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Guide To Building A Media Storage Server - Page 261

post #7801 of 7891
Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper11 View Post

I've been following the discussion on using an IBM M1015, but then saw the Dell H200/310 cards mentioned a couple times.

Can someone share the differences, if any, and if there are any reasons to choose one over the other?

They are LSI2008 cards with different functionality enabled. There are tons of options where some support RAID5/6 while other just support RAID 1/0/10. Some require a license to enable more functionality. Most people around here just use them as HBAs though. With the IBM cards you can flash the LSI IT firmware to enable passthrough mode and with the Dell H200/310 you can flash the Dell 6Gbps HBA firmware. Or if you want to run hardware RAID1/0/10 then you can just run the latest firmware from their respective product pages. They are awesome cards for SSD in RAID0. About as fast as it gets. Even if you pick up a card that supports RAID5/6 I wouldn't use it for that purpose. RAID5/6 should be done on a card with onboard cache. There are tons of high end 3Gbps RAID cards on eBay for under $100 if you want to pick up a card for RAID5/6.

Sorry... rambling a bit off topic there... I typically pick up whichever ones I can find on eBay the cheapest. I have alerts setup on eBay and I get an email every time a H200/H310 gets posted for less than $75 and I'll usually pick it up right away. One doesn't have any advantage over the other if you're flashing it to a HBA. If you want hardware RAID functionality then I can go further into the differences.
post #7802 of 7891
Just snagged two LSI 9211-8i cards for $170 plus $16 for brackets. Stoked to get them. By default they usually come with it firmware right? In the event I need to flash to IT, does anyone have a quick guide on how to flash it? I found the guide for the m1015, but didn't want to assume it would be the same. also, what is the easiest way to confirm which firmware is on it?
Edited by alexsquared - 7/22/13 at 8:11pm
post #7803 of 7891
Since they are LSI 9211 cards then you can just download the MegaRAID Storage Manager and the official 9211_8i_Package_P16_IR_IT_Firmware_BIOS_for_MSDOS_Windows straight from the product support page and flash the IT firmware right through the MegaRAID Storage Manager.
post #7804 of 7891
Quote:
Originally Posted by itznfb View Post

Since they are LSI 9211 cards then you can just download the MegaRAID Storage Manager and the official 9211_8i_Package_P16_IR_IT_Firmware_BIOS_for_MSDOS_Windows straight from the product support page and flash the IT firmware right through the MegaRAID Storage Manager.

Scratch that. This will only work if the card has no firmware on it or if you're upgrading from IR to IR or IT to IT. The MegaRAID software no longer 't supports flashing from IR to IT or IT to IR. To go from IR to IT you'll have to use sas2flsh.
post #7805 of 7891
Quote:
Originally Posted by itznfb View Post

Scratch that. This will only work if the card has no firmware on it or if you're upgrading from IR to IR or IT to IT. The MegaRAID software no longer 't supports flashing from IR to IT or IT to IR. To go from IR to IT you'll have to use sas2flsh.

What's the easiest way to update the firmware on an IBM M1015 already flashed to IT mode?
post #7806 of 7891
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

What's the easiest way to update the firmware on an IBM M1015 already flashed to IT mode?

Good question. I've only flashed M1015 cards with firmware that supports 6Gbps and I don't recall ever upgrading the firmware after that. sas2flsh is always going to work so that's the first option. That card should be detected through MegaRAID Storage Manager but whether it allows you to upgrade the firmware or not I cannot answer. I would guess the only reason to upgrade from IT to IT would be if it's already running a 3Gbps version of the IT firmware? There really shouldn't be any major bugs that would cause you a need to upgrade say from P14 to P16. I'd be interested to know if anyone has done this though.
post #7807 of 7891
I remember when I first flashed my card I saw that I had used a slightly older firmware, but it was still 6 Gbps. I simply flashed the update later that evening. Now I don't even have that same motherboard and not even sure if I have one capable of flashing one from stock, but was just curious if that MegaRAID Storage Manager might work. I'd actually be flashing it from an ESXi VM with pass-through or I'd pull the ESXi boot drive and do it the stock way.
post #7808 of 7891
post #7809 of 7891
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

