Sunday, August 28, 2005

Cry for help

I really want to get back up to date with this, and normal service, with regular updates, will begin again before too long. I hope.

But this fucking hard drive is driving me insane, and I can’t figure out why. Every time it looks like it’s functioning as it should, it will eventually get to a point where all activity will slow and cease, completely freezing my system. All I can do at that point is perform a hard-shutdown on my Powerbook, or yank the Firewire cable. Both actions can result in the loss of all the data I’ve just spent hours copying AGAIN.

I know why this is happening, I just don’t understand it. Whenever things start to fuck up, it’s because my system is experiencing a cascade of Firewire bus resets. Take a look at this extremely dull system log:

Aug 28 11:33:30 Powerbook kernel[0]: FireWire (OHCI) Apple ID 31 built-in: 992 bus resets in last minute.
Aug 28 11:36:42 Powerbook kernel[0]: FireWire (OHCI) Apple ID 31 built-in: 312 bus resets in last minute.
Aug 28 11:39:54 Powerbook kernel[0]: FireWire (OHCI) Apple ID 31 built-in: 1341 bus resets in last minute.
Aug 28 11:43:06 Powerbook kernel[0]: FireWire (OHCI) Apple ID 31 built-in: 4518 bus resets in last minute.
Aug 28 11:46:18 Powerbook kernel[0]: FireWire (OHCI) Apple ID 31 built-in: 3988 bus resets in last minute.
Aug 28 11:49:30 Powerbook kernel[0]: FireWire (OHCI) Apple ID 31 built-in: 3069 bus resets in last minute.
Aug 28 11:51:14 Powerbook kernel[0]: FireWire (OHCI) Apple ID 31 built-in: handleSelfIDInt - nodeID not valid (reset bus and retry 2)
Aug 28 11:52:42 Powerbook kernel[0]: FireWire (OHCI) Apple ID 31 built-in: 1218 bus resets in last minute.
Aug 28 11:55:54 Powerbook kernel[0]: FireWire (OHCI) Apple ID 31 built-in: 1494 bus resets in last minute.
Aug 28 11:59:06 Powerbook kernel[0]: FireWire (OHCI) Apple ID 31 built-in: 2005 bus resets in last minute.
Aug 28 12:02:18 Powerbook kernel[0]: FireWire (OHCI) Apple ID 31 built-in: 1842 bus resets in last minute.
Aug 28 12:02:37 Powerbook kernel[0]: Bad SelfID packet 2: 0x0 != 0xffffffff!
Aug 28 12:05:30 Powerbook kernel[0]: FireWire (OHCI) Apple ID 31 built-in: 6518 bus resets in last minute.
Aug 28 12:08:42 Powerbook kernel[0]: FireWire (OHCI) Apple ID 31 built-in: 3495 bus resets in last minute.
Aug 28 12:11:54 Powerbook kernel[0]: FireWire (OHCI) Apple ID 31 built-in: 4611 bus resets in last minute.
Aug 28 12:15:06 Powerbook kernel[0]: FireWire (OHCI) Apple ID 31 built-in: 4176 bus resets in last minute.
Aug 28 12:18:18 Powerbook kernel[0]: FireWire (OHCI) Apple ID 31 built-in: 2520 bus resets in last minute.
Aug 28 12:21:30 Powerbook kernel[0]: FireWire (OHCI) Apple ID 31 built-in: 2106 bus resets in last minute.
Aug 28 12:24:42 Powerbook kernel[0]: FireWire (OHCI) Apple ID 31 built-in: 3926 bus resets in last minute.
Aug 28 12:27:54 Powerbook kernel[0]: FireWire (OHCI) Apple ID 31 built-in: 8531 bus resets in last minute.
Aug 28 12:28:36 Powerbook kernel[0]: FireWire (OHCI) Apple ID 31 built-in: handleSelfIDInt - nodeID not valid (reset bus and retry 2)
Aug 28 12:31:06 Powerbook kernel[0]: FireWire (OHCI) Apple ID 31 built-in: 5209 bus resets in last minute.


And so on. You get the picture.

All I’m trying to do in this case, is write zeros to the drive so that any bad blocks can be reconstituted. It’s pretty low level, it shouldn’t be causing these hassles. These resets fuck up everything. They prevent data from being written to the drive. They cause massive system freezes leading to extreme reset action that causes data loss. They hinder Disk Warrior’s attempts to rebuild the directory, leading to even more corruption. They lead to hangs when all I’m trying to do is re-partition the drive after yet another freeze. It’s a vicious fucking cycle of hostility destabilising all the good-will built up between me and my laptop over the last three years.

Are there any Mac-heads out there who can help me out here?

Category: Computing and Web

5 comments:

  1. Hi,

    have a quite similar problem. My FW disk won't be mounted at all. To me this seems to be an error in the external disk's FW controller. Have you any further information. Can you drive the disk on another computer/can you drive other external FW drives on your Mac?

    Looking for help, too. Maybe we can solve this prob...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Apparently there was no particular solution to my problem. I sent the drive back to the retailer and it was confirmed faulty, so I took a refund.

    I'll be putting the money towards a new iMac with a 500GB drive.

    I'm not sure what to do in your situation. I did have a similar problem with another LaCie drive a while ago, but I unplugged everything for an hour or so, after which it mounted fine.

    Are you using a Mac? If System Profiler detects the HD but it won't mount, there might be a problem with the directory structure, in which case Disk Utility could maybe fix it.

    Other than that, I don't know, I'm afraid.

    Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi,

    yes, I am using a PB G4 15". Plugging in the drive causes the FW bus to do permanent resets. Plugging in a Panasonic Camcorder works fine, so I suppose it is the drive. Furthermore using some tools from the Apple FW Development kit shows, that there isn't anything recorgnized when plugging in the drive, just the reset... Unfortunately it's a "far-east" HD-227-COMBO and I cannot find any hint about a manufacturer.

    Think I'll need a new FW box (hopefully it's not the FW chip in the PB). I'll try to check this at a Apple dealer.

    Before I will try out the "unplug-and-wait-strategy".

    Thanks,

    Lars

    ReplyDelete
  4. If you're having the same reset problems I was, then I'd say it's most definitely the drive at fault. I tried mine in other machines, with the same problem. My PB's FireWire, on the other hand, was absolutely fine. Even though the drive didn't work, I could run a hub, a scanner, another HD and my iPod all off my laptop with no hassles.

    So, if the camcorder works, it must be the drive. I hope it's new(ish) and you can still get a refund.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi,

    tested the drive at a Apple Shop on a PowerMac. The drive better the enclosure was as communicative as on my PB - the sound of silence...

    Unfortunately this thing is 18 months old, bought in Germany, i live currently in Sweden. After investing money into a lawyer and much time and nerves I have a 50-50 chance of getting my money back.... A new one is cheaper.

    But the best is: it's the enclosure, not the PB. Thanks for your hints again,

    Lars.

    ReplyDelete