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Avago/LSI RAID card as SATA card - should I flash BIOS for this usage?

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Upon advice from this forum I replaced a Highpoint (Marvell) SATA card that was dropping disks with an Avago/LSI 9211-8i. My searching tech sites/forums suggested the card should be flashed with IT mode firmware, while a forum post or two elsewhere said it wouldn't matter.  The card swapped one-for-one with the Highpoint and unRAID booted and immediately saw the individual drives. Pareit 2 rebuild is now in progress.

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Posted (edited)

The LSI controller needs to be in IT mode.  You can flash it with or without the bios though. Bios is mainly for if you need to run a bootable drive from the controller. Unraid won't need this since you're booting from a USB flash drive.

Edited by TUMS

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Without the BIOS your server will boot a little quicker. With the BIOS you get additional information that might help with troubleshooting in the future. The choice is yours.

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, TUMS said:

The LSI controller needs to be in IT mode.  You can flash it with or without the bios though. Bios is mainly for if you need to run a bootable drive from the controller. Unraid won't need this since you're booting from a USB flash drive.

 

13 minutes ago, John_M said:

Without the BIOS your server will boot a little quicker. With the BIOS you get additional information that might help with troubleshooting in the future. The choice is yours.

I downloaded what appears to be the IR mode and IT mode firmware from Broadcom. This is what I use to flash, correct? How would I then run the card without the BIOS? It does take forever and a day to boot.

 

Jeff

Edited by pepar

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Ignore the IR firmware and just use the IT mode. Without the BIOS it's just another dumb card so you'll have no clue that it's working until you load an operating system. Since I only reboot my servers when there's an update to unRAID or when I go away for more than a few days it doesn't really bother me if it takes a few minutes to start up.

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7 minutes ago, John_M said:

Ignore the IR firmware and just use the IT mode. Without the BIOS it's just another dumb card so you'll have no clue that it's working until you load an operating system. Since I only reboot my servers when there's an update to unRAID or when I go away for more than a few days it doesn't really bother me if it takes a few minutes to start up.

 

OK. It still needs to be flashed with the IT version of the firmware, right? Other than not setting up an array in the BIOS, I dodn't see a setting for "IT mode."

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Yes you will still need to flash it with IT firmware.  You should read through this thread it should explain everything.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I waded into the thread you linked and found the files for my 9211-8i card. I noticed that the files are eight or so years old and am wondering why I douldn't use the latest files from Broadcom's website dated 2016? Also, madberg's notation for those files say Windows and unRAID. My controller is in an unRAID box, but it seems like it's be easier to boot to a USB drive to flash instead of to an O/S or even unRAID.  If someone can give me some guidance o n this before I go back and read the remaining 50-something pages, I'd appreciate it!

Edited by pepar

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