I remember when I first flashed my card I saw that I had used a slightly older firmware, but it was still 6 Gbps. I simply flashed the update later that evening. Now I don't even have that same motherboard and not even sure if I have one capable of flashing one from stock, but was just curious if that MegaRAID Storage Manager might work. I'd actually be flashing it from an ESXi VM with pass-through or I'd pull the ESXi boot drive and do it the stock way.

Assuming your m1015 is crossflashed already and you don't want to change from IT mode back to IR mode, then the procedure is easy and you can do it from your ESXi VM
post #7810 of 7891
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

What's the easiest way to update the firmware on an IBM M1015 already flashed to IT mode?

download ---> 9211_8i_Package_P16_IR_IT_Firmware_BIOS_for_MSDOS_Windows

create a new folder under your C drive called lsi

From the sas2flash_win_x64_rel folder copy sas2flash.exe to your new lsi folder

From the firmware folder copy 2118it.bin to your new lsi folder

Open an elevated command prompt

cd\lsi

sas2flash -listall (this is just for testing and giving you a before and after)

sas2flash -o -f 2118it.bin

sas2flash -listall
post #7811 of 7891
Hi all - building a home server for multiple reasons, but Media Storage is probably the main thrust for now. It's probably got a lot more horsepower than storage compared to the things I've seen here. I've read back about 20 pages in this thread and gotten a lot of great information and experience. Thanks!
I went down the Linux route for a few weeks and completely hit a wall when it came to storage pooling, and had a pretty epic flameout wink.gif I'm back to NSA Butt Trumpet 2012 (Server 2012 Datacenter w/ GUI - I get lots of free licenses with work). Because I don't hate myself and I don't have the time to fight Linux. wink.gif

I've only got 3 x 3TB (Seagate 7200.14's) so right now I am looking at 2 data drives with a parity drive and probably FlexRAID or SnapRAID. (both in snapshot mode as I don't see the appeal for real-time RAID in software unless performance wildly improves.) I am looking for the ability to use OCE as my storage demands change.

What's the general consensus now? It seems most of you are using huge, expensive PCIe cards with tons of drives, but with a software RAID layer instead of hardware RAID5 or 6?
Is the consensus FlexRAID? I've purchased a license, but I am not happy with a number of things about it. I love SnapRAID, but it has no pooling ability worthwhile. Just tried DriveBender much to my dismay - it was slow and unstable, its autobalancing really messed up my file structure.

Anyway very much looking forward to learning more and contributing back here as I build this guy out.

Specs:
ASUS Sabertooth Z77 + 16GB DDR3 + Intel 3770K (Embedded GPU)
Windows Server 2012 DC (with GUI of course) - Eventually going to virtualize with VMWare workstation or Hyper-V (Other servers, WinServer will remain the main OS)
1x 120GB Patriot Pyro SSD for the OS
3x 3TB Seagate 7200.14 HDD
Corsair R400 case, Corsair modular Pro PS 750W. All 120mm fans.
post #7812 of 7891
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cetrian View Post

Hi all - building a home server for multiple reasons, but Media Storage is probably the main thrust for now. It's probably got a lot more horsepower than storage compared to the things I've seen here. I've read back about 20 pages in this thread and gotten a lot of great information and experience. Thanks!
I went down the Linux route for a few weeks and completely hit a wall when it came to storage pooling, and had a pretty epic flameout wink.gif I'm back to NSA Butt Trumpet 2012 (Server 2012 Datacenter w/ GUI - I get lots of free licenses with work). Because I don't hate myself and I don't have the time to fight Linux. wink.gif

I've only got 3 x 3TB (Seagate 7200.14's) so right now I am looking at 2 data drives with a parity drive and probably FlexRAID or SnapRAID. (both in snapshot mode as I don't see the appeal for real-time RAID in software unless performance wildly improves.) I am looking for the ability to use OCE as my storage demands change.

