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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

Ericloewe

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I'd like to ask you to post your guide to the Resources section:

https://forums.freenas.org/index.php?resources/

(In fact, a note to everyone reading this: If you're going to write a guide, post it straight to the Resources section. If it's horrible, the mod team will deal with it ;))

We'd really been needing this and I've been meaning to write one myself, but I would have to acquire an SAS HBA first - so I'm glad someone did it first. :)

Once you're done, ping me here and I'll do a bit of cleanup to keep things neat.
 

Stilez

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Stilez added a new resource:

Detailed newcomers' guide to crossflashing LSI 9211 HBA and variants
- Making sense of the software, the process, getting it to work first time, includes EFI and OEMs

There's hundreds of threads on crossflashing variants of LSI 9211 cards here, on ServeTheHome, and on blogs. But they don't always discuss the subtleties of doing it on an EFI board for users who may never have used EFI before, and there's a lot of relevant background that "falls in the cracks" and causes frustration when it doesn't go as expected.

Some answers on the net are piecemeal, some are plain wrong; there's not much solid, collated summary of the background knowledge as might be needed by a newcomer who wants to know enough, or to have a good chance that it "just works" without days of googling weird errors, and different recipes and software versions.

This guide aims to explain "why" and "how" it's as it is, and enough info on the tools and files for newcomers ...

Read more about this...
 
Last edited:

Stilez

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melloa

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Thanks for that. I know will help lots of people.
 

Ericloewe

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D'oh, the thread ended up looking stupid. Oh well, that's a minor issue.

I'm just going to add a note to the Resource saying that it applies to SAS3 controllers, too.
 

Stilez

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How do I add a zip file to that resource (3 MB)? If I can't and a mod can, can I msg it to someone?
 

Ericloewe

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How do I add a zip file to that resource (3 MB)? If I can't and a mod can, can I msg it to someone?
Ohh, you should have done that when you created the Resource. The idiots at XenForo decided to make it impossible, so you'll need to copy over the content to a new Resource and choose the "Upload file" option.

Once that's done, I'll do the necessary cleanup.
 

Stilez

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All fixed up now. Thanks, Ericloewe
 

IceBoosteR

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Thnkas for that guide. Also the background info is really appreciated.

Just lone question regarding the guide: If have read guides where there was only two steps with flashing. 1. Dell IT Firmware and later the P19/P20 LSI firmware.
Why do you mentioned that we should go with the P7 firmware first?

Thanks!
 

Stilez

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Just lone question regarding the guide: If have read guides where there was only two steps with flashing. 1. Dell IT Firmware and later the P19/P20 LSI firmware. Why do you mentioned that we should go with the P7 firmware first?
If the P5 flasher can flash recent LSI versions of the firmware (up to P19/P20) then that would be fine. But I admit I haven't tried it and most guides seem to suggest it doesn't, or doesn't do it reliably. So I went with flashing an intermediate firmware because at that point I just wanted to make it work reliably.

As you can't break the cards by flashing them this way, maybe try it. If it turns out that the P5 flasher can put LSI P20 IT directly over another manufacturer's early version IT, then I'd be happy to update the guide to say so. If you find it doesn't work then let us know, and you can always make it work by erasing and flashing an intermediate LSI version as described, which will work.

@IceBoosteR - I added this as a question on the resource and credited you. Perhaps we'll get an answer some day! Thanks :)
 
Last edited:

IceBoosteR

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If the P5 flasher can flash recent LSI versions of the firmware (up to P19/P20) then that would be fine. But I admit I haven't tried it and most guides seem to suggest it doesn't, or doesn't do it reliably. So I went with flashing an intermediate firmware because at that point I just wanted to make it work reliably.

As you can't break the cards by flashing them this way, maybe try it. If it turns out that the P5 flasher can put LSI P20 IT directly over another manufacturer's early version IT, then I'd be happy to update the guide to say so. If you find it doesn't work then let us know, and you can always make it work by erasing and flashing an intermediate LSI version as described, which will work.

@IceBoosteR - I added this as a question on the resource and credited you. Perhaps we'll get an answer some day! Thanks :)
Hi,

I have taken couple of guides, but this worked for me https://techmattr.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/sas-hba-crossflashing-or-flashing-to-it-mode/
I have a Dell PERC H310, flashing only the Dell software and going directly to P20. The only error I get was that after the message "flashing successful" the sas2flash was not able to reset the adapter. I did a manual reset after flashing.
I have loaded later a 2TB HDD in ESXi with the controller (SATA) and was detected as internal drive. After that I have aded this to my Windows Test bench and the results were the same as of another 4TB HDD in access time and write/read speeds.

