IBM ServeRAID M1015 Part 4: Cross flashing to a LSI9211-8i in IT or IR mode

75
Posted January 7, 2012 by Pieter in Servers
IBM ServeRAID M1015

IBM ServeRAID M1015

One of the most popular SAS 6.0gbps/ SATA III controllers for enthusiasts is the IBM M1015. In its native form, it is a very capable host bus adapter (HBA) based on the LSI SAS2008 chip. With the low price on places such as ebay (see here for an ebay search for the M1015) and an enthusiastic community that has learned to unlock many features, it has quickly become a go-to choice for low-cost SATA III connectivity. This series of articles was written by Pieter Schaar perhaps best known as the one behind laptopvideo2go.com. He has been a regular contributor in the STH forums and has been detailing his learning in threads such as these. I do want to note that these modifications are not endorsed by this site, LSI, IBM or others and the information herein is purely for educational purposes. If you do encounter problems, you are solely responsible for those consequences.

There are now quite a few parts to this piece including:

Why crossflash?
In the previous 3 articles I’ve discussed the ins and outs of what the IBM M1015 is capable of in various modes. Now if you were to proceed and purchase an IBM M1015 and wanted to use it in other than it’s default LSI9240/9220 mode you will need to crossflash the card to a LSI9211 HBA 6.0gbps SAS / SATA III adaptor.
To recap:
LSI9211-IT = Straight pass through no RAID, best for ZFS file system etc
LSI9211-IR = Pass through as in IT mode, but you also have RAID options (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 1e and RAID 10), better for RAID 0 Windows boot SSDs etc, and possibly run Software RAID 5 on the other drives.
LSI9240 = default mode, only really useful feature this mode has is RAID1/ RAID 10, drives have to be set to JBOD (single) or RAID to be seen by OS, can be annoying when adding removing drives often.

How to cross flash
First things first, we take no responsibility for anything going wrong.
Please read carefully, don’t take shortcuts, and BE CAREFUL.
If in doubt or you can’t afford a replacement should it go wrong then ‘walk a away’
Warnings are done, lets flash:

Make a bootable USB stick, needs to be DOS bootable for the flasher etc to work, there are number ways to do it, ask Google
Download the files I have compressed over here
Self Extract the files somewhere, then place onto the USB stick
Turn machine off grab the SAS address of the card, it’s on the back on a green sticker (ie 500605B0xxxxxxxx)
Turn machine on (with card back in) choose USB stick at boot option, for all the below it is assumed you are booted to USB stick in the directory with the files from download.

Convert LSI9240(IBM M1015) to a LSI9211-IT mode
Type in the following exactly:
megarec -writesbr 0 sbrempty.bin
megarec -cleanflash 0
<reboot, back to USB stick >
sas2flsh -o -f 2118it.bin -b mptsas2.rom (sas2flsh -o -f 2118it.bin if OptionROM is not needed)
sas2flsh -o -sasadd 500605bxxxxxxxxx (x= numbers for SAS address)
<reboot>
Done!

Convert LSI9240(IBM M1015) to a LSI9211-IR mode
Type in the following exactly:
megarec -writesbr 0 sbrempty.bin
megarec -cleanflash 0
<reboot, back to USB stick>
sas2flsh -o -f 2118ir.bin -b mptsas2.rom
sas2flsh -o -sasadd 500605b0xxxxxxxx (x= numbers for SAS address)
<reboot>
Done!

Convert LSI9211-IT or IR to LSI9211 IR or IT
Type in the following exactly:
Megarec -cleanflash 0
<reboot, back to USB stick>
sas2flsh -o -f 2118ir.bin -b mptsas2.rom (2118it.bin = IT mode Firmware, change according to which way to flash)
sas2flsh -o -sasadd 500605bxxxxxxxxx (x= numbers for SAS address)
<reboot>
Done!

Convert LSI9211-IT/IR back to LSI9240 (IBM M1015)
Type in the following exactly:
Megarec -cleanflash 0
Megarec -writesbr 0 sbrm1015.bin
<reboot, back to USB stick>
Megarec -m0flash 0 0061_lsi.rom (for latest LSI firmware, also included 2x IBM roms too, just change name)
<reboot>
Done!

Tweaks
Of possible use to ZFS fanatics, when flashing the card to IT mode, do not flash the mptsas2.rom, this then will not load the boot BIOS
Any SAS or SATA IIIdrives added will just passthrough as normal, as there is nothing to see or do in the BIOS in IT mode, you may as well not load it. This makes boot and reboot time faster as it doesn’t have to load the BIOS and wait for a key press. BUT you will need it if you are booting from one of the drives attached to the IBM M1015. You will also need it if you are running IR mode to access to the BIOS to setup RAID functions. This might be of use to some users.

