- IBM Fast/Wide RAID Controller 'Passplay'
SCSI-2 RAID Controller
"Passplay" FRU 92F0335
Function of NVSRAM
IML Limits of Passplay
HD LED Does Not Work
Cyrix/Non-SOD Type 1 Incompatibility?
Generic 30 Pin SIMMs for
Accessing the RAID Configuration
FWR Bios Flash Disks
Saving a Passplay
Flashed with Cheetah Microcode
BIOS Release Features
Complex BIOS Levels
Slots Passplay Fits
More than one Passplay
in a System?
LVD on Passplay
Number of Devices Supported
Running RAID Without Trays 'n Bays
Passplay Under W95 (it works!)
Mylex DAC960M Firmware
Specifications For FWR
Stuff that is relevant, but chaotic... (fits, doesn't it?)
Create and Maintain your
Array technology, features,
RAID Message Table
Hotswap bays for 95A
Removing side panel from 3 bay cage
Closeups of microswitches
Fast Wide RAID Adapter
There is NO external port on the Passplay!
Just the solder pads for one.
|F1 SCSI channel 1 PTC Fuse
F2 SCSI Channel 2 PTC Fuse
J1 Status LED header
J5 Not a clue, probably factory
J6 Not a clue
P1 Solder pads for external port
|U16 EEPROM configuration
U17,18 NCR 53C720
U31,44,52,60 30 pin SIMMs
X1 40.0000 MHz osc
X2 25.0000 MHz osc
28 pin 8Kx8 NVSRAM is a Benchmarq, bq4010YMA-200,
Another equivalent is a Dallas DS1225Y-200, spec
Jumper JPl is a 6-pin header that provides a connection
for three status LEDs. Pin 1 is to the left end of the board. In each case
the odd-numbered pin is the +5V source. An external series resistor
is not required for the LEDs.
Indicator _____ Meaning if ON
||One or two SCSI channels xmitting or recving data.
DAC960 xmitting / recving data to/from host system.
DAC960 Cache has data more current than on HDs.
Each NV SRAM has a self–contained lithium energy source and
control circuitry which constantly monitors VCC for
an out–of–tolerance condition. When such a condition occurs, the lithium
energy source is automatically switched on and write protection is unconditionally
enabled to prevent data corruption.
The mini C68 for the Channel edgecard connectors is the
part# 15-92-3068, called a half pitch Centronics, or a VESA Media Connector.
Suprise! AMP makes a similar part (mini-C68) AMP Part 1-557089-2
Any cable with a .025 pitch, 28 to 30 AWG will work with either connector.
A Better Cable Hack?
Allen Brandt wrote:
> A small, shotty attempt to get something uploaded concerning the
My Take on it:
I am starting to have neurons fire. Actually, Allen provided
the push. Al went and slit the conductors for better flexibility (in pairs).
Could you slit the flat cable up towards the controller
and get the very flexible cable bundle of the IBM original? The black sheathing
is available from Jameco for about $1 a foot. Well worth it, IMHO. (Start
the slit with an X-Acto and use the reverse of the blade to finish parting
The sheathing is Techflex Cable Sleave, looks to be the
3/8" size. Sold in a 25' spool. Part #162157,
Product # CCPT2X per spool $14.95 Techflex is HERE
What kind of signal degredation might occur? Each signal pair hopefully
cancels it's noise out. If the Brandt manuever can be done from the top
drive connector to theadapter, it might be a close match to the real thing
The Passplay was introduced for use with non-Flash systems.
However, the Passplay does NOT support Int13 or IML. You either have to
boot from a floppy or from an IBM IML capable SCSI adapter. A telling sign
is the Type 5 form factor card cutouts in the case are on Slots 2-4. A
Type 3 form factor SCSI Adapter has to be installed in Slot 1 to support
Type 1 and Type 2 complexes that do NOT have the enhanced BIOS.
HD LED Doesn't
>Is i a fact that the HD LED does not work on a 9595A with a PassPlay
The fixed disk light is non-functional with both the Server
95 A "Passplay" and Streaming-RAID "Cheetah" MCA RAID adapter. I
suspect this is also the case with other OEM'ed Mylex RAID adapters.
Just thought that I'd better warn you.
After checking out the Cyrix 5x86 at 4x clocking (in Type-1 non-SOD w/cache)
my PassPlay RAID adapter seems to have been "duffed up". I only get a part
of the BIOS v1.05 initialisation/installation message and the machine hangs
(with *any* CPU) at CP:96. Looks as though the Flash ROM has been partially
overwritten (just a guess).
for the details
IBM or Generic
They are 30-pin standard industrial ("generic") SIMMs.
