by Mark H. Anbinder, Contributing Editor
Last month, SuperMac Technology and DriveSavers announced that DriveSavers has assumed all service obligations for SuperMac's discontinued line of mass storage products, including the entire series of DataFrame and LaserFrame drives. DriveSavers will honor existing warranties on SuperMac products, as well as provide users with the latest DataFrame Manager software.
Owners of SuperMac storage products who require service for their drives, in or out of warranty, should call DriveSavers at 415/883-4232. The company will perform authorized in-warranty repairs for U.S. and Canadian customers within 72 hours of receiving the drives. DriveSavers has established its reputation in the industry by repairing a wide range of third-party storage devices and recovering data from damaged drives when commercial recovery software fails.
Current owners of DataFrame hard drives should also be aware that the Manager 4.2 software has a deficiency that makes using it with System 7 slightly tricky. In order to use a DataFrame hard drive with System 7, users must reformat their drives using Manager 4.1, and then use Manager 4.2 to update the SCSI driver stored on the drive. Drives formatted with Manager 4.2 may not work properly. There are no apparent plans for further revisions of the software.
In addition, many users have noted that DataFrame drives formatted with SuperMac's software do not work properly with a Quadra 950, currently Apple's fastest Macintosh. According to a SuperMac tech support consultant, the SuperMac SCSI driver installed by the Manager software is too slow in responding to the Quadra's access attempts. Reformatting the drive with a universal third-party SCSI formatting utility, such as Hard Disk Toolkit from FWB, should clear up the problem. After the drive is formatted with software other than SuperMac's Manager utility, though, the Manager will no longer be able to format that drive. Be careful if you have an old DataFrame with an OMTI controller since Hard Disk Toolkit (and most, if not all, other third party formatting programs) cannot successfully format old DataFrames. Unfortunately, we don't know how to tell this offhand, but calling DriveSavers or SuperMac would be a good start.
DriveSavers -- 415/883-4232
SuperMac -- 408/245-2202
FWB -- 415/474-8055
SuperMac Technical Support