Conclusion
I will probably run my 4x SSDs in LSI9211-IR mode to have the best of both worlds. It has great performance with RAID 0 and my 4x SATA III SSD’s and add other drives at will. Any drive added just shows to the OS no need to make it a Virtual Drive or JBOD first. ZFS folk seem to be very happy with LSI9211-IT mode with no RAID functionality at all on the IBM ServeRAID M1015. SMART passes through in either mode but NOT with RAID of course. Overall the IBM M1015 is a great card, now will the IBM M5015 be just as satisfying it’s next on the block…


About the Author

Pieter

Pieter is perhaps best known as the one behind laptopvideo2go.com. He has been a regular contributor in the STH forums and has been detailing his learning, specifically in the area of LSI controllers on STH. He is quickly becoming the resident LSI controller guru.

75 Comments


  1.  
    jwill42

    Your link to the files is broken

    http://files.laptopvideo2go.com/hdd/m1015.exe

    gives a 404 not found error.




  2.  

    Cheers John for pointing that out.
    Got a wee .htaccess bug going on there I’ve discovered.

    The link above now takes you to my website where I’ve made a holding page with link to the Firmware files.
    May as well get some benefit for hosting the files :)

    Apologies for any inconvenience caused.




  3.  

    Have updated the 7zip package with new P12 Firmware and BIOS.
    Also updated to the latest version, sas2flsh (DOS) and sas2flash (win x64)
    And included the txt files with commands and also sas2ircu app




  4.  
    Michael

    Great post for ZFS users! Bookmarked it.

    A question, is there a program that tells me the identity number on the card? It is a pain to open up the computer just to get the identity number…




  5.  
    Ken

    Hi,

    Using the M1015->9211-IT section,

    first two steps completed ok.

    Rebooted back to usb stick.

    first sas2flsh command resulted in:

    ERROR: Failed to initialise PAL. Exiting Program.

    Any ideas?

    ( If I’ve bricked the card, no problems, you gave a very fair warning, but it’d be nice to recover if possible )

    ( To Michael: the command megacli -adpallinfo -page -a0 will get you the number, it’s about 2 or 3 pages in )




  6.  
    Ken

    Further to the last post, I have been able to restore the card to the beginning state following the ‘back to LSI9240′ section.

    Please note that some of the file names in the above instructions differ from those in the downloaded archives, eg emptysbr.bin sbrempty.bin.

    There’s also a 0 missing in the final megarec command in the ‘back to LSI9240′ section.




  7.  

    Ken – let if you happen to know what edits need to be made let me know and I can get that updated.




  8.  
    Rob

    I had to amend your instructions for cross flashing to 9211-8i IR mode.

    megarec -writesbr 0 sbrempty.bin
    megarec -cleanflash 0

    sas2flsh -o -f 2118ir.bin -b mptsas2.rom
    sas2flsh -o -sasadd 500605B0xxxxxxxx (x= numbers for SAS address)




  9.  
    Rob

    with a shutdown/reboot after the -cleanflash (for some reason it took that line out of my comment above)




  10.  
    Jarred

    Thanks! I’m currently building a FreeNAS box and after buying 3TB drives I realized that my SASUC8I controllers have a 2TB limit. The controllers BTW that I flashed to LSI IT firmware using instructions from this site!

    I already have drives and backplanes that are SASII/SATAIII 6.0 GBps and even though I don’t expect much of a performance boost I desperately need to access the whole 3TB that I purchased. Especially since prices have risen so suddenly. Thanks, global economy!

    I’ll be back here when I’m ready to flash and I’ll post if I wind up with any good info or tips. Thanks so much to everyone here I wouldn’t be as far along without the great info here.




  11.  
    Ken

    Patrick,

    As Rob noted, emptysbr.bin needs to be changed to sbrempty.bin wherever it occurs.

    m1015sbr.bin needs to be changed to sbrm1015.bin

    Megarec -m0flash 0061_lsi.rom needs a change to:

    Megarec -m0flash 0 0061_lsi.rom

    Regards




  12.  
    Ken

    A couple more edits needed:

    The “sasadd” parameter to sas2flsh needs changing to “-sasadd” wherever it appears.




  13.  
    z

    how soon before you publish the M5015 instructions?
    looking forward to it.




  14.  

