Author Topic: eCS v2.1 and OS2AHCI.ADD where?  (Read 2509 times)

NNYITGuy

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eCS v2.1 and OS2AHCI.ADD where?
« on: 2012.02.24, 04:51:40 »
Hello All,

I am working on a new platform to be used in my release of a small business server. I understand that in AHCI mode the disc data transfers are much higher than in SATA compatibility mode.

I tried the install of eCS v2.1 with the BIOS setting for AHCI enabled and the AHCI enabled in the custom setup on the eCS installer. The installation of eCS was successful at first, that is what I thought. I found that the OS2AHCI.ADD file was never copied to the boot drive in the C:\OS2\BOOT folder. Actually, I found some AHCI related files within the ECS tree (I am not near that computer and can't remember the specific folder...).

I booted the eCS install CD and found the OS2AHCI.ADD in the root of Z: and copied it to C:\OS2\BOOT. Rebooted and then the system halted looking for an updated DOSCALLS.DLL, I rebooted to the eCS install CD and copied the Z:\DOSCALLS.DLL to the C:\OS2\DLL folder. Rebooted to the installed eCS partition to find another set if issues that I can not remember at this point.

So, what is my path forward to get AHCI functional? Second, is the AHCI speed enough to warrant all this work (I know that I have not spent much time on this yet so I can not complain, really. :-) )?

TIA,
-Todd

P.S. - Another thought. I read in the forums here that there was once a possible issue with AHCI and larger boot drives. I am using a WD 1TB 3½" drive that does not have the 4096 bit sectors. My boot partition is 20GB and no other partitions on the disk yet...
Todd J Simpson (IT Consultant)
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DougB

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Re: eCS v2.1 and OS2AHCI.ADD where?
« Reply #1 on: 2012.02.24, 06:44:48 »
Quote
I understand that in AHCI mode the disc data transfers are much higher than in SATA compatibility mode.

I don't know about "much higher", but AHCI seems to be good, when it works.

Quote
I found that the OS2AHCI.ADD file was never copied to the boot drive in the C:\OS2\BOOT folder.

Yeah, there is a bug in the installer. It should be fixed in the upcoming 2.11 version, from what I understand.

Quote
So, what is my path forward to get AHCI functional? Second, is the AHCI speed enough to warrant all this work (I know that I have not spent much time on this yet so I can not complain, really. :-) )?

It is pretty simple. Once you have the OS2AHCI.ADD file where it is supposed to be, these two lines control what happens:
Code: [Select]
BASEDEV=OS2AHCI.ADD <add parameters here>
BASEDEV=DANIS506.ADD /!BIOS

If OS2AHCI loads first, and it can find devices that it can control, it takes the device, and controls them. DaniS506.ADD takes any older IDE type devices that OS2AHCI doesn't want (if any - you do need one of the very latest versions of Danis506 - comes with eCS 2.1). Reverse the two, and DaniS506 will take the devices it can control, and OS2AHCI gets whatever is left, that it can control (if any). If you read the docs (<boot drive>:\ecs\DOC\OS2AHCI\README) you should be able to figure it out.

Of course, that doesn't tell the whole story. On my Lenovo ThinkPad T510, AHCI works great with /s /r /n. The BIOS must be set for AHCI for it to work in AHCI mode. On my Asus M3A78-EM, with quad core Phenom processor, and Maxtor 6L250S0 disk, The BIOS can be set for not AHCI (whatever it says), and the AHCI driver will still work. If it is set for AHCI, it will work only in AHCI mode. Actually, AHCI works for a few minutes, in either mode, then it traps. I have a newer disk to put into it, and I am hoping that that will fix the problem (but I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't). Currently, I am using Danis506$ on the M3A78-EM, but part of that decision is because I have WinXp on it.

One other consideration: If you have a windows, older than VISTA installed, you will need to jump through hoops to find, and install, the AHCI driver. Then, depending on how the AHCI BIOS setting works, you may need to change it in the BIOS at each boot, if all systems can't use AHCI. Some machines will switch modes automatically (like the M3A78-EM), while others will only work in one mode at a time (like the T510), without changing the BIOS setting.

rudi

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Re: eCS v2.1 and OS2AHCI.ADD where?
« Reply #2 on: 2012.02.24, 09:09:29 »
I understand that in AHCI mode the disc data transfers are much higher than in SATA compatibility mode.

