morlok

Sil 680 Bios Problem

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I recently purchased a Sil 680-based RAID ctlr.

Yes, it's a low end ctlr, but I purchased it to get experience with RAID, and learn a little.

The problem:

The boot process proceeds notmally, and the ctlr prints out the msg:

Sil 680 ATA/133 medley RAID controller

BIOS Version 3.2.10 Press F3 to enter RAID utility.

(That's all on one line, to be precise)

HOWEVER, pressing F3 does nothing!

(I verified that F3 works, by the way ;-)

The supplied documentation for the ctlr was sparse, which is to be expected thes days - a fold-out broadsheet and a CD, along with cryptic instructions.

I had to search the CD for the correct driver for it.

The documentation does refer to various jumpers, however they do not match the ones on my card.

F'rinstance, the manual that (I think :-( ) is for the card lists the following jumpers:

JP Jumper Setting Description for 680. Default

JP0 In BAR5 Disable Out Out BAR5 Enable

JP1 In Device always RAID class In Out

Whereas the card itself only has 3 stake jumpers, labelled:

JP1

D1

D2

OK...

What's a BAR5?

In addition, reading between the lines, shouldn't the default be to RAID, which the document shows as defaulting to not RAID?

My best guess is that F3 doesn't work because the RAID ctlr is being told by jumeprs that it ISN'T a RAID ctlr, but I can't prove this because the jumper descriptions and the actual jumpers dont match.

Any help appreciated

-----

Bob S

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Sounds like a common problem with the Silicon Image 0680 BIOS. Did you update it to 3.2.10 yourself, or did it come like that? I have seen this many times before since I work as an IT Technician / IT Consultant. A simple fix I have found that works for my clients or customers who choose this inexpensive option (which just so happens to be pretty good considering its price and features), re-flash the BIOS. Post back to let me know if you have updated the BIOS to 3.2.10 yourself, as their are 2 different ways to handle this as you may not be able to get past the POST on the card.

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>Did you update it to 3.2.10 yourself, or did it come like that?

It came out of the box with 3.2.10. I purchased it recently, and it has a DOM of 1204, which makes it fairly new.

Reflashing the BIOS is no problem, as I've done several mobos in the past.

That's assuming, of course, that the CD comes with its flash writing tool, which is a leap of faith ;-). I assume it's on the net somewehre, as I've already looked up thei site to figure out what those jumpers on my no-name board are for (no no avail I might add :-( )

thanks for the help!

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>Or is it that you only can not access the BIOS configuration by pressing F3?

Yes.

It will pause for a few seconds with the 'Press F3' message, not do anything (regardless of how hard you pound on F3 :angry: ) and then the boot process continues sucessfully. One of the cards is in this system right now (I bought two to play with).

BTW, something I thought of today and tried out:

I actually attached a drive to the ctlr, still no go. I don't have two spare drives (well, I could throw a bad one on, just so it'll have a load on the bus), and have been using a test bed system that has the same mobo.

thanks again

Bob S

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Thank you for the reply. I do not know if re-flashing the BIOS will work in your case, but it is worth a try. Below are the downloads required to re-flash your controller.

UpdFlash - Silicon Image's Controller BIOS Flasher Make sure to download UpdFlash and not the other.

SiI0680/0680A BIOS Image

After downloading both, create a bootable floppy and copy the contents of the UpdFlash archive onto the floppy. Then ONLY copy "r3210.bin" from the BIOS Image archive to the floppy, as you will not need the others.

After those things are placed onto the floppy, reboot to the floppy and assuming you have made a Windows ME boot disk, (Win2k and WinXP create a WinME version boot disk as Microsoft has not updated the boot disk since, so it will be the same thing), type:

Updflash -r3210.bin

This will start the reflashing process. One common mistake is that no floppy activity may occur during this time so people will hard reboot causing the flash to fail and corrupting the controller BIOS (which there is an easy fix if this should happen, I will be able to explain it if you need it). The flashing procedure may take up to as long as 10 min. Please be patient. Eventually it will let you know when it is done.

I hope this helps! Post back to let me know how it goes! I hope this will work for your case!

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WOW!!! thanks for the help!

I do have a problem with the site, though.

The first one, listing the two files to D/L, comes up fine, but when I click on the files listed, I get a seperate window that immediately says 'done' (I waited a minute or more to make sure).

Again, thanks for the help, it's far more than I expected.

-----

Bob S

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I see. It worked last night, but it must have to do something with sessions being .asp. Ugh, and Silicon Image's site uses as many as 6 frames in one page! Go here and go:

Downloads -> BIOS -> SiI0680/0680A -> then to the 2 topics listed where you will find the downloads.

