Flashing IBM m1015 to LSI 9240-8i issues

The Spyder

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I grabbed a few cheap m1015 cards off ebay and I wanted to update them to the latest firmware but I hit a strange issue. Every time I try to update it, Megacli causes windows to BSOD. After a reboot the controller shows as Can Not Start, and after a second reset, it never completes the download. I thought it was due to passthrough on esxi, but it causes the same problem on my Win7 box.

I am trying the latest IBM firmware now, but has anyone else had this issue?
 

The Spyder

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The Spyder

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Worst. Luck. EVER. Got two more cards from the seller (super nice fellow) and I installed them tonight.

The first card showed the LSI bios, allowed me to enter in to it, but showed no drives. Shut it down, reseated the cables, and now it does not show in the bios and only has a faint light on the card. Removed the cables completly, tried a different slot, ect ect- no go. Dead.

The second card never detected, no lights, nothing. No signs of damage.

I am going to try and put them in my desktop, but I give up after that. This server has been the biggest PITA. Apparenrly while it was tucked away waiting for the new cards, somehow the ribbon cable tore on the powerbutton/lights. Just great. Oh well, at least I could part out the system for 2x more then I paid due to hard drive prices.
 
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I was not able to flash my M1015s on my Supermicro X9SCM-F motherboard - I could do one or two steps - I think it was up to erasing the flash on the card. I could not flash after that without crashing!

The solution was to put together my old P965-based PC (C2D E6400) and finish the flashing process there. Huge pain in the ass!

I could have left the firmware alone, but I had to flash with IT-mode firmware or else OpenIndiana would randomly kernel panic when loading the driver. IT mode uses the stock driver which does NOT crash.
 

danswartz

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Bummer. Rectal, same deal here. I had to stick it in my old asus workstation to flash, but it's been 1000% rock solid in the x9scl-f since then using IT.
 

Abula

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Oct 29, 2004
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Same experience, couldn't flash my Intel SASUC8I on the SUPERMICRO MBD-X9SCM-F-O, the first i flashed on Asus P8B WS, the second more of pain, i already return the P8B WS... had change mobos with Intel DQ67SW / i3 2120 to flash it, here i couldn't on DOS, but was fine to flash on Windows 7, but the same experience once flashed to IT no issues with the X9SCM-F-O, i do find this very annoying, needing an extra PC to do the flashing...... and a pain when you have limited time to do the this.
 

idea

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Looks like I got two dead cards from here:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/150690592470?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

Card 1 Port 0 Sata 1 is dead ( tried multiple cables/hard drives)
BSOD during flashing.

Card 2 will not detect in the bios/Web Config and shows sign of physical damage on port 0 and on the headsink.
BSOD the first attempt at flashing and now neither S2K8R2 or Solaris11 will boot with it installed.

I also bought 2 from that seller for my X9SCM-F. To flash it, I passthrough to an ESXi guest and load up MegaCLI. Both Windows and CentOS crash using this method. My next step was to boot Windows or CentOS on bare metal and try again but this thread has me worried now.

One interesting and possibly good thing though: before the crash, something must have went right, because the firmware revision was updated and I was able to use WebBIOS. I still don't trust it though. I want to see a successful firmware update.

Maybe I should just go back to LSI 1068e based cards. All this trouble isn't really worth it.
 

bcbgboy13

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Why you do not flash in DOS mode. Make bootable flash drive (unetbootin) and go from there.
And disable any hardware feature in the BIOS (including the onboard SATA controllers and LANs) before trying the flash procedure
 

idea

Gawd
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Why you do not flash in DOS mode. Make bootable flash drive (unetbootin) and go from there.
And disable any hardware feature in the BIOS (including the onboard SATA controllers and LANs) before trying the flash procedure

Since you brought it up, I've been unsuccessful with creating a USB DOS drive using unetbootin and other popular methods. The X9SCM just won't boot from it. It must be something I am doing wrong, and something simple too, because I don't see anyone asking for help creating one in any of the M1015 threads
 

diizzy

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unetbootin is quite unreliable in my experience, HPs USB Format application works much more reliable in that regard.
//Danne
 

idea

Gawd
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unetbootin is quite unreliable in my experience, HPs USB Format application works much more reliable in that regard.
//Danne

Tried that too, no good.

OP, what was the outcome of attempting to flash with IBM branded firmware? My installer exited with this:

Code:
 # ./ibm_fw_sraidmr_1015-20.10.1-0052_linux_32-64.bin -s
This update is not meant for this system.

edit: nevermind, I was clever enough to run unzip on this "installer" file, which extracted a bunch of files that looked all too familiar. Just plain old MegaCLI, which I ran, and crashed my system just like the LSI firmware did
 
Last edited:

groove

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Oct 14, 2011
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I too had all kinds of issues flashing other (older) LSI / LSI based controllers on the X9SCM. I tried to flash both a Dell SAS 6 iR and an LSI 3442 on the X9SCM and it did not work. Both the cards flashed just fine on an Asus Z8NA-D6C that I have. But it's a real royal PIA to open up my workstation just to flash these cards.

