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11. December 2012

VIA VT6421 SATA RAID Controller: Hardware Initiate Failed (HDD)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — Christopher Kramer @ 21:24

My home-server’s motherboard is quite old and does not have onboard SATA. Therefore, when I bought a new hard drive for the server, I connected it to a PCI SATA controller card. Performance doesn’t matter much with this server (I am the only user, it mostly only runs cronjobs and the-like). The SATA card had a VIA VT6421 chip on it. From time to time, I had the problem that the computer wouldn’t boot failing with this error message:

Hardware Initiate failed. Please check Device.
The BIOS does not be installed. Press g to Continue.

Nice error message ­čśë
If you google this, you’ll find lots of people with this problem.

When I pressed CTRL+ALT+DEL to reboot the pc, it always detected the drive then. On the internet I found out that the problem is caused by SATA 300 (3Gbit/s) hard drives attached to the VT6421, which only supports SATA 150 (1,5Gbit/s). The Samsung drive I had at this time (a Samsung F2 EcoGreen 1500GB HD154UI 5400/m) didn’t have a jumper to change to SATA 150 (like some drives have), but Samsung provided a bootable tool to change the speed setting of the drive. (Samsung does not produce hard drives any longer, so I couldn’t find the software on the Samsung site anymore. I have it burnt on a CD, though. Contact me in case Samsung doesn’t publish it any longer and you really need it.)

Using the tool with the Samsung drive didn’t really solve the problem for me. But as it only occurred from time to time, I did not invest any more time to solve the problem.

Then one day the Samsung drive died ­čÖü and I bought a new drive. This time it was a Seagate drive (Seagate 2000GB Barracuda Green ST2000DL003). With this drive, the problem occurred every time I booted the pc. As before, restarting the computer made it detect the drive, but it was very annoying. This drive has a jumper to set the speed to SATA 150. I inserted the jumper as described on the Seagate website (attention! look at the graphic twice because it is drawn upside-down!). The problem remained unchanged :(.

Finally, I found the solution to my problem while googling forums again. Somebody wrote that he could not make the SATA controller detect the drive since he disconnected the dvd drive (sorry I cannot give the link, I do not remember where I read it. Thanks a lot to the guy who wrote this nevertheless!). So I connected an unused dvd drive to the IDE port of the sata controller board (I did not use the IDE ports of the VT6421 card at all before, only the sata ports). And from now on, the controller detected the drive correctly! ­čÖé

So the short story is: Connect some additional device like a dvd drive to the IDE port of the controller card to solve the SATA problem!
At lest it worked for me. Maybe you additionally need the jumper as well (I did not remove it).

Kind of weird. I guess detecting the IDE device makes the controller busy for a moment so the drive is ready once the controller tries to detect it. But that’s only guessing.

I hope this helps somebody with the same problem. Please share your experience in the comments if it helped you.

Recommendation

Try my Open Source PHP visitor analytics script CrazyStat.

22. August 2012

DHL / paket.de : Kundenservice nur noch Social?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — Christopher Kramer @ 12:59

Heute aus gegebenem Anlass mal ein Beitrag auf Deutsch und zu einem nicht so technischem Thema: Dem Kundenservice von DHL bzw. Kundenservice im Allgemeinen.

Vor 6 Wochen habe ich auf paket.de, dem Portal der DHL zum Paketversand und -empfang (Packstation etc.), versucht im Kundenbereich eine neue Anschrift zu hinterlegen. Dies scheiterte daran, dass stets die Fehlermeldung erschien, die Anschrift w├Ąre ung├╝ltig. Ich versuchte “Stra├če” ausgeschrieben und┬áabgek├╝rzt, alles ohne Erfolg. Daraufhin kontaktierte ich DHL ├╝ber das Kontaktformular┬á zu diesem Anliegen.

Nachdem 2 Wochen sp├Ąter noch keine Antwort kam, sendete ich erneut eine Anfrage ├╝ber das Kontaktformular. Keine Antwort.