What's the general consensus now? It seems most of you are using huge, expensive PCIe cards with tons of drives, but with a software RAID layer instead of hardware RAID5 or 6?
Is the consensus FlexRAID? I've purchased a license, but I am not happy with a number of things about it. I love SnapRAID, but it has no pooling ability worthwhile. Just tried DriveBender much to my dismay - it was slow and unstable, its autobalancing really messed up my file structure.

Anyway very much looking forward to learning more and contributing back here as I build this guy out.

Specs:
ASUS Sabertooth Z77 + 16GB DDR3 + Intel 3770K (Embedded GPU)
Windows Server 2012 DC (with GUI of course) - Eventually going to virtualize with VMWare workstation or Hyper-V (Other servers, WinServer will remain the main OS)
1x 120GB Patriot Pyro SSD for the OS
3x 3TB Seagate 7200.14 HDD
Corsair R400 case, Corsair modular Pro PS 750W. All 120mm fans.

I dont know what the general consensus is but I can tell you why I chose FlexRaid compared to an Raid5 or Raid6 Card. It came down to the fact that the drives get updated once a a day with some files (pictures and maybe a video). The files servers at work are updating all day so they use a hardware RAID configureation. But for my home system there is low activity, so a snapshot raid choice was simple and ideal. I also like the fact that FlexRaid does not span a file across drives so if 3 drives crash on a 2 parity system, I will only loose one drive, not the whole system.

I like FlexRaid... works well, once you get it setup and their pooling software has worked without a problem. Only thing I am not sure about is wether it will run on Server 2012 Datacenter. I have mine setup on Windows Home server 2011 and runs fine. I suggest checking their site.
post #7813 of 7891
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_Steb View Post

download ---> 9211_8i_Package_P16_IR_IT_Firmware_BIOS_for_MSDOS_Windows

create a new folder under your C drive called lsi

From the sas2flash_win_x64_rel folder copy sas2flash.exe to your new lsi folder

From the firmware folder copy 2118it.bin to your new lsi folder

Open an elevated command prompt

cd\lsi

sas2flash -listall (this is just for testing and giving you a before and after)

sas2flash -o -f 2118it.bin

sas2flash -listall
In trying the above process I get the following error: firmware image validation failed. Any thoughts? Using the 2118it.bin file.
post #7814 of 7891
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexsquared View Post

In trying the above process I get the following error: firmware image validation failed. Any thoughts? Using the 2118it.bin file.

My instructions were pointed at Bryan, who just wanted to update his current IT firmware.
If You have stock LSI 9211-8i then you have IR firmware. You have to erase the firmware on it first
Edited by Andy_Steb - 8/4/13 at 6:20am
post #7815 of 7891
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_Steb View Post

My instructions were pointed at Brain, who just wanted to update his current IT firmware.
If You have stock LSI 9211-8i then you have IR firmware. You have to erase the firmware on it first
Got it. I was hoping to follow your process. I've tried the other method too and ran into an issue. When using the standard sas2flsh file I get an error that when reviewed appears to indicate I need to instead use the aas2flash.efi file. I downloaded that file and tried to execute, it says it is an unknown file or command. Any thoughts? This is using a bootable USB thumb drive.
post #7816 of 7891
sas2flash.efi doesn't work from a dos boot disk.

You need to put a UEFI shell on your usb along with your flash files. Then from BIOS boot to your UEFI shell. I haven't personally used this method, I have an old computer in the closet I use to flash.

