Help with HP 9207-4i4e needed - firmware update problem. LSI SAS2308

Pheckphul

Better than being feckless.
Feb 28, 2013
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I don't think the 2208 firmware is going to work on the 2308, or vice-versa. But who knows.
Sorry, I forgot to address this. My brain was zonked as it was around 4am.

2308 firmware and BIOS will definitely work on 2208-based boards. This is what cross-flashing from IR to IT is. However, from the errors I've seen posted, I don't believe the reverse would work. You wouldn't want to anyway as 2308 cards have half the CPU and a small cache.
 

Pheckphul

Better than being feckless.
Feb 28, 2013
29
10
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SF Bay Area
I think you forgot they were also Symbios Logic before they were LSI. Unforgivable :).
Correct. :)

Well, I'm completely out of ideas. You had already tried most of what I suggested, and I'm sorry the flash image of my card didn't work. WTF is up with -uflash not liking the image? It's from the same version card as yours.

I'm stumped. Sorry. :(
 
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madbrain

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2308 firmware and BIOS will definitely work on 2208-based boards. This is what cross-flashing from IR to IT is. However, from the errors I've seen posted, I don't believe the reverse would work. You wouldn't want to anyway as 2308 cards have half the CPU and a small cache.
Thanks, that makes sense. I believe both the 9217-4i4e and 9207-4i4e are based on the SAS2308 chip, so I would not be able to use firmware for the SAS2208 chip. At this point, I'll really take any firmware that can revive it, though.
 

madbrain

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Correct. :)

Well, I'm completely out of ideas. You had already tried most of what I suggested, and I'm sorry the flash image of my card didn't work. WTF is up with -uflash not liking the image? It's from the same version card as yours.

I'm stumped. Sorry. :(
Yeah, it's really weird that it's not accepting your flash image. Did you save it with the P20 version of sas2flash.efi ? If so, it really should accept it, since I'm using the same version. If you saved it with some older version, please let me know, and I can try the same sas2flash.efi . Really weird I can't get it to log anything, also.

I'm going to move the recalcitrant card to another PC that is less critical than my NAS, so I can make some more revival attempts if anything else comes to mind.

Out of curiosity, what's the chipset of the motherboard that you used to save the flash of your add-on card ? I have access to two Intel Z170 boards, one AMD X470, one AMD 570 . If it's one of those, I could give the sas2flash another try.
 

Pheckphul

Better than being feckless.
Feb 28, 2013
29
10
3
SF Bay Area
Yeah, it's really weird that it's not accepting your flash image. Did you save it with the P20 version of sas2flash.efi ? If so, it really should accept it, since I'm using the same version. If you saved it with some older version, please let me know, and I can try the same sas2flash.efi . Really weird I can't get it to log anything, also.

I'm going to move the recalcitrant card to another PC that is less critical than my NAS, so I can make some more revival attempts if anything else comes to mind.

Out of curiosity, what's the chipset of the motherboard that you used to save the flash of your add-on card ? I have access to two Intel Z170 boards, one AMD X470, one AMD 570 . If it's one of those, I could give the sas2flash another try.
I used the sas2flash.efi from P20 on an a Gigabyte AMD x570 Aorus Master.

I wouldn't waste more time on it, unless you are a stubborn bastard like me, and don't like to lose. ;-) Especially as I sent you a link to where you can get one shipped for $20.

I've given up on trying to save my motherboard, unless someone comes up with some novel approach. I don't usually do this, but I sent an email and a message two days ago to @fohdeesha, who appears to know a lot about these boards, but have yet to get an answer. I've hit a brick wall and either get rescued or have to give up on rescuing the SAS controller on my motherboard. Hopefully you have better luck.
 
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madbrain

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I used the sas2flash.efi from P20 on an a Gigabyte AMD x570 Aorus Master.

I wouldn't waste more time on it, unless you are a stubborn bastard like me, and don't like to lose. ;-) Especially as I sent you a link to where you can get one shipped for $20.
I'm extremely stubborn.

For now, my NAS is running without this 9217-4i4e card, and thus 10 watts cooler. I was only using 3 internal SATA ports on the internal SAS connector. The external SAS connector was unused. I had exactly 3 SATA ports left on the Intel motherboard SATA ports.

Getting access to the last 2 (out of 6) motherboard SATA ports required me to change the PCIE setting for my Aquantia NIC from x4 to x2 in the BIOS. The Aquantia NIC still runs at the full 10 Gbps, though. PCIe 3.0 x2 is enough for that, although I tested only half-duplex.

