Mac Pro RAID Problems After SL Upgrade

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by madtown, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. madtown macrumors newbie

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    Jun 26, 2007
    #1
    Since upgrading to SL I've been having major problems with my Apple RAID card.

    After the upgrade the system crashed a few times (kernel panic) within a few days. (I don't have the messages anymore but it did appear to be RAID related) Each time it crashed the system came up and did not see the RAID card at all. When I rebooted the machine again the RAID card was there and the volumes needed to reinitialize. This happened about three times.

    This morning the RAID utility said that disk one had failed. I tried rebooting the machine thinking it was similar to my previous problems and on reboot the machine just hangs (at the grey startup screen) no apple logo, nothing. I can't boot from CD, I can't boot from any of the non-RAID volumes on my machine, can't boot from external drives (I can't even get the Apple Hardware Test to run)

    If I remove the RAID card the machine starts up fine.

    Was there an EFI update with SL? Could the SL upgrade be causing all of these problems or did my RAID card just happen to die at the same time?

    Any help / suggestions would be much appreciated.
     
  2. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #2
    Ouch! That really sucks. :(

    You should definitely check into the firmware version, and even the drivers.

    Sorry I can't really mention anything else ATM, as there's no information on the system used.
     
  3. madtown thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Machine is a early '08 2.8Ghz 8-core Mac Pro. It was running 10.5.8 (no problems with the card EVER) and when upgraded to 10.6 things went bad quickly.

    Unfortunately I can't check the firmware version on the RAID card because I've been unable to boot the machine under any OS with it installed. Is there a way to check the drivers if the card is not installed?

    I have an Apple Store appointment tonight. I'm hoping they have an 08 Mac Pro around that I can try my card in.

    Anyone else here running an Apple RAID card in a 08 Mac Pro that's been upgraded to SL?
     
  4. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #4
    Sorry this isn't gonna help but when it comes to software updates, especially system software on any platform, I find those who are early adopters tend to suffer the most and stand to lose the most! Companies such as Apple and Microsoft don't create patches for it's hardware until after the system software is complete. People using customised systems (yes, that includes Apple's RaidCard) should really wait for software patches, firmware updates prior to diving in and upgrading.

    I know it's a bit late to say this now.. but it's things like this that scare the living day lights outta me, that's probably why I created a thread regarding Creative Pros and Snow Leopard.

    Anyway, I hope you're able to resolve your issues... And I'm wondering would it be too late to roll-back to Leopard? More importantly, did you create backups prior to your system upgrade?
     
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #5
    Definitely the case with RAID, but as the OP had already done it, I didn't bother, and it's not in a state that can be stepped back it seems.

    OP, you can pull the RAID card to verify the logic board's firmware revision. If that's changed, you might want to attempt to set it back to the previous version. If it's the RAID card, that would have to be done at the Apple store in another machine (Leopard), and set back. Assuming either firmware has changed, and can be set back.
     
  6. madtown thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Yeah, I guess I've been pretty lucky in the past because I've never had hardware problems like this before. The good news is I backed up everything on the RAID volumes to my NAS before the SL upgrade. I'm not out any data just the $700 RAID card I wasn't happy about spending the $$ on the first time.

    Hopefully it will will just be a driver / software / firmware problem that will be fixed with an update. I can live without the RAID card for a while. I don't know that I'll be able to live with having to buy a new one.
     
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #7
    If you end up going with a different hardware RAID card, you can do far better than the Apple RAID pro. :)

    The '09 MP makes it a little worse, as you'd need an adapter (due to using traces on the PCB to transfer data), but it's still doable, and worth it IMO, as other cards do work better, and offer more features for the same, or even less money. :eek: :D
     
  8. madtown thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 26, 2007
    #8
    Also, tried rolling back to Leopard but the system will not boot from any device. Tried the installation DVDs that came with the system, my Leopard install DVD, my SL install DVD even the clone of my Leopard system prior to SL upgrade. Machine is worthless with RAID card installed (which is why I'm starting to wonder if it just died at the same time as my SL upgrade)

    The only thing I can think of is that there was an EFI update that came with SL which is causing the problems. I downloaded and tried to apply an old EFI version but the system would not take it. From what I've read there isn't a way to downgrade EFI (though I'd hope Apple has a way of doing it)
     
  9. madtown thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    What card would you recommend?

    I'm running 4 x 1 TB drives in the internal bays (which are connected to the Apple RAID card) and I have 2 x 2.5" SSD & 2 x 2.5" HDD drives in the 2nd optical bay connected to the logic board via SFF-8087 => 4 SATA cable.
     
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #10
    It's going to get down to specifics, but you might want to look primarily at Areca.

    Others would include Atto, and Highpoint's RR43xx series (only handles one OS for booting, as the firmware is too small to contain both EFI and BIOS code). Not so with Areca or Atto, but Atto's more expensive, even for street prices.

    But the questions that can help narrow it:
    How many ports (drives @ 1 disk/port*) are needed (now + future expansion)?
    Will you be using SATA or SAS (or plan to change)?
    What OS support (drivers) are needed?
    What OS BOOT support is needed (if at all)?
    What RAID array types do you need (or will in the reasonable future)?

    *SAS cards can use SAS Expanders to go beyond the port count (similar to Port Multipliers for SATA drives). It usually hits a drive limit of 128 or 256 drives, and depends on the card. Areca for example, handles 128, while Atto can operate 256.