You can download a shell here. I believe version 1 is compatible with sas2flash.efi
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Unified_Extensible_Firmware_Interface#UEFI_Shell_download_links
post #7817 of 7891
Andy, does the PC used to flash the boards need to only be no UEFI? I have a 6yo socket 775 Gigabyte based PC I use for net. Will that will be OK? I have no experience with this proceedure and do not wish to mess it up. I have a friend in IT who has heaps of old PCs to do it on if I need something special.
post #7818 of 7891
Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

Andy, does the PC used to flash the boards need to only be no UEFI? I have a 6yo socket 775 Gigabyte based PC I use for net. Will that will be OK? I have no experience with this proceedure and do not wish to mess it up. I have a friend in IT who has heaps of old PCs to do it on if I need something special.



That's like the 775 board I used in my server thread for the second card I flashed. I took screen shots of the process for your reference- and I used an Asus 775 ROG board that had a core2 duo E8500 in it.


http://www.avsforum.com/t/1438027/planning-to-rebuild-and-upgrade-my-30tb-whs-flexraid-media-server-information-requested/900_100


Here is how you cross flash :


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Guide to Flash IBM 1015 to IT mode [Converting an LSI9240(IBM M1015) to a LSI9211-IT mode]


First make a USB bootable stick so you can boot into DOS command prompt.
You can do so easily here: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/46707-ms-dos-bootable-flash-drive-create.html


Once you have that you need to copy the files onto the USB stick so you can reflash your IBM card with them.
First download from here:

http://forums.laptopvideo2go.com/topic/29059-sas2008-lsi92409211-firmware-files/

first do this:



Inside the folder looks like this:



then inside that looks like this:



This ^ above is what you want on your USB stick. It is really all you should see since the OS files for DOS are hidden and do not show.

Hardware matters: (make sure you have x8 slot and speed)
Find an older motherboard without modern graphical BIOS for best results, and make sure the board your using can run x8 in the slot the card is installed into. If you have a choice install the IBM 1015 into the top or first slot for best results. Many motherboards have multiple x8 or x16 slots (I used x16 just like a video card would) since x8 cards fit perfectly into x16 video card slots with simply extra room unused in the x16 slot. Caution: Many motherboards with video cards will not run x8 speed when a x16 video card is also installed. You’ll need a fairly high end motherboard to have such features if your boards are older. Otherwise a motherboard without a video card is preferable IMO. I used an Asus LGA775 ROG Deluxe with a Core2duo E8500 in it. Being a ROG board it could run x8 speed on the second slot and I flashed the card successfully from beginning to end using this board after failing on several others.


The next step is to boot up into DOS (command prompt)

Once you have booted successfully to DOS using your bootable USB stick and are seeing C:\
Type: megarec -writesbr 0 sbrempty.bin [hit enter]
[The system will do a bunch of things and come back to C:\]





Type: megarec -cleanflash 0 [hit enter]
[The system will do a bunch of things and come back to C:\]
REBOOT MANUALLY and boot back to USB stick







Type: sas2flsh -o -f 2118it.bin -b mptsas2.rom (sas2flsh -o -f 2118it.bin if OptionROM is not needed) [hit enter]
[The system will do a bunch of things and come back to C:\]
*note it is a o and not a 0 (it is not a zero)
** You probably do not want an OPTION ROM unless your going to boot from it. It is safer and smarter to not use OPTION ROM and to use your OS drive from a motherboard SATA port IMO. Having no option ROM also allows you to just quickly boot up when restarting and there is not screen in boot up for your IBM card. I like it this way.






Type: sas2flsh -o -sasadd 500605bxxxxxxxxx (x= numbers for SAS address) [hit enter]
[The system will do a bunch of things and come back to C:\]
*There is a green (almost white) Sticker on your card with this address.
**it is a o and not an 0 (not a zero but a letter)
***There should be no spaces and no dashes when entering in the sasadd number even though they are on the sticker and card.



REBOOT MANUALLY and boot back to USB stick
Now you're Done!







