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Help with PCI-e SAS controller on an IBM x236 system not being recognised

Posted on 2009-07-13
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Last Modified: 2013-11-16
Hi All,
I'm having some trouble trying to get this IBM SAS HBA controller (25R8060) to work with my IBM x236 server. I'm getting an NMI error on the led panel of the server.
First of all, I just recently confirmed that this setup is not supported by IBM, but IBM won't comment on whether its compatible. I landed in this predicament because IBM gave me some wrong advice in the start (lesson learned... use email so there's something written).
Anyway, long story short, whether or not its supported I still don't see why its not compatible. This is what I've got so far... The SAS controller is an (IBM rebranded) LSI Logic card that has PCI-e 8x connection. According to the x236 documentation, the x236 has PCI-e 4x slots... BUT... the SAS controller fits perfectly into the slots. So I'm assuming these are actually 8x slots...
On boot up, I get past post, but once its about to start the OS, I get a blank screen and the NMI error lights up on the led panel. Within 30 secs, the server reboots itself. I don't believe its an OS issue as I've tried to boot it up with WinPE and same issue happens.
I've updated all BIOS and BMC firmware and I've disabled all PCI rom execution in BIOS. I'm using the onboard raid for my hdds.
Anyone have any suggestions or similar issues? Anyone got SAS working on a x236 even if its a 3rd party product?
Can anyone confirm the PCI-e ports on the x236 are actually 4x or 8x?
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Question by:plauit
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 24846444
It's 8x
http://www.superwarehouse.com/IBM_xSeries_236_8841_2.8_GHz_SCSI_Server/884105U/ps/643269

It should be noted however that using a physical socket that is 'more X' than the actual wiring is common.
What I mean is a 1x or 4x 'wired' slot may physically be an 8x type slot.
They can do this because all the control functions pass through the 1x portion and all the rest of the 'X's' just increase the cards bandwidth.
An 8x card will work fine in a 4x 'wired' slot but it will be limited to 4x speed.
In fact some PCI-E slots are open ended so longer cards and be installed.
.


 
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by:plauit
ID: 24892013
Ok, I've tried some system analysing software and its reporting the PCIe ports as x4.
Either way, I've bought another SAS controller to try again. This time its an Adaptec 1045 PCIe x4 SAS controller card. But I still get the same NMI issue!!! What's going on!

However, this time, during boot, I do get the Adaptec POST messages saying press Ctrl-A to access the raid bios settings. So, it is registering the Adaptec card during POST. However, as soon as it tries to boot the OS, the NMI led comes up at the same time as previously on the LSI x8 card.

To clarify further, with either card, when I use WinPE to boot, it gets stuck on the screen "Setup is inspecting your computer's hardware configuration..."
So i'm guessing, with either Win2k3 or WinPE, as soon as the server tries to I/O the card, it faults out with the NMI led.
Any ideas on what I should try?
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Accepted Solution

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plauit earned 0 total points
ID: 24931385
Ok, so I finally started from scratch.
Shutdown the server, unplugged PSUs, took out all the RAM, put it all back in and booted the server.
Went into BIOS and loaded defaults.
Rebooted and it started working!!! Detected the SAS controllers during post and went into OS fine.
No more NMI errors!
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