Author Topic: Is there any SCSI PCI Express card supported by OS/2 ?  (Read 674 times)

Julien Pierre

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Is there any SCSI PCI Express card supported by OS/2 ?
« on: December 31, 2018, 09:39:55 am »
Some of you will probably recognize my name from the 1990s. I was a fairly active OS/2 user and developer.

I have some important data backed up on DDS-2 / DDS-4 tape which can only be restored with some OS/2 native software . The tape drive is an HP Surestore DAT40e (DDS-4, Ultrawide SCSI-3).
I have eCS 2.1 and the Bakupwiz and GTAR software required.

My problem here is that I had been using a PCI bus SCSI card until now, based on LSI Ultra160 53C1010 chip.
I have 4 PCs in the house. Only two of them still have a legacy PCI slot, but soon to be only one.

1) One is has an Z170-AR motherboard with an Intel 6600k CPU . It runs my home NAS with ZFS under Ubuntu Linux now. The mobo has a single PCI slot. I tried putting the LSI card in it before, but the Symbios BIOS on bootup runs very slow (like, several minutes). I think there is some incompatibility between the Asus BIOS and the LSI SCSI card BIOS. I doubt I would be successful using this SCSI card under OS/2 on that machine to restore my tapes. Installing OS/2 alone, probably. But I need access to the SCSI tape drive.

2) The other has a Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 motherboard with an AMD FX-8120 CPU. I believe I ran eCS on it previously, and it worked with the LSI SCSI card, and I could access the drive. eCS in general however didn't behave well at all with this combo of mobo & CPU : no power management - all fans running 100% . And SMP not working at all. This machine has been my HTPC for 6 years. It's quite loud due to the high wattage CPU.

I'm in the process of replacing it with a Ryzen 2700. However, the new Asus X470 Prime Pro motherboard doesn't have any PCI slot, only PCI Express, so this motherboard will be offline pretty soon, probably in the next 24 hours.

Is there any SCSI card that is PCI Express that has a native driver for OS/2 ? Ideally, I would like to find such a card if one exists.

I have seen some PCI to PCI-E converters like this one :
https://www.amazon.com/PCI-Express-Adapter-Card/dp/B0037ECAM2

However, my LSI SCSI card is not low profile. And even if it was, I would probably still run into the BIOS incompatibility with modern chipsets.

If there isn't a current PCI Express SCSI card solution, I will probably buy another case to relocate my GA-990FXA-UD3 board & CPU, and make it a dedicated OS/2 machine, at least temporarily. I can run it on a KVM switch.

If a virtualization option exists that will provide a SCSI interface to the  guest with an OS/2 driver so that it can access the tape drive, I'm open to that also, rather than fiddling with bare metal, but I haven't seen any such thing in Virtualbox.

Neil Waldhauer

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Re: Is there any SCSI PCI Express card supported by OS/2 ?
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2018, 04:06:23 pm »
I have not had any luck with PCI to PCIe converters under eCS or ArcaOS. Running what you have in a real PCI slot seems to be the best route.

I'm recommending Lenovo M93p SFF and mini-tower lately for eCS and ArcaOS users who want recent hardware. Both of them feature one PCI slot.

I think the last SCSI card to get OS/2 drivers was LSI-320, which was PCI-x. I'm not sure about support details -- I'm not personally that fond of SCSI.
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Martin Iturbide

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Re: Is there any SCSI PCI Express card supported by OS/2 ?
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2018, 09:10:42 pm »
Hi Julien.

I'm sorry but I don't have experience on SCSI or tape backups. But don't you need some inverse adapter, PCIe to PCI like this one:
https://www.amazon.com/PCI-Express-Adapter-Card-Half-Height/dp/B0024CV3SA

Sadly it does not also solve your issue, since your LSI SCSI card is not low profile. And I also have zero experience with this kind of adapters.

Regards
Martin Iturbide
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Julien Pierre

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Re: Is there any SCSI PCI Express card supported by OS/2 ?
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2018, 09:20:34 pm »
Neil,

I have not had any luck with PCI to PCIe converters under eCS or ArcaOS. Running what you have in a real PCI slot seems to be the best route.

