Personal computing discussed

Moderators: renee, morphine, Steel

 
dashbarron
Gerbil XP
Topic Author
Posts: 343
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:49 am

LSI Card issues?

Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:43 pm

So I too got one of those LSI 9211-8i (which is the only model I can't find on their website for any support/drivers?), and I'm not sure what I'm suppose to do at this point. I got into the config utility, built the RAID 1, and it says 0% initialized. There's no option to start initializing. What am I suppose to do from here? I saved and exited.

The first time it got to "lsi corporation mpt2 boot room successfully installed" and it would just keep rebooting.

I deleted and remade the volume, and now it just hangs at this message. Is it initializing? Do I just wait?
 
Waco
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Posts: 3346
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:14 pm
Location: Los Alamos, NM

Re: LSI Card issues?

Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:32 pm

What are you trying to achieve? You can certainly use the WebBIOS to configure things, but it's a mess and not very consistent (or full featured). MegaCLI on *nix or MegaRAID Storage Manager on Windows can do what you want.

Initialization can take many hours to complete, it's a background operation. If you aren't booting from the card I'd just wipe the boot ROM (boot BIOS) to speed boot times.

EDIT: I assume you bought an OEM model - it's the 9210-8i on Broadcom's site if so (assuming it's the PCIe 2.0 version of the card): https://www.broadcom.com/products/stora ... as-9210-8i
Desktop: X570 Gaming X | 3900X | 32 GB | Alphacool Eisblock Radeon VII | Heatkiller R3 | Samsung 4K 40" | 1 TB SX8200 Pro + 2 TB 660p + 2 TB SATA SSD
NAS: 1950X | Designare EX | 32 GB ECC | 7x8 TB RAIDZ2 | 8x2 TB RAID10 | FreeNAS | ZFS | LSI SAS
 
dashbarron
Gerbil XP
Topic Author
Posts: 343
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:49 am

Re: LSI Card issues?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:58 pm

Yeah, I assumed it was some off-shoot variant number of the 9210-8i you listed.

I'm trying to create a Raid 1. That's it. But I'm getting the same issue I mentioned. I can't get past that screen and nothing looks initialized. So not sure what I'm suppose to do from here.
 
MOSFET
Gerbil XP
Posts: 370
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:42 am

Re: LSI Card issues?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:05 pm

Initializations take forever. If you can build the RAID 1 on another system, where the card is add-on (not booting from it), and use Windows/Linux util to build RAID, you might get more insight.
Be careful on inserting this (or any G34 chip) into the socket. Once you pull that restraining lever, it is either a good install or a piece of silicon jewelry.
 
Waco
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Posts: 3346
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:14 pm
Location: Los Alamos, NM

Re: LSI Card issues?

Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:32 pm

If you're actually trying to boot from it it sounds like the version of the BIOS installed isn't compatible with your board/BIOS/UEFI version. Initialization is a background step that you don't need to do anything about, it'll complete over the course of a few days (longer if you're hitting it with a real IO workload). Once you see "Initialization: 0%" it's off and running.
Desktop: X570 Gaming X | 3900X | 32 GB | Alphacool Eisblock Radeon VII | Heatkiller R3 | Samsung 4K 40" | 1 TB SX8200 Pro + 2 TB 660p + 2 TB SATA SSD
NAS: 1950X | Designare EX | 32 GB ECC | 7x8 TB RAIDZ2 | 8x2 TB RAID10 | FreeNAS | ZFS | LSI SAS
 
dashbarron
Gerbil XP
Topic Author
Posts: 343
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:49 am

Re: LSI Card issues?

Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:18 am

Waco wrote:
If you're actually trying to boot from it it sounds like the version of the BIOS installed isn't compatible with your board/BIOS/UEFI version. Initialization is a background step that you don't need to do anything about, it'll complete over the course of a few days (longer if you're hitting it with a real IO workload). Once you see "Initialization: 0%" it's off and running.


It said that immediately after building the RAID 1.

I'm not trying to boot, just use a couple of drives for document/media storage. If I pull the card out the system doesn't hang at the aforementioned screen.

This is my second card without luck. I'm going to assume it's just hanging because of incompatibility issues, remove/refund the card, and go with my beloved software/media shield RAID.
 
