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Message started by VirtualLarry on Feb 23rd, 2007 at 5:21am

Title: 92MB/min - Ghost ext USB2 HD
Post by VirtualLarry on Feb 23rd, 2007 at 5:21am
After spending a few days reading here and elsewhere, I decided to take the plunge and set up some Ghost boot floppies, in order to utilize an external USB2.0 HD for backup purposes. Currently, I use a secondary internal IDE HD for ghost images, but I would like to start using Ghost to backup multiple machines, so a removable USB HD seemed ideal.

After testing out the Panasonic USBASPI.SYS / di1000dd.sys combination, I had lockup errors on my system with a KT400/8235 Via chipset, and my Mad Dog external 3.5" enclosure, Cypress AT2LP chipset, WD 250GB IDE HD. It would lock up both while doing SCANDISK, as well as using Ghost to verify a disk. Rebooting the computer didn't help, I had to power-down the enclosure too to reset it.

I had the brilliant idea to try this out on my other PC, a recently-built AMD64 rig with an NF4 chipset. Well, it works! No lockups while using the USB HD. Unfortunately, that brings me to my current problem. Only 92MB/min transfer rates while doing a verify of the 250GB USB HD in Ghost. Estimated time: 33 hours! Ouch. There's got to be something wrong here. I used the "/e /v" switchs to the USBASPI.SYS, so it should only be using the EHCI controller. I know that the HD is capable of ~30MB/sec in Windows, using HDTach 2.61. But 92MB/min works out to 1.5MB/sec, which is USB 1.1 speeds!

Can anyone give me some pointers? Is there a way to tell the USBASPI.SYS driver to enable UDMA modes on the HD?

One other minor point - I discovered that even though I use the "/norst" switch to the USBASPI.SYS driver, it still shuts off USB mouse support. I can load MOUSE.COM that comes with Ghost 2003, and it claims to load successfully, but no mouse pointer in Ghost or DOS EDIT.

I was also interesting in obtaining the Adaptec ASPIDISK.SYS driver, to use in place of di1000dd.sys, since it seems to show the wrong size for partitions. It only shows 50-odd megabytes for my 250 (235)MB HD, all one FAT32 partition. Hopefully the error is only cosmetic, but since the driver is from 2001, while USBASPI.SYS is from 2004, it makes me wonder. Surely Adaptec must have a newer driver available somewhere.

I haven't tried Ghost's Iomega ASPIEHCI.SYS yet, that's next on my list.

Title: Re: 92MB/min - Ghost ext USB2 HD
Post by NightOwl on Feb 23rd, 2007 at 8:38am

Using Ghost 2003?

Do your systems have a BIOS that supports *natively* USB mass storage devices--as in can you boot from external USB HDD and/or can you plug a flash (thumb?) USB drive and have it show up in DOS without any additional boot drivers for DOS USB?

Your stated problems indicate that, at the very least, you have components that are not showing compatibility with Ghost--but possible *software* conflicts if the BIOS is loading USB support and the DOS drivers are colliding with the BIOS drivers.

You can test this by booting using the *Std Ghost Boot Disk* without added USB driver support.  Does the external HDD still show up in the DOS Ghost interface once it's loaded?

Title: Re: 92MB/min - Ghost ext USB2 HD
Post by VirtualLarry on Feb 24th, 2007 at 2:29am
Amazingly, it does show up under DOS, using the regular DOS GHost boot disk. It shows up as D:. In the BIOS, I have a 320GB SATA HD as first (NTFS), a 250GB IDE HD as second (FAT32, C), and then it sticks in the USB HD, and then I have three more SATA HDs on a PCI controller card.

This is the first machine that I've owned that had full support for USB mass storage devices in BIOS. It's a fairly new NF4 board.

I'm using Ghost 2003, build 793.

It seems to be going at 67MB/min now, while purely under BIOS control.

I checked my BIOS options, nothing to shut off USB Mass Storage support. There were three options, one to enable USB1.1, USB1.1+2.0, or disable, and one to disable USB Keyboard support, and one to disable USB Mouse support.

I tried setting my USB to 1.1 speeds, and I also ended up getting only 67MB/min, so it appears that it is only using USB 1.1 speed when accessing the HD through the BIOS.

I also noticed that even though the BIOS supports the USB HD natively, if I load the drivers, it locks out access through the original DOS drive letter mapped by the BIOS. D: gives me a general failure message, and in Ghost, in the list of drives, drive 6 is missing, replaced by drive 7, which is the device-driver USB HD. (Drive 6 obviously being the BIOS USB HD ID number.)

So I dont think that there is so much of a direct conflict; rather, I think that whatever command needs to be given to put the HD into a faster UDMA mode isn't being given, and the HD is in PIO mode or something, which is much slower. It would have been nice if the BIOS had autoconfigured the device for optimal transfer rates.

Title: Re: 92MB/min - Ghost ext USB2 HD
Post by NightOwl on Feb 24th, 2007 at 8:35am

There were three options, one to enable USB1.1, USB1.1+2.0, or disable

So, is this the *option* that removes the whole USB controller if you choose *disable*?

Strange that the *USB1.1+2.0* doesn't actually give you USB 2.0 speeds.  

After selecting *disable*, did you also *force* the BIOS to re-detect and re-assign resources--then re-boot to see if the BIOS makes available the USB controller to the DOS USB drivers on the boot disk?  (Just grasping at straws here!)

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