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Flashing Intel SASUC8I to LSI IT Firmware Guide
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Since publishing the Intel SASUC8I and LSI SAS3081E-R 1068e Based RAID Controller Review I have received quite a few questions regarding how to flash the LSI IT firmware to the Intel card. This guide shows one how to get around the sasflash utility’s vendor check.The problem arises because the sasflash utility checks the vendor of the card before flashing the bios and firmware. Since the Intel SASUC8I has an Intel vendor name (despite being virtually identical to the LSI SAS3081E-R), the sasflash utility yields an error message. After re-reading the documentation that comes with the sasflash utility and new LSI  firmware, I realized that the fix is documented, but is quite hard to find. Luckily all one needs to do is add a “-o” to the sasflash command line. Unfortunately, I was unable to snap a picture of the sasflash.exe error message before putting the latest SASUC8I into production, but here is what the command and utility output looks like once the “-o” switch is added (the command for reference for the LSI Windows sasflash.exe utilityflashing both the firmware and BIOS is: ” sasflash -o -f 3081ETB3.fw -b mptsas.rom”):

How To Flash Intel SASUC8I with LSI SAS3081ER IT Firmware

How To Flash Intel SASUC8I with LSI SAS3081ER IT Firmware

That is all there is to it. One other note is that in the firmware package there are B1, B2, and B3 versions of the firmware. B1 and B2 gave errors while B3 works on my Intel SASUC8I’s.

Also, if someone happens to have an Intel SASUC8I with the standard Intel firmware and can take a screen shot of the error message, I would be happy to add that as it may be awhile until I have the opportunity to flash another one.

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.
37 Comments
  • odditory
    October 13, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    good info – went through the exact same thing last week but got it figured out pretty quick after seeing the batch file with the commandline parameters – the “-o” switch was obviously key.

    its a good card but I think I like the nextgen SAS2008 based cards just a tad better for a few reasons.

  • October 13, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Agreed that they are significantly better. Two considerations on why I still like/ use LSI 1068e controllers are:
    1. Some of the driver support is not as mature still for the LSI SAS2008 based cards
    2. The LSI SAS2008 cards like the LSI SAS 9211-8i are in the $250 range (or about $90 more expensive as the LSI 1068e based cards.)

    Then again in a $3,000 to $4,000 machine, a $90 difference is relatively minor.

  • tenk
    October 21, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Where I live I haven’t been able to locate the SASUC8I – but only a SASUC81 (a “1” instead of a “I” in the end) and I haven’t been able to find out what, if any, difference it is between them and whether the LSI firmware would work on SASUC81.

    Anyone have any idea?

  • October 21, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    I think that is the same Intel SASUC8i controller as Intel does not list a SASUC81 on their website.

  • tenk
    October 22, 2010 at 3:40 am

    Thanks. Thats what I’ve been thinking as well but it’s a bit scary not to know.

    Thinking of getting the intel card (as the LSI card isn’t even available here) and perhaps use it with the new WD 3TB drive, any word on compatibility between 1068E and 3TB drives?

  • October 22, 2010 at 9:10 am

    I have not tried it yet with 3TB drives. Good luck finding one.

  • Jan
    December 8, 2010 at 5:11 am

    Ive read the article, but i cant seem to figure out what is the Differences from Intel to LSI firmware. What do you gain and what is the drawbacks???

    Ive read the the LSI firmware has problems with the ‘smartd’ command. (http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1551879 post 5)

    Im thinking of buying the Intel card to use MDADM+lvm on it. Why would i flash it with LSI firmware?

  • December 8, 2010 at 10:18 am

    The main reasons I flash to LSI IT firmware are:
    1. I like to have everything running on the same firmware. I know there are issues but using the same firmware lets me consistently deal with issues. In that post, sub.mesa mentions the work-around.
    2. The IT firmware passes through the disks directly to the OS without the RAID layer in between. This is generally the way one wants to go with software RAID as it allows the OS to control the drives without an intermediate layer
    3. LSI tends to regularly update firmware.

  • Felix
    December 16, 2010 at 6:09 am

    Hi there, just flashed my Intel today and heres your screenshot

    http://img406.imageshack.us/img406/4978/intelsasuc8iflashfailur.jpg

  • December 16, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Thanks Felix for the screen shot of the flash failing without the “-o” switch. Much appreciated.

  • tenk
    December 18, 2010 at 2:54 am

    I guess it would be possible to reflash it to the intel firmware if one had a change of heart?

