LSI devices appear as IDE in motherboard boot list?

TheBloke

Active Member
Feb 23, 2017
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Brighton, UK
Hey all

I'm doing a major upgrade on my home fileserver, and have finally upgraded from using cheap Marvell cards and mobo ports to having enough LSI ports for all my HDDs (a total of 28 ports available for 26 drives + boot SSD.)

In total I have four LSI cards - 1 x 9211-4i (SAS2004), 2 x 9201-8i (2008) and 1 x 9207-8e (2308). All are running the latest v20 IT firmware and latest BIOS. I had planned to have all drives on LSI, including my boot SSD which is installed with Solaris 11.3.

But I immediately hit a problem - when I tried to boot for the first time from an LSI card, Solaris kernel panicked and rebooted.

At first I was worried that it was a driver issue, but then when I looked in the BIOS for my motherboard (Tyan S7012 - LGA1366 chipset), I noticed that all the drives on the LSI appear as "IDE: ...". This is the same for all four LSI cards, including the newer SAS2308 chipset.

Devices on my internal mobo ports, or on a PCI-E Marvell card, both appear as "AHCI: ..." and boot fine. So I am almost certain that the kernel panic is because I originally installed Solaris on an AHCI port, but now the LSI is booting in IDE mode.

I don't see any option in the Tyan's AMIBios menus to change this. So for now I have had to re-install one of my Marvell 88SE9215 PCI-E 2.0 x1 cards, with just the boot SSD attached. This is the only way I can get the SSD booting on a SATA3 port, as my mobo ports are SATA2.

I have three questions:
  • Is it expected that my LSI devices appear as IDE in my motherboard boot list?
  • Is it possible to change this so they appear as AHCI?
  • If not, is there any downside to booting in IDE mode - other than the fact that it might mean I have to re-install the OS? (Though probably it's possible to convert the installed Solaris to IDE boot.)
    • I always think of IDE as being much slower, but of course LSI cards are very fast once I'm in the OS.
    • So maybe it doesn't matter if the BIOS sees it as IDE - once I boot, it will be as fast as normal on an LSI?
Thanks in advance

TB