    Sorry guys been out of town and no interweb where I was.

    For some reason I cannot edit the post above any more.
    I have how ever fixed the small typo’s on the download page

    Patrick if you could please copy and past the text and replace the above.

    I hope to be home more now, quite over being on the road, so I can finally get onto the M5015 write up, and make less booboo’s with notes I do on the desktop then write up on laptop.
    The M5015 is proving quite a curse with the BBU.
    I’m going to have pass judgement with it not working 100%




  15.  
    Rick

    If I don’t want to flash the boot bios back in, is the proper command:

    sas2flsh -o -f 2118it.bin




  16.  
    Rick

    Took a chance and succeeded in changing the M1015 from “factory’ to IT Mode..

    Pieter, a BIG thank you for taking the time to compile and document this.

    Ken, thank you for your posts here also. Yea, I’m probably one of a few that reads through to the end

    To you both my flashing just now went off without much of a hitch. Again, thanks.

    OK, some notes.

    Pieter, the four M1015’s I just received were stickered 2011-10-12 and my SAS address on the cards are formatted as 0-0nnl-nnln, 9 digits in length. As 9 digits, I received a “”SAS address must be 16 numbers” error at using the command “sas2flsh -o -sasadd 500605b0. “Your’ 8 digits(500605b0) plus my nine equaled 17 digits :) Undeterred, and while still starring at the error on screen I typed it out dropping one of the 0’s between your posted command and my beginning SAS address and then it continued on to success.

    Can I suggest you revisit the trailing 0 as is currently posted. Using as posted made my SAS address flash 17 digits and generated the above error.

    Also, for the record what I asked above of not flashing the boot bios back in, the cmd is:

    sas2flsh -o -f 2118it.bin

    ————————-

    What I used to get these cards working here:

    DOS bootable USB pen drive with the LSI9211 P12 files provided here.

    First checked that USB stick was bootable
    Rebooted again back onto the USB stick

    megarec -writesbr 0 sbrempty.bin
    megarec -cleanflash 0

    sas2flsh -o -f 2118it.bin
    sas2flsh -o -sasadd 500605bxxxxxxxxx (x= “MY’ 9 digits on sticker for SAS address)




  17.  
    Rick

    Took a chance and succeeded in changing the M1015 from “factory’ to IT Mode w/o the boot bios being re-flashed back in.

    Pieter, a BIG thank you for taking the time to compile and document this.

    To the other posters here, thank you for your continuing addendum posts here also.

    OK, some notes I observed here.

    Pieter, the four M1015’s I just received were stickered 2011-10-12 and my SAS address on the cards are formatted as 0-0nnl-nnln, 9 digits in length. As 9 digits, I received a “”SAS address must be 16 numbers” error at using the command “sas2flsh -o -sasadd 500605b0. “Your’ 8 digits(500605b0) plus my nine equaled 17 digits :) Undeterred, and while still starring at the error on screen I typed it out dropping one of the 0’s between your posted command and my beginning SAS address and then it continued on to success.

    Can I suggest you revisit the trailing 0 as is currently posted. Using as posted made my SAS address flash 17 digits and generated the above error.

    Also, for the record what I asked above of not flashing the boot bios back in, the cmd is:

    sas2flsh -o -f 2118it.bin

    Now I don’t see anything of the cards bios during boot. Flies right to Win 7.

    ————————-

    What I used to get these cards working here:

    Began with bare cards in slot w/o any drives connected.

    DOS bootable USB pen drive with the LSI9211 P12 files provided here.

    First checked that USB stick was bootable
    Reboot again back onto the USB stick

    megarec -writesbr 0 sbrempty.bin
    megarec -cleanflash 0

    sas2flsh -o -f 2118it.bin
    sas2flsh -o -sasadd 500605bxxxxxxxxx (x= “MY’ 9 digits on sticker for SAS address)




  18.  

    No probs Rick, good to have a place with all the flash info at hand.

    Added a command line for flashing with no OptionROM

    Changed the ‘0’ to a ‘x’ in the sasadd command line, the cards I’ve had access to all had a ‘0’ on the 9th digit.

    It actually doesn’t matter what address you give the card as long as it’s unique in your system
    The label on the card is just to make it unique in the world.

    Yes removing the OptionROM will not display anything and happily boot to any OS
    The drives will just be passed through, and think of the extra time you can spend with your loved ones not waiting those aprox 15 extra seconds at every boot :)




  19.  
    Steve

    Just followed your guide for converting the M1015 to a LSI9211-IR mode and it worked perfectly. Thank you so much for posting all this information.