    BTW, you can use internal ports with an external enclosure (i.e. future expansion, given the limited internal space in the MP) by using a particular cable (SFF-8087 - SFF8088), and run it through a PCI bracket (slot opening). ;)

    So if you've the SFF-8087 port on the logic board, you won't need to worry about the Backplane Adapter Kit needed for the '09 MP, but which model MP do you have?
     
  11. madtown thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 26, 2007
    #11
    My machine is an early 2008 Mac Pro (2.8Ghz x 8)

    How many ports? Now 4, in the future 8 or 12 would be nice
    Will you be using SATA or SAS (or plan to change)? Just using SATA, no plan to change
    What OS support (drivers) are needed? OS X only
    What OS BOOT support is needed (if at all)? Only booting OS X
    What RAID array types do you need (or will in the reasonable future)? Using RAID 5 now, support for RAID 6 would be cool
     
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #12
    OK.

    Believe it or not, the need to Boot OS X (EFI) is the hardest spec to find (= SAS card, as there's only a single SATA model by CalDigit, and wouldn't recommend it). But there's a couple of options.
    Areca:
    ARC-1222 (8 ports)
    Multiple versions of the ARC-1680 series

    Highpoint RR43xx series. These can only boot a single OS, either OS X (EFI) or BIOS based, such as Windows or Linux. They're actually designed and manufactured by Areca, and have most of the same features. The RR4321 might make the most sense, and it can allow 4 internal, and the remaining 4 from an external connector (SFF-8088). These do NOT support SAS expanders (expensive anyway). I wouldn't recommend any other Highpoint product though, as it's usually FakeRAID, and I've had problems in the past, and others far more recently. The RR43xx is the execption.

    Atto too, but given their pricing, the Areca would make more sense, possibly the RR4321 (or other port config that suites you).

    This should help. :)
     
  13. madtown thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 26, 2007
    #13
    Thanks, nano. Hopefully Apple will be able to tell me if the card is dead or just suffering from some driver problems. If I do need a new card the ARC-1222 looks like a much better option than a new card from Apple.
     
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #14
    :cool: NP. :)

    It's not the fastest model (only has an 800MHz IOP, rather than the 1200MHz version), but it's a far better card than the Apple RAID Pro. :D

    I presume you've a good UPS for the system as well. If not, you need one, as the little battery backup unit is an option on any other make of RAID card, and does less than a UPS anyway. ;) Ideally however, you should run both as a general rule. :)

    Oddly enough, Areca doesn't recommend using the battery backup unit (BBU)with their SAS cards. :eek: Not sure why (a guess maybe, but that's it), but you can save some cash there if you wish. :)

    EDIT: newegg's got the ARC-1222 for $449.99. ;)
     
  15. madtown thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 26, 2007
    #15
    Just got back from the Apple Store.

    They suspect the RAID card has failed but they couldn't prove it (no 2008 MP to test with and no RAID cards in stock)

    The really awesome news is that even though my MP went out of warranty two weeks ago they are willing to comp replacement of the RAID card!!!!

    New part should be there in a few days so I'll let you guys know if that was the deal.

    Thanks again to everyone for the feedback.
     
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #16
    :cool: NP. :)

    Hopefully, that will get you sorted. :D
     
  17. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #17
    IMHO the only pro bit on Apple's RAIDcard is the silly price tag! It's slower than a stoned turtle :D

    Well... Atleast it's nice to know you're getting something back for your money. Hope that's all that's wrong!!
     
  18. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #18
    I like it! :D But petrified may be a little closer to reality. ;) :p
     
  19. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #19
    Thx.

    Umm.. About fifteen years ago, I used to live down in the belly of the beast, about a block away from fulton st, nr flatbush (NY); staying with mates while they puff away on phillies blunts and shooting bear cans from the kitchen. Meanwhile their pet turtles tries to navigate around the room.. OMG I pissed myself in laughter, never seen a stone turtle before, it's a funny memory! It kinda staggered around, waving it's paws, unsure to step or not, then it fell!! :eek:
     
  20. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #20
    That's funny! :D Shame you didn't get it on video to post on YouTube. ;)

    I was thinking more along the lines it had gotten into Steve's LSD stash (straight, no Kool Aid), but erased it. :eek: Yeah, I'm weird. ;) :p
     
  21. madtown thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 26, 2007
    #21
    So I picked up my machine from the Apple Store last night.

    The good news: Machine boots fine with new RAID card. Turns out it was not a SL problem.

    The bad news: The RAID card failure destroyed my RAID set. Not the end of the world since my data was backed up but I use RAID 5 to achieve some level of redundancy.

    More bad news: The battery on the new RAID card has failed (already) Kinda disappointed they didn't realize this when testing the system at the Apple Store. (called Apple Care and they are sending me a new battery)

    And to top it all off the 'Genius' who replaced the card broke the plastic clip off the PCI slot. WTF Apple.
     
  22. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #22
    You could be a pain, and demand a new board, but I'd be glad it's working. Sort of. :p

    Unfortunately, they've never sorted out the battery problem, no matter the card model. :( So it's likely to continue to be an issue in the future. :rolleyes: :apple:
     
  23. madtown thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 26, 2007
    #23
    Yeah I thought about doing that but after they were nice enough to replace the out of warranty RAID card for free it seemed kinda crappy.

    It's just frustrating that I take really good care of my machine and then they go and break it.
     
  24. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #24
    I understand. ;)

    Unfortunately, those little clips break rather easily, and I've even know people to break them off intentionally, as they're a PITA. :eek: :D
     
  25. SciFrog macrumors 6502

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    Jul 31, 2008
    #25
    Apple just released a new firmware for the RAID cards...
     

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