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Conflicts with AJA and Sonnet Technologies SATA Products?

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David Telling
Conflicts with AJA and Sonnet Technologies SATA Products?
on Nov 11, 2006 at 12:38:21 am

I know this is a very specific question, but if anyone could offer their experiences, I would truly appreciate it.
I am wondering if anyone has had some performance issues utilizing Sonnet Technologies SATA products (or SATA RAID systems from other manufacturers) alongside AJA Cards.

I am using an AJA Kona 2 card in slot 4 of an Apple G5 Dual 2.5gig PowerPC/2.5GB of RAM/Tiger 10.4.8/Final Cut Pro 5.04
I have a Sonnet Tempo SATA X4P card (slot 2 or 3) hooked up to two Fusion 500P Enclosures, each filled with 5 x 500Gb Maxtor SATA 300 drives.
One enclosure has all 5 drives striped RAID 0 as a fast media drive - the other enclosure has 2 drives striped as a fast back up for the first enclosure and 3 separate drives for additional project/archiving volumes.

Issues:
The drives do not mount on start up - it takes a couple of restarts for them to show on the desktop.
Even on restarts, sometimes they mount approximately one minute later than any internal or Firewire drives connected (which mount immediately as expected).

Also, on numerous occasions I have experienced the drives from the second enclosure simply disappear from the desktop (fortunately not while backing up or transferring information) which truly concerns me.

More recently, I'm having trouble working in Final Cut with the 5 x 500 fast media drive connected. I'm getting intermittent freezes for no reason or while saving projects to disk (infinite rainbow wheel) - from which I cannot even force quit Final Cut and have to do a power button restart. It's completely put a halt to all projects right now and I'm getting way behind with no solution in sight.

Sonnet Tech support say they haven't seen this before. We've swapped out the enclosures (due to another power/noise issue) but still the same results. They say the X4P card should not be the problem - it either works or not! I've done the usual - Trash prefs/repair disk permissions/try reinstalling the PCI-X cards in different slots (with and without the Kona Card installed) - still the same inconsistencies. I have a fairly streamined Audio/Video only system and do have regulated UPS power to the units.

If anyone has experiences (good or bad) with this kind of set up (even with other SATA cards and enclosures), your input will help a lot. For example - the fact that the drives don't mount immediately - is that normal? Is it an issue I should be concerned about?

Thanks so much for your input.


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Digihead
Re: Conflicts with AJA and Sonnet Technologies SATA Products?
on Nov 11, 2006 at 2:09:19 am

I'm thrilled with my Sonnet SATA Port Multiplier drive set-up.

I have been using a Sonnet X4P, 2 Sonnet Fusion 500P's, with 10 Seagate 7200.10 320GB hard drives striped Raid 0 with SoftRaid 3.5. I have the KonaLH in a dual 2.7 G5 with 3.5GB Ram. It's performed flawlessly for me with 10Bit Uncompressed 1080i. Never drops frames. The 10 drive Raid never fails to mount (no restart necessary), although you have to be patient, it takes a minute as the system goes through each of the 10 drives one by one before it mounts the Raid Set on your desktop. I too had one of the enclosures with the noisy power supply. Sonnet support was very good about replacing it with a new super quiet 500P enclosure. I just bought a third Fusion500P enclosure I'm so pleased with the performance.

Sorry to hear about your problems. If you are not using all the drives in both cases, try creating raid sets that span the two enclosures. You'll get higher speed spanning the raid set over two ports of your port multiplier.

Good luck trouble-shooting.
Tony



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David Telling
Re: Conflicts with AJA and Sonnet Technologies SATA Products?
on Nov 11, 2006 at 4:16:55 am

Thanks Tony...

Would you mind telling me - when you start or restart your system, do the drive(s) in the Fusion 500P enclosure appear on the desktop at the same time as your internal system drive(s) - or does it take a while longer for the drives in the enclosure to show up on the desktop?

I've noticed that with my set up, all the green lights appear when I power up the Fusion 500P (but no blue light activity) - Then after starting up the computer, it takes approx. 45 seconds before the blue light for the drive in the bottom bay flashes briefly followed by the next bay up approx 15 seconds later, then the next 15 seconds later...and so on. This means that when my drives do show up, it's a lot later than any other drives inside or attached to the system. Having been used to SCSI and Firewire RAIDS that have always appeared on the desktop simultaneously with the internal drives, I thought that the late appearance of my Fusion 500P drives may be cause fo concern? What's your thought?

Thanks so much.


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Digihead
Re: Conflicts with AJA and Sonnet Technologies SATA Products?
on Nov 11, 2006 at 5:47:08 am

Hi David,
If I start up or restart, the drives on the port multiplier mount after the two internal drives--one minute later, in fact.
If I'm close to the Fusion 500P enclosures I can hear the individual disks spinning up one by one, then once all the disks have spun up, the raid icon appears on the desktop. It always behaves this way, it's been reliable, so I feel it's normal.

