the same thing occur if you power down for a few minutes, rather then just rebooting?

    hadn't thought of that. why would they power on faster after a reboot though? i will try powering down for a few minutes both with and without unplugging the machine and report back.

    > Is the boot disk you're now using via JBOD one of the same disks that was in the previous RAID 0?

    yes

    > Have you checked the SMART status of the disks, in Disk Utility, assuming this info is available via the RAID controller.

    it does not show up in disk utility but it does in system profiler and raid utility. all disks check out as 'verified' which i assume means verified and alright versus verified and totally busted. i think they could have picked a better word. anyway smart seems to think the disks are cool.

    thanks for helping out,
    _c
     
  4. polypus thread starter macrumors newbie

    polypus

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    #4
    raid utility funnies

    from raid utility manual:

    "To verify a RAID set:
    1 Open RAID Utility.
    2 Select the RAID set in the list on the left side of the window.
    3 Click Verify RAID Set. "

    but 'Verify RAID Set' button is grayed out if i select either my
    jbod or raid 0 array. something else to ponder, i'll probably start
    another thread on that topic.
     
  5. kakace macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
  6. polypus thread starter macrumors newbie

    polypus

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    #6
    update

    update, last night i performed all the below tests with only mouse, keyboard, and display connected:

    i ran apple hardware test (holding d at bootup), and also ran techtool pro as well as disk utility (booting up from the install CD), and they all came up with nothing.

    i also tried powering off the machine for about 10 minutes. i did that twice, once without unplugging the machine, and once unplugging the machine and both times it booted up fine. this morning after having been unplugged for about 8 hours it failed to boot up properly on first go, but then booted up properly after shutdown and reboot.

    i have not tried leaving it plugged in all night yet, but i am buying a new battery today so tonight i'll try leaving it unplugged but with new battery to see what happens, and failing that i'll try tomorrow night leaving it plugged in but turned off... what a @#*&%^ headache.

    does anybody know if while the machine is plugged in but turned off, the battery is recharged by the power-supply, or if the pram is kept alive by the power-supply instead of by the battery? could it be a raid card battery issue?

    thanks for your time guys.
     
  7. kakace macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    #7
    I don't think the RAID battery is recharged while the machine is turned off (be it plugged or not). So if the battery is not fully charged before turning the machine off, you may end up with an empty battery when you turn it on in the morning. Depending on its initial state, the battery may take from 24 to 72 hours to get fully charged.
    If the RAID configuration is saved in NVRAM (powered by the battery), you're likely to have boot problems upon cold start.
    Just my two cents though.
     
  8. polypus thread starter macrumors newbie

    polypus

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    #8
    update: i found out about something i didn't know about called the system management controller

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=304123

    after resetting pram and then resetting the smc by unplugging everything from my computer (btw january pros do not have an internal smc switch), for the past two mornings it has not given me the flashing question mark :D

    if my machine continues to boot up properly for the next two weeks or so, and now that i know the procedure, i will try to put my boot partition back on raid 0, or at least my swap partition to raid 0. i don't know why apple makes it so hard to move swap, but anyway.

    a question for you guys. my boot up time still seems a bit long to me. it takes about 30 seconds just for the grey apple to appear on the light background. how long does it take you guys, with or without raid?

    thanks for all the tips,
    _c
     

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