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Adaptec SCSI card causing keyboard/mouse failure

Posted on 2004-04-15
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
Hi,

A client of mine has a HP tc2120 server. Only 2 PCI slots are being used - one for the hard drive SCSI card - the other for the tape drive SCSI card. Whenever the tape drive SCSI card (Adaptec AHA-2940U2W) is in ANY PCI slot, it causes the mouse and keyboard not to work whether i'm in the BIOS or the OS. The OS (was) NT 4 Server, but now we are going to install W2K Server for other reasons not needed to go into.

When I remove the card, the keyboard/mouse problem goes away. I'm going to try updating the BIOS to the latest and disable unused ports to try and free up IRQ slots. The SCSI Utility says the card is in IRQ 5 - which should not interfere with the keyboard/mouse as they are usually in 1 and 12, right?

Any ideas on how to resolve this would be appreciated - or if anyone has had similar isssues. I'm really hoping the BIOS update and W2K Server install will remedy this issue.

Thanks.
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Question by:CyberianPrime
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by:Callandor
ID: 10834190
Is there a reason you couldn't use just one SCSI card for both?  A SCSI controller should be able to handle two devices with no sweat.
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Author Comment

by:CyberianPrime
ID: 10834247
The HD SCSI card that came with the server has only one port on it. The tape drive SCSI which is causing the problems looks like it has 2 but the second one looks a bit different than the one in use. Wouldn't make sense to put both the HD and tape drive on the SCSI card causing the problem.
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by:CyberianPrime
ID: 10834281
After thinking about it again, if I use the HD SCSI card, can I hook up the tape drive to a plug on the SCSI cable that hooks up to that card? So, the cable would have the one SCSI HD on the end, and the tape drive on the next. That cable would be plugged into the one port on the SCSI card. Would that work? I was thinking two ports on the card would be required for two different devices.
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by:Callandor
ID: 10834325
I'm glad you saw the easy solution - a SCSI cable can have up to seven devices attached it.  If the SCSI connector is the same for both, you are in business.  You should be able to detect both in the controller, just to test the connection.
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Author Comment

by:CyberianPrime
ID: 10834343
The only thing is that the tape drive is an older drive - Archive Python - which uses a lower bandwidth transfer rate than other newer SCSI devices. I have a feeling using that and the new SCSI hard drive on the same cable/controller will cause problems.
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by:Callandor
ID: 10834435
Not true - unlike IDE, SCSI devices of different speeds can happily coexist on the same cable and operate at their maximum speeds.
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by:CyberianPrime
ID: 10834477
Just checked with Certance regarding the suggestion. They do not recommend placing two devices which operate at two diff speeds on the same SCSI channel/cable. So, that kills that idea.

Looks like i'm going to have to pick up a new adapter card.
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by:CyberianPrime
ID: 10834672
If you are so sure about this, how would i setup the HD and Tape Drive on the cable? Which would be placed closest to the controller card - does it matter? THey also mentioned it creates a single point of failure - does that mean if the card goes down, then both the HD and tape drive go down? Or did they mean something else.

Have you ever placed a SCSI HD and a SCSI tape drive on the same controller and same cable?
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by:Callandor
ID: 10834691
I guess Certance is the SCSI controller manufacturer?  It is up to the board manufacturer to provide LVD and SE compatability on the same card, so I assume they are saying they don't provide it.  http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/if/scsi/host_Types.htm
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Author Comment

by:CyberianPrime
ID: 10834708
Certance is the tape drive manufacturer. Adaptec makes the card. The card that i would potentially hook up both devices to is the AHA-29160. is that LVD and SE compatable?
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by:Callandor
ID: 10834993
According to their product spec sheet, the 29160 has an LVD connector and a separate legacy 50-pin connector for Fast SCSI and SCSI-1, which your tape drive would be.  So I would say you are ok.
http://www.adaptec.com/worldwide/product/proddetail.html?sess=no&language=English+US&cat=%2FProducts%2FASC-29160&prodkey=ASC-29160
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Author Comment

by:CyberianPrime
ID: 10835271
That's what is wierd - the SCSI card HP included with this server is branded HP, but is really an Adaptec. And, it only has one connector. In that case, with one connector, I don't think my chances are good, right?
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Callandor earned 125 total points
ID: 10835353
Yeah, with only one connector, you will probably slow down the hard disk.  I don't think the tape drive has the same connector, either.
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by:Callandor
ID: 10835356
Maybe you should get a real Adaptec 29160?
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Author Comment

by:CyberianPrime
ID: 10835383
I plan on it - at the very least to replace the tape drive SCSI card.
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by:rid
ID: 10836548
"THey also mentioned it creates a single point of failure - ..."
Sure it does, but did they think you can use the tape drive if the HD is inaccessible?
I think that part can be left out of this discussion. Callandor is on a good track here. And I do think even "older" SCSI controllers support independent timing; e.g. an old 2X CDROM didn't clamp down a HD on the same cable. Any data transfer between 2 devices will have to be at the speed of the slowest device anyway.
/RID
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Author Comment

by:CyberianPrime
ID: 10839318
Gotcha. New card is in order here. Thanks guys.
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