Try reseating your X4p, try a different pci slot, you might need to reload your Final Cut Pro, or even OSX software. If that doesn't work you might have to wonder about a hard drive(s) in you set-up. If you're not using Softraid, you might want try it. I prefer it to Disk Utility for creating raid sets. Better control and monitoring of the raid set.

All I can say is -- if it's any consolation -- my Sonnet Raid set has been rock solid. (knock on wood)


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Tim Langston
Re: Conflicts with AJA and Sonnet Technologies SATA Products?
on Nov 11, 2006 at 12:29:12 pm

It must be common, I wait for my 8 drives for about a minute...or sometimes a bit longer.


Tim

Tim Langston
Cryin' Out Loud Productions
Fort Wayne, IN
http://www.colproductions.com


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Shane Ross
Re: Conflicts with AJA and Sonnet Technologies SATA Products?
on Nov 11, 2006 at 1:17:58 pm

I have the Kona LH in a Dual 2Ghz G5, and a Tempo 4+4 card. My 2TB SATA RAID is internal (I call it the Popsicle Raid as three drives are held together by popsicle sticks) and they mount fine. When I first installed the card the machine wouldn't even power up (the Kona card)...but when I reseated it things went fine.

But my situation seems very different from yours. I don't have the port multiplier card, my RAID is internal...I think Digi is a good example as he has exactly what you have.


Shane

Littlefrog Post
http://www.lfhd.net


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Bob Zelin
Re: Conflicts with AJA and Sonnet Technologies SATA Products?
on Nov 11, 2006 at 3:26:37 pm

David -
I work with SATA all day long, and install Sonnet products on a weekly basis. I would like to discuss your issues with you. As you see from others, Sonnet products are ROCK STABLE and have no conflicts with AJA (or any one elses) products.

If your Sonnet X4P card is in slot 2 or 3, your Kona card must be in slot 4. You cannot have your storage card, and your AJA card in slot 2 and 3. One of these cards must be in the PCI-X slot (slot 4).

All port multiplier chassis - (I don't care who they come from) use the Silicon Image chip set, and they all work the same. On the back of your Sonnet Fusion 500P, you will see 5 Blue LED lights in a horizontal row. Shut down your computer, and start it back up again, and you will see these blue LED's cycle up one at a time. It takes about 15 seconds per LED (per drive) for them to cycle up, or mount. Once all the LED's are lit, your drive array is mounted. It does not mount instantly. This is the nature of the chip set, not the metal box, or your SATA drives. You can see that if your drive array is not mounted, look at these LED's on the rear of the chassis. If all 5 are not lit, your drives are not mounted on your desktop. The whole process takes between 60-90 seconds. This is perfectly normal.

As you know, there is NO SOFTWARE to install for the Sonnet X4P. The E4P needs the current driver for the Mac Pro, but other than that, it's plug and play with the MAC products.

Once your drive array is mounted, run AJA Kona System Test. You should get about 178mb/sec write speed, and about 220mb/sec read speed with 5 drives stripped RAID 0 using Apple Disk Utility. If you do not, you have an issue with one or more of your drives.

This "delay" behavior is normal, and happens with EVERY PORT MULTIPLIER CHASSIS from every manufacturer.

NOW, as for your other chassis that seems to disappear - eSATA cables suck - they get loose very easily. To prove this to yourself, open up the side of your MAC while it is running and look at the Sonnet X4P card. You will see tiny little LED's right on the board. Feel free to yank out your eSATA cable HOT while both the drive and computer are running. The LED's go out for that port. Now plug it in. You will see that you have to REALLY GET THE eSATA CABLE FULLY SEATED to get those LED's to light up. As for your "disappearing drives" - either you have a bad eSATA cable, or you don't have the cable plugged in all the way. If you feel the cable is good, next time it disappears, pop open the side of the MAC, and look at the X4P card - are the LED's on. Push in on your eSATA cable - I bet the LED's come on, and the drives mount.

Again, you ALWAYS can look at the back of the chassis, to those blue LED's to see the status of the drives, to see if all 5 are lit, and your array is mounted.

Let me know if there are any further issues. I do this stuff all day long.

Bob Zelin


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Kevin Wild
Re: Conflicts with AJA and Sonnet Technologies SATA Products?
on Nov 11, 2006 at 4:25:55 pm

Very interesting. I just recently have been having very similar problems, too. I have the Fusion 500P with 5 500Gig drives and the E4P card.

It worked flawlessly for the past 6-8 months and just suddenly started going off line on us. It happens when copying media and the RAID will disappear from the the desktop and say "device unexpectantly went offline." It seems to do it consistantly on copying certain files. Bob, does this sound more like a drive failure if it does it each time I try to copy a same file? We called Sonnet and they said to break the RAID and test each drive, but that would mean killing everything on the drives, right? Not sure I'm that desperate yet.

Anyways, for a while the RAID was getting worse and worse. It would appear on the desktop for about 5 seconds and then pop off. I used Disk Warrior and it repaired the directory so now it stays on. However, it still goes off on certain files.

