DO NOT INSTALL FIRMWARE 1.52 FOR ARECA-8050 IF YOU ARE USING SSDS AS YOUR BOOT DISK OR RESET PRAM!

This is my first post on Pixelreeder – part of my job at our studio is keeping the equipment running. The above warning will hopefully help people avoid our issue with a SSDs in our Areca machine.

It all stems from a bug we needed to fix in Mountian Lion. We had a problem when the OS marked our raid 5 partition as hidden and greyed out the icon. We think the cause is a full time machine, but we aren’t sure. You can read about our fix here, it involves one line of code. In the process of finding this fix we decided to update  the firmware on our Areca-8050 external unit.

As you can guess, we ran into some very scary problems.

Our setup is a 2013 iMac running the OS from an SSD in the Areca-8050.

Our Areca firmware was 1.49. We tried upgrading in Safari, but it just hangs; so use Chrome or Firefox. We installed the firmware 1.52 and restarted on the Areca 8050. The box then failed the SSD, with no way to get it work in the box again. The drive seemed fine on other systems – it booted and worked great. We also tried a 2.5” hdd with a fresh install that booted fine.

We then downgraded to 1.51. We found the old firmware on an FTP site that Areca has with all the old software. The raid card inside the 8050 is actually an areca-1882 with thunderbolt hardware attached.

Everything worked fine – as normal. The old SSD was still failed, so we inserted another. We copied over the OS and it worked just like 1.49 did. We could boot from the SSD over thunderbolt.

So, everything seemed to work fine. I decided to upgrade to 1.52 to try the new 1mb stripe size for faster reads on our scratch disk. I installed the firmware on the box as directed by tech support and presto – SSD FAIL again. There must be a bug in the 1.52 firmware – it’s always causing the issue. Otherwise the top slot of our unit has strange issues with SSDs, but we can pinpoint the problem to 1.52.

*UPDATE* We sent out the unit for RMA. The engineers that designed couldn’t figure out what was wrong, so they asked us to ship it in. Hopefully the problem is only with our unit and not the 5.12 firmware itself.