Thank you very much for your reply. I was afraid that might be the case. Did the converter work successfully under any other OS ?

Out of curiosity, which PCI cards did you try that failed ?

The Adaptec 29160LP is a low-profile PCI card that has OS/2 support that sells for next to nothing, and should physically fit with a PCI to PCI-E adapter - if that converter worked. Altogether that combo will run about $50, most of it being the converter.

Quote
I'm recommending Lenovo M93p SFF and mini-tower lately for eCS and ArcaOS users who want recent hardware. Both of them feature one PCI slot.

I don't require recent hardware, just a way to boot OS/2 and use the SCSI tape drive.

Seems like my best bet is to transplant my existing 6-year old AMD motherboard / CPU / RAM to a new case. This will probably be about $50 depending on what kind of case I choose, and seems like a surer bet than the PCI to PCI-E converter.
I am just not crazy about maintaining one more physical box. Already have 2 HTPCs and one desktop.
Even with a KVM switch with a free port, I need some space to physically but the box. The existing AMD motherboard is full ATX, so the case can't be too small. And it would need space for at least one optical drive for CD boot, and an internal SSD.  Fortunately I do have spare drives already to boot.

Oh, and the KVM currently goes to my portrait mode monitor because it's a DVI-D single link switch KVM. The monitor can rotate back to landscape, but this is quite a PITA. The other 2 monitors in my triple monitor setup are landscape and HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort due to 4K, which are not supported by any affordable and reliable KVM that I know. And those two 4K monitors have a total of 3 inputs each - 2 HDMI 2.0 and one DP. All of which are in use now.

Maybe a used single port IP KVM would be in order for the physical OS/2 box.  Then I could locate it anywhere and space wouldn't be as much of an issue. Not sure how much those KVMs run. It just seems like a lot of trouble / expense.

Quote
I think the last SCSI card to get OS/2 drivers was LSI-320, which was PCI-x. I'm not sure about support details -- I'm not personally that fond of SCSI.

Thanks. I have always loved the feature set of SCSI - just not the price. But it's certainly outdated today. The only thing I don't like is the lack of hotplug support with the LSI cards. Not sure if it works any better with Adaptec.

I just plugged in one of my two LSI U160 PCI cards into my i5 / Z170 NAS box last night. The SCSI BIOS only takes about 45 seconds. Still seems like an eternity. Ubuntu 18.04 sees the card and even the tape drive - but only provided it is turned on at boot time. I tried many approaches to rescan the SCSI bus under Linux, but none worked if the tape drive isn't present during SCSI BIOS execution. I think this is due to the layer driver architecture of LSI. Some code is in the driver for the OS, and other code in the SCSI BIOS.
I wonder if Adaptec works better and has a full software stack in the driver, which would allow SCSI rescan if the machine is booted without the tape drive.

Looks like VMWare Workstation & Player actually support a virtual SCSI device, and expose it as either Mylex or LSI devices in the guest OS ! And the doc mentions that it can specifically be used to use SCSI tape drives visible in the host OS in the guest OS.
This probably was never tested under OS/2, though. I did get the eCS CD to boot under VMWare player last night, after much pain.
The fonts in Ubuntu are much too small, though. The whole screen in text mode is only 4x3 inches on my 32" 4K monitor in Ubuntu.
Seems a lot of people have this issue too with VMWare.

If the SCSI tape drive virtualization actually works, it would be my preferred solution, rather than to have a bare metal OS/2 box nowadays and worry about unsupported hardware or KVMs, and space for an extra box.

Julien Pierre

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Re: Is there any SCSI PCI Express card supported by OS/2 ?
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2018, 09:22:01 pm »
Hi Julien.

I'm sorry but I don't have experience on SCSI or tape backups. But don't you need some inverse adapter, PCIe to PCI like this one:
https://www.amazon.com/PCI-Express-Adapter-Card-Half-Height/dp/B0024CV3SA

Sadly it does not also solve your issue, since your LSI SCSI card is not low profile. And I also have zero experience with this kind of adapters.

