Boot mystery deepens - OS2

This is a discussion on Boot mystery deepens - OS2 ; Hi Folks, Here's the latest on my SCSI Bios mystery. I have an Adaptec 2940UW which I woulk like to upgrade to the latest BIOS. If I do, I can't boot from the hard disk. I can boot from CD ...

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  1. Boot mystery deepens

    Hi Folks,


    Here's the latest on my SCSI Bios mystery.

    I have an Adaptec 2940UW which I woulk like to upgrade to the latest
    BIOS. If I do, I can't boot from the hard disk. I can boot from CD
    just fine, and by starting the eCS maintenance console I find I can
    see the hard disks just fine, but trying to boot just gets me a
    flashing underline cursor at the top left hand corner of the screen.

    I have uninstalled and reinstalled Boot Manager, to no effect. I have
    rewritten the MBR, to no effect. I have checked the SCSI adaptor
    settings and they seem consistent before and after the upgrade - and
    anyway, I can see every one of the SCSI units from the command line
    after a CD boot.

    Help! Has anyone any idea why this might be happening? SCSI Disk 0, by
    the way, has Boot Manager, then a logical HPFS partition for eCS, then
    a logical JFS partition with data and applications.

    Ian
    --


  2. Re: Boot mystery deepens

    Ian ...

    Ian Johnston wrote:

    >Hi Folks,
    >
    >
    >Here's the latest on my SCSI Bios mystery.
    >
    >I have an Adaptec 2940UW which I woulk like to upgrade to the latest
    >BIOS. If I do, I can't boot from the hard disk. I can boot from CD
    >just fine, and by starting the eCS maintenance console I find I can
    >see the hard disks just fine, but trying to boot just gets me a
    >flashing underline cursor at the top left hand corner of the screen.
    >
    >I have uninstalled and reinstalled Boot Manager, to no effect. I have
    >rewritten the MBR, to no effect. I have checked the SCSI adaptor
    >settings and they seem consistent before and after the upgrade - and
    >anyway, I can see every one of the SCSI units from the command line
    >after a CD boot.
    >
    >Help! Has anyone any idea why this might be happening? SCSI Disk 0, by
    >the way, has Boot Manager, then a logical HPFS partition for eCS, then
    >a logical JFS partition with data and applications.
    >
    >Ian
    >
    >

    What version of OS/2 and fixpack level? Also. where did you get the
    SCSI driver versions for the OS/2 system; IBM or Adaptec? Reason I ask
    is that this sort of thing surfaced a very long time ago about FP 5 for
    Warp 4 with the 2940UW. If you use the later versions of the SCSI
    driver, you absolutely must have later versions of OS/2 per experience
    here.


    Another issue with the updated BIOS was that the earler versions of the
    driver updates from the Adaptec site, per my experience here with that
    card were bad. You had to use the IBM variation of the update for a
    while, At some point, per my memory, Adaptec did take IBM's suggestions
    as to how to handle the code and I think that the current version of the
    driver is good. Mixing the BIOS flash update and drivers of certain
    dates produced problems here years back that way, but all of a fairly
    large number of 2940UW cards here were finally flashed and are in
    service, but not with greater than about 40GB drives.


    Another note. I've never used any SCSI hard drive with any version of
    the 2940UW controller without first low level formatting it on the
    controller. As well, I've also found that drives fail in curious ways.
    Taking a full backup first, you might look at the low level Adaptec
    utilities from during the boot run. Do a low level check on
    the drive you have. It may be your particular drive has a defect in it
    which is surfacing after the BIOS has flashed. If you find that the low
    level drive test does show a problem, I'd bet you have a drive going
    defective and you are faced with more problems than just this.


    Another Adaptec issue is that as well as what was suggested to you in
    earlier threads on this on OEM vs. vendor specific versions of the
    cards, there are both 2940UW and 2940UW Pro versions. There are also
    2940U2W versions of the controller. BIOS flash versions also can be
    critical as to what version of the card you are running, particularly,
    IIRC, in the case of the 3940UW, which uses the 2940UW SCSI driver with
    OS/2.


    Two more last thoughts. Are you absolutely certain that you are using
    this card on a for sure dedicated IRQ that isn't being shared with
    something else? In rare cases, I've seen a card working in a
    not-realized shared IRQ mode, then if you attempt to update it, it won't
    work in the same shared mode. Sharing IRQ's in PCI slots is possible if
    the driver and hardware for all the shared use coordination is done
    right. As far as I know, the proprietary 2940UW cards were made, for
    example, for some folks like Compaq, where their computers were
    deliberately released for use with that card and OS/2 in a specific box
    environment which shared the IRQ for that card with other hardware.
    That's why the vendor specific BIOS was furnished with that vendor's
    cards. Changing anything in the mix if your motherboard is one of the
    affected parts in the hardware mix for this scenario may mean that you
    have to upgrade the BIOS on it as well upgrade the Adaptec card as well
    for the specific vendor. And it is the motherboard issue which can trip
    you up. Take a close look, with PCI Sniff, for example, at what IRQ's
    your USB controllers may be sharing with the SCSI IRQ. It may work at
    the older BIOS level, but not the newer one.


