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Old 17 June 2019, 22:19   #1
macce2
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Setting up Scsi system on A4000D & Fastlane

Hello,

I got a Fujitsu 18 Gb uw Scsi hd;
of which Amiga sees only 17 Gb ?!
Should I use Hdtoolbox ( os 3.9 with bbs installed) instead of P5 Scsi Tools ( v2.4) ?!
Should I enable FWC mode with Unitcontrol ?
I guess the drive does support Synchronous mode and reselection (?!?)..
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Old 18 June 2019, 01:29   #2
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I have always used HDToolBox with my Blizzard1230-IV SCSI and my CSPPC. Both in 3.1 and 3.9. The 3.1 HDToolBox doesn't display more than 4GB correctly, but just enter say 100 "Total Cyl", note what size is displayed and adjust to x * 100 "Total Cyl" to the desired size.

Be aware that if you go over the 4GB limit, you need a filesystem which can talk to the phase5 driver with 64-bit command able to breach the 4GB limit, else it will wrap around and destroy data from the beginning of the drive.

There are three command sets for that - TD64, NSD and DirectSCSI. Depending on the version of your driver, it might support TD64, it does not support NSD, it should support DirectSCSI. The 3.9 SetPatch will most likely patch the driver to work with NSD, which is required for the 3.9 FastFileSystem to breach 4GB.

The pfs3aio filesystem is quite nice as it supports TD64, NSD and DirectSCSI, tries which works and tests if it can access both the start and end of a partition before mounting it, so it does I think all that can be done to avoid data loss.

Please experiment on your harddrive with partitions after the 4GB limit and make sure it doesn't overwrite the beginning of the drive before you put any sensitive data on it.

HDToolBox enables the reselection flag in the RDB by default.

I think, but I am not sure, that the phase5 device driver will enable synchronous mode automatically if you enable the synchronous flag in the RDB. I find ChangeRDBFlags very convenient to change such flags:
Code:
10.Ram Disk:> changerdbflags scsi.device 0
LAST     = on
LASTLUN  = on
LASTTID  = on
RESELECT = on
SYNCH    = off
10.Ram Disk:> changerdbflags scsi.device 0 SYNCH
LAST     = on
LASTLUN  = on
LASTTID  = on
RESELECT = on
SYNCH    = on
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Old 18 June 2019, 01:32   #3
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Btw, a harddrive which is 18GB is 18*1000*1000*1000 Bytes, while computers, especially with an older OS generally considers a GB to be 1024*1024*1024, so 17GB sounds correct. Marketing vs computer people.
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Old 18 June 2019, 03:57   #4
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Ok thanks patrik!
Am I risking my data with >2 Gb partitions ( after a boot/ system partition of about 2 Gb ?!
I have custom 3.9 Roms and Os update written to eFlash card.
How about the Maxtransfer & mask changes that P5 Scsi Tools Scsi config program recommends ?
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Old 18 June 2019, 04:24   #5
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FWC with unitcontrol might help a little bit, turn it on if it supports it. FWC carries a risk that if you have an unexpected reboot the risk to losing data is greater.

There was another utility on the Fastlane disk Z3dmacontrol that you add to your startup sequence to enable DMA mode.
Test with RSCP and if it shows that the CPU utilization is high and you don't want that, then you should run that. I believe that you are also supposed to specify your Buster version with that command like z3dmacontrol buster11 (for buster-11). This might reduce the speed you see in benchmarks but will use less CPU time.

I also recall that I had to use unitcontrol in the startup sequence to "keep" the settings of unitcontrol on every boot without opening the GUI.

For a trick try changemempri and put your Fastlane memory as highest priority, you might see a big jump in HDD performance. Test before and after.

And as always you really should not use FFS, try PFS.

Last edited by grelbfarlk; 18 June 2019 at 04:30.
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Old 18 June 2019, 09:24   #6
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I don't think you are risking your data, was just informing about the risk and advocating good practice to test that the setup fully works before investing time and populating it with data you care about - it is usually more fun that way.

For Maxtransfer and Mask, they should in theory be 0xFFFFFFFF respectively 0xFFFFFFFF, unless the driver and/or hardware is buggy.

