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David Michael
Old Avid Drives - rS36/160 MediaDrive LVD - Insight?
on Nov 29, 2011 at 8:22:28 pm

Hello,

One of the companies I work for still uses Avid 3 and has a project on a SCSI drive. So, I know I have the equipment to get these older drives to work.

My problem is a new drive I've been given. It is almost identical to the SCSI drive that I have that works, but perhaps just a touch older.

The drive is a Ultra 160/LVD 4th Generation 10k. There are two of them that stack together. Here is a picture to jog the ol' memory:

http://images1.americanlisted.com/nlarge/avid_rs36_160_media_drive_lvd_15_n...

Now, the problem I am facing is this, I connect the two drives to each other via the fat connectors. Then I run a fat to skinny SCSI connector over to the SCSI card. If I plug to the SCSI card via drive 1, the computer boots, but it says, "Unable to initialize disk" and I can see the drive in Disk Utility, but it won't mount.

If I plug the other drive into the computer (keep in mind they are still both connected), the computer gives me an apple screen of death on startup, demanding that I manually shut down the computer.

My plan tonight is to check the SCSI drives that I do have to and to change the bus number settings on the front of these new drives to match and try again.

The problem could be as simple as connecting the SCSI drive together properly, I'm not 100% on which ports are in and which are out - I've read conflicting accounts online (old pages) and in person someone told me that it shouldn't make a difference.

I've also heard there might be another piece of the puzzle I'm missing, some sort of chasis or something.

Another possibility is that the fat to skinny SCSI cable is incompatible with these drives, but if that were the case why would anything show up at all when I connect them?

I know the second drive isn't bad, because I can plug it in by itself and get to the same "Unable to initialize disk" warning at boot.

OK, I really appreciate any information you might have! By all mean, let's start with the basics here, I won't be offended. I assume you have to shut the computer down every time you recable the devices, but I don't know for sure. I assume there is no boot order for the drives, but if there is be sure to let me know!

Anyways, I hope someone here has sone insight.

Best,
David


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Ben Wilson
Re: Old Avid Drives - rS36/160 MediaDrive LVD - Insight?
on Nov 30, 2011 at 3:15:31 pm

1.) You really need to have each of these drives plugged into separate SCSI busses for optimum throughput.
2.) ANY SCSI buss you have connected MUST be terminated.
3.) If you only have 1 SCSI bus to connect the drives, then you CANNOT flip the SCSI IDs to the same number. Connect the first drive to the controller, loop the first drive to the second drive, then terminate the second drive.

4.) Also DO NOT under any circumstance use SCSI ID 7. That is the ID for the controller card.

Hope this helps.

Ben Wilson
Engineering Project Manager
SCETV


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David Michael
Re: Old Avid Drives - rS36/160 MediaDrive LVD - Insight?
on Nov 30, 2011 at 4:29:18 pm

Thanks Ben, this is exactly the kind of information I was hoping for.

I'll try this out tonight. I just need some clarification, what do you mean by "terminated"? I think you mean to use the thing that plugs into one bus, but doesn't go anywhere?

Also, with step 3, is that to be done with the computer on? No right?

Finally, Is there a power up order?

-David


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Ben Wilson
Re: Old Avid Drives - rS36/160 MediaDrive LVD - Insight?
on Nov 30, 2011 at 5:43:54 pm

All connections and configurations must be done with the power off.

and yes, termination is refering to using the little box that only has one connection on it. If it is a terminator purchased from AVID it will have some screen printing on one side with an AVID part number and possibly a description of what the device is. If has printing on it, it will say SE/LVD terminator, or something like that.

It may also have a led on the back that will light up green when the connection is good.

Are these the only 2 drives you are putting on the SCSI bus?

Ben Wilson
Engineering Project Manager
SCETV


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David Michael
Re: Old Avid Drives - rS36/160 MediaDrive LVD - Insight?
on Nov 30, 2011 at 5:50:04 pm

Thanks again,

Yeah, these are the only two devices. I would give them each a port on the card, but I only have 1 fat-to-skinny scsi conversion cable and 1 terminator.

I bet I'm going to go in tonight and one of those drives will be set to 7. But I feel really good about this information. I didn't realize that the terminator was necessary, so I never swapped it from the other set of drives. My plan is to match the bus numbers on the new drives to match the other set (which work), wire everything together, terminate, and see what happens.

Anything I should know about the cabling? Does it matter which ports are in/out?


