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Proavio and/or Areca crashing Mac Pro

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Daniel Crooks
Proavio and/or Areca crashing Mac Pro
on Mar 9, 2014 at 12:13:26 pm

argh… i'm in a world of hurt.

The Areca 1221 card in my Mac Pro started beeping, I restarted and then checked the web GUI which had mentions of Raid set degraded and device removed and volume failed, this was a lll rather alarming, i tried restarting and all seemed ok but then the machine started spontaneously restarting. then the memory slot utility popped up and it seemed that one of my DIMMs had gone awol (just to add to the confusion), anyway i removed the offending Dimm and the computer seems to be running fine but as soon as I start up with the Proavio box (EB8MS) attached and turned on the machine starts crashing, occasionally it'll hang for a second but most times it's just full screen black and auto restart. In a rare moment of uptime i managed to check all the SMART status for the drives in the Proavio (Seagate 1TB) and they all seemed fine. I even managed to do an Apple disk repair but no joy. crashed 10 seconds later.

The thing is the RAID seems to be fine and I'm thinking it's the Areca card has overheated (it was super hot today) and burnt something out, but when the Raid is off the card seems to behave normally as far as the web GUI is concerned.

I'm really at a loss as to how to trouble shoot this one, so any suggestions greatly appreciated.

OS 10.8.5
Proavio EB8MS (8x 1TB seagate AS)
Areca 1221

is there a newer Areca controller i can swap in ? does that even work ?

cheers../Daniel

ps. i was meant to be on a flight to Europe tomorrow, there goes that plan...


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Bob Zelin
Re: Proavio and/or Areca crashing Mac Pro
on Mar 9, 2014 at 3:22:37 pm

It's Sunday morning Daniel !
Is this Daniel Crooks the Melbourne artist, that beat out Pussy Riot at the Prudential Eye Awards ? I just saw the Pussy Riot documentary again. They are so cool.............

Don't forget to answer my question.

OK, your beeping means that you have a dead drive. When a drive fails, and the RAID array becomes degraded, you get the beeping.
You have a very old Areca ARC-1221 card, and a modern operating system on your MAC (OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.5), which means that you probably never upgraded your driver or flash files for the Areca 1221 card, since you bought the card. And by the way, your Seagate drives are probably as old as the 1221 card, so they are ALL going to start dying on you soon. I would backup your media once you are back up, and throw out those drives, and buy new ones from HGST or Western Digital (no more Seagates). When you are ready to spend even more money, you can get the Areca 1882x card, but don't do that now, lets fix your problem.

I can't give you every little detail in this post, because there is just too much info, but I will try. Shut down your computer, shut down your drive array. Turn off your drive array. Power up your computer again with the Areca card in it. You are running OS X 10.8.5.
Go to http://www.areca.com.tw, and download the new Mac OS X Driver (there is only one), and install it. This will put the new MRAID folder on your desktop. Reboot your machine. Open the MRAID folder. You will see ArcHTTP64 in there. Click on it. Click on the tiny + sign, and click on ARC-1221. It will ask you for a name and password - which is admin, and 0000. This will get you into your display for the Areca card. Poke around on the left side, and find under System Information your firmware version, which I bet is 1.46 or older. You need to be at 1.49. You need to go back to the Areca website, under support, where you just got the new OS X driver from, and download the ARC 1221 firmware (which is 4 separate steps).

Anyway, even if you don't do the firmware (which you should absolutely do), you at least need to have the new driver in your system, so you can at least open up the utility to see what is going on.

Now that you have the new driver installed, shut down, power back up your RAID array, and turn on your computer again. Yes, you will hear the beeping, because you have a dead drive.
Once up, go into the MRAID Utility, and on the main page, you will see that it says DEGRADED, and there will be a red arrow pointing at the dead drive. Pull out the dead drive.

To silence the beeper, on the left side of the MRAID GUI, poke around under System Controls or Physical drives (I don't remember) and click on VIEW EVENTS/MUTE BEEPER and the beeper will silence.

Now -
with the Areca 1221, there are two cables. If they are not in the correct order, you may see the drives listed as either 12345678,
or 56781234. This will become confusing as to exactly which drive has failed when it shows that "drive 7" is faulted. Do you pull out drive 7 or drive 3 (if the order is 56781234).

Anyway, once you determine which drive is dead and you have it out, you now know how to silence the beeper. When you put in the replacement SATA drive, it will not automatically rebuild the RAID array, because you have powered off. You must go into the RAID menu's and CREATE HOT SPARE, and then the rebuild process can start.

NOW, lets say, you can't do any of this, because even though you have the new driver loaded, you STILL can't get the computer to bootup with the drive array plugged in. This means that you REALLY have to figure out how to update the firmware on that card. Once you have the current firmware for the 1221 that corresponds to your driver, there will be no issue getting everything to boot up.