I have expanded this:
Quote:
Convert LSI9240(IBM M1015) to a LSI9211-IT mode
Type in the following exactly:
megarec -writesbr 0 sbrempty.bin
megarec -cleanflash 0

sas2flsh -o -f 2118it.bin -b mptsas2.rom (sas2flsh -o -f 2118it.bin if OptionROM is not needed)
sas2flsh -o -sasadd 500605bxxxxxxxxx (x= numbers for SAS address)

Done!

I thought this^ above was a little less clear so I provided the extra in the steps above for basic help so a newbie will know what to do without making the mistakes that are common.

That is basically all it takes. It takes about 10 minutes total assuming you have compatible hardware. If you do not have compatible hardware your will see errors or not the screens above with "success" after each step.


If you see these screens or anything other than the ones I put above each step it probably means your motherboard your using is not a good choice. I'd suggest finding another one and trying again from the first step. I messed up a bunch of times everytime I have flashed one of these and it always turned out great in the end. I'm not sure you can even brick a card. I think you could wipe it clean and flash it even if you did. But YMMV so be careful and follow the steps exactly.



good luck!
post #7819 of 7891
Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

Andy, does the PC used to flash the boards need to only be no UEFI? I have a 6yo socket 775 Gigabyte based PC I use for net. Will that will be OK? I have no experience with this proceedure and do not wish to mess it up. I have a friend in IT who has heaps of old PCs to do it on if I need something special.

The PC doesn't necessarily have to be non-UEFI. It is just all the guides on how to flash are using the DOS method, in which using a non-UEFI is preferred. Many people have had success using the socket 775, but I can't say your particular board is a winner. The thing here is, everyone doing this for the first time wants a step by step guide.

The thing I like about Michael's server thread is it also shows all sorts obstacles that he had to overcome to finally flash his card.

I think it is almost time for me to write 2 guides myself. How to flash using UEFI and a second one on how to flash a Dell perc to IT mode
post #7820 of 7891
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_Steb View Post


The thing I like about Michael's server thread is it also shows all sorts obstacles that he had to overcome to finally flash his card.

Thanks biggrin.gif

Your tremendous help during the entire process is greatly appreciated !!!

I was noob my first time and I hit every obstacle - I ended up using a combo of three motherboards for different steps .. Lol. I can't say I'm very knowledgable at DOS either.

My second time flashing went a little smoother only because I had some clue as to what I was doing. The right mother board choice does seem to help - or in my case you can just move from one PC to another... To another until you find success biggrin.gif. That's probably the hard way.

Having a board that is guaranteed to run x8 I think is the key.
post #7821 of 7891
Thanks for the responses Mfusick and Andy. I'm happy to try things and learn, but it makes it easier if someone can give directions to shorten the learning curve, or at least point out potential roadblocks.

It looks like my mobo is a no go; it's a Giga P31-DS3L with a Q6600 and a GT630 GPU, so it looks like it's not going to be suitable. I'll speak to my mate Pete and show your answer to him and I'm sure we'll work it out. He should have an old PC laying around that will work.

Andy, I'll look forward to seeing your Dell info when you get the chance, as they are cheaper and more readily available here. I only need one HBA for the current build, but I'll need more later so am looking to stock up.
post #7822 of 7891
A mobo with integrated graphics might have a spare slot that does x8.

The first slot usually isn't problem, but if you have a GPU in first slot not all mobos run x8 in second slot. Mine did , but it was SLI / crossfire board from Asus ROG ( socket 775 Maximus formula ). You'll likely need a gaming board from yesterday or a board without a GPU installed.
post #7823 of 7891
Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

Thanks for the responses Mfusick and Andy. I'm happy to try things and learn, but it makes it easier if someone can give directions to shorten the learning curve, or at least point out potential roadblocks.

It looks like my mobo is a no go; it's a Giga P31-DS3L with a Q6600 and a GT630 GPU, so it looks like it's not going to be suitable. I'll speak to my mate Pete and show your answer to him and I'm sure we'll work it out. He should have an old PC laying around that will work.

Andy, I'll look forward to seeing your Dell info when you get the chance, as they are cheaper and more readily available here. I only need one HBA for the current build, but I'll need more later so am looking to stock up.