Thoughts?

I will check the cables, so thanks for that tip.

KW


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Bob Zelin
Re: Conflicts with AJA and Sonnet Technologies SATA Products?
on Nov 11, 2006 at 6:21:58 pm

KEVIN WRITES -
It worked flawlessly for the past 6-8 months and just suddenly started going off line on us. It happens when copying media and the RAID will disappear from the the desktop and say "device unexpectantly went offline." It seems to do it consistantly on copying certain files. Bob, does this sound more like a drive failure if it does it each time I try to copy a same file? We called Sonnet and they said to break the RAID and test each drive, but that would mean killing everything on the drives, right? Not sure I'm that desperate yet.

Anyways, for a while the RAID was getting worse and worse. It would appear on the desktop for about 5 seconds and then pop off. I used Disk Warrior and it repaired the directory so now it stays on. However, it still goes off on certain files.

REPLY -
Until you said "I used Disk Warrior and now it stays on" - I would have only guessed a flakey eSATA cable. I have never seen a problem like this, but if you have corrupt media, I dont' know what might be happening. When you kill the stripe, you can test each drive seperately, but I have still NEVER seen a dead SATA drive, but I certainly have seen flakey SATA cables, and cables that unseat themselves from the SATA card (the SATA I cables were MUCH better - they didn't fall out like Firewire and USB).

I bet you do NOT have a dying SATA drive, and I am sure that you don't want to lose your media. It would be great if you could identify the corrupt media, and get it off the array, and redig it (but I have no idea of why this would make the volume disappear from the desktop). CERTAINLY it is cheap enough to REPLACE your eSATA cable, to eliminate this potential problem. When your drive disappears on you again, pop the side of your MAC, and look at the LED's, to see the status of the array. You actually should do this NOW while things are working, so you can see what it is like when a drive is connected, and disconnected. You can do this HOT (as long as you are not writing to the drive) with everything turned on. You will not blow anything up.

Bob Zelin


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David Telling
Re: Conflicts - To Tony, Bob and Kevin
on Nov 11, 2006 at 6:30:23 pm

Tony and Bob...
Thanks so much for your input. At least that helps clear up my concerns on the restart although I still seem to have no luck with mounting from an initial start up. Last night I tried the set up on a second G5 Dual 2gb Power PC and again the drives don't appear on start up - however long I wait.
When I first installed the Tempo X4P on my system it was not plug and play. My system did not recognize it and it did not show up in the system profiler. As there was no software or literature in the package and it was past Sonnet Support times on a Friday evening - I downloaded the latest driver from the Sonnet site (version 2.0.4b9) but that didn't work either. On the Monday tech support told me I should have used version 2.03, which did make it show up.
Yes, the Kona 2 Card is in slot 4 - Tempo X4P in slot 3. I am getting the types of speeds Bob mentions, although I did have to remove a Mark of the Unicorn PCI 424 Audio Card from slot 2 because it drastically cut down on the speed of the SATA system (which is a bit of a pain).
It's not vital, but what would happen if I put the Tempo X4P in slot 4 and have the Kona 2 and MOTU Audio card share the 2 and 3 slots - would that cause complications with the Kona's performance, too?
I've checked the cables numerous times, but will keep an even closer eye on them, or buy new ones. I actually purchased a new X4p which is coming today (just in case that could be the cause).

Kevin...
Interesting you should make your comments. My most recent problems have included erratic freezing within a specific Final Cut Project. I'd make a move in the timeline or try and open a clip, and up would come the rainbow wheel indefinately!! Final Cut would not force quit, and a hard, button restart would be required. Then it got worse. Every time I tried to save that project from within FCP to the RAID in the Fusion 500P, the system would completely hang!!! -Desperate - basically ending my ability to continue working!!!!
Then, even more confusing... Thinking I might have a corrupted project file, I went to the Autosave files I store on my internal system drives. Even though these files can copy correctly between internal drives (or some externally connected Firewire Drives I tested) - every time I tried to copy one of those Autosave files to the RAID in the Fusion 500P it would again freeze (saying 0kb copied of 1.9Mb copied - and just not progressing). Did change the location of the cable in the X4P card, and this time the file would copy - BUT Final Cut would freeze when I tried to open the file!!! AAGHHH!! Other files seem to copy and play without a problem - mind boggling and gut wrenching! That is where I was up to on Thursday night, pulling my hair out!! Since then I have had some more sleep, feel much better about having you guys to communicate with and will be trying to sort this all out this weekend. Just trying to get a system and I can truly have some confidence in (which was the reason for buying these enclosures in the first place).

Thanks for all your help, guys. Any additional comments welcomed and I will keep you updated.

David


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David Telling
Re: Conflicts - To Tony, Bob, Tim, Shane and Kevin
on Nov 11, 2006 at 6:35:08 pm

Sorry, I forgot to thank Tim and Shane, as well


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Shane Ross
Re: Conflicts - To Tony, Bob, Tim, Shane and Kevin
on Nov 12, 2006 at 6:50:03 am

What did I say other than, "works for me" and "my setup is different?"

