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deionmann

Asus Pike 2008 crossflash ((Walkthrough))

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There's a lovely option these days with enterprise level motherboards from Asus. The illusive PIKE Slot. I say illusive because there's not much information out there about them. Or How to flash them should you need to.

 

Basically it's a proprietary pcie slot that when populated allows access to 8 extra SATA3/SAS2 ports on the motherboard. It's basically the same thing as an AOC-MV8 or M1015 but without taking up a normally placed PCIE slot on the mobo, pretty sweet IMHO.

 

Any way, these motherboards take several different flavors of the PIKE card, however for us unRAID users, we'll focus on the PIKE2008 because this comes with a rebranded version of LSI SAS2008 9220-8i that natively passes through to unRAID.... Until you plug in another LSI SAS2008 card... Then there's this lovely bug that makes this card unstable and you'll have to flash new firmware in order to ever see your drives again.

 

So if you're ever as unlucky as me, (For referance I found this with a PIKE 2008 & M1015 on the Asus P8B-E 4/L Motherboard)

 

Here's the walkthrough.

 

1. Get the SAS2008 files here -> http://forums.laptopvideo2go.com/topic/29059-lsi-92xx-firmware-files/

 

2. Download the 9211-8I firmware files from LSI -> http://www.avagotech.com/cs/Satellite?c=Page&childpagename=AVG2%2FAVG2_Layout&cid=1211128364570&d=Touch&locale=avg_en&pagename=AVG2_Wrapper

 

 

3. Head over to here -> https://svn.code.sf.net/p/edk2/code/...FullShell/X64/ and download that file, rename it to shellx64.efi

 

 

4. Create a usb, dos bootable, I would recommend using Rufus (do a google search)

 

 

5. Throw the SAS2008 files on the usb, replacing the firmware (9211it.bin) and bios (mptsas2.rom) you grabbed from LSI (I've tested and confirmed that P15, P16 & P19 all work with unraid 6.1 & 6.19) then make a subfolder /boot/eufi/ and place shellx64.efi inside the folder tree.

 

6. Write down the 16 digit sas adress on the back of the PIKE card

 

 

7. Reinstall PIKE card, Remove all drives, other adapters and boot into the usb

 

 

8. Backup the current firmware from the card

 

  megarec -writesbr 0 pike2008.sbr

   

 

9. Clear the card

 

  megarec -writesbr 0 sbrempty.bin

 

  megarec -cleanflash 0

 

 

10. Reboot server (ctrl+alt+delete) and enter the motherboard bios, go to the exit tab and choose 'Launch EFI Shell from filesystem device'

 

This will launch the shellx64.efi that you provided on the usb.

 

 

11. Navigate to the root of the usb by typing

 

Fs0:

 

 

12. Write the new firmware/bios to the card.

 

sas2flash -o -f 2118it.bin -b mptsas2.rom

 

You have an option to skip the  part of the code (-b mptsas2.rom) in order to speed up boot times, however if your using more than one HBA I would strongly encourage you to keep it.

 

 

13. Readdress the card

 

sas2flash -o sasadd xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

X's being the SAS adress from the back of your card.

 

Reboot and enjoy!

 

 

-- side note, if you chose to keep the mptsas2 bios, and have another SAS2008 HBA, now would be a good time to go into the bios and set the boot order of the cards. My server would only load one card at random until I did. --

 

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+1 for me on this - thanks for the post!   

I have had my ASUS board with PIKE slot in service with a Supermicro card I thought was LSI but is Marvell.   Waited around and now the PIKE 2008 adapter card is $30 on ebay (from China) so thought I'd update the post a bit as I make the move to PIKE, and add a few more links that came up while I was researching making it EFI friendly.

 

Pic and Description page of the PIKE 2008      Basically it's the LSI 9220-8i  (or IBM M1015), all LSI SAS-2008 chip based.

 

LSI was acquired 2014 by Broadcom.   So most searches will point you back to Broadcom for drivers (tho should be functional out of box with virtually any OS).   But some firmware updating might be pertinent.  

LSI Search - start with "LEGACY" as your Product Group ---> Legacy Raid Controllers in the search

 

I was also able to find a live (non-end of life) Broadcom SAS 9210-8i product that's LSI SAS-2008 based,  has driver and Firmware link that's active, which might be smart thought for newer Linux Kernels.  Who can guess after all what Intel will be messing around with microcode wise trying to react to the recent vulnerabilities.   I/O streams are probably not sacred from being spared I'm guessing.  9210's a Host Bus Adapter (vs. RAID centric card), but that'd be more appropriate for UnRaid anyway if it flashes - it's using the same I/O 2008 chip for sure so I may try it when my card arrives, I'm guessing it will work.  

https://www.broadcom.com/products/storage/host-bus-adapters/sas-9210-8i#tab-archive-drivers3-abc 

 

One helpful hint might be to consider putting your cache SSD's on other MB SATA ports since for some older MB's these are only PCIe 2.0 x4  or 2.0 x8 ports, so could bottleneck with several SSD's going at once.   Obviously not as relevant if it's a PCI 3.0 x 8 port.