MaxTransfer is used as a workaround if the driver cannot split transfers properly itself, see the mess with scsi.device in A600/A1200/A4000/etc. The FastLane has no such bugs as far as I have heard, but the standard 0xFFFFFF (16MB) will be fine as normally no software will allocate more than 16MB of memory and then dump it in a single call to disk. I would be interested to hear if there was.

Mask should be 0xFFFFFFFF unless there is an issue with the driver and certain memory regions or alignment. It can for example be used to only allow DMA transfers to/from Zorro2-space or even or longword addresses. The filesystem does an OR-operation on the memory buffer sent to the for read or write, if the result doesn't match the address, it will move data through chipmem in small buffer or similar very slow operations.

The FastLane has no issues with DMA to different memory types and I am pretty sure it has no issues with any alignment (I base that on the fact that my P5 hardware doesn't). You can easily verify that though - set mask to 0xFFFFFFFF on a partition and run DiskSpeed. It should have no problems in either of the LONG (32-bit alignment), WORD (16-bit alignment) or BYTE (8-bit alignment tests).

DiskSpeed tests speed with filesystem - both reads and writes, which is the speed you will actually get for real. SysInfo or RSCP just does a raw device read.
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Old 13 October 2019, 02:00   #7
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I just got 4 16 Mb memory simms for my Fastlane card, but need help on the correct jumper settings. In BBOAHW site there is only setting for total 64 Mb with 4 Mb simms explained ?
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Old 13 October 2019, 14:14   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macce2 View Post
I just got 4 16 Mb memory simms for my Fastlane card, but need help on the correct jumper settings. In BBOAHW site there is only setting for total 64 Mb with 4 Mb simms explained ?
That's because the Z3 Fastlane can only use 1Mb or 4Mb SIMM's up to a Max of 64Mb using 16 x 4Mb SIMM's.

The Z3 is capable of 256Mb Ram via 16 x 16Mb SIMM's, but these special versions of Z3 are as rare as Hens Teeth & considered almost "Dodo like".
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Old 13 October 2019, 17:25   #9
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So stupid me for buying those 16 Mb simms, " for Amiga4000"; from eBay without getting more information of Fastlane card first.
I installed my new 16 Mb simms to my card, and it seems they now show up as 16 Mb total ?! So, the card detectes my 16 Mb simms as 4 Mb simms ..?
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Old 13 October 2019, 17:38   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macce2 View Post
So stupid me for buying those 16 Mb simms, " for Amiga4000"; from eBay without getting more information of Fastlane card first.
I installed my new 16 Mb simms to my card, and it seems they now show up as 16 Mb total ?! So, the card detectes my 16 Mb simms as 4 Mb simms ..?
Yes, from what I've read, the 16MB upgrade takes the place of the 1MB support. So with the original 64MB version of the PLDs, only 1MB and 4MB SIMMs are supported, with the upgrade only 4MB and 16MB SIMMs are supported.
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Old 13 October 2019, 18:38   #11
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I assume the Fastlane's driver is smart enough to allocate its own memory first for DMA, and not to try to DMA to other kinds of memory that it can't, but it still might be smart to set the Mask to omit your CPU card's local memory if it has any, as well as any memory on the motherboard. i.e. just Z3 memory expansion space. Obviously you can't guarantee where the card's memory will appear (due to autoconfig) but at least you know it will appear in that range.
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Old 13 October 2019, 19:07   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macce2 View Post
So stupid me for buying those 16 Mb simms, " for Amiga4000"; from eBay without getting more information of Fastlane card first.
I installed my new 16 Mb simms to my card, and it seems they now show up as 16 Mb total ?! So, the card detectes my 16 Mb simms as 4 Mb simms ..?
16Mb x 16Mb = 256Mb - V2.4 Z3 with Enhanced Rom

If you're using 16 x 16Mb SIMM's & they're only showing as 16Mb in total, it's only recognising each 16Mb Simm as 1Mb.
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Old 17 October 2019, 19:24   #13
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Ok, let' s assume I have been lucky after all, and may possess some hen's teeth..( Fastlane card with upgrade).
So, if I'd want to install total 64 Mb, with 4*16 Mb 60ns simms, how would I connect the jumpers ?
I somehow managed to get 40 Mb..(?!?)

