STB Suite

June 2003

ATA Issues

Since 2002 the SCSItoolbox has been able to communicate and test ATA interface peripherals – including Serial ATA – by using the ATAPI (ATA Packet Interface) interface. ATA devices will implement various combinations of the commands defined in the ATAPI specification – everything from basic commands like INQUIRY, READ, and WRITE, on through more informative commands such as MODE SENSE and LOG SENSE. You will need to consult your particular device documentation to find out what commands are supported.

As a general rule most ATAPI devices will support any of the read or write tests, performance measurement tests, and media duplication.
Interim SCSItoolbox release

An interim release of SCSItoolbox (version 4.0.1) is available for download at the SCSItoolbox web site. This version fixes a bug in the transfer rate calculations in the Tape Performance Test, and adds an additional new Tape Speed Measurement Test.

Click this link to download. the download is complete unzip the file STB32.exe and copy it into your SCSItoolbox folder.
Ask Dr. SCSI – How can I test, profile, or qualify Serial ATA drives?

The real Dr. SCSIQ. How can I test, profile, or qualify Serial ATA drives?

A. With the SCSItoolbox, of course!

Use a non-RAID SATA board, such as a Siig or Adaptec. Use the Scan System button on the main SCSItoolbox menu to locate and select the drive you want to test.

Use the Sequential or Random disk tests, and you can set performance alarms to qualify SATA drives based on transfer rate limits that you set.

Or, use the Disk Screening Module to test multiple SATA drives at once – as many drives on as many adapters as you’d like! All test results and data are stored to an Access data base, so tracking historical data by disk type or serial number is a snap.
Did you know?

Did you know that you can query your tape drive to see what amount of tape compression is being achieved? In keeping with our ATA theme, we will look at an ATAPI interface Sony SDX-420 tape drive’s compression page, which is LOG PAGE 39h. Check your tape drive documentation to determine which LOG PAGE contains compression information.

Here are the parameters available on the SDX-420:

Supported Parameter Codes in this page and their meanings are as follows:

Use the Tape->Commands->Mode/Log Pages->Log Pages->View Log Pages command to view the current values.