Bob is the one who has your back.


Shane

Littlefrog Post
http://www.lfhd.net


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Bob Zelin
Re: Conflicts - To Tony, Bob and Kevin
on Nov 11, 2006 at 10:52:38 pm

David's post is a typical example of why bizarre errors occur. I reread his first post, to make sure that I didn't miss anything, and in this last post (just above this one) - he mentions that he has a Mark Of The Unicorn audio card in the system as well.

Whenever there are issues, it's usually because of some conflict. I worked on a system for Sun Sports several months ago, that I personally built, and "all of a sudden" it stopped working. WE DID NOTHING they said, but the editor neglected to tell me that they loaded in a bunch of After Effects plug in's recently, and it wasn't until I got AJA support on the phone, where after much frustration, they helped me identify the plug in's, and eliminate them, and everything started working (this killed an AJA I/O box from working).

We have seen posts like this, where guys can't get their AJA I/O box to work, and then you find out "oh yea, I have 6 Firewire 400 drives chained on the firewire buss, along with the AJA I/O".

With all of this said, I HAVE NO IDEA OF WHAT ELSE IN ON YOUR SYSTEM. Most systems are FCP edit systems, with a Kona 3, and a storage card (ATTO, Sonnet, CalDigit, Apple Fibre Channel, etc.). ANYTHING ELSE that you have on your system - be it a MOTU, a slow Firewire 400 card, and all kinds of other crap - can be causing ALL KINDS OF ISSUES, and it is impossible to diagnose these problems unless you report EVERYTHING THAT IS ON YOUR SYSTEM.

The Sonnet cards works without software - it just plugs in and works (as do many cards like the Firmtek SATA cards). If there were other drivers (like Highpoint drivers) in your system previously, this will cause issues. At this point, I have NO IDEA of what else was in your system. I can assure you that the Sonnet Card does not conflict with the AJA Kona LH, but there are always dozens of variables that make systems not work. If you innocently upgrade your MAC OS to something new that comes out, there are often issues with third party cards. Companies like AJA and Sonnet try to make it easy, but it becomes very difficult when you introduce these variables. You can't test EVERYTHING for incompaitibility.

You said that you tried the drive array on a second dual 2 Gig MAC G5, and it still did not come up - do you mean the 500P that has all 5 drives at RAID 0, or the one with seperate drives ? You have 2 chassis, you can try both chassis.

Of course, with all of this said, you may have a bad SATA card, you may have a bad drive, you may have a bad 500P chassis. But if you introduce all these variables, it makes it very hard to diagnose these problems. If you have a 2 Gig G5 with NOTHING ELSE ON IT, you should be able to pop the X4P into this computer (and nothing else), and first see if you see it in the SYSTEM PROFILER, and then pop on a 500P chassis. Look at the LED's on the X4P - do you see them light up?

I'm here - let me know.

Bob Zelin


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Kevin Wild
Re: Conflicts - To Tony, Bob and Kevin
on Nov 12, 2006 at 12:19:30 am

Thanks for the help, Bob. I'm going to check the lights. I haven't done a ton of work since doing the Disk Warrior repair, but so far, it's only gone offline once. I may try to isolate the media file that is causing the problem and see if it's just a corrupt clip. I'll update if that's all that was happening, but Disk Warrior definitely helped. It said it recreated the directory and that at least allowed it to be on the desktop again.

David, as far as some of your other problems, they may be OS or FCP related. I have also had a few FCP spinning wheels. One thing that I know has happened over and over, when I get a spinning wheel, force-quitting will not work. I don't know why this is, but I always have to restart the computer. Again, it's been pretty solid, but when I have gotten the spinning wheel, a restart is necessary.

Thanks for the help on the RAID stuff. I'm hardly a pro at this...first time RAID guy here, though I've been FCP'ing since day 1.

Kevin


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David Telling
Re: Conflicts - Sorry Bob
on Nov 12, 2006 at 2:12:58 am

Bob,

I truly appreciate you taking the time to help me with my issues, and I sincerely apologize if I confused or maddened you with one of my posts. If you read again what I said about the MOTU Card, I did say that I had removed it:

"I did have to remove a Mark of the Unicorn PCI 424 Audio Card from slot 2 because it drastically cut down on the speed of the SATA system"

However, I should have been clearer. A potential issue with the MOTU was something I was aware of from the outset and therefore one of the first things I checked out once I set up the system. I had read that slower PCI-X cards in slot 2 would drag down the speed of a faster card in slot 3 or vice-versa (Slot 4 being independent). Since MOTU tech support told me they were unaware of that issue and their rep could not offer information on the speed of the PCI 424 card, I had to test the system myself with the MOTU card in to see if it would indeed decrease transfer speed. So after my initial set up with just the Kona (Slot 4) and the X4P (Slot 3) I did introduce the MOTU card in Slot 2. As soon as I noted (via the Kona System Test) that the drive read/writes went down considerably, I removed the MOTU card from the set up. That was 6 weeks ago (four days after I got the system up and running) and the MOTU card has not been present since. As the start up issue and occasional "missing drives" had already manifested itself, I don't think this test added to any issues, but I could be wrong. Again, I'm sorry if I wasn't detailed enough about that... I'm certainly not trying to hide something, just wasn't sure how much is appropriate to divulge in this type of forum.

