Posted by & filed under AWS/Linux/Unix/Devops stuff.

The X7SB3-F ships by default with the LSI controller’s 8 SAS/SCSI ports managed by the LSI firmware, which includes setup and presentation of this RAID array. Without initializing your RAID array by slipping into the management software at boot time, your individual drives will not be detected by OSes such as Solaris, Ubuntu, etc.The X7SB3-F ships by default with the LSI controller’s 8 SAS/SCSI ports managed by the LSI firmware, which includes setup and presentation of this RAID array. Without initializing your RAID array by slipping into the management software at boot time, your individual drives will not be detected by OSes such as Solaris, Ubuntu, etc.

Since this server is destined to be running Solaris/ZFS, each of the drives needed to be detected by the OS. This required removing a jumper on the motherboard (clearly identified in the motherboard’s manual), and installing some firmware to switch to “IT” mode. It took a little bit of effort to find a bootable DOS image since the firmware install required DOS (and for some reason FreeDOS wasn’t doing the trick for me – I was getting opcode errors. I eventually found some guy’s Win98 DOS files for download. I have no idea if using these was actually legal, but it worked for me), a little bit of time to setup a bootable USB drive running DOS, and a call to Supermicro support to receive the firmware for the board which they have elected not to make available on their FTP site (as I understand it there are many different versions of this firmware, so I suppose that getting Supermicro support involved with setting their users on the right path is wise). The firmware install was easy, and now each individual drive is detected by the OS!

I’m wondering when the day will come that firmware installs will be written for slightly more modern operating systems than DOS?