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02-06-2021 09:24 PM
Hi, I have an Adaptec/Microsemi SmartHBA 4i4e SAS controller in an HP Z4 G4, and I went to the Adaptec/Microsemi website to get the latest firmware: version 3.21
HP also has firmware for this card, but only goes up to 1.98
I cannot seem to get the ssflash.exe utility to flash the card with stock firmware, nor can I flash stock firmware to card using arcconf.exe, maxView or in BIOS. Only HP firmware works.
Not sure why this is, they are the same card. Does anyone know if there's a way to flash the stock firmware?
I would really hate to be limited to HP's 2018 firmware when latest SmartHBA firmware came out 3 months ago.
02-08-2021 01:56 AM
Well, yes. But is there some way to get around this?
People cross flash other devices with stock firmware all the time - Mellanox network cards, LSI storage adapters. I just flashed an HP 9214-4i with stock LSI 9214-4i4e firmware less than a month ago.
I have never seen it documented for an adaptec card, it seems like they've really fallen out of favor - their scsi cards were all the rage in the 90s.
If HP is going to cripple hardware they re-release, couldn't they at least be better about continuing to support it?
02-08-2021 02:17 AM
not every device can be forced flashed into using completely different firmware and not every device benefits from doing so
i don't know why you feel the HP custom firmware is somehow inferior because it uses a different numbering scheme that results in a lower firmware number?
just what do you feel has been crippled in the HP version firmware?
the HP card you mention is used in servers/workstations where stability is paramount, if there was a major issue you can bet HP will/has addressed it promptly
seems to me you are trying to compare apples to oranges here.................
just what issue are you trying to fix? is that issue mentioned in the adaptec firmware change log?
has it been addressed already in the HP firmware change log or not?
seems to me that if all you want is the highest number for installed firmware, simply go buy the retail version of the adaptec card flash the highest number firmware and you've accomplished your goal
02-09-2021 03:52 PM
The firmware numbering system tracks the stock firmware, it's not a different numbering system. The HP firmware is inferior because it's version 1.98 from 2018. The stock firmware is now on 3.21, released oct 2020.
HP drops firmware support on cards they OEM with regularity - that was the reason I cross-flashed the LSI card, as well - they hadn't released a firmware update since 2012. It was on version 7, while LSI is on 20.
What I'm trying to fix is compatibility with newer releases of OS, Hypervisors, etc. for example, ESXi 7.0 has a native driver for this controller, but it will not even recognize the controller as an HBA if the firmware is too old. You cannot side-load drivers on ESXi 7.0, it's no longer possible, so a firmware update is the only hope of obtaining compatibility.
There's also innumerable bugs that were addressed by Microsemi if you check out their changelogs.
If HP is going to OEM devices that track directly with the firmware releases upstream, it'd be nice if they at least released them a little longer, or gave the owners of their equipment an exit once their support lifecycle ends.
02-09-2021 11:10 PM
What I'm trying to fix is compatibility with newer releases of OS, Hypervisors, etc.
you might want to consider that the HP controller WAS DESIGNED TO WORK WITH HP PRODUCTS, it's not a general purpose controller in this regard if it doesn't work with other systems that's not HP's fault and no the HP firmware is not the same as the retail adaptec releases
next, hardware issues with Hypervisors or ESXi 7.0 is usually because the hardware is not tested/certified for it and this is a ESXI 7 issue not HP,
i understand that it's a pain to find that OEM hardware sometimes fails to play nicely in some scenarios but that's life
buy a controller that's on the ESXI 7 compatibility list and you issue should be resolved or can at least have a better chance of getting support
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