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Unable to boot from a drive connected through an Acard 6280M


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#1 superpantoufle

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 09:52 PM

Hi all!

This question would probably fit as well in the "peripherals" forum, but my guess is that most PCI cards users certainly hang up around here.
I just purchased a brand new [url="http://www.acard.com.tw/english/fb01-product.jsp?idno_no=124&prod_no=AEC-6280M&type1_title=Adapters&type1_idno=3%5DAcard 6280M%5B/url%5D PCI card as well as a brand new 320 Gb ATA hard drive as my new "old world software backup" setup.
I'm not sure yet which of my machines will host that stuff, but this is irrelevant to my question.

As of today, I tried both the card and the drive in a 9500 and a desktop beige G3. Everything works fine, except I can't boot from the drive. I could format it and it mounts and works in the Finder under both OS 9 and OS X just as expected. It is recognized flawlessly ba Apple System Profile. I can install OS 9 on it, no problem.
But when I reboot the computer, it would begin to start up, and suddenly reset just as I see the smiling Mac. And then it reboots on the internal IDE drive instead of the new one.
And I can see in the Finder that the System Folder on the new drive gets "de-blessed" in the process. And no matter how many times I manually "re-blessed" it, it would fail to reboot on it. I saw the exact same behavior on both the G3 and the 9500 (with a G3 upgrade).

Searching the web, I got hint at a firmware update issued by Acard to allow booting from drives larger than 160 Gb, but it appears my card is up-to-date (firmware 2.16).

I'm certainly missing somethin pretty obvious, because the card is clearly advertised as bootable, and there's plenty of positive comments and reviews around the web. Does somebody have any suggestion?
Many thanks in advance!
From a Macintosh SE to a MacBook Pro 13'' (late 2009). 23 years of (insanely great) addiction, and counting.

Pomme-S.ch :: my collection hosted on a PowerBook 145B.
Takalyde.ch :: Indie-rock from Switzerland

#2 porter

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 10:02 PM

Does somebody have any suggestion?


My B+W G3 (first revision) uses exactly the same card. I have a 250Gig drive and it boots just fine. One difference I have is I have no other drives in the system, so detach the internal IDE drive so it's only option is via the ACARD. Also, make sure the drive is "master", not cable select or slave.

Also, just a point of interest, the ACARD actually makes the drive appear to the system as a SCSI drive, even though both the system is capable of using IDE and the drive is actually and IDE drive.

#3 istar1018

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 10:55 PM

Yeah, I've got this card in a 9600, and I had a similar problem. It seems that drives attached to onboard buses always take boot priority over drives attached to this card. Have you tried booting with no other drives attached? Or, have you tried at least de-blessing the system folder on any other drives (remove finder or system file) still attached? I've found that my Mac will happily boot from this, so long as it isn't given any other options.

#4 superpantoufle

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 07:14 AM

Thanks for the replies! I haven't tried detaching all other drives, though I tried de-blessing the other System folder, and it wouldn't boot at all (question mark floppy icon). And on next reboot the System folder on the Acard drive will become de-blessed. Well, it's absolutely not vital since I wil use this disk for storage. But anyway...
From a Macintosh SE to a MacBook Pro 13'' (late 2009). 23 years of (insanely great) addiction, and counting.

Pomme-S.ch :: my collection hosted on a PowerBook 145B.
Takalyde.ch :: Indie-rock from Switzerland

#5 superpantoufle

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 10:22 AM

So, I tried this morning, sadly without any luck. I removed the internal hard disk, letting only the 320 Gb on the Acard. At first the computer wouldn't find a startup disk (question mark). I booted from a CD only to re-bless the System Folder ont the 320 Gb disk, and just as yesterday, on reboot I saw the smiling Mac for a fraction of a second (and heard the disk reding something, and saw the LED blinking on the Acard), but the computer instantly rebooted , and showed the question mark again. I also tried the same with my previous startup disk (known working!), and worse, this one wasn't even seen. superpantoufle <= scratching his head harder and harder… :-/
From a Macintosh SE to a MacBook Pro 13'' (late 2009). 23 years of (insanely great) addiction, and counting.

Pomme-S.ch :: my collection hosted on a PowerBook 145B.
Takalyde.ch :: Indie-rock from Switzerland

#6 Unknown_K

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 12:49 PM

Try using a smaller HD (under 120GB) and see if that works.
Favorites: big box Mac IIs, 950, 800's
Wanted: Anything Nubus, Video capture and editing hardware and software for 68k mac. Original software including A/UX.
Looking for 9150, Mac II, Color classic, 840av motherboard, and Nubus cards.

