Counterfeit LSI SAS3081E-R

MilesTeg

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I just wanted to give everyone a heads up in case they were thinking about ordering a LSI SAS3081E-R from dealextreme here. I purchased two for my ZFS build a few weeks ago and have been trying to troubleshoot UDMA CRC errors I have been getting on one of the cards. I contacted LSI support and after emailing back and forth and providing them with pictures they confirmed to me that is is a counterfeit part :mad:. Opening a dispute with paypal now so we'll see how that goes.
 

Old Hippie

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they confirmed to me that is is a counterfeit part
How was that determined?

Serial number, pictures........?

I purchased two for my ZFS build a few weeks ago and have been trying to troubleshoot UDMA CRC errors I have been getting on one of the cards
So one is counterfeit and one is legit?
 

pjkenned

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I just wanted to give everyone a heads up in case they were thinking about ordering a LSI SAS3081E-R from dealextreme here. I purchased two for my ZFS build a few weeks ago and have been trying to troubleshoot UDMA CRC errors I have been getting on one of the cards. I contacted LSI support and after emailing back and forth and providing them with pictures they confirmed to me that is is a counterfeit part :mad:. Opening a dispute with paypal now so we'll see how that goes.

Have pictures of yours? That is pretty wild. You would expect that someone trying to counterfeit something would go after a target bigger than a $95 part.
 

MilesTeg

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First LSI support said they had no record of a card with my serial number and after I sent them some pics of the front and the back of the board they said it was counterfeit. The card came in what appeared to be a retail box. I can post some pics later. I am just as shocked as everyone else. I'm not sure why such a part would be counterfeited.
 

magnetik

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I thought everything from deal extreme were knockoffs. :eek::D didn't know they sold raid cards however.
 

odditory

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First thought is that LSI's use of the word 'counterfeit' isn't the most accurate description of what happened. It's less likely that the fab in china that makes LSI's boards are throwing non-working junk boards together and they trickled out.

What's more likely is someone sourced a cheaper OEM variant of the card and cross-flashed with LSI's firmware to make it appear like a retail LSI sku, and LSI's terming it "counterfeit" means its not a retail LSI sku and thus the serial# not showing up in their database.
 
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Metaluna

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My DealExtreme board just arrived yesterday, so I can take some hi-res pics if anyone's interested. I haven't had a chance to try it out yet, but I did have some reservations about DX back when I ordered it. While I don't think the company itself is deliberately dishonest, it seems like they'll pretty much sell anything that comes their way without checking the source, so they get lots of counterfeits (especially things like rechargeable batteries).
 

Morpheus256

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Could you please? I've got one on order, for 3 weeks now and it hasn't shipped. I think i'm going to cancel but i'd like to see the difference between the fake, and the real one i have sitting here.
 

odditory

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Wait a minute, this site is located in Hong Kong. Then hate to say it but you guys are kind of asking for it.
 

MilesTeg

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Here is the card in question:
p1000923ei.jpg
 

drescherjm

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Looks like it is a real LSI card but an OEM card with a fake serial number so that it is sold as a retail card.
 

pjkenned

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Looks like it is a real LSI card but an OEM card with a fake serial number so that it is sold as a retail card.

Yea it does... I can't imagine someone would go through the trouble to put something together that looks that convincing as a counterfeit to a $95 part. Could also be non-working factory parts that never actually got destroyed.
 

drescherjm

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It could also be one of those ones they sell to other companies who remark them as their own. I am not sure if they do that with this model however my intel SASU8Is I bought for work (need to now buy only from "approved" vendors) look exactly the same as this and have absolutely nothing on them that has the Intel name.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...6117157R&cm_re=SASU*I-_-16-117-157R-_-Product

I believe the card that the OP has is a newer model based on the LSI 2008 chip.
 

Cyberbeing

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For comparison here are a couple SAS3081E-R Stock Photo from LSI:
view1e.jpg
view2e.jpg


The biggest difference is the one MilesTeg has seems to be missing that bottom chip, similar to the Intel (LSI-OEM) which drescherjm linked which also has no bottom chip.
 

bexamous

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If possible, have you looked at the top of the chip (under heatsink)? Is label scratched off?

