Keyboard Not Detected - Can't Enter RAID BIOS

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by BHamilton, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. BHamilton macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    Title says it all, I cannot enter my RAID cards BIOS during boot-up because the keyboard doesn't seem to be recognized (i.e. pressing "Ctrl-H" to enter RAID card doesn't do anything).

    Are there any tricks to this? I've heard this is a problem with many cards.

    Thx


    (note: I know I can config my card in Windows, just curious BIOS level config can even be done).
     
  2. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #2
    This sounds like a Highpoint card. It does not integrate with EFI. All you can do is configure it in a PC and transfer it to the Mac Pro. It still is a PITA there. The cards are not meant to have boot integration with EFI. They are really only for booting in a BIOS PC. For EFI boot you will need something like an Areca.
     
  3. BHamilton thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    Actually its a LSI that I'm testing. I've tested 3 cards so far (one of them is a cheap software-type RAID card from Bytecc, the other a 4310 from HighPoint) and none of them respond to the keyboard on boot.
     
  4. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #4
    The Areca cards have modular firmware which is split into three parts. The BIOS boot part of the firmware can be replaced by an EFI module. The firmware loading can be done in every operating system and out of rEFIt. Any bootable disk or array on the card can be seen in the EFI boot menu. The only thing that does not work is booting windows.
     
  5. BHamilton thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    rEFIt as well, excellent! That's something on of the fellows at work was wondering. I'll pass it on as I know he's considering the Areca line.

    Cheers
     
  6. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #6
    Some of the Highpoint cards can work with EFI. But they ship with BIOS, and have to be flashed with the EFI ROM.bin. In their case, it's best to send an email for the link to the correct firmware, as their site's been a mess in the past (wrong version for the card). Their cards are only able to contain one or the other.

    And the Areca's also ship with BIOS as you know. You leave it alone to use it as a Windows boot device, or flash with the EFI ROM to boot OS X with Mac Pros. BTW, some of the other cards use even more parts than 3 (up to 5 IIRC). ;)

    You'll have to put it in a PC to access the firmware. LSI doesn't have EFI firmware at all.

    I presume you're using it for Windows, as they don't have OS X drivers either.

    LSI does make Apple's RAID card, but it's specific to the MP, and they don't offer these features on thier own models (Apple wrote the firmware and drivers for their card).

    I've a couple of Areca cards, and have found them to be quite reliable (rock solid stability). They also offer a better value over ATTO's products as well, though they are nice as well, and both have models that will work in EFI based systems (actually meant for Itanium machines, but works in MP's as well). Drives can be the biggest headaches with SAS controllers, but not just thiers. SAS is just picky.
     
  7. cyberjunkie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2010
    #7
    LSI SAS cards are Mac Pro compatible

    From my very first test on a Mac Pro (Nehalem) belonging to a friend, i can say that at least some LSI SAS cards are compatible.
    With my LSI SAS3442E-HP (HP OEM version of LSI SAS3442E-R) an Apple LSI MPT kext is loaded, and the Savvio drive connected to the controller was available.
    Of course no raid configuration is available, cause the controller can't interact with EFI at system boot-up.
    A simple trick would be to connect the controller to a PC, set the raid volume, and try your luck with OS X.
    But the card would be unbootable. That would a big problem, at least for my friend, cause he wants to connect two Intel SDD's to the SAS controller, configure them in software stripe mode (raid 0)and boot from that array.
    But there is a chance that could be investigated:
    on LSI web site there is an EFI firmware available, It is meant for IA64 architecture, but maybe it would work with Apple EFI implementation as well.
    I asked about that with an email sent to LSI support people, but i am afraid that i will get no answer at all, cause they don't support Mac (but i understand that they produce the Apple SAS card).
    The last sentence make me think about a possible shortcut for configuring the volumes under MAc OS X: maybe if there is an Apple utility for the Apple controller, it could work as well with other LSI devices...
    After all a single LSI software supports all (or at least most) of their controllers.
    Is there a downloadable utility from Apple?
    If yes, please provide a link, and i'll let you know if it works or not.

    Unfortunately i don't own a Mac at the moment, and i am just helping a friend. But i would be more than happy to share my findings, if i succeed.
    The SAS3442Ex cards are quite cheap (i bought mine new, from a stock, for around $50, less than the average street price), and have the choice to flash either IT (HBA) or IR (RAID) firmware. With the latter, raid 0, 1 and 10, plus JBOD, are supported.
    Nothing very special, but the MPT engine and the 8-lane PCI-E connection allow for a very good bandwidth.
    Unfortunately i own an OEM version, and i know all too well that there is the chance that it would accept only HP firmwares! I remember a parallel scsi card for PCI-X bus, it was an LSI with HP firmware as well, and all my efforts to flash an LSI firmware failed! I know for sure that the trick can be done, but i couldn't find a nice soul wanting to share the secret with me :-(

    If anyone has done some further testing, please post your results.
    I'll do the same as soon as i have the time to experiment a little with my friend's Mac Pro.

    have fun

    CJ
     
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #8
    As I understand it, LSI make the Apple RAID card, but Apple developed the firmware and drivers. As it's a custom card, I'm not so sure you can flash it (the ROM may be a different capacity part). I've not had them (both LSI and Apple) to compare the ROM chips, nor be able to extract the ROM off of the Apple card. Apple's drivers could work though, assuming the cards are the same design (or close enough that the drivers will work with the parts used). It just won't be able to boot with it's existing firmware (BIOS). If used under Windows on an MP, they'll work just fine.

    So though technically possible, I'm not sure you can get it to work under OS X as a bootable device (and drivers are iffy, as the card model will matter), unless it's in a PC that's been hacked. And when I say work, I mean stable.

    If by some reason you find a way to make one work, especially as a bootable device in an MP, please let us know, as that could be an inexpensive alternative (assuming more ports aren't needed). :)
     

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