HighPoint 7101A - DEAD!

Bugs713

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 3, 2018
23
14
Apache Junction, AZ USA
Following the excellent info learned here, installed the 7101A into slot #2 with two EVO 970 Pro 512GB blades, set up RAID/0 with HFS format as a boot drive, running latest High Sierra in 2010 12 core cMP. Worked great for last three weeks with 4500/6000 read/write.

A few days ago found system shut down, will not recognized the 7101A, only boots from cloned backup drive.
Swapped to other PCIe slots, still not recognized. To rule out bad EVO(s), removed the card, removed the EVO's, installed each into external m.2 housing and plugged into my iMac. There in Disk Utility I could see the EVO's with their RAID setup. In the cMP, Disk Utility showed nothing.

I contacted High Point online and they responded with:

Unfortunately, the SDS7101A-1 does not support booting.
Therefore we cannot provide support on this.
There are Mac Pro users that were able to get it to boot however it was not designed to be used that way.


This is rather concerning and disappointing! They are basicly saying I voided the warrenty and I'm stuck with a $400 brick?
I've read that several others are using this as a boot drive in their cMP's with no real issues. Certainly if there was a chance of killing the card by using as a boot drive, I would not have set it up this way! No such warnings in any of their product descriptions, though I realize a manufracture can't possibly list every possible usage situation with warnings....

I would appreciate any comments, any ideas?
Thanks!!
 

crjackson2134

macrumors 601
Mar 6, 2013
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I’m not sure what NVMe blades you have. You mention Pro and you mention EVO. Those are 2 different products. I’m going to assume Pro since it shouldn’t matter.

I doubt “designed for booting” means anything here. Passthrough adapters aren’t “designed for booting either” as this requires no special voo-doo at the adapter level normally.

I would suspect it’s the PCI switch that died. I would inspect for heat issues. You did run with active cooling enabled and the heatsink in place didn’t you?

I’ve had similar responses from High Point regarding this product, so You’re not unique in this.

The problem with omitting information and changing email address at this point is the card serial number and proof of purchase. If you went online and made an account and registered your 7101A, the SN will link the new complaint to the old one. Also, when you provide proof of purchase, this will reveal that you are the same person with the Mac complaint.

I’m not saying don’t give it a try, I’m just saying it may not work at this point. Good Luck.
 
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Bugs713

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 3, 2018
23
14
Apache Junction, AZ USA
I’m not sure what NVMe blades you have. You mention Pro and you mention EVO. Those are 2 different products. I’m going to assume Pro since it shouldn’t matter.

I doubt “designed for booting” means anything here. Passthrough adapters aren’t “designed for booting either” as this requires no special voo-doo at the adapter level normally.

I’ve had similar responses from High Point regarding this product, so You’re not unique in this.

The problem with omitting information and changing email address at this point is the card serial number and proof of purchase. If you went online and made an account and registered your 7101A, the SN will link the new complaint to the old one. Also, when you provide proof of purchase, this will reveal that you are the same person with the Mac complaint.

I’m not saying don’t give it a try, I’m just saying it may not work at this point. Good Luck.
970 Pro's, sorry.
Purchased this through Amazon and still in the 30 day return window, processed a replacement last night and it was accepted by Amazon, waiting for UPS pickup now. I figured replacement would be quicker and more reliable than refund. I will use the new one as RAID/0 storage or sell it.
Thanks!
[doublepost=1551373610][/doublepost]
is the card recognized in the system profiler or lspci?
Not recognized at all.
 
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startergo

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2018
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[doublepost=1551373610][/doublepost]
Not recognized at all.
Well that is your valid complain not the bootability. It is supposed to work in OSX environment as a storage disk. If you can double test it in Windows to make sure it is dead and is still under warranty file a warranty claim.
 

bsbeamer

macrumors 68030
Sep 19, 2012
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Did you modify the 7101A at all, or were you using it as shipped with stock fan?
Did you recently install any updates or beta updates? Update NVIDIA web drivers or NVIDIA CUDA drivers?
Your system boot drive was a RAID between two identical Samsung 970 PRO 512GB NVMe SSDs on 7101A?

