Register for the iXsystems Community to get an ad-free experience and exclusive discounts in our eBay Store.
Detailed newcomers' guide to crossflashing LSI 9211/9300/9305/9311/9400/94xx HBA and variants

Detailed newcomers' guide to crossflashing LSI 9211/9300/9305/9311/9400/94xx HBA and variants

Western Digital Drives - The Preferred Drives of FreeNAS and TrueNAS CORE
Amazing attention to detail
WOW! Awesomely thorough guide - I wish I followed this from the start and didn't waste several evenings running into dead ends wiping, flashing, re-flashing, re-wiping, etc... Thank you for putting this together and explaining the background and reasoning for having to follow the steps so specifically. My Dell H310 is now a LSI 9211-8i P20 in IT mode finally! (I suppose I have to finally start my "real" project now, lol)
Really good guide! I had a few questions which you have answered - one about the UEFI BSD.
Also, agree with you about these cards being bullet proof. I thought that I had bricked my Dell PERC H200E 12DNW. I tried flashing many times to cross flash to LSI 9200-8e and eventually I sorted it by running Megarec.exe -cleanflash again.. Thank you for your time to share
Brilliant. I did have to hunt down the p20 sas2flsh DOS file as I didn't find it in the download but that was pretty easy here
Outstanding attention to detail. Thank you for writing all this up.
Hello! New To This Forum, but was looking for a guide to help a friend Flash his 9211 Card I just had him buy, because I didn't have time to walk him through the process, and I found this guide to be INCREDIBLY informative and exactly what he needed! So awesome guide.

However, as a pedantic point, I just had to point out, I am sorry I just couldn't stop myself to signing up to this forum just to say this, I just felt compelled to fix this one small point.

PCIE Gen 1 is 2.5GT/s (or GigaTransfers a Second) which after the 8/10 Encoding works out to 250MBps per Lane. PCIE Gen 2 is 5GT/s, which works out to 500Mbps Per Lane. Your Guide says that PCIE Gen 2 is capable of 250GBps per lane, which is actually about 500 times faster then PCIE Gen 2 is capable of.

In the grand scheme of this guide, this is really an irrelevant point, as this guide is still one of the best cross flashing resources I have seen on the net, but I still could not stop myself from pointing that out. Sorry, character flaw I know...

Anyways, Awesome fricking guide, thank you for making it, you have literally saved me a nights work that I rather take off to play WOW Classic. Have a great night!
"GB/sec" should be "MB/sec". That's a typo and thanks for catching it. Pendantry is welcome and really appreciated when it comes to things like this!

But as best I understand it, the substantially-lower-than-theoretical-maximum bandwidth is correct. Specifically, the realistic figure *is* likely to be more like 250 MB/s than 500 MB/s per lane when a PCIE card (of any speed) tops out - the reduction I've included seems to be correct in principle even if the exact reduction isn't well-defined.

Apparently - and I'd love to be corrected if wrong - the problem is that PCIE 2 bandwidth 5 GT/s is based on PCIE 2 full duplex (2.5 GT/s inward and 2.5 GT/s outward??). So it assumes that at maximum bandwidth usage, whatever's using the card can make full use of that full duplex capability to achieve a total of 5 GT/s. But apparently disk storage use doesn't make good use of full duplex at all efficiently. SATA can't use it at all, and apparently SAS should be able to use it but in practice doesn't make very good/efficient use of it. I can't find a hard answer but that's the suggestion.

I'm not an expert on bandwidth/efficiency aspects of SATA/SAS, so I'd love to either see substantiation or correction. It's based on web pages that note this issue. Ideally it needs corroboration from online benchmarks of maximum bandwidth achieved on LSI 9211 based HBAs hosting 8-16 SSDs (testing with both SATA+SAS), and a suitable benchmark that tries to write to all of them at the highest rates, or something. I imagine it would be quite sensitive to setup as well since there are multiple potential ways it could bottleneck.

So in a *realistic* sense, if you attach a bunch of SSD/HDDs to a PCIE 2 HBA, I gathere from these, that the *effective* bandwidth ceiling might well be closer to the half-duplex figure based on 2.5 GT/s = 250 MB/s per lane, or at least significantly less than the full duplex 500 MB/s headline bandwidth for PCIE 2 x 8 with optimised use of the PCIE bus. But like I said, I can't find a rigorously tested answer, just hints that that's the case. I've clarified this point in the resource so it won't confuse anyone.

I'd love to have this checked and thank you for picking up on it.
Fantastic detail. Got me through the flashing process.
I already found the "TECHMATTR" guide and was ready to use it. But your guide give me so much more background information that I am confident that flashing my H310 will be succesfull.
I've already flashed my HBA, but this gave me so much more information and understanding of the process. Will definitely come back when I've got my next HBA to flash!
This is the best guide I've run across. It provides reasons for what it suggests, which is quite rare in this space.
Thank you!
Wonderful guide, with much information and background info, worth the 5 stars ;)