PSA: Mysteriously hardware-sensitive M11SDV-8C-LN4F

altano

Active Member
Sep 3, 2011
182
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Cambridge, MA
I struggled getting my M11SDV-8C-LN4F (Supermicro Epyc 3251 motherboard) stable for several months. Every ~2 weeks the M.2 SSD (and in fact the entire PCI slot) would just disappear from the system. Resetting the system from IPMI would not correct the problem. lspci -v would just stop reporting the PCI slot. A full power off/power on cycle would fix the issue until it happened again, as soon as an hour later and as late as a month later.

I ruled out drive overheating, I reproduced the issue in multiple OSes, I tried multiple memory configurations, and I tried multiple M.2 drives (HP EX900 120GB and Intel 760p). When attempting to RMA the board, Supermicro asked that I try a tested compatible M.2 Drive and, despite being skeptical it would fix anything, I gave it a shot.

After 100 days of uptime I'm ready to declare that this new drive (Toshiba XG5-P / HDS-TMN0-KXG50PNV2T04) appears to have made the system stable. I'm surprised to see a Supermicro board being unstable b/c of which M.2 drive I used, but I guess it happens. Morale of the story? Use a recommended M.2 drive.

I figured I'd post this in the extremely unlikely chance it will help someone.
 

Aquatechie

New Member
Oct 29, 2015
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I certainly appreciate you posting your experiences. I've been considering this board for a NAS / virtualization build and your findings are another detractor. Combine that with the lack of 10G ethernet and fewer SATA ports compared to Supermicro's equivalent Xeon-D boards and the M11SDV-8C-LN4F comes off as rather gimped. Asrock's EPYC3251D4I-2T looks much better on paper.
 

altano

Active Member
Sep 3, 2011
182
57
28
Cambridge, MA
Issues with the M.2 slot aside, this board is phenomenal. If you need on-board SAS or 10gbe this board isn't a good fit, but if you don't, the Xeon-D boards do not compare favorably. The power-to-performance of this board is just so much better while also having a lower price tag. I don't regret the purchase and I can't wait for the next gen.

Asrock's EPYC3251D4I-2T does indeed look better on paper, but only if you need the 10gbe.
 
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hard_reset

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Apr 24, 2020
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I am having similar issues. I have tried a 512G HP EX920 and a 2TB HP EX950 and neither are seen by any OS (ESXi, Windows 10, Ubuntu Server 16.04) when plugged into the m.2 slot on the motherboard. If I use a PCIe to m.2 adapter they are seen as available devices in every OS after boot. I contacted Supermicro and they told me that I needed to use a supported drive off their supported M.2 list. I didn't think it would make a difference as they are all PCIe devices under the hood but there must be something in the drivers/controllers of the NVMe drives that the BIOS or firmware doesn't like.

Normally, I'd just keep using the PCIe to m.2 adapter but I need to use the PCIe slot for a 10Gb NIC. The end goal of the build is to have a SATADOM as the boot device, NVMe for high IOPS computing, and use 10Gb NIC for block storage and replication.

Out of curiosity what firmware and BIOS versions are currently running on your system?

I'm currently on:
Firmware is 3.16.01 (1/3/20 Build Time)
BIOS is 1.0b (2/15/20 Build Time)
PCI Bus Driver Version: A5.01.12

Also, are you happy with the Toshiba XG5-P / HDS-TMN0-KXG50PNV2T04? I am looking at picking one up today to end the frustration and have this thing working as intended.
 

daumas

New Member
Sep 20, 2019
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FWIW I am using a Corsair MP510 in my X11SCH-LN4F. I don't believe it is "certified" and I have not had a single issue with it. Been running since October 2019.
 

altano

Active Member
Sep 3, 2011
182
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Cambridge, MA
I didn't think it would make a difference
Yeah I was extremely skeptical too, but they were right.

