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LHi Firmware Update failed?Help!

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Kane Ru
LHi Firmware Update failed?Help!
on Dec 16, 2009 at 2:23:45 pm

Hi All
I Updated my Xena Lhi Firmware yesterday.
but after installtion complated,i would havn't saw my xena crad again!
Anyone can help me?



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Tim Kolb
Re: LHi Firmware Update failed?Help!
on Dec 17, 2009 at 11:45:25 pm

When the firmware updates, I believe it removes your current driver (because you'll need to install again with the new firmware.)

I'd recommend starting the computer, find the card in the device manager and go through the typical "add new hardware" steps including getting a driver installed, etc.





TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,


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Richard Thornton
Re: LHi Firmware Update failed?Help!
on Apr 11, 2010 at 3:49:21 pm

Greetings - I'm a long time reader, first time poster. I've been trying for a couple of days to get my new LHi card to install, and would very much appreciate assistance from the Forum.

AJA Tech Support told me on Friday the card's software wouldn't install onto my PC's RAID0 array, so I added a third drive (my new C: ) and established the existing array as subsequent logical spaces for recording. However, that didn't really make any difference, as the software and drivers (both the 4.2.1 and 4.2) failed repeatedly during install, causing my PC to freeze each time. I tried numerous combinations of installing with and without the actual card in the PC, using Windows Device Manager to discover, etc etc. Sometimes I could see the card listed properly there, other times not. Several times I had to physically pull the card to get the PC to reboot.

The furthest I got was for Machina to actually boot up, recognize the card, and I saw one (count'em, 1) frame of HD/SDI from an attached camera, then again the whole rig froze. I saw the AJA capture options within my installed Premiere Pro CS4.2, but that never actually recognized the capture card (said "capture device offline"). Several times I got a message about, "the card needs a firmware update to work with this version of the software"; but, when I clicked OK, again the PC froze within a few seconds. WTF!?!

My AV company has used the various little AJA converter boxes successfuly for years. Needless to say, however, my initial impression of their software product with this capture card is not positive. The Tech Support guys I've talked to so far seem to be reading from whatever script their "QA" guys give them, and don't really have the system-level hardware knowlege to be any real help.

My PC's specifics:
- XFX 680iLT motherboard, Intel Q9400 quad-core CPU, latest drivers
- 8GB physical RAM
- 320GB C:, 1TB RAID0 (twin 500GB) F: and G: drives
- LG Blu-Ray DVD reader/writer (all drives are SATA)
- 8800GTS PCIex16 graphics card (in primary PCIex16 slot, LHi is in
the secondarday PCIex16 slot
- Windows 7 64-bit Professional

Thank You very much in advance for any assistance and suggestions.





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Tim Kolb
Re: LHi Firmware Update failed?Help!
on Apr 11, 2010 at 6:27:31 pm

Well...first off, your graphics card is not on the approved configuration list.

Second...the latest drivers aren't always the certified drivers for specific peripherals...

Third, have you verified that the power supply in your machine is up to the task? Inability to upgrade the firmware makes me curious about that. Hopefully the card isn't damaged.

Do you have motherboard graphics? Could you get the display card out of the machine and test it that way?

I hear a lot of people who really don't like paying for a pro graphics card, but frankly, those are the ones being tested and certified. I understand that many gamer cards have all the power, and sometimes more...but conflicts and system resource issues are things that gamers have time to tinker with everytime a point-release of a driver comes out, or Halo adds 30% more texels, etc, etc. The QuadroFX cards on the approved list have been tested and with the driver version specified (almost NEVER the latest version) on the AJA site, they're known quantities.

http://www.aja.com/support/kona-pc/kona-pc-graphics-cards.php

As far as the slot the board is in...on some motherboards, I think you can use some IO cards in a PCIe x8 slot...but it's under certain circumstances, and I'm not an IT guy so I usually need to ask somebody.

AJA's known configurations are here:

http://www.aja.com/support/kona-pc/kona-pc-system-configuration.php

I would not be surprised if the display card might have a resource sharing issue...but that is strictly a wild guess. I recently had to upgrade a BIOS in my purpose-built workstation to accommodate a QuadroFX display card upgrade so that system resources would be allocated differently.

I'd also check in with the motherboard manufacturer...it's not a mainstream professional motherboard as far as I know...but again, I'm not IT guy.

As you run this stuff to ground, keep a couple things in mind. You have a computer configuration that appears to be aimed at gaming as the marketing for the motherboard seems to suggest to me anyway... Very few of us would DREAM of assembling a computer for HD video editing with an 8 GB RAM maximum (at least that's what I see at a few review sites as I search the motherboard to get somewhat familiar with it.)

You've purchased a high end HD video editing hardware peripheral that is simply not compatible with every possible configuration. Video editing at this level takes system resources big-time, and the configuration of the system as a whole is very important. I don't have my workstations purpose-built by a specialized vendor because I LOVE to pay the considerable bill...I do it to avoid having issues like this, which are far more costly when you make your living at this.

Not to bust your chops here...I'm not saying it CAN'T work...I don't know that. I'm just saying that you'll want to keep in mind that you're stretching the configuration envelope beyond what these companies have ever tested. AJA doesn't verify high end (or any) gamer display cards, and the folks who would support the graphics card you have probably aren't at all familiar with the stresses and requirements of HD post production, as may also be the case with any support people for the motherboard.

