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03-22-2021 08:40 AM
Operating System: Microsoft Windows Server 2019
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.
Solved! Go to Solution.
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION
04-06-2021 08:32 AM
APeng, that's actually a good tip. I did experience one of the 4 DIMMs to be not existent, and I believe taping the pins fixed that - but I have not had the chance to actually test and verify that. The Z220 is living up to it's price tag, I guess 😄
And I am 100% certain that the Z220 is NOT CAPABLE of handling more than one H310. It can handle one H310 plus a different HBA/RAID card, such as a HP SmartArray P212, but not two H310s at the same time.
As for removing the LSI BIOS ROM and/or UEFI ROM, the cards did come without them, confirming that it won't have any impact (at least on a Z220).
And last but not least, I was able to hook up a Netapp DS4243 (actually a DS4246, since the seller replaced the 3GB with 6GB modules) to the H310 using the external SAS port on the HP SAS extender (HP 487738-001).
The external SAS port on the extender is officially only for connecting a tape storage, but it does work passing through the (so-far) 7 drives I have in the Netapp enclosure, effectively connecting 17 4TB SATA drives and 2 500GB SATA drives to the server machine.
My final thought: I chose the Z220 due to it having a i3 CPU, and since it was supposed to be room-temp/cold storage, energy efficiency of the i3 over a Xeon CPU (which I have in a few Z420 machines that I have deployed). If I'd have to do it again, I would go with a Z400 series machine with Xeon as base, or even go a whole 'nother way, as in FreeNAS running on low-power hardware.
Anyways, thank you all for your help, I'm finally happy with my solution and learned a ton of new stuff, which is part of the reason I put these projects on myself to begin with.
12 REPLIES 12
03-22-2021 11:42 PM
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
03-23-2021 01:27 PM - edited 03-23-2021 02:20 PM
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 🙂
03-23-2021 11:04 PM
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
03-24-2021 03:51 AM - edited 03-24-2021 03:54 AM
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
03-24-2021 12:47 PM
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)
03-24-2021 12:51 PM - edited 03-24-2021 12:52 PM
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.
03-24-2021 01:01 PM
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
03-24-2021 01:11 PM
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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