I'd say that is a modern myth. AFAIK, AHCI really has an advantage when you have multiple disks. This is because the data channels on AHCI operate completey independend i.e. without master/slave devices sharing the same controller hardware. So it's ideal for RAID setups, which we usually don't have in OS/2.

miturbide

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Re: eCS v2.1 and OS2AHCI.ADD where?
« Reply #3 on: 2012.02.24, 16:28:02 »
Hi Todd

From my side I have no problems with AHCI. It is working here in two machines.

- Intel DH55TC with i5 Processor. - 120GB SATA HDD (This one has two SATA hard drives)
- Lenovo Thinkpad L420 - 7856-3WS - 500GB SATA HDD

Both boot without any issues.  But In both I had install eCS 2.1 on a 9GB partition at the beginning of the hard disk. I haven't make (and I don't know) how to do other deep analysis to see the HDD performance.

The other thing that I noticed on the machine with Intel DH55TC with i5 Processor, if I switch the HDD1 with eCS to second the SATA port, and put the HDD2 on the first SATA port of the mainbord, eCS would give me an can not operate hard drive message.  So the HDD1 with eCS had to be connected to the first SATA port of the mainboard on this case.

But I'm not sure if your case is a problem with the Hard Disk size or the mainboard compatibility (and AHCI limitation).
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NNYITGuy

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Re: eCS v2.1 and OS2AHCI.ADD where?
« Reply #4 on: 2012.03.14, 13:07:07 »
Hello,

Thanks everyone! I needed the OS2AHCI install files too. I found them, at last, on the EDG Beta site.  I looked there before and did not see them. I will be happily testing later today with eCS v2.1...

Thanks again,
-Todd
Todd J Simpson (IT Consultant)
Business Automation Technologies
(Professional Products and Services.  Business to Business...)

DougB

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Re: eCS v2.1 and OS2AHCI.ADD where?
« Reply #5 on: 2012.03.14, 18:08:30 »
Quote
I found them, at last, on the EDG Beta site.

What is that site? The only way to get the "official" OS2AHCI is from the eCS 2.1 install CD, or from the betazone (accessible by your Software Subscription). The latest version is 1.22, and it does work better than the one on the eCS 2.1 install CD. It still traps after about 4 hours, on my Asus M3A78-EM motherboard, with quad core AMD Phenom processor, using the "/s /n" parameters. It looks like the problem may be related to operating my SATA DVD writer, but I haven't pursued that any further, yet.

OS2AHCI 1.22 works great on my Lenovo ThinkPad T510, using the "/r /s /n" parameters.

Be aware, that there is a bogus version 1.4 floating around, and it doesn't work very well.

miturbide

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Re: eCS v2.1 and OS2AHCI.ADD where?
« Reply #6 on: 2012.03.14, 21:37:41 »
Be aware, that there is a bogus version 1.4 floating around, and it doesn't work very well.

Let's remember that the OS2AHCI driver is open source under the GNU GPL V2 license. Which it means it can be compiled by everybody, and that any derivative work of the source code must be release under the same open source license. (Mensys comply with that license and published the source code here http://svn.ecomstation.nl/ahci )

I also used the OS2AHCI community version at hobbes os2ahci_v0-1-4.zip (2011/09/16) and worked very good for me.

Regards.
« Last Edit: 2012.03.14, 22:13:15 by miturbide »
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miturbide

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Re: eCS v2.1 and OS2AHCI.ADD where?
« Reply #7 on: 2012.03.14, 22:20:59 »
On the other hand I had another question.

What would be a good test that can be done under eCS to show some results of the HDD performance to compare it with AHCI enabled not enabled.

Is it possible to test if there is any improvement using or not AHCI ?
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melf

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Re: eCS v2.1 and OS2AHCI.ADD where?
« Reply #8 on: 2012.03.14, 22:44:51 »
wouldn't sysbench work?
/Mikael

miturbide

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Re: eCS v2.1 and OS2AHCI.ADD where?
« Reply #9 on: 2012.03.14, 23:21:01 »
thanks melf. I had never tried benchmarking.

