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News Archive for Wednesday February 17, 2010     Goto Current News Page

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SI3132 (SATA Card) Driver update w/64bit Snow Leopard Support
While answering an email on problems from a Griffin (3132 based) eSATA expresscard owner today I checked the Silicon Image 3132 drivers page (to send him a link on the previous driver update, which was also said to fix an issue with >2GB ram) and saw SI has posted v1.2.3.0 driver "SiI 3132 32 and 64 bit Mac OS X 10.6.x BASE (non-RAID) BETA" (dated 1/28/2010 but download file date is yesterday) as well as a RAID beta driver. (In the past the RAID driver has caused some problems though.)
The description field still lists only 10.6.0/10.6.1 but I used the 1.1.11u driver with OS X 10.6.2 fine, but it was 32bit only. And IIRC the driver also worked with OS X 10.5.x but never used it with 10.5. (And SI's description also repeats the potential for issues with some ext. enclosures - as noted here many times over the years.)
I still have a low-cost (under $25) 3132 based expresscard (and PCIe eSATA card) but no longer use the PCIe card after buying the NewerTech 6G card. (recently reviewed here.)
I plan on updating my (early 2009) MacBook Pro 17in driver when I can get some free time but welcome reader feedback on the new driver from anyone that tries it. If you do, let me know the details (on your card/mac model/OS used, etc.) and if you see any pros or cons. Thanks.

Initial relies from 2 Mac Pro owners (both using $20 or less 3132 cards) verified the card was now supported w/64-bit SL boots. I updated the drivers on my 17in MacBook Pro but not tested it yet.
I saw no problems installing the driver on my MBP (10.6.2) but (deja vu) had one MBP owner that previously had problems w/SI's earlier 1.1.11u install (although Sonnet installer worked) also report problems installing the new SI drivers. ("The Installer encountered an error that caused the installation to fail. Contact the software manufacturer for assistance.") He included a log clip w/strange errors like:

    installd[3646]: PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Flip4Mac QuickTime Components.pkg
    installd[3646]: PackageKit: *** Missing bundle identifier: /Library/Receipts/Flip4Mac Web Plugins.pkg

I've never seen anything like that with any of the SI posted 3132 driver installs. (And have never installed Flip4Mac either.) I asked if his boot drive passes a disk utility "Verify Disk" test. (As well as if he has any other 3rd party addons, etc.). The above almost sounds like some crosslinked files.
Update: On Friday he wrote that after removing Flip4Mac and reapplying a combo updater, the SI driver install still fails. No log errors referring to Flip4Mac anymore, but still having the install fail. Again I'd check the disk for errors and also asked if he had an external/FW drive to try a Clean install of 10.6 on it then boot from it and try the driver install. I also had another MacBook Pro owner write that like me, he had no problems installing the SI driver in 10.6.2.)

(BTW - I've not checked any of the (many) vendors that sell 3132 based SATA cards to see if they've posted repackaged versions of this driver update. I never had a problem with SI's driver installs but in the past a couple readers had better luck with sonnet's installers although as I mentioned examining the pkg contents showed the same version/dated SI driver. I suspect they may update 'their' driver download soon to include these updated SI drivers.)

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Report on Hitachi 2TB (7200rpm) Drive upgrade in (2006) iMac
(from a drive db addition today - posting as a FYI since there was some recent problem reports from readers w/2TB WD GP drives.)

"I want to report a successful hard drive upgrade:
Late 2006 iMac 24 inch (Core 2 Duo 2.16GHz)
2TB Hitachi Deskstar HD32000 IDK/7K (32MB cache, 7200rpm)
(At first he listed 16MB cache (a typo) but I noted OWC lists the 2TB Hitachi 7K2000 (7200rpm) HD as having 32MB cache. They note the model number as HDS722020ALA330 though so I asked John to check that again in ASP.-Mike)
I checked the profiler and OS X does list the model as HDS722020ALA330.

Straight forward upgrade. iMac recognized the drive with no issues... Have had the drive for a few weeks, no issues so far. There is noise but no more than the original drive.

One thing to keep in mind is the temp sensor placement. The top of the drive is a bit uneven, so I had to stick it to the side a bit because the adhesive will not stick well on an uneven surface.
Thanks, John"

Especially for the price (lower than other 2TB drives in general - even 'green' ones), I think this is a very good value. (And unlike the 2TB "Green" WD drives, so far no readers have reported any issues with it - although not everyone had a problem with the WD GP drives.) But regardless I'd prefer a 7200rpm/non-Green HD for internal use. I use the Green drives in specific cases where I need a cool running/lower pwr drive (and where performance isn't paramount) - such as my Ministack case. (I've been using a 2nd Gen (32MB cache/3 platter) 1TB WD GP in the ministack (w/daily use) since fall 2008 with zero issues to date.)

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Apple Support/How-To/Troubleshooting Doc Updates

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Apple related news/articles/rumors, Misc OS X/iPhone software/app updates
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Other News/Articles/Reviews
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Recent Articles and Reviews
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