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Issues with the 3.5" SATA to CompactFlash SSD Adapter

- - - - - 35BAYCF2SAT CompactFlash SATA

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#1
ppgrainbow

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Hey there! :hello:

I had someone install the StarTech 3.5" SATA to CompactFlash SSD adapter in the 3.5" drive bay and so far, the computer is working good.

Windows Vista can detect what CompactFlash card is inside the 3.5" SATA to CF drive bay without any major problems. However, I'm running into issues after I insert the CF card in the 3.5" SATA to CF drive bay and turn the computer on:

1. The BIOS will recognise the CF card that is connected to the 3.5" SATA to CF drive bay as it is connected on SATA Port 4 on the ASUS M5A97 R2.0 motherboard. However, when Windows Vista attempts to boot up with the "© Microsoft Corporation" Segoe UI text and the green progress bar above it, the green light indicator on the SATA to CF drive goes off and the red hard drive LED stays on and the computer hangs indefinitely. In a interval of one minute, the hard drive LED will go off and the green light indicator on the SATA to CF drive goes on for a short period of time.

One temporary work around is that when I try to eject the CF card from the SATA to CF drive, the hard drive LED light would go off. I would leave it ejected for up to one minute and it would let the internal hard drive on SATA Port 1 continue to boot the Windows Vista operating system.

2. When there is data being read or written on the CF card, not only the green light indicator is blinking, but the hard drive LED light is blinking as well and it's not supposed to do that.

 

I have a couple of questions to ask to try to remedy this if possible:

1. Is there a way to fix the issue that will allow Windows Vista to boot successfully even if the CF card is inserted inside the internal SATA to CF drive?

2. In any event there is read and write activity on the CF card, is there a way to stop it from using the hard drive LED light?

The model number on the StarTech SATA to CompactFlash card is 35BAYCF2SAT. The model number can easily be searched on Google. The issues that I mentioned above are minor and do not affect the functionality and performance of my computer.

 

On a sidenote, in order to successfully recognise the CF card inside the the SATA to CF drive, I had to set the SATA ports to use AHCI mode and not IDE mode.


Edited by ppgrainbow, 13 September 2014 - 02:55 AM.

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#2
jaclaz

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My guess is that the "hard drive led" is actually an "activity on SATA bus led", and if this is the case there is no way you can change it's behaviour.

As well if you set in the BIOS SATA/AHCI, that setting affects the way the controller is detected by the booting OS and it's "global" for all devices connected to the SATA bus, so last sidenote seems to me like perfectly "normal".

 

The "booting issue" sounds strange, it seems like the booting OS "interrogates" the device and cannot have the reply it expects. :unsure:

 

Is the behaviour the same with?:

  1. a CF card inserted (wiped, i.e. all 00's)
  2. a CF card partitioned/formatted (i.e. with first sector a MBR)
  3. a CF card only formatted (i.e. as "superfloppy" with first sector a PBR)

Can you make a boot log with the CF card (i.e. "hanging") and one without the CF card (i.e. booting normally)?

 

Additionally, can you try tracing the boot with xbootmgr/xperf?

http://helpdeskgeek....-windows-vista/

 

I believe you need the WAIK or the SDK to get the tools. :unsure:

 

jaclaz



#3
ppgrainbow

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My guess is that the "hard drive led" is actually an "activity on SATA bus led", and if this is the case there is no way you can change it's behaviour.

As well if you set in the BIOS SATA/AHCI, that setting affects the way the controller is detected by the booting OS and it's "global" for all devices connected to the SATA bus, so last sidenote seems to me like perfectly "normal".

 

The "booting issue" sounds strange, it seems like the booting OS "interrogates" the device and cannot have the reply it expects. :unsure:

 

Is the behaviour the same with?:

  1. a CF card inserted (wiped, i.e. all 00's)
  2. a CF card partitioned/formatted (i.e. with first sector a MBR)
  3. a CF card only formatted (i.e. as "superfloppy" with first sector a PBR)

Can you make a boot log with the CF card (i.e. "hanging") and one without the CF card (i.e. booting normally)?

 

Additionally, can you try tracing the boot with xbootmgr/xperf?

http://helpdeskgeek....-windows-vista/

 

I believe you need the WAIK or the SDK to get the tools. :unsure:

 

jaclaz

 

Sorry for not responding earlier, but this behaviour occours only when the CompactFlash card is inserted and it doesn't matter if the card is partitioned/formatted or not.