I will get it from hobbes and see if it gives some interesting data.
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DougB

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Re: eCS v2.1 and OS2AHCI.ADD where?
« Reply #10 on: 2012.03.15, 00:07:41 »
Quote
I also used the OS2AHCI community version at hobbes os2ahci_v0-1-4.zip (2011/09/16) and worked very good for me.

I couldn't get it to work for more than about a minute, without trapping, on either of my systems. The "official" version 1.22 works perfectly on my Lenovo ThinkPad T510 (even with hyperthreading enabled), and it takes about 4 hours on my Asus M3A78-EM motherboard, with quad core Phenom processor, before it traps (more analysis to do with that).

Quote
What would be a good test that can be done under eCS to show some results of the HDD performance to compare it with AHCI enabled not enabled.

I think you would need to be very careful about comparing numbers. If you write a test to specifically show the advantages of AHCI, I am sure that it could be made to look extremely fast. On the other hand, sequential I/O in a single thread, probably won't show any difference. If you read the docs, very few programs (if any) are written to take advantage of the features of AHCI, and it would be pure coincidence if two, or more, programs happened to do something together to make the advantages actually help. Repeating something like that would be impossible, and I doubt if a user would notice the difference, without using some very fine timing measurements. On the other hand, AHCI does open the door for more overlap in I/O processing, if somebody wants to take advantage of it and write I/O routines that can use it. Some very heavily I/O bound systems may see some speed increase, if multiple programs happen to overlap their I/O a lot. In most cases you will see very little difference, and file system cache will hide any difference anyway (it is so much faster).

IMO there are three reasons to use OS2AHCI:
1) To test it to make sure that it works in as many cases as possible (see 2).
2) To support those systems that do not have any other option (apparently, there are already a few of them).
3) So that you don't need to switch the BIOS every time you boot another system that does (or doesn't) use it.

In my case, I have Win7 on my Lenovo ThinkPad T510, and the machine arrived with AHCI enabled. I was able to switch to Compatibilty mode in the BIOS, and eCS worked fine (in this machine, it is one, or the other). WIn7 was not very happy about that, but it is possible to convince it to use the old IDE mode. Once I got eCS 2.1 installed, with AHCI (due to a bug in the installer, the AHCI driver is not installed, unless you install using AHCI), I got Win7 to work with AHCI again, and all is happiness.

On my Asus machine, I have WinXP, which knows nothing about AHCI. Apparently, you can find a driver to make it work, but that seems to be a lot of messing around, with no guarantee of success. The Asus BIOS can be left set to Compatibility, and it will switch to AHCI mode if the AHCI driver is loaded before the Dani driver. Since I get a trap, after a while, in AHCI mode, I have decided to use the Dani driver, and worry about AHCI when I find some time to test it. If I switch the BIOS to AHCI mode, the dani driver, and WinXP, won't work.

The bottom line is that using, or not using, the OS2AHCI driver depends on a lot of things (not the least of which is the BIOS support). In a "production" machine, you are probably safer to stay with the Dani driver, unless there is some reason not to. At this time, it would be good for as many people to try it as possible, just to shake out the bugs. Someday, there may not be an option, so it would be good to have AHCI working properly. You may also want to use it for convenience (see my T510 scenario, above). The last consideration, IMO, would be whether it is faster, or not.

miturbide

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Re: eCS v2.1 and OS2AHCI.ADD where?
« Reply #11 on: 2012.03.16, 21:29:05 »
2) To support those systems that do not have any other option (apparently, there are already a few of them).

We are the kind of users that like to have the "business class" laptops and that usually came with the AHCI/compatibility on the BIOS. But there is a lot of laptops that do not have that option. I used to have the issue that I was not able to run eCS (before mensys released the driver) on a HP Pavilion dv series. The issue is that is seems that laptops are going that way, to have always enable the AHCI mode and no on/off switch.

That's why I found this driver very important, and since it is open source (GNU GPL) it is very interesting too since the derivative work most be always open source too.
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