Caldigit RAID card

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Virtuoso, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. Virtuoso macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #1
    I can see why it's taken so long from the January announcement to the late July availability of this card. The operation seems to be a complete shambles!

    1. My card arrived with faulty firmware.
    2. The cards do not ship with any drivers or documentation.
    3. The downloadable pdf manual simply covers installation of the card and there are no instructions anywhere for operation of the RAID software, leaving you to guess how to set it up. The installation manual even has errors about the cabling.
    4. The downloadable drivers/firmware/manual currently on the Caldigit website site are corrupted and will not unzip (both the Mac and PC drivers).
    5. There is no way of installing OSX directly from the DVD onto a RAID. You have to first install to an external drive, then create the array, then restore your system onto the RAID. The many PC RAID cards I have had over the years simply came with a small driver which you install during the o/s installation.
    6. The card will not boot at all with a 4 drive RAID 5 array, which was my reason for buying the card in the first place. After the chime, you just get a blank grey screen. Holding down Option doesn't work - you can't get past the grey screen. You have to boot from DVD and reset the startup disk to the external firewire drive.
    7. Tech support were clueless beyond 'Err... have you tried the latest beta drivers..?'

    I've spent the entire week with my primary workstation out of action, initializing and reinitializing arrays and restoring my system over and over again, a 7 hour process every time, with no success.

    Very unimpressed - wish I hadn't bothered. :(
     
  2. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #2
    I've been looking for a RAID card that suits my needs for some time. I keep running into roadblocks. The CalDigit RAID card ticked all the right boxes per se, to find:
    Delivery has been a fiasco.
    Despite being informed it would work with external drive boxes from other vendors, it doesn't according to another forum member.
    Now to discover it doesn't boot OS X.
    I won't be ordering one apparently! ;)

    What a nightmare! :eek:
    Send it back and get a refund. :)
     
  3. kittiyut macrumors regular

    kittiyut

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #3
    Hey Virtuoso,

    Sorry to hear about your fiasco and thanks for sharing your experience with us. I ordered my MP with the Apple RAID card to do RAID 5 with 4 drives not knowing that you can't do boot camp with it and you can't use the extra 2 SATA to connect to external drives and do boot camp either. I was pissed, even more so after reading about the Caldigit card. Well now I feel much better that I didn't wait!!
     
  4. lostngone macrumors demi-god

    lostngone

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2003
    Location:
    Anchorage
    #4
    Sorry, I'm a noob when it comes to boot camp but can you install windows on an external firewire drive using boot camp and run it that way?
     
  5. Play4keeps macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    #6
    I knew it Caldigit RAID card - total crap.So many ppl on here braging on a card they neva saw LOL = ill stick with my CRAPPY(just kidding)Tempo SATA E4P:eek:
     
  6. orpheus1120 macrumors 65816

    orpheus1120

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location:
    Malaysia
    #7
    So what are the alternative RAID cards available beside Apple's and Caldigit's?

    IIRC, there isn't right?
     
  7. sirnh macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    #8
    http://www.attotech.com
     
  8. Virtuoso thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #9
    'Aware of this (pretty major) issue' and yet the card was still released to market in a non-functional state! How the hell did it get out? Since one of the main advertised features of this card is that it will boot from a RAID, surely someone must have tested whether it actually works? :confused: Instead I have to waste an entire week screwing around in vain just trying to get the most basic functionality to work. :mad:

    What is it with companies these days? They're aiming at the Pro video market, where stability and performance are critical and yet they release this half-finished flaky piece of crap which doesn't even boot and expect me to trust my data to it. :mad:
     
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #10
    I've been looking at Atto's ExpressSAS series as well as Areca's ARC-1680 series (ARC-1680ix-12). :confused:

    I haven't found as much data on the Atto cards as I would like. :(
    The Areca cards look nice as well, but there is a slight caveat. At last contact, it works with the internal ports, but not the external ports. I can in fact work around this, but it's a PITA. Ive been hoping they can fix this. (Presumably firmware or driver related).

    I need RAID, and it must work with Boot Camp. :eek:
    Any thoughts? Input would be most welcome. :)

    Thanks,
    Nanofrog.

    I'm grateful for this thread, and am sorry you've been through the wringer. :eek:
    It's kept me from putting my eggs in the 'CalDigit basket' as it were. :p

    Your posts have been very helpful.
    Thankyou. :)
     
  10. kittiyut macrumors regular

    kittiyut

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #11
    Hey Play,

    How's this card working for you? I'm thinking of adding this card to my MP so I can do bootcamp.

    Ken
     
  11. lostngone macrumors demi-god

    lostngone

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2003
    Location:
    Anchorage
    #12
    Its not all about the card, good driver support is just as important. You can end up things like random lockups or a system won't sleep or wake from sleep.
     
  12. Virtuoso thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #13
    Just had a call from CalDigit support.

    Apparently the inability to boot is down to something Apple broke with 10.5.4. If your partition is >2Tb, it won't boot.

    So... the suggested solution is to back everything up again, install 10.5.1 to an external firewire drive, create and initialize the RAID array, clone the firewire drive to the new RAID, then update to 10.5.4 and reinstall everything. Not exactly plug and play.

