Revodrive 3 X2 Drive and Boot Question?


G

Guest

I have a both a Dell Optiplex 980 and 990- both 1st generation machines. I
am thinking of installing a Revodrive 3 X2 Drive in them but I have read
there might a problem if my machine cannot (Boot From PCI-E). Has anyone
tried this or have any info about this potential setup? Is it even possible
to change the Bios to boot from a PCI, device vs. SATA?

Thnks,
 
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Paul

I have a both a Dell Optiplex 980 and 990- both 1st generation machines.
I am thinking of installing a Revodrive 3 X2 Drive in them but I have
read there might a problem if my machine cannot (Boot From PCI-E). Has
anyone tried this or have any info about this potential setup? Is it
even possible to change the Bios to boot from a PCI, device vs. SATA?

Thnks,
On my motherboard, the BIOS setting for this is
"Interrupt 19 capture" [Enabled]. Or translating
that to hex, that is Extended INT 0x13 capture.
Each card for a system bus, has the option of having
its own BIOS chip in the config space. As long as the
BIOS on the motherboard, loads the code stored in the
new card's EEPROM, then you can boot. (You tend to
find some kind of BIOS chip, for those card types
where it makes sense - not every add-in card has a
BIOS. Storage cards should, with some exceptions.)

(...ancient history)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INT_13H

Note that, the EEPROM code, loads into a 128KB area
in low memory (the 640KB area). On a machine functioning
as a server, it is easily possible to run out of
that kind of memory. The solution is to disable the
boot roms on the devices you don't want to boot from.
Server machines might typically have more control over
these sorts of things, than desktops would.

And the 128KB area, cannot easily be modified. It's
buried in the ancient PC architecture. Perhaps this
has changed in UEFI systems, but I'm not aware of
any new details on it. I don't know how a half
dozen different RAID cards, would be handled on
a 2013 UEFI BIOS motherboard. Not a clue. The legacy
BIOS architecture, is the one with the small space
for the controller card 0x13 stuff.

*******

Optiplex 980 is Intel Q57

http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/optiplex-980/pd#TechSpec

http://www.dell.com/downloads/global/products/optix/en/optiplex-980-tech-guide.pdf

The PCI Express video interface on the processor, has
revision 2.0 lanes. While the lanes off the Southbridge,
are revision 1.1 and operate at half the speed.

http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/global/html/embedded/interactive-block-diagram/assets/Piketon-Large-v2.gif

That means, one of the large PCI Express slots, could run at
8GB/sec (normally used for a video card), while the second slot
(wired x4 rev 1.1) gives only 1GB/sec (and would prevent the
Revo 3 X2 from hitting 1.5GB/sec).

The Optiplex 990 is Intel Q67. The "best case" motherboard,
is the one on page 4. The other, smaller cased versions
of 990, have less I/O capability. If either of your
computers is really really small, better check the
slot configuration to be found on the motherboard.
A computer with zero slots, and only half height
thick, is not a good candidate for user expansion.

http://www.dell.com/downloads/global/products/optix/en/optiplex-990-tech-guide.pdf

The Q67 isn't much better, at least as seen here. The lanes
off the Southbridge are revision 2.0. But, the DMI may be
the limiting factor. Best case, 2GB/sec from the fourth
slot (x4 Rev2, no other activity over DMI). That's as near
as I can figure out (because Intel loves to mix unidirectional
and bidirection bandwidths in diagrams, and even their
datasheets make it next to impossible to figure out
what you're getting). I generally quote unidirectional
values, as they affect benchmarks in a tangible way.

http://www.intel.com/content/dam/staging/image/Laura/chipset-block-diagrams/Q67-block-diagram_450x408.jpg

My best guess here, is the 990 will work better. Or, you
could move the video card in the 980, to the x4 wired slot
(if it will work at all), and put the Revo into the
video card slot. Some motherboards, they switch down
an x16 slot to x8 mode, when faced with a card whose
type declaration is not video, but that won't hurt anything
in this case if it were to happen.

Summary:

Chances are good it will boot. Check your BIOS.

