PDA

View Full Version : stress tests from floppy...



VJ
29th July 2003, 03:19
Hello,

Well, the SCSI problems I'm experiencing seem to have gotten worse.
http://forums.murc.ws/showthread.php?s=&threadid=43041

Occasional system freezes, harddrives no longer being found, even in a very basic config (2 harddisk on Channel A).


Tech support is very helpfull so far, but while waiting for their answer I'm trying to locate the problem myself. Are there any tests (cpu-tests, memorytests, ...) I could use to stress my system ? I'd like to make sure it is not a fault processor or a faulty mainboard causing the SCSI mayhem; so the test should preferably be ran from floppy.

I just downloaded memtest86 (version 3), will give it a go later today...


Jörg

The PIT
29th July 2003, 05:10
Mmm I thought you were replacing one of the drives????

VJ
29th July 2003, 05:24
It is complicated, here goes...

I got errors in the event log (id 9, 11 and 15); occasional crashes. After some testing/swapping, I noticed one harddisk had a false contact (loose connector), causing it to lose power now and then. So this drive has been sent back for replacement... (the connector issue was confirmed in a second computer)

Meanwhile, I bought a new drive (had shortage of storage space anyway), a Seagate Cheetah 10K.6. The system now was configured:
channel A: id 0 Seagate
channel A: id 1 IBM
channel B: id 4 Plextor 4220

However, I got the same errors. Supermicro had some ideas, and at first it seems I didn't have problems with the Plextor removed (they started suspecting the IBM firmware - but I have the correct version and more recently the second U320 channel). Yesterday evening, this changed: with only the Seagate and IBM connected, my system frooze (just like that), and required a reboot. This happened twice, and in one if the occasions I noticed the SCSI-bios did not list the Seagate drive. Non of the freezes yielded particular entries in the log file.

I'm beginning to suspect the SCSI-controller (which is onboard) or the mainboard. I wanted to rule out a bad CPU/memory. Memtest ran a couple of times without errors (but I think it doesn't really use the second CPU).


Jörg

The PIT
29th July 2003, 06:52
Sounds like dodgy cabling after you've being pulling all the wires around for a bit when you been checking the drivers previously.
Had a similar problem with scsi cd's and that was the connector on one of the cd drives.

VJ
29th July 2003, 06:56
Well, I have tried with the following config:
Channel A, ID 0: Seagate
Channel B, ID 1: IBM
(which implies that the IBM is on another cable)

This yields similar errormessages, some concerning the IBM, others concerning the controller (not sure which channel).

I only have one U320 rated cable; the other one is just a regular 68-pin SCSI cable (40 MB/s or 80 MB/s, not sure). Either way, in this scenario, the IBM was connected with that spare cable...

It is really driving me nuts...


Jörg

The PIT
29th July 2003, 07:02
See my edited reply phone kept ringing sorry. Sounds like another duff socket to me.

VJ
29th July 2003, 07:06
Originally posted by The PIT
Had a similar problem with scsi cd's and that was the connector on one of the cd drives.

Yes, my Quantum harddisk is sent back for the same reason... Currently however, fiddling with the wires doesn't change anything. Just all of a sudden I get the errors in the log file (and occasionally a freeze).

Just curious: would losing the C-drive cause XP to freeze without any message ?

My next attempt will be with only the Seagate on the onboard channel A; after that, I'll try the disks on another SCSI-controller. I have a 2940UW somewhere; while it isn't U320, it can be used as a host for the disks in SE mode.


Jörg

The PIT
29th July 2003, 07:16
Yes losing a drive will cause XP to freeze. Did on my system.

VJ
29th July 2003, 07:22
Thanks, our sysadmin wasn't sure about that (he's a Linux-adept... :))

Oh, I have logged the voltaged of the PSU, and they seem ok...


Jörg

The PIT
29th July 2003, 07:31
Looks like a case of disconnecting the drives one by one until you get a stable running system and then re-introduce then until you find the culprit.

VJ
29th July 2003, 07:35
Well, I had the problem with
Quantum + IBM + Plextor
Quantum + IBM
Seagate + IBM + Plextor
Seagate + Plextor
Seagate + IBM
:) :(


Jörg

The PIT
29th July 2003, 07:38
What happens with single drive. Looking more like the controller though. Buy a cheapo one just to see what happens unless you've got a spare.

VJ
29th July 2003, 07:41
A cheapo U320 controller...? :)

Well, I have a 2940UW - this will force the drives in SE mode (they support this) - which I can use. Only problem is that it is in my second rig (60+ km away)... :)


Jörg

The PIT
29th July 2003, 10:51
A cheapo general scsi probably would do. Thats should tell you if the controller acting up or not. Going back to the powersupply I had problems with mine at the Rad 9800 pro. On load one of the drives would start clicking but recording the voltages showed no dip. Replaced the power supply the problem went away. So you never know.

