Highpoint 4320 EFI update for Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by maximage, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. maximage macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2002
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #1
    Hoping someone can help who may have the RocketRaid 4320 EFI firmware update stored on their Mac Pro hard drive.

    Am absolutely disgusted at Highpoint and how they have treated me on this one. I purchased a 4320 to run my SSDs that I have mounted in a DX4 as well as attaching it to the normal drive sleds via the connector that usually attaches these to the motherboard. Bought the 4x SSDs and 4x Velociraptors plus DX4 mount plus Pro Cable 2 as well as the 4320 (all up around $2500 worth) due to their website (http://www.highpoint-tech.cn/China/bios_rr4320c.htm) which clearly states in the Mac section that there is an EFI download that enables compatibility and booting on the Mac Pro in 10.6. This is all clearly on THEIR website, not information on a 3rd party site.

    Only once I purchased the card and assorted items and tried installing the linked software did it become apparent that the linked software is NOT an EFI firmware update but just a general driver update. It appears from discussion with them that this link USED to go to the correct firmware update, but has now been changed to simply point to the driver update, but they have NOT changed the description. Problem is that you can only discover this error once the card is purchased and installed and you try to use the linked software.

    Now this is where it gets disgusting. I contacted Highpoint to ask for the firmware that THEY clearly state on their website is available, and has definitely existed in the past, as numerous people online have successfully installed it on their cards, only to be told they no longer support it and they have removed it. When I pointed out that their very own website STILL states that the card can be updated to run in the Mac Pro and lists the software as available, and that I had spent $2500 due to the information provided by their site, they did not do anything. They merely reiterated their point that they have removed the link and no longer supply the update. Their complete lack of care about the predicament they have placed me in, and money of mine that has been wasted, is appalling. I just cannot believe that they fail to see how this is entirely their fault, due to their own website, and why they are being so absolutely stubborn as to not take 30 seconds to track down a copy of the software that they themselves acknowledge exists, and simply email it to me!

    I am absolutely appalled by their attitude that now sees me out $2500 COMPLETELY due to their misinformation, and they refuse to help me, even though they are ENTIRELY at fault. All they need to do is provide me with the firmware that they have already admitted exists.

    So, hoping someone out there still has it saved on one of their machines. I have even tracked down the personal emails of some of the Highpoint staff and despite emailing them personally in addition to having gone through their normal so-called "support" area, they have refused to respond.

    Please someone help by supplying the firmware! This is a company that is attempting to make inroads with the Mac community but if they keep this kind of attitude up, then I fear that may not happen. It is a real pity as it actually seems to be a pretty nice piece of hardware, just sad that their "support" can be so stubborn when it is so clearly their fault in the first place.
     
  2. hyram macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    #2
    Do you know what version of the firmware is that you need? I might have it. Also, you should try looking at their other country sites, not just the china one. And look in the 4322 section, it's the same as the 4320 except for connectors.

    I too had nothing but problems with highpoint support, but once I got things working the 4322 I've got has been flawless. Unless this changes they won't be getting any more of my business next time I need a RAID solution.
     
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #3
    OUCH.

    Highpoint doesn't actually design or manfucture anything they sell, which makes support horrible at best. But the firmware issue is despicable IMO.

    Is there anyway you can return the card for a refund?

    I'd try to push for this on the basis their site is misleading, and they no longer support stated claims.

    Ulitmately, this is a hard lesson = avoid Highpoint like the proverbial Plague. CalDigit too for that matter (same types of situations; tend to release products in a beta state, don't deliver on promised features, and drop support suddenly without notice). :( :mad:

    BTW, did you try the EFI file that's on the site you linked (.zip file)?

    If they won't allow a return, it may be worth attempting at this point, as it's otherwise useless (same port count, IOP,...). Hopefully, it will work (assuming no one else has the exact same model and a copy of the EFI).

    I stopped using Highpoint years ago (absolute disasterous products at that time).

    Which is why I stick to Areca (they're actually the ODM for the RR43xx models) or ATTO for EFI based machines. Both companies actually design and manufacture their own products, and the support staff know what they're doing.
     
  4. maximage thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2002
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #4
    Nanofrog, yeah, the file that links on that site is not the EFI firmware at all, it is merely the BIOS type firmware. It links to the wrong file. The card was recognisable that way, and it updates but is not bootable, needs to be EFI for that. I am actually now seriously considering the Areca card, tossing between the 1231 and the 1680 I think the options were, 1231 only being 800MHz, 1680 being the 1200MHz chip like the Highpoint. As I said it is a real pity as the hardware seems great, just the common point on all too many threads is their disgusting treatment of legitimate customers.

    Machine won't boot properly into DOS to force the normal 4320 firmware back onto it, just hangs as the prompt now to enter the RAID cards BIOS setup area. When in 10.6 it is seen as a 4322 by System Profiler but the In-Band management won't see it. Just need to work out if I can get into it via the ethenet port using a different machine. If you do possibly have the file native to the 4320 then that would be hugely helpful!!
     