  20.  
    CrimsonKnight13

    Pieter,

    I’ve been running mine in IT mode for a while, with a mixture of SSDs & HDDs (8 drives total). What benefits will I gain if I went with IR mode? Thanks.




  21.  

    Have updated the article above

    CK13, going to IR mode will allow you to use RAID 0, 1 or 10
    If you don’t need/want RAID then stick with IT mode.




  22.  
    Mario

    Thanks alot for this post, it helped me tremendously.




  23.  
    akelku

    For those interested in mass update I’ve scripted the install (msdos oldies)

    First BRAVO for this article !!

    Second usual disclamer….
    Third get choice.com and reboot.com (google it please) and put them on your usbkey

    the erasing :
    _______________________________________________________
    @ECHO off
    cls
    rem LSI9211-IT
    ECHO.
    ECHO.
    ECHO.
    ECHO.
    ECHO -= Erasing flash of M1015 ibm Mode =-
    ECHO -= To prepare X-Flashing =-
    ECHO -= Thanx to Pieter Servethehome =-
    ECHO -= Ctrl-c to abort =-
    ECHO.
    ECHO.
    Pause
    megarec -writesbr 0 sbrempty.bin
    megarec -cleanflash 0
    ECHO -= Erase of M1015 ibm Mode finished REBOOTING =-
    Pause
    reboot
    _______________________________________________________

    the flash IT-IR on selection

    _______________________________________________________
    @ECHO off
    cls
    REM Flashing LSI-IT : LSI9211-IT (JBOD style) of M1015 ibm Mode.
    REM Echo sas2flsh -o -f 2118it.bin -b mptsas2.rom (sas2flsh -o -f 2118it.bin if OptionROM is not needed)
    REM Echo sas2flsh -o -sasadd 500605bxxxxxxxxx (x= numbers for SAS address)
    ECHO.
    ECHO.
    ECHO.
    ECHO.
    ECHO.
    ECHO.
    ECHO * verify SAS adress (After 500605b0-%1-) *
    ECHO.
    ECHO -500605b0%1-
    ECHO -11111111111111111-
    ECHO.
    ECHO * there must be 17 digits !! *
    ECHO * If you only have “1” SAS card in your system*
    ECHO * this number isn’t important *
    ECHO.
    ECHO.
    ECHO.
    ECHO.
    ECHO.
    ECHO.
    ECHO.
    ECHO ctrl-c to abort
    pause
    cls
    ECHO.
    ECHO.
    ECHO.
    ECHO.
    ECHO.
    ECHO.
    ECHO.
    ECHO.
    ECHO.
    ECHO * Press”1″: IT mode no option rom save boot time(LSI9211-I*T* mode)
    ECHO.
    ECHO * Press”2″: IT mode with option rom (LSI9211-I*T* mode)
    ECHO.
    ECHO * Press”3″: IR mode with option rom(with raid..)(LSI9211-I*R* mode)
    ECHO.
    CHOICE /N /C:123 PICK A NUMBER (1, 2, or 3)%2
    IF ERRORLEVEL ==3 GOTO THREE
    IF ERRORLEVEL ==2 GOTO TWO
    IF ERRORLEVEL ==1 GOTO ONE
    GOTO END

    :THREE
    ECHO YOU HAVE PRESSED : IR mode with option rom(with raid..)(LSI9211-I*R* mode)
    ECHO ctrl-c to abort
    pause
    sas2flsh -o -f 2118ir.bin -b mptsas2.rom
    sas2flsh -o sasadd 500605b0%1

    GOTO END

    :TWO
    ECHO YOU HAVE PRESSED IT mode with option rom (LSI9211-I*T* mode)
    ECHO ctrl-c to abort
    pause
    sas2flsh -o -f 2118it.bin -b mptsas2.rom
    sas2flsh -o sasadd 500605b0%1
    GOTO END

    :ONE
    ECHO YOU HAVE PRESSED IT mode no option rom save boot time(LSI9211-I*T* mode)
    ECHO ctrl-c to abort
    pause
    sas2flsh -o -f 2118it.bin
    sas2flsh -o sasadd 500605b0%1
    :END

    ECHO Flashing LSI-Ix of M1015 ibm Mode finished
    ECHO REBOOTING
    Pause
    reboot
    _______________________________________________________

    Once again BRAVO for this job…

    I urge to crossflash my m5014 !!




  24.  
    tony

    Hi,

    Thanks, good write up. I’m using one of these cards in IT mode to present more disks to windows server 2008.

