norco 2212 bay numbering, or dead backplane

Tun

New Member
Nov 20, 2011
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Silly question I guess but here goes...

On my norco rpc-2212, which hdd bay is number 1?

The backplane got three sff-8087, one on top of the other so I guess that the bottom one takes care of the 4 hdd bays in the bottom, then the next one for the 4 in the middle, and the top one for the last 4 hdd bays at the top.

Am I also right to assume that the first hdd drive is the one to the left at each row?
(seen from the front of the chassis)

So when I connect a reverse breakout cable, 4x sata to my motherboard and 1 sff-8087 to the backplane top port, then the top left hdd bay should be visible as the first hdd in my bios?

The cable is marked so the 4 sata cables are matching the sata ports on the motherboard. And this is the cable:
http://store.lsi.com/store.cfm/Internal_Multi-Lane_Cables/All_Cables/CBL-SFF8087OCR-05M/

The reason I'm asking is that I can't see my hdd in the bios.

The crazy part is that when I connect the cable to the first 4 sata ports on my motherboard, and I connect a dvd rw to the 5th sata connector (with its own direct cable) non of the drives show up in the bios.
If I remove the reverse breakout cable (all four on the motherboard) the dvd rw drive shows up in the bios. As if the reverse breakout cable blocks the sata controller in some way? (or the backplane?)

Or is this caused by a broken backplane on the chassis?

The motherboard is ASRock z68 extreme7 gen3
 

Tun

New Member
Nov 20, 2011
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Short update here.

The "number 1" drive is the one to the right for each row, viewd from the front.
The cable seems ok, and the backplane too, I got it to install and boot fine.

The trouble seems to be in the bios.
Don't know what's the use with so many onboard sata ports when we can't use them.
Only the two intel sata3 ports are bootable and visible in the bios, not the 4 asmedia sata3 ports.
I guess that's ok, you just need a cdrom and a hdd bootable most of the times.
But it would be nice to at least see the connected hardware in bios, as a quick test to see if everything is ok.

That's the reason I didn't see the disk in the hdd bay in the first place.
As the 4th cable wasn't on the intel port and thus not bootable or visible until some kind of OS is up'n running.
 

Patrick

Administrator
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Dec 21, 2010
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What controller are the asmedia ports based on? Intel and Marvell or all Marvell?
 

Tun

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Nov 20, 2011
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Short answer: ASMedia ASM1061

The complete setup:
There are 10 sata ports.
Two sata3, (sata3_0 and sata3_1) provided by the Intel Z68 according to the user manual.
And four sata3, (sata3_a1, sata3_a2, sata3_a3 and sata3_a4) provided by ASMedia ASM1061 according to the user manual.
Then there is four sata2, (sata2_2, sata2_3, sata2_4 and sata2_5), not mentioned in the usermanual what controller they use.

The "Internet" states that the four sata2 ports also is from the intel z68.
Makes sense if you look at the bios layout (how to grab bios screenshots? possible from esxi? or just to use a digicam?)
 

Patrick

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Dec 21, 2010
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The other four are from the Z69 chipset. On Z68, H67, P67 and other boards you get 2x SATA III ports and 4x SATA II ports. I generally use non-Intel onboard ports for optical media once in an OS. I have had quite a few less than pleasant instances using extra inexpensive onboard controllers (e.g. non LSI based) as boot and OS devices.
 

mobilenvidia

Moderator
Sep 25, 2011
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The Intel chipset has 6x SATA ports, in the z68 case 2x SATA3 and 4x SATA2

The ASMedia is supplying another 4 ports.

Any of these should be bootable.
In the BIOS there should be 2 options for make a drive bootable.
There should be a drive boot order selector for hard drives (ie you can set any drive to be Drive 1 or boot drive)
You need to set the boot order of the HDDs and then which device actually boots first, ie DVD, USB or HDD etc
 

Tun

New Member
Nov 20, 2011
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Yes I've figured it out.

But all of a sudden the board doesn't see any usb keys connected (either to the usb2 or usb3) in the bios, and thus I'm not able to select usb as a boot device.
Both usb2 and usb3 is enabled in bios, and I've tried all combinations of legacy support and those things.

I know it should work because I've booted esxi 5 from both my usb keys on it. (on the usb2 port)
Just did a few other OS install tests (from optical to hdd instead of optical to usb) and when trying to boot back to esxi it just can't find the usb key in bios.

Booting the esxi install cd finds the usb key and are more then happy to install to it, and booting windows from the hdd also sees the usb ports and keys when in windows.

I need to boot from usb for several reasons, first it's needed to flash the LSI from IR ot IT firmware, then I want to boot esxi from it.

I'm guessing I'll have to just return this motherboard, it seems to give me random errors like this.
 

mobilenvidia

Moderator
Sep 25, 2011
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Does your Mobo BIOS have like a F11 at startup to select a device ?

Most mobo's even the server Mobs's have a key/combo to get to a boot device select screen.
A much easier way to boot from DVD and USB's etc
 

Tun

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Nov 20, 2011
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Got it working at last. (but got new bugs)

Not sure if you understand me, cause I know of the options to select boot device and the F11 and all.
The problem was that none of the attached devices showd up so I could select them.
Until I got a verifyed clear of the bios.

Not sure if I should trust it or not, the bios reset/clear finaly kicked in (verifyed by a black screen telling me so with some info and some key combos to either go to bios or continue booting).
I guess that was the clear/reset it needed to be ok?
Now I can change boot order as I please back and forth without any trouble (for now).
Don't know why it didn't behave earlier.

Btw:
To upgrade the firmware on the LSI 9211-8i from IR to IT, I had to use the sas2flash.efi tool.
And to boot into efi shell from bios I had to make an USB DOS boot disk an put the shellx64.efi on it.
Found here:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Unified_Extensible_Firmware_Interface

The reason was that the sas2flash dos tool gave following: "ERROR: Failed to initialize PAL. Exiting program"
Instructions here:
http://kb.lsi.com/KnowledgebaseArticle16266.aspx
And here:
http://kb.lsi.com/KnowledgebaseArticle15807.aspx

So far so good, but there's plenty of room for more trouble.
After everything went ok, I now have trouble booting ESXi 5.
It gives me the floowing error:
Error Loading /s.v00 Fatal Error: 8 (Device Error)
With the following solutions:
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/search.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&externalId=2008817

There's no other hardware changes (and still the same, previously working, usb key that boots esxi) then the new bios/firmware on the LSI 9211-8i.
Bios version 7.21.00.00 from 11.aug.2011.
Firmware version 11.00.00.00 from 22.aug.2011 (IT firmware)

Bios 7.11.00.00 was on it when I got it, and the firmware was 7.00.00.00 (IR firmware).

Any clue on how to proceed from here?

And thank you all for your kind help, I really appreciate your help.
 
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