TheRazorsEdge
Gerbil Team Leader
Posts: 219
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 1:10 pm

Re: LSI Card issues?

Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:48 am

I've seen some RAID cards that don't update the initialization progress bar properly, even in the EFI/BIOS.

If you create the array, leave that screen (don't reboot, just back out), and then go back after an hour or two, it may show progress. Some controllers abort initialization during a restart, so you'll never see progress if you don't leave it alone.

Depending on the drive size, initialization will take a while. On small 15K drives, it can be 15-20 minutes. On large 7200 RPM drives, I've seen it run 10+ hours (estimate based on progress at end of day).
 
dashbarron
Gerbil XP
Topic Author
Posts: 343
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:49 am

Re: LSI Card issues?

Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:33 pm

TheRazorsEdge wrote:
I've seen some RAID cards that don't update the initialization progress bar properly, even in the EFI/BIOS.

If you create the array, leave that screen (don't reboot, just back out), and then go back after an hour or two, it may show progress. Some controllers abort initialization during a restart, so you'll never see progress if you don't leave it alone.

Depending on the drive size, initialization will take a while. On small 15K drives, it can be 15-20 minutes. On large 7200 RPM drives, I've seen it run 10+ hours (estimate based on progress at end of day).


Thanks. I'm surprised if it's working properly it won't just boot through and let me go about my business on the OS drive. I'll try and remake the array tonight and leave it sit on that screen awhile. I had tried 20 minutes before without progress.
 
alan242
Gerbil
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:30 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: LSI Card issues?

Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:44 pm

It might be the card is overheating and crashing. I found that the cards boot ok, but under load, in FreeNAS for example, the card would issue timeouts and become unresponsive. After I had to clean and replace the thermal paste on two used LSI based cards, I now repaste all the cards I get used. Airflow is important with server cards as well. If there is no room to attach a fan directly on the heatsink, it helps to aim a fan to push air over it. Even a small 40 - 60 mm fan stuck to the top of the card will help.
 
MOSFET
Gerbil XP
Posts: 370
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:42 am

Re: LSI Card issues?

Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:20 pm

I don't see in the thread which motherboard or chipset you're using, but if it's consumer-level, it can be very tricky to get LSI cards happy. Typically no UEFI and legacy everything as far as boot settings.

Although it sounds like you did get to the init stage, and just didn't wait long enough. If that had been a low-level format, those drives would be hosed.

Active airflow for Adaptec and LSI is a must. 200 LFM I believe.
Last edited by MOSFET on Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Be careful on inserting this (or any G34 chip) into the socket. Once you pull that restraining lever, it is either a good install or a piece of silicon jewelry.
 
Waco
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Posts: 3346
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:14 pm
Location: Los Alamos, NM

Re: LSI Card issues?

Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:27 pm

So - if you aren't booting from it, just remove the boot ROM from the card. I do this on all of them because they are so damn finicky even in servers.
Desktop: X570 Gaming X | 3900X | 32 GB | Alphacool Eisblock Radeon VII | Heatkiller R3 | Samsung 4K 40" | 1 TB SX8200 Pro + 2 TB 660p + 2 TB SATA SSD
NAS: 1950X | Designare EX | 32 GB ECC | 7x8 TB RAIDZ2 | 8x2 TB RAID10 | FreeNAS | ZFS | LSI SAS
 
dashbarron
Gerbil XP
Topic Author
Posts: 343
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:49 am

Re: LSI Card issues?

Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:12 am

Waco wrote:
So - if you aren't booting from it, just remove the boot ROM from the card. I do this on all of them because they are so damn finicky even in servers.



I'll look for this in the advance properties. I know next to nothing about RAID cards/configs, so appreciate the advice.

TheRazorsEdge wrote:
I've seen some RAID cards that don't update the initialization progress bar properly, even in the EFI/BIOS.

If you create the array, leave that screen (don't reboot, just back out), and then go back after an hour or two, it may show progress. Some controllers abort initialization during a restart, so you'll never see progress if you don't leave it alone.

Depending on the drive size, initialization will take a while. On small 15K drives, it can be 15-20 minutes. On large 7200 RPM drives, I've seen it run 10+ hours (estimate based on progress at end of day).


