Jump to content
Ford Prefect

[solved] flashing firmware to an Intel RES2xxxxx expander with your 9211-8i HBA

18 posts in this topic Last Reply

Recommended Posts

Hi Folks,

 

just in case this might be useful for someone else,

I wanted to let you know that I successfully flashed my Intel RES2CV240 expander to a newer Firmware.

 

I used the Package from Intel with version PH13 here: http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?DwnldID=21686 and

then followed the procedure for flashing it when attached to a HBA (which is one of my M1015s flashed to P15-IT).

 

To do that, I booted the latest CentOS6.3_x64 live ISO, downloaded the above package, unzipped it to the Desktop and from

a terminal (root user) entered the "linux" folder inside the Package folder.

From there I followed the steps in the README inside, using the provided xflash utility.

Firmware Upgrade through running Linux system  
i)For expander behind SAS HBA or On-board SAS Controller
    1. Download and extract all files to a local drive.
    2. Boot the target system to Linux.
    3. Navigate to directory with the Linux utility.
    4. Find SAS address of expander(s) in system.
a. Run "xflash -i get avail" command
        b. The format of SAS Address is shown as below
	(xxxxxxxx:yyyyyyyy)
c. Record returned SAS Address as "xxxxxxxxyyyyyyyy"
    5. Update expander fw.
a. Run "xflash -i <SAS Address> down fw sas2xfwBasic.fw 0 -y"
    6. Power cycle system once expander has completed firmware update.

 

...worked like a charm.  :)

 

Why would I want to do that, you may ask?

I just started a new build of an ESXi based  ZFS array in a 24bay Rack-Case with my old X8SIL-F....since I only have one slot available for my HBA in that build, I decided to go for the Intel expander.

After doing the preclear of my disks  and setting up the array (all went well so far), I experienced massive errors (reports of Hardware errors + Timeouts) when beaming/sending my backups back into the array.

Since the reports included drives that were not even part of the ZFS folder I 've been restoring but which did preclear previously, I tried to think that the problems are not caused by the disks themselves.

 

The release notes of the Expander firmware state:

=============
Fixes/Updates 
=============
v13
- SMP fix (Populate ATTACHED DEVICE NAME instead of using SAS Address.
- SMP fix send BREAK if SMP frame lenght exceeds maximum lenght allowed by the SAS 2 specification.

v12
- Significantly reduce the likelihood and frequency of link resets, this was causing IO timeouts with SATA drives.
- Zoning fixes

 

That info about this particular  fix in v12 made my heart jump  ;D

The FW13 is from Agust 2012...my expander, although being purchased new in December showed a packaging date of June 2012.

I couldn't find out about the current FW this came with and tried the upgrade.

The xflash utility reported that it had indeed V11 on it  :)

 

The array is now restoring fine...no glitched since the last 4TB  8)

Share this post


Link to post

....I just flashed the expander with the FW13, as I did not know how to check the current FW version.

If you want to check beforhand, use these instructions I found on a SM site: http://www.supermicro.com/support/faqs/faq.cfm?faq=12110

These are regarding a SM chassis backplane, but obviously they use the same chipsets and tools...

 

[...]
You can check the expander firmware version like below. 

(1) Check the expander SAS address first as below: 

# ./xflash -i get avail 

(2) Put the SAS address of the backplane that you want to find the firmware version number. 

# ./xflash -i get ver 

Region 0 : boot region 
1 : active region 
2 : update region 
3 : MFG region 
Please use the active (1) or update (2) region to find the firmware version. 

(3) Here is the sample command: 

# ./xflash -i 50030480000000FF get ver 1

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for this post, I'll likely take on this project this weekend, as I'm getting loads of "attempting task abort!" entries in my syslog causing insanely slow parity checks and so on...

Share this post


Link to post

Edit, ok, updating the card was WAY easier than you indicated :)

 

download the firmware from the link provided and place the contents onto a USB drive.

 

Boot into built-in EFI shell

 

fs0:
Update.nsh

 

done

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you so much for this post.  I didn't even think about firmware on my expander.

 

It was quite easy to do under windows, just run update.bat.

 

The update got rid of my "attempting task abort!" errors that i was getting and improved my parity check speeds from 60MBs to 100MBs.

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you so much for this post.  I didn't even think about firmware on my expander.

 

It was quite easy to do under windows, just run update.bat.

 

The update got rid of my "attempting task abort!" errors that i was getting and improved my parity check speeds from 60MBs to 100MBs.

 

You're welcome...Thanks for the feedback!

Just to confirm...you did flash with running a M1015/9211-8i as well?

The Windows system did have drivers for the HBA installed, didn't it? ...or did the xflash utility "just work"?

Share this post


Link to post

yes it was on a m1015 flashed to IT mode with a blank bios.  The windows VM loaded a driver for it, it was 2k8r2 server. 

 

I just stopped my unraid vm, stopped my windows vm, pass-through the m1015 to the windows vm and powered it up.

 

After flash was done i powered off windows VM, removed the m1015 from the vm config, powered down esx server, powered it all back up.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

Used the built-in EFI shell method. It went flawless. Thanks a lot!

 

BTW, it helped me reduce parity checks duration by half. If interested my post is here.

Share this post


Link to post

Used the built-in EFI shell method. It went flawless. Thanks a lot!

