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Z840 + SAS LSI9361-8i MegaRAID ?

HP Recommended
Z840
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

I have a Z840 with 4 x 6TB SAS drives as a RAID 10 using the onboard LSI SAS2308 controller, but as the drives are 12Gb I thought I would add a LSI SAS 9361-8i 12Gb SAS PCI-E card to increase the performance - however...

 

I have installed the card and CacheVault and replaced the cables with a 12Gbps Mini SAS SFF-8643 to 4xSAS SFF-8482. I changed the BIOS (M60 v02.54) to Legacy and, when booting, I can see the Mini OROM display for the 2308 controller, but nothing I do allows me to access the 9361 controller card either at Boot or in Windows. I have installed the MegaRAID Storage Manager in Windows, but it also only 'sees' the 2308 controller, but not the 9361.

 

I obtained a replacement 9361-8i card from my supplier in case it was a card issue, but no difference. I have tried a replacement cable set as well, also no difference.

 

I am either missing something or this card does not work in this system - can anyone help me here?

 

Thanks!

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i no longer have my z840 but still have z820's which use the same onboard LSI SAS/SATA chip

 

first, Disable PXE Boot ROM for network boot on both onboard nics

also if not booting from the onboard LSI SAS/SATA chip, disable the LSI Boot Rom  from within the z840 bios

 

i suspect the issue is that "BOTH" cards are using the same bios entry point and as such the first chip to be initialized gets the working bios which is the onboard chip in this case

 

test this theory by entering the z840 bios and "disabling" the onboard LSI bios, it's only needed if you have to create a raid array or booting from the attached drives, any existing array/drives can/will still be seen by the os

 

 

once done, reboot and the pci-e LSI card's bios should now become active

 

one last thing to check, make sure the SAS/SATA cable is a FORWARD type cable, not the more common REVERSE type

 

note that the 9361 card is not going to really be any faster, as it's specs closely match the onboard LSI chip

 

for JBOD/Arrays i recommend adaptecs 8xxx or possibly the 7000 line of cards

 

for RAID only the LSI true high end raid cards with onboard cache/battery backup are faster than the adaptec cards, but are raid only (no JBOD)

 

i personally favor the flexibility of the adaptec cards as they support normal JBOD passthrough "AND" raid at the same time!!

and they use super caps instead of batteries so no having to replace them every few years just make sure you buy one WITH the cache/battery daughterboard

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Adaptec-ASR-71605-1GB-16Port-PCIe-Raid-w-Battery-4x-Cables-SFF-8643-to-SATA...

 

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/DELL-ADAPTEC-0TXCMC-ASR-8405-12GBPS-SAS-SATA-RAID-CARD-W-PCA-00332-BATTERY/...

 

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Many, many thanks for your reply - I have not been ignoring it, rather I have taken heart in your comments and have spent hours trying to follow your advice!

 

Sadly, however, I STILL have not managed to access the 9361 regardless of how many items I disabled in the BIOS. I even created a spreadsheet of settings tried to make sure I was as thorough as possible as I tried different combinations of settings.

 

I reset the BIOS to factory default then ran a series of 12 combinations of settings, disabling PXE boot room, SAS boot rom, SAS controller , network controller etc - all one at a time with a full boot to Windows each time.

 

I then replaced the cables with another set, reset the BIOS to factory and ran all the combinations again - nothing!

 

I can only assume that the cable sets I have are the REVERSE ones you mention, but I cannot find out how to test or indeed how to replace them. I have a third set of cables coming from the States so will duplicate all the tests with them and report back.

 

Here is the link to the cable sets I purchased:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mini-SAS-SFF-8643-36Pin-to-SFF-8482-29pin-4-Connectors-with-SATA-Power-1M...

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Genuine-New-Amphenol-12Gbps-Mini-SAS-SFF-8643-to-4xSAS-SFF-8482-Cable-RHS...

 

If you have an opinion on the suitability (or otherwise) of these cable sets, I would very much like to hear it. Equally, if you can suggest a *known* good cable set, I will purchase immediately.

 

I will also consider your suggestions for an Adaptec card, but slightly concerned that the same might happen again, especially if it might be a cable issue...

 

I *do* appreciate your advice and assistance in this matter - cheers, Neil

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the first sas cable link DOES state it's a forward type, however i have seen several suppliers who buy these cables and never confirm they are indeed forward type

 

the sec link does not state type

 

next is this a DELL branded LSI card? if so the key(s) to enter the bios is "CTRL + R" instead of "CTRL + H)

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Thanks for the quick reply.

 

Good that the first cable set *is* the correct one - I thought it should be but I'm beginning to question everything!

 

No the card is not Dell branded, on the back of the card there is very small text that says 'LSI Corp 2011-13' and N4292. The sticker on the chips on the back says 'MR SAS 9361-8i' but other than that, no indication of manufacturer.

 

I have tried Ctl-R and Ctl-H during boot, but no Option Rom message or menu appears. TBH, I was expecting any menu to appear in the mini OROM window, but I'll run the configuration tests again specifically hitting those keys 'blind'.

 

Thanks again for your help - I'm not done yet! N

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a OEM LSI card will not usually be marked any different than a retail card, however oem cards can/will use different methods to access the bios and can/will use tweaked firmware

 

if you pay attention to the card logon screen it will state the keys necessary to access the card's bios

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Well, more hours spent gently banging my head over this issue...

I *still* cannot get *any* logon screen to appear for this card regardless of what cable set or BIOS setting used. I now see that my LSI 9361-8i part number is 03-25420 whereas the part number on the Broadcom site is 05-25420 - this might suggest an old card, a difference in firmware, or a compatibility issue, but since I cannot access the card, I cannot do anything about it.

 

Having spent more than enough time on this, I have ordered an Adaptec ASR-8405 card as you suggested, and will relegate the LSI card to my spares bin.

 

Many thanks for your help and advice on this issue - it will be a couple of weeks before the card gets to GB from the US, but will endeavour to report success or failure!

N

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