 

Probably going to look something like this in UnRaid

03:00.0 Serial Attached SCSI controller: LSI Logic / Symbios Logic SAS2008 PCI-Express Fusion-MPT SAS-2 [Falcon] (rev 03)

 

Pics for installation for the curious...

A non-battery backup low height RAID card that can do JBOD, nicely misses the pricer SAS server aftermarket crowd AND frees up a slot on ASUS boards that have the PIKE slot, so kind of a UnRaid perfect storm.    Definitely more convenient SATA port placing (why don't all MB's do it like that?) 

 

For any doubters, ASUS confirms the PIKE is an LSI SAS 2008 (ASUS refers you directly to LSI website).    It's SAS II (meaning cross compatible for SATA III drives @ 6Gbps).    Not UEFI friendly out of the box from what I'm reading, but also seemed that the flash updates mentioned above may improve upon that if that's important to you.   

ASUS PIKE FAQ page

 

Fast Facts about the LSI SAS 2008

  • The RAID controller supports both SAS 2 and SATA III at 6.0gbps
  • Approximately 9w of power consumption for common cards
  • Single PowerPC core at 533MHz
  • No onboard cache
  • PCIe 2.0 x8 interface
  • Supports SAS expanders (with dual linking)
  • Uses sas2flash utility to flash to IT/IR mode (when possible)

Here's a page showing other analagous OEM's based on the LSI 2008 (can likely save money using one of those if PIKEs not in your future after reading this).    the 2008 LSI cards Seem to be one of the most popular historical RAID cards out there.

servethehome.com info for OEMs

 

Flash advisements from Broadcom

 

I have the ASUS dual xeon Z9PA-D8 board, just boosted up the CPUs to E5-2667 V2's, for much better single thread / VM performance from the 2.6Ghz E5-2670s, which kind of lags a bit in VMs.   Sho I should be futureproofed for awhile now, meaning these boards and V2 Xeons might be an ebay target for value conscious folks - mine is an ATX sized board which made it nice to get into a smaller and very quiet case.   The board has USB 3.0, meager onboard VGA (Aspeed which I think is an ARM chip?), has onboard sound and a weird tiny little iKVM board support add in card.    PIKE SATA/SAS slots are conveniently at the edge of the motherboard and vertically connect for cleaner cabling, well out of the way of the GPUs (why don't all boards do that?)   

 

***FYI, for those with a PIKE slot collecting dust that don't need another SATA/SAS card, the front port can also function (allegedly) as an extra PCIe slot it's a PCIe 4x slot turned around backwards),  so if you happen to have a card that could do something for you in that config with some jury rigging, etc it might be worth a look.   For example maybe a SATA expansion port card that you already have lying around, or a card with USB headers, or maybe USB 3.1 card comes to mind if bracket removed, it would be amenable to some gymnastics with a port adapter/extension cable, etc.   I'm in NO WAY guaranteeing this to work for you or advocating it, just noting that the rearward of the 2 slots actually is PCIe spec. with opposite orientation, and have read posts where folks have used PCIe devices in it successfully.  

Edited by jsdoc3

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jsdoc3

 

Did you attempt to cross flashing the ASUS Pike 2008 using the "Broadcom SAS 9210-8i product that's LSI SAS-2008 based" Firmware?

 

I just picked up the same MoBo, very similar CPUs, and picked up the Pike 2008 before fully grasping how to use with unRAID and/or as a simple SATA Expansion.

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deionmann - Step 8 is incorrect...should be something like this:

 

Backup PIKE 2008’s existing Boot ROM configuration:

    megarec -readsbr 0 <backup file name>.sbr

    #example: megarec -readsbr 0 pike2008orig.sbr

 

jsdoc3 - I was able to successfully flash with Broadcom SAS 9210-8i Firmware/BIOS. NOTE: Just built this machine so have yet to get an OS on there and mess with it.

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I know that this is a very old post, but I was wondering if anyone knows if this will work for the PIKE 2308 with the LSI SAS2308 chipset. I believe that its firmware is equivalent to LSI SAS 9205-8e or LSI 9207 HBA, but I'm not positive about that. 

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