In a forum post by asicnewbie in early May 2008 complianed that the Addonics SATA to CompactFlash adapter doesn't work with the majority of the cards that the user owns and stated that the user's PC will either sit there for a very long time (and will eventually error out) when the user tries to acces the drive or that it simply hangs the Windows XP operating system: http://arstechnica.c...p?f=11&t=127190

On a side note, I'm wondering if it's possible to obtain xbootmg/xperf without going through the hassle of reinstalling the Windows SDK or not? :\

At one point, I went into Safe Mode and found that the hanging error points to the crcdisk.sys which has a timestamp of 2008-01-19. So, I'm wondering if a outdated crcdisk.sys has to do with this booting issue or not.

 

I might try a smaller capacity CF card to see if it makes a difference or not soon.


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#4
jaclaz

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On a side note, I'm wondering if it's possible to obtain xbootmg/xperf without going through the hassle of reinstalling the Windows SDK or not? :\
 

You can seemingly do a partial download/install:

http://windowsitpro....xperfview-tools

 

jaclaz



#5
MagicAndre1981

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You need the Windows 7 SDK under Vista (the tools from the Windows 8 SDK no longer work under Vista :( ):

 

2766.Windows7_5F00_SDK_5F00_7.1_5F00_WPT

 

http://social.techne...revision/2.aspx

 

 

During setup, you can select to only get the WPT (you can uncheck all other tools)


Edited by MagicAndre1981, 17 September 2014 - 09:52 AM.

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#6
ppgrainbow

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You need the Windows 7 SDK under Vista (the tools from the Windows 8 SDK no longer work under Vista :( ):

 

2766.Windows7_5F00_SDK_5F00_7.1_5F00_WPT

 

http://social.techne...revision/2.aspx

 

 

During setup, you can select to only get the WPT (you can uncheck all other tools)

 

Thanks for the help. :) I'll look into reinstalling the Windows 7.1 SDK. However, this requires me to uninstall the Visual Studio 2010 runtime first. Installing the Windows 7.1 SDK will reinstall the VS2010 runtine.


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#7
ppgrainbow

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Okay, I would like to post a update to this forum post.

I used this command to perform the boot trace below:
 

xbootmgr -trace rebootCycle -noPrepReboot

 

Although, that it performed a boot cycle trace, it traced the output on the root directory of drive C. Therefore, when the tracing was finished, I decided to move it to the C:\Output\Boot sub-directory.

But when I tried to perform this command:
 

xbootmgr -trace boot -noPrepReboot -traceFlags BASE+CSWITCH+DRIVERS+POWER -resultPath C:\Output\Trace

 

I ended up getting this error message:
 

'-noPrepReboot': This option can only be used with shutdown and rebootCycle traces.

 

See 'xbootmgr.exe -help' for more information.

 

Nevertheless, I viewed the following files in the C:\Output directory:

1. First, looking at the boot_BASE+CSWITCH_1.etl and boot_BASE+CSWITCH_1_km_premerge.etl files.

Between around 10 to 315 seconds elapsed time (ET), no activity was being sampled. Between 315 to 520 seconds ET, activity usage started to spike with almost 2,500 hard faults at 320 seconds.

The shutdown_BASE+CSWITCH_1_km_premerge.etl file stated that it took 44 seconds to reboot the computer. Not bad.

2. And then it comes the C:\Output\Trace\boot_BASE+CSWITCH+DRIVERS+POWER_1.etl file. The analysis stated that it took about 80 seconds longer than boot_BASE+CSWITCH_1.etl/boot_BASE+CSWITCH_1_km_premerge.etl files

If you look in the Driver Delays section of this file, you'll notice that partmgr.sys took 310.78 seconds to load and CLASSPNP.SYS taking 1 ms shorter to load. Numerous delays between the 320 to 600 second ET mark indicate long delays with fltmgr.sys delaying for as much as 8 seconds in the 420 to 470 second ET mark.

Something sounds fishy here and the cause of this issue is difficult to decipher here. If you have the Windows 7.1 SDKs installed should I upload the files from the C:\Output\Trace directory onto my OneDrive account so that the issue can be looked into?

If so, please let me know.


Edited by ppgrainbow, 22 September 2014 - 03:37 PM.

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#8
MagicAndre1981

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-noPrepReboot is only needed for shutdown or hibernation, but not for boot.

