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fmyhr
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Anyone have Intel i350 NIC working in Z230?

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Z230 SFF

I'm trying to install an Intel i350 4-port NIC in my Z230 SFF. After I insert the card in either Slot 1 Slot 4* (PCH PCIe 2.0 x4 in x16) or Slot 4 Slot 1* (CPU PCIe 3.0 x16) and power on, the Z230 SFF beeps 5 times and will not complete POST or display any video.

 

If you have an i350-based NIC working in your Z230 Tower / SFF could you please post your NIC model and Z230 BIOS version?

 

Thanks!

 

* Edit 2017-05-12: Corrected PCIe Slot numbers to match what BIOS Setup calls them. The HP Z230 Workstation Maintenance and Service Guide numbers them incorrectly.

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fmyhr
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I've made some small progress in troubleshooting. For reference, my Z230 SFF has an E3-1245v3 CPU, BIOS 1.55, ME 9.1.32.1002, Nvidia NVS 310 dGPU in x16 slot closest to CPU, and (4) 8GB Crucial 1.35V ECC DDR3 DIMMs.

 

I'm trying to install the i350 NIC (Dell THGMP variant) in the x4 (in x16) slot furthest from CPU. The machine boots normally without the i350 installed. The notes below are what happens with the i350 installed in various scenarios:

 

With all 4 DIMMs installed, when the Z230 is powered on it beeps 5 times and displays no video. It draws about 37W wall power. Pressing the front-panel power button briefly does not shut the machine down. After about 15s the CPU fan ramps up to very high speed. It's necessary to hold down the front panel power button to turn the machine off.

 

With 2 DIMMs installed in white sockets 2 & 4 the machine behaves just as it does with 4 DIMMs installed (i.e. not well).

 

With 2 DIMMs installed in black sockets 1 & 3, the machine beeps 6 times and the front panel switch glows orange instead of green. A short press of the power switch succeeds in powering off. After unplugging & replugging the wall power cord and pressing the front panel power switch, the machine boots up with video and I can get into BIOS Setup by pressing F10.  The BIOS Setup Advanced menu shows:

 

Intel(R) Gigabit 4p I350-t Adapter - [MAC1]

Intel(R) Gigabit 4p I350-t Adapter - [MAC2]

Intel(R) Gigabit 4p I350-t Adapter - [MAC3]

Intel(R) Gigabit 4p I350-t Adapter - [MAC4]

 

But  File: System Information shows only 8GB DIMM1, the 8GB in DIMM3 is missing (reported as 0000 MB).

 

I've played around with many different BIOS settings but have been unable to get any more RAM recognized when the i350 is installed. Even setting Security: Slot Security: Slot 4: Disabled doesn't let the machine see any more than DIMM1. (It does remove the 4 i350 items fromthe end of the Advanced menu.)

 

 

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kkpk
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I have the same problem installing a THGMP (intel i350-T4) in an elite pro 8300 sff and 3 other PCs. They all gave the same results, only boot with 1 dimm. I did try a hot install and it worked, windows7 64 recognized it and it stays through warm reboot.  But on cold boot back to same problem, no boot and 5 beeps (Pre-video memory error) other PCs showed similar mem errors.

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kkpk
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found this---- wont get to try for a few weeks

https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/ThinkServer/TS140-Add-On-NIC-Issues/td-p/1831766

Tweak3D wrote:
the easy way to fix this as I had the same issue with the I350-T4:

http://yannickdekoeijer.blogspot.com/2012/04/modding-dell-perc-6-sas-raidcontroller.html

just need some electrical tape and a good sharp razor blade. Took me all of 5 minutes and i've been up and running with 32gb of ram since.

 

 

 

"I heard about it before, use tape to mask 2 pins in the PCI-E bus. After searching a bit more I found exactly what these 2 pins do, and I took the step and it works like a charm.
 
The pins you need to mask are:
B5 (SMCLK, SMBus clock) an B6 (SMDAT, SMBus data)
 
When these two are masked you are blocking the SMBus signals, now they cannot interrupt the boot process anymore. In the past there where only some vague guidelines for this, not real standard, which lead to a variety of different implementations, which in the current time lead to issues with new motherboards who do follow the now current standards.
 
If you want to apply this mod as well, you may do so with some insulation (electrical) tape or paint you use on nails. I do recommend the first one.
 
As you can see on the picture on the right I used the tape. You must only cover these 2 pins on THIS side of the controller, you mustn't tape the other side!"

 

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kkpk
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solved

Masking B5 (SMCLK, SMBus clock) and B6 (SMDAT, SMBus data) on a Dell THGMP (Intel i350-T4, Intel P4 i350-T) worked.  It now boots with more than 1 dimm, tested on 2 other PCs.

Masking B5 +B6

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fmyhr
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@kkpk: That is fantastic news! Thank you very much posting the info about masking B5 & B6, for trying it, and for confirming that it works. I look forward to trying it with my Z230 SFF... it will be awhile because of other projects taking priority. The only other things I'd thought to try are:

  1. Maybe a different (i.e. HP or at least non-Dell) i350 would work without modification? I may try an Intel i350 just to see. (Have one, but can't try it for now because it's needed elsewhere.)
  2. Maybe upgrading the THGMP firmware could let it work without modification? Kind of a catch-22 if the THGMP won't even let your machine boot in order to update its firmware...! Latest firmware is available from Dell.
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kkpk
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Upgrading the firmware was the first thing I tried after I discovered I could boot with 1 dimm. I was successful flashing with latest intel firmware, but it didn't solve the boot problem. I even tried changing the 32/64bit pci mem class but still no multi dimm boot.

 

It appears to work in win7 64. My original project was for ESXi 6.5. I"ll report back if any smbus problems popup when I try to pass through the NIC (SR-IOV).

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Skylarking
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Some years ago during my investigations into installing a graphics card in a Dell server, i came accross this web page which stated the following:

 

SMBus Issue with Intel Chipsets

 

These cards are known to have some compatibility issues with Intel chipsets. However, they are known to work with NVIDIA motherboards fine. The issue stems from a System Management Bus (SMBus) conflicting with the motherboard's memory detection. SMBus is simple signal to provide the motherboad some basic device information and control. Symptoms of the conflict includes improperly reported RAM sizes and POST errors.


The trick is just to physically disable the SMBus signal. It is composed of just two pins B5 (SMCLK, SMBus clock) and B6 (SMDAT, SMBus data). These two pins need to be covered by tape or nail polish. On the top side of the card, they are the 5th and 6th PCIe pins from the left.

 

As it turned out, my server did not have the SMBus conflict so getting the graphics card installed was just a mechanical hack. As a result, i didn't investigate the concequnce of masking the SMBus pins on a PCIe card.  As such, i'd hesitate to call this" solved" as there may be some unintended side issues you haven't come across yet.

 

Now as i'm not an expert in PCIe and motherboard design, i can't be sure what these unintended concequences may be when masking SMBus pins. However, a while ago i did read somewhere, sorry no link provided, that SMBus can be used during flashing of a PCIe card. As such, you may find that you can no longer update the firmware on your PCIe network card now that you have disabled SMBus.  Maybe.

 

So, the ability to flash your network card firmware may be something that you would like to test before you put this issue down and out of mind. It's better than ignoring it, where in a year  you may have forgotten you disabled SMBus on your network card and could be scratching your head wondering why flashing firmware doesn't work :Wink:

 

Please post back your findings as this would be useful to others who have done the same SMBus hack :generic:

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