    Has anyone managed to get disk spin down working in windows?
    I know the linux world has used hdparm to do this, but the windows binary i have found state disks on the IBM card arn’t supported.

    I *think* I have had some success with hdscan.exe but I wondered if anyone else has a way to make these disks spin down when not used for a period of time in windows?

    Thanks
    Tony




  25.  
    Aaron

    For anyone getting this error:

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

    The UEFI bios is the issue. You will need to boot into the UEFI shell and run the SAS2FLASH.EFI executable instead.

    More info can be found here:
    http://brycv.com/blog/2012/flashing-it-firmware-to-lsi-sas9211-8i/

    Pieter, would it be possible to include this in your 7zip file? Also, firmware version P13 is out.

    Thanks for the great tutorial and everyone’s comments! :)




  26.  
    Felix

    I am using sdparm to get the disks to spin down. this works on windows too. Make a batchfile which will be executed on startup which contains the disk spindown timeout value. the only problem here is, windows will not know that and there may be high access times on those disks.




  27.  
    Incroyable HULK

    Awesome! bought a few of them for 75$ on eBay!

    I do have 2 questions:

    1- once flashed, will I be able to use future released firmware directly from LSI? (or do I have to wait/check until the author has the firmware modded)

    2- If I flash to IT mode without the OptionROM then would all the hard drive connected to the controller kick in at the same time (no staggered spinup?)

    Thanks!




  28.  

    Try the forums @ http://forums.servethehome.com/showthread.php?433-IBM-M1015-Experiences or another thread. Lots of people to answer all of you questions.




  29.  
    jasch

    when doing it with efi shell, you have to flash it step by step or you geting an error on bios upload.
    make
    megarec -writesbr 0 sbrempty.bin
    megarec -cleanflash 0

    sas2flash -o -f 2118ir.bin
    sas2flash -b mptsas2.rom
    sas2flsh -o -sasadd 500605b0xxxxxxxx (x= numbers for SAS address)




  30.  
    josephdyland

    I purchased a m1015 off of ebay, I do not know if it has been previously flashed, does any one know how I can read the Firmware and get a report of what is currently installed on the device?




  31.  

    Joseph: Try the forums. Lots of info there and it is monitored often.




  32.  
    Jeff

    need the UEFI version of sas2flash for my X9SCM-F-O

    sas2flash.efi is no longer in “Installer_P12_for_UEFI.zip”
    it was forcibly removed out of the zip file by LSI’s own Microsoft Forefront Protection installation:
    —————-
    FILE QUARANTINED

    Microsoft Forefront Protection for SharePoint removed a file since it was found to be infected.
    File name: “Installer_P12_for_UEFI.zip->sas2flash.efi”
    Malware name: “Suspicious!SA”
    —————-

    anyone have a copy of sas2flash.efi they can share?




  33.  
    Jeff

    Finally found sas2flash.efi by digging through all of LSI’s downloads.

    As of current time, the file still exists in:

    Installer_P13_for_UEFI.zip
    Installer_P10_for_UEFI.zip

    via this search: http://www.lsi.com/Search/Pages/downloads.aspx?k=sas2flash.efi

    Installers numbered P8, P9, P11, and P12 have the text file with the quarantine message in place of the .efi file. No good!

    Anyway, in case the sas2flash.efi file is removed again in the near future, I’ve made a copy available here: http://www.mediafire.com/?z66is5rrdui6rc3




    •  
      Kal

      Thank you so much for all the info.
      I am completely new to all of this.
      I have now flashed successfully after finding the SAS2FLASH efi from the LSI site and booting to efi shell – after the terror of getting the PAL error with a DOS boot.

      Now to get NAS4Free up and running!

      Thanks again.




  34.  
    JimmyZ

    Hi, does this guide works for M1115? I’m bought a M1015 but the seller is OOS on M1015 and send me an M1015 instead, am I screwed?




  35.  
    JimmyZ

    sorry, I mean “send me a M1115 instead”




  36.  
    Michael

    “sas2flsh -o -f 2118it.bin -b mptsas2.rom (sas2flsh -o -f 2118it.bin if OptionROM is not needed)”

    I dont understand this. What does it mean? What is OptionROM? If I want IT mode, should I enter the (…) too? Can you please explain?

    “Dont flash BIOS, so startup is faster”, should I omit the whole line above to achieve this?

