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SCSI Systems

SCSI Systems

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Published by Drift Gee

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Published by: Drift Gee on Feb 11, 2012
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39
SCSI SYSTEMSAND TROUBLESHOOTING
P
C designers have always sought ways to connect more devices to fewer cables. Thisreduces the amount of adapter card hardware in the system, so power, space, cost, and 
1147
CONTENTSATAGLANCE
Understanding SCSIConcepts
Device independenceSCSI variationsInitiators and targetsSynchronous and asynchronousDisconnect and reconnectSingle-ended and differentialTerminatorsSCSIIDSBus configurations
Understanding SCSIBus Operation
NegotiationInformation
Upgrading a PC for SCSI
SCSIperipheralsSCSIhost adapterSCSIcables and terminatorsSCSIdriversTips for a smooth upgradeConfigure and install the SCSIadapterConfigure and install the SCSIperipheralCabling and terminationReal-mode SCSIdriver issuesTips for Windows 95 SCSIdrivers
Troubleshooting the SCSISystem
Isolating trouble spotsGeneral troubleshooting tipsSymptoms
Further Study
 
maintenance demands are also lowered. In the early 1980s, it became clear that a moreversatile and intelligent interface would be needed to overcome the myriad of proprietaryinterfaces appearing at the time. By 1986, PC designers responded with the introductionof the
Small Computer System Interface
(
SCSI 
, pronounced “scuzzy”). SCSI proved to bea revolution for PC “power-users”—a single adapter could operate a number of unique de-vices simultaneously—all “daisy-chained” to the same cable. Where other “low-end” PCsneeded one adapter for hard drives, one adapter for the CD-ROM, another adapter for atape drive, etc., a system fitted with a SCSI adapter could handle all of these devices and achieve data throughputs that other interfaces of the day couldn’t even dream of.Today’s PC industry has changed. Proprietary interfaces are largely discouraged and the“standardized” interfaces (such as
 ATA-2
, also known as
 EIDE 
) now support a variety of devices while offering low cost and performance levels rivaling SCSI. Yet, SCSI has en-dured and evolved, and it remains the interface of choice for multitasking and high-end systems. This chapter examines the inner workings of the SCSI interface, and shows youhow to deal with installation and troubleshooting problems.
Understanding SCSI Concepts
Ideally, peripherals should be independent of the microprocessor’s operation. The com- puter should only have to send commands and data to the peripheral, and wait for the pe-ripheral to respond. Printers work this way. The parallel and serial ports are actually“device-level” interfaces. The computer is unconcerned with what device is attached tothe port. In other words, you can take a printer built 12 years ago and connect it to a newPentium-based system—and the printer will work just fine because only data and com-mands are being sent across the interface. Very simply put, this is the concept behind SCSI. Computers and peripherals can be designed, developed, and integrated withoutworrying about hardware compatibility. Such compatibility is established entirely by theSCSI interface.
DEVICE INDEPENDENCE
From a practical standpoint, SCSI is a bus—an organization of physical wires and termi-nations, where each wire has its own name and purpose. SCSI also consists of a command set—a limited set of instructions that allow the computer and peripherals to communicateover the physical bus. The SCSI bus is used in systems that want to achieve device inde- pendence. For example, all hard-disk drives look alike to the SCSI interface (except for their total capacity), all optical drives look alike, all printers look alike, etc. For any par-ticular type of SCSI device, you should be able to replace an existing device with another device, without any system modifications. New SCSI devices can often be added to the bus with little more than a driver upgrade. Because the intelligence of SCSI resides in the peripheral device itself and not in the computer, the computer is able to use a small set of standard commands to accomplish data transfer back and forth to the peripheral. Now thatyou understand a bit about the nature of the SCSI interface, the following sections explainsome of the important terms and concepts you’ll need to know.
1148SCSI SYSTEMS AND TROUBLESHOOTING
 
SCSI VARIATIONS
This section covers at the evolution of the SCSI interface and the ways in which it hasevolved and proliferated. SCSI began life in 1979 when Shugart Associates (you might re-member them as one of the first PC hard drive makers) released their “Shugart AssociatesSystems Interface” (or SASI) standard. The X3T9.2 committee was formed by ANSI in 1982to develop the SASI standard, which was renamed SCSI. SCSI drives and interfaces thatwere developed under the evolving X3T9.2 SCSI standard were known as
SCSI-1
, althoughthe actual SCSI-1 standard (ANSI X3.131-1986) didn’t become official until 1986. SCSI-1 provided a system-level 8-bit bus that could operate up to eight devices and transfer data atup to 5MB/s. However, the delay in standardization lead to a lot of configuration and com- patibility problems with SCSI-1 setups. Table 39-1 compares SCSI-1 specs to other versions.Earlier in 1986 (even before the SCSI-1 standard was ratified), work started on theSCSI-2 standard, which was intended to overcome many of the speed and compatibility problems encountered with SCSI-1. By 1994, ANSI blessed the SCSI-2 standard (X3.131-1994). SCSI-2 was designed to be backwardly compatible with SCSI-1, butSCSI-2 also provided for several variations. Fast SCSI-2 (or “Fast SCSI”) doubles theSCSI bus clock speed and allows 10MB/s data transfers across the 8-bit SCSI data bus.Wide SCSI-2 (or “Wide SCSI”) also doubles the original data-transfer rate to 10MB/s byusing a 16-bit data bus instead of the original 8-bit data bus (the SCSI clock is left un-changed). To support the larger data bus, Wide SCSI uses a 68-pin cable instead of the tra-ditional 50-pin cable. Wide SCSI can also support up to 16 SCSI devices. Designers thencombined the attributes of fast and wide operation to create Fast Wide SCSI-2 (“Fast Wide
UNDERSTANDINGSCSICONCEPTS 1149
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Although SCSI-1 was supposed to support all SCSI devices, manufacturers took libertieswith the evolving standard. This frequently led to installation and compatibility problemsbetween SCSI-1 devices which “theoretically” should have worked together perfectly.Today, all existing SCSI-1 adapters should be upgraded to SCSI-2 installations.
TABLE39-1COMPARISON OF SCSI VARIATIONS
BUS SPEEDBUS WIDTHBUS LENGTHDEVICESTERM(MB/S)(BITS)(METERS)SUPPORTEDSCSI-1
SCSI-1 5 8 6 8
SCSI-2
Fast SCSI 10 8 3 8Wide SCSI1016316Fast Wide SCSI 20 16 3 16
SCSI-3
Fast-20 SCSI 20 8 1.5 8Wide Fast-20 SCSI4016 3 4*Fast-40 SCSI40 8 n/d8*Wide Fast-40 SCSI80 16 n/d16* These standards are still in development, and their full specifications are still being determined.

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