I'm not replacing this broken SAS card. I will only put it back in if I can revive it. Even for $20, I'm not buying another one. I'm not just stubborn, but cheap :) I haven't given up on the card, though. I just put it in my HTPC in the home theater room, in slot 3. That box acts as a DVR. Doesn't run 24/7, only when recording OTA HDTV shows. It will run 10W hotter with the SAS card in it. But at least I will be able to make further flashing attempts without bringing down by NAS and wearing out the HDDs at each time reboot/power-off.

Not sure if you saw this project I posted about earlier in the thread. I got the tool working. But it didn't save my card, unfortunately. Might even have messed it up.

I've given up on trying to save my motherboard, unless someone comes up with some novel approach. I don't usually do this, but I sent an email and a message two days ago to @fohdeesha, who appears to know a lot about these boards, but have yet to get an answer. I've hit a brick wall and either get rescued or have to give up on rescuing the SAS controller on my motherboard. Hopefully you have better luck.
Let me know if you hear back and your card gets back to life. Have you tried contacting SuperMicro ?

No useful response in the HPE community forums yet. I guess I would need formal HPE support, but they probably charge $$$ for this, that would cost more than the $20 cost of a replacement card, and still not sure they could actually revive it. I hate to see a (physically) perfectly good board goes to waste because of a flashing error.
 
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Pheckphul

Better than being feckless.
Feb 28, 2013
29
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3
SF Bay Area
I'm extremely stubborn.

For now, my NAS is running without this 9217-4i4e card, and thus 10 watts cooler. I was only using 3 internal SATA ports on the internal SAS connector. The external SAS connector was unused. I had exactly 3 SATA ports left on the Intel motherboard SATA ports.

Getting access to the last 2 (out of 6) motherboard SATA ports required me to change the PCIE setting for my Aquantia NIC from x4 to x2 in the BIOS. The Aquantia NIC still runs at the full 10 Gbps, though. PCIe 3.0 x2 is enough for that, although I tested only half-duplex.

I'm not replacing this broken SAS card. I will only put it back in if I can revive it. Even for $20, I'm not buying another one. I'm not just stubborn, but cheap :) I haven't given up on the card, though. I just put it in my HTPC in the home theater room, in slot 3. That box acts as a DVR. Doesn't run 24/7, only when recording OTA HDTV shows. It will run 10W hotter with the SAS card in it. But at least I will be able to make further flashing attempts without bringing down by NAS and wearing out the HDDs at each time reboot/power-off.

Not sure if you saw this project I posted about earlier in the thread. I got the tool working. But it didn't save my card, unfortunately. Might even have messed it up.



Let me know if you hear back and your card gets back to life. Have you tried contacting SuperMicro ?

No useful response in the HPE community forums yet. I guess I would need formal HPE support, but they probably charge $$$ for this, that would cost more than the $20 cost of a replacement card, and still not sure they could actually revive it. I hate to see a (physically) perfectly good board goes to waste because of a flashing error.
Yeah, I saw the lsirec project on Github. I came across it via Google, and it is part of the evidence that @fohdeesha knows a lot about LSI's SAS boards and chipsets. Maybe he'll get back to me.

As for Supermicro, yes, I've considered sending them an email. They're only 30 miles from my home. Not sure how they'd respond to my asking them to flash such an old board. If I decided to do this, I'd probably buy another motherboard (a listing on eBay for $170 just showed up), swap out the one in my main fileserver, get my current one re-flashed, and put it in my backup server, tho it's overkill.
 
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madbrain

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As for Supermicro, yes, I've considered sending them an email. They're only 30 miles from my home. Not sure how they'd respond to my asking them to flash such an old board. If I decided to do this, I'd probably buy another motherboard (a listing on eBay for $170 just showed up), swap out the one in my main fileserver, get my current one re-flashed, and put it in my backup server, tho it's overkill.
They are even closer to me :) I shop at Lowe's near their location sometimes. Motherboard swap sucks, though.
 
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madbrain

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BTW, here is a 2308-based card that is PCIe 2.0:


It's the 9205-8e. So, yeah, just depends on the chip stepping I guess.
Interesting. As long we are talking 8 HDDs, PCIe 2.0 is enough. But with 8+ SSDs then you really want PCIe 3.0 .
My main desktop was just upgraded to something that supports PCIe 4.0. Looking forward to a cheap PCIe 4.0 16i card to take 16 SSDs.
Right now, I have 8 Samsung 860 EVO SSDs in a stripe on a 9207-8i, PCIe 3.0.
Those 9560-16i are a bit too rich for me at the moment, though.
 
