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Thread: Runcore 32 GB Pro IV 70 mm with firmware B001 has OS install fail...




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Baltimore
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    3

    Default Runcore 32 GB Pro IV 70 mm with firmware B001 has OS install fail...

    Greetings all. I am new to this forum. I am glad to find a Runcore dedicated discussion. I lurked and searched, but could find no ready answers to my problems. So it is my pleasure to start a new thread. The eeeuser.com forum is down for an upgrade, but all the same I was glad to find Tweaktown. So, once again, Howdy.

    Apologies in advance for this lengthy post. Here is the problem in a nutshell. I have installed the Runcore 32 GB Pro IV 70 mm drive (with firmware B001) onto my Asus EEEPC 900 with BIOS 1006 (newest). The new drive seems to work from a hardware perspective. However, no OS install remains stable for any significant time after initial startup. Furthermore, after carefully researching a firmware upgrade using the Runcore documentation -- which, for an old Asia hand like me, was not too tough to decipher -- the FW upgrade failed. Not disastrously thank goodness. The designated FW executable simply failed to see the drive. This is passing strange as the BIOS sees it and other hardware has access to it. Frankly, I am stumped. I would like to procede with a FW upgrade to try to fix this stability problem, but need guidance as the file I was directed to use by the Runcore docs fails. Please read on to see a further elaboration concerning my situation and of my attempted remedies.

    As stated, I have installed the Runcore 32 GB pro IV 70 mm into my Asus EEEPC 900 netbook running the latest BIOS: 1006. This Runcore 32 GB Pro IV 70 mm is the model that is represented to be compatible with my machine and it seems to be so. The drive installed into the mini PCIe slot nicely. And the ASUS 900's 1006 BIOS sees the drive clearly. Cloning the the drive with the old XP OS was not possible before insertion because XP will not clone reliably to a remote drive. However, I was unable to install XP itself onto the Runcore from the computer's original OS install disk. After several attempts with XP I tried to install Linux. I tried Ubuntu 11 and also PC Linux OS, which in my experience will install on just about anything.

    The installs completed without error. However, each time on the first cold boot the bootloader (GRUB) kicked back an "unknown file system" error. Examination of the partition that contained the install showed that, indeed, the active partition had lost it's file structure and was now unallocated. The RC drive seemed to be physically okay as reported by S.M.A.R.T. After several failed attempts to load and run any OS from the drive (reformatting the drive as needed including down to the MBR) I began to strongly suspect a firmware problem with the Runcore. This since the drive seemed stable and functional in most respects. A) It was detected by BIOS. B) It was able to be partitioned and formatted (high-level and low-level). It seemed to me that perhaps the firmware's leveling algorithm was faulty enough to somehow damage the MBR and or the FS after a couple of boots. I had read that the Indilinx controllers, though fast, were unstable. And that NAND leveling was an issue with some Indilinx firmware iterations.

    Runcore's firmware upgrade documentation ultimately led me to directly examine my "Naked" SSD. I learned that, in my case, choice of the firmware upgrade executable application is determined by physical inspection of the chips on the drive. This done in order to observe their make and to count their number. That is possible because these particular RC Pro series drives are caseless (structure-less). Of course we know that SS drives whose chips are hidden by an enclosure require interpretation of PN numbers via a simple table. On my little 32 GB drive I counted eight Micron chips (The distinctive M logo with a comet tail whipping around it is clearly visible.) So, for upgrade to FW 1916 I concluded that I needed to use the following file: IT3208.exe. That is for eight (8) Micron flash chips totaling 32 GB. I found the Micron folder in the firmware zip download no problem.

    I created a MS bootable CD with the firmware IT3208.exe on it. It booted. And then, when initiated, the FW app launched normally asking if if I wanted to target a drive. I told it yes. But then it reported it could find no drive present. Indeed, when run repeatedly, the FW application reported consistently that it could not find any drive present. This is hard to explain since the PC BIOS sees the Runcore. And all of the live CDs used to install OS resources saw the Runcore. Yet the FW app does not see the drive from the same cd drive used to install Linux on the same drive-albeit poorly.

    The final observation is that the drive's currently installed firmware is not referenced in Runcore's documentation, at least not that I can see. The drive's firmware is reported from all sources to be B001. I have seen references to 15xx FW and to 18xx FW and to 1916 and, for Samsung dies, 2030 firmwares. But no reference to a B001 firmware. There is one post on the eeeuser.com forum referencing this B001 FW, but that poster, too, was having a problem. (That forum is currently under maintenance. It was there I learned of the Runcore, by the way.)