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #5
    I was hoping that the BIOS subsection was just mislabeled, and actually EFI code (wishful thinking).

    1231ML = SATA only model with an 800MHz processor
    1680 series = SAS (handles SATA too) with a 1200Mhz processor

    But the newer 1880 series would be a better choice (6.0Gb/s, and early test data show them faster). They even fare better on pricing.

    The downside, is another user tried one on their MP, and there was a problem that has to be fixed (hardware, so it has to be sent back, and it's applicable to the entire lineup). So I'd recommend waiting for them to get this sorted on the production line (unusual for Areca in my experience with their products). Say a month or two if you can. You may want to email Areca and inquire about this, as it's possible they could get shipments in the distribution chain faster than that.
     
  6. maximage thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2002
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #6
    Yeah, figured the Areca 1680s seemed to be almost the same as the 4320 series HighPoints just with more cache in the Arecas. Am now looking at the 1880 ones and they do look good. You have any idea if they would cop much of a speed hit running on a PCI-E x1 original Mac Pro rather than the newer PCI-E x2 of the newer machines? Will be running 4x SSDs striped for boot and 4x Velociraptors striped for data
    (All backed up to a 2TB drive in the optical bay to ease RAID 0 concerns)
     
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #7
    You'd be fine. :D 8x lanes at 250MB/s per lane = 2GB/s max sustainable throughput for the PCIe slot in your system.

    Figuring 4x SSD's @250MB/s sustained each, and 4x HDD's @100MB/s sustained each, you'd only generate ~1.4GB/s.

    As per mechanical disks, any specific reason for the Velociraptors (they'd need to be enterprise grade units of some kind though; the HDD Compatibility List on Areca's support page is your best friend in this regard)?
     
  8. hyram macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    #8
    Sorry I don't. This is the first I've heard that there is a separate version for the 4320 vs 4322. All the versions I've seen for 4322 have been marked "RR43xx" which would imply all models.
     
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #9
    This is what I'd expect as well (no reason the card should care if the ports are internal or external, so long as the port count is the same).

    Wonder what's going on? :confused: Whatever it was, I presume it was the reason they dropped EFI support for the series.
     
  10. hyram macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    #10
    I'm actually betting on an over active marketing department. These cards never supported booting... at least in OS X... and the website referenced was incorrect from the get-go.

    As to OS X drivers, with the release of 10.6 the drivers are built in. They avertised this a lot with the release of SL. I can atest to this, my initial install was under 10.4 and I had a long string of install issues that did eventually get resolved. When I migrated to 10.6 I did a fresh install of OS X and did not have to install any drivers at all for the 4322, it was reconigized from the first boot with all the data intact.
     
  11. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #11
    When did you get the card?

    I ask, as I seem to recall that a few that picked up their RR43xx soon after they released, where able to get the EFI firmware and it was able to boot properly under OS X.

    But I've no idea when this changed, or the actual cause. Perhaps there's been a mid-production part substitution that's incompatible with the EFI firmware that was developed (ye olde cost cutting).

    I don't care for Highpoint's products, so I don't pay that close attention to such details. But I do recall this being touted on the newertech 6.0Gb/s eSATA card (non RAID version).
     
  12. DualShock macrumors 6502

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    Jun 29, 2008
    #12
  13. hyram macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    #13
    I bought my right at release... I've never tried booting from it and kind of remember from that time that they wouldn't commit to booting.

    I know... you keep saying.:) This was my first (and still only RAID card) that I got before I stumbled onto you're comments about it. At the time it seemed like a good idea and support aside, it has worked very well for the intended purposes. I'm ambivalent about the product (it works), but not about the support as I'm not inclined to get another of their products because of the dismal support.
     
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #14
    If you're willing to try the .zip file of EFI firmware, I'd love to hear how it goes (downloaded it and took a look; it is labeled as an EFI file, as is the content in the Readme file).

    As to whether or not it will benefit the OP, I'm not sure as I've never had access to an RR43xx to see if it's possible to flash it to the correct firmware after being flashed with the incorrect file (using CLI, from a PC,.... as the OP has led me to believe access from the browser interface is no longer possible).

    Sorry, I've sort of made warning people about Highpoint a mission (really bad experience years ago, and still see reports of problems to this day on too high a frequency to chalk it up to "occasional bad unit").
     
  15. maximage thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2002
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #15
    I did try self amending the web address to see if the file was still there just hidden from view but didn't seem to work, but no idea what I did wrong given you were able to get there DualShock. Cheers for that. Only problem is getting into the card at the moment, Terminal wont see it, and booting into DOS or Windows on the Mac Pro just locks the machine up as the HighPoint BIOS Utility comes up on screen during the boot process but after a few minutes states that the card has timed out and won't let the boot process continue.

    I have asked the HighPoint web support people how I can remotely get into the card but a few days down the track and they still have not answered. If I can get into the card somehow I am sure this EFI file will work.

    Many thanks.
     
  16. hyram macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    #16
    I've attached the file for you.