VJ
30th July 2003, 01:26
Well, SuperMicro has told me to send in the mainboard for testing; and they accepted my offer of going there with my full rig, so they can truly test whether it is related to disks/mainboard/cabling, ...
:cool:

So, I know where to go to... :( :)


Jörg

The PIT
30th July 2003, 02:42
Pretty impressive that.

VJ
30th July 2003, 02:47
Yes, I'll probabely go on Monday (they suggested next week would suit them better).

It is of course annoying to have issues with a system, but so far, I can only complement SuperMicro on their support. :up: :)

BTW, regarding the cheapo SCSI controller: I'd need one with a bios, as I have no IDE drives to boot from. :) Oh, I didn't have issues with a single drive (the Seagate) connected... But as soon as I add one device (IBM or Plextor), I get errors and warnings on all SCSI devices (drives + controller).

I'll post SuperMicro's results here... :D


Jörg

VJ
4th August 2003, 06:09
This morning I went to SuperMicro (with the entire rig).

After some testing (and some strange reactions), they concluded that the problem was two-fold:
1. Channel A of the mainboard was defective
2. Plextor 4220 is too old to be put on a U320 bus (it causes problems). Strangely enough, it also posed problems when connected to a 2906 (errors in the logfile). The drive dates back to February 1999.

They replaced the mainboard :up: , and they suggest not to use the 4220 on the onboard controller (mainly a performance issue, but also stability). According to them, if the writer works on a 2906 (despite the error messages), it is no cause for alarm. They tested the Plextor on a variety of controllers (29160, 2940U2W, 2906, onboard, ...) on both my mainboard and the replacement one; all with the same results.

Any comments on the Plextor-thingy ?
I'll contact Plextor with this problem, will be more of a notification than anything else... :) I will test it in my PII-450, to see if it results in the same errormessages.


Jörg

The PIT
4th August 2003, 09:36
Nothing worse than two duff peices of equipment. I'm impressed by Supermicro very good tech support.
Sounds like a new CD Writer and guess what? Scsi ones are hard too find.

Paddy
4th August 2003, 12:03
I have a plextor 1210S on an adaptec 1200s.
It always has generated errors in the event log, but i have never had any problems with it.

Chucky Cheese
4th August 2003, 15:49
Paddy,

same here, mine generates this messages...

An error was detected on device \Device\CdRom2 during a paging operation.

it has given me no problems. i have tried different setting in the scsi bios but it won't clear up. it only generates this message when i burn cds' and when i read recordable media, not when i read masters.

cc

VJ
4th August 2003, 23:17
The Pit: There were three issues leading to the same error:
1. loose connector on a Quantum harddisk (it lost power every now and then, was sent back under warranty and I'm expecting it either this week or next week)
2. SCSI controller (only channel A seems to have been affected)
3. CDRW
(I found the first one, and figured the 2nd one... :))

I already noticed SCSI ones are hard to find, allthough Plextor has some new ones in their range - if I'm not mistaken. I might be opting for some multi-DVD writer thingy though (prices have come down a lot, and the media-price is also acceptable now).

Paddy, Chucky Cheese:
I get the messages upon boot, and then at certain intervals (even with no CD inserted). He tested with a Plextor PX-W1210s, and there were no errormessages in the log. He also suggested that the errormessages could be an XP issue, and now I'm not sure if I had them before (don't remember when I made the step to XP, it could be that it only did it with my new system). He also suggested that having this on the boot controller could have lead to stability issues. Either way, I will try the Plextor in my PII-450 (where it came from) next weekend, to see if the errors persist.


All in all, I can say I'm very pleased with the way SuperMicro handled it... :up:
(it took some time before, to get the error located, but if I'd gone there sooner, I'd probabely have it replaced sooner)


Jörg

Chucky Cheese
4th August 2003, 23:43
VJ,

it could very well be an XP issue, i did not have this error under win2k and i have installed pretty much the same software(..with updates of course!). my firewire burner does not generate this error!

the only thing that i noted was that my built-in scsi chipset(..see sig) is enumerated as an "Adaptec AIC-7899 Ultra160 PCI SCSI Card" in device manager. to me this implies that it is an add-in card verses a "chipset". i raised this issue with tech support at supermicro and they said it didn't matter.

i have terminated both scsi buses externally with diagnostic terminators from granite digital and i had them custom make my cables with twisted pair cables, very nice but expensive! i also purchased their cable tester so that could test their work.

cc

The PIT
5th August 2003, 00:05
Problem with buying scsi is that not many shops stock them. You'd probably have to buy directly from Plextor which is rather sad.

