Help with LSI card in HP server, not reading disks


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HI all.
Firstly, sorry for the long post, I have tried a few things and want to put it all down so I dont loose track myself of what I have already tried.

I have a older HP server with 12 drive bays which I have been running for the past few years as my home NAS.
I have been running windows on it
A) As when I set it up, windows was all I really knew,
B) It supported mixed drives using the windows storage spaces
C) It ran my backblaze software so I could backup the entire NAS to backblaze

I decided I wanted to move away from windows and go unraid, but I knew the HP raid card I had didnt support IT mode, 
So I got a LSI 9211-8i, Put it in the server and confirmed it showed up in bios, and sold the HP raid card as I didn't think I needed it any more
It sat in the server for a while turned off as I didn't have the time to setup unraid on it, till a few days ago.

Finally put unraid on and found that none of my drives were showing up.
Attached a drive to the onboard sata and it showed up fine.
I then went to upgrade the firmware on the card and it complained about putting IT mode over IR mode (or whatever the other mode is, sorry cant remember at the moment)
So I found instructions on how to make a dos usb and flash it that way
I flashed it to 20.07 but still nothing in unraid.
So more reading online said you can boot to the bios of the card and use that to configure it, but when I went to boot into that, I got a PCI error

Fatal PCI Express Device Error PCI Slot ?
B00/D07/F00 0E

I then went back to version 19 of the firmware, and it booted fine into the bios,
But in there under the SAS Topology page where I expected the drives to show, it said no devices to display.
I tried swapping the PCI port, swapping the SAS cable around, and putting it in slot 1 and 2
cleaned the servers bios to be safe
One time I did get it to show HP expander something (cant remember and didnt take a photo) but only once

I went to upgrade to version 20.06 on the firmware to see if that helped, but that still got the same PCI error (Although a different error code)
B00/D03/F00 0E
(not sure if thats to do with changing ports etc?)

I did notice that during post, firmware 19 showed LSI but 20 showed Avago, not sure if thats relevant

At this point im not sure where to go forward.
I know the cable and HP backplane worked fine with the old HP card

I dont know if its a problem with my LSI card, or a compatibility problem between the LSI card and HP backplane.

I would buy a SAS breakout cable to test the LSI card, but they arn't cheap where im from, and it would take a few days to get here, so hoping to exaust all other options before going fown that path.

I do have photos of everything if anyone is interested
and can take more on request
Or can provide any debug or version numbers, I just dont know what is needed to help troubleshoot so didnt want to dump everything on here

Thanks in advance for an help
 

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If the drives are not detected in the HBA BIOS most likely it's not connecting correctly with expander/devices, do you know the expander model? Are you connecting to it with one or two cables?

 

P.S. if/when this is fixed upgrade the LSI to 20.00.07.00, all other 20.xx.xx releases have known issues.

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59 minutes ago, JorgeB said:

If the drives are not detected in the HBA BIOS most likely it's not connecting correctly with expander/devices, do you know the expander model? Are you connecting to it with one or two cables?

 

P.S. if/when this is fixed upgrade the LSI to 20.00.07.00, all other 20.xx.xx releases have known issues.


Thats what im thinking.
Its a single cable between card and expander (only one port on the expander its self)
Im not sure of the model for the backplane its self (without pulling the whole drive assembly apart) but its for a HP DL180 G6 12-bay LFF drive 
Found the exact one here https://serverfault.com/questions/404545/dl180-g6-12-bay-backplane-connections

I tried any 20.x releases and its just erroring for me on boot to bios, the 19 version is the only one which actually lets me into the bios.
but I can give 20.7 a go if I get it working

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8 hours ago, JorgeB said:

You could look for a firmware update for the expander, but likely it would require a supported HP RAID controller to update it.

Thats something I didnt think of, do they have firmware?

I thought they were just like a complicated breakout cable?

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13 hours ago, pomtom44 said:

do they have firmware?

 

Yes, at least most the ones I've used have, e.g.:

 

[2:0:22:0]   enclosu HP       HP SAS EXP Card  2.08  -          /dev/sg34
[23:0:28:0]  enclosu HPE      12G SAS Exp Card 4.21  -          /dev/sg41
[1:0:18:0]   enclosu Intel    RES2SV240        0d00  -          /dev/sg19
[1:0:12:0]   enclosu INTEL    RES3TV360        B057  -          /dev/sg26

 

But it can be a little cryptic, for example the Intel RES2SV240 uses hexadecimal in the device, in the download page you see firmware is v13 and that corresponds to 0d00, v12 to 0c00, v11 to 0b00, etc.

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Update

Got my hands on a breakout sable, and it is detecting the drive just fine on the LSI card
Next step to assume is either backplane or cable is broken
or the backplane isnt supported.

 

On 9/18/2022 at 8:07 PM, JorgeB said:

 

Yes, at least most the ones I've used have, e.g.:

 

[2:0:22:0]   enclosu HP       HP SAS EXP Card  2.08  -          /dev/sg34
[23:0:28:0]  enclosu HPE      12G SAS Exp Card 4.21  -          /dev/sg41
[1:0:18:0]   enclosu Intel    RES2SV240        0d00  -          /dev/sg19
[1:0:12:0]   enclosu INTEL    RES3TV360        B057  -          /dev/sg26

 

But it can be a little cryptic, for example the Intel RES2SV240 uses hexadecimal in the device, in the download page you see firmware is v13 and that corresponds to 0d00, v12 to 0c00, v11 to 0b00, etc.


Is there a way to check this firmware without a HP card?
I suspect since my LSI card isnt detecting it, I can't use that for testing.

 

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Yeah, just to check the firmware the backplane needs to be detected, and to update it you will likely need a supported HP controller.

 

On 9/16/2022 at 11:52 PM, pomtom44 said:

One time I did get it to show HP expander something (cant remember and didnt take a photo) but only once

Diagnostics would show the firmware if the expander is detected, this might also show the firmware, but again unlikely you'll be able to update it with the LSI.

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1 hour ago, JorgeB said:

Yeah, just to check the firmware the backplane needs to be detected, and to update it you will likely need a supported HP controller.

 

Diagnostics would show the firmware if the expander is detected, this might also show the firmware, but again unlikely you'll be able to update it with the LSI.


Ok so after messing around I can get it to boot and detect the expander
(i think it might be a dodgy cable but not sure)
however its still not detecting disks
I can boot into the LSI Bios and it says Enclosure - HP GL18xG6BP
But when I try to select it, nothing happens
and booting into unraid, it detects the enclosure as well, but no disks show up as selectable.

So back to thinking its the backplane which isnt liked.

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9 hours ago, JorgeB said:

Possibly, though some times detecting it and others not is strange.

I have a feeling its the cable which is causing issues?
I just spent a bit of time last night booting and rebooting and every time the card detected the backplane but didnt let me go any further
Ill see if I can borrow a new card and cable from someone and then update when I have run some tests.

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