 

BTW, it helped me reduce parity checks duration by half. If interested my post is here.

 

dheg, is your intel card plugged into the motherboard or do you just have the power connector attached?  I'm still getting a bazillion attempting task aborts, ... eventually I'll figure out what's going on.

Share this post


Link to post

I have mine plugged into an unused pci-e slot for easiness.  One thing to note you have to power down, and the power back up for the firmware to take hold.  The card only reloads the firmware on a power on, not a reboot.

Share this post


Link to post

Used the built-in EFI shell method. It went flawless. Thanks a lot!

 

BTW, it helped me reduce parity checks duration by half. If interested my post is here.

 

dheg, is your intel card plugged into the motherboard or do you just have the power connector attached?  I'm still getting a bazillion attempting task aborts, ... eventually I'll figure out what's going on.

Power conector, the only link with the mb is the m1015. BTW,  I have the Supermicro X9SCM, my sig is outdated :-[

 

Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

Used the built-in EFI shell method. It went flawless. Thanks a lot!

 

BTW, it helped me reduce parity checks duration by half. If interested my post is here.

 

dheg, is your intel card plugged into the motherboard or do you just have the power connector attached?  I'm still getting a bazillion attempting task aborts, ... eventually I'll figure out what's going on.

Power conector, the only link with the mb is the m1015. BTW,  I have the Supermicro X9SCM, my sig is outdated :-[

 

Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2

 

I have the X9SCM motherboard as well, I'm considering building a ESXi box, so I'm debating where I can mount some SSD drives.  Originally I had the intel expander card mounted to the case directly (not the motherboard) with the power connector, however since more drives are going to go in there, I have relocated it to the motherboard. 

 

Now if I could find a good kit to make my own power cables for the backplanes of the norco 4224 unit...

Share this post


Link to post

I also have th 4224. Have you tried moddiy? I'm pretty happy with my cabling layout, i can post some pictures is someone is interested

 

Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

I also have th 4224. Have you tried moddiy? I'm pretty happy with my cabling layout, i can post some pictures is someone is interested

 

Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2

 

I would be very interested,  but probably should do so in another thread.

Share this post


Link to post

I also have th 4224. Have you tried moddiy? I'm pretty happy with my cabling layout, i can post some pictures is someone is interested

 

Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2

 

I would be very interested,  but probably should do so in another thread.

I'll pm you once I have some time, hopefully this weekend

 

Sent from my GT-P7500 using Tapatalk 2

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Folks,

 

just in case this might be useful for someone else,

I wanted to let you know that I successfully flashed my Intel RES2CV240 expander to a newer Firmware.

 

I used the Package from Intel with version PH13 here: http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?DwnldID=21686 and

then followed the procedure for flashing it when attached to a HBA (which is one of my M1015s flashed to P15-IT).

 

To do that, I booted the latest CentOS6.3_x64 live ISO, downloaded the above package, unzipped it to the Desktop and from

a terminal (root user) entered the "linux" folder inside the Package folder.

From there I followed the steps in the README inside, using the provided xflash utility.

Firmware Upgrade through running Linux system  
i)For expander behind SAS HBA or On-board SAS Controller
    1. Download and extract all files to a local drive.
    2. Boot the target system to Linux.
    3. Navigate to directory with the Linux utility.
    4. Find SAS address of expander(s) in system.
   a. Run "xflash -i get avail" command
        b. The format of SAS Address is shown as below
      (xxxxxxxx:yyyyyyyy)
   c. Record returned SAS Address as "xxxxxxxxyyyyyyyy"
    5. Update expander fw.
   a. Run "xflash -i <SAS Address> down fw sas2xfwBasic.fw 0 -y"
    6. Power cycle system once expander has completed firmware update.

 

...worked like a charm.  :)

 

Why would I want to do that, you may ask?

I just started a new build of an ESXi based  ZFS array in a 24bay Rack-Case with my old X8SIL-F....since I only have one slot available for my HBA in that build, I decided to go for the Intel expander.

After doing the preclear of my disks  and setting up the array (all went well so far), I experienced massive errors (reports of Hardware errors + Timeouts) when beaming/sending my backups back into the array.

Since the reports included drives that were not even part of the ZFS folder I 've been restoring but which did preclear previously, I tried to think that the problems are not caused by the disks themselves.

 

The release notes of the Expander firmware state:

=============
Fixes/Updates 
=============
v13
- SMP fix (Populate ATTACHED DEVICE NAME instead of using SAS Address.
- SMP fix send BREAK if SMP frame lenght exceeds maximum lenght allowed by the SAS 2 specification.

v12
- Significantly reduce the likelihood and frequency of link resets, this was causing IO timeouts with SATA drives.
- Zoning fixes

 

That info about this particular  fix in v12 made my heart jump  ;D

The FW13 is from Agust 2012...my expander, although being purchased new in December showed a packaging date of June 2012.

I couldn't find out about the current FW this came with and tried the upgrade.

The xflash utility reported that it had indeed V11 on it  :)

 

The array is now restoring fine...no glitched since the last 4TB  8)

Just an FYI.  I followed this procedure but I used my unRAID server to do it.  I copied the files indicated to the unRAID flash drive.  Ran a putty session to connect to the unRAID server and flashed the firmware on the RES2SV240.  I did have the array stopped while flashing which is probably necessary but is certainly advisable.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.