Perc H710 Mini to IT mode

Discussion in 'RAID Controllers and Host Bus Adapters' started by Roelf Zomerman, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Roelf Zomerman

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    #1
  2. Spartacus

    Spartacus Active Member

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    @BLinux the man, the myth, the legend explained it was due to a specific sbr required to boot and erasing it messes the card up.
    Here's the hints he gave about how it works with Dell part 5CT6D :



    You might be able to figure it out yourself, he is running a side business after-all so I wouldn't expect the answer free :p.
     
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  3. Roelf Zomerman

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    solved the problem another way.. my R620 had another SAS connector internally on the mainboard.. I got a SAS-SATA cable connected to it which gave me 4 additional SATA connectors.

    For the power, there are 2 options.. either use the CD/DVD cable and convert it into a SATA power connector, or use the built-in USB connector and use a USB-SATA Power cable. I tried the first option and ordered the cables for the second one.

    Stuffed it all in the 2nd power bay (only using 1 powersupply)

    Installed Windows Server 2019 on it .. and voila.. working!

    So now I can continue to use the hardware raid for the SAS disks, and use the built-in controller for the SSD's
     
    #3
  4. AndiM202

    AndiM202 New Member

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    Hey guys! Can anyone explain me which exact cable I need to use for power the drives using the built-in USB connector?

    Thank you!
     
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  5. Roelf Zomerman

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  6. AndiM202

    AndiM202 New Member

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    Hi guys! Another question: Were anyone able to flash the PERC H710 to IT Mode? I researched a little bit but didn't find anything useful. Thanks!
     
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  7. fohdeesha

    fohdeesha Kaini Industries

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    Arkadius or I will have a guide up on how to do it in a month or two, finishing up some other projects first
     
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  8. AndiM202

    AndiM202 New Member

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    Is it then so hard to accomplish? I would definitely try that out, as I'm currently thinking about getting rid off the PERC H710 completely and use a HBA/SAS-SATA instead.
     
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  9. Sleyk

    Sleyk Active Member

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    I say wait on Fohdeesh and Ark for the tutorial :.)
     
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  10. AndiM202

    AndiM202 New Member

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    I must admit that I am too impatient for that, unfortunately. But nevertheless, I'll be happy about to see a guide for it :)
     
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  11. Sleyk

    Sleyk Active Member

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    ok brother, but what are you thinking of getting? I guess a H310 should tie you over until the guide comes out?
     
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  12. AndiM202

    AndiM202 New Member

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    My first intention is to go for the other solution Rolf has mentioned with the SAS-SATA cables and then power them using SATA to USB 2.0 cables. If this is however not working, I will probably buy a LSI 9207-8i HBA Card and simply Pass-Trough all drives. Cheers
     
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  13. Sleyk

    Sleyk Active Member

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    If you get a moment, why not check in with @BLinux for maybe some pointers. I don't think its hard to do, but I confess I only play with the 3rd gens. I haz no clue about the 2nd Gens :D
     
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  14. AndiM202

    AndiM202 New Member

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    Oh wow, thanks for the hint! I will definitely consider to do that! Cheers
     
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  15. Sleyk

    Sleyk Active Member

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    Welcome brother! Just send him a message and chat, he's a super nice guy, I'm sure he might have a few pointers for ya.
     
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  16. fohdeesha

    fohdeesha Kaini Industries

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    So basically, the guide will be extremely similar (almost identical) to Arkadius' guide about flashing the H310 mini to IT mode, which uses lsirec to alter the cards SBR (vendor and other data stored in a little EEPROM on the card): How to flash the Dell PERC H310 (and keep it in the dedicated storage slot) - Public - Confluence

    The underlying tools in lsirec can read/write the EEPROM on the H710 cards just fine, but the issue is the python script that lays down a new SBR does not understand the offsets on the H710, as they are different (the PCI details that need changing are in a different location in the EEPROM). We will be figuring out the new offsets and pushing a commit to the lsirec tool to make it compatible with the H710 mini and other 2208 based cards. There's currently a github issue: reading SBR from 2208 shows the data to be offset by a few bytes · Issue #1 · marcan/lsirec

    At least one person on ebay has already patched lsirec with the new sas2208 offsets and are using it to crossflash cards and sell them for 3x the price (literally saw lsirec in one of their ebay pictures) - not pushing their fix to open source software upstream, keeping it a secret so they can profit financially. They're going to open source hell, and they're the only reason I'm pursuing this, I can't stand people like that in these communities. Will be publishing a guide so people do not need to pay exorbitant prices to get a crossflashed card. bLinux is also selling crossflashed cards on ebay, however I think he's using his own homebrew tools (not lsirec) so that's his right. Just ordered an R620 testbed and a handful of H710's, will throw money at it until it's figured out. I'd say 2-3 weeks depending on free time
     
    #16
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
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  17. AndiM202

    AndiM202 New Member

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    Yeah, the thing is - I already have ordered a flashed H710 with LSI SS2308 from @BLinux because I couldn't wait any longer. But luckily, a friend of mine gives me another R720XD which has the same RAID Controller in there. So I might can take advantage from your guide to flash it one by myself. I would really appreciate a guide which is for free! Thank you so much for supporting Open Source - I will try my best to share any project I am working on with all the members of any community ! Open Source is a great mentality, thank you so much @fohdeesha !
     
