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FR172
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Two PERC H310 cards in a Z220 - won't see both

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Z220
Microsoft Windows Server 2019

Hi All,

 

I have a HP Z220 (i3) and two PCIe RAID cards (Dell PERC H310), which use the LSI chipset and have been flashed with P19. 

 

The cards do work perfectly as HBAs and Windows Server 2019 recognizes the attached SATA drives.

 

My problem is the following: The Z220 refuses to recognize both cards at the same time.

 

It does not make a difference if:

- Windows Server 2019, FreeDOS, Shell, BIOS, or even the LSI BIOS

- different PCIe slot combinations are used (I tried all combinations -the cards use x8).

- LSI FW - the cards came pre-flashed with P20, and I downgraded them to P19 (which is supposed to be more stable)

 

I am hoping someone could point me towards something like a BIOS setting, or even hardware jumper or similar. I can't be the only one that has more than one RAID card in my Z220, so my hopes are high.

 

Also, of note: I tried inserting one of the H310s in one slot, and a HP SmartArray P212 in another, and the Z220 recognized both, which leads me to believe the problem is that the H310s are "identical", and the system does not like that for some reason. (Note: the SAS addresses are verified to be different).

 

Many thanks in advance for any hints and help on this.

 

Best,

 

FR172

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DGroves
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the perc H310 is not designed for multi card use i suspect both cards when installed are trying to use the same address and bios entry points (key to enter the bios)

 

if just one card fails to bee seen or system fails to boot try taping the 2 Ic2 bus pins on the front/component side of the card

 

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FR172
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I tried taping the cards, either/both, with no impact in behavior. Currently, I have card1 in PCI slot1, and card2 in slot2, and only card2 is recognized.

 

As mentioned in the OP, I have verified that the SAS address of the two cards is different.

 

My next step would be to downgrade the BIOS to the oldest available version (currently running the latest, I believe), and keep upgrading BIOS until things change. I was not able to find a modded BIOS that could apply. Edit: Nevermind, downgrading BIOS is a no-go.

 

I have a hard time believing that the H310 is not designed for multi card use, but what do I know..

 

Any further ideas, anyone? Pretty please 🙂

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DGroves
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the cards "SAS" address has nothing to do with the cards Bios address space, every card that adds functions to the motherboards bios will have a bios chip on it that adds/merges that cards bios/features to  the motherboard bios

 

you problem is that the H310 bios address is unable to move it's defined address to another address if it detects a existing h310 card, due to this each card is trying to occupy the exact same bios extension addresses which results in neither card being able to work

 

another possibility that can happen is running out of free bios address space, however when this happens you will get a out of option rom space error message and as you have not mentioned this, it's not a issue here

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DGroves
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one last thing that can be tried is to load the H310's  firmware with "IT" firmware instead OF the default "IR" firmware

 

the "IR" firmware has no raid functions/bios and simply makes the card a SATA Host Bus Adapter 

 

the "IT" firmware has Raid features and the raid bios and supports SAS/SATA drives in Raid/Non Raid/Sata configs

 

https://www.vladan.fr/flash-dell-perc-h310-with-it-firmware/

 

https://www.truenas.com/community/threads/perc-h310-crossflash-to-ir-mode.74410/

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FR172
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@DGroves: I believe you have it flipped, IT<->IR

 

My two cards are currently running with IT FW, as I want them as HBAs.

 

I might try to flash the default IR FW on them, given that they were received with IT.

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DGroves
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since you did not specify which firmware was on the cards all i could do was to mention the IR/IT firmwares

 

as you have IT firmware, flashing IR firmware will not make any difference, the issue as i said is a bios address conflict

 

to resolve your issue  you will have to replace the cards a ASR-71605 is recommended, as it supports 16 sas/sata ports and can be bought for under 70.00 on ebay (make sure to buy one that includes the optional battery backup/cache module)

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FR172
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Thanks again, I figured it would be a futile battle from here on out, trying to get two H310s to work on the same board.

 

I have decided to attempt another solution, which I sincerely hope is not just wishful thinking:

 

I'll keep one H310 in my Z220, and add a SAS expander (namely the HP 487738-001).

 

The 487738-001 should be delivered within the week, so I'll give an update asap.

 

Thanks!

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DGroves
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the sas expander is not the ideal solution for your case, the ASR card is the better solution as it supports Raid and TRUE JBOD modes at the same time and is SATA/SAS 6GBps unit with much higher performance

 

the H310 is a very basic entry card (it uses a ROC chip) and is not certified for expanders

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FR172
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I appreciate that feedback, thank you!

 

Since I got the expander card on eBay for $20, I'll try it anyways.

 

The solution I'm working on is currently at 18 SATA drives, and the storage is basically cold-storage, with an hourly load of ~7GB (120MB/minute), so performance is not really a concern.

 

And, please don't stone me for this, but I'm using Storage Spaces (not "SS Direct") on Win Server 2019, with Parity (so 0.66 storage / 0.33 parity) - so "software RAID" if you will. This is for my personal use, of course - way to hacky for a professional deployment 😄

 

I'll report back once the SAS expander is here, thanks again!

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