This was it. I left it alone for about 30 minutes and it finally got to 1%. 9 hours later we're at 20%. I didn't think it would take so long, didn't know what there was there to make the initializing so slow, there's not even data.

So typically, if I lose a drive I'll only be able to tell if I have the proper software monitors installed or I manually check the config utility? Is the rebuild as slow? I rebuilt an array twice before but I guess I just started the process and went about my business and it did it during product hours without any hiccups (low IO usage). I don't have any hot spares in this.
 
just brew it!
Administrator
Posts: 53994
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: LSI Card issues?

Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:17 am

Waco wrote:
So - if you aren't booting from it, just remove the boot ROM from the card. I do this on all of them because they are so damn finicky even in servers.

1. Don't know about his, but there aren't any socketed chips on mine.

2. We use a lot of LSI cards at work, and don't seem to have problems with the boot ROM being "finicky".

3. So far, my SOP for home use has been to flash to the latest IR firmware, disable boot support in the UI of the card's BIOS, and just use the card in JBOD mode for software RAID arrays. Seems to work well this way, even without switching to the IT firmware.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
dashbarron
Gerbil XP
Topic Author
Posts: 343
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:49 am

Re: LSI Card issues?

Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:23 am

just brew it! wrote:
Waco wrote:
So - if you aren't booting from it, just remove the boot ROM from the card. I do this on all of them because they are so damn finicky even in servers.

1. Don't know about his, but there aren't any socketed chips on mine.

2. We use a lot of LSI cards at work, and don't seem to have problems with the boot ROM being "finicky".

3. So far, my SOP for home use has been to flash to the latest IR firmware, disable boot support in the UI of the card's BIOS, and just use the card in JBOD mode for software RAID arrays. Seems to work well this way, even without switching to the IT firmware.


Short version of what JBOD and IT are JBI?
 
just brew it!
Administrator
Posts: 53994
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: LSI Card issues?

Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:29 am

dashbarron wrote:
Short version of what JBOD and IT are JBI?

JBOD = just use the card as if it is a dumb 8-port SATA card (e.g. use your OS's software RAID)

IR = the stock firmware which comes on retail cards, which supports the card's onboard RAID capabilities

IT = alternate firmware you can flash which disables the onboard RAID stuff

I use these cards because they give you 8 solid SATA ports that work better than most of the other 3rd party add-on cards I've tried, not for their built-in RAID feature. Before all the "new old stock" cards started showing up on Amazon from 3rd party sellers they were out of my price range; but when they dropped below $100 I decided to bite.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
Waco
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Posts: 3346
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:14 pm
Location: Los Alamos, NM

Re: LSI Card issues?

Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:30 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Waco wrote:
So - if you aren't booting from it, just remove the boot ROM from the card. I do this on all of them because they are so damn finicky even in servers.

1. Don't know about his, but there aren't any socketed chips on mine.

Sorry, I didn't clarify. I mean wiping out the boot ROM via "sas2flash -o -e 5" - this removes all BIOS/UEFI accessible software. It means you can't touch the card at boot time, but it also means you don't have to deal with any potential bugs regarding it. I've had trouble in dual/quad socket servers and when there are lots of drives attached via SAS expanders.
Desktop: X570 Gaming X | 3900X | 32 GB | Alphacool Eisblock Radeon VII | Heatkiller R3 | Samsung 4K 40" | 1 TB SX8200 Pro + 2 TB 660p + 2 TB SATA SSD
NAS: 1950X | Designare EX | 32 GB ECC | 7x8 TB RAIDZ2 | 8x2 TB RAID10 | FreeNAS | ZFS | LSI SAS
 
dashbarron
Gerbil XP
Topic Author
Posts: 343
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:49 am

Re: LSI Card issues?

Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:37 pm

just brew it! wrote:
dashbarron wrote:
Short version of what JBOD and IT are JBI?

JBOD = just use the card as if it is a dumb 8-port SATA card (e.g. use your OS's software RAID)

IR = the stock firmware which comes on retail cards, which supports the card's onboard RAID capabilities

IT = alternate firmware you can flash which disables the onboard RAID stuff

I use these cards because they give you 8 solid SATA ports that work better than most of the other 3rd party add-on cards I've tried, not for their built-in RAID feature. Before all the "new old stock" cards started showing up on Amazon from 3rd party sellers they were out of my price range; but when they dropped below $100 I decided to bite.