VJ
5th August 2003, 00:39
Well, I frequent a small, local, computer store; most of the things I ask aren't stocked by them. But they can order virtually anything I want at a very competitive price. :D

I'm somewhat amazed that the even DVD-writer thingies simply do'nt exist in SCSI anymore. Panasonic, Sony, ... all only carry IDE models for their latest ones... :(


Jörg

Rakido
5th August 2003, 02:19
Originally posted by VJ
Are there any tests (cpu-tests, memorytests, ...) I could use to stress my system ? I'd like to make sure it is not a fault processor or a faulty mainboard causing the SCSI mayhem; so the test should preferably be ran from floppy.


I'm a bit late, but maybe that's what you looked for:
http://www.drhardware.de/english/pghpdrhd.htm


Since 1994 Dr. Hardware Sysinfo is a synonynom for reliable, precise and uncomplicated computer analysis. Although we released a Windows version in the meanwhile, the Dos version will be developped and used further on. Especially for elementary operations at the machine, like configuration or hardware upgrading but also in the software pre-installation time this tool will be resting your friendly test partner. Technicians will prefer a program like Dr. Hardware Sysinfo, that may be executed directly from a bootable floppy disk; vendors that are confrontated with the naked machine are even forced to use it. Besides this some of the very hardware related features are restricted to the Dos version - for example the EISA slot and the SCSI device analysis as far as a DOS ASPI or CAM driver rather than a WINASPI driver is loaded, detection of L2 cache via short time measuring, VGA retrace measuring or the list of BIOS copyrights. Both the DOS and Windows version keep their high relevance.


Rakido

The PIT
5th August 2003, 04:12
Originally posted by VJ
Well, I frequent a small, local, computer store; most of the things I ask aren't stocked by them. But they can order virtually anything I want at a very competitive price. :D

I'm somewhat amazed that the even DVD-writer thingies simply do'nt exist in SCSI anymore. Panasonic, Sony, ... all only carry IDE models for their latest ones... :(


Jörg

Costs and burn proof makes scsi unnessescary.

old ide burners == coasters as soon as you did anything else.
scsi burners == worked fine
new ide and burner proof == work fine

VJ
5th August 2003, 04:19
Rakido:
It is *never* too late to post an interesting tool. :)

The Pit:
Yes... I know. I just think it strange that scsi for this purpose had been abandoned so fast...

BTW, xortam posted interesting news here:
http://forums.murc.ws/showthread.php?s=&threadid=43497
LG launched a dvd-burner that supports all formats (dvd-ram only without the cartridge).


Jörg

xortam
5th August 2003, 11:08
Originally posted by VJ
... BTW, xortam posted interesting news here:
http://forums.murc.ws/showthread.php?s=&threadid=43497
LG launched a dvd-burner that supports all formats (dvd-ram only without the cartridge). It does support cartridges ... both Type II and Type IV.

I just checked my usual local HW shop (they even carry Matrox) and the only SCSI optical they had was the Plextor PX-W1210TSE. I still like the flexibility of SCSI and the ability to place the drive in an external case. I haven't looked at the performance of the USB drives but they also provide this flexibility (as does FireWire).

VJ
5th August 2003, 23:24
Yes, but I meant you have to remove the disk from the cartridge... :) (not type-1)

I would prefer SCSI, but don't mind going IDE (had to compromise similarly for my DVD drive). Only two IDE-devices isn't bad... :) External use isn't a requirement for me.

Jörg

xortam
6th August 2003, 16:42
Originally posted by VJ
Yes, but I meant you have to remove the disk from the cartridge... :) (not type-1) I don't believe that's the case.

VJ
6th August 2003, 23:19
http://support.gateway.com/s/DVD/5502041/5502041faq7.shtml

Coincidence that Type II and Type IV are the only types which have a removable cartridge ?

Besides, the tray looks to thin to hold a cartridge (unlike the one in the Panasonc LF-D521U/E.


Jörg

xortam
7th August 2003, 10:41
It isn't perfectly clear VJ. We'll just have to wait for more info to decide this.

Evildead666
7th August 2003, 11:22
I have installed 500+ USB2 burners, and they are fast and reliable, just don't keep playing with the cable, and keep the external case at max 50cm away from the usb2 card.

Plextor 48x IDE drives on a IDE->USB2 Interface card...don't know who makes them, will inquire if u wish.