Since the original concept allowed 4x1MB, 4x4MB and even 4 x 16MB cache
Simms they *must* be generic, because IBM only coded the 256K, 512K and
1MB modules. The 4MB and 16MB are not on IBM's list.
the RAID Configuration
Both the FWR (Passplay) and FWSR (Cheetah) are only configurable
through the RAID Utilities disk. You CANNOT see the SCSI Disks under "Set
and View SCSI Devices" like normal SCSI drives. Boot with FWSR
Option Disk, #1 ver. 2.31 in order to view or configure the array.
Both adapters use the same Utilities disk of the later
IBM F/W Streaming RAID Adapter /A (Codename "Cheetah" - with external port)
since both are based on Intel i960 / Mylex / NCR technology. There was
a single-disk version 2.22, which should be unique for all /A-Raid adapters
of that kind, but not the PCI-versions. The RAIDADM
(manager) should work on both /A-adapters.
Utility version 2.31 consists out of two disks:
Option Disk, #1 ver. 2.31
Option Disk, #2 ver. 2.31
for FWSR Option Disks
Not sure if this fits-
Supplemental Diskette Version 2.0 And the Readme.txt
RAIDSEND is a utility that provides an OS/2 ONLY command-line interface
for performing various tasks on a IBM F/W Streaming RAID Adapter/A, the
IBM SCSI-2 F/W PCI-Bus RAID Adapter, and the Mylex PL adapter for the IBM
PC Server 704.
NOTE:All systems, except the 95-466,
95-560, 95 A-466, 95 A-560 and 9585-0Kx, require that the standard SCSI
adapter or system board resident SCSI controller remain connected to the
IML and/or boot hard file.
RAID Flash Bios for "Passplay" FRU 92F0335
The Passplay and the Cheetah differ in the microcode,
which *may not* be interchanged. The Passplay (FWR) adapter uses
a microcode-level 1.6x through 1.99, the Cheetah (FWSR) uses 2.xx levels.
If you flash the one adapter with the code from the other you end up in
non-functional adapters. (See the README
coming with the 1.99-level microcode update for the Server 95 RAID adapter)
Flash BIOS ver. 1.61 For RAID controller WITHOUT external port!
Flash BIOS ver. 1.62 For RAID controller WITHOUT external port!
Flash BIOS ver. 1.63 For RAID controller WITHOUT external port!
Flash BIOS ver. 1.99 For RAID controller WITHOUT external port!
for raid199a.exe (Server 95A RAID Flash disk version 1.99)
95 Array RAID API Module (Non-ASPI)
a Passplay Flashed With Cheetah Microcode
During an IBM technical class after the introduction of
the Server 500 the instructor told us that you *could* accidently flash
a Passplay with the Cheetah firmware - and make it non-functional with
He said: "You need a Cheetah adapter to flash back to
Passplay level. The Passplay with the Cheetah-firmware will refuse to re-flash.
Remove both - the Flash-ROM and the EEprom - and stuff it into a Cheetah
adapter. Then run the Passplay Flash diskette to reprogram it to level
1.6x (Ed.: or 1.99 actually). Then re-install the two chips on the Passplay
and it will work again."
Never tried it myself however.
From Hakan Gadler
By the way, why did they jump from version >1.6 something
IBM "unified" the version numbers for the BIOS and the
microcode a bit. Or - to be precise - the return codes. The later Passplay
codes ran along with the same RAIDADM software that was used by the "Cheetah"
and contained some better infos and other tweaks for performance / safety
Initial code worked only with early Passplay board releases.
1.61 Official shipping code
at the time the systems were widely available 1.61 had some bugs with drives
other than IBM 1.0GB (particularly with the Maxtor MXT-540S in the "small"
1.62 Contained information
used by the 90MHz upgrade board - it is mandantory if your 95A uses the
"big" platform. (Ed. P90 complex?)
1.63 The Passplay sometimes
set drives into "DDD" (Dead) state when they failed to come on ready in
a very, very short period of time after power on. 1.63 should fix problems
with the DFHS 2GB drives (later microcodes - successor of the 0664) and
the "dead drive" symptom. As far as I recall IBM recommended to use
this code in all machines that have more than 3 drives installed and the
Pentium platforms (My guess: problems with the power supply and signalling
problems caused by DC-ripples). >From 1.63 on you could use the same RAIDADM
and the later ServerGuide Raid Manager for both adapters. Previous versions
seemed to have delivered slightly odd codes that caused confusion.
