Please help - Dell SAS 6/i

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by dandragonrage, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. dandragonrage

    dandragonrage [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I got a SAS 6/iR from Ebay with the Poweredge tray thing for cheap. I just took it off the tray and put it in my motherboard. No video. I have another SAS 6/iR that came with the regular expansion bracket (from a Poweredge T310) that works, but replace it with this new one I got and no video/bootup. I contacted the seller and he sent me a new one and it does the same. I tried using the bracket from the working card on the other two and still neither work.

    Is there some sort of Poweredge-specific firmware that will prevent these from working in my generic PC or was I shipped two dead cards?

    Also, can I flash LSI firmware?
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2010
  2. dubslick

    dubslick n00bie

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    Look at this post about the Dell PERC 5/i and look for the section about the pin tape-mod, under the section "SMBus Issue with Intel Chipsets".

    I had a SAS 6/iR and was unable to flash the latest LSI firmware onto it (LSI SAS3081E-R, 1.29.00.00). It said something about "Wrong Vendor Code". I read something where people have been able to flash using older firmware( if you click "Archived" in the Download section). Then you could try the 1.28.02.00 firmware.
     
  3. dandragonrage

    dandragonrage [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I have 3 SAS6/iR and 1 works, 2 do not. I will try the other 2 in another computer I guess. Maybe I can get the LSI firmware on. I wonder if you can flash an old LSI firmware then update it to a new LSI firmware?

    P.S. Motherboard=Asus P5Q Turbo Pro
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2010
  4. dandragonrage

    dandragonrage [H]ardForum Junkie

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    was able to flash the LSI firmware to all 3 cards, since all 3 apparently work in my X58 machine. I tried taping off B5 and B6 and the other two still didn't work in the P5Q. The main LSI chips are B3 on all cards and all of the cards "say" Rev A00 on them and the layout looks the same but the sticker on the chip (RAM? dunno) on the back is different and there's some other text that's different...
     
  5. dubslick

    dubslick n00bie

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    Did you flash the IR or IT firmware? I wanted a plain HBA without RAID, so I tried IT, and it didn't work. Was it the latest firmware?
     
  6. dandragonrage

    dandragonrage [H]ardForum Junkie

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    IT. I think I got the older one you mentioned above on two of them and the new one on one of them but I am not 100% sure because I forgot about the 8.3 limit for DOS so I couldn't see which directory I was using clearly on my flash CD...

    Edit: I think the third card was flashed with the newest firmware using the flash utility from 1.28.02 (if there's even a difference) but I'm still not sure since I didn't bother to double check.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  7. dubslick

    dubslick n00bie

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    Wow, that's great! The reason I returned my SAS 6/iR was because I couldn't flash the newest IT firmware onto it. If other people can repeat, then this would be a cheap way to add 8 SATA ports, a better value than the often recommend Supermicro LSI 1068 UIO card.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  8. dandragonrage

    dandragonrage [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Is there something in the current firmware that makes it necessary?
     
  9. dubslick

    dubslick n00bie

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    No, nothing special. I just didn't try the old firmware since I had a Dell SAS 5/i on the way, and knew it would work in IT mode out of the box.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  10. dandragonrage

    dandragonrage [H]ardForum Junkie

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    For anyone else interested, I uploaded the flash CD I made: http://www.sosdan.com/sas6iflashcd.7z

    Make sure your optical drive controller is in IDE and legacy mode (not just changing to IDE but I have to set "Native Mode" to disabled in my BIOS) for this to work.

