Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:30 PM
Adding some info to this slightly aged thread; I haven't posted here in forever, but after a week of headaches I wanted to share my results for any other 9x users with some form of SiI3112/3512 SATA card.
Ok, so here's the setup:
I've had a SiI3512 chipset SATA card in my 98SE computer for something like 3 years. It handles a single 500 GB Western Digital hard drive. Up until today, it had firmware 4.3.84 (RAID-capable firmware) and I was using driver version 188.8.131.52 (the highest version of 9x-compatible drivers that went with the RAID firmware).
I had over 300 GB of data on the drive, and no problems. Then I made a decent sized data backup, adding another 45 GB to the drive. The file transfer was successful. But there was a problem: reading some of the newly written files off the drive would error, and then massive (apparent) file name corruption would occur. Visually, it looked like the >127 GB issue where you wind up with corrupt folder and file names.
Obviously this was terrifying (I have a backup of all the data, but still, terrifying). I ctrl+alt+deleted twice to do a soft reboot. Once back in Windows, the drive appeared unharmed. Files were there, file names were correct, etc. However, if I tried to read some of the new files, the problem would occur again, and it required a Windows restart to fix. I couldn't restart Windows properly (or shutdown) without a hang (while I could before this recent addition of 45 GB of data).
I was then busy, seeing as this was Thanksgiving week, so I avoided aggravating the problem by adding or deleting files on said drive. During any free time, I scoured the internet for what information I could find about the SiI3512 chipset, particularly pertaining to 9x (which of course was basically all from MSFN).
After mulling it over, sifting through driver .inf's to check for 9x entries, and making certain the 3512 and 3112 firmware was interchangeable, I did the following:
- Flash the firmware to version 4.2.84 (this is the non-RAID equivalent to the firmware I had been using).
- Use driver version 184.108.40.206 (these drivers are 3 years older than the drivers I'd used previously, and the non-RAID version).
This appears to have fixed my problem. I can read any of the new 45 GB of files without triggering a failure, and notably they all appear to have been written without error. All other files on the drive that I've checked have been fine.
I switched to the non-RAID firmware because I wasn't ever going to use the RAID feature and the non-RAID firmware has a shorter delay during system boot (so I boot 2 seconds faster, woo).
I switched to an ancient version of the drivers simply because when you search the Silicon Image website for SiI3x12 Win9x drivers, it specifically only shows that one driver version. The non-RAID drivers that match the RAID drivers I was previously using would be version 220.127.116.11, and they should load under 9x, but seeing as I just got the problem to go away, I haven't tested any other non-RAID drivers yet.
I may feel adventurous next week and try all drivers between and including 18.104.22.168 to 22.214.171.124, but for now I just wanted to report that there may be an issue with version 126.96.36.199 of the RAID-capable drivers on Win9x.
Keep in mind that driver version numbers are a mess for the SiI3x12 chipset: the RAID and non-RAID drivers have different numbering, and the Silicon Image driver listings and numberings have typos.