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How to Flash IBM ServeRAID M5014 to LSI 9260-8i Firmware

How to Flash IBM ServeRAID M5014 to LSI 9260-8i Firmware

by Patrick KennedySeptember 25, 2012

The IBM ServeRAID M5014 has quickly become a enthusiast favorite. Recently we did a piece on finding a great deal on IBM ServeRAID M5014’s with BBUs inexpensively. On ebay there are tons of no-bracket M5014 part 46M0916-B2 for $130.30 with free shipping and tax in California. The IBM ServeRAID M5014 is great. The card is essentially a LSI MegaRAID 9260-8i with half of the cache (256MB instead of 512MB) and no RAID 6 or RAID 60 support without the IBM M5000 feature key. For the price, that is probably the best deal around. IBM sells a ton of the ServeRAID M5014 RAID controllers every month and they have great firmware. That is, great firmware for servers that run 24/7. One of the drawbacks is that the IBM ServeRAID M5014 firmware takes a long time to initialize. Just to give you an idea, the below steps have cut well over 30 seconds off of my boot time. Let’s see how to flash the IBM M5014 with LSI firmware.

WARNINGThese procedures may permanently damage your hardware. Follow them at your own risk. All responsibility for damage to hardware, software, business or reputation will be solely that of the person attempting to modify their hardware in the manner described herein. Simple version – there is risk to your hardware with this. If something goes wrong it is solely your responsibility.

Flashing the IBM ServeRAID M5014 to LSI 9260-8i Firmware

The first step in this is to get proper firmware. Here is my IPMI compatible DOS Live CD here is the version I use with Supermicro X9SCx BIOS flashing utilities and LSI SAS2008 and SAS2108 firmware. Since the IBM ServeRAID M5014 is a LSI SAS2108 based card, there are lots of options that one can flash to. Once that is done, one just needs to boot to the CD or USB drive that has the flashing tools.

IBM M5014 BBU Overview

IBM M5014 BBU Overview

After booting, you need to get to a directory with LSI megarec and the bin and rom files we will be using. Note, this was before I made the Live CD.

Change Directory to LSI Firmware and Megarec

Change Directory to LSI Firmware and Megarec

The first step in the flashing process is to clear the IBM ServeRAID M5014 of the IBM firmware.

megarec -writesbr 0 sbrempty.bin

This step allows you to flash the IBM card to firmware from other vendors. 0 is for the card’s position so if you have multiple cards, you may need to change this. sbrempty is used by my Supermicro and LSI firmware Live CD and many others, however you can use a different empty bin if you would like, especially on writable media such as a USB drive.

Flash IBM M5014 to LSI 9260-8i Step 1 sbrempty

Flash IBM M5014 to LSI 9260-8i Step 1 sbrempty

Next, since we are flashing the IBM ServeRAID M5014 to LSI 9260-8i firmware, we now need to load the LSI bin.

megarec -writesbr 0 sbrlsi.bin

You could also flash another IBM BIN onto the IBM M5014 at this point or a Sun BIN as an example.

Flash IBM M5014 to LSI 9260-8i Step 2 sbrlsi

Flash IBM M5014 to LSI 9260-8i Step 2 sbrlsi

Next is a step that I have heard folks skipping successfully. With that being said, I always do it when using megarec flashing, so it is in the IBM ServeRAID M5014 guide.

megarec -cleanflash 0

0 is the location of the IBM M5014 one is flashing.

Flash IBM M5014 to LSI 9260-8i Step 3 cleanflash

Flash IBM M5014 to LSI 9260-8i Step 3 cleanflash

After you see this success prompt, it is time to reboot. If you are using IPMI 2.0 you can simply hit the control alt delete macro or use remote power control. If you are physically at the machine, you can do the same. Either way, you need to reboot into the directory that has the LSI flashing files.

Next, you use the command:

megarec -m0flash 0 0102_lsi.rom

Again, the 0 is the target card’s reference number. The 0102_lsi.rom the file being flashed to the controller.

Flash IBM M5014 to LSI 9260-8i Step 5 m0flash

Flash IBM M5014 to LSI 9260-8i Step 5 m0flash

This will take a bit of time but should say success at the end.

Flash IBM M5014 to LSI 9260-8i Step 6 success

Flash IBM M5014 to LSI 9260-8i Step 6 success

At this point, all one needs to do is reboot the server. The IBM ServeRAID M5014 will show up as a LSI 9260-8i. Boot times will be greatly reduced.

Interestingly enough, this was done using the remote KVM-over-IP and remote CD mount of a Supermicro X9SCM-F.  LSI’s knowledge base says that flashing on Intel 3000, 5000 and Supermicro X9 motherboards is hard. The above process takes a few minutes and works well on Supermicro X9 motherboards.


About The Author
Patrick Kennedy
Patrick has been running ServeTheHome since 2009 and covers a wide variety of home and small business IT topics. For his day job, Patrick is a management consultant focused in the technology industry and has worked with numerous large hardware and storage vendors in the Silicon Valley. The goal of STH is simply to help users find some information about basic server building blocks. If you have any helpful information please feel free to post on the forums.
  • ?
    September 25, 2012 at 8:58 am

    “The above process takes a few minutes and…”?