    I fixed the directory structure so that it will work in DOS. Directories on CD:
    -12802 = LSI flasher, LSI 1.28.02 firmware
    -12900 = LSI flasher, LSI 1.29.00 firmware
    -129oldfl = LSI flasher from 1.28.02 package, LSI 1.29.00 firmware
    -DellA05 = Dell flasher, Dell A05 firmware (untested by me but this is unmodified from Dell)
    -D12802 = Dell flasher, LSI 1.28.02 firmware (untested)
    -D12900 = Dell flasher, LSI 1.29.00 firmware (untested)


    Dell A05 uses "flash" to start, the others use "hbaflash." I only copied sasflash.exe around. I don't even know if it's different.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011
  11. dandragonrage

    dandragonrage [H]ardForum Junkie

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    OK so I have another issue... I have the Supermicro AOC-SASLP card and that boots fine w/o the one SAS 6i that works for me. So each work separately. But I can't boot with both. I am just using some PCI video card that works with either SAS card separately. Again, MB=Asus P5Q Pro Turbo

    Edit: Tried my Adaptec 3085 and I can't get it to boot alongside the Dell or the Supermicro. Does the motherboard expect at least one x16 slot to be video if they are both populated? Would cutting one of the cards down to x1 help? Would it need me to use a PCI-E video card?
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  12. dandragonrage

    dandragonrage [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I cut the Supermicro card down to x1 with my hacksaw and it still works by itself but even in x1 it doesn't work with the other card in. I haven't tried with PEG + x16 SAS + x1 SAS yet.
     
  13. dandragonrage

    dandragonrage [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I was able to get two working in an AMD system so I used that instead. Note that these cards appear to load the BIOS just once and going into it shows both cards, so for anyone wanting to try this, don't get discouraged if you only see the LSI BIOS load once.
     
  14. dubslick

    dubslick n00bie

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    This post inspired me to try the SAS 6/ir again. Following your example, I was able to flash the LSI 1.28.02 IT firmware onto the card, and it is happily controlling a ZFS zroot mirror for FreeBSD. Not bad for $36 bucks.

    It also uses half the power of the SAS 5/i card (5W vs 10W).
     
  15. jisakiel

    jisakiel n00bie

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    Just in case it might help anyone like me who finds this post after googling, invoking sasflash with the "-o" option enables advanced mode, which enables overriding the invalid device ID safety check and flashing the latest 31 firmware.
     
  16. tojoski

    tojoski [H]Lite

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    Whats the benefit of flashing to the LSI firmware?

    I've got (2) 6 i/r cards and it seems the rule of thumb is that they will work without any taping of the pins in a server-class board.

    I've tried them in a Tyan s5220 and an Intel s5000 board and they work fine, but to get them to work in a Gigabyte P55 board I had to tape the pins.
     
  17. dubslick

    dubslick n00bie

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    You can flash the card with the LSI IT firmware without RAID capability, turning the card into a plain Host Bus Adapter with 8 SATA ports. For systems running ZFS, this is the preferred way to attach drives, without RAID.
     
  18. TheMTZ

    TheMTZ Limp Gawd

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    Kind of resurrecting this thread for information :)

    I bought two Dell 6/IR controllers a few weeks ago on EBay. They where on some old DELL version from 2008 and got successfully flashed with "Version:FW: 01.33.00.00; BIOS: 6.36.00.00" from the LSI homepage (which is the latest available). On a side note: I got hardware revision B3.
     
  19. Jay69

    Jay69 n00bie

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    I've tried to do the upgrade but has not been able to, could anybody give me the exact method to do the upgrade including the commands and how to indentify the card ? I have a Dell Server with SAS 6/IR. Thanks.
     
  20. Dalfo002

    Dalfo002 Limp Gawd

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    @ Jay69, 2 questions:

    Question the first: i know the sas5 had integrated versions, is your sas6 an integrated version or a standard pci-e expansion card?

    Question the second: do you intend to keep dell firmware, or do you want LSI IT firmware?

    INSTRUCTIONS FOR SAS6i/r to LSI SAS 3081E-R (IR or IT mode) FLASHING (version 1.33.00.00)

    My method was to set up a USB flash drive to boot DOS, make sure this works before moving on. Grab the SAS3081ER firmware set from LSI.

