Need to Get Win 2K SP4 Working with GA-7DXR RAID

Discussion in 'Gigabyte' started by Mark & Mary Ann Weiss, Apr 9, 2004.

  1. PROBLEM:

    When I install Service Pack 3 or 4 (both exhibit problem), the RAID
    controller read performance drops to 1/10th of normal and the system pauses
    for long periods while data is attempting to be read from the array.

    I have a RAID 0 striped array of two drives.

    Under SP2, the read/write performance is 47/47MB/sec and CPU use is 2-4%.

    Under SP3 and SP4 (tried individually), Write is 47 and read is 3.5MB/sec
    and the mouse pointer freezes for 20 seconds every 3-4 seconds.

    The RAID is basically unusable under SP3 or SP4.

    I MUST upgrade for two reasons:

    A new software package update won't install without at least SP3.
    My primary boot drive is over 137GB and uses 48 bit LBA.

    I have the latest drivers for the RAID. They are the the same ones that have
    been on the Gigabyte web site for two years now.

    I have several web form tech support submissions into Gigabyte tech support
    but it is extremely hard to communicate with them and they have not provided
    a solution.

    Surely there must be someone here who has the 7DXR and needs to upgrade to
    SP4 on Windows 2000 and is dealing with this same issue.

    I had to roll back to SP2 because I could not edit video with the system
    freezing for such long periods with CPU hitting 100% during the freezes.

    Has anyone found a solution?


    --
    Take care,

    Mark & Mary Ann Weiss

    VIDEO PRODUCTION . FILM SCANNING . AUDIO RESTORATION
    Hear my Kurzweil Creations at: http://www.dv-clips.com/theater.htm
    Business sites at:
    www.dv-clips.com
    www.mwcomms.com
    www.adventuresinanimemusic.com
    -


    --
    Take care,

    Mark & Mary Ann Weiss

    VIDEO PRODUCTION . FILM SCANNING . AUDIO RESTORATION
    Hear my Kurzweil Creations at: http://www.dv-clips.com/theater.htm
    Business sites at:
    www.dv-clips.com
    www.mwcomms.com
    www.adventuresinanimemusic.com
    -
     
    Mark & Mary Ann Weiss, Apr 9, 2004
    #1
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  2. Mark & Mary Ann Weiss wrote:

    (snip)
    If you're talking about these ones:
    http://www.giga-byte.com/Motherboard/Support/Driver/Driver_GA-7DXR.htm
    then they are not the latest ones, they are the last Gigabyte cared to
    publish.

    These are the latest *RAID* ones:
    http://www.promise.com/support/download/download2_eng.asp?productId=15&category=driver&os=0
    But they also require *RAID* BIOS 2.00.0.24
    http://www.promise.com/support/download/download2_eng.asp?productId=15&category=bios&os=0

    Accordingly, these are the latest *non-RAID* ones:
    http://www.promise.com/support/download/download2_eng.asp?productId=18&category=driver&os=0
    (with, incidentally, a note about SP3)
    And this is the latest *non-RAID* BIOS
    http://www.promise.com/support/download/download2_eng.asp?productId=18&category=bios&os=0

    The F10 GA-7DXR BIOS at
    http://www.giga-byte.com/Motherboard/Support/BIOS/BIOS_GA-7DXR.htm
    includes both RAID and non-RAID BIOS for the PDC20265R RAID controller
    found on the motherboard, but those are earlier versions.

    So you should kickout those outdated BIOSes and inject the newer ones.
    Then you will be able to use the latest drivers too. You can use the
    tool CBROM to do that.
    You will also need to perform an OS reinstall according to Promise.
    Which implies also creating a suitable driver installation floppy disk
    of the newer drivers for win2000, if having access to the array right
    after the OS reinstall is required.
    Furthermore, in case the Vendor_ID and Device_ID for the onboard Promise
    chip are customised to something different than what reported by
    Promise's standalone PCI cards, you should also edit the INF files for
    both the RAID and non-RAID drivers to match those IDs (by taking a quick
    look at both INF files it seems gigabyte uses a 0d30 device ID while
    promise uses 4d30 for the RAID stuff. Also the subsys is different).
    You can skip the non-RAID steps above since you probably only use the
    chip under RAID functionality, but if you bother doing all this I see no
    reason not to update the non-RAID side of things as well.