    So it will look like:

    “Convert LSI9240(IBM M1015) to a LSI9211-IT mode
    Type in the following exactly:
    megarec -writesbr 0 sbrempty.bin
    megarec -cleanflash 0

    sas2flsh -o -sasadd 500605bxxxxxxxxx (x= numbers for SAS address)

    Done!”

    And the line above is omitted? Is this correctly understood?




  37.  
    Jack Daniels

    Thanks fior the script akelku I used it and it worked a treat. There is one error a dash missing before sasadd here
    {quote}
    sas2flsh -o sasadd 500605b0%1
    :END

    ECHO Flashing LSI-Ix of M1015 ibm Mode finished
    ECHO REBOOTING
    Pause
    reboot
    {quote}




  38.  
    eagle275

    Just wanted to say that P14 is out since september 18

    great blog post and help .. will try your suggestion when I get home, since I dont want to try it over the management console of my NAS ^^




  39.  
    Womblaat

    After flashing from the standard M1015 firmware to the IR firmware, will existing (pre-IR) volumes (raid-1, mirror) be still usable?




  40.  
    John

    Since the P14 firmware is out, what would be the process of flashing that, instead of the firmware bundled in your zip file?




  41.  
    gava

    I was looking at a ServerRAID m1115 which is suppose to be the new version of the ServerRAID m1015.. will this crossflashing work on the new card?

    gav




  42.  
    James

    Patrick, do you know if you need the OptionROM if you are using expander backplanes with this controller?




  43.  
    Mark

    I’ve flashed successfully with P14 IT and will test over the next few days.
    Just replace sas2flsh, 2118it.bin, and mptsas2.rom with the newer versions.




  44.  
    Mark

    major problem with these in IBM x3630M3 – the eufi boot hangs unless the card’s bios is disabled.
    Tried P12 & P14 firmware for the same issue.
    :(




  45.  
    HH

    If you say that one needs to follow the instructions exactly, please fix the addresses in the instructions, they are bit ambiguos.
    Compare your instructions for flashing IT and IR:
    sas2flsh -o -sasadd 500605bxxxxxxxxx (x= numbers for SAS address)
    sas2flsh -o -sasadd 500605b0xxxxxxxx (x= numbers for SAS address)
    Other on has 9 x’s, other 8. Obviously the address has to be 16 digits and the 9th digit is most likely always 0, but one has to realize that actually you HAVE to go against the instructions to be succesfull.

    Anyways thanks for the great writeup, I’m just about to flash with IT firmware :)




  46.  
    Jesper Monsted

    To get the SAS address of the card without looking at the label:

    megacli -AdpAllInfo -aAll




  47.  
    Pedro

    I crossflashed sucessfully my IBM M1015 to LSI IT mode, but I have a problem that is messing my system:
    – disks are not detected in the right order on linux. And each time I reboot, the disks are usually detected in a diferent order. I want to use mdadm to create a raid6 array and this can be very bad, because if one disk fails, I will never know what disk it is. Is there anything that can be done to have linux detect the disks in the right order ?

    thanks!!!




  48.  
    Mads

    It worked. I did the crossflash on an older Asus P5Q motherboard, and the process took no more than 2 mins. Happy days ahead!




  49.  
    Johan

    Great article! I just bought this controller on ebay and replaced my old PCI-X LSI SAS3080X to free up a slot and get a faster, more flexible adapter. Flashed to a LSI 9211 (IR mode) according to your instructions and it works great. Thanks!

    For people with disk order problem under linux; mount your disks with UUID (or label) and problem solved! The blkid command shows UUID, label and linux device. Smartctl will output the serial number of the drive. So in short, UUID ties it to the linux device and through smartctl you get the disk serial number.

    A hardware controller should also be able to detect failed disks. I’m not sure about this case, though. A simple way to try to detect healthy drives would be to execute find / -type f -exec cat {} \; >> /dev/null and check which one lights up.




  50.  
    Jay

    I am stuck in step 1 when trying to flash to IT mode. After I type in step 1 I get two lines about DOS/32a protected run time version etc supernar syatems and then blinking cursor. Nothing else and cannot type anything after that. Please help.




  51.  
    David

    Hi,

    Tried to flash my M1015 (which was sold to me as a M1115 ?) to LSI 9211 IT mode.
    Got the PAL error message when using a ASUS Crosshair formula V motherboard.
    When attempting to flash it on my old gigabyte GA-MA790X-UD3P, it worked like a charm.
    Now I read about IR mode and that it still allows straighttrough, so back from IT to IR mode. Hope it works.

    Thanks a lot for your excellent instuctions, comments and scripts.




