Firmtek Seritek/e6G eSATA Card in 2008 Mac Pro Causing Kernel Panics

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Soba, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Soba macrumors member

    Soba

    Joined:
    May 28, 2003
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #1
    Hello everyone,

    I recently bought a Firmtek Seritek/e6G eSATA controller for my 2008 Mac Pro and am running into a problem with a 5-bay eSATA enclosure I am trying to connect to it; the system panics whenever the enclosure is connected, but works just fine in Windows 7 64-bit on the same machine. I've spent almost the entire day working on this and sent a message to Firmtek support a short time ago seeking advice, but I thought I'd post here to see if anyone has any ideas.

    I experience kernel panics whenever I connect the enclosure to the card in OS X. I have installed driver version 6.1.7 (the latest), but I still receive panics on both OS X 10.6.8 (32-bit and 64-bit modes) and OS X 10.8.2.

    The enclosure I am connecting is generic, but uses a Silicon Image 3726 port multiplier. My enclosure has 5 Lite-On IHAS-324 DVD burners installed. If I do not install the e6G driver, the enclosure seems to work all right, though without the port multiplier functionality; with no driver, only one disc appears on the desktop, as expected.

    With the driver installed and the enclosure powered on and connected at boot time for either OS X 10.6 or 10.8, the system will panic at the gray boot screen with the apple logo. If the enclosure is hot plugged after the system has successfully booted, the discs never mount on the desktop and the system always panics within about 1 minute.

    This does not seem to be a fundamental incompatibility or hardware problem because I have tested it in Windows on the same system. I installed Windows 7 64-bit in Boot Camp, installed the Windows driver for this controller card from the CD that came with the card, and there is no problem; all hardware works perfectly in Windows and I can play discs from every drive, so this problem is unique to OS X.

    Any ideas? Much appreciation in advance!
     
  2. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    #2
    Verify the firmware is up to date on the optical drives:


    (You'll probably need to mount each drive individually in Windows to do this. Huge pain, but should be done to rule out possible FW incompatibility.)

    Verify that the firmware is up to date on the eSATA Controller (Latest appears to be 6.1.7):


    Verify that the firmware for the generic SiI3726-based enclosure is up-to-date (latest SiI FW for that chip is 1.0114 from almost 6 years ago):

     
  3. Soba thread starter macrumors member

    Soba

    Joined:
    May 28, 2003
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #3
    Thank you for the response!

    I neglected to mention this. All firmware was already up to date and this was the first thing I checked once I got the hardware working in Windows.

    I received a reply from FirmTek quite a bit faster than I expected. It turns out that the e6G driver is not compatible with optical devices, hence the panic. Thus, this issue is irresolvable.

    Considering the Windows driver seems to work perfectly, I would be pretty embarrassed if I were them, but I suppose it's their prerogative as to what they support and how they do it.

    Now to find a controller that supports port multipliers and actually works in OS X.
     
  4. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    #4
    That's a bummer.

    I would probably suggest something like this:

    http://www.sonnettech.com/product/tempo_sata_e2p.html

    Looks like they're going for ~$50. Also looks like it would support your setup, but you should probably email their Sales or Customer Support to verify.
     
  5. Soba thread starter macrumors member

    Soba

    Joined:
    May 28, 2003
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #5
    Your suggestion was on the money, duervo!

    Just reporting back to say that the Sonnet e2P works perfectly in my 2008 Mac Pro with 5 SATA DVD drives in (I think) a Silicon Image 3726 port multiplier enclosure. As expected, performance is quite a step up from my stock internal PATA DVD drive.

    As with some other cards, it suffers from the limitation of not working in PCIe slot 2 in the 2008 Pro, but is working perfectly in slot 3. This is all spelled out in the documentation for this card, so for the benefit of anyone reading this at a later time, check the docs to be sure that this will work as you expect it to.
     

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