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Support Advisories

Information on widespread or critical issues concerning Alacritech Scalable Network Accelerators.

  • Current Advisories
  • ASA4: Server 2003 crashes after upgrade from 7.x (ATCP) driver to 9.x (SNP) driver
  • ASA5: Windows Update (KB948496) Disables TCP Offload
  • Retired Advisories
  • ASA1: Issues With Alacritech SNMP Extension Agent
  • ASA2: Teaming is broken in release 6.3.0.5
  • ASA3: Applications that depend on iSCSI disks may fail to start correctly

ASA1: Issues with Alacritech SNMP Extension Agent

Advisory Status: Retired. Only Applies to driver version 6.2.0.3 and earlier.

Summary: Problems with the Alacritech SNMP Extension Agent (SlicAgent.dll) can cause interference with manipulation of network interfaces, including the ability to disable interfaces and the ability to form or remove teamed interfaces.

Alacritech Support Advisory #1

Date: 02/11/2004

Affected Systems: All Alacritech driver releases up to and including 6.2.0.1 installed on Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows 2003 hosts that have SNMP installed. Note that SNMP is not installed by default on Windows, so this problem is most often encountered on NAS devices.

Issue: It has been determined that there are issues with the Alacritech SNMP Extension Agent SlicAgent.dll, that cause several forms of incongruous behavior, including:

  • Inability to disable interfaces, accompanied by the following error:
    Interface Error
  • Incomplete or incorrect behavior when forming or dissolving a network team. Usually this manifests as the Alacritech Slictray device showing a teaming state that differs from that displayed by Network Properties.
  • Incorrect uninstall or upgrade behavior. Not all registry entries are correctly removed and/or updated during uninstall or upgrade if SlicAgent is installed.

Workaround: No good workaround for this problem has been determined. There are two sub-optimal solutions:

  • Remove the following registry key: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Alacritech\SNMP
    as well as the value: SOFTWARE\Alacritech\SNMP\ExtensionAgents\SlicAgent\CurrentVersion
    contained in the key: HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\SNMP\Parameters\ExtensionAgents
    and then reboot.

    The main problem with this workaround is that if you update your drivers at a later date to a newer version that doesn’t yet incorporate a fix for the problem, you must remember to uncheck the box for SNMP Agent, otherwise teaming will no longer work correctly.

  • Remove and reinstall the Alacritech drivers. When doing the reinstall, make sure that the SNMP agent is deselected (it will be selected by default).

    As with workaround 1) above, the problem with this workaround comes when it is time to upgrade the drivers. All currently released Alacritech drivers have a bug in the setup program that does not allow for de-selection of SNMP support if the host is capable of it, and it was not originally installed. Presumably a near future release will not have this bug.

Permanent Solution: Both the SlicAgent.dll bug and the install program bug will be remedied in a future release.

ASA2: Teaming is broken in release 6.3.0.5

Advisory Status: Retired. Only Applies to driver version 6.3.0.5.

Summary: Use of teaming with the Alacritech 6.3.0.5 release may cause the server to fail to boot.

Alacritech Support Advisory #2

Date:11/29/2004

Affected Systems or Releases: Hosts using Alacritech driver version 6.3.0.5. Only systems that use multiple Alacritech Accelerators in a port aggregation team are affected.

Issue: Installing or upgrading to release 6.3.0.5 on systems that use link aggregation (teaming) may cause the host to fail to boot.

Workaround: Revert systems back to 6.2.2.0 if teaming is required. In order to get the system to boot, either disconnect all of the network cables that go to the teamed ports before rebooting, or boot into safe mode and rename C:\WINDOWS\System32\drivers\slicteam.sys to something else.

Once the system is up, completely uninstall the 6.3.0.5 driver. It is important that you use the remove.exe program from the 6.3.0.5 distribution.

Permanent Solution: This bug will be fixed in the next release.

ASA3: Applications that depend on iSCSI disks may fail to start correctly.

Advisory Status: Retired. Only Applies to driver versions 6.3.1.1 and 7.1.0.1.

Summary: Slow initialization of the Alacritech interface may delay availability of iSCSI disks, causing applications or services that depend on the disks to fail to function properly.

Alacritech Support Advisory #3

Date: 03/14/2005

Affected Systems or Releases: Non-cluster hosts using the Alacritech 6.3.1.1 driver for iSCSI connections. Hosts that are members of an MSCS cluster are not affected.

Issue: The long initialization time of the Alacritech interface may cause services that depend on the iSCSI disks to fail after a reboot. The iSCSI disks themselves will appear, but services that depend on them may not operate as expected. For instance, shared folders on the disks may be no longer shared. If an Oracle database resides on the ISCSI disks, the database may not be visible to the Oracle server, or the server may fail to start.

Workaround: This driver is for non-cluster environments only. The normal 6.3.1.1 driver will function correctly in cluster environments.

Permanent Solution: This bug will most likely be fixed in the next version 6.x.x.x release, but the next release from Alacritech will be 7.x.x.x, and will most likely contain the bug as well. Version 6 and version 7 bug fix drivers will kept available until such time as a permanent fix WHQL certified driver is available for both release 6 and release 7.

ASA4: Server 2003 crashes after upgrade from 7.x (ATCP) driver to 9.x (SNP) driver

Advisory Status: Active

Summary: Installation of Service Pack 2 for Server 2003 after Alacritech driver 7.x has been installed causes subsequent upgrade to 9.x driver to destabilize the operating system.

Alacritech Support Advisory #4

Date: 02/27/2008

Affected Systems or Releases: Windows Server 2003 hosts that are being updated from an ATCP (release 7.x) driver to an SNP (release 9.x) driver

Issue: Application of Windows Service Pack 2 for Server 2003 when the release 7.x Alacritech driver is already installed breaks the upgrade path to the release 9.x driver. If the following conditions occur, then upgrading to the release 9 driver will result in continual reboots.

  • Windows Server 2003 SP1 or earlier
  • Alacritech 7.x driver is installed
  • Windows SP2 is installed
  • Alacritech driver is upgraded to 9.x

Workaround: If you have encountered this issue, do the following:

  • Go into safe mode and uninstall the release 9.x driver via the device manager
  • Reboot
  • Use the definitive uninstall procedure to completely remove all remnants of the release 7.x driver
  • Install the release 9.x driver

Permanent Solution: The above workaround should be sufficient.

ASA5: Windows Update (KB948496) Disables TCP Offload.

Advisory Status: Active

Summary: Microsoft has included KB948496 as a critical update for Server 2003 SP2. This update globally disables TCP offload.

Alacritech Support Advisory #5

Date: 04/03/2008

Affected Systems or Releases: Windows Server 2003 hosts using Alacritech SNP (release 9.x) drivers

Issue: Microsoft has issued a Windows Update that disables TCP Chimney (TCP Offload), RSS (Receive Side Scaling), and TCPA (Stateless TCP Offload) on all Windows Server 2003 SP2 hosts. This update will install by default when Windows Update is run. For information about the update, see: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/948496. In order to understand why this hotfix was released, see the following discussion at http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2007/07/18/446400.aspx. Note that for the most part, none of the issues involved have anything to do with Alacritech.

Workaround: Simply use netsh to re-enable TCP Chimney.

Permanent Solution: The above fix is permanent.