  52.  
    Artur

    I just successfully flashed my M1015 with LSI IT. It worked like a charm. I did noticed some comments about issues trying to do it on Intel DQ77MK, So I did it on a Asus P7H55D-M EVO. Thanks a lot for the article.




  53.  
    johnodon

    Hi everyone.

    I need to flash a Dell Perc H310 to IT mode to be able to use in ESXi and pass the drives directly to unRAID. I have 2 quesitons…

    1. Does the H310 use the same exact LSI chipset as the M1015?
    2. The card does not have a green sticker with the SAS address. Is there another way to find it…maybe in ESXi (or a putty command)?

    TIA!

    John




  54.  
    johnodon

    So, I pulled the heatsink off of the LSI chip on the card and this is what I see…

    LSI
    500002730
    LSISAS2008
    1221
    EAP21C82
    Taiwan

    My question…is the SAS Address a combination of 500002730 + EAP21C82 = 500002730EAP21C82?

    John




  55.  
    Vitaly

    Is it still required to flash LSI 9211-4i HBA to IT mode in order to disk clone from the old Vertex 2 SSD on the Intel X58 Express (Dell T3500) to SATA III SSD (JBOD) connected to the 9211-4i with the IR firmware. Is it true that the cloning will only work if I would 2+ SSDs in RAID 0?




  56.  
    JTD

    Does anyone know if it’s possible to force an M1015, in any firmware mode, to do write-back rather than write-through? Write speeds are killing me and data integrity does not matter *AT ALL* for the application I’m working with.

    Thanks!




  57.  
    Jon-G

    Hi,
    Thanks for this great post, and I see youve also posted on UEFI installs too. My question is with regards to Server2012 UEFI install on a GPT partitioned virtual disk of the M1015.

    I crossflashed the card to IR mode yesterday using this procedure but updated the files in the download with the latest bin and rom from the LSI site. All went well. I hit CTRL+C and created my RAID10 virtual disk across my 4x 2TB Seagate drives, however when trying to install Server 2012 I still see unavailable unpartitioned space as if its defaulting to MBR.

    I saw this ‘unavailable unpartioned space’ problem before when trying to install 2008R2 server to the RAID10 virtual disk I created befre I crossflashed. I decided to try 2012. I also changed the DH67CL Mobo I was using (which has a UEFI option in the BIOS, but doesnt appear to do anything) today a for an Asus P8Z77-V which definitely has UEFI bios as I shelled out to it to update the M1015, however I still see this same problem during the OS installation. I guess its down to the Boot settings in the mobo BIOS. Please can you let me know how you have yours set up to get this all working together?

    TIA




  58.  
    Al

    My new M1015 (IBM PN 90Y4556) is capable of JBOD out-of-the-box, no more need to flash just to get rid of the extra Layer for “Unconfigured Good”.
    Or am I missing something?




  59.  
    Alex

    I have both a M1015 and M1115 cards. Can i cross flash them to both have the same FW and have a single system see both? At the moment on default factory settings with both plugged in my system see’s the M1015.

    Thanks in advance.
    A




  60.  
    rexnet

    Thank you very much for this explanation, but I think I’ve brick my controller.
    I’ve create a DOS USB Stick, and try to convert LSI9240(IBM M1015) to a LSI9211-IT mode with
    > megarec -writesbr 0 sbrempty.bin
    > megarec -cleanflash 0
    reboot, back to USB stick
    > sas2flsh -o -f 2118it.bin -b mptsas2.rom
    and I got an error message “Failed to initialize PAL”. I solve this with a copy of the UEFI installer on USB Stick
    http://www.lsi.com/downloads/Public/Host%20Bus%20Adapters/Host%20Bus%20Adapters%20Common%20Files/SAS_SATA_6G_P16/Installer_P16_for_UEFI.zip
    reboot into UEFI console and make an
    > sas2flash -o -f 2118it.bin -b mptsas2.rom
    > sas2flash –listall
    > sas2flash –list
    Show me the informations about the succssesful installation
    >sas2flash -o -sasadd 500605bxxxxxxxxx with the right characters from the card do not work and
    Show me a message like “sasadd parameter unknown”
    I try to reboot without the controller address…
    The result is a hanging system (blank screen) with no chance to come into the bios.
    Has anybody a shortcut or an hint to solve or reflash this card?
    THX!




