IBM x3650 M3 / ServeRaid M5014 : Specific SATA drives cannot work together


New Member
May 1, 2019

I want to use a refurbished server to run a few VMs and a build secondary NAS as backup target using a XPenology VM.
I'm focusing on maximum available disk spaces for backup and some performance/safety for VMs.
This is home equipment for personal use.

I'm missing a few proper screenshots (was lazy at first and took quick shots for personal notes).
I already have some and will update based on the feedback I'd be able to receive here.

I've found an IBM x3650 M3 with a ServeRAID M5014 controller (and what looks like a dead BBU).
The server only had 2*147 SAS drives.

Since then, I've purchased online (mostly eBay) a few parts to upgrade from 8 to 16 drives with RAID 6 support :
Rational for RAID 6 over 5 is that I won't probably pay very close attention to RAID state, so I prefer to have one extra safety belt.
Waiting for the missing cable, I've anyway already installed the SAS expander but am limited to bays 0-7.

Some history, on first boot ever I had (for ServeRAID):
  • Firmware Version 2.0.13-0748
  • FW Package Version 12.0.1-0090
  • Firmware Time : Nov 6 2009;15:11:33
This was clearly outdated.

Capacity upgrade

A few weeks later, I've came across "Seagate Internal White Label Hard Drive 2.5".
These are recertified SATA drives flashed with basic firmware and a lot of stuff showing "000000"s.
The two I got are 5TB 2.5" SATA drives selling at 110€ each.

Setting up things
Once I got the 2 * 5TB drives, I wanted to put them in RAID 0. I've kept only 2*147GB during this. A few surprises :
  • One drive only was visible
  • The controller reported a drive size of 1.999TB
Ok I had to upgrade Firmwares.

I came across this page :
That was looking like the way to go, but this link is dead :
Please updated to point to :

Anyway, after a few trials with FreeDOS, Plop and the likes, I ended up using a single 600GB drive to install Windows 2016 and have a full featured Avago MegaRAID STorage Manager
I've for now postponed crossflashing to LSI.

After searching a lot of obsolete or dead links, I've flashed the controller to IBM Firmware 2.130.403-6211 29 March 2016 // Package version 12.15.0-0248.

Residual issues
I'm still limited to 8 bays due to a missing cable, waiting to receive the parcel.
I can't connect at the same time the 5TB drives, they will however both work when plugged once at a time.
Just like here, the iButton I purchased for RAID 6 raises a "Incompatible secondary iButton present!".

  1. Be able to setup a RAID 0 using the two 5TB drives. At some point I'd like to go to 4*5TB in RAID 5 (keeping data in the process won't be important). I'm not sure if this is FW related or disk related due to their generic nature. I was able to setup 2*640GB SATA drives some weeks ago.
  2. Be able to use RAID 6 : 16 bays - 4 bays for 4*5TB : 12*600GB SAS with 2 disks redundancy
  3. Cross flashing to LSI if this helps

Note : I did some server stuff years ago but moved to application layers quite a long time ago. Spoiler : n00b alert when dealing with FW flashing and the likes! :)



Last edited:


New Member
May 1, 2019
For some reason I'm not able to upload actual screenshots (detected as spam).

Inserting SATA 5Tb into slot 7
First HDD inserted into slot 7.PNG
Inserting second SATA disk into slot 3
Second HDD inserted into slot 2.PNG

Inserting 7 extra SAS drives work just fine
Tested with 8 SAS drives - All properly detected.PNG

As well as removing them
Tested with 8 SAS drives - All 7 extra drives removed OK.PNG