Many defective / floor swept chips have face scratched and instead of making it to trash end up in counterfeit products.
 

MilesTeg

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If you look closely my card is also missing the plastic bit in the back that redirects the light from an LED to a hole in the bracket. My bracket is solid, no LED.
 

drescherjm

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If you look closely my card is also missing the plastic bit in the back that redirects the light from an LED to a hole in the bracket. My bracket is solid, no LED.
I actually saw that but did not think much of it.
 

stewartjm

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Yea it does... I can't imagine someone would go through the trouble to put something together that looks that convincing as a counterfeit to a $95 part. Could also be non-working factory parts that never actually got destroyed.

I purchased 3 intel gigabit PCI ethernet cards around 2004 or so, paid about $35 for each, one came DOA. A few years later I decided to RMA the DOA one to Intel(lifetime warranty). They informed me it was counterfeit and they would not send it back or replace it. They did give me a official looking "letter"(PDF/word document) on Intel letterhead which was sufficient to get me a refund from the place I purchased it from. Kudos to that retailer for doing the right thing, even years later...

The other 2 work fine(with Intel drivers on both windows and Linux) but are probably also counterfeit. I had a 4th card, of the same model, which I purchased direct from Intel under some sort of promotion(for about the same price). The board layout is basically the same, but the real one has a shinier bracket, better solder joints, cleaner silkscreening, etc. Also I still had the boxes, and looking closely at them, the 3 counterfeit ones look a bit cheap compared to the real one. They had lower resolution box art, that wrapped around corners a bit haphazardly.

In the LSI case it could be a rebadged OEM, in the Intel case it was most likely parts made on the same assembly line as the Intel parts, using alternate/sub-standard components, and then packaged in counterfeit packaging.

So such things do happen, even for $35 parts.
 

Metaluna

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Here are some pics of my board (warning, they are big). The last one shows it below an Intel SASUC8i.

I flashed my board with IT firmware and it has been running well for about 12 hours now, with 7 drives connected.

One thing I noticed while flashing it was that this board uses the "B2" firmware, whereas my other 3 controllers are all B3's. I'm not sure what, if anything, that means. Maybe it's an older revision.

1171950410_BUb3k-X3.jpg


1171950471_nyUYX-X3.jpg


1171950528_pK39e-X3.jpg
 
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Morpheus256

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Well I cancelled my order from Dx, I also linked to this thread. I'll order myself up an Intel version from a reputable reseller to get another one.

Comparing the pictures to my "authentic" card there's only one glaring difference i can see, compare the heatsinks, the real ones have a plastic retaining ring around the ic, the "counterfeit" cards have a heatsink attached directly.

Thanks for the heads up, I'll stick to ordering flashlights from Dx from now on :)
 

plugwash

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First LSI support said they had no record of a card with my serial number and after I sent them some pics of the front and the back of the board they said it was counterfeit. The card came in what appeared to be a retail box. I can post some pics later. I am just as shocked as everyone else. I'm not sure why such a part would be counterfeited.
My guess is that the manufacturer that made the legitimate parts (or one of their buddies/subcontractors/etc) decided to make some "extras" using cheaper components, lower QA and maybe even a cheaper PCB fab and sell them out the back door. It's an easy way for contract manufacturers to make an extra buck and in some countries (e.g. china) it's very hard to stop it.

That is the price companies pay for manufacturing in corrupt counties.
 

Metaluna

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Well I cancelled my order from Dx, I also linked to this thread. I'll order myself up an Intel version from a reputable reseller to get another one.

Comparing the pictures to my "authentic" card there's only one glaring difference i can see, compare the heatsinks, the real ones have a plastic retaining ring around the ic, the "counterfeit" cards have a heatsink attached directly.

