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2/7/02 Thursday's News: Story DetailReturn to News Page

2 Reader Reports on Problems with Sonnet ATA/100 card
in Quicksilver Dual 1GHz

Posted: 2/7/2002
(added Sonnet's comments on Firmware update 2/12/2002)
(added reader report on beta firmware fix 2/14/2002)
(added note on final release of Sonnet Firmware Update 3/1/2002)
(added QS2002 owner problem report 3/21/2002)

Sonnet Releases non-Beta Firmware Update: On Feb. 28th, Sonnet posted the (non-beta) Tempo ATA/100 card firmware update at their support page. (Scroll down the page to see the Tempo ATA/100 section with info and download link.)

Sonnet Comments on Firmware Update Fix: I've received this email on Feb 12th from Sonnet regrading the reports on this page. (see below for first Quicksilver owner report on the beta firmware update.)

    " Hi Mike -
    I wanted to let you know that we are aware of the issue with the Tempo ATA100 and the new 2002 QS machines. We are currently testing an updated firmware version that addresses the issue. The new firmware was released to Beta sites late last week and testing is going very well. The Sonnet customer support team (support@sonnettech.com) can send out the Beta firmware to anyone requesting it. We will post the new firmware to our site as soon as we complete testing.

    Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
    Debbie Michelle
    Product Marketing Manager
    Sonnet Technologies, Inc. "

Here's the first Quicksilver owner comments on the Beta firmware update.

    " Hi Mike,
    I am an owner of the new QS 2002 Power Mac 1GHZ Dual and have had problems with booting from the Sonnet ATA 100 PCI card. I updated the firmware using the beta update and success. it now boots into OX 10 using the card. There is one problem still though the Power Mac won't enter sleep mode from the Apple Menu. If I take the card out it does!

His comment reminds me that I've been meaning to update the FAQ with info on the latest PCI cards and Deep Sleep (PS fan off when sleeping). If you're running an IDE/IDE RAID, SCSI or Graphics card with a G4 let me know if it supports deep sleep mode in OS X and OS 9. (If you have more than one PCI card installed, note all cards installed in the report as well as system/OS details. Also include the firmware version of the card - use Apple System profiler to check the card revision, which is the firmware version. ) Thanks.

Although I thought the firmware update had solved the QS2002 owner problems, this reader noted otherwise. (From the 3/21/2002 www.xlr8yourmac.com news page.)

    " Hi Mike,
    I wrote to you a few months ago about the Sonnet Tempo ATA 100 pci card which I installed in my QS 2002 one gig dual. I did upgrade the firmware to 223.
    My conclusions after using the card with the firmware updated are:

    a- when using startup cdev OSX sees multiple hard drives of the same name(this did not occur right away...took a few weeks)

    b- I had a native install of OS9.2.2 on one of my hard drives, never touched by OSX and unexplainably after a few weeks the system folder lost it's icon and none of the programs would launch. It would start up though when chosen from startup cdev, this drive showed multiple times within OSX statup up window as did my backup hard drive on the second ATA Sonnet channel, but that drive had no system installed.

    c- when I started up in OS922 and wanted to do a desktop rebuild, everytime the hard drive attached to the Sonnet card came up the pter would freeze. Never happened on the second hard drive attached to the card , the one w/o system installed.

    Yes I set the id's properly and secured the cables correctly. I run OSx1.3, one gig ram, one gig dual QS 2002. I pulled the card out and pter reacts fine now. I did not have any problems which may have lead to the card not functioning. I suspected from the beginning even with the firmware updated that something was amiss. When I booted the pter and selected command+s the screen would take abnormal long time to scroll only happened once. but a bit discincerting when the text read multiple drivers on the ata cards. I also suspected that fsck was not functioning properly, not like the it was before I dabbled with the ATA card. Who knows!

    Maybe it is for the better anyway..cause the QS dual does run hot. I thought that was a lot of hard ware to be tossing inside the dual.
    Don H."

(Note - I have reports and even benchmarks from Acard ATA/133 (and SIIG ATA/133 card owners - same card reportedly) that they worked fine in the new QS models.)

Note: The comments below are from owners that are not using the Firmware update (noted in the above later updates to this page).

" I just bought the sonnet Tempo ATA 100 pci card and installed it in my new G4 one gig dual processor. the card is not bootable with any of the hard drives I try. I formatted each drive either connected to the card or not connected and it makes no difference. I can't get any hard drive to startup even if I select a hard drive in the startup control panel. matters not in either system 922 or X 1.2

Don noted the firmware version appears to be 2.20. He copied me on an email from Sonnet Tech Support noting they could not duplicate this problem with a Dual 800 (2001 QS model), but didn't have a 2002 QS system yet to test. Here's the 2nd email on problems with the ATA/100 card in a 2002 QS:

" ... I am experiencing some weird problems with my new dual 1GHz machine... I'm taking it back today to be looked at.

I had a Sonnet Temp ATA100 card put in to go with a secondary Western Digital Caviar SE 8MB buffer Hard drive... under OSX, it seems to work fine, under OS 9.2.2 an alert box comes up and says that all information has been lost. Looking on the drive in 9, it is empty... going back to X, it has what I put on it. The Sonnet guys say they've had a few other problems like this.

My machine has also been crashing alot in X. And after only a few days, disk utility found a problem on the hard drive, and I haven't really done much with it...

I wonder of there may be some bugs with the new Apollo G4 chips and X that will continue to crop up...
P.S. The sales person also tried to hook the startup disk to the new controller, and after restart, it didn't like it and wouldn't start up. Upon reconnection to the Apple controller, everything went back to normal. The Sonnet tech guy said it was because I hadn't intialized the hard disk while connected to the new controller.... what is this!!!?

As noted here since the first IDE PCI card review in 1998 or so, drives formatted (pre-OS X at least) on the onboard IDE will not mount when connected to a PCI IDE card. (or vice versa usually). However if the drive was formatted when connected to the IDE card (in OS 9 or OS X) then this may be a firmware/compatibility issue with the new G4s and this IDE card. (In the past some new Mac models had issues with PCI controller cards - often scsi ones, which required a firmware update to the card to fix.)

If any other 2002 Quicksilver owners have problems with PCI IDE cards (or SCSI cards), regardless of brand or have run this card in a 2002 Quicksilver OK, let me know your card/system/drive setup details.

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