Full bandwidth available, with some caveats (switch slots).
Full bandwidth only matters for artificial benchmarks,
such as storing compressible data. If the data is
already compressed (a ZIP archive perhaps), then the
transfer is slow enough that the slot won't affect it.

HTH,
Paul
 
A

ArtReid

Thnks for all that info.

However, For life of me I cannot see where I can change the boot sequence in
the Bios to boot from one of these PCIE Revodrive's???


"Paul" wrote in message
I have a both a Dell Optiplex 980 and 990- both 1st generation machines. I
am thinking of installing a Revodrive 3 X2 Drive in them but I have read
there might a problem if my machine cannot (Boot From PCI-E). Has anyone
tried this or have any info about this potential setup? Is it even
possible to change the Bios to boot from a PCI, device vs. SATA?

Thnks,
On my motherboard, the BIOS setting for this is
"Interrupt 19 capture" [Enabled]. Or translating
that to hex, that is Extended INT 0x13 capture.
Each card for a system bus, has the option of having
its own BIOS chip in the config space. As long as the
BIOS on the motherboard, loads the code stored in the
new card's EEPROM, then you can boot. (You tend to
find some kind of BIOS chip, for those card types
where it makes sense - not every add-in card has a
BIOS. Storage cards should, with some exceptions.)

(...ancient history)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INT_13H

Note that, the EEPROM code, loads into a 128KB area
in low memory (the 640KB area). On a machine functioning
as a server, it is easily possible to run out of
that kind of memory. The solution is to disable the
boot roms on the devices you don't want to boot from.
Server machines might typically have more control over
these sorts of things, than desktops would.

And the 128KB area, cannot easily be modified. It's
buried in the ancient PC architecture. Perhaps this
has changed in UEFI systems, but I'm not aware of
any new details on it. I don't know how a half
dozen different RAID cards, would be handled on
a 2013 UEFI BIOS motherboard. Not a clue. The legacy
BIOS architecture, is the one with the small space
for the controller card 0x13 stuff.

*******

Optiplex 980 is Intel Q57

http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/optiplex-980/pd#TechSpec

http://www.dell.com/downloads/global/products/optix/en/optiplex-980-tech-guide.pdf

The PCI Express video interface on the processor, has
revision 2.0 lanes. While the lanes off the Southbridge,
are revision 1.1 and operate at half the speed.

http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/global/html/embedded/interactive-block-diagram/assets/Piketon-Large-v2.gif

That means, one of the large PCI Express slots, could run at
8GB/sec (normally used for a video card), while the second slot
(wired x4 rev 1.1) gives only 1GB/sec (and would prevent the
Revo 3 X2 from hitting 1.5GB/sec).

The Optiplex 990 is Intel Q67. The "best case" motherboard,
is the one on page 4. The other, smaller cased versions
of 990, have less I/O capability. If either of your
computers is really really small, better check the
slot configuration to be found on the motherboard.
A computer with zero slots, and only half height
thick, is not a good candidate for user expansion.

http://www.dell.com/downloads/global/products/optix/en/optiplex-990-tech-guide.pdf

The Q67 isn't much better, at least as seen here. The lanes
off the Southbridge are revision 2.0. But, the DMI may be
the limiting factor. Best case, 2GB/sec from the fourth
slot (x4 Rev2, no other activity over DMI). That's as near
as I can figure out (because Intel loves to mix unidirectional
and bidirection bandwidths in diagrams, and even their
datasheets make it next to impossible to figure out
what you're getting). I generally quote unidirectional
values, as they affect benchmarks in a tangible way.

http://www.intel.com/content/dam/staging/image/Laura/chipset-block-diagrams/Q67-block-diagram_450x408.jpg

My best guess here, is the 990 will work better. Or, you
could move the video card in the 980, to the x4 wired slot
(if it will work at all), and put the Revo into the
video card slot. Some motherboards, they switch down
an x16 slot to x8 mode, when faced with a card whose
type declaration is not video, but that won't hurt anything
in this case if it were to happen.

