[OpenIndiana-discuss] Dell Precision T3600 with Openindiana 151a7 ?

Sašo Kiselkov skiselkov.ml at gmail.com
Fri Oct 12 14:27:57 UTC 2012

On 10/12/2012 04:18 PM, Rich wrote:
> All 4 are listed in there as being SAS2008-based, which makes sense
> [AFAIK, Dell has no cards based on the LSI 22xx/23xx lines of chips
> yet].

Yeah, but it all often comes down to PCI IDs and firmwares. The LSI SAS
2008 can run various firmware versions, which interact differently. You
can get a SAS2008-based internal card running IR firmware which only
exposes RAID arrays, not individual drives. Or you can get a
SAS2008-based external card running IT firmware which only allows for
JBOD functionality. Or you can get custom firmware which allows a
combination of both. Or MegaRaid firmware, which again only allows for
RAID arrays.

It's often possible to cross-flash the firmware between different cards,
provided that they use mostly the same system layout, and the H310 fits
the bill here - you can reflash it to IT/IR firmware from the loaded
MegaRaid software (which might be customized by Dell to allow for JBOD
functionality - don't know, haven't tested it), but the reflashing
procedure can bite you in the back here.

You see, Dell machines typically have what's called a "storage slot",
which is a special dedicated PCI-e slot for the RAID cards. The Dell
BIOSes contain a nasty surprise for those who try to stuff anything
different into these slots. If at boot the machine detects anything not
registering as a proper LSI card, it will halt the boot sequence, no
questions asked. Now this isn't a terrible problem with PCI-e cards, you
can just unplug them and move them to a regular PCI-e slot, and continue
the reflashing procedure there. However, it is a serious problem with
Mini-type cards, which plug into a special, proprietary mezzanine
connector. This is a PCI-e connector, only in a non-standard form-factor
and the BIOSes still contain the boot bomb, so as soon as you erase the
firmware on the card and reboot the machine, you've just stopped booting
off of it, prohibing you from flashing in the proper firmware to get it
to work again. And you can't move it to a different slot, since the
connector is proprietary.

That's why I said "make sure it's a full card, not the mini-type".


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