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Firmware Flashing for Cisco HBA Card

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Brian Wilson

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Aug 22, 2016
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First off the specs on the system:
CISCO UCS C240 M4SX
Storage Controller : UCSC-SAS12GHBA
Which AFAIK is an LSI 9300-8i (http://www.avagotech.com/products/server-storage/host-bus-adapters/sas-9300-8i#downloads)

After installing the latest Stable Version (FreeNAS-9.10.1 (d989edd)) I am greeted with an error about Drivers version and Firmware version not being compatible with each other for the storage controller.

  • WARNING: Sept. 2, 2016, 6:47 a.m. - Firmware version 9 does not match driver version 12 for /dev/mpr0. Please flash controller to P12 IT firmware.
More Information that was in the log file:

Code:
[root@freenas] ~# grep Firmware /var/log/messages
Sep  2 06:46:35 freenas mpr0: Firmware: 09.00.07.00, Driver: 13.00.00.00-fbsd


So I set out on the journey to update the FW on the controller, this should be easy...

First thing I tried was to use the cisco supported method of managing firmwares on components in UCS system the Host Upgrade Utility. I went and grabbed the latest for this product line and fired it up but low and behold the version that was available in the lasted release there was 09.00.07.00. This would have been the preferred way to achieve a newer firmware since its nice and neat and easily installable by even the simplest of sysadmins like myself.

To the internet I go, they always have the answers i need.

I began digging into this and found mention of the error on these forums which pointed me to the downloads page referenced in the beginning of this post where there are the tools and firmwares from LSI directly. So I download the Installer and the latest firmware and and give it a go.



Code:
[root@freenas] ~# ./sas3flash -o -f SAS9300_8i_IT.bin
Avago Technologies SAS3 Flash Utility
Version 13.00.00.00 (2016.03.07)
Copyright 2008-2016 Avago Technologies. All rights reserved.

    Advanced Mode Set

    Adapter Selected is a Avago SAS: SAS3108_1(C0)

    Executing Operation: Flash Firmware Image

        Firmware Image has a Valid Checksum.
        Firmware Version 12.00.00.00
        Firmware Image compatible with Controller.

        Valid NVDATA Image found.
        NVDATA Major Version 0b.02
        Checking for a compatible NVData image...

        ERROR: NVDATA Image does not match Controller Device ID!
              Device ID - NVDATA:0x97 Controller:0x90

        ERROR: No compatible NVDATA Image(s) found!

        Firmware Image Validation Failed!

    Due to error remaining commands will not be executed.
    Unable to Process Commands.
    Exiting SAS3Flash.
[root@freenas] ~#




OK so this is where I am, reading posts left and right about Crossflashing LSI Cards but none of them are dealign with these versions. Most of them talk about grabbing an older version of the utility and it will ignore that the Controller ID and NVData arent the same.

I have tried versions of the installer from LSI from 12 down to 9.
12-10 give me the exact same result.
9 Doesn't even see the controller.



I have read many of the posts on this board including a majority of the 17 Page one about confusion with LSI Cards and cant seem to get a solution out any of it so here I am making a new post.



Side note i have already engaged resources about why Cisco doesn't provide a later version of the IT Firmware for the card but have not heard anything yet on that front.


Another thought i am having is trying to run an older version of FreeNAS to work with the version of Firmware thats baked into the card already.

Thanks
Brian
 

Mirfster

Doesn't know what he's talking about
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Oct 2, 2015
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3,215
Not familiar with that particular card, but couple ideas:
  1. On some cards, you have to first install a lower version of the LSI Firmware before you can install the higher ones. For instance on some Dell Perc H200 cards I first install Dell's latest (7.x); then I do LSI's 7.x and after that I can go up to 20.x. Keep in mind I do NOT reboot in between..
  2. Did you first put it into "Advanced Mode" and "Erase" it? sas3flash -o -e 6
Of course prior to doing that I would suggest:
  1. Make sure you only have one card in there (otherwise you will have to specify which card to work with)
  2. You get the SAS Address and record it. sas3flash -list
*** Edited to reflect "sas3flash" instead of "sas2flash".
 
Last edited:

danb35

Wizened Sage
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12,439
This card is going to use sas3flash. I can't help further, not knowing anything about the SAS3 cards, but the sas2flash commands aren't going to be what he needs.
 

Mirfster

Doesn't know what he's talking about
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Messages
3,215
Thanks for catching that. Me and my old hardware never had to mess with the "new fangled" stuff. :)

Quick look over the SAS3Flash Reference looks like it takes the same switches. I have updated my post to reflect that.
 

Brian Wilson

Neophyte
Joined
Aug 22, 2016
Messages
8
Thanks for the suggestions.


Not familiar with that particular card, but couple ideas:
  1. On some cards, you have to first install a lower version of the LSI Firmware before you can install the higher ones. For instance on some Dell Perc H200 cards I first install Dell's latest (7.x); then I do LSI's 7.x and after that I can go up to 20.x. Keep in mind I do NOT reboot in between..
  2. Did you first put it into "Advanced Mode" and "Erase" it? sas3flash -o -e 6
Of course prior to doing that I would suggest:
  1. Make sure you only have one card in there (otherwise you will have to specify which card to work with)
  2. You get the SAS Address and record it. sas3flash -list
*** Edited to reflect "sas3flash" instead of "sas2flash".

I found some of these commands WRT sas2flash, but wasn't sure about doing them on a sas3flash since it didn't seem like anyone else had done it before.. All the posts i see are about sas2flash and needing to be at p20, like you mention there.


After posting this i did here back about when and if newer Phases of Firmware will be available via the HUU from Cisco, and there will be updates to it, just not quite to version 12, but 11 should be out soon. Which doesn't really help here since we need ot be at 12 to make it work with 9.10. They also suggested very strongly not to flash these directly as whats currently on here is a custom firmware made to integrate into the UCS platform which is why they might be behind in releasing updates to what LSI already has.


I will hold onto this if i get brave enough to try it on these cards but i think that will only get to be done for a test system. Since I'm trying to provide a solution to use as storage for development teams private cloud I'm not sure i want to bet the bank on this cross-flashing.


I have found that 9.3 provides the correct driver for the Firmware to work correctly ( or at least there is now no warning so I am assuming that this is a good combination )

Code:
FreeBSD 9.3-RELEASE-p31 (FREENAS.amd64) #0 r288272+e7e804d: Mon May 16 21:29:59 PDT 2016

[root@freenas] ~# grep Firmware /var/log/messages
Sep  2 10:31:00 freenas mpr0: Firmware: 09.00.07.00, Driver: 09.255.01.00-fbsd




As of right now i don't really see why we cant just use the Maintenance Release. I'm sure as i move forward i will find some reason though ;)


Thanks Again

Brian
 
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