Silicon Image Customer Resource Center

Sorry again about that.

And you are very welcome! Enjoy and please do let me know how it goes!

Cheers!

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>Wow, again Silicon Image did it again!

Silicon Image Customer Resource Center

OK. I've got it.

I DLed everything I could find. It'll take a while to figure out what I should do.

Reading between the lines at SIL, the cards aren't RAID capable out of teh box, you have to flash the RAID BIOS in order to get the RAID functionality.

That's a guess, but that's what I get from reading the on-line pages that accompany the DL links.

-----

Bob S

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After downloading both, create a bootable floppy and copy the contents of the UpdFlash archive onto the floppy.  Then ONLY copy "r3210.bin" from the BIOS Image archive to the floppy, as you will not need the others.

After those things are placed onto the floppy, reboot to the floppy and assuming you have made a Windows ME boot disk, (Win2k and WinXP create a WinME version boot disk as Microsoft has not updated the boot disk since, so it will be the same thing), type:

Updflash -r3210.bin

This will start the reflashing process.  One common mistake is that no floppy activity may occur during this time so people will hard reboot causing the flash to fail and corrupting the controller BIOS (which there is an easy fix if this should happen, I will be able to explain it if you need it).  The flashing procedure may take up to as long as 10 min.  Please be patient.  Eventually it will let you know when it is done.

I hope this helps!  Post back to let me know how it goes!  I hope this will work for your case!

Just read what I have posted above.

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OK, I pursued the issue further, and... teh news ain't good.

I went to flash the BIOS, and the flash utility, supplied bySil, didn't find the BIOS EPROM in its list of recognized parts.

SO, I got out my magnifying glass, and found that the EPROMchip is a 27xxx series device, which means that it is NOT a flash-able device, rather a OTP (one-time-programmable) device meant for OEMs.

I searched th eweb as far as a few hours took me, and found no documentation that matched the jumper configuration on teh cards that I have.

The next step is to try all the possible combinations of the 3 jumpers, to see if that accomplishes anything. Won't take long, as one of the cars is in a testbed mobo that's spread out on the bench.

BTW, I tried connecting two drives, as someone told me that some RAID ctlrs like to see RAIDable devices out on their channels; if nothing is connected, they will petulantly refuse to do anything. No go.

The experiment goes on :-(

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When I got my SIL 0680 based controller, which I wanted to use as a simple ATA controller - no RAID, I had to flash the bios to the non-raid version to get it to work.

Sucks that you got the non-flash version, sorry to hear about that.

Good news is a flashable one should only be about $20 (about what I paid).

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The boot process proceeds notmally, and the ctlr prints out the msg:

Sil 680 ATA/133 medley RAID controller

BIOS Version 3.2.10 Press F3 to enter RAID utility.

(That's all on one line, to be precise)

HOWEVER, pressing F3 does nothing!

(I verified that F3 works, by the way ;-)

Erm.... Are you using a USB keyboard by chance?

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> am sorry to hear that. Well at least we tried.

>I wish you luck in your pursuit!

Problem solved!

I blew off the rest of the afternoon, and took advantage of the near perfect weather here in Twin Mountain to 'Take a Hike!'

I thought about it while walking, and decided to do what (in retrospect) I should have done in the first place.

When I bought the cards, I had also purchased two (actually 4, since I intend to RAID both front-line machines) for it.

Up to this point, I had been installing a couple of old drives that had developed errors on them, but were still alive; they both reported themselved to the standard IDE BIOS when booting, and correctly identified themseves as to type and size (I set the BIOS to auto, rebooted, and all the params came up correct). One had massive read errors in the inner 3rd of the disk, the other would give seek errors, but they still were alive and saluting the BIOS at startup.

Now, at this point, I knew that:

The SIl Bios wouldn't recognize F3 and enter the BIOS with no drives attached.

Ditto with one drive attached.

Ditto with two drives attached.

I had been using the bad drives (again, one with simple bad sectors, one with seeks errors) because, this being my first foray into RAID, I didn't know what to expect; reading documentation is one thing, DOING is another. I thought I'd play with disposable parts first.

So, just for grins and giggles, I got out two of the new drives and plugged them in, one set as master on each channel.

Mirabile Dictu! ... it alive!

Hitting <F3> enters the BIOS, and the 2 drives are correctly recognized as to mfr and ID/capacity.

Now the fun begins

I added a floppy drive to the testbed, and inserted a bootable disk.

I set up a simple mirrored array of two drives (which was the goal in the first place)

It works, at this point I am booting to the floppy only.