    I am now officially stumped. Please advise a further course of action. And please let me know if I have made an error. Flashing firmware is a fairly exact process and I have done due diligence in determining which upgrade tool to use. Before I request a Return Merchandise Authorization I want to at least try to upgrade the FW as I wish to exhaust all possibilities since clearly the drive is behaving in a non-standard way.

    I have posted a query to the Runcore site's engineers, but I do not expect a quick reply from China. I am hoping for a slightly faster response here. Again. Sorry for the lengthy post, but I wanted any responders to know that I have done my homework. These fast MLC drives are enthusiast class so glitches are to be expected. Thanks in advance for any help. Find below a link to a photo of my drive in situ in the Asus EEEPC 900. w00t!


    Link: Photo of referenced drive: SN/ 321109230135 with Micron chips and Indilinx controller visible


    Regards,

    d:-b ruce

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Paris, France
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    5

    Default Re: Runcore 32 GB Pro IV 70 mm with firmware B001 has OS install fail...

    I think your problem is the same as described in a previous post:
    http://forums.tweaktown.com/runcore/...g-problem.html

    Apparently Runcore has a faulty series. You may look for alternative solution from another vendor (such as Renice or Super Talent).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Baltimore
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    3

    Default Re: Runcore 32 GB Pro IV 70 mm with firmware B001 has OS install fail...

    Thanks for the link, docve. Yes, on reading that thread again I agree the problem seems similar. I have requested an RMA from mydigitaldiscount. And will take your suggestion to use another brand of drive. It is a disappointment as I waited for weeks to get the Runcore. w00t!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    biei
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    5

    Default Re: Runcore 32 GB Pro IV 70 mm with firmware B001 has OS install fail...

    Boys, I just managed to make a clean install using this crappy SSD on an Asus 901 (4gb + 64 gb runcore) . Only OS that managed to work are Fuduntu 14 (latest version) and the bigger brother Fedora 15. I dont like these OSs, too heavy and cant install Krusader. The rest works ok.
    I have spent many hours trying to install Ubuntu and Windows xp with partial success... first reboot would work, but following reboot would fail, on Ubuntu, grub would state error message ( as if initial info would be lost...)

    This runcore ssd also increases the 901 temperature, on a dual drive asus 900 (celeron) you can easily keep your coffee warm.... on the 900 i installed winXP, somehow the the bios recognizes the runcore as SATA , not so the 901`s bios (2103)

    Just my 5 cents

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Romania
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    18

    Default Re: Runcore 32 GB Pro IV 70 mm with firmware B001 has OS install fail...

    Same problem here. Same serial number as yours, only last digits are 37 instead of 35.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    biei
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    Default Re: Runcore 32 GB Pro IV 70 mm with firmware B001 has OS install fail...

    CHAPTER 2

    I just made follwing discovery:

    Installed Ubuntu into the 901's SD card, i used a 16 Gb SDHC

    Using the dd method described in > Clone a Hard Drive Using an Ubuntu Live CD - How-To Geek

    i copied the Ubuntu installation on to the runcore, and dont ask me why, but it works...!!!!

    IF available time is on hand , will try with a windoze copy... but am not in a hurry, don't like win.

    Wish you all good luck with "Ran"core

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Romania
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Runcore 32 GB Pro IV 70 mm with firmware B001 has OS install fail...

    RunCore answered the next day after inquiry, admitted the firmware issue and advised RMA with the seller.
    (Perhaps joining this and its sister thread,
    http://forums.tweaktown.com/runcore/...g-problem.html
    would be a good idea...)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Romania
    Posts
    18

    Default Problem solved!

    Once Iv'e managed to convince them that I'm an electronics engineer (which I really am ;-) and that flashing new firmware is not a first, RunCore sent me the software and the flashing procedure. It requires soldering a bridge on two contacts to put it in "factory mode" (attached you can find my non-warranty-wrecking solution). The procedure involved erasing then rewriting the onboard Indilinx controller firmware; after it passed the tests within the flashing software, the paper clip was removed and the SSD was ready for Windows 7 Ultimate install - which performed flawlessly.
    As large apps, I have Office 2010 and Adobe Acrobat X (not the reader) - and my little EeePC 1000 now runs faster than most desktop machines!
    I have sold the original 8 GB SSD, and moved the slow Phison 32 GB in its place - it's in the right hand position, underneath the keyboard and its bezel. Reaching it means dismantling the whole computer. The 8 GB original was a 50 mm board, so fitting the 70 mm 32 GB involved moving the retaining threaded thingies into which the two little screws are fitted. (If there's interest, I can post a photo with the modification and more explanation). No duct tape for my little netbook!
    So I was able to install the new RunCore SSD in the readily accessible mini PCI express in the back. No issues in BIOS regarding boot order.