What software raid do you use? Seems to be a lot of dislike that for that option.
 
dashbarron
Gerbil XP
Topic Author
Posts: 343
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:49 am

Re: LSI Card issues?

Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:38 pm

Waco wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
Waco wrote:
So - if you aren't booting from it, just remove the boot ROM from the card. I do this on all of them because they are so damn finicky even in servers.

1. Don't know about his, but there aren't any socketed chips on mine.

Sorry, I didn't clarify. I mean wiping out the boot ROM via "sas2flash -o -e 5" - this removes all BIOS/UEFI accessible software. It means you can't touch the card at boot time, but it also means you don't have to deal with any potential bugs regarding it. I've had trouble in dual/quad socket servers and when there are lots of drives attached via SAS expanders.


See mention of this, but where do you interact with a console this way?
 
MOSFET
Gerbil XP
Posts: 370
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:42 am

Re: LSI Card issues?

Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:22 pm

By booting to an EFI shell. It should be a boot option in most newer UEFI motherboards. I think there is a slightly different utility and syntax for BIOS/legacy/DOS booting.
Be careful on inserting this (or any G34 chip) into the socket. Once you pull that restraining lever, it is either a good install or a piece of silicon jewelry.
 
just brew it!
Administrator
Posts: 53994
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: LSI Card issues?

Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:08 pm

dashbarron wrote:
What software raid do you use? Seems to be a lot of dislike that for that option.

My home server runs Linux, so I use the native Linux software RAID (md).

https://linux.die.net/man/4/md
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
Waco
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Posts: 3346
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:14 pm
Location: Los Alamos, NM

Re: LSI Card issues?

Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:20 pm

I used Windows RAID 0 on my desktop, mdraid on a few random boxes at work, and lots of ZFS.

I prefer the last option. :)
Desktop: X570 Gaming X | 3900X | 32 GB | Alphacool Eisblock Radeon VII | Heatkiller R3 | Samsung 4K 40" | 1 TB SX8200 Pro + 2 TB 660p + 2 TB SATA SSD
NAS: 1950X | Designare EX | 32 GB ECC | 7x8 TB RAIDZ2 | 8x2 TB RAID10 | FreeNAS | ZFS | LSI SAS
 
just brew it!
Administrator
Posts: 53994
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: LSI Card issues?

Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:40 pm

@dashbarron -

I should also add that a lot of the dislike for software RAID dates back to the days of slower, single-core CPUs, when doing the RAID on the CPU (especially for parity-based RAID like RAID-5 or RAID-6) could have a significant impact on performance. This is much less of an issue these days, with faster multi-core CPUs.

Historically, it also wasn't possible to boot from a software RAID array. This limitation no longer exists on Linux (not sure about Windows).

The upside of software RAID is that you're not tied to the RAID controller vendor's proprietary RAID format or drivers. If the controller dies, you don't need to find a compatible replacement; any system with enough SATA ports can mount the array.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
Waco
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Posts: 3346
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:14 pm
Location: Los Alamos, NM

Re: LSI Card issues?

Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:05 pm

Windows can boot from software RAID as well - but it's limited to non-parity RAID IIRC.
Desktop: X570 Gaming X | 3900X | 32 GB | Alphacool Eisblock Radeon VII | Heatkiller R3 | Samsung 4K 40" | 1 TB SX8200 Pro + 2 TB 660p + 2 TB SATA SSD
NAS: 1950X | Designare EX | 32 GB ECC | 7x8 TB RAIDZ2 | 8x2 TB RAID10 | FreeNAS | ZFS | LSI SAS
 
just brew it!
Administrator
Posts: 53994
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: LSI Card issues?

Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:11 pm

Waco wrote:
Windows can boot from software RAID as well - but it's limited to non-parity RAID IIRC.

Newer versions of GRUB support booting from md RAID-5/6, though I haven't personally tried it.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
cheesyking
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Posts: 2746
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2004 7:52 am
Location: That London (or so I'm told)
Contact:

Re: LSI Card issues?

Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:01 am

I'm very new to these things myself but if the card has a very old firmware on it could the size of the drives be causing problems? Everything I've seen suggests that you should just get the space supported by the firmware (eg 2TB from a 3TB drive) but...

