IT mode - removing "boot services"

tabby27

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Jun 29, 2020
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Hi everyone, new here...

I've been dabbling with this sort of thing for a few years now. When I got my first m1015, I flashed IT mode, and have been using it for years now. However, a long time ago, I noticed that the boot time is crazy long, like 30m or more. I know it has to do with the HBA or the discs but I couldn't find anything helpful on the web that would solve it. I keep checking regularly. But it's been working fine besides that so I haven't done anything.

A couple of months ago, I bought another m1015 on ebay, and the seller stated that he has IT mode with "boot services removed" because people don't like the slow boot times. So I think this is the answer to my problem. But now, I cannot find any discussion about boot services related to sas2flsh etc, or just other people talking about this, so I wanted to bring it up here.

So how do I remove boot services? On a site, I saw the switches for the sas2flsh program that had some boot services options, so I'm guessing that's it. What's the easiest way to do this? I'm hesitant because last time i tried flashing to IT mode, my computers were giving me very hard times with booting and UEFI and stuff like that, and I kept disconnecting devices, trying different motherboards to make it work finally. And I'm worried about taking about my production server.

Thanks!

Windows Server 2012R2, Xeon e3-1276v3
 

mmo

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Sep 17, 2016
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i believe they didn't flash the mptsas2.rom for lsi utility.
 

tabby27

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Jun 29, 2020
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THank you, mmo.
Maybe I'll get a new card 2308 and replace it. That way i have the other to stick back in in case I screw it up. LSI SAS 9207-8i seems to be a good choice (8 internal slots).
 

tabby27

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Jun 29, 2020
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Is it true that 9207-8i = 9205-8i?
I see different things. On ebay, it says they are the same. On some forums, they say 9205 is pci 2.0, and 9207 is pci 3.0, but can't confirm.
 

mmo

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did a little bit research, it seems 9205-8i is for OEM such has HP H220. There are 2 different steppings C0 (2008 chipset, pcie 2.0) and D1 (2308 chipset, pcie 3.0) from below. So you might want to just get the 9207-8i.

 

tabby27

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Jun 29, 2020
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You know it's a little weird:
On the Broadcom website it says 9205-8e is PCIe 2.0.
But all the ebay sellers insist that 9205-8i is PCIe 3.0.
But the web has not actual specs on the 8i, only the 8e.

I don't understand. SO probably safe bet is still get explicitly the 9207-8i.
 

Sleyk

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Mar 25, 2016
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Some 9207-8i cards will come branded with "9205-8i on the back, making it slightly confusing. That's why some eBay sellers will list the info, but of course not all of them understand what happened with this card.

Look for the main label on the card to say "9207-8i" and you should be ok. I have a few myself and they come with both labels, with the 9205-8i in a smaller section at the bottom, near the bracket, and the 9207-8i label being the bigger label at the top.

The card was initially created and labeled as a 9205-8i, but is capable of pci-e 3.0, so they rebranded to 9207-8i.



I believe at the time when these cards were made, they were capable of 3.0, but since 2.0 was still in full swing, they were labeled as 9205 for oem's, but these cards were always capable of 3.0, as long as it has a 2308 chipset. If you purchase a card, and it has a 2008 chipset, just return, as it wont do 3.0.

To remove the boot services, on either a 2008 or a 2308 card, it is as simple as doing a: "sas2flsh -o -e 5" command. It will remove just the bios and nothing more, keeping your firmware. Super easy to do, and works great for boot up time.
 
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tabby27

New Member
Jun 29, 2020
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Some 9207-8i cards will come branded with "9205-8i on the back, making it slightly confusing. That's why some eBay sellers will list the info, but of course not all of them understand what happened with this card.

Look for the main label on the card to say "9207-8i" and you should be ok. I have a few myself and they come with both labels, with the 9205-8i in a smaller section at the bottom, near the bracket, and the 9207-8i label being the bigger label at the top.

The card was initially created and labeled as a 9205-8i, but is capable of pci-e 3.0, so they rebranded to 9207-8i.



I believe at the time when these cards were made, they were capable of 3.0, but since 2.0 was still in full swing, they were labeled as 9205 for oem's, but these cards were always capable of 3.0, as long as it has a 2308 chipset. If you purchase a card, and it has a 2008 chipset, just return, as it wont do 3.0.

To remove the boot services, on either a 2008 or a 2308 card, it is as simple as doing a: "sas2flsh -o -e 4" command. It will remove just the bios and nothing more, keeping your firmware. Super easy to do, and works great for boot up time.
Thank you for this information, this is great information. Not only do you explain the weird model numbers, but you also gave me the command to remove the boot services! I will try running this command now.
 
