Archive for April, 2009

Plan the next steps

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

This is now a usable system.

However, for education and possible flexibility, I next intend to identify benchmark tests for both Mac and Windows, run them as-is on standard disks, GRAID and ProAVIO RAID, attempt install MacDrive (via workaround to dodge RAID driver compatibility issues), retest, also try other cross-filesystem tools. Also, for the ProAVIO NTFS partition, want to identify a reliable filesystem synchronizer. ABSynch comes to mind but I have not used it before.

Success: Both Mac and Windows can now use the RAID !

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

The result was exactly as intended, an MBR partitioning system containing an HFS+ partition and an NTFS partition. Mac OS X was able to read the contents of both partitions. Windows (BootCamp XP) was able to read and write to the NTFS partition.

Convert GPT to MBR (non-destructively via iPartition)

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Now the question is: Can I non-destructively convert the RAID’s partitioning system from GPT to MBR? Non destructively here means I don’t have to wipe the disk (through reformatting etc) and recover the data from backup. The answer is YES! The Mac-based iPartition app does exactly that.

iPartition 3.1.1 (154) did it fine, taking around 6 or 7 hours.


NTFS partition not visible to XP – because it’s GPT

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

OK so I have partitions for HFS+ and NTFS but still no extra disk (drive letter) shows up.  XP’s Disk Management tool does list the disk device but allows no operations on it – menu commands are greyed-out.  The tool displays the partitioning system as GPT, which may be a clue:  I think XP is unable to handle GPT-based partitions, only MBR ones.

iPartition the RAID

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Used iPartition (3.1.0, 153)  to split the existing RAID into separate volumes for the existing HFS+ volume and additionally an NTFS volume, the latter for use by the BootCamp-XP system. (more…)

WinClone OK After Windows Pruned

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

WinClone worked fine once the BootCamp system disk size had been reduced from 250 GB to 30GB and de-fragged. (more…)

Back-up the System Volumes

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Backed-up to my new RAID1 USB drive:

  • Backed-up Mac volume to “Macintosh HD 2009-04-21.dmg”. Presumably I did this via Disk Utility from bootable CD.
  • Tried backing-up XP volume by using WinClone. Normally a smooth process but this time I ran into difficulties.


How to Partition the RAID

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

The “separate partitions” workaround should be simple to try and will provide a basis for a baseline speed test against which to compare the other workarounds.  iPartition can be run not only from its own bootable CD but also from Mac OS. Only under the latter can it see the RAID. Before doing anything though, back-up the system disks, Mac and Win (BootCamp-XP).


Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Regardless of which product is to blame, what work-arounds are there?

  1. Split the RAID into separate partitions for Windows and for Mac filesystems.
  2. Alternative RAID card e.g. by Promise Technology.
  3. Convert the filesystem itself between Windows and Mac formats, by using iPartition (which I already have).


Mac: HFS+ accessibility to BootCamp-XP

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

OK so the RAID itself is now accessible to Windows (BootCamp-XP) but since it is formatted as HFS+ the filesystem does not mount as a Windows disk. Reseller helped investigate this further.At first, attempted use of MacDrive 7. a product that (as I understand it) lets Windows apps see HFS+ filesystems (e.g. disks). However after installation, windows kept booting then BSOD then rebooting etc… Exited by forcing a safe boot then uninstalling MacDrive. A query to MacDrive suppliers confirmed it was not compatible with the RR driver: (more…)

Mac: RocketRAID accessibility to BootCamp-XP

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Tues 2009-04-21 visited reseller (PV) to get RAID made accessible to Windows (BootCamp-XP) as well as Mac.RR card flashed to disable its BIOS.  I think I was told that this mod was needed because the RAID config (BIOS) assumes keyboard present, but it’s a USB keyboard and Mac boot order hasn’t enabled USB at that stage.   Also got a new driver (.dmg) file for the RR.  As a result, RAID (ProAVIO) now visible in XP Disk Manager.

DV->AviSynth->VFAPI Problem solved: DV Codec & RGB24

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Had an AviSynth script which used to work OK on my old PC but not on my new one.

The first problem was that AviSynth’s AVISource command failed to find a codec for the DV (AVI) file I was trying to read.  DirectShowSource worked OK but AVISource didn’t, implying that there was no VFW codec for DV functioning on the new PC.  Indeed, the new machine had no DV Codec installed – because there isn’t one as default in XP.  When I installed the MainConcept’s DV Codec then the problem went away.

Next issue was when I put the AviSynth scipt thru VFAPI, it produced an audio-only stream.  Indeed in retrospect when I had dragged the file to VFAPI the video options had been greyed-out.   Same script worked OK on the old PC.   GSpot revealed that it worked on the old PC because that PC included an “RGB Color Space Convertor” DLL, namely LMVRGBxf.DLL.  This turned out to be part of Nero, which was indeed installed on the old PC but not the new.  Begs the question of whether such a file should ideally be on a PC and if so what are the choices?  Regardless, taking note of the “colour space convertor” description, guessed (correctly) that all I had to do was alter the end of the AviSynth script to use ConvertToRGB24 instead of ConvertToRGB32.

With those two fixes, VFAPI processed both video and audio aspects of the DV file and consequently the resulting *_vfapi.avi file was now fully (video and audio) playable in both Media Player and Sony Vegas.