  61.  
    WaRSTeaM

    I have just 1 small question before i will flash my 2 cards to IT mode.
    As Stated i have 2 of the M1015 cards and i have 4 Chenbro CK12804 24x SAS-/SATA-Expander. This combination is working perfectly but i was wondering; What will happen if i flash into IT mode? Will the M1015 still be able to adress the drives connected to the SAS Expander? Cause if i loose expander connectivity flash will not be an option for me ( loosing 96 drives connected by expanders seems not to be the best option ;) )

    To give a little inside info about the setup:
    1x SSD boot to ZFSguru connected to a SATA port on the MotherBoard
    2x M1015 SAS cards connected by PCI-E
    2x Chenbro CK12804 24x SAS-/SATA-Expander connected to the 2 ports of EACH M1015 (4 expanders in total)
    Drives are connected to the system as follows: “Drive -> SAS Expander -> M1015″

    Hope you can clarify this.




  62.  
    Andyfoo

    I just bought the M1115 and it flashes to 9211-8i IT firmware just fine using the M1015 commands in this post. FreeBSD 9.2-rc4 with this thing is frickin’ awesome; 6 x 3TB disks in raidz2 working rock solid :-))

    (I got the M1115 because the M1015 is hard to get in Denmark right now plus the M1115 was 15$ cheaper. I used the FreeDOS 1.1 USB stick image from http://derek.chezmarcotte.ca/?p=340 )

    Something I did not find obvious, is that sas2flsh.exe won’t detect the card until you run the megarec commands to clear the flash and then reboot. Only then will sas2flsh see the card. Made me a bit nervous at first… Thanks, Pieter!




  63.  
    RJ

    I’m going to take the plunge with a Dell 310 card for my FreeNAS box. My question is why can’t I just use the tools from LSI (http://www.lsi.com/products/storagecomponents/Pages/LSISAS9211-8i.aspx#four) to flash the firmware? it seems that the latest release (Aug 9th) lists both IR and IT modes. I’m sure there is a reason but I don’t know what it might be, hence my question.

    Thanks.




  64.  
    scobar

    Thanks, handy post and handy comments. I was able to crossflash my m1115 with what I found here.




  65.  
    Nathan

    Thank-you, I was also able to flash my M1115 on an ASUS P6T.

    I used the latest LSI 9211-8i P17 (2118it.bin and mptsas2.rom)

    Which can be found here: http://goo.gl/JDfOuG




  66.  
    Marko

    Hello,

    we are having weird issue with M1115 and Lenovo TS440 server combo:

    – M1015 and M5014 work perfectly in any configuration of memory
    – M1115: only 2 out of 4 DIMM slots can be used when M1115 is present. If 3rd or 3rd + 4th slots are used, server beeps and does not start

    We did not try to flash 9211-8i IR mode yet (we need RAID), so FW is original IBM.
    Any idea how to solve issue?




  67.  
    Christoph

    I got today my M1015. I tried to flash the IR Firmware. Everything worked fine during the Flash.
    I was flashing like this:

    megarec -writesbr 0 sbrempty.bin
    megarec -cleanflash 0

    sas2flsh -o -f 2118ir.bin -b mptsas2.rom
    sas2flsh -o -sasadd 500605b0xxxxxxxx (x= numbers for SAS address)

    After the last reboot the PC stopped working. It shows MPT SAS2Bios….

    Press CTRL-C for the LSI Utility.

    After this i get a flashing cursor in the left corner. I cannot boot anymore from the usb stick. Also its not possible to enter the Bios.

    If i press CTRL-C also the cursor is flashing in the left corner.

    What was going wrong?

    Grettings Christoph




  68.  
    Michael

    I had some problems with crossflashing IBM M1015 to IT-mode on a supermicro X10SAT mobo, but finally succeeded.

    I had to try different boot options, when booting into the USB “boot into UEFI” etc. And then I could do the two “megarec…” commands. Immediately it said “warning high bios adress” or something similar and I solved it by googling. It was easy to solve, I dont remember how.

    Then I rebooted and tried the sas2flsh commands and it failed with “failed to initialize PAL” or something similar. So I booted into “UEFI shell” and from within a UEFI shell, I could continue flashing. But I needed to use “sas2flash.efi” command instead of “sas2flsh” command.




  69.  
    Brandon

    I am having issues as it seems like I did everything correctly the flash says its LSI2008 now, but the 4 4tb drives are not showing up. Any suggestions would be appreciated.




  70.  
    Scott Slanda

    You’re a life-saver. I got one of these drives, and was having an awful time getting it flashed for IT for freenas. I even called LSI and they said “It’s oem. We don’t support it.” Without your page, I never would’ve gotten it working.





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