Are you just looking for a way to flash the cards? You could pick up a real cheap PCI graphics card... that may defeat the purpose of trying to save money on the re-branded HBA cards though...
post #7824 of 7891
Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

Thanks for the responses Mfusick and Andy. I'm happy to try things and learn, but it makes it easier if someone can give directions to shorten the learning curve, or at least point out potential roadblocks.

It looks like my mobo is a no go; it's a Giga P31-DS3L with a Q6600 and a GT630 GPU, so it looks like it's not going to be suitable. I'll speak to my mate Pete and show your answer to him and I'm sure we'll work it out. He should have an old PC laying around that will work.

Andy, I'll look forward to seeing your Dell info when you get the chance, as they are cheaper and more readily available here. I only need one HBA for the current build, but I'll need more later so am looking to stock up.

Do you have a card already? or are you just gathering information?

I sold my Dell Perc H310 card to Mfusick, so I no longer have a spare to play with. If Mfusick gives it a thumbs up, I'll probably pick up another one to play with.
I want to try to flash the next one on my Z77 motherboard using a UEFI shell instead of DOS. But I feel like i might run into problems with version checks.
post #7825 of 7891
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_Steb View Post

Do you have a card already? or are you just gathering information?

I sold my Dell Perc H310 card to Mfusick, so I no longer have a spare to play with. If Mfusick gives it a thumbs up, I'll probably pick up another one to play with.
I want to try to flash the next one on my Z77 motherboard using a UEFI shell instead of DOS. But I feel like i might run into problems with version checks.

For the life of me I can't figure out how to boot my ASUS Sabertooth Z77 or Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H into an efi shell. I have a USB key that I use on my HP servers and it works fine. According to all the documentation I should be able to use the same USB key on the ASUS and Gigabyte but it always says Not Found.
post #7826 of 7891
Quote:
Originally Posted by itznfb View Post

For the life of me I can't figure out how to boot my ASUS Sabertooth Z77 or Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H into an efi shell. I have a USB key that I use on my HP servers and it works fine. According to all the documentation I should be able to use the same USB key on the ASUS and Gigabyte but it always says Not Found.
I'm not sure how to get them into the efi she'll either. Documentation a seems weak in this regard. I've got an Asus p8z77-v lk. I'm going to crack another PC open to see if it has an 8x PCI express port so I can try on there with th standard dos method. This just seems way harder than it should be.
post #7827 of 7891
Yeah I have a couple older machines G45 and G35 chipsets that work fine for flashing. It'd be nice to get my main desktop working though.
post #7828 of 7891
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_Steb View Post

Do you have a card already? or are you just gathering information?

I sold my Dell Perc H310 card to Mfusick, so I no longer have a spare to play with. If Mfusick gives it a thumbs up, I'll probably pick up another one to play with.
I want to try to flash the next one on my Z77 motherboard using a UEFI shell instead of DOS. But I feel like i might run into problems with version checks.


I might install it tonight biggrin.gif
post #7829 of 7891
Quote:
Originally Posted by itznfb View Post

For the life of me I can't figure out how to boot my ASUS Sabertooth Z77 or Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H into an efi shell. I have a USB key that I use on my HP servers and it works fine. According to all the documentation I should be able to use the same USB key on the ASUS and Gigabyte but it always says Not Found.

I have a GA-Z77MX-D3H

Try:

(USB)/efi/boot/bootx64.efi


edit: need to add format usb fat32 and make sure you are using a usb that is connected to the z77, not any of that ASMedia stuff
Edited by Andy_Steb - 8/6/13 at 5:55pm
post #7830 of 7891
Yeah that was right in the document. I overlooked the rename somehow. USB:/efi/boot/bootx64.efi worked on the Gigabyte board. For the ASUS board I had to disable secure boot first. Also, sas2flash.efi doesn't seem to work in the v2 shell only the v1 x86_64 shell.
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