X9SCM / LSI 3442 blues

groove

n00b
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
17
:mad:

I've been trying to get my spanking new X9SCM to recognize a confirmed working LSI 3442 storage controller for the past 2 weeks. I've tried everything I can think of under the sun :

1. Ensured that my motherboard has the latest BIOS (Rel 1.1a).
2. Ensured that the controller has the latest Firmware and Bios (P20 download from LSI website).
3. Put the controller in ALL the different slots on the board (both x8 and x4 PCIe slots).
4. Cycled through ALL PCIe BIOS settings of the motherboard with the card plugged into each of the slots.

I just can't seem to get the motherboard to recognize the controller. The controller's LEDs all light up when plugged into the motherboard - so I do know that that there's at least electrical connection between the 2. And I've verified that the motherboard can initialize a PERC 5i controller that I have sitting around. I've also confirmed that the controllers works on a P915 motherboard that I have and I've even managed to get it to flash when plugged into a Asus Z8NA-D6C motherbaord that I have. All of these combinations work just fine and the controllers is fully recognized when booting into Windows 7 on the Asus and into Solaris Express 11 on the P915.

But on the X9SCM neither does the controller's BIOS get instantiated during the POST process and neither does Solaris Express 11 recognize the controller (again cycling through ALL the slots of the motherboard). At this point I'm at my wits end as to what to try next.

Hence the call for help to the gurus on this forum.....Please help....

Dear gurus, some addtional pieces of information :

1. The controller has a (B1) rev. 1068E processor (not sure if that matters).
2. LSI's latest firmware revision (P21) does not have a firmware file for the B1 revision. It only has firmware updates starting from B2 on...
3. When I run a SASFLASH -list I get the following output :
C:\Users\GROOVE\Downloads\SAS3442ER>sasflash -list

****************************************************************************
LSI Corporation SAS FLASH Utility.

SASFlash Version 1.30.00.00 (2011.08.24)

Copyright (c) 2006-2011 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved.
****************************************************************************

Adapter Selected is a LSI SAS 1068E(B1):

Controller Number: 1
Controller: 1068E(B1)
PCI Address: 00:09:00:00
SAS Address: 500605b-0-0027-2850
NVDATA Version (Default): 0x2d03
NVDATA Version (Persistent): 0x2d03
Product ID: 0x2204
Firmware Version: 01.32.00.00
NVDATA Vendor: LSILogic
NVDATA Product ID: SAS3442E
BIOS Version: 06.34.00.00
BIOS Alternate Version: N/A

Finished Processing Commands Successfully.
Exiting SASFlash.
4. I did notice the following in the output :

EFI BSD Version: N/A
FCODE Version: N/A

I wonder if these are the missing links that are causing the X9SCM to trip up. I really do not know how to fix these or even if they matter in any way.

I would really appreciate it I someone can help me here. Time are tough and I'd really like to see if I can avoid hunting down a new controller for my new build. With prices of HDDs going through the roof, I've already shot my budget. So if possible I'd like to save some cash by getting my existing card going.

I have contacted Supermicro for help but have not heard back from they. I'm sure they're also scratching their heads.....

Thanks in advance.
Groove
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
575
Well if you tried EVERY BIOS setting and it doesn't work, then there is nothing you can do.

With that said, you would have to list the relevant BIOS settings you DID try. Because when you say you tried "EVERY" setting and not being specific, that sounds to me like you don't want to be bothered with BIOS setting advice. So I won't bother asking if you tried the most obvious BIOS settings that have helped my IBM M1015 controllers work in my X9SCM-F motherboard. And also the method I discovered to get my Dell XR997 10 gbe NIC to work with those controllers at the same time - as I finally realized that this particular NIC was the culprit that caused my controllers to drop out, or for itself to drop out. There was special magic I have to do that did not involve BIOS fiddling to get THAT sorted out! (reproducible voodoo was needed - but I had to take sewing lessons to make the doll)
 

groove

n00b
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
17
Point taken. You're right. I didn't try 'EVERY' bios setting. I would have been at it far more than 2 weeks (more like 200 years to try every possible combination).

Rectal, basically what I did was keep some of the settings constant and then changed mostly the ones that I thought would matter.

For starters I disabled the following and kept them disabled throughout the process :

1. The onboard SATA controller (set SATA Mode to Disabled in 'IDE/SATA Configuration').
2. Disabled the Oboard Option ROM for both onbard lan controllers.
3. Set the 'Boot Graphics Adaptor Priority' to 'Onboard VGA'.
4. Kept the PCI Latency Timer to '32 PCI Bus Clocks'
5. Kept VT-d disabled.
6. Interrupt 19 Capture set to 'Enabled'.
7. Set 'PCIE Maximum Read Request' to 'Auto'.
8. PCI Express Port set to 'Enabled'.

Keeping the above setting constant, I then went in and cycled through the following settings as I tried the different slots :

1. PCI ROM Priority - tried both EFI Compatible ROM and Legacy Rom.
2. Active State Power Management - tried both setting Enabled and Disabled.
3. Enabled/Disabled PEG Force Gen1
4. Enabled/Disabled 'Detect Non-Compliance Device'.

I might have been going about this the worng way. If there is a specific sequence that I should follow, please let me know. I don't mind the sewing lessons if there hope of making the doll at the end.
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
575
Damn, I was about to suggest the PCI ROM settings. Ok, let's see if we can get outside the box here...now, I have a few 1068E cards (IBM BR10i and one Supermicro lowprofile one). I believe they will work with Legacy ROM but I'm not 100% sure. It could be that you need to flash your card with a more recent firmware into IT-mode just to be safe - it could also be that it has an older or incorrect BIOS. The product ID of SAS3442E doesn't look common to me, at least considering most people use the more common 1068E variants.

