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Reader Report:B&W G3 Rev 1 & IBM Deskstar 22GB Data Corruption:
Published: 2/29/2000
(Updated: 3/1/2000)

Intech Promises Cure for B&W Rev 1 HD Data Corruption: I'd commented last year that Intech's HD drivers solved the WD Expert corruption issues I saw in a rev 1 B&W G3. Their VP or Engineering replied to the the recent news post on the issue by saying their drivers should be able to address any master/slave corruption using their adjustable driver modes:

Thanks for the mention about the DMA issues on today's news page [ Feb. 29th, 2000-Mike], and the release of our 2.7 HD update.

I'd like to supply a little more info on the Blue & White Rev 1 IDE issue. We don't know of a single customer who has not been able to successfully add ANY brand of drive, (including master & slave configurations) to these computers on the Ultra 33 bus. In rare cases, however, one of the drives needs to have Ultra DMA disabled completely in favor of Multiword DMA. Since you can still achieve 15 MB/sec with Multiword mode 2, this does not seem like a terrible tradeoff to most customers, who just need the additional capacity and don't want to fork out the extra money for a new PCI controller card. And as you know, configuring DMA with Hard Disk SpeedTools is easily accomplished with simple pop-up menus.
Best Regards
Christopher P. Karr
V.P. Engineering
Intech Software Corporation"

Here's a comment received after this article was posted on the Intech drivers solving the problem with the IBM 22GB drive:

"About the IMB Deskstar 22gig drive.
I've had mine for about five months so far (guess) on my Rev 1 Blue G3 450. I've been using the intech speed disk drivers on it and I don't get the corruption problems. I haven't had any data corruption problems at all with the intech drivers, they seem pretty slick as far as third party divers go. Recently I bought the Maxtor 27 gig drive at with the staples deal. All works fine except that the IBM drive must be set as the master drive or else it won't recognize any drives on the IDE channel. Both drives get about 17 MB a sec throughput with the speed tools tester utility, before I installed the drivers I was getting 22MB a sec throughput but I did see the data corruption issue.
-Joe Pease "

A reader comments that even when used as a master drive (one drive only) the IBM 22GB Deskstar has data corruption problems with the rev 1's IDE chip. I saw data corruption as noted in my B&W G3 Rev 1 Slave drive article with WD Expert drives but never tested an IBM drive. Maxtor's seem to be the safest bet, (based on feedback) but only a test will show if there are problems with any drive. Mounting large Apple .smi files like the OS 8.5.1 update (30MB+) are a good test to check for errors. As noted in the FAQ Apple G3 topic area question on the issue of rev 1 B&W G3s, Intech's HDtools driver set to reduced DMA modes may solve the problem, but again only tests can tell. (See the FAQ's Apple G3 section questions on 'What are the safest choices for drives?' and 'Are there any solutions for the rev 1 B&W G3 data corruption issues with IDE Slave drives?'). Of course adding a PCI IDE card will also solve the problem, but like a driver change, it also requires reformatting the disks.

"Dear Mike
I'm having some major problems with my a B&W G3 rev one regarding data corruption. My system : 256 MG RAM, IBM Deskstar 7200 22 GIG Drive (Partitioned), MOTU 2408 Digital Performer

I had been reading your articles on adding slaved drives to these machines, and when I first purchased this blue and white G3 last June. I immediately purchased the 22 GB IBM deskstar and installed it as a slave drive with the original 6 GB IBM Drive.

I use my system solely for audio recording purposes.

When I started recording audio data using the slave hard drive I experience pops and glitches intermittently and randomly over several of the 30 or 40 tracks the we had recorded on each song. I then read your article that my a machine was probably a version 1 G3 and that there were data corruption issues when using slave drives with these machines. I immediately removed the slave drive and eventually replaced the stock original 6 GB drive with the IBM deskstar 22 GB as the primary drive. We have since recorded over 15 songs , each using up approximately 700 MB on the 22 GB drive over the past six months without any major problems except an occasional glitch on a track which I put down to a possible word clock problems. Our whole system is digital including 2 Panasonic D A 7 mixing boards .

We finally finished our CD project in January this year, and have backed everything up onto D V D RAM disks. In the last few days I have been restoring some of these songs back onto my system in order to do some re- mixes. Upon opening these song files I have found several more data corruption glitches and spikes appearing on 3 or 4 audio tracks, where there were none before. In fact when I open a file and discovered a large spike ( which sounds like a click) on a vocal track, I tried to edit it out using the graphic editing tool, did not like the result, closed the file down without saving it, and on reopening the file noticed that the spike was graphically and audibly much smaller than before even though I had not changed or saved anything in the program.

I have read through all of your articles associated with this problem, and cannot find anything about having this problem with using just one drive in the blue and white G3.

I've not owned any IBM drives personally, but there have been reports here of warm start problems in beige G3s with some of them. In a B&W rev 1, tests for data corruption should be done on any drive you buy. The FAQ's tips on drivers like Intech's would be one thing to try to solve the problem, or use a PCI IDE controller.

I don't remember specific reports of single drive corruption with a B&W rev 1, but with thousands of mails a week I could have missed it of forgotten with all the tasks I'm dealing with every day here. Most readers seem to be using Maxtor drives which generally have been a safer bet, but as noted in the article, there's no way to guarantee it.-Mike]

I am at a loss as to what I should do to solve this problem. This system is totally unreliable, and I am losing valuable time as a result. I have contacted Apple and they simply tell they that they do not support changing the original 6 GB drive in these machines. It seems ridiculous to me that Apple could design a computer without the ability to upgrade to a larger hard drive. I know that you have covered these problems extensively in your excellent magazine. Can you suggest a fix, after all, I'm using only one drive in its computer.

Best regards
Stephen F.

Officially the rev 1's IDE chip did not support slaves, but it should support larger drives. If you've used an IBM or other large drive in your B&W G3 rev 1 please let me know your experiences and include details on the drive and disk drivers used.

How Do I Tell if my B&W G3 is a Rev 1? If in doubt that your B&W G3 is a rev 1 - see if it has the features of the Rev 2 models. (The most critical for this issue is the IDE controller chip part number.)

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