Summary:

Chances are good it will boot. Check your BIOS.

Full bandwidth available, with some caveats (switch slots).
Full bandwidth only matters for artificial benchmarks,
such as storing compressible data. If the data is
already compressed (a ZIP archive perhaps), then the
transfer is slow enough that the slot won't affect it.

HTH,
Paul
 
A

ArtReid

I believe I found one solution. Costly as it my be... Bootable RevoDrive
cards
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p2047675.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0&_nkw=OCZ+RevoDrive+X2+PCI-Express+240+GB+SSD&_sacat=0&_from=R40


"Paul" wrote in message
I have a both a Dell Optiplex 980 and 990- both 1st generation machines. I
am thinking of installing a Revodrive 3 X2 Drive in them but I have read
there might a problem if my machine cannot (Boot From PCI-E). Has anyone
tried this or have any info about this potential setup? Is it even
possible to change the Bios to boot from a PCI, device vs. SATA?

Thnks,
On my motherboard, the BIOS setting for this is
"Interrupt 19 capture" [Enabled]. Or translating
that to hex, that is Extended INT 0x13 capture.
Each card for a system bus, has the option of having
its own BIOS chip in the config space. As long as the
BIOS on the motherboard, loads the code stored in the
new card's EEPROM, then you can boot. (You tend to
find some kind of BIOS chip, for those card types
where it makes sense - not every add-in card has a
BIOS. Storage cards should, with some exceptions.)

(...ancient history)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INT_13H

Note that, the EEPROM code, loads into a 128KB area
in low memory (the 640KB area). On a machine functioning
as a server, it is easily possible to run out of
that kind of memory. The solution is to disable the
boot roms on the devices you don't want to boot from.
Server machines might typically have more control over
these sorts of things, than desktops would.

And the 128KB area, cannot easily be modified. It's
buried in the ancient PC architecture. Perhaps this
has changed in UEFI systems, but I'm not aware of
any new details on it. I don't know how a half
dozen different RAID cards, would be handled on
a 2013 UEFI BIOS motherboard. Not a clue. The legacy
BIOS architecture, is the one with the small space
for the controller card 0x13 stuff.

*******

Optiplex 980 is Intel Q57

http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/optiplex-980/pd#TechSpec

http://www.dell.com/downloads/global/products/optix/en/optiplex-980-tech-guide.pdf

The PCI Express video interface on the processor, has
revision 2.0 lanes. While the lanes off the Southbridge,
are revision 1.1 and operate at half the speed.

http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/global/html/embedded/interactive-block-diagram/assets/Piketon-Large-v2.gif

That means, one of the large PCI Express slots, could run at
8GB/sec (normally used for a video card), while the second slot
(wired x4 rev 1.1) gives only 1GB/sec (and would prevent the
Revo 3 X2 from hitting 1.5GB/sec).

The Optiplex 990 is Intel Q67. The "best case" motherboard,
is the one on page 4. The other, smaller cased versions
of 990, have less I/O capability. If either of your
computers is really really small, better check the
slot configuration to be found on the motherboard.
A computer with zero slots, and only half height
thick, is not a good candidate for user expansion.

http://www.dell.com/downloads/global/products/optix/en/optiplex-990-tech-guide.pdf

The Q67 isn't much better, at least as seen here. The lanes
off the Southbridge are revision 2.0. But, the DMI may be
the limiting factor. Best case, 2GB/sec from the fourth
slot (x4 Rev2, no other activity over DMI). That's as near
as I can figure out (because Intel loves to mix unidirectional
and bidirection bandwidths in diagrams, and even their
datasheets make it next to impossible to figure out
what you're getting). I generally quote unidirectional
values, as they affect benchmarks in a tangible way.

http://www.intel.com/content/dam/staging/image/Laura/chipset-block-diagrams/Q67-block-diagram_450x408.jpg

My best guess here, is the 990 will work better. Or, you
could move the video card in the 980, to the x4 wired slot
(if it will work at all), and put the Revo into the
video card slot. Some motherboards, they switch down
an x16 slot to x8 mode, when faced with a card whose
type declaration is not video, but that won't hurt anything
in this case if it were to happen.

