Register for the iXsystems Community to get an ad-free experience and exclusive discounts in our eBay Store.

HELP!?! Use LSI 9211-8i with Supermicro X11SCL-F

Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
24
Thanks
0
#1
Hi, this is my first server build.

My hardware:
CPU: Intel Xeon E-2172
RAM: 32 GB Samsung REG 2666
MB: Supermicro X11SCL-F
HBA: LSI MegaRAID 9211-8i SAS
HDD: 6 x WD Red Nas 4TB
SSD: 1 x Intel 80GB

The LSI card was given to me and should already be in IT mode.

I checked that the MB BIOS was the most recent, which it is.

The LSI card sits in the PCI-E x8 (in x16) slot

I don't know what BIOS settings to change, I think I've tried the most common things, like changing from Legacy to EFI and stuff like that.
If I go to the boot menu, there is nothing (I removed everything from the boot menu, except HDD and USB key)
If I just let it do the checks and wait, then it eventually goes to a screen, where it states that I can go to setup or reboot

Any suggestions?
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2018
Messages
433
Thanks
206
#3
Hi @zdesigns. It isn't immediately clear to me exactly what your problem is. Do you mind clearly stating what you're trying to do, what is going wrong, and exactly how it is going wrong? If you can feel free to copy-paste what commands you're entering and the error you're getting. If you can't, screen shots or photos may prove useful.
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
24
Thanks
0
#4
Hi @zdesigns. It isn't immediately clear to me exactly what your problem is. Do you mind clearly stating what you're trying to do, what is going wrong, and exactly how it is going wrong? If you can feel free to copy-paste what commands you're entering and the error you're getting. If you can't, screen shots or photos may prove useful.
Okay, I will try and clarify.

I will mention, this is my first time using a LSI.
When I boot the server, I wait untill initial boot is done and as I understand it, I should be booted into the LSI bios, but that does not happen.

As I mentioned above as well, the card was given to me and I was told that it was already flashed to IT mode.

I have looked in the bios on the motherboard and I tried to change some settings around, so that it should work.

I use normal WD red Nas 4tb drives with sata. To connect the drives to the LSI I bought 2 x mini sas sf8087 to 4x sata OCR cables.

I also tried to run the freenas installer and when I click install, it does not detect any drives. Which to my knowledge should be possible.

I am going to use an SSD for boot, the SSD is also connected to the LSI.

So my question is, do I need to use a sataport on the motherboard for the SSD and then I should be able to see the drives on the LSI, once freenas is installed or is there some settings in the bios that needs to be configured for it to work?
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2018
Messages
433
Thanks
206
#5
Okay, so it sounds like what you're saying is that the initial problem was that the installer didn't recognize drives connected to the LSI card?

When I boot the server, I wait untill initial boot is done and as I understand it, I should be booted into the LSI bios, but that does not happen.
I don't believe this is the case. I think when you boot the server the LSI card should boot up as well and offer you the option to press a key sequence to enter its bios but without that sequence will just boot the server like normal.

I use normal WD red Nas 4tb drives with sata. To connect the drives to the LSI I bought 2 x mini sas sf8087 to 4x sata OCR cables.
It is possible you may have the wrong cables. You'll want to make sure you don't have the reverse vs forward breakout cables mixed up. Here is a cable that should work when connected from a SAS port on a controller directly to the drives themselves.

So my question is, do I need to use a sataport on the motherboard for the SSD and then I should be able to see the drives on the LSI, once freenas is installed or is there some settings in the bios that needs to be configured for it to work?
If you have available SATA ports on your board you can certainly go that route and try it.
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
24
Thanks
0
#6
Okay, so it sounds like what you're saying is that the initial problem was that the installer didn't recognize drives connected to the LSI card?
Yes, I don't see the drives in the freenas installer

It is possible you may have the wrong cables. You'll want to make sure you don't have the reverse vs forward breakout cables mixed up. Here is a cable that should work when connected from a SAS port on a controller directly to the drives themselves.
this is the cables I got, and they should work?
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
24
Thanks
0
#8
I don't think they'll work. I had to run the page through a translator though. It seems to imply that the cable is a reverse breakout.

I would try the one marked "OCF".

https://www.av-cables.dk/mini-sas-s...as-sff-8087-til-4-x-sata-ofc-kabel-0-75m.html

Hard to know for sure.

https://www.ixsystems.com/community...-sas-sy-a-primer-on-basic-sas-and-sata.26145/
Thanks... I just had a look at it and it is reverse breakout cables... That might be the whole issue then. Didn't know that was a thing...
 

jgreco

Resident Grinch
Moderator
Joined
May 29, 2011
Messages
11,781
Thanks
3,036
#9
Feel free to check out the second link in my previous post, which is a guide to useful stuff to know about SAS and FreeNAS.
 

colmconn

FreeNAS Aware
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Messages
96
Thanks
26
#11
Okay, so it sounds like what you're saying is that the initial problem was that the installer didn't recognize drives connected to the LSI card?

I don't believe this is the case. I think when you boot the server the LSI card should boot up as well and offer you the option to press a key sequence to enter its bios but without that sequence will just boot the server like normal.
That would only be the case if the BIOS is present on the LSI board. If, in the process of flashing to IT mode the BIOS was erased and not rewritten, the LSI BIOS will not show up during the boot process. At least this was the case with my (older) LSI board. When you're expecting the BIOS to show up in the boot process, its absence can be confusing.
 

jgreco

Resident Grinch
Moderator
Joined
May 29, 2011
Messages
11,781
Thanks
3,036
#12
Just looked at another cable, would you mind taking a look and see if it would work:

- https://www.delock.com/produkte/G_83074/merkmale.html
Based on the description -

"This SAS cable by Delock can be used to connect internal SAS devices, e.g. a controller with Mini SAS connector to 4 HDDs with SATA ports. "

That's what you're looking for.

That would only be the case if the BIOS is present on the LSI board. If, in the process of flashing to IT mode the BIOS was erased and not rewritten, the LSI BIOS will not show up during the boot process. At least this was the case with my (older) LSI board. When you're expecting the BIOS to show up in the boot process, its absence can be confusing.
And this is correct as well. A lot of people feel it's a wonderful thing to omit the LSI BIOS. I prefer to be able to detect issues before the system starts to boot, so systems that come from our shop usually include it.
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
24
Thanks
0
#13
Based on the description -

"This SAS cable by Delock can be used to connect internal SAS devices, e.g. a controller with Mini SAS connector to 4 HDDs with SATA ports. "

That's what you're looking for.



And this is correct as well. A lot of people feel it's a wonderful thing to omit the LSI BIOS. I prefer to be able to detect issues before the system starts to boot, so systems that come from our shop usually include it.
The LSI works, as I've now installed FreeNAS on the SSD and booted. It detects the LSI and the firmware is IT mode.

I've already ordered two new cables, that should arrive Saturday or Monday.

Thanks for the help, regarding reverse and forward breakout, which would have taken me a lot of time to diagnose myself.
 
Top