    I don't really see how downgrading my system to 10.5.1 and then patching it back up again is going to change anything, unless it's something to do with the way the Disk Utility app partitions drives under 10.5.4 - did they make some change which screws up the bootability of >2Tb drives with 10.5.4? Sounds unlikely, but stranger things have happened... :confused:

    The question is, do I have the time and the patience to try all this one more time only to find it still doesn't work..?
     
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #14
    Can't forget Tech Support. ;)

    Anyone care to share such expiriences/recommendations?
     
  14. Play4keeps macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    #15
    I love it driver updates every few months stable as a table being able to hook
    up 2-20 yes 20 hardrives is more thane enough speed get it you cant go wrong.
     

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  15. kittiyut macrumors regular

    kittiyut

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #16
    Great to hear, but can you install Windows Vista 64 bit onto a drive connected to it? :rolleyes:

    Thanks!
     
  16. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #17
    This is why people spend good money on a Promise controller.
     
  17. Virtuoso thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #18
    I've got the CalDigit card running properly now. Creating a RAID 5 array with two slices (300Gb and 1.7Tb) worked and it will now boot.

    Although it's been a pain in the arse to set up I certainly can't fault the performance. 260Mb/s in RAID 5 with 4 drives is pretty good.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. ideaspring macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado
    #19
    CalDigit RAID Card Update

    It has come to our attention that there was a conflict with version 1.8.3 of the CalDigit EFI and Mac OS 10.5.4, which would not allow the CalDigit RAID Card to boot from volumes over 2TB. We addressed the issue & fixed the bug.

    Unfortunately a small numbers of users were effected by this bug. We would like to apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused.

    Users can now update to EFI version 1.8.4 through RAID Shield to resolve this conflict. You can find the the EFI update our our website at http://www.caldigit.com/support.asp

    Sincerely,

    Jared Picune
    Vice President Sales & Marketing, CalDigit, Inc.
     
  19. JoshRtek macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    #20
    Smoother Sailing with RAID Card, until now...

    So I have had the CalDigit RAID card running smoothly with a 4.0 TB RAID 5 set running on my Mac Pro (2.66 GHz x 4). While catching up on some e-mails, the computer suddenly froze, while the colored pinwheel-of-death starting spinning. Keep in mind, all I had running on the computer was Safari and Mail. Force Quit was not working, so I let the computer sit there for about an hour, to see if it would work itself out. I come back, it's still spinning. So at this point, the only option I have is to hard-boot the computer.

    After it restarts, I notice my whole RAID 5 is GONE from the desktop. Keep in mind I had 700 GBs of very important video footage for an upcoming project on the RAID set. I open CalDigit's RAID Shield software, and my controller card is there, but there is a red dot next to it. Apple's Disk Utility also shows a 2.7 TB hard drive, but no partition for it. Nothing I try seems to bring the RAID back, so I try removing the controller so I can re-add it...nope, now I can't even get RAID Shield to see the controller. I've tried reinstalling the drivers and software, but nothing seems to work. Any help? Thanks!

    -Joshua
     
  20. Play4keeps macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    #21
    Really:rolleyes:
    I stand by what i have said about this card time after time mabey in the next ver (of the card NOT EFI updates) it may be fixed.;)
    Sorry to here that bro
     
  21. noushy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    #22
    Caldigit Raid

    I am not sure if this will help, but I just recently upgraded from my Quad G5 2.5 to a new MacPro 2.8 DualQuad, 16GB ram, and installed the caldigit raid card. I will admit, the install is a little tricky, and initially I needed help from their tech support. Overall they tried hard, and we got it to work. Running 4x1tb seagate ES2 drives, moved the boot 500gb drive to the lower optical bay, and all works well. If I wanted to, could clone the boot volume onto the raid5, but it is more versatile this way. Performance is great, over 250MB/s, and stable. My only complaint is needing the bootcamp sas cable which is currently unavailable. I ordered an 18inch minisas to minisas cable which should be here soon. I am not sure what all the griping is about, since the card works as promised, reasonably priced, and offers more performance than the apple raid card for $300 less. I admit the apple card has built in drivers, and will run SAS drives, but otherwise save your money and get the caldigit card. In addition, it does work with other enclosures, just need the right cabling. I have an external 4bay sata hotswap enclosure (coolgear), with a minisas external to infiniband cable, and good to go. Happy to try and answer questions. And the included software and drivers (the early cards did not have this) works great; in fact the gui is one of the best and easiest to use.

    My 2 cents,
    Noushy
     
  22. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #23
    Nice to hear that it actually works with other enclosures. :)

    Could you explain the connections (where & why) for the cable you've ordered? There was some confusion in the installation guide linked in a previous thread, and I was under the impression this cable wasn't needed.

    Thanks. :)
     
  23. phildog33 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    #24
    Noushy -- can you please confirm that it works with other enclosures.

    2 months ago I was one of the first people to recieve the CalDigit Raid Card and I confirmed to everyone that the card DOES NOT work with any external enclosures other than their HD Element.

    I tried external SATA hard drives.. External SATA arrays and using this special cable and enclosure

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Highpoint Technologies/MS1MES/

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/IcyDock/MB561S4S/

    Nothing worked
    Noushy, what have you tried that works?
    Nothing shows up in the GUI as connected

    P
     
  24. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #25
    Hi Phildog33, nice to see you back. :)

    I was under the impression you didn't need a MiniSAS to MiniSAS cable internally in the system. The whole J18 & J19 bit.
    Could you clarify here, if possible?

    Thanks. :)
    NF.
     

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