Summary:

Chances are good it will boot. Check your BIOS.

Full bandwidth available, with some caveats (switch slots).
Full bandwidth only matters for artificial benchmarks,
such as storing compressible data. If the data is
already compressed (a ZIP archive perhaps), then the
transfer is slow enough that the slot won't affect it.

HTH,
Paul
 
A

ArtReid

What/What is your motherboard? Maybe I should look into getting one of them?

"Paul" wrote in message
I have a both a Dell Optiplex 980 and 990- both 1st generation machines. I
am thinking of installing a Revodrive 3 X2 Drive in them but I have read
there might a problem if my machine cannot (Boot From PCI-E). Has anyone
tried this or have any info about this potential setup? Is it even
possible to change the Bios to boot from a PCI, device vs. SATA?

Thnks,
On my motherboard, the BIOS setting for this is
"Interrupt 19 capture" [Enabled]. Or translating
that to hex, that is Extended INT 0x13 capture.
Each card for a system bus, has the option of having
its own BIOS chip in the config space. As long as the
BIOS on the motherboard, loads the code stored in the
new card's EEPROM, then you can boot. (You tend to
find some kind of BIOS chip, for those card types
where it makes sense - not every add-in card has a
BIOS. Storage cards should, with some exceptions.)

(...ancient history)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INT_13H

Note that, the EEPROM code, loads into a 128KB area
in low memory (the 640KB area). On a machine functioning
as a server, it is easily possible to run out of
that kind of memory. The solution is to disable the
boot roms on the devices you don't want to boot from.
Server machines might typically have more control over
these sorts of things, than desktops would.

And the 128KB area, cannot easily be modified. It's
buried in the ancient PC architecture. Perhaps this
has changed in UEFI systems, but I'm not aware of
any new details on it. I don't know how a half
dozen different RAID cards, would be handled on
a 2013 UEFI BIOS motherboard. Not a clue. The legacy
BIOS architecture, is the one with the small space
for the controller card 0x13 stuff.

*******

Optiplex 980 is Intel Q57

http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/optiplex-980/pd#TechSpec

http://www.dell.com/downloads/global/products/optix/en/optiplex-980-tech-guide.pdf

The PCI Express video interface on the processor, has
revision 2.0 lanes. While the lanes off the Southbridge,
are revision 1.1 and operate at half the speed.

http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/global/html/embedded/interactive-block-diagram/assets/Piketon-Large-v2.gif

That means, one of the large PCI Express slots, could run at
8GB/sec (normally used for a video card), while the second slot
(wired x4 rev 1.1) gives only 1GB/sec (and would prevent the
Revo 3 X2 from hitting 1.5GB/sec).

The Optiplex 990 is Intel Q67. The "best case" motherboard,
is the one on page 4. The other, smaller cased versions
of 990, have less I/O capability. If either of your
computers is really really small, better check the
slot configuration to be found on the motherboard.
A computer with zero slots, and only half height
thick, is not a good candidate for user expansion.

http://www.dell.com/downloads/global/products/optix/en/optiplex-990-tech-guide.pdf

The Q67 isn't much better, at least as seen here. The lanes
off the Southbridge are revision 2.0. But, the DMI may be
the limiting factor. Best case, 2GB/sec from the fourth
slot (x4 Rev2, no other activity over DMI). That's as near
as I can figure out (because Intel loves to mix unidirectional
and bidirection bandwidths in diagrams, and even their
datasheets make it next to impossible to figure out
what you're getting). I generally quote unidirectional
values, as they affect benchmarks in a tangible way.

http://www.intel.com/content/dam/staging/image/Laura/chipset-block-diagrams/Q67-block-diagram_450x408.jpg

My best guess here, is the 990 will work better. Or, you
could move the video card in the 980, to the x4 wired slot
(if it will work at all), and put the Revo into the
video card slot. Some motherboards, they switch down
an x16 slot to x8 mode, when faced with a card whose
type declaration is not video, but that won't hurt anything
in this case if it were to happen.