 

 

Run this command please, which adds wait analysis:

 

xbootmgr -trace boot -traceFlags BASE+CSWITCH+DRIVERS+POWER+LATENCY+DISK_IO_INIT+DISPATCHER+FILE_IO+FILE_IO_INIT+FILENAME -stackwalk profile+CSwitch+ReadyThread+DiskReadInit+DiskWriteInit -resultPath C:\Output

 

compress the generated ETL as 7z/RAR, upload it and send me the link via PM.


Edited by MagicAndre1981, 22 September 2014 - 09:56 PM.

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#9
ppgrainbow

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-noPrepReboot is only needed for shutdown or hibernation, but not for boot.

 

 

Run this command please, which adds wait analysis:

 

xbootmgr -trace boot -traceFlags BASE+CSWITCH+DRIVERS+POWER+LATENCY+DISK_IO_INIT+DISPATCHER+FILE_IO+FILE_IO_INIT+FILENAME -stackwalk profile+CSwitch+ReadyThread+DiskReadInit+DiskWriteInit -resultPath C:\Output

 

compress the generated ETL as 7z/RAR, upload it and send me the link via PM.

 

I'm gonna be uploading it onto my OneDrive account and privately send you a note.

 

I've noticed that while Windows Vista was attempting to boot, I've noticed a long wait in the CLASSPNP.SYS and partmgr.sys driver delays of 620.01 seconds! Ouch! :realmad: I always though that crcdisk.sys was the issue as it was determined in Safe Mode, but it appears that I was wrong.

 

The datestamps on the classpnp.sys file is 2009-04-11 and for the partmgr.sys, it's 2009-04-11 for one file and 2012-03-20 for the other two files.


Edited by ppgrainbow, 23 September 2014 - 05:31 AM.

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#10
MagicAndre1981

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the long delay occurs by starting the ULTIMATE CF CARD ATA Device:

- <phase name="bootStart" startTime="53" endTime="625731" duration="625677">
  <pnpObject name="IDE\DiskULTIMATE_CF_CARD________________________Ver7.02K\5+2efc85c4+0+3.0.0" type="Device" activity="Start" startTime="5287" endTime="625301" duration="620014" prePendTime="620014" description="Disk drive" friendlyName="ULTIMATE CF CARD ATA Device" /> 

this delays boot for 626 seconds. Is this the adapter?

 

In the trace I see the delay in CLASSPNP.SYS!ClassPnpStartDevice, so that's why you see the long classpnp.sys entry.

 

delay_ppgrainbow.png


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#11
jaclaz

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Still, is the delay actually in:

  1. CLASSPNP.SYS
  2. PARTMGR.SYS
  3. DISK.SYS

:unsure:

(as hinted before the two latter ones may have a connection with partitioned/not partitioned/fixed/removable status of the media).

 

And personally I wouldn't rule out specific brand/model/*whatever* of the actual card, it seems to me like CF cards are one of the pieces of hardware where every make/model behaves slightly differently. :ph34r:

 

At least some time ago I converted a couple old machines (win2K) to use CF cards (but on IDE/PATA bus, and obviously using el-cheapo no-name adapters) and I remember having quite a few difficulties in finding "decently performing" CF cards (this might be completely unrelated, cannot really remember if the issues I had initially were connected to booting).

 

jaclaz



#12
ppgrainbow

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the long delay occurs by starting the ULTIMATE CF CARD ATA Device:

- <phase name="bootStart" startTime="53" endTime="625731" duration="625677">
  <pnpObject name="IDE\DiskULTIMATE_CF_CARD________________________Ver7.02K\5+2efc85c4+0+3.0.0" type="Device" activity="Start" startTime="5287" endTime="625301" duration="620014" prePendTime="620014" description="Disk drive" friendlyName="ULTIMATE CF CARD ATA Device" /> 

this delays boot for 626 seconds. Is this the adapter?

 

In the trace I see the delay in CLASSPNP.SYS!ClassPnpStartDevice, so that's why you see the long classpnp.sys entry.

 

delay_ppgrainbow.png

 

Yep. It's the adapter itself and not the CF card. This boot delay issue occurs only if the CF card is inserted inside the SATA-to-CF adapter.


Edited by ppgrainbow, 23 September 2014 - 01:53 PM.

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#13
ppgrainbow

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Still, is the delay actually in:

  1. CLASSPNP.SYS
  2. PARTMGR.SYS
  3. DISK.SYS

:unsure:

(as hinted before the two latter ones may have a connection with partitioned/not partitioned/fixed/removable status of the media).