    TRIM was checked and was confirmed active.

    [checking procedure: Run > cmd > fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify
    If the answer is "DisableDeleteNotify = 0", then TRIM is healthy and well, thank you.]

    However, if you are unsure about jumpering the tiny vias in the board, or about the flashing procedure (it involves detailed data about the memory chips on your individual board - mine were Micron, but you should check yours AND the specific chip name - down to the last letter!), then RMA is the best alternative. Don't fiddle with it more than you can unfiddle yourself.

    Razvan Neagoe
    ROMANIA

    Runcore 32 GB Pro IV 70 mm with firmware B001 has OS install fail...-paper-clip-jpg
    Last edited by Insider; 12-19-2011 at 01:42 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    biei
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Problem solved!

    Hello Insider,

    Wonderfull!!! I guess that the firmware is downloadable from the runcore website, but software and flashing procedure also ?

    Your bended clip must have been very good .... small shaky contact and all gets lost... nevertheless , well done !!!

    I live in Buenos Aires and am far away, so will probably fetch the same solution. In my case, I have a 901 with the 4Gb SSD and a 64 Gb runcore SSD. Dont ask my why, but for the time being, I manage to boot Ubuntu 10.4.3

    On an 900, the installed runcore runs quite hot.

    Regards

    Mike




    Quote Originally Posted by Insider View Post
    Once Iv'e managed to convince them that I'm an electronics engineer (which I really am ;-) and that flashing new firmware is not a first, RunCore sent me the software and the flashing procedure. It requires soldering a bridge on two contacts to put it in "factory mode" (attached you can find my non-warranty-wrecking solution). The procedure involved erasing then rewriting the onboard Indilinx controller firmware; after it passed the tests within the flashing software, the paper clip was removed and the SSD was ready for Windows 7 Ultimate install - which performed flawlessly.
    As large apps, I have Office 2010 and Adobe Acrobat X (not the reader) - and my little EeePC 1000 now runs faster than most desktop machines!
    I have sold the original 8 GB SSD, and moved the slow Phison 32 GB in its place - it's in the right hand position, underneath the keyboard and its bezel. Reaching it means dismantling the whole computer. The 8 GB original was a 50 mm board, so fitting the 70 mm 32 GB involved moving the retaining threaded thingies into which the two little screws are fitted. (If there's interest, I can post a photo with the modification and more explanation). No duct tape for my little netbook!
    So I was able to install the new RunCore SSD in the readily accessible mini PCI express in the back. No issues in BIOS regarding boot order.

    TRIM was checked and was confirmed active.

    [checking procedure: Run > cmd > fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify
    If the answer is "DisableDeleteNotify = 0", then TRIM is healthy and well, thank you.]

    However, if you are unsure about jumpering the tiny vias in the board, or about the flashing procedure (it involves detailed data about the memory chips on your individual board - mine were Micron, but you should check yours AND the specific chip name - down to the last letter!), then RMA is the best alternative. Don't fiddle with it more than you can unfiddle yourself.

    Razvan Neagoe
    ROMANIA

    Runcore 32 GB Pro IV 70 mm with firmware B001 has OS install fail...-paper-clip-jpg

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    north america
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Runcore 32 GB Pro IV 70 mm with firmware B001 has OS install fail...

    I'm glad I've found other people having problems. I've spent way too much time trying to get my new SSD to work. I have an Asus EEEPC 900 and the original Asus Windows XP CD. First I tried cloning my current stock SSD to the new RunCore using the included Acronis software but I kept getting errors during installation. Then I tried installing from the stock Windows XP CD but the SSD wouldn't boot.

    Then I tried using Acronis Migrate Easy and that successfully cloned my current SSD to the RunCore. But, within 1 to 4 reboots I get boot errors and the computer fails to boot into Windows. I connect the Runcore ssd to my other computer via USB but cannot open the windows folder at first b/c it's corrupted. So I use windows check disk and that makes the windows folder accessible. Looking in windows/system32 (and windows/system32/config) it seems that files have disappeared! I can replace them and try booting the eeepc 900 again with the runcore installed but the files keep disappearing! I replace the system file, hal.dll, pci driver, etc. according to the boot errors I get, but don't keep using check disk and they keep disappearing.

    As far as I know I'm supposed to email runcore and the reseller but how do I know the next runcore ssd will be good? I'd rather just install new firmware like Insider/Razvan but I'm not nearly any kind of engineer and do not want to void my warranty. How exactly do you install new firmware??

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