    Finally, are you absolutely sure that you have your cable and
    termination issues clean? That plus are using a SCSI drive and setup
    which is carefully adjusted for spindle sync mode? You have to be
    careful in the low level Adaptec setup to get that right between all the
    device selections on a given cable and just because a hard drive is one
    way, doesn't mean, for example, that a Seagate SCSI DAT tape drive is
    automatically set for that! If any device isn't properly set on a
    common cable it may work for one BIOS level on that card. But flashing
    the BIOS can get you in trouble later, if my memory is correct,
    particularly if there is a terminator which is sick. As well, using a
    device with a lower speed and an adapter on a common cable may work with
    the older BIOS, but blow up with the later BIOS.


    And as a post script, you might try a replacement cable of a higher
    speed quality. SCSI's fuzzy about details. As well, keep the SCSI
    cable away from others, to the extent you can. As the speed goes up and
    the drive size gets bigger, things get more critical. Who knows about
    BIOS updates and a little change in timing maybe?


    --


    --> Sleep well; OS2's still awake!

    Mike Luther

  3. Re: Boot mystery deepens

    On Tue, 11 Oct 2005 11:59:24 UTC, Mike Luther
    wrote:

    > What version of OS/2 and fixpack level? Also. where did you get the
    > SCSI driver versions for the OS/2 system; IBM or Adaptec?


    eCS, 1.24. Latest Adaptec drivers from the eCS website. But that can't
    be the problem, I think, since the boot never even gets as far as
    showing me the boot manager screen, so OS/2 isn't started.
    Incidentally, if I drop boot manager ad try to get it to pick up the
    eCS partition I get "No Operating System Found", whic makes me wonder
    if it's something about booting from a BM / HPFS partition which it
    hates.

    > Another issue with the updated BIOS was that the earler versions of the
    > driver updates from the Adaptec site, per my experience here with that
    > card were bad.


    BIOS 1.34.2 is the one which works. BIOS 2.20.20 is the one which
    doesn't - that's the latest one from Adaptec's website. I have now
    tried this with two cards, by the way.

    > Another note. I've never used any SCSI hard drive with any version of
    > the 2940UW controller without first low level formatting it on the
    > controller.


    I'm trying to avoid that - it would take ages (I did a scan on a 1GB
    disk on the system just to check whether it would) and I'd be very
    surprised and not terribly impressed if a reformat was needed after a
    BIOS upgrade. Still lurking as a last resort, of course...

    > If you find that the low
    > level drive test does show a problem, I'd bet you have a drive going
    > defective and you are faced with more problems than just this.


    I'd be cross, too, as the boot SCSI drive is a 36GB Maxtor and only
    about four months old!

    > Another Adaptec issue is that as well as what was suggested to you in
    > earlier threads on this on OEM vs. vendor specific versions of the
    > cards, there are both 2940UW and 2940UW Pro versions.


    Good point. As I recall, the Pros are the ones which let you have
    devices on all three connectors. No, mine are both identical Adaptec
    AHA-2940UW's - or at least that's what it says on the controller chip.
    Not OEM.

    > Two more last thoughts. Are you absolutely certain that you are using
    > this card on a for sure dedicated IRQ that isn't being shared with
    > something else?


    That's a good question, and I'll have a look. Annoyingly, the
    motherboard BIOS setup gives no access to any of the IRQ stuff.

    > Finally, are you absolutely sure that you have your cable and
    > termination issues clean? That plus are using a SCSI drive and setup
    > which is carefully adjusted for spindle sync mode?


    More good points. In my defence, it's been running fine for seven
    years now, with occasional replacement disks. To the best of my
    knowledge all the termination is fine. And when I boot from CD, I can
    see the not-bootable-from drivejust fine. I can read from it, write to
    it, fiddle around with BM (ie I can see boot manager) so as far as I
    can tell, the card is seeing and talking to the drive absolutely fine
    ... except that it won't boot from it. Incidentally, checking the HD
    boot priority sequence in the motherboard BIOS shows all three SCSI
    HDs just fine.

    Many thanks for your time and help. I still have option B, which is to
    stick to the old BIOS, after all. After a few days sitting powered
    off, the other problems have gone: the CDs are visible again and the
    Zip drive obeys its start unit command.

    All very odd

    Ian

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