 

And personally I wouldn't rule out specific brand/model/*whatever* of the actual card, it seems to me like CF cards are one of the pieces of hardware where every make/model behaves slightly differently. :ph34r:

 

At least some time ago I converted a couple old machines (win2K) to use CF cards (but on IDE/PATA bus, and obviously using el-cheapo no-name adapters) and I remember having quite a few difficulties in finding "decently performing" CF cards (this might be completely unrelated, cannot really remember if the issues I had initially were connected to booting).

 

jaclaz

 

Like I said before, the boot delay occurs in the classpnp.sys and it only happens when the CF card is inserted inside the SATA-to-CF adapter.


AVA Direct FX AM3+ specs: Zalman ZM Z9-U3 Black Mid-Tower case / ASUS M5A97 R2.0 / AMD FX-4300 3.8 GHz quad-core processor / Fractal Design Integra R2 500W PSU/ Hyper 212 EVO CPU cooler / Western Digital BLACK SERIES 1 TB (WD1003FZEX) SATA III 7200 RPM / Lite-On iHas124 Black 24x DVD-RW / 8 GB Crucual (2 x 4GB) Ballistix Sport PC3-12800 DDR3 RAM / EVGA GeForce 8400 GS 520 MHz 1 GB GDDR3 / Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP2 x64


#14
MagicAndre1981

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The driver is fine. It is the device which is slow to start.


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#15
ppgrainbow

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The driver is fine. It is the device which is slow to start.

 

I knew it.

 

Do you have any idea what can be done that can make Vista detect the CF card in the drive at boot without having to hang on startup?


AVA Direct FX AM3+ specs: Zalman ZM Z9-U3 Black Mid-Tower case / ASUS M5A97 R2.0 / AMD FX-4300 3.8 GHz quad-core processor / Fractal Design Integra R2 500W PSU/ Hyper 212 EVO CPU cooler / Western Digital BLACK SERIES 1 TB (WD1003FZEX) SATA III 7200 RPM / Lite-On iHas124 Black 24x DVD-RW / 8 GB Crucual (2 x 4GB) Ballistix Sport PC3-12800 DDR3 RAM / EVGA GeForce 8400 GS 520 MHz 1 GB GDDR3 / Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP2 x64


#16
jaclaz

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Maybe I got some definitions wrong. :unsure:

 

Would this be accurate?

 

The device with media inserted is slow to start, but the device without media is not slow to start.

 

jaclaz



#17
dencorso

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Would this be accurate?
 
The device with media inserted is slow to start, but the device without media is not slow to start.


I think so.
And if so, it begs the question:
What about inserting another media, from another manufacturer and maybe even a different (but smaller) size?

#18
jaclaz

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And if so, it begs the question:
What about inserting another media, from another manufacturer and maybe even a different (but smaller) size?

 

Yep. :)

 

jaclaz



#19
ppgrainbow

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Maybe I got some definitions wrong. :unsure:

 

Would this be accurate?

 

The device with media inserted is slow to start, but the device without media is not slow to start.

 

jaclaz

 

That's accurate.


AVA Direct FX AM3+ specs: Zalman ZM Z9-U3 Black Mid-Tower case / ASUS M5A97 R2.0 / AMD FX-4300 3.8 GHz quad-core processor / Fractal Design Integra R2 500W PSU/ Hyper 212 EVO CPU cooler / Western Digital BLACK SERIES 1 TB (WD1003FZEX) SATA III 7200 RPM / Lite-On iHas124 Black 24x DVD-RW / 8 GB Crucual (2 x 4GB) Ballistix Sport PC3-12800 DDR3 RAM / EVGA GeForce 8400 GS 520 MHz 1 GB GDDR3 / Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP2 x64


#20
MagicAndre1981

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try a different media. Maybe the current one causes the slow start. Or you can insert the media each time after the boot. Or use Hibernation to avoid restarting all devices. Suspend/Resume of devices is much faster.


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#21
ppgrainbow

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try a different media. Maybe the current one causes the slow start. Or you can insert the media each time after the boot. Or use Hibernation to avoid restarting all devices. Suspend/Resume of devices is much faster.