1.99 IBM announced the
code "out of blue sky" and I wondered why, because the Passplay was already
discontinued at that time. The 1.99 codes contained some fixes for "other
systems" than the 95A. It was the last code announced for the Passplay.
There are however some dependencies between the Raid-adapter
microcode and that of the complex. You should not run the Raid with a complex
BIOS below 03. The BIOS 10 has been announced to fix Y2K problems with
OS/2 AFAIK. If you flash the complex to10 and keep the old Raid microcode
you might run into problems. It should be 1.63 at least - especially if
you have the P90 platform, which appears to the Raid microcode as Server
500 with the differing backplane layout - the return codes to the RAIDADM
then might not reflect the "real" position of the drives on the backplane.
The Passplay is a Type 5 form factor card (it's big). There
are cutouts in 95 and 95A cases that will allow the edge of the card at
the bracket end to fit. Dennis Smith turned me on to them. Slots 2-4 have
these cutouts- The 95s don't have a cushion in them, 95As do.
>An interesting note is that the 9595 has three enlarged slots to fit
in three passplay adapters. Or, I guess, to move the one passplay adapter
to the desired slot.
The machine has slotted rear wall in the positions 2,
3 and 4 that allowes installation of the oversized cards like Passplay.
Since there are limitations in the MCA "package dense" I would say the
positions are made to move cards around rather than installing 3 of them.
As far as I know the MCA cooling densing does not allow more than 2 cards
of that size to be installed - and even then the middle slot must stay
free to allow sufficient airflow between the cards.
As I wrote: it does not make sense to install more than
one of the Passplay adapters anyway. For the Cheetah, which has a rear
port and can use the "sidecar card" to route the Channel 1 to the rear
as well for e.g. a 3518 expansion unit (and a total of 14 additional devices)
things look different.
But the Cheetah isn't an oversized card. It is a standard
full size 32-bit card - but it does not exceed the average card *height*
- and that's the most sensible criteria in a 95A box regarding airflow.
Not speaking of DC-load on a single MCA slot. That's another criteria that
might forbid using too many of the "Big" cards in a machine.
Not everything that *could* be installed is supported
- and not every amount of cards is a) practicable, b) supported and/or
c) works reliable. Even if the 400W PSU on the 95A might appear as a bottomless
pit (current-wise) the base planar and the slots have physical limits on
what current you can draw among it.
>We know that we can stuff multiple Cheetahs in
a 9595A, PC Server 500 or 720, but I've never seen any more than ONE Passplay
in a 9595A. Does anyone know if a tech manual anywhere makes a definitive
statement on this subject?
Uhm ... given that the adapter is
in fact "hardware castrated" (and that this is not an affect of the adapter
BIOS and the Raid management software) it were useless to stuff in a second
adapter anyway. In a 9595A you simply don't have the room to install more
drives ... and the adapter has not been announced for different models.
The Server 500 uses the "Cheetah" instead. The "Passplay" has been designated
as "Server 95A Raid" adapter in various publications and its
sole useage seems to be in a Server 95A. It had
a very limited purpose due to the lack of an external port (which were
as well -again- of limited use if our assumptions regarding the ID-assigments
/ limitations are correct).
LVD on Passplay
>What kind of drives does the RAID take? Is F/W
DIFFERENTIAL SCSI the right kind? Or are LVD (low voltage differential)
different and it needs them instead? I've never dealt with RAID before.
Remember the "Cheetah"-Adapter's
"Real Trade Name" ? IBM Fast/Wide Streaming Raid Adapter /A.
It it an ordinary F/W indended for
single-ended SCSI devices. It does however take U/W LVD drives, because
these are downward-compatible to single-ended, which the old "high-voltage
differential" are *not*.
If you get - for
example - a set of U/W "Low Voltage Differential" (LVD) IBM DDRS 4.5 or
9.1GB drives then they will nicely run with the Cheetah. I have some of
them in "Starship" - my Server 520 attached to the Fast/Wide RAID Adapter
PCI. No problem. You can even mix them with "ordinary" F/W or U/W drives.
Same for the Cheetah and even the older Passplay.
# of Drives
>Is it possible to connect more than 7 drives
to a PassPlay adapter? I tried to connect a short cable with an external
connector on both the channels of the PassPlay adapter without any luck.