    It does indeed say that it's for 4320 not 43xx. And the release notes do indicate it'll boot.

    Nano, I have no intention of trying this as 1) I have a 4322 not a 4320; 2) I don't require to boot; 3) I'm not messing with a working system.

    Max... try hooking a ethernet cable from another computer to the 4320, then run something like a net map to see if you can the IP. Then port scan to figure out that. Tedious I know, but might be worth a shot.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #17
    You could try using the CLI (Command Line Interface). Given what's going on, I'm not sure it will help (firmware's keeping the card from loading properly), but it's worth a try. Hyram's mention of using the Ethernet port may be a possibility as well, but in all honesty, I think you're card is toast.

    If this doesn't work, you could try an RMA (they may at least be able to reflash by pulling the ROM and using a programmer, then re-solder it).

    BTW, you never answered my question on whether or not you could return the card for a refund, since it won't work as advertised. Can you shed any light on this?

    I don't blame you one bit. All three reasons are valid, but #3 especially so. :D :p
     
  18. ThreeTwo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #18
    my memory is hazy, but I have a 4320 card to which I tried to flash the 4322 EFI in the same woeful tale as yours, and it bricked. I did recover the card, as I recall, by putting it in a Windows box (not the mac pro), doing a complete flash of all (multiple) 4320 firmware components for *Windows* and not trying to flash it for mac. It worked again. I believe, having recovered the card, I would have done any further flashing on that Windows box for the EFI firmware before putting in the Mac. This was more than a year ago, and I'm still using the once-bricked card in the Mac today, so if you needed more details I might not remember them. Other than the important step of not trying to recover the card on the Mac.

    Have to say, after having purchased several RocketRaid cards for my Macs because of the advertised Mac support, I was furious at the lack of true Mac support and will never buy hardware from them again. If you get it working, it'll probably keep working indefinitely, but don't start tweaking it if it isn't broken...
     
  19. maximage thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2002
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #19
    Sorry Hyram, what I meant was that I had previously tried to fluke the web address a few weeks back just like you managed to (in case it was still on their server, just not publicly linked to by the website), but for some reason didn't manage to get it right. I was able to use the link you initially gave.

    Haven't had a further chance to play any more or work out how to use the CLI side of things via an external machine connected via the cards built in ethernet port, will have to try sit down over the next few days and give it a go. Otherwise, may try a friend of mine who is a high level PC tech and may be able to get into it some other way. I did ask HighPoint a week or so ago for help but they typically haven't even replied to the question in their support system.
     
  20. oscis macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #20
    Sorry for waking up an old dead thread, but it seems worthwhile to leave a proper resolution for the sake of posterity.

    I flashed my 4320 with 4321 firmware.
    Don't do this - it doesn't work :mad:

    To recover:

    - Get the card into a pcix slot of a Windows box
    - Download windows firmware for your card
    - Read firmware release notes and instructions for flashing the BIOS!
    - Make a DOS bootable memory stick so you can boot directly into real DOS. The command prompt will not save you here.
    - Copy all Windows firmware and flsahelf for the 4320 onto your DOS memory stick
    - Configure your Windows box to boot from USB... and boot into DOS
    - Flash the Raid card
    - Change your BIOS and boot back into Windows
    - download this: (same link as in quoted text) www.highpoint-tech.cn/BIOS_Driver/RR3xxx_4xxx/EFI/RR4320-EFI-081113.zip
    - Install (or re-install) Windows Highpoint drivers
    - Use the in-band GUI to check the card is now recognised.
    - Use the in-band GUI to flash firmware with the RR4320-EFI-081113 linked above.
    - Get the card back in your MAC, sigh a sigh or relief as it boots :D

    BTW - this absolutely is a bootable RAID card - I boot from it daily..

    @DualShock - Thanks for posting that link. I should have tested 4322 firmware but couldn't face putting the card back in my Windows box to give it a try!
     
  21. ListedFirst.com macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    #21
    Comparison

    DS, you rock! I had all the same issues with a vanishing EFI for the RocketRaid 4310, I did, however, manage to get it through an old archived link to support. In any instance, I've set it up with 4x Crucial C300 256GB SSDs, and it's peaking at 750MB/s transfer. If I connect 2 drives directly to the Mac and 2 on the card and do a software RAID 0 I get about 1.1GB/s. Writing to the onboard cache I get well over 1.4GB/s on the card, so I know it's not the interface that's the bottle neck. I'm going to buy a 4320 (with it's faster IPOS processor) and give it a go. Then I'll give it a go with 8x C300 256GB SSDs just to see what it's capable of. Stay tuned, and thatnks for helpin us get the EFI for the 4320!



     
  22. GHF7 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    #22
    Hey Oscis,

    I am having kinda the same problem as you are... I posted a threat here
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=11932773#post11932773

    My question for you is can you perhaps provide me with a step by step as to how you flashed your Highpoint bios?

    I cant seem to get the flash to work so I'm thinking that I'm doing something wrong...:(




     

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