Problem booting from RAID0 w/ Areca 1880i & 2 OWC SSD 120s

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ServeJesus, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. ServeJesus, Jan 17, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011

    ServeJesus macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2011
    San Diego
    Followed nanofrogs advice from this thread and was able to get the BIOS, BOOT, and FIRM all updated to V1.49 2010-12-10. Then updated to MacPro EFI-BIOS dated 2010-09-08. Restarted and used CarbonCopy to clone internal 1TB HD to the 2 OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSD 120GB drives run as RAID0. Rebooted and targeted OWC RAID0 as startup volume. Rebooted again. No luck.

    I can reboot if I hold alt/opt during startup and manually select the OWC RAID0 SSD. But I would rather not have to do that. After several attempts at getting the machine to boot using the RAID0 automatically, it did twice, but with severe graphics glitches that made the screen almost unreadable. Both times the computer returned to the 1TB internal drive when rebooted.

    I removed the internal 1TB to see if the machine would then just boot with the OWC RAID0, but no luck. I still have to hold alt/opt during startup for that to work.

    Anybody got a fix? I did try downgrading the firmware to 1.48, and still no luck. Now back to 1.49 and hoping for a cure.

    MP5,1 3.33GHz.•2*OWC 120GB SSD•3*2TB Hitachi in RAID5•24GB RAM•ATI 5870
  2. feins macrumors member


    Aug 11, 2010
    Just to be sure during Carbon Copy did you select the target drive as bootable if its not then you will need to hold Alt to boot even after you complete duplicate the HD this happen to me before so i did a second attempt and select the target drive as bootable and the problem solved.
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Bear with me, as I'm going to keep it simple to start...

    What browser did you use to Flash the firmware on the card?
  4. ServeJesus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2011
    San Diego
  5. ServeJesus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2011
    San Diego
    There was nothing to select, it automatically showed that the RAID0 drive would be bootable.
  6. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    There's newer EFI (it's actually EBC) firmware for your card (direct download - ARC1880EBC.BIN). Give this a shot, and see if it solves your problem. ;)

    Not sure it will, as it sounds like there's an issue with the Boot Loader in the system's firmware (pointers out of whack).

    Assuming the new EBC firmware does not take care of your issue, try the following:
    1. Set the single disk as your boot location (may need to pull the card).
    2. Re-install OS X (clean install), load the drivers (your disk should have the latest, but just in case, they're August 12, 2010; direct download ), and reboot the system.
    3. Set the array as the boot location (partition if you wish prior to doing this, but I wouldn't with SSD's).
    4. Use CCC to clone the clean OS to the array.
    Reboot, and watch what happens. It should work (point is to clear out the boot loader in the system's EFI firmware, and get it re-installed, as you're describing a pointer error).

    It may take both to solve this, but either way, I'd go with the newer EBC code, as I have to presume the older file has issues with this card (different design, as it's no longer based on an Intel IOP processor - appears they went back to custom RAID silicon, which is how they got started).

    Please let me know how this all works out. :)
  7. ServeJesus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2011
    San Diego
    I actually did use the newer EFI/EBC file that you mentioned. I am awaiting to see what Areca has to say, but if I have to do the entire reinstall, well that will have to wait until later tonight. Not looking forward to that.

    Curious how I am supposed to set the Array as the boot location before using CCC to clone the clean install to that drive set, or are you meaning target the Array in its current state, then use CCC to clone the new image onto the array, then reboot?
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    I didn't realize that you had already tried the newest version (the EFI/EBC version shipped on disk for the cards has been from 2008 prior to this release). So it's a bit unusual to see it finally updated.

    Unfortunately, I don't think there's a choice as to the fresh installation (it's actually to clear out the Boot Loader, which is actually part of the EFI firmware in the system).

    You misunderstood.

    1. Set the single disk as the boot location (OEM disk).
    2. Reboot and make a clean installation of OS X (drop the Restore DVD in the drive, and install to the OEM disk).
    3. Install the drivers to the clean installation of OS X.
    4. Reboot. Verfiy the card is present in the OS at this point (the array), as it's not yet set as the boot location (driver access only at this point).
    5. Clone the OS X installation to the stripe set.
    6. Then set the array as the boot location.
    7. Reboot. It should boot off of the array at this point.
  9. ServeJesus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2011
    San Diego
    I downloaded the newest version from Areca's website, along with the 1.49 Firmware.