    What happened to the rest of the article?

  • Fabian Riechsteiner
    October 4, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I have flashed 2 of these Cards to 9260-8i, unfortunately on the 2nd card I forgot to reboot between flashing the LSI SBR and the LSI Firmware. Since then this card just makes “Beeep-Beeep-Beeep-Beeep…”. I tried several other SBR and Firmwares sinces then, but as soon as a SBR is flashed the card beeps after reboot.
    Is there any way I can recover from this condition?

  • Dan
    October 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Thank you for this write-up! It made it a breeze to re-flash two M5014’s. I can’t thank you enough.

  • Sam
    October 28, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Need I feature key for use RAID-6 after flash to 9260-8i?

  • Jerrod
    October 30, 2012 at 5:44 am

    I also want to know, does it do Raid 6/60 without the feature key?

  • Robert
    November 19, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Will this work for reflashing an M5015 as well?

  • Frank
    January 17, 2013 at 2:13 am

    I used this how to and it’s working, but when i flash it to the newly firmware from it will revert my card back to M5014, is this normal?

    • kubato
      January 25, 2013 at 10:09 am

      You need to change the SBR everytime you update the FW.
      I normally change the SBR after flashing new FW BUT before rebooting.
      This way you’ll know the lsi9260 SBR has actually been flashed (it will give an error if it hasn’t)

      FW flash
      SBR flash

      Is what I think is best way to go about it.
      Do this everytime for best results
      Trying to just flash new FW over top of old may give issues with SBR (latter FW have a check)
      Next, since we are flashing the IBM ServeRAID M5014 to LSI 9260-8i firmware, we now need to load the LSI bin. (below command just changes the name to lsi 9260-8i)
      megarec -writesbr 0 sbrlsi.bin
      Note: This is already posted on this site by mobilenvidia under title: IBM M5014 to 9260 reverts back to 5014?

  • Todd
    January 30, 2013 at 2:05 am

    Great article.

    I use a lot of the LSI cards but have never tried a re-branded. Once this is done can future firmware upgrades be done from MSM like any other LSI card?

    Do you know if the LSI CacheCade module/key can used after the firmware swap? I would like to try CacheCade but the IBM Performance Key is $300 – $400 which kept me from trying this card.


  • Christoffer
    February 25, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Thank you!!!

  • dell
    March 11, 2013 at 11:07 am

    great! it is always best to download the *latest* firmware from lsi and modify the iso before burning it. just flashed m1014 with latest lsi fw.

  • toughluck
    September 6, 2013 at 1:28 am

    Fantastic, worked like a charm. Well, after quite a painful process of trying to get my motherboard (Gigabyte with AWARD BIOS) to boot from a USB stick, I finally used Rufus and made a freedos boot USB and the utilities worked just great.

  • Jay Fender
    October 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    I bought one and combined it with a new iBBU08 backup battery. This worked flawless for a week and now the status of the bbu says “Battery Replacement required”. Might this be due to the fact that flashed it with the LSI firmware?

  • Anton
    November 4, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    Firmware flash successful! But there is no RAID6 support, it a pity :(

  • Todd
    July 1, 2014 at 7:38 am

    The link to the Doc Live CD does not seem to be working. Is it still available?

  • Ed
    October 11, 2014 at 6:36 am

    Looks like the IBMServRAID M5014 will work only with IBM drives. I am trying to use 1TB WD 1003FBYX drives and it will not work. Does this flashing process remedy that issue? I have 8 of those WD drives that I’d like to use with this card. Is there a link to that DOS Live CD?

    • October 11, 2014 at 12:25 pm

      Ed- the flashed ones certainly work with other brands. We have many folks in the forums using the M5014’s successfully with other brand drives.

    • Patrice
      November 10, 2014 at 1:01 am

      It work with other brands, I use seven 4To seagate with this card.
      I even have tried to flash it with the last LSI firware successfully, the drawback is the time taken by the card to be initialized at when I boot the PC, it’s a little bit long.

  • Oyvind
    December 18, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    I am about to upgrade my NAS to a Xeon system with Supermicro X10SLH-F motherboard.

    What should I get, IBM m1015 or IBM M5014 seeing the price is almost the same?

  • Arthur
    January 17, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    I flashed my M5015 to the very latest 9260-8i firmware (From the LSI Site). It’s working properly now, but upon boot it’s saying it’s a “IBM M5015”. I’m using it in a HP Proliant Gen8 micro server with IBM disks (what an abomination!) and it’s now working well!.

    My question is, is th boot ROM still supposed to say it’s a IBM M5015 or not?

  • Robert
    September 27, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    can someone help me find the correct files? i am missing the BIN file for a IBM M5015 cross flash to lsi 9260. i have tried finding the live cd listed here but to no avail.

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