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Supermicro trouble
Date: July 17th, 2007 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Hardware

I’ve got a few Supermicro X5DLR-8G2 motherboards to put into SC813T-500C cases. Now, the boards are not certified by Supermicro to put into a 1U chassis, which may could some trouble. However the X5DLR-8G2+ is an identical mainboard which is fine for 1U. Actually the difference between these boards isn’t that big, as you will see in a few sentences 😉

I installed everything in my chassis, and put a Supermicro AOC-SAT2-MV8 SATA controller in to control the 4 SATA disks. However, the controller BIOS wasn’t initialized and while booting the BIOS told me "warning: the riser card is not installed". Hrmz. Upgraded the BIOS to the latest version. No dice.

Contacted my fantastic supplier about this, who contacted Supermicro, who came with a solution to the warning: flash the latest bios of the X5DLR-8G2+. Yes, the + which is the 1U version. In (my) 2U version, there is an extra part in the PCI-X slot which is meant for use with an active riser card, i.e. 1 PCI-X slot -> 3 PCI-X slots on the riser. I guess that is what the BIOS is (not) detecting. The BIOS of the 1U version doesn’t check this obviously. For the rest everything just works.

Only, the warning was now gone but the card still wasn’t initialized, which meant I couldn’t boot from it (it must be said that even with the previous BIOS the card was visible from Linux after booting from CD). I was playing around a bit, enabling the onboard SCSI, enabling PXE, resetting CMOS, … and ended up lowering the PCI-X speed from 133MHz to 66MHz. Suddenly it worked, the BIOS was shown, also on 100MHz (and on 32/66). Just on 133MHz it wouldn’t work – even though the card itself has a PCI-X 133MHz logo printed on it. Oh well, it’ll work fine at 100MHz as well, as I only have 4 disks and 100MHz*64bit is more than enough.

If anyone has the same or a similar problem, try this. The X5DLR-8G2 board will fit in a 1U in any case (har har).

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