PowerEdge HDD/SCSI/RAID

Last reply by 11-14-2012 Solved
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Dell R310 PERC S300 RAID Firmware Downgrade

Hi All,

I'd like to install Debian to a R310 server shipped with PERC S300 Software (only Windows supported) RAID controller card.

Searching through some pages and forums I found one possible solution only:

1. PERC S300 RAID controller is a hybrid card, firmware upgraded from a simple LSISAS1068E chipset based card, according to this official white paper:

http:/i.dell.com/sites/content/business/solutions/whitepapers/en/Documents/Dell-Software-RAID-Functionality-White-Paper.pdf

">http://i.dell.com/sites/content/business/solutions/whitepapers/en/Documents/Dell-Software-RAID-Functionality-White-Paper.pdf

"PERC S300 is a hybrid solution obtained by a firmware change for the LSI 1068E SAS controller. The advantage over PERC S100 is that SAS disks are supported in PERC S300. The conversion from LSI 1068E SAS controller to PERC S300 is done using the firmware upgrade (using DRMK bootable USB in DOS method)."

2. If it's possible to 'downgrade' the firmware to the original LSI version, Debian could use this RAID controller with an 'mptsas' or 'megaraid' driver during installation.

But...

The suggested solution (boot into DOS mode, use SASFLASH utility with the appropriate FW files to downgrade to LSI) does not work, because SASFLASH utility cannot recognize any LSI controller, since it's id recently is a DELL S300...

Is there any solution to create the appropriate DRMK bootable disk or USB key, to downgrade the FW without Vendor / ID matching?

I would like to avoid buying a new controller if I can...

Thank for any help in advance,

Peter

Solutions (3)

Accepted Solutions
7 Thorium

Generally the firmware is not compatible, as it no longer identifies itself as 'LSI', which is usually required by LSI flashing tools.  Same goes for OEM flashing tools ... it checks the ID of the card before allowing a flash.  This is usually disabled to prevent the card from being damaged by a bad flash, which is common when flashing between vendors.  There may be a way to 'force' the firmware to the card, but that is up to you to find and try.  Best to simply get a new card or not use the S300.

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Community Accepted Solution
3 Argentum

Hi Peter,

Thanks for your inquiry. Although the S300 does have a LSI 1068E chipset running a customized firmware, I do not have any information about other differences that may exist on the integrated package that may make it impossible for the standard 1068E ROM to operate without modification, and for that reason I would caution against forcing a flash. If I knew for sure that the only difference was the firmware then a possibility -- not a certainty -- might exist that you could flash it safely and operate correctly with the LSI Linux driver, though I would advise against this since any failure is likely to render the card inoperable. I also don't have any information about the capability of the card to recover from a failed firmware update via e.g. JTAG or similar, so in the event there is the a failure I wouldn't be able to recommend a recovery procedure. The card was sold and supported as compatible with Windows only and you would have no warranty recourse if something went wrong. Unfortunately, for this particular card I think the best thing as far as doing something that is intended and expected to function predictably and reliably is to replace it with a Dell SAS 6i/R card or a Dell PERC H200, or even another vendor with proper support for Linux if you prefer. For cabled drives the R310 SAS 6i/R part number is 342-1612 and the hot plug drive version is 342-1613. The cabled PERC H200 for the R310 is 342-1597 and the hot plug drive version is 342-1598. If you need more information about the RAID options on this server let us know and we'll be happy to help out.

Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! (iOS, Android, Windows)

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Community Accepted Solution
7 Thorium

The backplane requires an SFF-8087 connector.  The PERC 5 requires an SFF-8484 connector.

Something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00193MCN0

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Community Accepted Solution
Replies (5)
7 Thorium

Generally the firmware is not compatible, as it no longer identifies itself as 'LSI', which is usually required by LSI flashing tools.  Same goes for OEM flashing tools ... it checks the ID of the card before allowing a flash.  This is usually disabled to prevent the card from being damaged by a bad flash, which is common when flashing between vendors.  There may be a way to 'force' the firmware to the card, but that is up to you to find and try.  Best to simply get a new card or not use the S300.

Community Accepted Solution
3 Argentum

Hi Peter,

Thanks for your inquiry. Although the S300 does have a LSI 1068E chipset running a customized firmware, I do not have any information about other differences that may exist on the integrated package that may make it impossible for the standard 1068E ROM to operate without modification, and for that reason I would caution against forcing a flash. If I knew for sure that the only difference was the firmware then a possibility -- not a certainty -- might exist that you could flash it safely and operate correctly with the LSI Linux driver, though I would advise against this since any failure is likely to render the card inoperable. I also don't have any information about the capability of the card to recover from a failed firmware update via e.g. JTAG or similar, so in the event there is the a failure I wouldn't be able to recommend a recovery procedure. The card was sold and supported as compatible with Windows only and you would have no warranty recourse if something went wrong. Unfortunately, for this particular card I think the best thing as far as doing something that is intended and expected to function predictably and reliably is to replace it with a Dell SAS 6i/R card or a Dell PERC H200, or even another vendor with proper support for Linux if you prefer. For cabled drives the R310 SAS 6i/R part number is 342-1612 and the hot plug drive version is 342-1613. The cabled PERC H200 for the R310 is 342-1597 and the hot plug drive version is 342-1598. If you need more information about the RAID options on this server let us know and we'll be happy to help out.

Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! (iOS, Android, Windows)

Community Accepted Solution
2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Thanks for the quick answers.

I have a spare PERC 5/i RAID card, which should be supported by R310 server according to this document:

<ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>

 

is it possible, that I can connect this RAID card to the R310's backplane with this type of cable?

SFF-8484 to SFF-8470

www.elpeus.com/.../sff-8484-to-sff-8470.html

if not, which cable would be the right?

thanks

Peter

7 Thorium

The backplane requires an SFF-8087 connector.  The PERC 5 requires an SFF-8484 connector.

Something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00193MCN0

Community Accepted Solution
2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Thanks again!

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