    Actually, now that you switched #3 (new #6) & #4 (new #5), it makes sense.

    Here is the latest reply I received from Areca: "ARC-1880 Mac OS X driver is waiting on Appple side and will be included in the OS on the next release."

    Hmmmm, do I reinstall clean OS or wait who knows how long for an update that may or may not fix the issue??? I'll let you know. My current notion is to reinstall and try to get the machine fully functional, but I have a heap of prep work to do for teaching this week, so it may just have to wait.

    I do really appreciate the help. Might save a few other souls from having similar issues.

  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    I'd go ahead and do a clean install, clone, and set the array as the boot location (fix the boot loader).
  11. cutterman macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2010
    I can attest that the current Areca OS X driver works. Try the clean install/clone- I bet that will solve your problem.
  12. feins macrumors member


    Aug 11, 2010
    Today i update my ARC-1880i to the latest 1.49 from 1.48 and i got the issue as you describe as it boot to my windows HD and wont boot to my OSX unless i hold the Alt key during boot up and as i remember after flash all the files from the 1.49 folder, doesn't have the EFI Bios firmware and after i re download and flash back the EFI bios from Areca FTP site and everything went back to normal as you might know that the link for the 1.49 folder doesn't have the EFI Bios included you have to FTP from the Areca FTP and its still the old EFI Bios and there is no newer version of EFI Bios.
  13. DeeEss, Jan 18, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011

    DeeEss macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2011
    I understood that the non RE OWC SSD's didn't work so well in RAID?

    It's the 100GB Mercury Pro SSD RE that you need for RAID isn't it?
  14. space1nvaders macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2004
    Same problem with new Seagate Barracuda XT's

    This is really weird because I had everything working fine where Mac OS X would boot from the RAID10 I setup. Then I tried to upgrade the (4) drives from 2TB to 3TB each so I plugged in (4) new drives externally into my Mac Pro using the Areca 1880i second port and setup the RAID exactly the same. I cloned the volumes and then switched the drives from external to internal.

    Everything looked good except I cannot boot unless I hold down the Alt key.

    The controller was working. The drives are the same except bigger. I don't get it. I am about to give up on booting from RAID period. I had problems with the previous RocketRAID controller too.

    My advice now is to invest in an SSD for the boot drive and install it in the available optical drive bay using a mounting kit.
  15. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    I'm a bit confused as to what you started with... :confused:

    Was the original level 10 set internally in the MP and operated by the Areca (impression I have, but need confirmation)?

    I expect the card still sees the 3TB drives you originally configured externally as a separate array (different label & location as the original array, no matter the ports they're connected to). Moving this to the old drives' locations, further confused matters.

    As a potential quick fix (from what I can currently gather from your post), try going into system preferences and select the location you want as the boot location (new array you made and moved to the internal ports).

    Beyond this, screen shots of all the cards settings and array information would be needed to see whats going on.

    BTW, the way to have avoided this, was to use Online Expansion, which is a feature in that card (replace a drive with a larger drive, and let it rebuild - then repeat for each disk until all have been replaced, then resize it in order to access the entire capacity). Takes a bit longer, but it doesn't require as much user interaction as what you're involved in now.
  16. space1nvaders macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2004
    I'm starting ove again. This time I took the (4) drives out of the computer and put the new drives inside. Then I created a new RAID set and 2 RAID10 volume sets. One 500GB for the OS using 32K stripe and the remaining 5.5TB using 64K stripe. I initialized the boot volume first then used Disk Utility to restore the OS volume. This should work but I won't know until it's done.
  17. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Still a bit confused as to what you've done this time around...

    Is there 4x disks (split into 2 volumes via partitioning) on the controller or 8 in 2x separate arrays?
  18. space1nvaders macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2004
    Using Volume Set functions I created 2 volumes on 1 RAID set of 4 drives.
  19. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008

    Have you gone into System Preferences and set the smaller one as the boot location?
  20. space1nvaders macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2004
    Will do in 17 minutes when it finishes copying. This is basically like starting new so it should work. Maybe it didn't work before because background initialization was still going. That's why I did the small volume separately so it could do a quick init to make sure.
  21. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Not sure of the entirety of your proceedures, but hopefully it will work for you. :)
  22. space1nvaders, May 29, 2011
    Last edited: May 29, 2011

    space1nvaders macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2004
    Doesn't work! All I have is a 500GB Volume formatted and I copied a fresh install of OS X to it and it still doesn't work. There is nothing fancy here. I should be able to boot off any volume that the OS is installed on.