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Ben Wilson
Re: Old Avid Drives - rS36/160 MediaDrive LVD - Insight?
on Nov 30, 2011 at 5:55:56 pm

The SCSI IDs on the drives are not that important other than making sure they are all unique. And are not set to 7. I imagine you biggest problem was the terminator not being installed. It's surprising how many issues can be created by unterminated connections or bad terminators.

The only reason you would want to have the drives on separate ports would be if you are working with high resolution video and have high stream counts with your timeline. It's simply a throughput consideration to distribute the drives across controller ports.

Now, a BIG question. Were these originally on a MAC or PC based AVID? And are you connecting to a MAC or PC?

Ben Wilson
Engineering Project Manager
SCETV


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David Michael
Re: Old Avid Drives - rS36/160 MediaDrive LVD - Insight?
on Nov 30, 2011 at 6:00:49 pm

Yeah, that is the million dollar question isn't it?

I'm on a Mac. The drives, according to what I was able to get recognized in disk utility are "Apple partition" map. I know that's old, maybe even OS9-old?, but hopefully they will mount anyway.


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Ben Wilson
Re: Old Avid Drives - rS36/160 MediaDrive LVD - Insight?
on Nov 30, 2011 at 6:05:56 pm

As long as you are mounting them on a MAC, I think you should be able to mount them. I'm pretty certain that MAC OSX is backwards compatible with the MAC-OS9 filesystems.

I work primarily in the PC world, but have to maintain at least some exposure to MACs. Particularly since I have to enable our PCs to read MAC partitioned and formatted drives.

Ben Wilson
Engineering Project Manager
SCETV


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David Michael
Re: Old Avid Drives - rS36/160 MediaDrive LVD - Insight?
on Dec 1, 2011 at 4:23:12 am

OK, so here I am, covered all the bases:

Open port - terminated
Bus 7 - open, using 5&6

Boot up the system - no kernel panic
Get past login screen - I now get TWO errors (a good sign), unable to initialize each disk.

In Disk utility I can see the computer now recognizes them both (instead of just the one), but I can't mount the drives (there seem to be 22 smaller grayed-out disks inside of the 2 main disks).

Not sure how to troubleshoot from here, any advice appreciated. Will start by rearranging the cabling.

-David


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David Michael
Re: Old Avid Drives - rS36/160 MediaDrive LVD - Insight?
on Dec 1, 2011 at 4:30:03 am

More information for you:

The partition type on each of the 22 partitions is "ATTO_ExpressStripe", which looks to be related to some sort of RAID/Partitionion software.

Both disks have identical partition maps, which may mean these two drives are meant to work in RAID. If that's the case is there a change in approach?

If they are RAIDed perhaps the do need to be plugged into separate channels on the SCSI card?


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Ben Wilson
Re: Old Avid Drives - rS36/160 MediaDrive LVD - Insight?
on Dec 1, 2011 at 2:07:46 pm

At a guess, it sounds like they were striped using the ATTO Raid adapter BIOS. That means those drives were striped using hardware raid. I don't know of a way to rebuild the RAID volume without attaching them to the same raid controller.

I don't know if you can use your raid adapter to rebuild the striped set without destroying the data that resides on the drives.

Is it possible to connect those drives to the system they were striped on and transfer the contents to a portable drive, or over the network to the new system? That would be the safest thing to try...although more time consuming.

Ben Wilson
Engineering Project Manager
SCETV


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David Michael
Re: Old Avid Drives - rS36/160 MediaDrive LVD - Insight?
on Dec 1, 2011 at 6:13:15 pm

Now we are really getting to the problem here.

That is I believe why these drives were handed off to me - the original system is long gone. They couldn't even tell me if they were RAIDed originally or how they were originally wired.

Let's assume I was able to get my hands on a ATTA Bios card, would they just magically work after I plugged them into that?


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Ben Wilson
Re: Old Avid Drives - rS36/160 MediaDrive LVD - Insight?
on Dec 1, 2011 at 7:11:10 pm

That I don't know. I would imagine it's possible to get the ATTO to rebuild the array, but whether or not the data would remain intact, or if it would be able to rebuild is a good question.

sounds like you don't have much to lose. You can't access the drives without the old system. If the drives lose data during rebuild on a new system. Both of those scenarios have the same end result. Lost data.

If the rebuild succeeds you are a miracle worker.

Ben Wilson
Engineering Project Manager
SCETV


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