Nun, gestern versuchte ich dann mein Gl├╝ck ├╝ber Twitter: Ich sendet gestern Abend einen Tweet an @DHLPaket mit meinem Anliegen. Heute morgen erhielt ich die Antwort:

Bitte senden Sie uns Ihre neue Anschrift an twitter@dhl.com zu. Wir k├╝mmern uns darum.

Also sendete ich mein Anliegen mit neuer Anschrift und Postnummer an genannte Adresse. Und siehe da: Nur eine Stunde sp├Ąter erhielt ich eine E-Mail einer Mitarbeiterin des Packstation-Teams, dass meine Adresse ge├Ąndert w├Ąre, sowie eine automatische Mail des Systems, dass meine Daten ver├Ąndert wurden.

Perfekt, aber warum nicht gleich so? Wird Kundenservice heute nur noch ├╝ber Soziale Netzwerke ernst genommen, da man hier ├Âffentlicher agiert und riskiert, vor vielen Twitter- oder Facebook-Nutzern als wenig kundenfreundlich dazustehen? Es mag sein, dass es sich hier um einen Einzelfall handelte, und das Kontaktformular normalerweise genauso schnell beantwortet wird. Ich habe nicht genug Erfahrung um mir dar├╝ber ein umfassendes Urteil zu erlauben. Trotzdem habe ich den Eindruck, dass Unternehmen immer mehr Mitarbeiter in die Social Media Abteilungen setzen und den traditionellen Kundenservice etwas vernachl├Ąssigen.

Hat jemand ├Ąhnliche Erfahrungen gemacht? Wie kontaktiert ihr den Kundenservice gro├čer Unternehmen bei Problemen? Telefon, Mail oder soziale Netzwerke?

Ich w├╝rde mich sehr ├╝ber weitere Erfahrungen freuen. Ich werde auf jeden Fall demn├Ąchst fr├╝her versuchen, den Kundenservice per Twitter zu kontaktieren, wenn auf anderem Weg keine Antwort kommt.

Edit: Ich habe auf Elschy’s Blog noch interessante andere Erfahrungen mit Kundenservice ├╝ber Twitter gefunden.

Edit: Es gibt offenbar eine kostenlose Beschwerdenummer, über die man auch etwas erreicht: 0800 1 888 444 Vielen Dank an Thomas für das Kommentar.

12. June 2012

LaTeX: multiline comments

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Christopher Kramer @ 23:26

You often want to out-comment some stuff while writing a LaTeX document very quickly, and LaTeX does only offer single-line comments out of the box:

% This is a comment
% This is the next line

Of course this can get a lot of work if you do this manually for a lot of lines. There might be editors that ease this, but I just found a very easy way to achieve multiline-comments using the verbatim package:

\usepackage{verbatim}

You can now just have multiline comments like this:

\begin{comment}
This is a comment
This is the next line
\end{comment}

Very easy. I knew there had to be a package for that. I was just too lazy to search for it up to now.

4. March 2012

Forum (board) opened for discussion and support

Filed under: CrazyStat,Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Christopher Kramer @ 12:42

Today I would like to introduce Christosoft Forum.

It is meant both for support, especially about CrazyStat, but also any general discussion about things of common interest.

I hope it will be used especially for CrazyStat support.

You do not even have to register at the moment, you can post as guest if you solve a captcha. Let’s hope I can keep this setting and it won’t be abused.

So from now on, please use the forum if you have any problems with CrazyStat. Other users might help you before I find the time or you might find the solution for your problem in an old thread.

Let me know what you think of it, either here or in the forum.

Also let me know if you have suggestions, e.g. for subforums or forum settings.

Edit: This is part of my plans to make development of CrazyStat more open. Expect other steps like Bugtracker or public SVN soon…

24. November 2011

Christosoft Blog is born

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christopher Kramer @ 23:58

This is my brand new blog. Here I plan to write short articles about:

  • current news regarding CrazyStat
  • new tutorials and script snippets about/in PHP
  • other web related stuff that might be of interest, e.g. about Typo3

This is what I have in mind at the moment. Let’s see how it will develop. I chose to setup this blog as it is a bit easier to use wordpress to write a short article than using my own CMS. And with a blog system, you can easily comment on my articles.

Please let me know if you like the idea and if you have any ideas for my blog, e.g. what about you would like me to write.

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