Last edited by macce2; 17 October 2019 at 21:04.
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Old 19 October 2019, 19:56   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macce2 View Post
Ok, let' s assume I have been lucky after all, and may possess some hen's teeth..( Fastlane card with upgrade).
So, if I'd want to install total 64 Mb, with 4*16 Mb 60ns simms, how would I connect the jumpers ?
I somehow managed to get 40 Mb..(?!?)
Everything you need to know about Z3 Fastlane is here:

http://phase5.a1k.org/files/FastlaneZ3_en.pdf

If you just want Memory Jumper settings, go here:

http://amiga.resource.cx/manual/Fastlane_jumpers.pdf

Last edited by Kin Hell; 19 October 2019 at 20:02.
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Old 19 October 2019, 20:36   #15
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Thank you, Kin Hell; I already found the Faslane_jumpers.pdf (by the way, I wasn't able to read it properly with RNOPDF on my Amiga; the zooming didn't work?!).
And it seems that my Fastlane is of an older revision and may likely not have the needed upgrade;
although the Rom has been updated (v8.5).
So, isn't it strange that the four new 16 Mb SIMMs I bought for my card do work at all ?!
If I have understood right, my Fastlane board should only recognize a total of 16 Mb Ram; when those four 16 Mb SIMMs have been installed (?!), but the board recognizes 40 Mb total.
I tried various combinations of jumper settings and memory banks used.
How can that be ..?
I do assume that my new memory SIMMs are ok; however, I haven't been able to test them on any other machine.
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Old 19 October 2019, 20:45   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmigaHope View Post
I assume the Fastlane's driver is smart enough to allocate its own memory first for DMA, and not to try to DMA to other kinds of memory that it can't, but it still might be smart to set the Mask to omit your CPU card's local memory if it has any, as well as any memory on the motherboard. i.e. just Z3 memory expansion space. Obviously you can't guarantee where the card's memory will appear (due to autoconfig) but at least you know it will appear in that range.



Excuse me for being a noobie, but would you please explain, how would I set the mask correctly ? My CPU card doesn't have any Ram onboard, but on the motherboard there is a normal 2 Mb Chip + 16 Mb Fast, and I also have the BigRamPlus card (256 Mb) installed. Thus, it does indeed seem that SysInfo (and maybe the whole system?!) somehow shows all the Zorro memory as "one" ?!
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Old 20 October 2019, 13:03   #17
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The V8.5 ROM is required for a Version 2.4 of the card to be able to see 256Mb & one of the smaller GAL's require replacing with newer code.

I remember getting someone to program a new GAL for me, but it killed the card entirely, because the guy writing it didn't close the chip correctly during the writing process. After writing another for me, the card worked okay but still wouldn't show me anything right when using 16Mb SIMM's.

Not entirely sure if a Version 2.3 of the Z3 will work at all for a 256Mb configuration.

A shame there is no one around from these Hardware Days now long gone.
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Old 20 October 2019, 17:35   #18
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General Scsi question, regarding Amiga & Fastlane Scsi controller: Is Scsi Parity Checking supported ?
If I was using a hard drive with widescsi- to- scsi-2 adapter with the jumper option " Parity check", should I activate it or not ? Currently, I have it disabled. If I enabled it, would my Scsi bus considerably slow down.. ?!
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Old 21 October 2019, 00:12   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macce2 View Post
General Scsi question, regarding Amiga & Fastlane Scsi controller: Is Scsi Parity Checking supported ?
If I was using a hard drive with widescsi- to- scsi-2 adapter with the jumper option " Parity check", should I activate it or not ? Currently, I have it disabled. If I enabled it, would my Scsi bus considerably slow down.. ?!
Parity is normally on by default, at least with Adaptec Controllers, but the SCSI Device needs to support it.

Also, if you introduce a Non-Parity checking device to a Parity Enabled SCSI Bus, you need to set the SCSI Controller to Parity Off & make sure all other SCSI Devices on the SCSI Bus with Parity Enabled are Disabled.

Tape Streamers can be a pain....
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Old 21 October 2019, 15:01   #20
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Ok, better leave it off. I' m using a tape streamer device occasionally, and my current Matsushita Cd- r drive is very old ( maybe doesn' t support parity ?!) .
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