I want you to know that I've been involved in multimedia and video work for 19 years - this is my livelihood and I take it very seriously. I have been through so many heart-wrenching conflict issues over those years - including Jazz drive problems (a long time ago), La Cie power supply issues - this not working with that, not working with this, etc. Issues have cost me weeks, if not months of anguish, and unfortunately, my experience is, most of the time manufacturer customer support can't tell you (or are not willing to tell you) what's conflicting or not, and it takes a lot of trial and error, gut wrenching time and effort - and, fortunately for me, people like you to truly help me out.

Consequently, as I said in my first post: "I have a fairly streamined Audio/Video only system" and I try my utmost to keep conflicting stuff off of it. However I do still use lots of tools - i.e mostly Apples multimedia products (Final Cut Pro/Motion/Compressor/Soundtrack/DVD Studio Pro/Logic Pro, etc) as well as the Adobe standard, Photoshop (no After Effects on this machine). I've tried to be Apple based or fairly "mainstream" for everything, but I guess there are plenty of other things that I occasionally use that could cause conflicts (DFT 55mm or Nattress filters? Sound Soap 2? Squeeze? - I don't exactly know how much information is needed to narrow down potential solutions. I think the software and hardware I possess are the types of things everyone is using for professional purposes and is frequently referred to/reviewed at Creative Cow but I would be happy to go as deep into them as you might need me too (if you have the time).

Continuing with your last post, though - there are no PCI Firewire Cards or other cards in my system. I do occasionally need to attach firewire drives to the system in order to transfer P2 files captured on location, but once that data has been transferred to the G5 via the firewire 400 port on the front of the computer, the drives are normally disconnected.

As I said in my third post - I did connect some firewire drives to the front port of my G5 to test the copying of Final Cut Autosave files (saved to my system disk) that for some reason would not copy to my 5 x 500 media RAID in one of the Fusion 500P cabinets (infinite spinning color wheel). Those same files copied without problem to these firewire drives and the additional internal 250 Gb drive I have in the second internal drive port of the G5.

If there is one other piece of hardware I may need to tell you about (now that the MOTU PCI 424 card and 2408 rack mount it was originally connected to are no longer being used) - I do have a MOTU Traveller occasionally connected via the computer's rear firewire 400 port. This is used for multitrack recording work we do within Logic Pro 7.2. I admit I have used that for a half day project, but didn't consider it to be a source of any issues, but perhaps it might be and I should probably have stated that I use it from time to time. It does have a Firewire Audio Driver and that could be an issue.

Regarding testing the system on the other G5 (Dual 2GB Power PC) - there were no additional PCI cards, just the Tempo X4P and no other drives connected except a second internal 250 Gb SATA drive. On this computer System Profiler recognized the Tempo straight away (but I believe from Sonnet technical support that is because the 2.03 firmware I downloaded would have already "flashed the card?. I have now tried starting up the system with both enclosures independently, and with both connected together. None of the drives show up from a start up in any configuration, but do appear on restarts. I haven't had an opportunity today to test files, as yet. That's next.

I have just returned from purchasing 2 new eSATA cables and the new Tempo X4P I purchased was waiting on my door step, I am now going to try those components tonight (one by one) to see if anything changes. Just hoping that I can again work in Final Cut without the freezing. If not I will erase the most recent project that seems to be the main problem and begin loading in the media from scratch to see if that will stop the symptoms. I'll just have to wait and see if any drives continue to disappear.

Again, I hope I did not upset you in any of my posts. If I did, it was certainly not my intention. I hope you can still offer me the benefit of your expertise and experience and I am more than happy to answer any questions and consider any options you might have.

Thank you Bob.


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Digihead
Re: Conflicts - Sorry Bob
on Nov 12, 2006 at 8:30:16 am

David,
If your Final Cut Project is corrupt: 1st try creating a new project, then take the corrupt sequence, select all clips and copy, then paste into new sequence in the new project. I've used this in the past to successfully get rid of weird sequence problems. I recently had a client deliver me a Final Cut Project. They mentioned they could not get audio to capture on many of the reels-- sure enough I had the same problem on my system with their project. I media managed the sequence--still no go, try XML --same problem. As a last resort I exported an edl, and then imported it into a new project--finally I was able to successfully recapture. EDL is the best way to be sure to go rid of any corruption in a sequence. Everything has been smooth since with the project.
Oh, I also run Protools LE (Firewire connect) on my system with no conflicts.
Hope your new cables work out for you.
Tony


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Bob Zelin
Re: Conflicts - Sorry Bob
on Nov 12, 2006 at 4:27:36 pm

David -
you did not upset me at all, and I have been repremanded by management of this forum to try to use a different "tone" in my writing style, in the past. The only thing that upsets me is the fact that some people THINK that I am upset, simply by my choice of words. I am only trying to help you, and feel your pain and frustration. You read that this stuff should just plug in and work, and then it doesn't.

