Need to flash a Supermicro X8DT6-F to IT mode

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Fritz

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Can't find a link to the firmware or instructions that aren't specific to a non SM application. I'd hate to brick this board so any help appreciated. :(
 

Fritz

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How can I tell if the controller is actually in IT mode? I thought Megaraid manager would tell me but no such luck. :(
 

pricklypunter

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If you have also included the bios firmware when flashing it, you can go into the bios config and see the firmware version, mode etc :)
 
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Fritz

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Thanks. Dunno why I have any doubts, I zeroed it out with Megarec and for sure flashed it with 2188IT.bin and also upgraded the BIOS with the one in the same package. All appears well but I thought it kinda wierd that nowhere does it say it's IT mode in Storage Manager.
 

pricklypunter

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You can usually get into the bios with Ctrl M or Ctrl H (web bios) during boot and irc, there's also a windows app that lets you probe around it too. I don't normally install the bios firmware when using IT mode, boot times are a little faster without it, and I'm passing the disks directly for software raid anyway, so not really going to be useful for me.
 
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Fritz

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Thought I had to have the BIOS. Is there anyway to remove it after the fact?
 

pricklypunter

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Just re-flash it without adding in the bios firmware (leave out the -b mptsas2.rom part of the command):

sas2flash.efi -o -e 6
sas2flash.efi -o -f 2118it.bin
sas2flsh -o -sasadd 500605bxxxxxxxxx (x= numbers for SAS address)
reboot

Job done!
 
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BLinux

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hi guys... i'm about to do the same for my X8DT6-F and X8DTH-6F motherboard... could use some guidance.

planning to flash to P20 2118it.bin firmware like i did for the H310 cards. do i need to flash to P7 first to cross to IT mode, and then flash again to P20? that's what was required for the H310, or can I flash directly to P20 since it's just an embedded LSI controller?

in patrick's article linked above, he doesn't erase the flash with megarec or sas2flash -o -e 6 or -e 7. is that even necessary?
 

pricklypunter

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I don't think you'll need to go to P7 then P20, in fact I can't remember ever doing that on any of the cards I have flashed. The primary reason to use earlier tools as I understand it, was the ability to be able to downgrade firmware or override flash warnings, the later toolchains have that functionality removed from them. I would definitely erase the old flash contents before updating the firmware though and also don't forget to obtain and re-flash the onboard card's SAS address :)
 

BLinux

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I don't think you'll need to go to P7 then P20, in fact I can't remember ever doing that on any of the cards I have flashed. The primary reason to use earlier tools as I understand it, was the ability to be able to downgrade firmware or override flash warnings, the later toolchains have that functionality removed from them. I would definitely erase the old flash contents before updating the firmware though and also don't forget to obtain and re-flash the onboard card's SAS address :)
Thanks for the reply! And good point about the SAS address, I knew that but need to make sure I don't skip that step.

However, I think I read that going with LSI firmware causes issues with supermicro backplanes and I plan to use a bpn-sas-846a. I then found out that supermicro has official IT firmware versions available on their ftp site. I'm going to go with that instead in hopes it avoids potential problems. Did you have any issues with LSI firmware and Supermicro backplanes or totally different use case?
 

pricklypunter

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I have never had any problems using LSI cards on SM Backplanes in the past myself, but I also haven't done a lot of SM stuff either so YMMV. Just make sure you have the latest firmware on both the cards and the Backplane. Oh and be very sure any firmware you flash to the Backplane is the correct one if you choose to update it, there was a thread recently where that step was missing, along with the morning coffee, with obvious terrible consequences :oops:
 

BLinux

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I have never had any problems using LSI cards on SM Backplanes in the past myself, but I also haven't done a lot of SM stuff either so YMMV. Just make sure you have the latest firmware on both the cards and the Backplane. Oh and be very sure any firmware you flash to the Backplane is the correct one if you choose to update it, there was a thread recently where that step was missing, along with the morning coffee, with obvious terrible consequences :oops:
thanks for that tip... but man, really? you just had to make me feel like i'm walking on egg shells? LOL... I've done it dozens of times, but updating BIOS or firmware is something I inherently dislike... i've bricked some devices in the past so doing firmware updates is just not fun for me at all. there really should be a support group for people like me... :D
 

pricklypunter

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Things like expansion cards etc, I don't mind doing, if it goes wrong there's usually some way to recover. It's updates to Mainboards and similar sorts of items, like Backplanes etc that I get nervous and super cautious with, cos you just know, one wrong move and :oops:

In theory though, providing you have double quadruple checked that you have the correct files, it should really be point 'n click simple, unless it has a DELL badge, in which case you're actually better off letting someone else do it, while you pretend to be looking for tools in the van :D:p
 

Terry Kennedy

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However, I think I read that going with LSI firmware causes issues with supermicro backplanes and I plan to use a bpn-sas-846a.
I have an SC836A backplane (non-expander SFF-8087) with a LSI 9201-16i and everything works, including the locate / fault LEDs in the drive bays. You just need a SAS cable with sidebands (normally included).
 

BLinux

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I have an SC836A backplane (non-expander SFF-8087) with a LSI 9201-16i and everything works, including the locate / fault LEDs in the drive bays. You just need a SAS cable with sidebands (normally included).
Thanks for replying. I know LSI cards work with the Supermicro backplanes. What I read (in the comments section of Patrick's article on this topic) is that the *onboard LSI SAS controller* of a Supermicro motherboard flashed to LSI firmware will have problems with a Supermicro backplane; not an add-on LSI controller. Some people claim flashing LSI firmware on the onboard LSI controller on Supermicro mobo results in some oddness like PCIe bus address being 0xff or something like that. (going from memory)...
 

BLinux

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just to follow up here, it was simpler than I thought to switch to IT firmware using Supermicro's version of P20 firmware found here:

ftp://ftp.supermicro.com/driver/SAS/LSI/2008/IR_IT/Firmware/IT/PH20.0.4-IT.zip

The zip file includes instructions, and is pretty straight forward because they combined all the commands into a single batch file. However, they don't mention that the batch file will erase the SAS address and prompt for it. You need to hit Ctrl-C during POST to get into the SAS utility and write down the last 9-characters of the SAS address. Then enter those 9 characters when the batch file prompts for it.

If you ever want to go back to IR firmware, it can be found here:

ftp://ftp.supermicro.com/driver/SAS/LSI/2008/IR_IT/Firmware/IR/
 
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DataHamster

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just to follow up here, it was simpler than I thought to switch to IT firmware using Supermicro's version of P20 firmware found here:

ftp://ftp.supermicro.com/driver/SAS/LSI/2008/IR_IT/Firmware/IT/PH20.0.4-IT.zip

The zip file includes instructions, and is pretty straight forward because they combined all the commands into a single batch file. However, they don't mention that the batch file will erase the SAS address and prompt for it. You need to hit Ctrl-C during POST to get into the SAS utility and write down the last 9-characters of the SAS address. Then enter those 9 characters when the batch file prompts for it.

If you ever want to go back to IR firmware, it can be found here:

ftp://ftp.supermicro.com/driver/SAS/LSI/2008/IR_IT/Firmware/IR/
Really useful post. Thank you for that!

It's worth noting that Supermicro have now retired their FTP server and the correct address is now

https://www.supermicro.com/wdl/driver/SAS/Broadcom/2008/IR_IT/Firmware/IT/PH20.0.4-IT.zip

I wrote a little tutorial, based in your information, and adding my own experiences of flashing an X8DTL-6F, if anyone is interested.
 
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