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Dell Precision LSI MPT SCSI BIOS

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  • Dell Precision LSI MPT SCSI BIOS

    Hello,
    I have two Dell Precision 650 computers with almost identical configurations.
    The only differences are that one has more RAM and also has two 137GB U320 in the five total. The other has five U320 73GB drives.

    All of the drives are SCA, with SCA to 68-pin adapters fitted: this has all been checked for connections, etc., and, as I have said, one works and the other works, but slowly at its 8-bit setting.

    The problem is that I cannot start one of the machines without the LSI BIOS setting all of the drives to narrow one by one as it loads up, before it shows what the computer has for controllers and drives. Then, it starts up.

    With identical cables in both machines, and with an additional LSI adapter in both machines using an identical U320 cable, I cannot determine what is causing this problem.

    In the LSI configuration, both machines show wide 16-bit data paths. However, when I start the one box it always defaults to narrow.

    I can find nothing on the LSI site to give me an answer.

    Any ideas?
    Regards,
    Paul

  • #2
    Re: Dell Precision LSI MPT SCSI BIOS

    what's SCA?
    ________
    Waterbongs
    Last edited by DYasny; 6th March 2011, 18:48.
    Real stupidity always beats Artificial Intelligence (c) Terry Pratchett

    BA (BM), RHCE, MCSE, DCSE, Linux+, Network+

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    • #3
      Re: Dell Precision LSI MPT SCSI BIOS

      SCA is the connector for removable SCSI drives held in a cage. The adapter allows one to use them in an ordinary computer where there are only 68-pin and power connectors.

      Single Connector Attachment: view here:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_...tor_Attachment

      Most of the computers on my network have the SCA based drives, and I have used spares in the two Precision computers.

      Regards,
      Paul

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      • #4
        Re: Dell Precision LSI MPT SCSI BIOS

        got it, thanks

        anyway, the LSIs are known to be affected by firmware which is out of date. also, some scsi drives might need updating as well
        ________
        EASY VAPE REVIEWS
        Last edited by DYasny; 6th March 2011, 18:49.
        Real stupidity always beats Artificial Intelligence (c) Terry Pratchett

        BA (BM), RHCE, MCSE, DCSE, Linux+, Network+

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Dell Precision LSI MPT SCSI BIOS

          Hello,
          Minor update: I downloaded the latest firmware from the Dell site and it promptly screwed up the PCI LSI 1020/1030 adapter (not the onboard chip). That subsequently showed two errors in Device Manager for its two connectors.

          Going to LSI I discovered some firmware and downloaded and installed the IT version. That cleanly worked and now both adapters are back. However, the narrow, 40MB, rate is still extant.

          I will have to change cables and terminators to further experiment on discovering a cure. Or find another motherboard. As I mentioned, my other Dell Precision works fine.

          Regards,
          Paul

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          • #6
            Re: Dell Precision LSI MPT SCSI BIOS

            that's also strange, I have updated several servers that have the 1020/1030 card with no problems just a few days ago. If you buy equipment from Dell it is best to use their own drivers and firmware
            ________
            Buy Extreme Vaporizer
            Last edited by DYasny; 6th March 2011, 18:49.
            Real stupidity always beats Artificial Intelligence (c) Terry Pratchett

            BA (BM), RHCE, MCSE, DCSE, Linux+, Network+

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            • #7
              Re: Dell Precision LSI MPT SCSI BIOS

              Hello,
              One other thing: I had downloaded from Dell the LSI CIMBrowser application. This has been installed on both Dell Precision 650 computers (2.8GHz hyperthreaded dual processors, one with 4GB and the other with 1GB PC3200ECC Crucial RAM, the latter being the problematic box, which I am slowly bringing to the same level as the other one).

              The LSI CIMBrowser indicates that every adapter shown is an LSI 53C1030 item, on both machines.

              The Dell named Leicester, problematic narrow rate, shows both LSI SCSI items installed, with the drives correctly allocated to each. It states that the full power, etc., is on for everything. Which it can't be, because of the narrow rate indicated at boot up.

              The first Dell, named Monmouth, shows only the PCI adapter, never the onboard Dell LSI controller. I am loth to try any firmware updates on this machine: it is working and I don't want that to be screwed up unnecessarily.

              I have found a U320 eight-connector cable to fit into Leicester. It needs a resistor, which I will purchase tomorrow. Then to experiment.

              The URL for relevant LSI and device manager images is here, and go to the bottom of the page. I hope everything is described adequately.
              http://mattoid.com/data/Life/TimeLin..._line_2008.htm

              Odd how things differ between purportedly equivalent machines.
              Regards,
              Paul
              Last edited by dickins_paul; 20th May 2008, 23:00. Reason: URL added, plus correction

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              • #8
                Re: Dell Precision LSI MPT SCSI BIOS

                Hello,
                This is on my URL:

                "Well, it was not any of the adapters: the problem is the aging of the on-board cable. Because it cools and warms and because it has a really hard fold in it, which those of you who have such a machine should be aware of, it has perished. I took the recalcitrant machine, Leicester, down to CSH, and we played around with it. Ultimately, we discovered that the cable was faulty by putting the shop's cable into the computer. Immediately, everything worked as it should. So, I await the arrival of the terminating resistor, and when I place it in the cable that I have, then everything should work properly. It means that I should also replace the cable on the "good" Dell fairly soon."

                In other words, it was similar to a laptop, which creeps and fails with time: the number of dollars spent on laptop repairs is directly associated with the computer technician merely removing the memory sticks and then replacing them properly. That stops the rot until the next time.

                And this is what this problem was. How easy. I must remember to _always_ check the cables before doing anything.
                Regards,
                Paul

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                • #9
                  Re: Dell Precision LSI MPT SCSI BIOS

                  Hello,
                  To finalise this problem: I received the terminating resistor and placed it on a flat eight-item U320 cable.
                  The PCI LSI card was removed and all of the drives were attached to the on-board connector.
                  Everything worked as it should: what a relief. I had a little trouble ensuring the pins were kept in line, but having straightened out one set, every connector fitted on properly.
                  So I now have a spare U320 card to use elsewhere. And since my ML570, the MS AD Win2003Ent box, has two U320 drives, one holding the OS, attached to an Adaptec 29160n U160 adapter, perhaps I'll swap the cards.
                  Thanks for the help,
                  Paul

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