MacPro1,1 eSATA / ODD SATA FAIL

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by spidey3, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. spidey3 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    #1
    I recently purchased an OWC Mercury Elite Pro Qx2 enclosure, with 4x1TB drives in RAID 5, for use with my MacPro1,1 [OS X 10.6.8].

    The unit works correctly when connected via Firewire, but when I connect it via eSATA to the internal ODD SATA ports [using the Newertech adapter cable], I find that the machine hangs. Access to the drive blocks after just a few accesses.

    I have verified that the external drive is powered on and operational before starting up the Mac Pro -- so I know this is not about the lack of hot-plug ability on the ODD SATA ports.

    I have also checked with another eSATA capable drive [a LaCie d2 Quadra], and encounter the same issue -- so I don't think this is actually related specifically to the OWC enclosure, but rather related in some way to the ODD SATA ports themselves.

    Does anyone out there have a similar configuration?
    Is anyone else encountering similar difficulty using the ODD SATA ports?

    Spidey!!!
     
  2. handheldgames macrumors 6502a

    handheldgames

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    #2
    Have you tried another cable or the 2nd ODD port?
     
  3. spidey3 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 1, 2010
    #3
    Same issue happens on both ODD ports. Haven't tried another cable [I only have one]-- but same problem on both ports seems to point away from a bad cable.

    Also, the fact that the drive is recognized and can be accessed briefly on startup seems to point away from a simple cabling problem...

    Spidey!!!
     
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #4
    You'd probably be better served by getting an eSATA card (cables attached to the ODD_SATA ports have had issues in the past as well).

    As per the actual issue, it could be the result of how the 10.6.8 update interacts with those 2 ports (could roll it back, and see if the problem disappears).
     
  5. MrLatte23 macrumors regular

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    Jul 18, 2007
    #5
    Extra internal ports

    I remember hearing that those two ports don't support Port Multiplication. Not that you're attempting that here, but maybe the RAID, which I'm assuming is hardware created by the enclosure, is causing some issues. Maybe the extra ports "think" you're port multiplying.

    If you have a spare single eSATA HD try it with that. Or if you're not heavily invested in the RAID, remove all but one HD and try that.
     
  6. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #6
    The Qx2 works with SATA ports without PM support though (OWC and other members have run it on the cable assembly the OP's using successfully <past revision of OS X when tested>).

    So I'm more inclined to think it's to do with the current revision of OS X (not the first time something like this has happened with storage systems that aren't attached to the ICH). :rolleyes: :(
     
  7. spidey3 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 1, 2010
    #7
    I've already tried with a single eSATA drive [see above], with the same results. The drive is recognized, and a few accesses are successful, but then further attempts to access the drive block.

    Are there some references to this? What does the ICH acronym mean?

    Spidey!!!
     
  8. spidey3 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 1, 2010
    #8
    One more thing:

    I forgot to mention that I have the Apple RAID Card (v1) in the first PCIe slot.

    I am willing to bet that there is some interaction there...

    Spidey!!!
     
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #9
    ICH = I/O Controller Hub, which is the component that actually provides the system's SATA ports (6), USB ports (12; Apple just doesn't offer access to all of them), Ethernet port (second port is a separate chip), and Audio.

    The RAID card uses a separate driver than the standard SATA driver that operates the SATA ports in the ICH, so this shouldn't be the case.... but we are talking about Apple here. :eek:

    If possible (not sure if you have the boot location on the RAID card or not), pull the RAID card and see if that eliminates the issue. ;)
     
  10. spidey3 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 1, 2010
    #10
    I boot from the RAID, so removing it from the picture is a bit of a pain.

    I am wondering if the real problem here is actually cable length. The Newertech adapter is about .5 meter, and the external eSata cable I was using was an additional meter.

    My next step is to try an internal disk attached via a short cable to the ODD SATA, and possible via an adapter to the logic board iPass connector. If these work, then I can be reasonably certain that it is a cabling issue.

    The fact is that at this point it is a matter of curiousity -- I am up and running fine via Firewire 800, which is more than fast enough for the drives I am attaching -- but my OCD is kicking in, driving me to get this working...

    Josh
     
  11. handheldgames macrumors 6502a

    handheldgames

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    #11
    +1 to eSata cable issues on the MacPro. Have had issues with the ODD -> Esata bracket -> eSata enclosure and eSata card -> eSata enclosure.

    Although eSata is rated for longer cable lengths, it quickly runs into issues with longer cables. If you need external speed, consider grabbing a cheap USB 3.O card. It's almost 2x Faster than FW800 and more reliable than eSata.

    http://www.macrumors.com/2010/09/27/first-3rd-party-mac-usb-3-0-interface-benchmarked/




     
  12. spidey3 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 1, 2010
    #12
    LOL - I already tried the USB 3.0 path - with the LaCie 2big USB 3.0 / Adapter Card bundle.

    The attempt ended in failure. There were major problems in which the LaCie unit would go to sleep and not wake up, or cause the MacPro to hang during a reboot. LaCie eventually acknowledged that they had never tested their bespoke USB 3.0 driver with a MacPro1,1. Fortunately I managed to get Newegg to give me a full refund.
     
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #13
    Understandable.

    Quite a piece of critical information you've been leaving out... :eek: :p

    eSATA is rated for a longer distance than SATA (2.0 meters for eSATA vs. 1.0 meters for SATA), as a result of higher signal voltages (~400mV for SATA, ~600mV for eSATA; actual parts do vary).

    But the ODD_SATA port is an internal SATA controller, so it's only specified to operate at 1.0 meters. Since you're 0.5 meters over, this is very likely your problem.

    As mentioned previously, those brackets have caused a lot of people headaches (now you know of a major reason why...).

    If you really desire an eSATA port, I'd suggest getting an eSATA card, and they can be had cheap. Newertech's 6.0Gb/s cards have a good track record in the MP, and are priced well (cheaper version will not handle Port Multiplier based enclosures; the RAID version will, and is the only actual difference). I'm no fan of Highpoint, but the 622 they make would work as well (same controller chip as newertech).
     
  14. CountBrass macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    #14
    Actually seeing the same problem on both points *towards* a problem with the cable. If you saw the problem on only one port that would suggest the cable was ok.
     
  15. spidey3 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 1, 2010
    #15
    My point was that it was unlikely to be an electrical problem with the Newertech part itself.

    That said, I'm pretty sure [see above] that the core problem here is total cable length...
     

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