Mentioning in case it's helpful at all or helps in your troubleshooting - I ran into a software RAID issue with High Sierra 10.13.6 17G5019 that is nearly identical to the Mojave RAID issue I was experiencing when testing Mojave around the 10.14.1 release. Drives that were part of software RAID were not being recognized correctly and read/write speeds were randomly suffering. During benchmark tests they would be fine, but when setting as scratch disks for certain applications there would be unexplainable hangs. Both drives were shown through DriveDx and utilities properly. Drives passed DriveDx tests (short and long) without issue. RAID was only for external/media drives (not boot) via two identical SATA SSDs and was RAID0 between them. They were functioning correctly in 17G4015 without issue.

Reformatted these SATA drives this AM and completely removed software RAID from the system. All speeds are as expected via single SATA sleds and (so far) have not run into any unexpected issues. Drive health on both via DriveDx is 100% with 94% and 95% lifetime left indication. Personally believe the Mojave RAID issue may have finally crept into HS, but I do not have time right now to intensively troubleshoot to confirm. Have not decided if I'm going to try SoftRAID longterm or leave as-is.
 
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Slash-2CPU

macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2016
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Amazon replacement is always best option for Prime members before dealing w manufacturer. Return is officially 30 days. If you ask nicely, they'll give you a fairly large grace period after that as well.
 

Bugs713

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 3, 2018
23
14
Apache Junction, AZ USA
Did you modify the 7101A at all, or were you using it as shipped with stock fan?
Did you recently install any updates or beta updates? Update NVIDIA web drivers or NVIDIA CUDA drivers?
Your system boot drive was a RAID between two identical Samsung 970 PRO 512GB NVMe SSDs on 7101A?

Mentioning in case it's helpful at all or helps in your troubleshooting - I ran into a software RAID issue with High Sierra 10.13.6 17G5019 that is nearly identical to the Mojave RAID issue I was experiencing when testing Mojave around the 10.14.1 release. Drives that were part of software RAID were not being recognized correctly and read/write speeds were randomly suffering. During benchmark tests they would be fine, but when setting as scratch disks for certain applications there would be unexplainable hangs. Both drives were shown through DriveDx and utilities properly. Drives passed DriveDx tests (short and long) without issue. RAID was only for external/media drives (not boot) via two identical SATA SSDs and was RAID0 between them. They were functioning correctly in 17G4015 without issue.

Reformatted these SATA drives this AM and completely removed software RAID from the system. All speeds are as expected via single SATA sleds and (so far) have not run into any unexpected issues. Drive health on both via DriveDx is 100% with 94% and 95% lifetime left indication. Personally believe the Mojave RAID issue may have finally crept into HS, but I do not have time right now to intensively troubleshoot to confirm. Have not decided if I'm going to try SoftRAID longterm or leave as-is.
No updates at all, just a few Steam game downloads on to a different drive. No Nvidia/Cuda updates for the 980ti, still on
387.10.10.10.40. 118, though an update notice came through last night for 387.10.10.10.40.122, did not download. And yes, the RAID/0 was set up between the two 970 Pros on the 7101A. No mod's done to the 7101A, all stock. Also used Disk Utility to set up the RAID, not Highpoints software

Thanks for the info!
 

bookemdano

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2011
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Definitely sounds like it was defective. Agree that Amazon is 100% your best route with this (even if HighPoint replaced it for you I doubt they'd get it to you in two days).

If you were outside of your Amazon return window, I think you could have simply just explained to HighPoint that regardless of the boot situation, the card doesn't work, period. That when you put your SSDs in another adapter they show up, but when you put them in the 7101A they don't. And when you boot from another drive the card doesn't even show up in system profiler.

Trying to boot from it wouldn't kill a card, so I have to wonder if they misunderstood your support request. Maybe they assumed the card was otherwise working, just that you couldn't boot from it. I bet if you clarified that the card is completely dead they'd get an RMA set up. Fortunately though you don't need to go that route. Hope you have better luck with the replacement!
 
