Dell SAS 6/iR flash to LSI Firmware and Mismatched NVDATA

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Masher
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Dell SAS 6/iR flash to LSI Firmware and Mismatched NVDATA

Post by Masher » Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:20 am

I have three Dell SAS 6/IR SAS controllers. The controllers use the LSI 1068E chipset and it is basically a rebranded LSI SAS3081E-R. You can pick up the Dell controller on eBay really cheap, then flash it with the latest LSI firmware to get all of the functionality of the SAS3081E-R! The LSI firmware has one main feature available the Dell firmware does not have, Raid 1E. It's a hybrid type raid mode, it mirrors and stripes data. So you get the performance of RAID 0, with the data protection of RAID 1. So it's RAID 10 with one less drive. I hope to have benchmarks soon to support this.

You need to download the firmware tool and latest firmware directly from LSI. Do note, the Linux flashing tool doesn't seem to work/support with the -e command line option; you'll need it. The DOS version did work. This is the method that worked for me; YMMV so do so at your own risk.

See what revision the controller chip is:

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sasflash -list
Go ahead and flash the new FW to your card. If you have a revision other than b3, replace the b3 in the .fw file with your revision:

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sasflash -o -f 3081ERB3.fw -b mptsas.rom
Reboot when finished. Go into controller config menu, you'll see that the NVDATA status lists "Mismatch". I wasn't able to create a new RAID 1E array; performing an erase on the controller and reflashing again allowed me to do this.

Erase most firmware items:

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sasflash -o -e 6
Reflash:

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sasflash -o -f 3081ERB3.fw -b mptsas.rom
Go ahead and reboot. Go back into controller config and you'll see the mismatch status has gone away and you should be able to setup a RAID 1E array if you 3 or more drives hooked up to the controller.

I'm not sure if the initial flash is necessary before performing the erase. I know doing the flash before the erase seems to work and I'm not adventurous enough to see.

Enjoy!
Masher
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