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LSI SAS2008 only shows 4 disks instead of 8

decibel83

Dabbler
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Aug 31, 2017
Messages
14
Hi,
I have two ProLiant DL380p Gen8 servers with 2 SSD and 6 SATA drives.
On both servers I installed a Dell Perc H200 RAID controller flashed to IT mode.

Now both controllers are seen as "LSI Logic / Symbios Logic SAS2008 PCI-Express Fusion-MPT SAS-2 [Falcon] (rev 03)":

Screenshot 2021-12-15 at 21.58.49.png


The problem is that both controllers on both servers are detecting only 4 disks (2 SSD drives and the first 2 SATA drives) instead of 8 drives:

Screenshot 2021-12-15 at 21.55.55.png


If I connect the backplanes on the onboard controller all disks are recognised, so backplanes, cables and drives are working good (anyway, the same hardware fault on both servers would be quite strange).

Could you help me to understand where I'm wrong, please?

Thank you very much for your help!
Bye
 

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jgreco

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The PERC H200 controllers use vertically oriented SFF8087 connectors, which usually is a bad thing in a 2U server.

If your server has right-angle plugs to deal with that, they often don't seat correctly if they "bend" in the direction of the HBA PCB. Grinding away some of the PCB that is blocking correct mating can resolve this sometimes.

Also -- Try swapping the connectors and see what happens.
 

decibel83

Dabbler
Joined
Aug 31, 2017
Messages
14
The PERC H200 controllers use vertically oriented SFF8087 connectors, which usually is a bad thing in a 2U server.

If your server has right-angle plugs to deal with that, they often don't seat correctly if they "bend" in the direction of the HBA PCB. Grinding away some of the PCB that is blocking correct mating can resolve this sometimes.

Also -- Try swapping the connectors and see what happens.

I tried swapping the connectors on the controller, these are the results.

Previous situation (before swapping the connectors):

Screenshot 2021-12-15 at 21.55.55.png


After swap:

IMG_0940.JPG


So, incredibly the same 4 hard drives are recognised but on the other 4 slots.
And this is happening on both servers.

For this reason the problem cannot be due to connectors or channels on the controller.

Thanks!
 

jgreco

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For this reason the problem cannot be due to connectors or channels on the controller.

Fact definitely NOT in evidence. It is completely possible to have two machines with the same "mistake" made on both. I do this stuff professionally and it is not that unusual. We're just looking to see if we can characterize the problem. What usually happens is that there is some assumption you're making which turns out to be errant. This is sometimes as simple as "plugs failed to fully seat".

The HBA controller is basically an independent computer, which you are talking to via the onboard BIOS configuration utility. This pretty much guarantees that your problem is downstream of the HBA's SFF8087 ports, since you've verified them both to work.

Try replacing (or swapping) the SFF8087 cables at the backplane.

Since you've listed a ST1000NMCLAR1000 which is a LFF drive, I assume you have an 8- or 12-bay LFF DL380PG8. Make sure all of the backplane connectors are connected and fully seated. I don't know if it is HP custom on the 12-bay units to attach some of the bays to a SCU controller or PCH SATA, or if they always come with SAS expanders. What you're seeing suggests you do not have an SAS expander in play, but you should definitely describe your system in better detail.

I'd try swapping drives into the four bays known to work to make sure the drives actually work. You're basically trying to work your way through the system from the HBA, through the cables, through the backplane, to the HDD's, and back towards the PSU's. Your problem is *likely* somewhere in there.
 

decibel83

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Aug 31, 2017
Messages
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I'd try swapping drives into the four bays known to work to make sure the drives actually work. You're basically trying to work your way through the system from the HBA, through the cables, through the backplane, to the HDD's, and back towards the PSU's. Your problem is *likely* somewhere in there.

Thank you very much for your answer.

Let me continue the brainstorming.
How would I have a problem downstream of the controller (cables, backplane, drives, etc.) at the moment that if connect both cables on the built-in connectors on the server's motherboard all drives are recognised and listed in the BIOS?

What I am thinking is some incompatibility between the BIOS version of the controller and the BIOS version of the motherboard, could it be my case or could is be impossible?

Thank you!
 

jgreco

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How would I have a problem downstream of the controller (cables, backplane, drives, etc.) at the moment that if connect both cables on the built-in connectors on the server's motherboard all drives are recognised and listed in the BIOS?

If one of the cables was nonstandard/custom wired, which is certainly not out of the question for HP.

If one of the cables had a connector that wasn't seating correctly for some reason (already gave you the example of right-angle connectors) -- have had this problem especially with Dell controllers in the past.

BIOS version of the controller and the BIOS version of the motherboard, could it be my case or could is be impossible?

Highly unlikely. As I said:

The HBA controller is basically an independent computer, which you are talking to via the onboard BIOS configuration utility. This pretty much guarantees that your problem is downstream of the HBA's SFF8087 ports, since you've verified them both to work.

Since you are communicating just fine with the HBA's firmware, it seems exceedingly likely that the HBA is not seeing whatever is on the second SFF8087 cable. The HBA firmware is not going to give a damn about your mainboard BIOS since it literally has no connection to it; the HBA firmware is telling you what it sees from its perspective. One of the reasons I'm a proponent of making sure the HBA BIOS is installed is BECAUSE it is such an effective tool for problem diagnosis.
 

decibel83

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Aug 31, 2017
Messages
14
Hi,
I have some updates about this problem.

I checked cables, tried to swap drives, tried to swap cables, nothing.
The PERC H200 are not recognising all 8 drives, only 4.

So I tried to play with firmware and BIOS version and I managed in getting it working on one of two servers:

Screenshot 2021-12-25 at 23.48.36.png

Screenshot 2021-12-25 at 23.48.44.png

I flashed the 2118it.bin file from the Firmware\9211-8i_P19 folder and the mptsas2.rom file from the Firmware\PercH200_07.03.06.00_A09 folder of the LSI-9211-8i.zip archive I downloaded from https://techmattr.wordpress.com/201...r-flashing-to-it-mode-dell-perc-h200-and-h310.

What I am not understanding now is why the same procedure is not working on the second server:

Screenshot 2021-12-25 at 23.53.37.png

Screenshot 2021-12-25 at 23.53.46.png

I tried to flash the same files but it seems that the Firmware Revision and NVDATA Version are not changing.

Do you have some ideas?

Thank you very much!
Bye!
 

jgreco

Resident Grinch
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So rolling it back to phase 16 caused it to start working? This isn't going to be a good firmware to run, but it does suggest that there's something weird going on. It may be worth setting these aside and trying different controllers.
 
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