    I can boot off the old Raid set no problem. Could it be that the 3TB drives are not supported? That seems to be the only difference. The only way I can boot off the new 500GB volume is to hold the Option key while rebooting.
  23. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    They do support 3TB disks if they contain firmware revision 1.49. So logically speaking, it's to do with your procedures (card's settings <things like spin up times, ...; as the volumes have changed> should be fine as it worked before).

    Without further information, the only thing I can think of, is to completely start from scratch (do not take any shortcuts, or leave any of the existing hardware or software settings in tact whatsoever).

    1. Set a single disk as a boot location.
    2. Delete all RAID sets.
    3. Shutdown the system, and remove the card.
    4. Reboot.
    5. Install a clean copy of OS X on the single disk (new boot disk).
    6. Re-install the RAID card drivers and then the card.
    7. Get into the card, and setup the array as desired.
    8. Clone the OS X installation to the array.
    9. Set the array as the boot location.
    10. Shut down the system.
    11. Restart, and make sure it will boot off of the array.
    The main point of this, is to restore the Boot Loader to a single boot location = single disk (undo the past changes to the system's firmware), and nothing else (no options available when holding down the option key).

    If this goes well, then you can add in other OS's if you wish (not sure if you run more than OS X or not).

    Now this is also based on the following presumptions:
    • The ARC-1880i has v.1.49 firmware (if not, you'll have to download and flash it, then re-flash the EFI boot code <actually is EBC>; use FireFox to access the card not Safari, as it's notorious for not completing the process since at least 2008).
    • Disks are on the HDD Compatibility List (available on Areca's Support site). I presume this is the case, as they seem to be working (card recognizes them and allows you to create an array from them).
    • No bad settings.
    Best I can offer with what information you've provided.
  24. space1nvaders, May 30, 2011
    Last edited: May 30, 2011

    space1nvaders macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2004

    Let me summarize the task:

    1. I have 1 RAID set of (4) 2TB drives.
    2. I want to upgrade to (4) 3TB drives.
    3. I connact the (4) 3TB drives externally, create a new RAID set with the same volume configuration and copy all the data to the new RAID set.
    4. I change the startup drive to the new RAID set and it won't boot unless I hold the Option key. It will boot from the old RAID set.

    Problem: The Areca 1880i only boots off the first RAID set with Lun number 0 unless you hold the option key on a Mac Pro. I won't even boot if I disconnect the old RAID set because it appears to only automatically boot from Lun 0.

    I changed the Lun number on the new RAID set and it works. You can do this under Modify Volume Set and changing SCSI Channel:SCSI ID:SCSI Lun to 0:0:0

    Thanks for all your help. This to me is a bug in the firmware.
  25. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Had you followed the instructions I gave, it would have done the same thing (figured that it was more than the LUN, as I suspected the Boot Loader was corrupted - wrong pointers). Obviously I over-thought this one :eek:, but figured that the best procedure was to start over (resets everything; LUN of the boot array set to location 0 as well as clear the Boot Loader, and start over there as well), as a means that would definitely solve the issue.

    As it happens, that may just be an issue with the MP, and may even only affect the model you're using. The reason I'm thinking this way, as I've not had this issue crop up with Areca's in multiple systems for years (used them heavily since firmware revision 1.39). But the primary difference, is all of those systems (some BIOS, some EFI/UEFI) allowed direct access to the system's firmware.

    For example, I've set a RAID 1 boot disk on the server's board (LSI 1064 RAID on a Chip), then moved the card to a system that didn't have it (or an ICHxR, or it was decided it wasn't going to be used for whatever reason - usually better features and easier access). Then a RAID 1 would be added (= used a different LUN), Reboot, and access the system firmware. Select the location, and it worked.

    The cards have all been updated to 1.49 in order to use 3TB disks, and they're still working (range of cards). So this lends me to think it's the MP's firmware, not the card's based on the experience I have with their products (others too, such as ATTO).

    Further information (testing) would be nice, but I don't know if we can find enough guinea pigs to help out (try out multiple cards on multiple Intel based MP models, all running card firmware revision 1.49, and a boot array not using LUN 0).

    Glad you got it working. :)

Share This Page