Regards

There is a 29160LP on ebay for $9 right now. And many others close to that price.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Adaptec-ASC-29160LP-PCI-X-to-Ultra160-SCSI-Controller-Card/253933824502?epid=4014900283&hash=item3b1fa2a9f6:g:RUIAAOSwESRcJU~f:rk:1:pf:0

Those are low-profile and with OS/2 driver support. But it would require the PCI to PCI-E converter to work.

Most of the reviews of these adapters say they work, but a few people had issues with older OSes. The only review I saw with OS/2 was from Neil today.

The adapter reviews say they are not that secure physically also, which can be an issue if plugging/unplugging the SCSI cable. I would have to be careful there. Probably would leave the tape drive permanently attached and just use the power switch on it.

Even if I get a PCI SCSI card working with the PCI-E adapter, my main desktop has all 5 of its PCI-E slots full. There are free PCI-E slots in my NAS box (which boots Linux and should stay up 24/7) and my 2 HTPCs, which are attached to projectors and TVs with huge screens and wireless keyboards/mice - not a great way to use OS/2 which requires extensive typing.

Ideally the PCI and PCI-E SCSI card would be in the NAS box (it has both PCI and PCI-E slots), and SCSI virtualization would work in VMWare under Ubuntu and OS/2 guest. Tall order. Definitely an easier path of resistance to just get a new case for the existing mobo...
« Last Edit: December 31, 2018, 09:27:54 pm by Julien Pierre »

Martin Iturbide

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Re: Is there any SCSI PCI Express card supported by OS/2 ?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2018, 09:37:03 pm »
Hi

Checkign arround, there is this Ultra 320 that has some OS/2 drivers (AICU320.ADD). According to some sites (like Amazon) there are some PCIe Ultra 320 cards, but I have no idea if those models will be working with OS/2.

Regards
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Julien Pierre

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Re: Is there any SCSI PCI Express card supported by OS/2 ?
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2018, 10:35:09 pm »
Hi

Checkign arround, there is this Ultra 320 that has some OS/2 drivers (AICU320.ADD). According to some sites (like Amazon) there are some PCIe Ultra 320 cards, but I have no idea if those models will be working with OS/2.

Regards

Yes, I believe this one is Adaptec 29320 and PCI-X, not PCI-e.  The drivers are from 2003 and PCI-E 1.0a was introduced in 2005.
So it would still require the PCI to PCI-E adapter to work.

However, it appears there is a PCI-e version of this Ultra29320 card too.
https://storage.microsemi.com/en-us/support/scsi/u320/asc-29320lpe/

Looks like this card is PCI-e x1. The version of PCI-e is not listed. If it's PCIe 1.0 it would max out at 250MB/s, not 320. If it's 2.0 it would get the full throughput. Can't find the release date for this card.
The tape drive is only LVD/SE Wide Ultra2 SCSI, which is 80 MB/s. Not even Ultra160, let alone Ultra320. And the actual streaming tape speed is much lower - only up to 3MB/s according to wikipedia for DDS-4, so the extra speed isn't actually needed at all.

This 29320LPe card is probably the same chipset as PCI-X versions, but no OS/2 drivers are listed for it. However, Microsemi also doesn't list any OS/2 drivers are for PCI/PCI-X version of the Ultra320 either, even though those exist. They do list the OS/2 drivers for the Ultra160 cards on their site.

If the 29320 PCI-E version actually works under OS/2, that would solve my problem nicely. The 29320LPe is a low-profile PCI-e card that comes with a standard bracket. There is also a low-profile bracket available for it, but my cases are all full size.
This card also costs more than the 29160 also, but the problematic PCI to PCI-E adapter is not needed.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Adaptec-ASC-29320LPE-Ultra-320-PCI-E-RoHS-HST-SCSI-Card-w-Full-Bracket/183271341094?epid=18022758526&hash=item2aabd2bc26:g:8HQAAOSwb39bIJka
This listing  is coming from China though, so would take a long time to get here.