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tabby27

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Jun 29, 2020
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Sorry for the newbie question...but I remember last time I did this I had a hard time with the commands and the uefi vs legacy modes, and eventually i had to use another motherboard that I didn't care about to do the flashing.

Can I do this flashing on my production machine without unplugging or pulling things off the motherboard? I have two of these cards in there and would like to run them on both cards, reboot, and done.
 

Sleyk

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Mar 25, 2016
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Stamford, CT
Sure, you can use sas2flsh.exe (legacy) or sas2flash.efi (uefi). Both utilities will work well. If you get the "PAL" error, then use the sas2flash.efi utility. You can definitely flash both cards, then reboot. The commands would be:

1. sas2flash.efi -o -c 0 -e 5 (first card)
2. sas2flash.efi -o -c 1 -e 5 (second card)

and so on if you have more than two cards in your system. Use a freedos formatted flash drive done by Rufus. Download the latest Rufus and format the usb flash drive to freedos. Then copy over sas2flash.efi and go to your motherboard bios under the boot devices section, and boot under built in uefi mode, or copy a small file called: "shellx64.efi" to your flash drive. ITs found everywhere on the internet, super easy, just google shellx64.efi download and many websites will pop up where you can obtain the file.

But since I'm a super nice guy, I included the efi shell here for you :.)

Unzip and copy the whole EFI folder to the root of your freedos formatted USB, then copy sas2flash.efi nect to it. Keep the sas2flash utility outside the EFI folder.

When you open you flash folder, you should have 2 items, it should say:

1. EFI (then inside it should be a folder called boot, then inside this folder should be the shellx64.efi file)
2. SAS2FLASH.efi

Boot up your system through UEFI, then type the commands as above and reboot.

Enjoy!

Edit: corrected typo! (-o -e 5, not 4!)
 

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tabby27

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Jun 29, 2020
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Sure, you can use sas2flsh.exe (legacy) or sas2flash.efi (uefi). Both utilities will work well. If you get the "PAL" error, then use the sas2flash.efi utility. You can definitely flash both cards, then reboot. The commands would be:

1. sas2flash.efi -o -c 0 -e 4 (first card)
2. sas2flash.efi -o -c 1 -e 4 (second card)

and so on if you have more than two cards in your system. Use a freedos formatted flash drive done by Rufus. Download the latest Rufus and format the usb flash drive to freedos. Then copy over sas2flash.efi and go to your motherboard bios under the boot devices section, and boot under built in uefi mode, or copy a small file called: "shellx64.efi" to your flash drive. ITs found everywhere on the internet, super easy, just google shellx64.efi download and many websites will pop up where you can obtain the file.

But since I'm a super nice guy, I included the efi shell here for you :.)

Unzip and copy the whole EFI folder to the root of your freedos formatted USB, then copy sas2flash.efi nect to it. Keep the sas2flash utility outside the EFI folder.

When you open you flash folder, you should have 2 items, it should say:

1. EFI (then inside it should be a folder called boot, then inside this folder should be the shellx64.efi file)
2. SAS2FLASH.efi

Boot up your system through UEFI, then type the commands as above and reboot.

Enjoy!
Thank you again for these very detailed instructions. Yes, you are a VERY nice guy.
 
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tabby27

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Jun 29, 2020
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I apologize! Command corrected is (-o -e 5, not 4) I apologize!
I figured I should post what these all mean as I'm learning:
-o enable advanced command mode
-c # select a controller by #
-e # erase a region specified by the number following it (5, NOT 4, in this case) (5=boot services, 4=manufacturing area)

1. sas2flash.efi -o -c 0 -e 5 (first card)
2. sas2flash.efi -o -c 1 -e 5 (second card)
 
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tabby27

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Jun 29, 2020
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well damn...
i turned the server off to perform this thing, and now it wont boot.
It's a supermicro X10SAT
i get 2 beeps, and no post or screen
this means (for AMI BIOS) its a RAM problem.
But why did it have a problem right when i shut down?

Anyway, so I'm trying to fix this. Maybe I need to buy RAM. this is why I don't turn this off, lol. Actually, the real reason why is the long boot time, which I was trying to fix here loll. FML.
 
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tabby27

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Jun 29, 2020
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OK! update....
The mobo usb header had fallen off, I plugged it back in and it worked. THen I was able to successfully run the commands above.
But upon reboot, same beeping issue. I think one of my ram sticks is bad.

But I think it worked!