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About NTI

NTA Stealth for SCSI Drives

When we first came out with NTA Stealth it was focused on dealing with the PC desktop or laptop. Since then many of our users have found other systems to analyze. We had not envisioned anyone with a SCSI drive since they are usually more expensive than their IDE counterparts; however for places where reliability is needed they are hard to beat.

Our friend Dan Medina at Grant Thornton LLP was impressed with the way NTA helped them in the past. After using it several times on IDE desktops and laptops, Dan called up and asked if it works against a SCSI drive. They were unsuccessful trying to mount a SCSI hard drive using the bootable CD provided by NTA in effort to analyze the drive with the NTA Stealth software. Unfortunately we could not duplicate their configuration in a timely manner, but we knew if the drive could be mounted, then NTA could perform its magic.

WORKSTATION CONFIGURATION

Their configuration was as follows: Dell Precision workstation with a PCI SCSI host adapter. The adapter’s make and model is an Adaptec AHA-2930CU. This adapter has an Ultra2 connection. The SCSI hard drive had a non-Ultra2 connection. Using a non-Ultra2 to Ultra2 adapter, they were able to use a non-Ultra2 cable to attach to the AHA-2930CU host adapter.

SOLUTION

Dan was able to get some help from John Oakley of Grant Thornton LLP and Robert Moore from Adrea Rubin Marketing who had dealt with SCSI devices recently. They went to Adaptec’s website and downloaded the latest DOS drivers for the AH-2930CU adapter. The DOS file names are as follows:

ASPI8u2.DOS (For Ultra2 Adapters)
ASPI8DOS.SYS (For Legacy (non-Ultra2) Adapters)

Next they used a Windows98 bootable diskette, editing the CONFIG.SYS and deleting the AUTOEXEC.BAT. The CONFIG.SYS file was written as follows:

device=himem.sys
dos=high,umb
lastdrive=z
REM The next line was added so we can access SCSI drives via AHA-2930CU adapter
device=aspi8dos.sys /d
REM The next two lines are drivers for the flash drive
device=\usbaspi.sys /v
device=\aspidisk.sys

Notice: Only the device=aspi8dos.sys /d command was entered in the config.sys for the SCSI drivers since they were dealing with an Adaptec non-Ultra2 SCSI hard drive. Other SCSI host adapters may have other drivers, or not need a driver.

The original Win98 boot diskette already has the ASPI8DOS.SYS and ASPI8u2.DOS files however it was necessary to replace these files with the ones from the Adaptec website. Then it was necessary to copy the USBASPI.SYS and ASPIDISK.SYS files from the NTA bootable CD to the Win98 boot diskette by booting up the CD and then copying the files over. Note that these files cannot be seen unless you have booted from the CD. These files are necessary to mount the flash drive.

BOOT THE SYSTEM

Connect the SCSI drive to the host adapter, plug the flash drive into the workstation and boot the workstation with the Win98 boot diskette. Note that the SCSI drive and the flash drive should be mounted at boot. The system is ready and displays an A: prompt. Change to the flash drive, in this case it was the C: drive. From here, enter at the C:> NTA.BAT and the NTA Stealth program begins analyzing the SCSI drive.

TRICKS AND TIPS

NTA Stealth demands a lot of memory to run. If possible, strip away all device drivers that you don’t need. In the case above it may be possible to try and load the other SCSI device driver, however if this stays resident without running it could use enough memory to prevent NTA from executing.

You can consider using the AUTOEXEC.BAT to automatically run the NTA.BAT file after booting the computer. The NTA batch file is necessary to access drives directly and to run the program with the preset options. Typical options include URLs only and analyzing the first mounted hard drive.

If you are using a recent system, you may want to wait until the after the POST to plug in the flash drive. Some of the more recent PCs will mount the flash drive, but will lock up if you try to access the original drive letter assigned to the drive. Instead make sure you use the drive letter assigned by the USB device drivers.

Thanks again to Dan Medina for sharing this with us. If you have found a way to use our tools that you think may help others and you don’t mind sharing, send it in. It could save some people having to work through the night trying to come up with a workable and defendable solution.