#7 superpantoufle

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 04:51 PM

Try using a smaller HD (under 120GB) and see if that works.

Well, unfortunately:

I also tried the same with my previous startup disk (known working!), and worse, this one wasn't even seen.

This one is a 40 Gb Maxtor. Yesterday I also tried with the G3's original 6 Gb. Thanks anyway!
From a Macintosh SE to a MacBook Pro 13'' (late 2009). 23 years of (insanely great) addiction, and counting.

Pomme-S.ch :: my collection hosted on a PowerBook 145B.
Takalyde.ch :: Indie-rock from Switzerland

#8 istar1018

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 06:22 PM

Hmm... that is unfortunate! I thought for sure removing the other drives would take care of it. More disturbing is the fact that your older startup disk isn't seen - when you say that, what exactly do you mean? Does it not mount or not even show up in Drive Setup? I figure you've zapped PRAM, but have you tried the CUDA? Sometimes after messing with PCI cards, depressing that button is needed to reorient the 9500 as to what is in its slots. Probably wouldn't hurt to try on the g3, as well... *thinking*

#9 Unknown_K

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 06:40 PM

Did you format the smaller HDs on the controller? You cannot just use a good formatted drive with that card, you need to reformat it connected to the card.
Favorites: big box Mac IIs, 950, 800's
Wanted: Anything Nubus, Video capture and editing hardware and software for 68k mac. Original software including A/UX.
Looking for 9150, Mac II, Color classic, 840av motherboard, and Nubus cards.

#10 equill

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 07:30 PM

The AEC-6280M is equipped for ATA-133. Are you using an Ultra-DMA 80-wire cable? Presumably the 320MB HDD is ATA-7 specification. How is it jumpered? What brand is it? Master/Single/Cable Select depends on the maker's specification for a single drive as well as on the presence or absence of the cutout in the cable near the MLB connector (blue) to pin 34 (CBLID=cable identification). A single drive must be connected at the end (black) connector rather than to the intermediate grey connector.

You just may get some echo of your problem with the 6280M at this page.

The 6280 is also capable of setup for software RAID operation. However, setup under OS X precludes operation under OS 9, and vice-versa. Do you know the prior use of the card before you received it? There is also the potential effect of the so-called anti-stuttering firmware addition for music/video storage, and the possibility that some drive models are not compatible with the 6280. The latter are listed on ACARD's site in .pdf.

Apart from its description as a SCSI card in ASP, I have no problems with booting OS 10.2.8 or 9.2.2 in a G4/733 DA using a 6280, so there must be a way through. Good luck.

de

Apple IIe; 68K: 20DT/T + 5PB; PPC: 9DT/MT + 3PB + PTPro; G3: 7DT/MT; G4: 4T + PB; G5: Quad


#11 superpantoufle

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 11:03 PM

;D ;D ;D
Some good news around here tonight!

Did you format the smaller HDs on the controller? You cannot just use a good formatted drive with that card, you need to reformat it connected to the card.

Unknown_K, you were right on that one! Having spent too much time messing around on that issue this morning, I completely forgot to reformat that particular disk while connected to the card.

So, I spent some time to clear my desk, putting all the HDs I had taken out of their computers, searching for lost jumpers under the desk, putting install CDs back in their sleeves, etc, etc.
Then I set the 9500 and the beige G3 aside, since I needed to start from scratch.
I fetched my faithful B&W G3, took its hard disk out and put the card and an old 4 Gb Quantum disk in. I booted from a Mac OS 9 CD, formatted the disk, installed a clean OS 9 on it, and hit the reboot menu.

And guess what, it booted fine! :beige:
So I breathed deeply and took a step further: I plugged the 320 Gb on the card alongside the 4 Gb, booted on the 4 Gb only to rebless the System folder on the 320 Gb and select it in the Startup control panel, prayed hard and rebooted again.

And it worked!
I can't explain why, though. But right now I can boot from either disks plugged on the Acard in the B&W G3.

Time to sleep a little bit, but tomorrow I'll be brave and try the same setup in the beige G3 and in the 9500 :)


I figure you've zapped PRAM, but have you tried the CUDA? Sometimes after messing with PCI cards, depressing that button is needed to reorient the 9500 as to what is in its slots. Probably wouldn't hurt to try on the g3, as well...

