May 2003

STB Suite | The Industry Standard in Peripheral Testing.

Mad-May DiskTool Offer
For the month of May we’re offering a SCSI/Fibre DiskTool for $500.00 for customers who email sales and mention the "Mad-May Offer" Newsletter. For sales write sales@scsitoolbox.com and mention the Mad-May Offer. 

Ask Dr. SCSI – How can I configure a bunch of drives?

The real Dr. SCSIQ. "I have lots of drives that I need to download new firmware to. The drives are going into a RAID system, so I also need to change the blocksize of each drive to 520 bytes/block. My RAID system also requires certain specific MODE PAGE settings to deliver optimum performance."

"Is there a way to quickly and easily configure all these drives? Oh yes, I would also like to certify that the write/read performance is up to snuff"

A. What you need is a drive configuration expert. And the good news is that there is a drive configuration expert that lives in your SCSItoolbox, in the Drive Screening Module!

Here are the simple but complete steps to do what you need:

  1. connect a disk drive that has its MODE PAGES set the way that the RAID system requires
  2. click on the disk drive to select it
  3. click Disk->Create ModePage File for DiskScreening
  4. enter a file name then click Save to File
  5. connect all the drives that you need to configure
  6. from the SCSItoolbox Main Menu, choose Disk->Disk Screening Module
  7. use the Tree Control to select all the drives on all the adapters that you want to configure
  8. on the Pre-Test Configure Tab page, click the "Blocksize <>" checkbox, enter "520" in the edit box, and check the "Change" box
  9. check the "Mode Page" box, and enter the file name from step 4
  10. check the "Version" box, enter the firmware version that the drives require, check the "Change" box, and enter the file name of the firmware download file
  11. choose the "Test Setup" tab, click the "Sequential" button, the "Write/Read" button, then click the "Add This Test to Test Sequence" button. The default will run this test for one minute – feel free to change it if you’d like
  12. Now click the "Start Test" button

That’s it – no programming, no syntax to remember – it’s really quicker to do it than to read how to do it! 

In 5 minutes your Drive Configuration Expert is working hard for you!

Each drive (no matter if you have 1 drive or hundreds connected) will have it’s MODE PAGE’s set, it’s blocksize changed to 520 (the drive will be reformatted automatically), the new firmware will be downloaded, and a write/read test will run. Each drive will complete as quickly as it can, and of course they will be configured and tested in parallel for maximum use of your time.

As things progress you can right-click on any drive on the tree control to see how it’s going, pause, resume, or stop a test, and you can see a summary for each drive on the Test Status tab page.

As you can see you can define all kinds of tests and add them to the Test Sequence. And of course you can save all of the above to a Setup file so that repeating a test/configuration sequence is as easy as reloading your setup file.

For more info see the file "DiskScreen.doc" located in the documentation folder in your SCSI toolbox 32 folder.

Do you know? – …that you don’t need SCSItoolbox tests to test your peripherals?
We love to have you use the SCSItoolbox tests, but if there is something special that you need to do you can do it yourself. The Developers Toolbox (included with version 4 and above of the SCSItoolbox) allows you to access our SCSI/FC/ATAPI/iSCSI function library from within Visual Basic or Visual C++. Check out what functions are available in the file "DTB SCSI Extension Functions" in the Documentation folder found in your SCSI toolbox 32 folder.