[SOLVED] Supermicro X11SPH-NCTPF SAS controller not recognized

Bccc1

New Member
Jun 27, 2018
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The SAS controller on my Supermicro X11SPH-NCTPF seems to be deactivated or defective. As I'm new to the whole serverhardware thing I'm not sure how to troubleshoot this. The controller is not recognized by ESXi, there is no option during boot to enter a raid/hba setup, ctrl+c doesn't do anything.
I tried changing the jumper JPS1 on the mainboard as that apparently enables/disables the SAS controller, but that didn't change anything as far as I can tell.
I booted into the uefi shell and ran sas3flash.efi -list from Supermicros SAS 3008 firmware (PH10 and PH15), which outputted
FS1:\> sas3flash.efi -list
Avago Technologies SAS3 Flash Utility
Version 11.00.00.00 (2015.08.04)
Copyright 2008-2015 Avago Technologies. All rights reserved.

No Avago SAS adapters found! Limited Command Set Available!
ERROR: Command Not allowed without an adapter!
ERROR: Couldn't Create Command -list
Exiting Program.
FS1:\>
Any ideas what to try next?
 

K D

Well-Known Member
Dec 24, 2016
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Are you sure that you jumped pins 1&2 on JPS1? I had the same issue with an x10sph board that I had purchased from eBay. Set the jumper correctly and did a clear cmos and reset to defaults to fix it.
 

brianmc

New Member
Jun 25, 2018
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Isn't this something that can be disabled in BIOS? I'd start with restore defaults in BIOS. Then look at the jumper.
 

K D

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Dec 24, 2016
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Jumper first. You need to ensure that the sas controller is enabled in hardware before you can do anything with it in the bios.

Edit: Hit enter before I finished typing.
 

Bccc1

New Member
Jun 27, 2018
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Well, I'm at least 99,9% sure I jumped the correct pins. No matter how much I could missunderstand the manual, there are only three options:
pin1&2, pin2&3, no pins. I tried the first two options and reset the settings in the bios after that.
I didn't clear the cmos though, as I don't know how. The manual says it's JBT1. But shorting JBT1 with a screwdriver didn't do anything, or at least the BIOS settings didn't change.
 

whitey

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Jun 30, 2014
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I JUST got two of these, installed one so far and my LSI 3008 onboard SAS ctrl worked perfect out of the box enabled and all and detected properly by ESXi for vt-D/Passthru. Should not have to mess w/ anything in my experience.

EDIT: Of worthy note, mine had P14 firmware on it OOB have not updated anything on mobo yet.
 

Bccc1

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Jun 27, 2018
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I reset the bios settings to default and then did these changes:
Code:
# Advanced
## Boot Feature
Quiet Boot: Disabled
Option ROM Messages: Keep Current

## PCIe/PCI/PnP Configuration
Onboard SAS Option ROM: EFI

# Boot
Boot mode select: UEFI
@Myth the only option to actually disable the SAS controller that I'm aware of, is the jumper JPS1. But I'm not sure at all.

@whitey as it's working for you, do you use the same bios settings?
 

whitey

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Jun 30, 2014
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My node is in production now so I would have to sVMotion roughly 1TB/qty 50 worth of VM's off to another slice of storage/vSphere hosts and check. I can do that but it is not going to be until this weekend unfortunately. The other node/mobo I do not have memory for just yet unless I rob a couple of dimms from the node I would have to sVMotion data off of to check/reboot. Same issue unfortunately, can't check easily ATM. SAS HBA's should not be black magic/disabled though from the factory I'd imagine, seems silly to jump through these hoops in your case, I'd imagine it should 'just work'

Kind regards, whitey
 

Aestr

Well-Known Member
Oct 22, 2014
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Agreed with @whitey that configs don't sound like your issue. Supermicro support (Support@Supermicro.com) is actually pretty helpful in my experience. Give them a shot and they should be able to help you figure out if it's really a config, or more like that your board needs to be RMA'd.
 

Bccc1

New Member
Jun 27, 2018
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This took a bit longer than expected, mainly because of vacation. SM support suggested a few things and then requested me to RMA it, which I did. The RMA department checked the board and confirmed a dead controller and also a defect RAM slot and send me a replacement board. So far so good, but the problem is, the new board has the same problem!
At this point I'm inclined to belief it's my fault, but I have no idea how.

In the mean time I got myself a LSI 9300-8i to test my HDDs, backplane and cables. At least that works.

I'll write support again, but do any of you have an idea what I could be doing wrong that destroys the SAS3008? Or do I just have bad luck and both controllers were dead on arrival?
 

Myth

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Feb 27, 2018
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Everytime Supermicro sends me back a new board it's the same board with the same problems. I've probably RMAed a bitcoin mining board which has these weird issues 3 or 4 times, every time they send the same board back and don't do shit to it, then they say it works, but then when we hook it up it doesn't work that well.

I think they just run a basic diagnostic test and if it works then they ship it back. But for me, the problem happens after the board is in production for a while, it might reboot randomly, or lock up.
 

Bccc1

New Member
Jun 27, 2018
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Just in case someone comes here through google: It probably was a hardware issue. After sending it in 2 times I got a working board.