Mac Pro RAID: Battery failed (code 0x#0 = 18) / Where to buy spare battery cheap?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Katagi, May 20, 2011.

  1. Katagi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    #1
    Hello,

    I am running MacPro4,1 (Early 2009). First I got this RAID battery error (0x#0 = 18) 4 months after purchase and the battery was replaced by apple care (though I had to turn everything off and bring my card to the store for check, than do it again after 2 weeks when the battery was delivered so they can install it themselves, for some reason they didn't allow me to do it myself)...

    This time it happened again. It looks like I get this error when I leave my Mac Pro turned off for a few months (my business requires me to travel a lot and sometimes for a long time). When I come back my battery dies after a month or so by constant working MacPro (turned on 24/7)...

    I was thinking that it may be because I didn't turned off the battery when I left first time - this time before travel I turned it off. It didn't save it :(

    When I turn off Mac Pro and turn it on this error goes and it works fine for a few days... Just re-appears again.

    Well... Browsing other threads makes me think that this error is unsolvable and just a result of faulty apple design since a lot of other users having the same problem... I would be happy to get any solution but have not much hope about that.

    I might consider switching to 3-rd party adapter but since I already wasted so much money on original one - it's a pain :)

    Going again through the entire Apple Care procedure makes me nervous. So I am thinking about buying a new battery on eBay or somewhere else. The question is where (I am in Europe)? :) Are there any cheap OEM analogs? Seems that I have to change this ****** battery every time I travel for a few months.

    Thanks for all suggestions!
     
  2. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #2
    Ouch! I'd think the Authorized Repair locations (privately owned) should be able to order one for you (local or online). But I'm not sure of European locations/suppliers, so can't be more specific. :eek:

    But given this issue seems to be recurrent every few months or so, those batteries are going to add up (i.e. batteries for 3rd party cards are ~$100 - 120 USD, and you'd have to deal with VAT on top of that + any price increases due to your location :().

    So I'd go for a 3rd party card for a long term solution (less aggravation over the lifespan of the array, and you may be able to sell the existing card off on eBay, though I'd expect a notable hit). But there's other advantages to a 3rd party card as well, such as they're faster, can offer more ports (depends on the model you order), and have features the Apple card doesn't (i.e. additional recovery options). Parts are easier to find as well, if you do find yourself with a problem (batteries, cables).

    Here's an example card (ARC-1880i from scan.co.uk) that's far better than what you have, and it can boot in a MP if you have the OS disk attached to it (needs to be flashed first, but it's not hard). You'd get more ports, faster dual core processor on it, and it's 6.0Gb/s (particularly useful if you ever use any SSD's in the future). ;)

    Hope this helps. :)
     
  3. initialsBB macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    #3
    I'm no expert on the 3rd party RAID card solutions, but wouldn't this problem persist regardless of the manufacturer ?

    You could use the Energy Saver system preference to set up a scheduled boot and shut down sequence, it doesn't have to keep running 24/7 while you are away. That way it could make your Mac Pro run a couple of hours a day, or 1 day a week or something like that.
     
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #4
    No, this is only a problem with Apple's RAID Pro card (ODM unit by LSI for Apple).

    If the system's off long enough for a 3rd party battery to discharge, then it will need enough time to recharge it (you can still use the card, but the user has to rely solely on the UPS, which actually does more for you than the battery overall, until the recharge cycle's complete). Not that big a deal.

    This could help matters, and even with a 3rd party card. But it doesn't solve the hardware issues in the Apple RAID Pro card (why the batteries keep getting destroyed).
     
  5. Katagi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    #5
    Thanks for your advises guys! I'll consider switching to 3-rd party RAID adapter :)
     
  6. KD5MDK macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    #6
    The apple battery is about $35 and should be available over the phone or from a local service provider. It is not meant to be powered off for a long period of time; if you have to do that I'd recommend unplugging the battery from the card. It's an easy part to install too.

    Buying a new card because of a dead battery sounds like a very expensive choice.
     
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #7
    There's more to it than just replacing the card due to the battery. Apple's RAID Pro is a pile of junk (slow, expensive, only has 4 ports for the money, only works in a single OS, and doesn't have the feature set you can get in other cards, particularly those that involve deeper/additional methods of recovery). Add the battery issues on top, and it's a better idea IMO to use 3rd party card, and cheaper too if it's run long enough (batteries will add up quickly, given the OP's indication of failure frequency - more than what a 3rd party card will cost, particularly if it's to be transferred from the current system to at least the next machine).
     
  8. KD5MDK, Jun 1, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011

    KD5MDK macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    #8
    You're telling him to spend ~$650 on a new card for increased performance for something that is going to have the same battery problems as the current card if he keeps leaving his system powered off for months. That's just plain killer behavior on a battery and the proper solution on either card is to disconnect the battery if he does it.

    Comparing that to a card which already seems to be meeting his requirements and needs a $35 part, we're looking at an 18X difference in solution costs. Yes it will have fewer ports and no 6Gbs SATA, but it will be bootable, supported and he already has it.
     
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #9
    Disconnected or not, the battery will very likely discharge in that extended a period of time (few months according to the 1st post; and I don't recall they've switched to Li ion batteries). At least a 3rd party card will recharge it properly. Apple's card doesn't, and the error still crops up due to a design flaw (they even have battery issues when the system is left on 24/7).

    I'm not saying having to go get a new card is by any means ideal in this case, as the existing card is paid for (lousy situation to be in). But the risk of data loss or corruption on the existing card is too high IMO, as this issue is recurrent.
     
  10. JmJ17 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    #10
    This is my problem too.

    I've installed an UPS. Is there any way to disable battery checks on OS X? I don't mind if it discharge.
     
  11. Daniel Santos macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Location:
    Portugal
    #11
    I also have a dead battery. It lasted about three years because the system was always on, I guess.
    I have a UPS and am thinking of also letting the dead battery stay in its place, and rely on the UPS for proper shutdown. Is there any probability that the battery may leak and cause damage to the mac ? Should I disconnect the cable or even remove it from the card ?(don't know if the mac runs without it being installed)

    Best regards
     
  12. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #12
    I'm not sure about OS X, but at least with Windows a UPS is not sufficient for a RAID. This is because when rebooting a system with a UPS, the drive will still be power-cycled as part of the reboot process (possibly before it's finished writing all data). With the actual RAID backup battery, the drive will continue to get power through the reboot.

    There is some discussion about this in these comments. However, as noted above, I'm not sure how much of this applies to OS X. I'm just erring on the side of caution :)
     

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