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Old 10th August 2012, 1:10 AM   #1
Stanza Thread Starter
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Default A Cheaper M1015 - the Dell H200 and a HOWTO Flash

Looking for a "Sometimes" cheaper alternative to the M1015 card?

IBM M1015 cards before the word got out, used to be available cheap.
But now that the word is out, the prices have gone wayyy up.

So let me introduce the Dell PERC H200 Card, which if you are a good eBay hunter can be often found cheaper than the M1015

Before I proceed
A word of warning first.... There are 2 x VERY similar cards, and also 2 tricksters... so here is how to tell the difference.

=========================================
1st we have the (yes this is what it's called)

Dell 6Gbps SAS HBA
Which is a 8 Port (2 x External SFF-8088 Connection) Plain HBA Card


2nd we have the

Dell PERC H200
Which is a 8 Port (2 x Internal SFF-8087 Connection) Raid 0 1 and 0+1 Card


3rd we have the
PERC H200 Integrated (Good for Dell Poweredge Servers) No PCI Bracket and a funny black plastic bracket on the bottom... I have not physically seen one to see if they are the same as a standard PERC H200.


4th we have the
PERC H200 Modular (Only good for Dell Blade type Servers)


Choose wisely in your eBay hunt as to which version the seller is advertising for sale, as you will find versions listed in error as each other.

================================

Dell Part numbers are very similar also
But the 2 useful ones for most people here will be

Dell UCS-70 = 6Gbps SAS HBA
Dell UCS-71 = PERC H200 Adapter <<< this is the one most will want

A Good description of the 4 different ones is available here
http://support.dell.com/support/edoc....htm#wp1043338

If you are after a Decent 8 port SAS controller to support Drives larger than 2.2TB, these cards use the LSI2008 Chipset and not the older LSI1068E chipset. So just like the IBM M1015 cards..they are right up the Multi Terrabyte Storage users alley.

===========
If you Are after a hardware Raid 0 Raid 1 or Raid 10 card then stop reading here and just grab the Dell UCS-71 = PERC H200 Adapter. Upgrade the firmware to Dell's latest and be happy.
===========

===========
If you are after an 8 External port Dumb "HBA" card to hook up to your external JBOD, DAS or Expander grab the Dell UCS-70 = 6Gbps SAS HBA. Upgrade the firmware to Dell's latest and be happy.
===========

But....
If you are after an 8 internal port plain HBA card for Software Raid (ZFS etc), then you will be wanting to flash the firmware on the Dell UCS-71 = PERC H200 Adapter...from IR (RAID Mode) firmware to IT (TARGET Mode) or plain ol Dumb "HBA" (Host Bus Adapter) firmware read on.

Now since Dell doesn't have an IT firmware available....I will describe how to perform the Dell UCS-71 = PERC H200 Adapter IR to IT flashing process. Without having to wander off to LSI and find a "possibly compatible" firmware to crossflash with.

Altho you will need to download LSI's version of the sas2flsh software, as Dell's version is too smart to work with.

I have compressed and uploaded this file for you here
http://www.stanzabike.net/images/H20...T/sas2flsh.zip

You have a choice of 3 ways to do this

1. If you do not want to see or enter the cards BIOS at boot time... And will not have any Bootable Drives connected....Simply wipe the firmware on the PERC H200 and load the 6Gbps SAS HBA firmware.

2. If you like to see whats going on with the SAS Topology and or play with some settings. Or have need a bootable drive connected to the H200 controller, the you do as in step 1, but additionally flash the BIOS to the card as well.

3. If you have an EFI based system and want like in step 2 above, you can flash the EFI BIOS instead or as well as the Normal BIOS to the card.

Before we start, gather all the files you need and make yourself a bootable DOS disk.

Firmware for both cards is available here
Under SAS NON Raid
http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/...ieveState=True

There are serveral download formats (Linux, Windows, and Hard Drive)
I Grabed the 07.03.05.00, A08 - DOS version (Hard Drive)
http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/...ductCode=False

Make a directory / Folder on your bootable DOS disk and extract the files to it....I used a Directory called E:\DELL ....And inside this folder overwrite the sas2flsh.exe file Dell provided with the one I have uploaded.