Actually I had reset the PRAM and the CUDA nearly each time I had plugged the card in a machine. I always do that as an habit when I touch something on a mobo.
But just for the record, during my searching the web about that problem I found that topic in the forum of the french site Macbidouille.com. The guy testifies he lost the ability for his Acard 6280M to "see" the disks connected to it after a deep 5x reset of the pram. I thought it might interest somebody to know that.

@equill: thank you for your time and effort on those great explanations of yours!
Actually the card is brand new, purchased on friday afternoon and arrived on saturday in the mail, with the last firmware available (2.16) factory set. And the jumpers and position of the disks on the bus were checked and double-checked prio to my posting here. Buty anyway, I really appreciate your help!

Many, many thanks to all of you guys! I'll give you some feed-back tomorrow, hopefully from OS 9 or OS X on the 320 Gb in the beige G3!
Middle of the night here, time to sleep. Good afternoon to the american folks, and good (tomorrow) afternoon to the australians!
From a Macintosh SE to a MacBook Pro 13'' (late 2009). 23 years of (insanely great) addiction, and counting.

Pomme-S.ch :: my collection hosted on a PowerBook 145B.
Takalyde.ch :: Indie-rock from Switzerland

#12 istar1018

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 03:13 AM

Great!! So glad to hear it is working!

#13 Unknown_K

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 04:21 AM

Glad to help, where do I send the bill? ;)
Favorites: big box Mac IIs, 950, 800's
Wanted: Anything Nubus, Video capture and editing hardware and software for 68k mac. Original software including A/UX.
Looking for 9150, Mac II, Color classic, 840av motherboard, and Nubus cards.

#14 superpantoufle

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 02:58 PM

Glad to help, where do I send the bill? ;)

Let's just say I owe you a couple of beers next time we meet… :b&w:
From a Macintosh SE to a MacBook Pro 13'' (late 2009). 23 years of (insanely great) addiction, and counting.

Pomme-S.ch :: my collection hosted on a PowerBook 145B.
Takalyde.ch :: Indie-rock from Switzerland

#15 superpantoufle

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 06:21 PM

Ok, it seems like this issue will need some more investigation. Don't worry: I can still boot from the disks that are connected to the card. Now I have the opposite problem: I can't boot from any disks connected to the internal ATA bus, except for one. This is true wether the card is plugged in or not. Right now I took off the card and tried to boot from all my IDE disks one by one, without any luck. None of them are even recognised when I boot from a CD, nor "seen" from Disk Utility. It's just as if there was no disk connected. The only exception is with the beige G3's original disk, that will boot fine from OS X and OS 9. Im' not sure about it, but would it be possible that once formatted while connected to the card, disks could no longer be seen or reformatted while connected alone to the internal bus? And does somebody have a clue, how can I have the B&W boot again alone, without the card plugged in? (Actually, I didn't intend to use the card in this one)
From a Macintosh SE to a MacBook Pro 13'' (late 2009). 23 years of (insanely great) addiction, and counting.

Pomme-S.ch :: my collection hosted on a PowerBook 145B.
Takalyde.ch :: Indie-rock from Switzerland

#16 istar1018

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 06:46 PM

Yep, I'd say from the looks of things, you need to format your drives with the device you want to connect them to. If you want to use them on the internal bus, format them from said bus. If you want to use them with the ACARD controller, format them from the ACARD controller. Since nothing seems broken, I bet a brief format will get HDs working with the B&W easily.

#17 porter

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 07:02 PM

If you want to use them with the ACARD controller, format them from the ACARD controller.


Seems odd, perhaps it's because the OS is treating an IDE disk as a SCSI disk.

#18 Bunsen

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 09:26 PM

That's what they do

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#19 Bunsen

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 09:32 PM

That's what they do

have you searched? Seeks: Nubus PDS DSP PB170 Newton; TRS-80 III/4; CBM BBC SX-64 CX5M Likes: 8bit luggable palmtop terminal NC tablet audio MIDI analog FM drum synth steam&dieselpunk; 1930-1980 lab/comm/mil Score! NC100 PB190 Q950 IIe-PDS


#20 superpantoufle

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 10:12 AM

So it's like a normal behavior? Ok, I can live with it. I'm just a (tiny little) bit disappointed, sine I thought that thanks to that card I'd be able to easily switch drives from different machines. Thanks all!
From a Macintosh SE to a MacBook Pro 13'' (late 2009). 23 years of (insanely great) addiction, and counting.

Pomme-S.ch :: my collection hosted on a PowerBook 145B.
Takalyde.ch :: Indie-rock from Switzerland




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