    LSI.com > "Products" tab > "Host Bus Adapters" > 3Gb SATA+SAS adapters > SAS3081E-R
    Grab the firmware file: SAS3081ER_Package_P21... yadda yadda

    Unpack the files, now the rest of this is from memory so take this with a grain of salt, all of the 1068e chips i have seen mounted on DELL SAS6 cards have been REV B3 (look at the chip itself to find out, the version is etched on the surface of the 1068e). You should find a set of 6 firmware files in the extracted folder. Firmwares are labeled 1068E, followed by T (for initiator-target, aka IT mode) or R (RAID mode), followed by the revision B1 through B3. Copy the IR or IT mode firmware (whichever you need) with the proper chip revision over to the root of your DOS boot disk.
    Copy mptsas.rom, hbaflash.bat, CHOICE.exe to root of your boot disk.
    Copy sasflash.exe from the SASflash_DOS_rel directory to root of your bootdisk.
    Boot your system from the DOS bootdisk.
    invoke hbaflash.bat, follow instructions, have fun.

    EDIT: just remember that the SAS6i/r is an SAS3081ER as far as the hbaflash.bat script is concerned. The script already has the -o "override" flag so it should not complain about non-matching versions; on the flip side if you select the wrong firmware you could screw something up. The "name" of the adapter in the mptsas bios will not change (from my experience) though i have one card that presents itself as SAS6 and another that presents as 1068E (if i recall correctly).
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
  21. Jay69

    Jay69 n00bie

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    I believe it's integrated. The server is a T610. I guess I just need a IT firmware and if Dell has one, I won't mind but otherwise I'll considering if it's worth the risk to update a integrated card.

    Anybody knows a decent SATAIII expansion card that I can get for cheap ?

     
  22. Dalfo002

    Dalfo002 Limp Gawd

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    Yeah, i suspect the procedure would be the same (and that hardware should be similar, albeit not removable) but i do not have experience with the integrated units unfortunately. A different firmware would likely be more appropriate, the integrated SAS6 only has 4 sas channels, correct?
     
  23. Jay69

    Jay69 n00bie

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    I have 8 + 2 on the T610. 2 on the m/b and 8 on the SAS6/i . I don't have it with me at the moment and cannot confirm. Would also want to get some expansion cage and additional controller (hopefully SATAIII 6G instead of SATA-II with 3G).
    Any suggestion on a good/cheap one to get including cage. Thanks.

     
  24. Dalfo002

    Dalfo002 Limp Gawd

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    If the integrated 6/i has 8 SAS channels then the 3081 firmware should be appropriate, in any event you should be able to back up the existing firmware and bootloader from the sas6 by running:

    sasflash -ufirmware Firmware.fw
    sasflash -ubios BIOS.rom

    If this fails, then you know for certain that the firmware update will not work. If it succeeds then you can use these files to reload the original firmware and bios should anything go awry. to re-flash the original data to the card use:

    sasflash -f Firmware.fw -b BIOS.rom

    As for the 6G replacement, the reason (i believe) the SAS5 and SAS6 cards are so cheap is that they came as standard configuration on many servers/workstations and have subsequently been upgraded, i do not know if 6G HBAs have started getting that kind of market penetration (or commoditization) yet.
     
  25. Jay69

    Jay69 n00bie

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    @Dalfo002,

    Just want to say THANKS and it works great. Not sure the benefit though as the performance seems the same and I could only select the first disk as the bootdisk. Exactly the same as the IR firmware. It hang when I attempt to login to the IR firmware.
     
  26. Dalfo002

    Dalfo002 Limp Gawd

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    I'm happy to hear it worked out for you!
     
  27. Otlichno

    Otlichno n00bie

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    Also jumping in for a quick question. Does flashing the LSI IR firmware allow for higher RAID levels than 0 and 1?
     
  28. dandragonrage

    dandragonrage [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Are you also referring to the Dell SAS 6? It's not powerful enough for RAID-5 of even decent performance even if you found a firmware that supported it.
     
  29. Otlichno

    Otlichno n00bie

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    Yep that's the controller, thanks for the info.

    Makes me sad
     
  30. stealth17

    stealth17 Limp Gawd

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    Sorry to reopen a super old thread, but the flash CD link (http://www.sosdan.com/sas6iflashcd.7z) is broken. Does anyone have a copy or can someone point me to the firmware files I need for flashing?
     
  31. lithiumion

    lithiumion n00bie

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    @ dandragonrage: Would you please reupload the CD image for the SAS6i?
    I couldn't download from the link provided.