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  18. BeTeP

    BeTeP Active Member

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    You just described exactly what @BLinux has been doing all along. Are you 100% sure that you are talking about someone else?

    Also look at the timeline of that github ticket you linked (it's opened by @BLinux if you did not notice). It took him that long to figure out the simplest stuff. That alone makes me doubt that his homebrew tools is anything but lsirec script with changed offsets plus maybe some basic automation to cross-flash in bulk.

    All you need to make lsirec work with 2208/2308 cards is to increase the size of the buffer to 448 bytes (the double size of SBR in 2208/2308).
    As for the new offsets - I did not even bother to calculate them manually:

    Code:
    REPCI = re.compile(r'\n\d0: (..) (..) (..) (..) (..) (..) (..) (..) (..) (..) (..) (..) (..) (..) (..) (..)')
    
    def all_lsi():
        return [x.split(' ', 1)[0] for x in subprocess.check_output(['lspci', '-Dd', '1000::']).decode('ascii').splitlines()]
    
    def checksum(l):
        return 255 & (91 - sum(l))
    
    def pci_cfg(d='0000:01:00.0'):
        return b''.join(int(''.join(x), 16).to_bytes(16, byteorder='big') for x in \
            REPCI.findall(subprocess.check_output(['lspci', '-xxxs', d]).decode('ascii')))
    
    def editsbr(sbr, **kw):
        pci = pci_cfg(all_lsi()[0])
        vidpid = sbr.find(pci[0:4])
        subsys = sbr.find(pci[44:48])
        hwclss = sbr.find(pci[10:12])
        if kw.get('vid'):
            struct.pack_into('<H', sbr, vidpid, kw.get('vid'))
        if kw.get('pid'):
            struct.pack_into('<H', sbr, vidpid+2, kw.get('pid'))
        if kw.get('svid'):
            struct.pack_into('<H', sbr, subsys, kw.get('svid'))
        if kw.get('spid'):
            struct.pack_into('<H', sbr, subsys+2, kw.get('spid'))
        if kw.get('hwc'):
            struct.pack_into('<H', sbr, hwclss, kw.get('hwc'))
        sbr[-1] = checksum(sbr[0:-1])
        return sbr
    
     
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    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
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  19. fohdeesha

    fohdeesha Kaini Industries

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    I don't want to speak ill of fellow STH members - I was referring to a specific seller outside of the US, I didn't realize blinux opened that lsirec ticket. We'll continue this via pm, but thank you for the code block, this should speed up a public guide quite a bit
     
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  20. Sleyk

    Sleyk Active Member

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    So I wanted to chime in here.

    I don't think its a bad thing to make some money on eBay. Even if the full guide is out, there will always be people who will just not want to be bothered with flashing or messing with their card. These people will always just find it easier to buy a flashed card than do it themselves anyway. I don't mean @AndiM202 as I know you were looking for the method, so I don't mean you my brother! :p

    That said, this is a tech community. And as such, we do wanna figure out how things work. Again, no harm in making some moolah, and I confess I too am making a few bucks on the side as a lil' side hussle. :D

    As far as these cards go, I think the fundamental tools and the know-how is already there for these cards, and I have no doubt that if you ask @BLinux for some pointers and help, he will gladly help out. From what I understand, he has been flashing these cards over to IT mode for a good while now. As a matter of fact, in BL's defense, I believe he has written about it on a few occasions. I have read some of his posts about it. Also he made a YouTube vid detailing some of how he did it as well.

    I think the issue comes from the ease and smoothness of flashing these particular 2nd gen cards. The method involves editing SBR's and playing around with the EEPROM and such, so it isnt easy. Most people will not know how to do it, or may just mess up their card altogether. This is why I think this particular card is taking so long to get a solid method down that EVERYONE can use easily. This is why I personally believe in all software-straight flashing. No editing SBR's, no messing with the nvram, just a straight forward flash using some dos tools. But I do realize that this isn't always easy to accomplish.

    Now to be honest about the thought of releasing the method vs keeping it secret and making bank, I just don't know.

    Cuz, on one hand, you wanna make a small piece on the side, and if you figure out how to do something profitable, it is in your best interest to make money off of it. But on the other hand, you don't want to keep any method that could help the community, no, actually the entire world out.

    Trust me, and I speak in all honesty...

    I was tempted.

    I contemplated an entire weekend.

    So I can understand the motivation to keep things secret to make some money on the side. But all in all, I think the motivation should be to eventually release the method to help people. As long as that is done, making money on the side can go hand in hand. Everyone wins. ;)
     
    #20
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
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