The adapter supports only 7 devices.
Technically it is a Fast-SCSI adapter, but only a single channel with a
crippled ID-section. It does not use the MSB of the ID signal, even if
you attach a Wide device to it.
The thing is a bit mixed up and
screwed down. It has two ports to make cabling easier for upper and lower
bay - electronically they are treated as one port.
Bays 'n Trays
for Peter's experiences.
First, I am shocked. But, live and
Helmut P. Einfalt
Pete Rickard got me onto the right track:
You need to install IBMRAID.SYS (in DOS directory of RAID
Diskette 1) even if and when the controller does fine under DOS. I installed
manually, although I presume that Uinstall.exe would do as well, however
after all the time I spent with the machine I wanted to have a manual
What no Readme (by IMB) tells you is hidden in the Mylex
DAC960 Readme: To work properly under Win9x, this driver must be installed
*before* any memory manager such as Himem.sys....
Did that, booted, and up came Win95 continuing the installation
procedure it broke off at the first "real" Windows start...
Transplanted the whole system (Raid cage w/3 drives, passplay) to the
9595-ALF (= EMEA version of -0LF).
(1) Spock (+ the famous 1 Gig Fujitsu brick and a CDROM)
(3) Passplay (+ 3 drives RAID5)
(6) IBM ISDN 2000
(8) some NIC.
The Fujitsu (set to SCSI 6 !!!) contains nothing but the
IML -- the rest is
formatted, no OS, nothing. The Passplay array still has DOS 7 and Win95
(basic installation w/o knickknack for the moment -- the installation completed
on the 95A after so many woes)...
And now comes the surprising part: Powered up the machine
-- and up came Win95 without a hitch. The Win95 I had installed on the
Here we are.
Contrary to what the first experiments showed, it *is* possible to
the Passplay on a 9595-xLx machine running Win95.
(1) Spock or similar with a HD of any size that contains the IML track.
(2) The appropriate driver sequence in config.sys:
device=c:\RAID\IBMRAID.sys (or wherever this thing is set
Probably you could put the IBMRAID.SYS even before the DOS=HIGH statement,
but since it ain't borke I don#t want to fix it right now...
The Mylex Manufacturing Part ("D040") number
can be located on the back of the DAC960 controller, and uniquely identifies
the model and number of channels on the controller. It does not identify
the amount of memory installed, or the FW/BIOS versions, since these can
When referring to this D040 number, please use
the entire number, since this will help Technical Support identify specific
I have an older controller with version 2.xx FW, can I update the FW
to the 3.xx?
Not all boards will support the upgrade to 3.xx firmware.
If the controller has a revision number of D040347 or greater, the board
will support the upgrade. This revision label is usually found on the back
(non-component side of the board).
for FW RAID
|| SCSI-2 Fast/Wide
|SCSI bus path / speed
||16 bit / 20 MB/sec
|I/O bus path / speed
||32 bit / 40 MB/sec streaming
||Streaming data transfer
Address parity and data parity
||RAID 0, 1, Hybrid 1, 5
4 ind (A, B, C, D) / 8 logical arrays
|Tagged Command Queuing
||i960 at 25 MHz
||Type 5 (only fits Model 85 or 95)
||Two (both internal)
||Two internal only
||7 devices per adapter
|Cache std / max
||4 MB / 64 MB (with parity)
||4 sockets for 30 pin 80ns SIMMs
||4, 16, or 64 MB only
|Cache write policy
||Write-through or write-back
IBM RAID Controller
Interrupt level for the adapter
<"Level E>, B, A
BIOS Base Address
BIOS base address. Each adapter must have a unique address
C2000-0C3FFF, C4000-0C5FFF, C6000-0C7FFF, C8000-0C9FFF, CA000-0CBFFF, CC000-0CDFFF,
CE000-0CFFFF, D0000-0D1FFF, D2000-0D3FFF, D4000-0D5FFF, D6000-0D7FFF, D8000-0D9FFF,
DA000-0DBFFF, DC000-0DDFFF, DE000-0DFFFF
I/O address range. Each adapter must have a unique address
5C00-5C1F, 7C00-7C1F, 9C00-9C1F, BC00-BC1F, DC00-DC1F, FC00-FC1F
DMA Arbitration Level
DMA channel the adapter will use to transfer data.
<"Level 8">, 9,
A, B, C, D, E, 1, 3, 5, 6, 7