If you've got a couple of old small drives it might be worth trying them.
Fernando!
Your mother ate my dog!
 
TheRazorsEdge
Gerbil Team Leader
Posts: 219
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 1:10 pm

Re: LSI Card issues?

Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:39 am

dashbarron wrote:
TheRazorsEdge wrote:
This was it. I left it alone for about 30 minutes and it finally got to 1%. 9 hours later we're at 20%. I didn't think it would take so long, didn't know what there was there to make the initializing so slow, there's not even data.


So typically, if I lose a drive I'll only be able to tell if I have the proper software monitors installed or I manually check the config utility? Is the rebuild as slow? I rebuilt an array twice before but I guess I just started the process and went about my business and it did it during product hours without any hiccups (low IO usage). I don't have any hot spares in this.


Initialization is a full surface scan of the disks to check for defects. If you're using RAID 5/6, it also generates parity data to use for background integrity checks.

Based on the time, I'd guess your drives are around the 5 TB mark?

The initialization time is usually pretty close to the rebuild time in the event of a disk failure, assuming the controller has uninterrupted access to the disks. In real world scenarios, system IO gets priority over rebuilding, so the rebuild takes around 2-5 times the initialization period.
 
Waco
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Posts: 3346
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:14 pm
Location: Los Alamos, NM

Re: LSI Card issues?

Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:55 am

The init, IIRC, reads every sector *and* writes every sector with a known pattern. It's priority by default is very low to avoid interrupting work.
Desktop: X570 Gaming X | 3900X | 32 GB | Alphacool Eisblock Radeon VII | Heatkiller R3 | Samsung 4K 40" | 1 TB SX8200 Pro + 2 TB 660p + 2 TB SATA SSD
NAS: 1950X | Designare EX | 32 GB ECC | 7x8 TB RAIDZ2 | 8x2 TB RAID10 | FreeNAS | ZFS | LSI SAS
 
dashbarron
Gerbil XP
Topic Author
Posts: 343
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:49 am

Re: LSI Card issues?

Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:57 am

TheRazorsEdge wrote:

Based on the time, I'd guess your drives are around the 5 TB mark?

The initialization time is usually pretty close to the rebuild time in the event of a disk failure, assuming the controller has uninterrupted access to the disks. In real world scenarios, system IO gets priority over rebuilding, so the rebuild takes around 2-5 times the initialization period.


2 x 4TB drives.

So the conclusion to this all:

The initialization took just about 48 hours. Finished without any issues that I know of, I reboot the machine and it holds at the same message as in my original post. Take out the card, plug drives back into the SATA ports, the old software raid 1 appears and everything works.

Frustrating process and long lag time just to have the same problem I started with. I guess I'm going to keep the card for the $100~ it costs. Maybe if I can upgrade the guts of the machine in a year or so I can use it then. Guess I"d have to move the data off to rebuild a new raid 1/10 then, eh?
 
TheRazorsEdge
Gerbil Team Leader
Posts: 219
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 1:10 pm

Re: LSI Card issues?

Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:12 pm

dashbarron wrote:
The initialization took just about 48 hours. Finished without any issues that I know of, I reboot the machine and it holds at the same message as in my original post. Take out the card, plug drives back into the SATA ports, the old software raid 1 appears and everything works.


If your software RAID array shows up working, then something is not right.

On LSI cards, you must initialize a drive when it is first connected. This takes a very long time, but multiple drives can initialize simultaneously. We know that happened.

After the drives are initialized, they must be assigned to arrays and then carved up into virtual disks. Did this happen? Without this step, there is no hard drive as far as the BIOS is concerned (because the controller won't present one).

Once that's done, you would have to reinstall the OS and restore applications/data.

So basically, you should expect an unbootable system after configuring your array, either because there is no bootable disk or because there is no OS installed on it. Many BIOSes will reboot continuously if there is no bootable volume, so that error/behavior makes sense.

I suspect you were on the verge of having it work. Did you try to boot from disc and install an OS while that was happening?
 
just brew it!
Administrator
Posts: 53994
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: LSI Card issues?

Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:13 pm

I thought he was just using it as a data volume (not boot drive).
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest
GZIP: On