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Bugs713

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 3, 2018
23
14
Apache Junction, AZ USA
Definitely sounds like it was defective. Agree that Amazon is 100% your best route with this (even if HighPoint replaced it for you I doubt they'd get it to you in two days).

If you were outside of your Amazon return window, I think you could have simply just explained to HighPoint that regardless of the boot situation, the card doesn't work, period. That when you put your SSDs in another adapter they show up, but when you put them in the 7101A they don't. And when you boot from another drive the card doesn't even show up in system profiler.

Trying to boot from it wouldn't kill a card, so I have to wonder if they misunderstood your support request. Maybe they assumed the card was otherwise working, just that you couldn't boot from it. I bet if you clarified that the card is completely dead they'd get an RMA set up. Fortunately though you don't need to go that route. Hope you have better luck with the replacement!
Thanks!
I made it clear to them the card was completely dead, they just washed their hand of it...

Before UPS picked it up at my work yesterday, I installed into a PC and still not recognized anywhere.
Just another company that does not stand behind their products!
 
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bookemdano

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Jul 29, 2011
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Thanks!
I made it clear to them the card was completely dead, they just washed their hand of it...

Before UPS picked it up at my work yesterday, I installed into a PC and still not recognized anywhere.
Just another company that does not stand behind their products!
Well, I can't say for sure, but I still strongly think that they didn't understand that the card was 100% non-functional. If it had been necessary, I'm quite sure you could have responded to them seeking to further clarify that the card died irrespective of booting from it and they would have set up an RMA for you. I don't own a 7101A but I've actually had quite good support from them on one of their other products. You also have to remember that english is not their primary language so what sounded clear to you may not have been clear to them. Not saying it's your fault--just that sometimes (especially in text-based media where you can't visually show them) you gotta try explaining things multiple times to get everyone on the same page.

In any case, hope you have better luck with your replacement 7101A!
 

Bugs713

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 3, 2018
23
14
Apache Junction, AZ USA
Well, I can't say for sure, but I still strongly think that they didn't understand that the card was 100% non-functional. If it had been necessary, I'm quite sure you could have responded to them seeking to further clarify that the card died irrespective of booting from it and they would have set up an RMA for you. I don't own a 7101A but I've actually had quite good support from them on one of their other products. You also have to remember that english is not their primary language so what sounded clear to you may not have been clear to them. Not saying it's your fault--just that sometimes (especially in text-based media where you can't visually show them) you gotta try explaining things multiple times to get everyone on the same page.

In any case, hope you have better luck with your replacement 7101A!
I made it clear that it is totally dead, even when placed in a PC.
The replacement arrives today and if I keep it, I will mod the cooling with beefier heatsinks and upgrade the fan.
Cant help to wonder if the problem was thermal realated; when I opened it up to remove the 970 Pros, there was some oily discharge on the m.2's and the main chip that was from the thermal pad. Research on a gaming site said this is normal for thermal pads, but first I seen it in my limited experience with thermal pads.
Will probably use the replacement for Photoshop and other software/storage, afraid to use it as a boot drive now...

Thanks guys!
 
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tsialex

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Jun 13, 2016
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I made it clear that it is totally dead, even when placed in a PC.
The replacement arrives today and if I keep it, I will mod the cooling with beefier heatsinks and upgrade the fan.
Cant help to wonder if the problem was thermal realated; when I opened it up to remove the 970 Pros, there was some oily discharge on the m.2's and the main chip that was from the thermal pad. Research on a gaming site said this is normal for thermal pads, but first I seen it in my limited experience with thermal pads.
Will probably use the replacement for Photoshop and other software/storage, afraid to use it as a boot drive now...

Thanks guys!
It's normal, unless you have lots of oil all over the place.

With a Mac Pro 5,1, it's the BootROM 140.0.0.0.0 that makes NVMe blades boot, not the SSD7101-A.
 
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