This story won't help you, but it may try to show the insanity of our business. I have been using SATA from day 1, and was an original user of the old Sonnet Tempo X 8 port card. On this MAC G5, I have done numerous firmware updates, as time went on. When the Sonnet X4P came out, I could never get it to work in this particular MAC G5 that had the Tempo X. Even after numerous calls to Sonnet, no X4P would ever mount in this computer. I realized that I either reinstall the MAC OS from scratch (clean install), or just bite the bullet, and forget about this particular system and the X4P (which I did, and it is running to this day without the X4P).

I am not saying that you need to do a ground zero reinstall with your system - I just want to assure you that (as per your original question) - there is no conflict between the sonnet X4P and the AJA Kona LH card - they are a rock stable combination. However, there are countless things - everything from a MOTU driver, to a bad eSATA cable - that can be causing your issues. It's difficult to discuss every combination on these forums, and as you try things, and more and more things don't work - it becomes frustrating.

Sorry if I came off angry - I wasn't.

bob Zelin


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David Telling
Re: Conflicts - Sorry Bob - Update
on Nov 12, 2006 at 5:37:26 pm

Hi Bob,
No problem at all. I just didn't want to be the cause of anyone's frustration - particularly yourself who obviously takes a lot of time to help people with their difficulties, so I appreciate you helping me in any way you can, and feel free to say it in any way you like.

To give you an update, I thought I'd cracked it last night. I inserted the new Tempo X4P card, my system recognized it immediately, and, for the first time ever on start up, the drives in my "media" enclosure (5 x 500gb raid 0) went through their one by one, (15 second each) mounting process and did appear on the desktop - without requiring a restart.

Unfortunately, the Final Cut project file I was having problems with before would still freeze Final Cut on opening, and require a hard power shut down as Final Cut would not force quit. I tried a brand new cable, made absolutely sure it was inserted securely at both ends, but still the same issue. I decided to erase (secure trash) the whole project and reload my P2 media, which I was intending to do this morning.

Early this morning, before doing that, I opened up a different project, just to make sure everything was good. I played lots of clips, and swept through numerous timelines. No problem at all. Had a little breakfast, came back to the computer, made one move of the mouse, and up comes the dreaded rainbow wheel, and no way out, without a shut down. On looking at the enclosure, the blue lights on bay 1, 3, 4, 5 were solidly lit, and, on the back, the light for Bay 2 was lit. The Tempo card for port 1 (which the media enclosure is connected to) was lit green and amber. On restarting the system again, I went to the same project again and spent several more minutes successfully accessing clips and timelines. Then making a move on one clip, the same thing occurred with the same results on the enclosure. I noted the specific clip where the freeze occurred. On restarting the system again, I played that same clip (which is obviously pulling the media from the same place across the drives) time and time again with no problem. I walked away from the computer, 5 minutes later still no problem - I moved the timeline to another location, walked away for about 10 minutes to write this message and just a second ago I walked back in, clicked play and there's the rainbow wheel again. What's a man to do?

It appears to me that something has to be timing out. And the fact that the same drive in Bay 2 keeps hanging(?) is cause for a new concern. Interestingly, this project / Final Cut problem has only begun showing itself since I got the replacement enclosures, and again only intermittently. I'm now going to put all of the media drives from this enclosure into the second enclosure, using the new tempo card and the new cable and see what happens on start up and when I play through this project. I'd be happy for any input you have and really appreciate your time.

Thanks and regards,
David
smallisland@earthlink.net


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Bob Zelin
Re: Conflicts - Sorry Bob - Update
on Nov 12, 2006 at 7:10:42 pm

you are in a difficult situation, as you have media on your drives. Drive bay 2 should not "hang up". It's easy for me, and Sonnet support to say - "unstripe your drives, reinit them, and try them one at a time - because it's not our project, and not our labor - but (Even though I have had luck with never seeing a bad SATA drive) - you certainly could have a bad drive, or a bad drive enclosure.

I am not following if this is the 500P with the 5 drives stripped RAID 0, or if this is the array with the seperate drives in them. If it is the 500P with the 5 drives stripped RAID 0, I don't care how corrupt your media is - drive bay 2 should not "hang up" by itself. At this point - since you have the luxury of owning two of these 500P enclosures, I would swap out all the drives and carriers into the other array box, to see if it still hangs up. If it does not - you have a problem with the 500P. If it STILL HANGS UP - you COULD have a bad drive, or a failing drive. The next step (gulp !) would be to blow away all the material on this array, and reinit (erase) using Apple Disk Utility, and do some quick tests with just drive # 2, to see if it hangs up. Of course, this is easy for me to say -, but I realize what a nightmare this will be if you have a failing drive.

bob Zelin


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Bob Zelin
Re: Conflicts - Sorry Bob - Update
on Nov 12, 2006 at 7:12:25 pm

you DO have Energy Saver turned off, don't you (in the System Preferences window in OS-X) - and you have MADE SURE that "put drives to sleep whenever possible" is not checked in this window

Am I correct about this !!!!!!!