How do we get to the point of the reliability? I have no problem to reflash the adapter with the three steps for another degree of reliability ;)

Thanks,

Ice
 

Stilez

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How do we get to the point of the reliability? I have no problem to reflash the adapter with the three steps for another degree of reliability ;)
I'm sorry, I don't understand what you want to improve from your post?
 

IceBoosteR

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I'm sorry, I don't understand what you want to improve from your post?
No problem. Sometimes ... I cannot express myself.

So when we talk about reliability - which was mentioned from you before, with going the Dell->P7->P19 way - when is something called "reliable"? If is is just working or when its running for X hours without performance drops?
I have absolutely no problem with leaving the point in your guide for using the three steps safe way for anybody, but if the other way (directly go to P19 or P20), is called "not thaaat reliable" I need or I just would like to know, how we can find out it is not "reliable".
Maybe this is going off-topic. In that case - we can stop the discussion here, I am fine with that.

Rgds,
Ice
 

m0nkey_

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Very cheap OEM versions with virtually identical hardware are widely available new and second hand on EBay (Dell H200 PERC, Fujitsu D2607, Intel M1015, and others).

Last time I checked, IBM supply the M1015, not Intel. :)
 

Ericloewe

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Last time I checked, IBM supply the M1015, not Intel. :)
Well, IBM's former non-mainframe server business, now a part of Lenovo.
 

Stilez

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Stilez

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No problem. Sometimes ... I cannot express myself.

So when we talk about reliability - which was mentioned from you before, with going the Dell->P7->P19 way - when is something called "reliable"? If is is just working or when its running for X hours without performance drops?
I have absolutely no problem with leaving the point in your guide for using the three steps safe way for anybody, but if the other way (directly go to P19 or P20), is called "not thaaat reliable" I need or I just would like to know, how we can find out it is not "reliable".
Maybe this is going off-topic. In that case - we can stop the discussion here, I am fine with that.

Rgds,
Ice
I'm thinking of reliability in the sense of "does it work". The flashing, and the conversion to a properly flashed LSI IT HBA. If there's a hardware compatibility or other issue, or it's not as fast or as reliable, and it's due to issues with the LSI P20 or the hardware, then we can say the flashing is successful because the new firmware is installed correctly and working, but the performance of the card as an LSI HBA isn't good. (In medicine I think they call this "The surgery was successful but the patient died"!) Without being too uptight about exact definitions, that's roughly the line I'm thinking of.
 

IceBoosteR

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I'm thinking of reliability in the sense of "does it work". The flashing, and the conversion to a properly flashed LSI IT HBA. If there's a hardware compatibility or other issue, or it's not as fast or as reliable, and it's due to issues with the LSI P20 or the hardware, then we can say the flashing is successful because the new firmware is installed correctly and working, but the performance of the card as an LSI HBA isn't good. (In medicine I think they call this "The surgery was successful but the patient died"!) Without being too uptight about exact definitions, that's roughly the line I'm thinking of.
Okey, thanks - got your point ;)
 

kingtj

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Jun 21, 2011
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This guide was extremely helpful, but I seem to be fighting a different issue now -- and it's one I can't find much about.

I purchased an LSI 9200-8e card off an eBay vendor (who claimed the card was tested good). It arrived with a very old version of the IT firmware loaded on it, so I successfully flashed it to the latest (v20) version.

The problem I have, though, is it appears to only be working properly if I have one SATA drive attached to whatever Mini-SAS cable I run to the enclosure. I purchased a "fan out" cable that goes from Mini-SAS to 4 SATA ports, so I could try directly connecting my drives to it, using a PC power supply to power them. Same issue. Works great if I only attach one SATA drive, but with more than that? The controller BIOS searches for a while and reports it only sees 1 of the drives as usable. When FreeNAS boots, it gets a slew of "timeout -- retrying" type errors scrolling up the screen while trying to initialize the LSI SAS card, followed by resetting and it happening again.

Is there an issue that the 9200 card only supports one device per Mini-SAS port (like it was a lower-end card designed just to attach tape backup drives to or something)?
 
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