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madbrain

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Very happy to report that I managed to recover the card. Thank you very much for your help, Pheckphul . I owe you a beer. Or some wine.

What I did that eventually led to the revival :
- SAS card was moved to my HTPC with an Asus Pro X470 motherboard and AMD 2700 CPU
- booted FreeDOS and ran megarec.exe -cleanflash 0
- also tried to install 2208_16.rom with megarec. No go, same failure as before. I think that recovery ROM might be only for SAS2208-based controllers, and not the SAS2308 models, which mine must be
- rebooted to UEFI shell
- ran sas2flash.efi -o -f origfirm
This is the firmware you sent me. I believe version 14.00.
Somehow, it worked ! thought I had tried that already when the card was on the other motherboard (Z170-AR), but perhaps not.
I was subsequently able to install the 9217-4i4e.bin, IR firmware, the x86 boot ROM (BIOS), and the x64 boot ROM (UEFI)
I wasn't able to switch to IT firmware, getting an error that I couldn't flash IT firmware over IR firmware.
I rebooted to Windows (HTPC runs Windows) just to make sure the card was functional, and it was seen as working in Device Manager. Driver was loaded properly.
Went back to UEFI.
Erased the card with sas2flash -o -e 6
Flashed 9207-4i4e.bin, latest P20 version, IT firmware. And i succeeded.
I flashed the BIOS and UEFI images again in separate commands.
Looks like everything is working fine in CSM mode. BIOS banner shows up and I can CTRL-C.
However, in UEFI mode, nothing shows up, and there is no option in the Asus BIOS to boot to the LSI controller menu either.
So, something is still wrong with the UEFI part, somehow. But at least the card is not bricked !
I haven't put back the SAS address from the label yet, also.
 

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Pheckphul

Better than being feckless.
Feb 28, 2013
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Great! Glad I was able to help.

I never found any reference to a 2308 recovery ROM, and had assumed this was because the two chipsets are so closely related, but perhaps it just never made it out of LSI. Who knows.

Strange that the UEFI doesn't work when it plainly shows you've got it installed. You could trying doing an -e 7 erase and re-flashing back to IT. Just grasping at straws here. But you only need the UEFI BIOS to boot from it.

Keep those backup files I gave you in case you need them again in the future. ;-)
 
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madbrain

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Great! Glad I was able to help.

I never found any reference to a 2308 recovery ROM, and had assumed this was because the two chipsets are so closely related, but perhaps it just never made it out of LSI. Who knows.
Yeah, I don't know. I think there must be another recovery ROM for the 2308, and it isn't currently on the public Internet. I suspect LSI has it, though. My Google searches found references to an LSI CD with multiple recovery ROM on them. I forget where now.

Strange that the UEFI doesn't work when it plainly shows you've got it installed. You could trying doing an -e 7 erase and re-flashing back to IT. Just grasping at straws here. But you only need the UEFI BIOS to boot from it.
I'm not currently booting off anything from SAS on any system. Some sort of BIOS or UEFI is also needed when booting certain DOS-based tools to upgrade HDD or SDD firmware. Otherwise they won't see the controller or any of the drives. Gory detail of how I updated the firmware on my eight Samsung 860 SSDs here :


This was on a 9207-8i card, not 4i4e.

TLDR : Samsung Linux ISO won't boot on AMD x570 system. In this case it was Linux, but it could have been DOS also.

Keep those backup files I gave you in case you need them again in the future. ;-)
Definitely !

I haven't been brave enough to touch either of my other two LSI SAS cards, the 9207-8i. They would need different firmware to reset, though.
 

Pheckphul

Better than being feckless.
Feb 28, 2013
29
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3
SF Bay Area
Yeah, I don't know. I think there must be another recovery ROM for the 2308, and it isn't currently on the public Internet. I suspect LSI has it, though. My Google searches found references to an LSI CD with multiple recovery ROM on them. I forget where now.
I have a recovery and update ISO I got from LSI called "LSI PreBoot CD," but it doesn't have anything on it for the 2308, only 2108, 2208, 3008, and 3108. @fohdeesha says a recovery ROM won't help any more than a normal ROM in my situation. He replied and has given me a few things to try, but the main issue is that my flash won't erase, which makes me think it's ****ed. :mad: Anyway, I've done the steps he's suggested so far, but it hasn't helped. He said if I got to a certain step he'd send me more instructions, and that's where I'm at. However, this weekend is devoted to car repair and maintenance, so I won't get to whatever his reply will be for a few days.