    This is not a guaranteed solution and certainly not a trivial one but
    it's probably the best shot you can take at it without buying an
    equivalent IDE RAID PCI card.

    Regards
    Nikos


    (snip)
     
    Nikolaos Tampakis, Apr 9, 2004
    #2
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  3. Mark & Mary Ann Weiss

    Nick Palmer Guest

    Is Event Viewer showing any timeout errors on the RAID controller? If so,
    I've had a similar problem with a Promise 20267 RAID controller on a
    GA-7DPXDW under XP Pro SP1. I have one drive on each channel of the RAID
    controller, both jumpered as masters; I was getting freezes of several
    seconds. I corrected it by ensuring that each hard disk was attached to the
    last connector on the IDE cable. Could this be the problem here?

    Nick
     
    Nick Palmer, Apr 9, 2004
    #3

  4. No, not in this case. I'm a SCSI veteran, and it's bad practice to let an
    unterminated pigtail dangle. I always put the drives on the last connector.


    --
    Take care,

    Mark & Mary Ann Weiss

    VIDEO PRODUCTION . FILM SCANNING . AUDIO RESTORATION
    Hear my Kurzweil Creations at: http://www.dv-clips.com/theater.htm
    Business sites at:
    www.dv-clips.com
    www.mwcomms.com
    www.adventuresinanimemusic.com
    -
     
    Mark & Mary Ann Weiss, Apr 10, 2004
    #4
  5. Well, you had my hopes up for a few minutes with the flash BIOS for the
    RAID.
    I looked it over, then prepared a floppy boot disk. Unfortunately, the
    process could not execute because of "Unknown flash memory type".

    I suppose the RAID driver will not work without the BIOS update.

    Of concern to me was the possibility that the flash MIGHT succeed, but be
    the wrong code, disabling the RAID permanently. I would have no way to undo
    it.

    But it was a nice try.

    I think I'll have to put pressure on Gigabyte to fix these drivers.


    --
    Take care,

    Mark & Mary Ann Weiss

    VIDEO PRODUCTION . FILM SCANNING . AUDIO RESTORATION
    Hear my Kurzweil Creations at: http://www.dv-clips.com/theater.htm
    Business sites at:
    www.dv-clips.com
    www.mwcomms.com
    www.adventuresinanimemusic.com
    -
     
    Mark & Mary Ann Weiss, Apr 10, 2004
    #5
  6. The RAID-BIOS at the Promise site are for their *PCI cards* only! And
    those have their own flash memory, which is what the updater was looking
    for.
    In your case you have an onboard version of the card, which more or less
    means the card's circuitry has been transfered onto the motherboard and
    there is NO separate flash memory for the RAID chip. The RAID-BIOS is
    included as part of the motherboard's BIOS.
    So no surprise the flasher failed, since it was looking for something
    that didn't exist in the first place.
    You need to update the *motherboard's* BIOS with a version that includes
    the most recent Promise RAID-BIOS!
    Correct, according to Promise. Also required is an OS reinstall (as they
    say), but this may only apply if you *boot* the OS off the RAID array.
    If you just use it as fast storage space, and boot off another drive, I
    see no reason for an OS reinstall.
    It's a dual BIOS motherboard though so you can always undo a bad flash :)
    If you want email me (with a valid reply-to address) stating your system
    configuration (most importantly be clear about whether it's a 7DXR or a
    7DXR+ motherboard) and I'll fix the BIOS and drivers for you.

