Flash an IBM M1015 octal sata controller using any modern computer (no more ERROR: Failed to initialize PAL) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-21-2013, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
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I wanted to flash my IBM M1015 octal sata controller to IT mode (as if it was an LSI 9211-8i) in order to get rid of the adapter BIOS delay on boot (I am not using it) and have the latest version of the firmware.

I was following Mfusik flashing guide ( Thank you MFusik ! ) there: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1438027/planning-to-rebuild-my-20tb-whs-flexraid-server-information-requested/720 (see post 736) when on the third command (sas2flsh -o -f 2118it.bin) I incurred the infamous "ERROR: Failed to initialize PAL. Exiting program".

No matter which computer I tried, I could not get by that third step. Worse, I had already wiped the flash memory and the card was now unusable!

At that point I had all the required files on a standard bootable USB flash drive.

On the LSI logic web site, the knowledge base documents the problem and beside trying on a different machine, as last resort suggests to flash the card in UEFI mode. A UEFI command shell is available embedded on server BIOS, but not on consumer computers. In that case, the shell needs to be provided on a flash drive.

After LOTS of experiments, I got the magic recipe to boot a UEFI shell on a USB flash drive:

Get a UEFI shell. I used https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Unified_Extensible_Firmware_Interface#UEFI_Shell and downloaded the x86_64 UEFI Shell 1.0 (Old) shell. The file is called Shell_Full.efi. In the UEFI world, a .efi extension is executable...

Rename Shell_Full.efi to bootx64.efi

On a FAT32 USB flash drive (it does not need to be bootable):
- Create \EFI\BOOT directory
- Place UEFI shell program (bootx64.efi) in the EFI\BOOT directory.

In BIOS config:
- enable UEFI boot. This will have no effect if there is not a UEFI shell available on the boot device
- Place USB flash drive as first boot device

Reboot. Use the UEFI shell in a fashion similar to DOS.
- Type map {RETURN} to get a list of the available drives. In my case, fs0: is my flash drive.
- Type fs0:{RETURN} to select the flash drive as current drive


At that point I was able to finalize my work, using "sas2flash.efi -o -f 2118it.bin" instead of "SAS2FLSH.EXE -o -f 2118it.bin".

References:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1438027/planning-to-rebuild-my-20tb-whs-flexraid-server-information-requested/720
http://forums.servethehome.com/raid-controllers-host-bus-adapters/433-ibm-m1015-experiences-5.html
http://mycusthelp.info/LSI/_cs/AnswerDetail.aspx?sSessionID=&inc=7466&caller=%7e%2fFindAnswers.aspx%3ftxtCriteria%3dFailed+to+initialize+PAL%26sSessionid%3d
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Unified_Extensible_Firmware_Interface#UEFI_Shell


Cheers !
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-21-2013, 11:58 AM
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So you got it to work ?

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post #3 of 8 Old 03-22-2013, 06:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes !
No more adapter BIOS delay on boot !
Thanks to you again, It is your post that pushed me to try flashing a new firmware.
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-22-2013, 11:34 AM
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Yeah- removing the Bios screen is a nice bonus for a quick restart tongue.gif

I don't miss it.

Sounds like you had quite the adventure. Do you mind if I quote you in my server thread?

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post #5 of 8 Old 03-22-2013, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
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That's the idea, spread the knowledge !
We all gain from it. I learned so much on AVSForum, all of them smile.gif
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-22-2013, 02:12 PM
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I almost feel bad, I got my card flashed in about ten minutes using the 1.bat -- 6.bat files, but I'm glad you guys share your experiences for the less fortunate!
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-23-2013, 07:12 AM
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Its true that if you have compatible hardware then it's super easy. It's when you try one of the supposedly "easy" steps and it fails that creates the pain.

In the end though- I am not sure you can brick one of these cards. I'd pretty much did a number of times and I was always able to finish cross flashing it properly in the end. Your just lucky it worked so easy.

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post #8 of 8 Old 03-24-2013, 12:35 PM
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I'm thinking this post will be more and more helpful considering the newer style motherboards are only going to become more popular.

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