With that said, instead of flashing the firmware, have you tried disabling the Option ROM for the particular PCIe slot the card is in, powercycle, then see if it shows up in devices? If not, re-enable it, power cycle, then check again. If that still doesn't work, try plugging in another card that has an Option ROM, like an Intel NIC. Remove the 3442E card first, put the NIC in its place with the Option ROM enabled for the slot, verify that the BIOS screen includes some text showing that the Intel NIC's ROM is being loaded and run. I am assuming the BIOS setting AddOn ROM Display mode is set to Force BIOS and that Quiet Mode is disabled.

Remove the NIC put in the 3442E card, see what happens. If that still doesn't do anything, put both cards in, then swap slots if powercycle still doesn't work (make sure the ROM is enabled in both slots).

Sometimes you have to put another card in one of the slots to "kick" the motherboard...that's what I have to do to get my 10 gbe NIC and the 3 M1015s to work together...grrrrr.
 

groove

n00b
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
17
I've tried plugging in other cards as well. In fact I plugged in a Dell PERC 5i and the motherboard detected the card just fine. I did plug in a Intel CT adapter and that worked and was detected as well.

And my card is flashed in IT mode. That is how I want it. No on board RAID required.

As far as the latest firmware/bios is considered, well the LSI website does have a P21... firmware of the 3442 that is dated August 2011. However, that zip file does not contain any firmware for revision B1 chipset (which is what my card is based on). So I don't have a choice but to use the P20 version.

And finally regarding disabling the Option ROM for a particular PCIe slot, I don't think I've seen an option to specifically turn on and off the Option ROM on a per PCIe slot bases. Can you please send let me know which menu option in the BIOS would allow me to do that. I do have one more quirk that I forgot to mention. On the ASUS, the Card's Option ROM does not seem to get instantiated, unless I hit the 'Del' key when the board is posting. I don't think it matters as even the Intel Raid Controller's initializing screen does not show up unless I hit the Del key. So it could be a motherboard thing. I'm just mentioning it in case it matters.....

And finally, yes, the 'Add On Rom' is set to Force BIOS and Quite mode is disabled.

Well my server is being used right now to take nightly backups. But I'll try the slot changes and the clear CMOS options tomorrow. But in the meantime, if you'll can send me details on how to turn on and off the Option Roms, I'll try that as well tomorrow.

For now thanks a bunch for trying to help. I hope this works out. I have a new SDD sitting on the shelf waiting for a port to become available.... I'd really like to close up this server and move on to the next project. Thanks again for all your help.
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
575
In my X9SCM-F manual, there is an OPROM option for each of the PCIe slots - for slot 4,5,6, & 7.

"Use this feature to enable or disable PCI slot Option ROMs."

Not sure if your mobo has that.

Good luck!
 

treadstone

Gawd
Joined
Jan 25, 2010
Messages
567
@Rectal Prolapse: The OPROM option for the 4 PCIe slots will only show up if you plug cards into each PCIe slot that has an on-board BIOS that needs to run during the initial boot up process (e.g. if you only put two cards with BIOS ROMs into the 4 slots, then only those two will show up in the X9SCM-F BIOS) !

I disabled the OPROM options for all the HBAs I use in my servers since I let the OS driver do the initialization of all the attached HDDs. Works quite well for my setup and cut the boot-up time by a considerable amount of time.
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
575
Ah! When I built my system my put my cards in first before I powered up so I always got those options. If the OP never got the option at all then that is a bad sign! Possibly an incomplete firmware flash? Although that isn't likely if the other motherboards are ok...
 

groove

n00b
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
17
Well, in my case the options to control the OPROM do not show up. I'll try different cards and check. But from what I can tell, it does not show up when I plug in the LSI 3442 controller.
 

vr.

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Messages
3,558
Subscribed.... Interesting thread. I have the X9SCM-F but am waiting for a RAID controller to show up.

On another Supermicro board I went through a rough time getting an Areca card to show up during the boot sequence. It ended up being NorthBridge slot SXB1 and SXB2 being set to Auto that tripped me up.

I went and downloaded the X9SCM manual just now and the same settings aren't available so I'm betting I'll be walking your path of frustration very soon!
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2010
Messages
5
I know this is an old thread, but I have the same problem only with a PERC 5/i

I just purchased a perc 5i and a Supermicro X9SCM-0. The PERC 5/I will not show up on the X9SCM or my desktop with an ASUS p67 motherboard. I plugged the card into an old Q9550 system and it initalized just fine.

The common factor between the Supermicro board and my desktop board is they both use EFI where my old system uses a legacy BIOS.

The firmware on the PERC 5i was flashed with the most current firmware and the X9SCM-0 has the most recent BIOS installed.

Has anyone found a resolution to this problem?
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
575
I've had similar issues - when I first built a system with 3 controllers in it, inevitably one of them would never be recognized. My only workaround was to pull the card, boot the system, shut it down, put the card back in. If that doesn't work, I would put the card that wasn't recognized into another slot, then boot. And if THAT doesn't work, put the card back into the previous slot. Usually that will finally make it work. It will usually continue to work even through the next power cycles, until I remove ANY card. Then I have to repeat the above again.
 
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