LSI 9211-8i in Dell R710 storage slot

Brad303

New Member
Jun 3, 2018
3
0
1
Has anyone successfully flashed a stock LSI 9211-8i into a usable IT-mode card in the R710 storage slot, similar to a crossflashed H200?
I can get it to boot without complaining about the wrong card in the slot with the sbr mod, but I'm getting the SAS cable error:
Code:
Error: SAS Cable B or SAS integrated Controller is missing
[...]
SAS B Cable Missing/ Misconfigured/Controller missing.
Power down the system and check the configuration.Details for storage
cabling can be found on the system information label and in the Hardware Owner's
Manual.
I have a working cross-flashed H200 in IT mode that I've dumped the entire flash contents, and tried to flash it to the 9211 with sas2flash -o -c 1 -dflash flash.bin 2118it.bin, and while it starts the flash download, it always errors out (Firmware Returned Exception. IOCStatus=0x8007, IOCLogInfo=0x30010407). I've tried several versions of sas2flash, and they behave identically.

I "uploaded" all the flash parts I know how to with sas2flash:
Code:
sas2flash -o -c 0 -ufirmware firmware.bin -ubios bios.bin -umpb mpb.bin -unvdata nvdata.bin -ufwbackup fwbackup.bin -uflash flash.bin
Comparing full dumps of both cards, the bios.bin, flash.bin, and mpb.bin differ. I think one of the cards has UEFI BIOS, which explains why BIOS is different. The mpb.bin seems to be the most likely suspect, but I can't figure out how to flash just that file with either sas2flash or lsiutils.

Any pointers or help would be appreciated.
 

Brad303

New Member
Jun 3, 2018
3
0
1
Thanks for the reply. I hadn't seen that guide before - it's well done, overall.

The commands I'm using are indeed different because I'm doing something rather atypical. Most Dell R710 crossflashing is taking a storage-slot card (H200) with Dell IR firmware and flashing LSI IT P20 firmware. That part is easy, and my H200 is working just fine.

In this case, I'm trying to take a stock LSI 9211-8i and flash it to work in the storage slot. Since the H200 takes stock 9211-8i firmware and BIOS, there's no reason I can see why it wouldn't work.

That said, there appear to be some special Dell bits left in the H200 that the BMC/iDRAC uses to ID the backplane cables and connectors. My thinking is that if I dump the entire contents of flash from the working H200, I should be able to download it to the LSI and be done. But as you can see, I'm getting the above error.

Now, I haven't erased the LSI - I'm thinking now that I may want to try that. Note that I didn't erase the H200, mainly because I wanted to make sure it still worked in the storage slot.
 

BeTeP

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2019
580
378
63
I do not think Dell cares about firmware at all. You just need to edit the SBR to have Dell's Subsystem Vendor ID.
 

Sleyk

Your Friendly Knowledgable Helper and Techlover!
Mar 25, 2016
1,372
723
113
Stamford, CT
This is a strange request you ask my friend. You want to go from stock LSI IT mode firmware to a Dell H200 firmware?

I agree with Betep, Dell doesnt care about firmware. It is the sbr that the system looks at. It might be possible, but I never thought to try going to Dell's old H200 firmware from a newer stock LSI IT mode firmware :.)

Lol, remember my friend, Dell's H200 firmware is old as hell. like v2.00.00 and stuff like that. I've seen some v7's and stuff, but best to stick with the LSI firmware, which is now 20.00.00.07.

If you must, then I would just keep the LSI stock aside, and pickup another cheap H200. That way, you can just IT mode the H200, and keep your stock 9211 card.
 

Brad303

New Member
Jun 3, 2018
3
0
1
Bumping my necro-thread as I again have the time to play with this.

To answer the previous comments, it's not about the full Dell firmware. It's clear that the R710 doesn't care whether I have LSI IT firmware, as long as I have the SBR correct. But I *do* have the SBR correct, and it's not complaining about a non-storage card in the storage slot. So I'm good there.

But the issue is that it doesn't like the cabling. Somehow, Dell knows which cable is plugged into which side of the SAS backplane. The 9211 is not reporting the correct info to the BIOS, and I'm assuming that's a firmware issue.
 

Dave Corder

Active Member
Dec 21, 2015
205
113
43
40
I have a couple thoughts...

The H200 and H310 are a bit notorious for needing a couple pins on the PCI-e connector covered up when crossflashing to LSI firmware in non-Dell systems. I believe those are the SMBus pins.

In the big thread on flashing the Mini Mono cards for the R720, et. al., someone (Fohdeesha, I think) seemed to confirm that the backplane in those servers communicates to the controller not via the SAS cables like most expander backplanes, but via separate traces on the motherboard.

So, given the R720 uses non-standard backplane communications, it would not surprise me to find that those SMBus pins on the H200 and H310, in R710-generation servers, are actually part of the communication path between the controller and the backplane and perhaps they're not connected (or not connected the same way) on the LSI card.

I do not have an R710 or any other means of testing any part of this theory, though. Just throwing it out there.