Bob Zelin


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David Telling
Re: Conflicts - Sorry Bob - Update
on Nov 12, 2006 at 7:42:04 pm

Yes, absolutely. Have all energy saver sleep settings set to never and "put the hard disk to sleep" is not checked. And, I am working with the enclosure with the 5 x 500 drives striped together as Raid 0. (The other enclosure and wiring is not connected at the moment)

Weirdest thing just happened, though... perhaps another clue?...

I decided before changing out all the drives into my second enclosure, I would simply swap the position of the drives between bay 2 and 3 in this first enclosure, thinking maybe it was a bay 2 issue, not the specific drive. Since then I have had 1 freeze in Final Cut but this time none of the blue lights displayed on the front and all the lights in the back remained lit. Also, the X4P card only had the green light lit on it, not the busy amber light. Since restarting again, I have spent approximately an hour trying to get Final Cut to freeze up. Everything was working perfectly. But then the moment I read your last message, I thought I would go to system preferences/energy saver just to confirm nothing had changed from my last settings.

As soon as I clicked back from system preferences to Final Cut, without even touching a clip or performing a keyboard stroke, up came the rainbow wheel, and froze again. There are no blue lights on the enclosure, there are 5 blue lights lit up on the back, the light next to the eSATA cable is unlit and the green and amber light on the X4P are lit. This is so weird, so erratic.

I've considered it being a power issue so I've even instaled brand new Tripp-Lite 1000VA /500W Battery Back-up UPS Systems which condition and monitor the power on a small LCD - and there's been nothing to suggest that the power is changing erratically.

I think I will now try putting the drives in the other cabinet. If that doesn't work, I will run the same project which is backed up to the 2 x 500 Raid 0 in the 2nd enclosure. If I get the same problems running from that set up, it should prove that it's not a drive issue with the 5 x 500's, correct?

Then I will retrash Final Cut preferences again, if that doesn't work, I'll reload Final Cut, if that doesn't work, I'll load a brand new system on the G5 and start reloading software from scratch.

Any interim suggestions?

Thanks again for sticking with me, Bob.
David


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Bob Zelin
Re: Conflicts - Sorry Bob - Update
on Nov 12, 2006 at 8:12:52 pm

If I was there, the only thing I would do would be to open up the side of the MAC, and observe the LED's on the X4P card. You should (since you are having trouble) - see how the LED's behave on the card, when a drive is plugged in, and when a drive is not plugged in. If you have an intermittent eSATA cable, or a bad port on the card (but you just changed the card - right ?) - you can tell from watching the status lights right on the X4P card.

And change out that chassis before you start wiping out your computer !

Bob Zelin


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David Telling
Re: Conflicts - Card and Enclosure Lights
on Nov 12, 2006 at 9:09:19 pm

Hi Bob,

I've had the side panel of the G5 open since last night (with the see through plastic still inserted).

Here's a run down of what I see from the lights (this is for the 5 x 500GB Raid 0 media "drive"):

Starting with the G5 and 500P enclosure powered down,

1. Power up the enclosure - grey power light appears at bottom front of enclosure - all 5 green bay lights light, no lights on back of enclosure
2. Power up computer -
On pressing the computers power button, immediately the green and amber lights flash on the Tempo X4P and then a moment later settle on 4 solid green lights and 3 solid amber lights (I know there is an additional amber light, which flashes immediately on start up, but this does not stay lit for some reason - this was the same with the other Tempo card).

As the computer begins its start up process - after approx. 30 seconds, those 3 amber and 4 green lights change to a single green light. Approx. 10 seconds later the amber light next to this green light flashes as the blue light in the bottom bay of the enclosure flashes. The amber light on the X4P stays on and will flash once as each subsequent blue bay light flashes on the enclosure. After each blue bay light flashes, its corresponding blue light on the back of the enclosure stays lit. When all bay lights have flashed once (taking approx. 1 minute total), they all start to flash on and off rapidly, the blue light next to the eSATA cable on the back of the enclosure comes on, and the icon for the raid appears on the desktop. The amber light on the Tempo card goes out, leaving just the single green light.

From that point onwards, the amber light flashes only when there is activity to or from the drives, as do the individual blue bay lights on the enclosure.

During operation, I really see no activity that deviates from this.

However, I do notice that the blue light activity on the front of the enclosure can be somewhat erratic as data goes back and forth, it's not like they all flash on and off simultaneously all of the time, or in any particular sequence... there's just a lot of light activity, some that look synchronized, some that doesn't.

Does this all seem fairly normal?

