madburg Posted May 3, 2011 Share Posted May 3, 2011 Moderator note: madburg started this way back in May of 2011, and deserves an enormous amount of credit and appreciation, from many users (both unRAID users and others from around the web). Fireball3 has picked it up and is maintaining it now, and also deserves much credit and appreciation. But it has now grown to over 74 pages, and as the flash files and tools and instructions have been upgraded over time, it has become hard to find the latest info for particular situations and hardware. So a wiki page has been created, to compile all the best info into one place. It is still a work in progress, but is now usable. We can't promise however that all of the latest info is in it yet, so a search of this thread may still be important. (madburg, if this note bothers you, feel free to remove it, or edit as you wish) Wiki page compilation of this thread (work in progress): Crossflashing Controllers Many people are looking for alternatives to HAVING to use the supermicro controllers. Not that there isn’t anything wrong with them. But having more options than 1 controller is always welcome. Also it seems no one has successfully been able to pass-through the supermicro controllers in ESXi which for some is a big thing. There are faster performing cards (channels, etc.) as well as 6Gb/s out there that can be obtained for less or about the same money as the supermicro's. USED in most cases or pulls from brand new servers, or just Froogle shopping. There are various skill sets in the unRAID community so I am putting this post together to help those who require an easy method of being able to flash FIRMWARE & BIOs for popular LSI Controllers. Whether they are onboard (motherboard) or external LSI or rebadged LSI controllers. I have compiled the zip files to contain at least: 1) Original Manufacturer Product Brief PDF for each LSI IO Controller chipset 2) All original Readme files which came with the manufactures Firmware Download 3) Batch files to first “LIST” what controllers were found and details about them 4) Batch files to secondly backup your current controllers Firmware & Bios 5) Batch files to Flash to Initator-Target (IT) mode AND/OR back to Integrated RAID (IR) mode These batch files have been setup to Flash rebadged version of LSI controllers as well. This is based on you performing these flashes from a Windows 32bit or 64bit OS. You will notice there is 2 batch file for each stage based on the platform you are running. I decided to remove the dependence of using “choice.exe” to create a single batch file to do all the stages as I saw issues with the x64 version of “choice.exe” as well as various OS’s in the mix. I could definitely create a script to do all this but currently do not have the time and not everyone would be able to follow it, so the batch files make it very clear to all. *** Disclaimer – You are doing this at your own risk by performing a flash on a controller *** This is done all day long by many people in the world, but sometimes cards are bad or are going bad, you lose power, etc… Please keep this in mind. Best practices are: 1) Put the pc you are inserting your LSI controller into on a UPS 2) Don’t boot off a drive that is connected to the controller you will be flashing Not that it is not to say you have to follow this best practice, I flashed all of my (2-IBM BR10i, 1-LSI 9211-8i, 1-onboard SAS2008, 1-LSISAS2116) without having them on UPS, and one of them was booted off the controller I was flashing. But something to definitely keep in mind and aware of. I am adding some place holder while I put the rest of the Post together below. Comments/suggestions/QA is appreciated. Please add your card if it worked for you. I found the following excerpt on ServeTheHome.com and could not say it better myself: It is a well known practice that many vendors re-brand LSI RAID cards and host bus adapters (HBAs) using different firmware and re-sell them as their own. Oftentimes, re-branded cards are less expensive to acquire than their LSI counterparts making re-brands highly desirable. It is also well known that using the initiator-target (IT) firmware mode is a great way to give up the RAID features of the cards, treating the cards instead as simple HBAs in IT mode. In turn, this allows operating systems that handle parity calculations to directly access the drives, thereby reducing the rate of TLER dropouts from RAID arrays among other things. I am not too crazy about the fileswap provider I found to hold these zip files so if someone could recommend another service I will move them. Note: All updates must be done with Admin prevledges (watch out for UAC level in Vista/W7/W2K8/W2K8R2 OS's) Once you have flashed your conroller card to IT mode, I recommend you change the "Boot Support" to "Disabled" via the LSI BIOS settings (CTRL-C). This will not offer any drive to be bootable to the system bios, posts must quicker and lets unRAID have sole control over the drives, which is what we want. Additional Note: If you receive a "Failed to initialize PAL" message while trying to flash a LSI controller card, it is most likely due to your motherboard having limited Option ROM. You will need to find another motherboard to use to flash the controller card. This has been the only reported issue thus far. Complements of Zeron’s find: http://kb.lsi.com/KnowledgebaseArticle15807.aspx and http://kb.lsi.com/KnowledgebaseArticle16266.aspx Another read from the LSI KnowledgeBase "Using drives >2TB in capacity with LSI SAS HBAs":http://kb.lsi.com/KnowledgebaseArticle16399.aspx 1 Quote Link to comment
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