I wish you luck on this. Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is typically that there is a good reason why the specific components we use in our profession cost more...the QA alone is a large investment. That's also why there aren't endless options for the 'safe' configurations... It would be impossible to test all the possibilities much less fix all the niggling issues.






TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,


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Richard Thornton
Re: LHi Firmware Update failed?Help!
on Apr 11, 2010 at 10:54:15 pm

Hi Tim - Thank You for your detailed reply.

As you can imagine, I left out some of the details of the story for brevity in my initial post. A couple of those important details: 1) before I purchased the card, I sent my PC's specific hardware and software configuration details to AJA for a "will it run in this?"; the reply was, although we haven't specifically tested it, yes it should. I would not have purchased the card otherwise. 2) I've worked with computers since the mainframe days of the late 70s, so I'm a quick study with all those important technical details about drivers, resources, etc. Not too long ago, for example, I was a beta tester for Microsoft's FSX flight simulator product (the multiple-monitor graphics capabilities, specifically), and made that product work with more wide-screen monitors than most thought possible. That was more raw graphics bandwidth than video editing requires. I (we, including AJA) know enough to be confident that the fundamental requirements of data bandwidth, processing power and storage are available in my PC. What really worries me is the long list of bugs and complaints about AJA's drivers and software I'm reading about in the various forum posts.

However, I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt initially. I'm willing to study the potential motherboard resource conflicts (PCIExpress bus, specifically) between the graphics card and the Kona LHi card - but all cards these days should be Plug'n'Play compatible; and, if not, then why not? Similarly, all modern device drivers should behave and cooperate with each other. And, first thing tomorrow, I will soft-mod my 8800GTS-512 video card to its Quadro equivalent (i.e., they use the same GPUs), and I'll try it first with the "tested" driver, to see if that's the conflict. I'm skeptical, because the obvious question is, why would it make a difference? Is there a 3D routine in the Quadro driver that AJA is using? Baloney. I won't accept speculation - if it won't work, then there is a definitive answer, which will lead to a workaround.

I do agree with you that the firmware update failure could be a hardware issue. It won't be the first time I've received a defective electronics device "new in the box". I plan to ask for a replacement, regardless - no one should ship a new product that requires a firmware update to work with their most recent software - especially when that software is already several weeks old.

It's OK to bust my chops - I hold myself to the highest standards first, then I expect my vendors to keep up.

Thanks again - appreciate any other suggestions that come to mind.


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Tim Kolb
Re: LHi Firmware Update failed?Help!
on Apr 12, 2010 at 2:40:53 pm

Hmmm... well, first I meant that I wasn't familiar with the machine you had so I wondered about the card being damaged from a power inadequacy, or something of that nature... AJA is not known for shipping defective product. (I'm not saying that it's not ever happened, but it certainly isn't the reputation they've earned in the industry).

Second...again, I'm no IT guy, but I know that I've seen some pretty tweaked gaming machines that aren't up to HD video editing snuff at the level the AJA cards are made for...again...I'm not being rude here, but running a flight sim...even a huge one with great graphics, takes CPU, and moreso GPU, says little about bus speeds or card conflicts. When i run uncompressed HD, I need 1.5 Gbits/s unhindered throughput, and nevermind the drive array I have to run to get the data moving like that, the computer itself can create some small conflict somewhere that wouldn't bother any other function a 'normal' user would encounter, but it can be enough to cause a problem for us...

Buggy software...this is a CS4 issue across the board for almost every third party vendor to Adobe products from AE plugins to hardware IO. CS4 had several fundamental structure changes that were not finalized until such time that nearly every vendor I'm familiar with ended scrambling to catch up with... AJA's software itself is typically pretty solid, but you can only be as good as the info you're given... HOWEVER, I'd also add that in my experience in web forums, there are some actual issues, and then there are a pretty high percentage of incidents of the user simply not reading instructions or knowing how to troubleshoot their own rig to discover their own mistake.

I'm really surprised that AJA said that this configuration was acceptable, but I guess they would know...



TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,


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Richard Thornton
Re: LHi Firmware Update failed?Help!
on Apr 12, 2010 at 4:30:26 pm

Hi Tim - Thanks for your continued interest. I'm on the phone with the Kona PC tech support guy(s) now.
Your post did remind me that I didn't include my PC's case and PSU configuration - it's an Antec 900 case with a PCPower&Cooling 750 Silencer. Both are more than adquate for this video editing setup. Regarding bandwidth, this motherboard has 30-something PCI-Express lanes available, and we're using 16 for the graphics card, and 4 for the Kona card. For the FSX flight sim testing, I used two PCIExpress-16 cards in an SLI configuration, so we're not taxing it compared to that. I tested my hard drive array read/write, and it's more than three times the data rates AJA specs for HD work.
I changed the 8800GTS to a Quadro FX4600 (same G80 GPU used for both), and installed a newer Quadro driver, but no difference. We've narrowed the problem down (we believe) to a driver conflict - the PC will startup with the software installed, but the Windows Device Manager shows the card as having a problem; i.e., the driver isn't really installed properly. If I manually disable and enable the card (via Device Manager), the correct driver will show installed (the message balloon that pops up from the task bar says so); but, the whole rig then freezes completely within a second or two. I'll keep you posted - we may simply try a new card first.


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