Sorry if I'm impacting your Sunday, but it really does help having someone to bounce things off. It's stopping me from bouncing off the walls right now.

Cheers,
David



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Bob Zelin
Re: Conflicts - Card and Enclosure Lights
on Nov 13, 2006 at 1:25:43 am

The single green light on the Tempo X4P card indicates that is connected to that particular port on the X4P card. If you were to yank out the eSATA cable, that light would go out. And yes, the amber light is drive activity. Everything you described is normal.

When your drive "disappears", you must see if the green LED on the X4P board goes off. This will indicate that your array has disconnected itself from the X4P card (bad cable, loose connection, etc.). If it's on, then the cable is ok, but you have another issue.

You have not said if you swapped out the 500P chassis yet.

bob Zelin


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David Telling
Re: Conflicts - Card and Enclosure Lights
on Nov 13, 2006 at 1:59:01 am

Hi Bob,

I do not believe this is a loose connection/bad cable issue. Every time the system has frozen up, the green light has still been lit on the X4P card.

Before trying the other chassis, I have been looking to exhaust all other possibilities on this existing chassis. As you know, the Tempo card and cable are new. I also exchanged the power cable. Since we last spoke, the system has frozen a number of times and the problem isn't just limited to being in a Final Cut Project. I opened a movie within Quick Time, had no problem playing it or swiping through the timeline, but when I left it for a while and returned back to it, merely moving the mouse, caused the rainbow wheel to return.

The first time this happened the blue lights were lit in bays 1, 2, 4, and 5 leading me to believe that the problem was following the drive which I had moved from bay 2 to bay 3. However, the next time this happened, only the blue lights in bays 1 and 4 stayed lit, with 2, 3 and 5 missing from the front, but lit in the back, so i'm still not quite sure if this is specific drive related or not.

What do you think based on this information?

I've also tried replicating the freezing problem without any enclosures attached and opening/playing/scanning/leaving QT files from my second internal drive. But as yet no problems have occurred.

I'm way behind on work right now and trying to scrape together media files to put on a firewire disk and edit together a draft presentation for a client. But I will be putting these 5 drives into the other enclosure and testing later tonight. I'll keep you updated.

Thanks again.
David


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ken hon
Re: Conflicts - Card and Enclosure Lights
on Nov 13, 2006 at 6:24:26 pm

Aloha David,

I don't have much to add beyond what Bob's advice is, only that I had a nasty problem with a new Mac Quad a year ago with a SATA and Kona 3 card. It had the reboot problem and also froze during playback. I was totally focused on the SATA card, which was in fact bad, but by doing so overlooked other problems. Turned out my playback problem was the Kona 3 card. Both of these cards went bad within the first month of having this system. Anyway, the only way I figured this out was to make a smaller subset project that reliably caused the problem and then move this onto both an internal drive and a firewire drive. I then pulled all the cards and all my memory except for 1GB. I then switched the memory in and out and tried to recreate the problem. That wasn't my problem. Then I began substituting cards 1 at a time and it was only then that I could separate the problems with both cards. I talked to the folks at AJA and they confirmed the problem with me over the phone and sent me a new card right away. Same with the SATA card. But this was a major pain in the rear. Again, I'm not saying this is your issue, but it sounds like you could be having more than one problem like I was.

Aloha,

Ken



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Digihead
Re: Conflicts - Card and Enclosure Lights
on Nov 13, 2006 at 6:51:14 pm

Hi David,

Ken's suggestion is a good one. You need to systematically (it's a painfully slow process) isolate every possible factor. Swapping enclosures would be my 1st-- it's a quick test with hot swap trays. If it really looks not to be the enclosure, try moving the files to firewire drives, see what happens then.
I'd also get a small firewire drive and do a fresh install of OSX and FCP from the bottom up. Boot off that drive and see what happens.Start with a brand new Final Cut Pro Session. Import P2 media not associated with your problem job, if all is good then open the problem job--copy the clips in your timeline and paste into new project. If the problem goes away -- software is your culprit.

I have to put up a vote for using softraid. It monitors the i/o's and will warn of i/o errors if one occurs while you are working. The nice thing is if you have an error you can see which drive in a raid exhibited the i/o error. Huge time saver when you are troubleshooting.

Good luck working this out



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Joe Murray
Re: Conflicts - Card and Enclosure Lights
on Nov 14, 2006 at 3:00:58 am

I have a completely different drive setup than yours, but I have had the exact same symptoms and they have always been because of corrupted media. Once it was a Quicktime file that was exported by a client from iMovie that I was using as a reference clip in a project. Re-exporting that clip in Quicktime was the fix there, but other times I've simply had to redigitize or rerender the clip that's causing the problem.

This has only happened 3-4 times in the last couple of years, but when it does it can send you off in all sorts of directions trying to fix the problem. I've even reinstalled EVERYTHING on the computer including the OS, only to have the same problem once I opened up the project.

I can't tell you for sure that this is your problem, but it sounds very familiar. Hope this is helpful.

Joe Murray


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