Sort of a funny bizarre RAID issue with Aspect at

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Old August 31st, 2008, 07:01 PM   #1
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Sort of a funny bizarre RAID issue with Aspect

I'm posting this here in the thought that maybe this could help others, but mostly so everyone can have a good laugh at my expense, as I'm the definition of knowing just enough to get myself into trouble.

Thursday I noticed, after not using my editing workstation for a while, that I just could not capture to my RAID using Cineform HDV Capture. No matter what I did I got "Recorder Error. The Recorder Captured no Frames." Capture to C: (system) worked fine. Capture using Premiere MPEG capture was fine to any drive, system or RAID. Using HDLink resulted in an error message about missing transport stream headers, so no luck there. So I filed a trouble ticket and while waiting over the holiday weekend, thought I'd investigate a bit.

I tried rolling back all the recent updates, including Aspect, Premiere and Windows XP SP3. No luck. Tried rebuilding the RAID in every possible config: RAID 3, 5, 6, both with and without hot spares. In between this we had numerous BSODs, Windows wouldn't start and I could not reinstall it either. (Okay, that last sentence was a red herring which I think had nothing to do with the real problem; my BIOS got screwed up and Windows was looking to start or reinstall itself onto my External USB drive that's only for archive and backup -- I swear I didn't do it.)

Then it hit me. The RAID freaked out when I first "upgraded" to SP3 a few months ago. It started screaming about a bad disk but the disk turned out to be fine (not the first time this has happened). Rather than just letting it rebuild itself automatically, I just deleted the RAID set and created a new one. But while my system builder noted that you can't have a volume larger than 2TB on a 32-bit OS (and built the RAID with 3 2TB volumes combined to look like a single disk), I took advantage of the "Greater 2TB Volume" function the ARECA controller boasts about supporting, and created a single 6TB volume "with 4K blocks" out of the 7 x 1TB array.

Areca notes that not all software can use 4K blocks, whatever they are, as they are a non-standard size.

So I rebuilt the RAID today and made three 2TB RAID3 volumes, which I then converted to Dynamic disks in Windows and created a single striped volume out of the three, so it still looks like just a huge 6TB D Drive.

Lo and behold, all the Cineform HDV Capture features when capturing to the RAID, including Scene Detect, seem to be working fine.

It appears that Aspect may have issues with either very large volumes or the infamous 4K blocks that Premiere does not.

I think the reason I didn't suspect this as an issue in the beginning is that everything else seemed to be working fine with the single 6TB 4K volume.

Anyone heard of this, and once you're done laughing, is my logic making any sense at all? Harm, my Areca RAID guru, any thoughts? Davids, Jake, and other Cineform folks: more details are in the trouble ticket, but would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Last edited by Adam Gold; August 31st, 2008 at 08:41 PM.
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