  • sjalloq
    February 4, 2011 at 4:20 am

    Hi there,

    how did you actually go about running the flash utility? Did you create a DOS startup disk on a USB key or something similar? What tools did you use? Been a while since I did this.

    Thanks.

  • February 4, 2011 at 6:15 am

    tenk: yes it is possible to reflash the card
    sjalloq: you can do this in the Windows 7 command line (how the above screen shots were taken)

  • Shane
    February 16, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Great guide, finally got around to doing this today, super helpful!

  • fermulator
    February 28, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Has anyone tried this using the linux flash utility?

  • james
    March 1, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Help!!

    C:\Users\James\SAS3081ER\SAS3081ER>sasflash -o -f 3081ETB3.fw -b mptsas.rom
    This version of C:\Users\James\SAS3081ER\SAS3081ER\sasflash.exe is not compatibl
    e with the version of Windows you’re running. Check your computer’s system infor
    mation to see whether you need a x86 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit) version of the pro
    gram, and then contact the software publisher.

    C:\Users\James\SAS3081ER\SAS3081ER>CD sasflash_win_x64_rel

    C:\Users\James\SAS3081ER\SAS3081ER\sasflash_win_x64_rel>sasflash -o -f 3081ETB3.
    fw -b mptsas.rom

    ****************************************************************************
    LSI Corporation SAS FLASH Utility.

    SASFlash Version 1.24.00.00 (2009.11.13)

    Copyright (c) 2006-2007 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved.
    ****************************************************************************

    No LSI SAS adapters found! Limited Command Set Available!
    ERROR: Command Not allowed without an adapter!
    ERROR: Couldn’t Create Command -f
    Exiting Program.

    C:\Users\James\SAS3081ER\SAS3081ER\sasflash_win_x64_rel>sasflash -o -f 3081ETB3.
    fw -b mptsas.rom

    ****************************************************************************
    LSI Corporation SAS FLASH Utility.

    SASFlash Version 1.24.00.00 (2009.11.13)

    Copyright (c) 2006-2007 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved.
    ****************************************************************************

    No LSI SAS adapters found! Limited Command Set Available!
    ERROR: Command Not allowed without an adapter!
    ERROR: Couldn’t Create Command -f
    Exiting Program.

    C:\Users\James\SAS3081ER\SAS3081ER\sasflash_win_x64_rel>sasflash -o -f 3081ETB3.
    fw -b mptsas.rom

    ****************************************************************************
    LSI Corporation SAS FLASH Utility.

    SASFlash Version 1.24.00.00 (2009.11.13)

    Copyright (c) 2006-2007 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved.
    ****************************************************************************

    No LSI SAS adapters found! Limited Command Set Available!
    ERROR: Command Not allowed without an adapter!
    ERROR: Couldn’t Create Command -f
    Exiting Program.

    C:\Users\James\SAS3081ER\SAS3081ER\sasflash_win_x64_rel>CD..

    C:\Users\James\SAS3081ER\SAS3081ER>sasflash -o -f 3081ETB3.fw -b mptsas.rom
    This version of C:\Users\James\SAS3081ER\SAS3081ER\sasflash.exe is not compatibl
    e with the version of Windows you’re running. Check your computer’s system infor
    mation to see whether you need a x86 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit) version of the pro
    gram, and then contact the software publisher.

  • March 1, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    James may be worth troubleshooting on the forums. Can you see the device in Windows? Did you run cmd.exe as administrator?

  • alan
    March 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    OK. I had the same problem as James did when I grabbed the firmware from the LSI website.

    But when I used the firmware from the supermicro site (ftp://ftp.supermicro.com/driver/SAS/LSI/1064_1068/IT/Firmware/B3/L8i/1.30.00/) sasflash.exe worked just fine.

    There must be different versions of the sasflash utility.

  • fermulator
    March 27, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    FYI: I performed essentially this same task with the Linux command line client. Worked like a charm.

  • Carl
    April 11, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Followed your instructions, used Linux sasflash instead from LSI site, worked perfectly on Debian Squeeze x64. Thanks!