So for step 1 lets just simply wipe the card and pop the Dell 6Gbps SAS HBA firmware onto the Dell PERC H200 Adapter

Boot off your DOS Disk
Change to the directory you saved the files in

To erase the firmware (but not erase all the cards info completey eg it's SAS address, Hardware ID etc) enter the command


watch the erase process


Then we write the new firmware to the card


It will spit errors about the Mfg Page 2 not being correct... Naturally as the card announces itself as a H200 and the firmware is for the 6Gbps SAS HBA. But we can ignore this error and the firmware will load


Which we can see by using the command

c:\DELL\sas2flsh -list

Notice the NVDATA sections say 6Gbps SAS, but the Board name says H200
and we have no BIOS or UEFI....



At boot now we will not see anything, and have no way to get into the card to change any settings. But it will be quicker to boot and work fine once your Operating system is loaded.

If you want to be able to get into the card at boot, and or need to boot from a Drive attached to card. we can load the BIOS onto the card.



Which we can see has loaded by issuing once again

c:\DELL\sas2flsh -list



And at boot time you will now have the option to Press CTL-C and be able to get into the cards BIOS.




If you have an EFI based system you need to load the UEFI BIOS onto the card as well





Done

Here are some screenshots of the differences between the IR and IT Firmwares for comparison

Real 6Gbps SAS HBA


=============

PERC H200




===========

PERC H200 loaded with 6Gbps SAS HBA Firmware




.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [RMS] ST1NG3R View Post
the magnetic charge in HDD's still deteriorate when siting on a shelf so IMHO these shouldn't be sold "as new"
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Old 10th August 2012, 8:34 AM   #2
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Fantastic writeup - thanks for taking the time to post all that.
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Old 10th August 2012, 10:02 AM   #3
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Love your work Stanza i'll see if I can track one down as im after another M1015
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Old 10th August 2012, 7:07 PM   #4
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No probs guys...

I managed to brick one of the 6Gbps cards in the early stages of testing...
But it's all for the greater good

.
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the magnetic charge in HDD's still deteriorate when siting on a shelf so IMHO these shouldn't be sold "as new"
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Old 14th August 2012, 10:42 PM   #5
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Might just send a heap to you to flash you cheeky-chop.

LOL
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Old 15th August 2012, 4:10 PM   #6
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My eBay skills must be really lacking then... can't find any of the Dell cards mentioned for cheaper than the M1015... fortunately, I already have 4 of the M1015's and so only plan on grabbing a few more if they are cheap enough to hold onto for when I need to expand.
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Old 15th August 2012, 4:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdkhang View Post
My eBay skills must be really lacking then... can't find any of the Dell cards mentioned for cheaper than the M1015...
They are around... but take some finding
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/300722440291

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/261071612616

Might have a lead to some at the end of the month

.
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Originally Posted by [RMS] ST1NG3R View Post
the magnetic charge in HDD's still deteriorate when siting on a shelf so IMHO these shouldn't be sold "as new"
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Old 22nd September 2012, 6:21 PM   #8
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Just picked up a few of the Dell PERC H200 cards off the ebay member in your 2nd link for a real bargain, waiting on some miniSAS-SATA cables though, so when they turn up I will give this a try
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Old 22nd September 2012, 7:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linsi View Post
Just picked up a few of the Dell PERC H200 cards off the ebay member in your 2nd link for a real bargain, waiting on some miniSAS-SATA cables though, so when they turn up I will give this a try
you trying that on your UD7? If so, very interested to see how it goes!
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Old 22nd September 2012, 7:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiro_uspsss View Post
you trying that on your UD7? If so, very interested to see how it goes!
Yes I will be, so what exactly was the issue you were having with the M1015 in the UD7 ? (Just so I know what to look for with these cards)
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Old 22nd September 2012, 8:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linsi View Post
Yes I will be, so what exactly was the issue you were having with the M1015 in the UD7 ? (Just so I know what to look for with these cards)
in the boot process of your PC, it will hang & display a msg... something about there not being enough memory.. gimme a tick, I'll have a search to get the exact msg, will post back
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Old 22nd September 2012, 8:08 PM   #12
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this is the msg:

"No physical memory is available at the location required for the Windows Boot Manager. The system can not continue."
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Old 22nd September 2012, 8:12 PM   #13
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here is a thread I made @ XS a while back..

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...o..&highlight=
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Old 22nd September 2012, 8:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiro_uspsss View Post
this is the msg:

"No physical memory is available at the location required for the Windows Boot Manager. The system can not continue."
Ok, I might put one in later and check ..
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Old 22nd September 2012, 10:56 PM   #15
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Well I just plopped one in and it booted up fine, once in windows it installed the drivers and all seems good didn't even have to disable anything.
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