 

The only way that I can try different CompactFlash card sizes is turning off the computer, ejecting the current CF card and inserting another one. I tried a 2 GB capacity CF card the other day and Windows Vista still stalled after boot. I was hoping for a solution so that I don't have to eject the CF card for at least one minute when Windows Vista restarts all of the devices after it boots up.

 

Update: I re-enabled the hibernation feature. This is the case when the power went out about a hour ago.

 

Anyways, for some reason. The BIOS would detect the CF card inside the SATA-to-CF drive, but when Windows Vista boots up and resets the devices, the CF card inserted into the drive would not load properly.

 

I'm wondering if there is a way to fix this buggy issue here via a registry hack or a utility?


Edited by ppgrainbow, 25 September 2014 - 06:56 PM.

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#22
jaclaz

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The only way that I can try different CompactFlash card sizes is turning off the computer, ejecting the current CF card and inserting another one. I tried a 2 GB capacity CF card the other day and Windows Vista still stalled after boot. I was hoping for a solution so that I don't have to eject the CF card for at least one minute when Windows Vista restarts all of the devices after it boots up.

 

Wait a minute.

If the thingy is SATA connected, it should be "hot swappable", or not?

 

http://mt-naka.com/h...p/index_enu.htm

 

jaclaz



#23
ppgrainbow

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The only way that I can try different CompactFlash card sizes is turning off the computer, ejecting the current CF card and inserting another one. I tried a 2 GB capacity CF card the other day and Windows Vista still stalled after boot. I was hoping for a solution so that I don't have to eject the CF card for at least one minute when Windows Vista restarts all of the devices after it boots up.

Wait a minute.
If the thingy is SATA connected, it should be "hot swappable", or not?
 
http://mt-naka.com/h...p/index_enu.htm
 
jaclaz

 

 
According to the NewEgg review on StarTech's SATA-to-CF card:
 

This product does not support hot-swapping of flash cards while the PC is powered on. You must turn-off your computer to switch cards.

 
For some reason, the CF card when inserted into the SATA-to-CF drive would not load correctly when Windows Vista resets the devices after it boots up as one NewEgg reviewer complains that the the drive is either incompatible or poorly made.
 
I should try the HotSwap! utility to see how things go from here.


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#24
ppgrainbow

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Okay, I think that I finally solved the problem.

 

It's the capacity of larger CompactFlash cards itself and not the SATA-to-CF drive. As far as I know, although the BIOS will recognise larger CF cards in POST, the Windows operating system will NOT boot correctly, if not at all.

 

I have tested the boot process with the First Champion 1 GB 80x CompactFlash card and well do you know, Windows Vista booted up without problems. :)

 

I haven't been able to test a 2 GB or a 8 GB capacity CF cards as they may not work 100% correctly with the SATA to CF drive.

 

The SATA-to-CF drive treated the Kingston Ultimate 32 GB 266x drive as a floppy drive and since it had trouble booting properly, I ended up ruining the card and tossing it in the trash.

 

Edit: I tested it with some of the CF cards and found that the First Champion 1 GB CF card worked, but as far as I know, that CF card is not bootable. I also tested it with a Kingston 1 GB CF card and the CF card has issues being recognised when Windows Vista boots up.

 

I wish that I had the time to test which CF cards work with the Startech SATA to CF drive, but I don't right now. :(


Edited by ppgrainbow, Today, 05:52 AM.

AVA Direct FX AM3+ specs: Zalman ZM Z9-U3 Black Mid-Tower case / ASUS M5A97 R2.0 / AMD FX-4300 3.8 GHz quad-core processor / Fractal Design Integra R2 500W PSU/ Hyper 212 EVO CPU cooler / Western Digital BLACK SERIES 1 TB (WD1003FZEX) SATA III 7200 RPM / Lite-On iHas124 Black 24x DVD-RW / 8 GB Crucual (2 x 4GB) Ballistix Sport PC3-12800 DDR3 RAM / EVGA GeForce 8400 GS 520 MHz 1 GB GDDR3 / Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP2 x64


#25
jaclaz

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I haven't been able to test a 2 GB or a 8 GB capacity CF cards as they may not work 100% correctly with the SATA to CF drive.

I don't understand. :w00t: :ph34r:

 

You haven't been able to test a 2 Gb or 8 Gb because you have not any handy.

OR

You have been able to test a 2 gb and a 8 Gb BUT they did not work 100% correctly.

OR

You decided to NOT test a 2 Gb and a 8 Gb (though you would have been able to test them) because you believe they won't work correctly

 

:unsure:

 

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