Recently I had to install two Supermicro Storage Servers (Model 6047R-E1R36L) – unfortunately not everything went well with their installation.

First unit I received was DOA, it’s always unfortunate when such things happen – nothing a little bit of QA wouldn’t avoid. Called up Supermicro assistance and they did some diagnostics with me…but allas ..the same conclusion – the unit was dead. Supermicro’s american twitter account still exchanged some tweets and emails with me…but in the end, I had to wait almost a week for a motherboard replacement, and with that out of the way… (almost*) everything worked fined.

This week I received the second unit, and after turning it on (yay – worked!) I went to the RAID manager to set up the disks … I looked around and couldn’t find the option to create an array (which I found very strange because on the first unit everything was very straightforward…). A little bit of googling around and I found out that there are two kinds of firmware for this SAS controller : -it (iSCSI) and -ir (RAID) and for some unfortunate reason mine had the it. Googled a lit bit but nothing really interesting came up, and on Supermicro’s site there weren’t any downloads for this server. Called up Supermicro assistance (again…) and they were very helpful – the files I needed were on their FTP server. Next step ? Flashing them! I admit I had never used a UEFI shell before – but it wasn’t that scary. Unfortunately following the instructions returned the error “cannot flash ir firmware over it firmware”. a little bit of googling around and I ended doing this:

  • Download files from FTP and copy them to a USB drive
  • Enter UEFI shell pressing F11 and selecting UEFI shell
  • map (so you can see what device name the USB drive has – mine was fs0
  • fs0:  (this changes to the fs0 drive – like DOS)
  • sas2flash.exe -o -e 7  (erase complete flash)
  • sas2flash -f 2308IR14.ROM -b mptsas2.rom
  • reboot
Everything looks like its working fine (and I can finally create RAID volumes) except I have a warning on boot “SAS address not performed on controller on slot X” – couldn’t find a way to correct this, but it seems not have any adverse effect.
* Almost because about two days later I received another motherboard and unfortunatly I couldn’t find a way to correctly install the system disks (2.5″) in the server trays and had to use a not very orthodox process – Epoxy glue – because all the 2.5″>3.5″ Adapters I tried failed to put the disk in the correct position.