    Regards
    Nikos
     
    Nikolaos Tampakis, Apr 10, 2004
    #6
  7. Well, you had my hopes up for a few minutes with the flash BIOS for the
    Is there a newer version than F10 for the 7DXR? I'm running F10 BIOS for
    about the past 2 months now.
    I suspected the RAID might be included in the main BIOS, but wasn't
    completely certian of this.

    I was unable to install those new drivers, as some error was encountered
    along the way. I tried every possible approach last night, because I had the
    Ghost image of the working config. So drivers I loaded, or attempted to, but
    this failed, even with the edited .inf file.

    Well, seeing that it's the same BIOS chip containing both, I see your point.

    I have two systems of similar build. I may have mentioned that I also have
    the 7DXR+ in my other PC, which is happily running SP4 now.

    The problems are with the 7DXR. One thing is for sure: the RAID doesn't work
    properly at all under SP3 or SP4 (either one). I get 1-second of read, 20
    seconds of frozen system. Go back to SP2 and RAID works fine again.
    The only option available with a clear fix is to try to find a 7DXR+ on Ebay
    and swap motherboards. What else can I do?


    --
    Take care,

    Mark & Mary Ann Weiss

    VIDEO PRODUCTION . FILM SCANNING . AUDIO RESTORATION
    Hear my Kurzweil Creations at: http://www.dv-clips.com/theater.htm
    Business sites at:
    www.dv-clips.com
    www.mwcomms.com
    www.adventuresinanimemusic.com
    -
     
    Mark & Mary Ann Weiss, Apr 11, 2004
    #7
  8. No there is not any newer version than F10.
    But the BIOS file itself consists of several modules: one core module
    and some others, two of which are firmware for the onboard Promise chip
    (one which is activated when the chip is set to normal ATA operation,
    and another one which is activated when the chip is set to RAID mode -
    there's also a VGA BIOS for the BIOS-less Gigabyte version of the Matrox
    G400 as well as a SCSI BIOS for some old BIOS-less NCR-based SCSI
    controllers). So what's required is to throw those outdated modules out
    and insert the more recent ones from Promise. This is equivalent to
    having a separate PCI ATA/RAID card and updating its RAID/ATA BIOS.
    I wouldn't call such a modified BIOS a 'newer' BIOS, but that's up to
    one's taste. Personally I'd reserve the term 'newer' for more
    core-specific updates, not those regarding non-core BIOS modules.

    (snip)
    The 7DXR+ has the PDC20276 chip though, not the PDC20265, so this could
    well be trouble-free under sp3+.
    I modified the 7DXR F10 BIOS along with the Promise drivers for win2k,
    if you're willing to give it a try let me know.

    Regards
    Nikos
     
    Nikolaos Tampakis, Apr 11, 2004
    #8
  9. That's what I thought. At least none are posted on Giga-byte's web site as
    of this week.

    From what I understand, you're talking about something like 'slipstreaming'
    the RAID core drivers into the BIOS update package. Is that about correct?


    Yup. That chip works great under SP4 since I installed SP4 two weeks ago.
    I found another used 7DXR+ mainboard on Ebay. I'm thinking of snagging that
    and swapping out my 7DXR.


    I suppose it's worth trying. It'd be another week before I can get a 7DXR+
    in here to upgrade this anyway. I'll back everything up with Norton Ghost
    first and then give the modified BIOS a shot. Have you got it working on SP4
    with no performance problems on the RAID?


    --
    Take care,

    Mark & Mary Ann Weiss

    VIDEO PRODUCTION . FILM SCANNING . AUDIO RESTORATION
    Hear my Kurzweil Creations at: http://www.dv-clips.com/theater.htm
    Business sites at:
    www.dv-clips.com
    www.mwcomms.com
    www.adventuresinanimemusic.com
    -
     
    Mark & Mary Ann Weiss, Apr 11, 2004
    #9
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