Out of curiosity what firmware and BIOS versions are currently running on your system?
Firmware Revision : 03.00
Firmware Build Time : 01/16/2019
BIOS Version: 1.0a
BIOS Build Time: 06/13/2019

Also, are you happy with the Toshiba XG5-P / HDS-TMN0-KXG50PNV2T04? I am looking at picking one up today to end the frustration and have this thing working as intended.
I've had 100% uptime since installing it so I'm extremely happy with the drive, and now, also with the system. I use it not just for a bunch of home services but also as my primary development server, which for something using so little power is so impressive. I LOVE this machine.

Definitely go second hand: they aren't that expensive on eBay.
 
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hard_reset

New Member
Apr 24, 2020
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Thanks for the reply! I appreciate you listing out the firmware and BIOS info. It will serve as a good reference should I need to try some different versions.

I found a drive on ebay for a reasonable price and am excited to get it installed and running. It will be nice to bring this machine up to it's full potential. I bought it about six months ago and have absolutely loved it.

I'll report back once I get the drive installed so anyone else that comes across this thread will have another data point.
 
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hard_reset

New Member
Apr 24, 2020
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The new drive came in today. Plugged it in and it was immediately seen by every OS I tested it on. These boards are definitely picky about which M.2 drives they'll take. If anyone else across the internet stumbles upon this, use devices off the tested m.2 list from Supermicro.
 
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Bennycooly

New Member
Feb 12, 2020
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I am having similar issues. I have tried a 512G HP EX920 and a 2TB HP EX950 and neither are seen by any OS (ESXi, Windows 10, Ubuntu Server 16.04) when plugged into the m.2 slot on the motherboard. If I use a PCIe to m.2 adapter they are seen as available devices in every OS after boot. I contacted Supermicro and they told me that I needed to use a supported drive off their supported M.2 list. I didn't think it would make a difference as they are all PCIe devices under the hood but there must be something in the drivers/controllers of the NVMe drives that the BIOS or firmware doesn't like.

Normally, I'd just keep using the PCIe to m.2 adapter but I need to use the PCIe slot for a 10Gb NIC. The end goal of the build is to have a SATADOM as the boot device, NVMe for high IOPS computing, and use 10Gb NIC for block storage and replication.

Out of curiosity what firmware and BIOS versions are currently running on your system?

I'm currently on:
Firmware is 3.16.01 (1/3/20 Build Time)
BIOS is 1.0b (2/15/20 Build Time)
PCI Bus Driver Version: A5.01.12

Also, are you happy with the Toshiba XG5-P / HDS-TMN0-KXG50PNV2T04? I am looking at picking one up today to end the frustration and have this thing working as intended.
Do you have an issue with the IPMI firmware not being responsive after updating the BIOS to 1.0b? I have 3 M11SDV-8CT-LN4F (8c/8t) boards and after updating all of them to BIOS 1.0b, none of them are responsive when booting up and can't even get into the BIOS post. If I do a cold boot or a software restart, it will just hang indefinitely and there's no video on either the iKVM or VGA. The only solution is to do a power reset from IPMI and then it will boot normally.

After reading this thread, I have a suspicion that maybe it's my NVME drive... I'm using a Samsung 970 Pro for each board and there weren't any issues until now...
 

Labs

Member
Mar 21, 2019
46
7
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This is pretty much a standard issue not only with Supermicro but other vendors also. The issue here is the NVMe DXE module/driver in the BIOS. Maybe they will update it and fix these incompatibility issues. You cannot do anything at the OS level. Some laptops also have issues with some NVMe drives for example when going into standby they will not recover so a power off/on by button is needed.
 

nhand42

New Member
Jun 22, 2020
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I'm having similar trouble with an HP EX950 1TB on an M11SDV-8C. The NVMe isn't even recognized by the BIOS. I've ordered a Toshiba KXG60ZNV1T02 which is on the supported list and hope that fixes it.

Update: the Toshiba KXG60ZNV1T02 works.
 
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trucnar

New Member
Nov 7, 2017
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0
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41
Well that explains why my ADATA XPG SX8200 NVMe drive doesn't work.
Plugged the NVMe drive into a Supermicro X10SDV-4C-TLN2F board and didn't even have to open the BIOS, just detected.