Thanks for the heads up, I'll stick to ordering flashlights from Dx from now on :)

Well there are plenty of other differences that I can see comparing it to my SASUC8i. The Dx card has a different mounting bracket without a plastic light pipe for the heartbeat/access LEDs. The flash chip and SFF connectors are from a different vendor, and many other components are also different. I don't think any of these are a smoking gun though. It's not at all uncommon for a manufacturer to make small running changes in a board assembly throughout its lifecycle.

Assuming these are fakes, I'd tend to agree with plugwash's theory. They wouldn't even have to substitute cheaper parts. Just manufacture more copies than LSI contracted for, using the same parts, then sell them direct and cut out the middleman, maybe report them to LSI as DOAs that failed quality control tests (and maybe they really did). I'm sure LSI's markup on these cards must be enormous so even if they sell them at half price it's a tidy profit. The hardest part would probably be getting their hands on the controller chip, since that's a proprietary LSI ASIC. So LSI's silicon foundry would have to be pulling a similar scam.
 

SeaneyC

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Arghhh!

Thought it was too good to be true (as always) I literally just ordered one this morning from DX but have cancelled my order now.

Next cheapest suitable card is the SuperMicro L8i unless anyone knows of anything cheaper in the UK, cheapest I have seen is around £100.
 

Metaluna

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The SuperMicro is a good card, though you will have to mod it a bit if you want to use the bracket. You could also look for refurbished IBM ServeRaid BR10i, which are fairly cheap as they are often pulled from new systems and replaced with higher end RAID cards. I got one from ServerSupply.com in New York City for even less money than the DX card, but I don't think they ship internationally. And mine didn't come with a mounting bracket at all.
 

SeaneyC

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Thanks for the tip on the IBM card, I will have a look at some once I get my refund from DX (no doubt it will be weeks due to the Chinese holiday. Just my luck!) as they seem to be a lot cheaper.
 

swatbat

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Polaris

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Is anyone still using one of these? I ordered a couple before I saw this thread. I might still be able to cancel, but if they're still functional. ;)
 

Red Falcon

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Is anyone still using one of these? I ordered a couple before I saw this thread. I might still be able to cancel, but if they're still functional. ;)

Depends on where you ordered them from. If it was deal extreme, I'd cancel. ;)
 

Woutern83

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I have ordered this card off dealextreme, but took me a while to test the card. After I found out it wasnt working properly I found this topic and contacted LSI with my serial number. Mine is counterfeit too, how did dealextreme support handle this?

With me they are trying to dodge questions/responbility and since it's been a while since I've ordered this I don't think paypal will do anything for me anymore
 

olavgg

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I have two of these controllers too. They seem to work great here, but I've not been stress testing them. What kind of problems do you have?

I've flashed mine to IT mode btw.
 

MilesTeg

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I have ordered this card off dealextreme, but took me a while to test the card. After I found out it wasnt working properly I found this topic and contacted LSI with my serial number. Mine is counterfeit too, how did dealextreme support handle this?

With me they are trying to dodge questions/responbility and since it's been a while since I've ordered this I don't think paypal will do anything for me anymore

Dealextreme support was non-existent. They never communicated with me at all except to generate a fake refund e-mail once I disputed the transaction with Paypal. Within 60 seconds of opening the dispute they sent an e-mail that said that the full amount had been refunded to my account but of course the money never appeared. I believe this was a fraudulent attempt at getting me to close the dispute since once it is closed it can not be re-opened.
I provided pictures and my communications with LSI support to Paypal and after Dealextreme didn't even try to defend itself I was refunded the full amount by Paypal. I would check how long you have to dispute with Paypal as Dealextreme is no doubt trying to delay as long as possible so that you will lose the ability to dispute. If it is already too late I think there is little chance of recovering your money and I would take it as an expensive life lesson. Good luck.
 

MilesTeg

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I have two of these controllers too. They seem to work great here, but I've not been stress testing them. What kind of problems do you have?

I've flashed mine to IT mode btw.


I flashed both of mine to IT firmware and one did seem to work fine. The other one had cable errors on on of the connectors. Errors showed up when booting FreeBSD and in SMART data. Your cards may work fine but I would be weary of trusting my data to them.
 
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