Subject: Re: crash (NCR driver?)
To: Current Users <current-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Davyd Norris <>
List: current-users
Date: 01/09/1997 10:08:46
Perry E. Metzger wrote:
> Manuel Bouyer writes:
> > > What kind of problems aren't there with the NCR driver?
> >
> > I'm using an ncr adapter on a pentium with a 1G scsi drive, a magneto-optical
> > drive and, from time to time a dat or hexabyte, and I never had any problems
> > in 3 years. I also have another pentium with 4*4 Gb scsi drives on an ncr
> > adapter, wich runs fine too.
> >
> > The problems with this driver seems to be really hw-depedant.
> Totally. One machine can run perfectly and another can fail to run at
> all. Mycroft once told me it seems to be cache coherency and timing
> dependent, though I can't comment myself as thats all black magic to
> me.
> Perry

I have had continual problems with the NCR driver since I started. They 
are not constant enough to make the machine unusable, but they are 
intensely annoying at times. Up till the latest changes I have had 
assert failures, and the new changes give me script errors and make the 
whole thing very flakey.

When I put the machine together, the NCR card was the only PCI bus 
master supported by NetBSD and, since it was solely a NetBSD box, that 
is why I went NCR. I would love to switch to something else if there was 
another reliable PCI bus-master card out there for NetBSD ( I know we 
now have a lot more Adaptec support - how are they for stability?) I 
also got the SCO SCSI driver source for the QLogic controllers which I 
use in all our other servers, but time and lack of knowledge stops me 
from hacking up a BSD port, and an NDA stops me from publishing it 
if/once I do!!!

What I would really like to do is figure out what makes some NCR cards 
great and others just plain crap. Someone suggested that it was the 
hardware revision of the card. I was looking at the SC-200 BIOS version 
on my ASUS board to see if that was it. I also have two SMC EtherPower 
PCI cards and a Diamond Viper PCI card in the box. Maybe it is bus 
master contention problems. 

I dunno, but I am willing to make a database of NCR configurations and 
look at it for some ideas. We could start with dmesg output for NCR 
configs, as well as hardware revisions and BIOS versions etc.

Any takers?

Davyd Norris - Systems Manager
Franklin Collins Pty. Ltd.
Melbourne, Australia.