There is a US listing which incorrectly says PCI-X but depicts a PCI-E card.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Adaptec-IBM-PCI-X-SCSI-Raid-Controller-29320ALP-Ultra320-SCSI-LVD-Tested-Good/272913054088?hash=item3f8ae2b988:g:nFYAAOSwYxBZ--V-:rk:31:pf:0
Accepts best offer, so I may give it a try. If this works it would be amazing. I never thought of trying the Ultra320 cards.

Currently,I have two Ultra160 LSI-based SCSI cards, one PCI-X and one PCI . The PCI-X card works in regular PCI slot too - working in my Z170-AR mobo right now in PCI slot under Ubuntu Linux 18.04 . The PCI version is in my HTPC running Windows 10 with the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 AMD motherboard.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2018, 10:36:59 pm by Julien Pierre »

Julien Pierre

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Re: Is there any SCSI PCI Express card supported by OS/2 ?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2019, 04:17:36 am »
I picked up this case for $24.90 today .

https://www.frys.com/product/7974440?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

It looks like Transformers. I will need to transform it into an OS/2 box.

I will transplant the GA-990FXA-UD3 motherboard / AMD FX-8120 / RAM from my HTPC case to this case. Then I don't have to worry about PCI-E SCSI card. The new case seems cheaper than getting a new PCI-E SCSI card that might or might not work with OS/2.

I have a spare PSU, spare optical drive, and spare SSD to use with it.

The new Ryzen mobo will go to the HTPC case. So I have 2 builds to do for the new year.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2019, 04:19:07 am by Julien Pierre »

ivan

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Re: Is there any SCSI PCI Express card supported by OS/2 ?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2019, 12:20:32 pm »
Hi Julien,

If you are thinking about OS/2 on the Ryzen board there are some limitations to consider.

Read the various threads in the forum about getting OS/2 on to a Ryzen based computer - can be done, I have 4 here, one Ryzen 7 and three Ryzen G.  The big problem is that we don't have a USB 3.x driver so you need a USB 2 PCIe card if you want to attach any USB device, the other thing is the ASmedia SATA chips that are generally on Ryzen boards - no driver again.

If you can work round those limitations they are fast stable units.

Julien Pierre

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Re: Is there any SCSI PCI Express card supported by OS/2 ?
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2019, 02:53:16 pm »
Hi Julien,

If you are thinking about OS/2 on the Ryzen board there are some limitations to consider.

Read the various threads in the forum about getting OS/2 on to a Ryzen based computer - can be done, I have 4 here, one Ryzen 7 and three Ryzen G.  The big problem is that we don't have a USB 3.x driver so you need a USB 2 PCIe card if you want to attach any USB device, the other thing is the ASmedia SATA chips that are generally on Ryzen boards - no driver again.

If you can work round those limitations they are fast stable units.

My main reason for purchasing the Ryzen was a quieter, more power efficient and more powerful HTPC. It will primarily run Windows 10. My old FX CPU was struggling with playing multichannel DSD.

I may experiment with installing OS/2 on it, but probably won't be really running it.

How is the SMP support on the Ryzen ? And what about the graphics on the G models ?
The one I got in 2700 (non-X) and Asus Prime X470 Pro motherboard.
https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/PRIME-X470-PRO/specifications/

It has USB 2.0 rear ports and internal headers too, though, so isn't that good enough for USB keyboard / mouse for the install even if the 3.0 ports are not supported ?

Re: the SATA ports, will it they not work at all, even with the unaccelerated IBM1S506 driver ? Or is that not a thing anymore in 2018 ? Or the IBMINT13 BIOS driver ? Anyway, I have a few spare SATA controllers. I bet at least one is supported.

3 other are identical Silicon Image 3132 . They are only PCIe 1.0 / x1, so too slow for modern SSDs I think. These came with SANS eSATA port multiplier enclosures, and only have eSATA ports, no internal. I do however have eSATA to SATA cables, so I can run them back into the case and can probably use them to install/boot OS/2. These are so old that I bet they work in OS/2.

3 of them are Marvell PCIe 2.0 / x2 based on Marvell 9230 and 9235 . These are 4 port SATA & eSATA cards.  Might be too new for OS/2, not sure.

