Rackable Systems server – flashing SIL raid controller


I had bought two Opteron boxes (dual dualcore / 4GB ram / 4 SATA trays).

When they arrived i went about installing them and then noticed I didn’t buy any disks. First of all I ran to buy two 1.5TB seagate 7200rpm disks to start with.

Next was about 2 hours searching for fitting screws for the disk sleds.

Then I had to find the onboard fake-controller got hung once it detected the disks.

How GREAT.

With some searching I encountered a post at mydigitallife.com where some guy actually flashed the original Arima HDAMA Rev.G bios with a fresher SIL Sata Raid bios.  note there is no spot on the mainboard where you can find out the revision. But at least one forum post indicates that if your BIOS socket contains a bios above version 2.00 then you’re fine.

He explained he did it using the “Phoenix BIOS editor”, but trust me: he’s simply a genious.

So off I went and updated the bios, and yes, definitely, it fixes the issue.

The only issue left is that the system crashes when loading the 64bit Xen kernel. But I could’nt care less, as long as the systems work fine.

I’ll add screenshots of all settings before update and the procedure in a few days.

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3 thoughts on “Rackable Systems server – flashing SIL raid controller

  1. I have exactly the same problem. Could you provide me the bios image you used? That would be realy great 🙂

    • I thought I would have to let you down on that one, it’s been long long ago…

      But for some reason I found this in my browser history:

      http://forums.mydigitallife.info/threads/5864-Phoenix-bios-SLIC-mod-requests-(*-WPH-or-*-ROM-files)/page54?p=105826#post105826

      Dig through the thread it should have the image and context you need.

      DDR1 Ram got really cheap a year back, but I’m not sure what the memory limit was on those boards? 16 or 32GB (hopefully the latter).
      Since the dualcore opterons use a lot of power, be sure to at least out the RAM on these systems to get some benefit. Otherwise, they’re just no good.

      Another thing worth warning: I once put in a pci-x riser card the wrong way round. Be careful about that, it *is* possible if you have some left & some right facing ones.
      Definitely fries the board.

    • forgot to say this:
      I don’t have the original image or boards any more. You’ll need to go the risky way on this, but it’s probably a good idea to do bios hacking on cheap old hardware rather than new one where it’d deeply hurt to fry it.

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