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News Archive for Friday January 8, 2010     Goto Current News Page

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Is anyone not having problems with a RocketRaid 4322 and OS X 10.6.2?
(Updated with reply) - I've not used this card personally (nor any RocketRaid cards for that matter) but have recd more mails regarding problems with them and Snow Leopard (10.6.2) - most recently from a 4322 owner.
The most recent unhappy owner (given up on it after RMAs, latest drivers, etc.) recommended a 3Ware 3650 SE (working 'flawlessly' he said) - that number was a typo, he has the 3ware 9650SE card. (The 9650 page doesn't list OS X support but they refer to this page for a full list - which (down the page) does list OS X versions supported and for Snow Leopard refers to this 3ware KB article 15173.)

So I'm curious if anyone with a 4322 RR card running OS X 10.6.2 is happy with it (problem free). If you are, let me know the details of your configuration (including external Enclosure used).
(here's a reply)

"I've got a system running Snow Leopard 10.6.2 with RocketRaid 4322 and it's worked flawlessly so far since 10/1/09. It has 4322 running external RAID-5 and one internal Apple MacPro Raid running Raid 5 as well.

That being said, I have had to replace 1 EnhanceBOX because it's power supply failed within 1 week, switching drives into another EnhanceBOX and it's been smooth sailing since.

Secondly, I found out that WD1002FBYS-01A6B0 will not work nor would a lower Revision firmware of WD1002FBYS-02A6B0



MacPro4,1, 2 x 2.93GHZ, 16GB RAM, ATI Radeon HD 4870
Apple RAID Card w/4 x WDC 1TB RE3 in Raid 5

Hard Drives:
4 x WDC WD1002FBYS-02A6B0 Revision 03.00C06 1TB RE3

External Cables:
1 x Tripp Lite 1 Meter External SAS Cable, SFF-8088 to SFF-8088

External Cabinet:
1 x Enhance EnhanceBOX E4 Series E4-MS

Hope this helps, Horst"

Thanks for the details. I have lost count of how many mails I have had regarding eSATA problems (from enclosure/bridge board compatibility issues (which even controller mfrs often note), driver problems, etc. - both PCIe and expresscard) - almost to the point where it's impossible to guarantee anything. Maybe this is why Apple still hasn't added eSATA ports on macs.
(And BTW - even in cases where things may seem ok, I've seen some cases where copied files fail a checksum verification. I mentioned that on the expresscards page earlier. In tests like mounting a large .dmg file (the appx 500MB OS X 10.6.2 combo updater for example) the copied file failed to mount (checksum verify failed). For instance with my JMB36x expresscard (natively supported) using some ext. cases/docks I've had it fail 50-80% of the time with a 3.5in HD in the dock and fail literally 100% of the time with a notebook drive in the same dock. (Knock on wood the old TT eSATA/USB dock passed 6 in a row, but after seeing so many that didn't I'm leery of trusting it now. I installed the v1.1.11 Sil3132 drivers (32bit only) in 10.6.2 and tested the low-cost 3132 card again (mentioned on the 'cheap eSATA cards w/SL' article from early Sept. here) and it doesn't seem to have the file corruption issue with the same docks that did with the jmb card.)

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FYI on potential FW800 cable problems
Twice in the last few days I've seen problems with some FW800 devices mounting with a MacBook Pro. The first reaction typically is to suspect the FW800 device and not the cable. However I knew the FW800 HD dock was fine so I tried another cable and just wrote it off as a random/bad cable. However after seeing the same problem again tonight (with a FW800 portable HD), I found what appears to be the root cause. With some of the cables I have, almost any tension (side to side) at the plug affected the connection. (And comparing the fit of the plug in the port socket showed some (in my case clear-sleeved cables) were not as snug as other FW800 cables I own.)
The best (IMHO) FW800 cable I have in this regard is what some would think at first glance is the lowest quality - all black plastic (no visible shield braid) but it has a taller "shoulder" (wall) around the FW800 plug for better support. (And for the record, even the other all black insulation FW800 cables I have (such as those included with my Voyager Q HD dock) that don't have the taller shoulder IMHO still have a more secure fit in the FW800 Port than several of my other clear insulation (w/visible shield braid) FW800 cables do.)
Luckily both times I've had a plug/connection problem (each time with the clear cables) it was apparent right away (failure to mount) rather than during file transfers. You may never see this problem but wanted to make you aware of the potential and something to check first if you do. (The first reaction is to suspect a device problem, not the cable.)
BTW: I had another MacBook Pro owner write he's also seen this at times - very touchy about plug fit/stress on the cable. (Over the weekend a couple other readers wrote they had also seen this with some of their machines at times. I'm curious if they've noticed some cables are a more snug fit in the FW800 socket than others, although tension on the cable of course was also a factor.)
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First Impressions of (flush-fit) Sonnet Express/34 card slot Memory card reader/writer
For some time I've been meaning to get one of these to replace my old (5yr+) slow/bulky Kodak USB Multi-card reader that has served me well but is painfully slow (not USB 2.0). I also have a SanDisk USB 2.0 (Stub) SD card reader that came with an SDHC card I bought last year, but that adapter's body is so wide it blocks the adjacent USB port on the MacBook Pro. The Sonnet (and some other) Expresscard slot adapters fit flush with the Unibody MBP sides. (But you're still able to push it in to eject it.) I decided on the Sonnet model ($27) over a similar Apiotek adapter that was a couple dollars cheaper, although I doubt there's really any functional difference in them.
Tonight I tried it in an Early 2009 MacBook Pro 17in in both OS X 10.6.2 and Bootcamp/Windows 7 with some SD cards and Memory Sticks. I've not 'benchmarked' any of my cards (which are typically bought on price/capacity not speed rating) in it yet but it definitely seems faster to copy/load images from the cards than my old Kodak adapter - but that's to be expected. (And no more blocked USB ports as with the USB SD card only adapter.) OS X 10.6.2 supported it natively and (as expected) Windows 7 installed a driver for it on first boot with it inserted (prompting for a restart).

The only quirk I've seen so far is that often the adapter ejects from the slot when removing an inserted memory card. (Pressing a finger on the adapter card edge when pulling the memory card out solves that problem, but regardless it's no biggie as I unmount any card from the OS before removing it.) And of course it doesn't accept Compact Flash cards (due to size), but still a worthwhile accessory IMHO. Bottom line I like it and feel it was well worth the $27. I can keep it inserted rather than have to carry or dig out the USB reader.
Current Macbook/Pros (and iMacs) now have SD card slots, but using this adapter in my 17in MBP allows me an even wider range of card support, as well as having the option to eject it and use the Expresscard slot for other devices.

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Reader Suggestions/Feedback on Remote AC Power Switches
I had originally sent Jim (who asked for feedback on this in the Jan 5th news) text copies (cut and pastes) of the reader replies to his post but had some other readers interested in the subject so I've put the replies (in some cases w/product links and experiences) on a page of Reader Feedback on Remote AC Power Switches. (I've also added a link to this page on the Jan 5th/6th archives pages.)
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Apple Support/Troubleshooting/How-To Doc Updates

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Other News/Articles, Misc. Software updates

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Recent Articles and Reviews
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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