But I was luck enough to at least create a boot disk using Win 98 boot files and using HPs USB format utility. And yes this did work on an X9SCM. But the flash process itself fails with the infamous 'Unable to initialize PAL' error.
 

idea

Gawd
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It took over 48 hours, but I got a bootable USB going on an X9SCM-F. Next time should be quicker now that I know what I am doing.

Now I can finally use "megarec" via DOS. I have the choice of either upgrading to the latest firmware for the 9240-8i, or flash to 9211-8i with IT mode. I'd rather use the 9240-8i because it's more natural but everyone is ranting and raving about this 9211 firmware. I still don't understand the advantage of it. I know "IT" firmware is better, but 9240-8i does JBOD just fine on it's own.
 

stewartjm

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9211 firmware has better driver support on some versions of FreeBSD and Solaris.

IT mode, for either 9211 or 9240 firmware, removes possible issues with software raid configurations. But, in theory, the 2008 LSI cards are much better at handing JBOD disks, than the 1068E cards were, making the IT firmware not as necessary.
 

idea

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This seems like a good explanation: http://forums.servethehome.com/showthread.php?97-IBM-M1015-Firmware-What-to-flash-with/page6. I'll be using Solaris 11 which has no issues, so I guess I'll be going with the 9240-8i firmware

PigLover said:
The M1015 native firmware "personality" is the same as an LSI 9240-8i, with the exception that Raid5 functionality is disabled unless you install a "key" onto the card.

The M1015 can be flashed successfully with the LSI 9240-8i firware from LSIs website using megacli, although access to Raid5 is still controlled by the raid key. In fact, there is some evidence that IBMs native load and LSIs 9240 load are identical, though that is difficult to confirm because IBMs firmware always seems to have a minor rev level difference which makes a simple bitwise compare impossible.

The M1015 can also be flashed with 9210-8i or 9211-8i using a procedure detailed earlier in this thread. It can apparently accept either the IR or IT load for these cards.

There is no "IT Mode" for the native M1015 or 9240 drivers. It simply is not needed. The reason people wanted the IT load when running as a 9211 is because the 9211 doesn't really do single disk passthrough correctly - it builds the disk as a single-drive raid 0, which puts nasty little headers on the disk and mucks up your ability to share disks directly with other systems. The 9240 firmware does not doe this - any drive not part of a raid is just passed through directly as a single drive - and no special 'IT mode' driver is necessary.

The only reason to flash this card to a 9211 personality is to use it with an OS that does not support the 9240 (e.g., freeBSD). For others (Windows, Linux, Solaris, etc) the 9240 drivers are available and work well - some would suggest work better (e.g., the Solaris imr drivers for the 9240 do a better job of passing through disk temps and SMART).
 

brutalizer

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Sooo... what is the consensus now regarding the M1015? Is IT mode leaner and more trouble free?
 
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I have mine flashed as IT-mode 9211 - the drivers from the LSI website for the stock firmware would cause kernel panics on boot, usually 1 in 3 reboots. That is why I went with the 9211, which uses the inbuilt drivers that also work on the 1068E cards.

YMMV
 

pjkenned

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Hey Idea: I have a pretty cool set of guides around the different firmwares on this card that one of the forum members put together. Just bought a house (got keys a few minutes ago) so publishing has slowed. Almost done with parts 1 and 2 though.
 

TypeRazor

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I have run many different configurations (IR, IT, passthrough, virtual, flashed, etc) and from what I have found it really only matters what motherboard and OS you are using that will cause certain issues.
Just my 2 cents

I run both IR and IT currently just fine in ESXi passthrough Solaris 11
 

halcyon

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I also bought 2 from that seller for my X9SCM-F. To flash it, I passthrough to an ESXi guest and load up MegaCLI. Both Windows and CentOS crash using this method. My next step was to boot Windows or CentOS on bare metal and try again but this thread has me worried now.

One interesting and possibly good thing though: before the crash, something must have went right, because the firmware revision was updated and I was able to use WebBIOS. I still don't trust it though. I want to see a successful firmware update.

Maybe I should just go back to LSI 1068e based cards. All this trouble isn't really worth it.

Where did you guys get a bracket for to hold this card in place? The seller doesn't include one.
 

joltman

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Feb 8, 2011
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This seems like a good explanation: http://forums.servethehome.com/showthread.php?97-IBM-M1015-Firmware-What-to-flash-with/page6. I'll be using Solaris 11 which has no issues, so I guess I'll be going with the 9240-8i firmware

I know this thread is old but, is there any news on this? I just purchased 2 M1015 cards from eBay and will be flashing to 9211 IT mode (For use in an ESXi 4.1 box with FreeNAS VM) and I need to know if the card in 9211 mode doesn't do "JBOD" but makes each disk a RAID0. Anyone have any idea?
 

vr.

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I read somewhere that genuine Intel X58 based boards have trouble flashing the M1015 and couldn't flash my own. I put my card in a friends MSI motherboard and flashed on the 1st try.
 

Zuess

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I read somewhere that genuine Intel X58 based boards have trouble flashing the M1015 and couldn't flash my own. I put my card in a friends MSI motherboard and flashed on the 1st try.

I managed to flash my M1015 on a Asus P6X58D Premium without issues.
 
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