Of course, there is the SCSI option too since I have the LSI PCI cards. But I no longer have any SCSI HDDs anywhere. Largest I ever got was probably 36GB.  I seem to remember using some IDE to SCSI adapters in the distant past, but I gave up on them. Don't believe I have any SATA to SCSI adapter for HDDs.

Sean Casey

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Re: Is there any SCSI PCI Express card supported by OS/2 ?
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2019, 03:06:58 am »
<<Is there any SCSI card that is PCI Express that has a native driver for OS/2 ? Ideally, I would like to find such a card if one exists.>>

HI,

Delayed in responding as I just completed my registration...   

I am using VMware Workstation on Linux to run ArcaOS.  With this setup, you can use virtually any PCIe SCSI card.   I define my linux SCSI device (/dev/sgx) to VMware, then select any SCSI card supported by OS/2 to install drivers, making the SCSI device available to OS/2.  I'm using an LSI PCIe SCSI card on Linux, but I have installed drivers for an old BusLogic ISA bus SCSI card on OS/2 to gain access to the Linux mounted SCSI device.

While I do backup my OS/2 VM to LTO, I also like to perform an OS/2 backup to DAT so I can selectively restore individuals files.

- Sean

Julien Pierre

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Re: Is there any SCSI PCI Express card supported by OS/2 ?
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2019, 09:33:11 am »
<<Is there any SCSI card that is PCI Express that has a native driver for OS/2 ? Ideally, I would like to find such a card if one exists.>>

HI,

Delayed in responding as I just completed my registration...   

I am using VMware Workstation on Linux to run ArcaOS.  With this setup, you can use virtually any PCIe SCSI card.   I define my linux SCSI device (/dev/sgx) to VMware, then select any SCSI card supported by OS/2 to install drivers, making the SCSI device available to OS/2.  I'm using an LSI PCIe SCSI card on Linux, but I have installed drivers for an old BusLogic ISA bus SCSI card on OS/2 to gain access to the Linux mounted SCSI device.

While I do backup my OS/2 VM to LTO, I also like to perform an OS/2 backup to DAT so I can selectively restore individuals files.

- Sean

Thanks, that's great to hear ! Since you are using VMWare, did you succeed in getting multiple CPUs (SMP) to work under ArcaOS as a guest ?

Sean Casey

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Re: Is there any SCSI PCI Express card supported by OS/2 ?
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2019, 05:19:00 pm »
Thanks, that's great to hear ! Since you are using VMWare, did you succeed in getting multiple CPUs (SMP) to work under ArcaOS as a guest ?

Yes and no.  I have been using four logical cores (Xeon E5-2699 v4) without any issues, but oddly when I exceed four cores, I begin to have problems with certain applications (e.g., ZOC abends).  I believe the issues I have seen are isolated to certain applications due to their design.  Under VMware, I have used as many as 10 logical cores using the ArcaOS kernel, and the OS has been very stable.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 06:57:33 pm by Sean Casey »

Julien Pierre

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Re: Is there any SCSI PCI Express card supported by OS/2 ?
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2019, 09:30:54 pm »
Yes and no.  I have been using four logical cores (Xeon E5-2699 v4) without any issues, but oddly when I exceed four cores, I begin to have problems with certain applications (e.g., ZOC abends).  I believe the issues I have seen are isolated to certain applications due to their design.  Under VMware, I have used as many as 10 logical cores using the ArcaOS kernel, and the OS has been very stable.

Thanks ! Great to hear that you have been able to use SMP under VMWare at all. I did not succeed with Virtualbox.
Problems with certain apps sound like race conditions, ie. bugs in the apps themselves. As a developer, I have encountered many of them over the years, and they are much more likely to manifest themselves on a fast system with lots of cores or physical CPUs.

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Re: Is there any SCSI PCI Express card supported by OS/2 ?
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2019, 09:55:06 pm »
I have only experience with VirtualBox and the outdated VirtualPC. What I remember from VMWare (ESXi) is that there doesn't exist OS/2 guest additions. That usually means that mouse and keyboard don't support seamless switching. I don't remember how the video driver behaves. There might be huge differences regarding the availability of features between VirtualBox and VMWare. Jan van Wijk was the first who wrote about a successful installation under VMWare ESXi.