Summary:

Chances are good it will boot. Check your BIOS.

Full bandwidth available, with some caveats (switch slots).
Full bandwidth only matters for artificial benchmarks,
such as storing compressible data. If the data is
already compressed (a ZIP archive perhaps), then the
transfer is slow enough that the slot won't affect it.

HTH,
Paul
 
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P

Paul

ArtReid said:
However, For life of me I cannot see where I can change the boot
sequence in the Bios to boot from one of these PCIE Revodrive's???
What/What is your motherboard? Maybe I should look into getting one of
them?
In your BIOS, there should be two levels of boot device selection.
The high level, says whether you want a hard drive or a CD/DVD drive,
or LAN or floppy.

At the second level down, you get to select *which* hard drive
to boot from. Or if you have multiple optical drives, you get
to select one as the boot target.

It is at that menu level, that the Revo will "register" itself
as a single hard drive. The RAID array is a virtual volume, and
will present itself in the hard drive menu as "REVO ARRAY" or similar.

That's what I would expect to happen.

You cannot see this happening, until the card is plugged in,
and a new entry appears in that section of the BIOS.

*******

If you have a legacy BIOS (you use the cursor keys to navigate),
then it'll likely just work. When I suggest ideas, it's mainly
for the purpose of verifying what you've got - adding
comfort factor.

The Revo3 product matrix is here. The status of the devices
is listed. I see the word...

http://www.ocztechnology.com/res/manuals/OCZ_SSD_Breakdown_Q4-11.pdf

"Bootable"

That's half the story. Your BIOS has to be able to use
a RAID card, to be able to boot from your new purchase.

Now, in the Service Manual, it mentions you can press the F12
key at startup (when the first screen appears). That should
cause a popup boot menu to appear. Unfortunately, they don't
give a complete description of the options.

ftp://ftp.dell.com/Manuals/all-products/esuprt_desktop/esuprt_optiplex_desktop/optiplex-980_service%20manual_en-us.pdf

I use the popup boot menu on my computer, to boot from things
like USB flash drives, or a USB optical drive. The devices
all "register" and each appears as a single item in the list. Any
device with INT 0x13 boot BIOS (ROM), should make an entry
in there. And that's my best guess as to how you'll be
booting from the Revo3 on your Optiplex 980.

So this is what popup boot looks like, on an Asus motherboard.
It would look just like this.

http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa279/Von_klumpen/boot_pop.jpg

There does not appear to be a permanent boot selection option,
with the same expressive power as the popup boot menu.
On my motherboard (and a lot of other Asus motherboards),
the BIOS boot options are two-level, with the first level
selecting the general order (floppy then optical then HDD).
And the second level says which floppy, which optical,
which hard drive. And the Revo would likely show up in
the hard drive menu, as a hard drive.

So I agree with you, there is slim evidence in the Optiplex
980, that the capability is there. But you can safely play
with F12 right now, and impress yourself with the options
it offers.

*******

In this thread, the users use the F12 key to disable MEBx,
which apparently can interfere with regular booting. This
could be part of AMT and Management Engine, which is a
remote control feature for administering the computer.
It's always possible the remote control features, have
more options, than the BIOS does ???

See post #34 - where someone turns off MEBx

http://forum.acronis.com/de/forum/20916

Being a business machine, with remote management capability,
this is outside my pay scale :)

There is a slide deck here, in case you want to understand
how remote management can burrow into your 980 or 990 and
take control. Even when the machine is sleeping. IT departments
love this stuff. Even executive laptops with "Q" chipsets,
you can do this sort of thing (IT can administer them at night).
I included a checksum here, because I compared this
download, to when I originally got the slide set from
the Intel web site. There is actually a tiny processor,
inside the chipset, and it runs its own firmware. Now,
how crazy is that ?

http://pds4.egloos.com/pds/200706/04/57/ps_adts003.pdf

3,501,682 bytes
MD5sum = 3ca6a477d95efa0382258ec08f6c9209

HTH,
Paul
 
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