I am sure that you will have more questions.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
maxavid@cfl.rr.com


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Daniel Crooks
Re: Proavio and/or Areca crashing Mac Pro
on Mar 9, 2014 at 11:17:34 pm

hey Bob

wow, thanks for such a comprehensive reply !

and yes in answer to your question I am the very same daniel crooks. unfortunately I couldn't be in Singapore so I never got to meet pussy riot, damn it, they are super cool women...

but back to this current nightmare.

so, the interesting thing is the controller only beeped the once and hasn't beeped since and generally seems to be operating OK. I did update to the latest driver and MRAID but you're right the firmware is still at 1.46.

the thing is the drive will mount fine, no beeping, and appears fine and I can navigate the directory, and the machine will sometimes operate for maybe 7-8 minutes, but then it will just spontaneously restart. Once i managed to open the MRAID GUI and check the SMART status of each drive and they were all within limits, and everything else appeared fine except the event log had multiple "Drive removed" "raid set degraded "volume failed" entires.

My guess is that the something has happened to the Areca controller, it was a super hot day yesterday and i was doing some big encoding jobs so the machine would have been crazy hot... it just seems to be an internal hardware thing, hence the machine spontaneously restarting, as opposed to a drive failure ( though i hear what you'r saying about replacing the elderly drives)

I also tried upgrading the firmware but i need an ftp password which i guess i'll have to wait to hear from Areca to get...

the only other extenuating circumstance is that at pretty much the same time i had a RAM issue.This has happened from time to time in the past where the machine wigs out and thinks one of the DIMMs has vanished, always remedied by a restart, but now i'm thinking perhaps the beeping was actually a RAM warning and not the Areca at all ??? just to add to the confusion, but how would that lead to a persistent spontaneous restart bug with only the Proavio .... argh

any other suggestions greatly appreciated


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Bob Zelin
Re: Proavio and/or Areca crashing Mac Pro
on Mar 10, 2014 at 1:05:20 am

there is an expression - "chasing your tail" where you have two problems happening at the same time (Areca firmware, and bad ram), and you can't figure out what is happening. I see that we are in about a 12 hour time difference. So what I would like to suggest is that you load http://www.teamviewer.com onto your Mac, and email me your teamviewer ID and password, and tomorrow evening for me (tomorrow morning for you probably), I can remote into your computer, and help you update your firmware, to at least get that out of the way. Then we can see what is happening after that.

Should you get a modern areca card. Absolutely. Should you retire your dog Seagate drives. Absolutely.

Email me, and I will remote into your machine.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
maxavid@cfl.rr.com


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Daniel Crooks
Re: Proavio and/or Areca crashing Mac Pro
on Mar 10, 2014 at 8:49:42 pm

hi Bob

sorry for the slow reply, everything got a bit out of hand last night, but back onboard now.
I have team viewer all up an running so if/when you have a moment let me know and I should be good to go. My email is somebody@dlab.com.au

cheers../daniel


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Daniel Crooks
Re: Proavio and/or Areca crashing Mac Pro
on Mar 11, 2014 at 1:05:56 am

so… I upgraded the firmware to 1.49 (nb: never use Safari with Areca website or GUI) which went smoothly, then restarted machine with fingers crossed, all seemed good and then dang, it spontaneously restarted again… the pain. After that initial restart however everything seemed like it might be ok, no restarts and I was able to copy a couple of big files.. the computer has now been stable for over an hour !!!

so, who knows what exactly happened but I am quietly hopeful the problem has been resolved (though I still have my fingers crossed)

thanks bob for all the input !

../dc


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Jon Schilling
Re: Proavio and/or Areca crashing Mac Pro
on Mar 11, 2014 at 5:19:54 pm
Last Edited By Jon Schilling on Mar 11, 2014 at 5:20:52 pm

Daniel,

I apologize, I missed your post over the weekend. Thanks for the help Bob Z, (you're always above & beyond, much thanks). You're always welcome to contact us directly Daniel, support@proavio.com or you can contact me directly. I trust that thing are worked out, if not, do drop us a line.

Jonathan Schilling
Vertical Sales Manager
Proavio Storage by Enhance Technology Inc.
12221 Florence Ave.
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
Dir: 562-777-3498
Main: 562-777-3488 X106
Fax: 562-777-3499
Email: jon@proavio.com





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Bob Zelin
Re: Proavio and/or Areca crashing Mac Pro
on Mar 12, 2014 at 12:16:26 am

Anxious to talk with you and Luis at NAB, Jon !
(Daniels issues got resolve with doing the Areca firmware updates).

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
maxavid@cfl.rr.com


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