  • Otto
    April 13, 2011 at 6:11 am

    Hi,

    I just got an Intel SASUC8I. For funny reasons on the Controller it says LSI. No Intel logo. LSI however confirmed by the serial number it is an OEM for Intel…

    Ok, the problem: I want to flash to IT to use it for the napp-it all in one. As I am not a nerd I am puzzled how to do it. On the LSI website
    http://www.lsi.de.com/channel/products/hba/sas_sata_hbas/internal/lsisas3081er/index.html
    there is a Windows Installer version 1.28.00. As I understood from above there are problems using 64 bit Windows.

    Then there are three files SAS3081ER_P20_Supports_SAS_1-5G_3G_6G_and_SATA_1-5G_3G_HDD FW:1.32.00.00, BIOS 6.34.00.00
    So Firmeware PLUS BIOS.

    So what to choose?

    For hardware I have an old Win XP 32 bit machine I could use. Or put it in the server (Supermicro Board) if flash could be done via floppy disk or external CD_ROM.

    Some comments would be highly appreciated!

    Cheers,
    Otto

    • April 13, 2011 at 8:09 am

      Hey Otto: Mind posting this in the forums? It is probably a better place to troubleshoot as we can have more points of view. Also, the Intel parts are often not marked as Intel on the card.

  • Fred Littlefield
    May 11, 2011 at 4:06 am

    Since the IBM Server Raid BRI0i LSI SAS Raid Controller is a similar device, does this information about flashing the Intel SASUC8i controller to LSI SAS3081E-R apply to the IBM controller?

  • Der_Jan
    May 12, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    My Intel didn’t support 3TB Hitachi HDDs and same applies for LSI firmware (Dec 2010) not supporting Hitachi 3TB disk – it’ll only show as 2TB disk.

  • Shareef
    June 27, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Hi there,

    anyone seen the following error when using the sasflash utility? I’m on a X9SCL-F with Intel SASUC8i.

    “ERROR: Failed to initialize PAL. Exiting Program.”

    I’m using sasflash 1.28 downloaded from the LSI website in the SAS3081ER_P20_Supports_SAS_1-5G_3G_6G_and_SATA_1-5G_3G_HDD package.

    Thanks.

  • mini-me
    June 29, 2011 at 11:11 am

    LSI 3Gb/s HBA’s only support 2TB drives, here is the email I received from LSI support:

    3TB drive support is outlined in the following KB article. http://kb.lsi.com/KnowledgebaseArticle16399.aspx

    If a drive larger than two TeraBytes in capacity is used with an LSI 3Gb/s SATA+SAS HBA the drive capacity will be truncated to 2 TeraBytes (2047 GBytes).

    LSI SAS 3801E
    LSI SAS 3801X
    LSI SAS 3442E-R
    LSI SAS 3442X-R
    LSI SAS 3081E-R
    LSI SAS 3041E-R
    LSI SAS 3080X-R
    LSI SAS 3041X-R

  • Ryan T.
    July 8, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Worked without any issues, using alan’s link (ftp://ftp.supermicro.com/driver/SAS/LSI/1064_1068/IT/Firmware/B3/L8i/1.30.00/) on win2k8r2 / IBM ServeRAID BR10i (running the .bat from a command prompt and hitting “y” a few times.) — Thanks.

  • bob
    June 10, 2012 at 5:53 am

    I successfully used this procedure on an IBM ServeRAID BR10i, thanks!
    It also has chip version B3.

  • Cam
    February 5, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Hi there,

    I realize that this is an old thread, but I think the info here is still very relevant (thanks all for contributing). I have an LSI SAS3082e-R flashed to the JBOD. Some how my consumer-centric Motherboard gives me an error when booting up (“ERROR: Could not enable PCI IO attributes”). It is an MSI H67MA-E35 MB.

    My request is that can you guys post your MBs that are known to work with this card. That will be greatly appreciated. I would prefer consumer centric MB as well, preferably H67, Z68 or Z77. But I am open to any suggestions (ie AMD boards, server/workstation boards), provided they are at a reasonable price. Thanks.

  • Isaac
    June 17, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    I’m using the Intel SASUC8I card with a server running ESXi, and I already have a RAID10 array set up.
    Does anyone know if flashing the LSI firmware will mess anything up with my current array, and if it will allow me to view/control the RAID from the OS?
    Thanks.

  • Calicci
    November 24, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Anyone have any experience with the Dell Perc5i HBA?

  • Jamie
    July 10, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Does anyone who if I can force a 6gb/s controller with sata iii disks to use 3bb/s? I have an older backplane that was only designed for 3gb/s and I am seeing some disk errors on certain bays (even after swapping out the disk).

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