I pull one of the drives - it works (recognizes the remaining drive), boot to floppy

I pull both drives - it doesn't work, BIOS doesn't respond to <F3>, but boots to floppy.

I add the 'bad sector' drive. BIOS responds to <F3>, shows correct drive ID/capacity

I tried to delete the RAID set, no go.

remove drive, substitute 'bad seek' drive. Hangs in RAID BIOS, won't respond to <F3>, won't proceed to floppy boot.

Add both bad drives, ditto.

remove really bad ;-) drive, responds as previous, boots to floppy.

Still won't allow deletion of RAID array.

Connect 2 good drives

Drive recognizes array.

Delete RAID set

Interesting anomaly:

Drives now show up as TWO raid sets, each of one drive.

Trying to delete these one-member RAID sets accomplishes nothing, typing in a RAID set # causes it to just keep asking.

Re-creating the RAID set combines the two 1-member RAID sets.

So, from this I gather that:

These RAID ctlrs aren't particularly intelligent, and don't handle error conditions very well.

I was surprised that it/they needed a good pair of drives to establish the RAID set, then had mediocre error handling capability after that.

OTOH, there's an old adage that goes;

'Don't test for an error condition you're not prepared to handle'.

Oh, well, I got the ctlrs for cheap, so it's the exposition of the another old adage:

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR

OTOH, in navigating to get here I just read a post/thread about a gut who had a disaster on a Linux RAID5 array.

Perhaps price has nothing to do with the quality of the S/W?

All in all, I'd rather have spent the time hiking ;-) or is that ;-(

Thanks to Mike for doing the research on the ctlr, I did get newer , and more elaborate, versions of the docs.

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I am very happy to hear that you have found the problem and fixed it! Unfortunately enough, "You do get what you pay for." Those RAID controllers really are not bad though considering their price/ performance/ and features. Sometimes that is all it takes too is a little playing around with things. But as a rule of thumb, never use untested things with broken things. Like you would not want to race a car with only half a full set of new tires! Oh well, you live and you learn! :P

Bottom line, you fixed it and learned something new from the whole experience!

Anyway, I am glad you were able to fix it. And I am glad I was able to help in some sort of way.

Cheers mate!

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Hello Everyone I decided to throw my two cents in. I have had the same problems as mentioned above with the SIL680 card. I use am a consultant and have used the card in many applications including my own. 800 gig Stripe. Although these cards may be cheap, they are very useful but require more tuning than most raid controllers. With regards to the issue with the F3 Command not working to access the RAID bios, i had the same problem exactly on one system that i was using. It turned out that the motherboard bios was also triggered by F3 during its post sequence to select boot devices. To create a mirror i put the card and 2 drives in another system that allowed me to enter the RAID bios, set it to mirror, replaced it in the system with issues and Viola! I had a mirrored set! Thought this may help some people out.

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When I got my SIL 0680 based controller, which I wanted to use as a simple ATA controller - no RAID, I had to flash the bios to the non-raid version to get it to work.

Sucks that you got the non-flash version, sorry to hear about that.

Good news is a flashable one should only be about $20 (about what I paid).

168654[/snapback]

I, too, just ordered a unit (Syba Ultra ATA 133 IDE - Raid CC-S133R), planning to flash to std. controller, and lo! It's got the ICE 27C010 chip on it. Sucks! :blink:

--> What board did you get so that I might find one for cheap that I can flash?

--> How can one identify a flashable board?

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When I got my SIL 0680 based controller, which I wanted to use as a simple ATA controller - no RAID, I had to flash the bios to the non-raid version to get it to work.

Sucks that you got the non-flash version, sorry to hear about that.

Good news is a flashable one should only be about $20 (about what I paid).

168654[/snapback]

I, too, just ordered a unit (Syba Ultra ATA 133 IDE - Raid CC-S133R), planning to flash to std. controller, and lo! It's got the ICE 27C010 chip on it. Sucks! :blink:

--> What board did you get so that I might find one for cheap that I can flash?

--> How can one identify a flashable board?

200922[/snapback]

DOH! I need to learn to read. More coffee!!!

This board supports, "Hard Drives, ATAPI CDROM, DVD ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, LS-120, MO, Tape and ZIP devices".

It was cheap cheap cheap at http://www.shopampm.com, less than $14 with shipping! :rolleyes:

On an existing system, install board first, install windows SiS 0680 Medley RAID driver, shut down, attach HDD, (change bios to boot from SCSI), press F3 to enter config utility at bootup prompt, select a single HDD. Voila!

On this old tank VA503+ system I run for my daughter, I just increased disc thruput by 50% on a Sandra benchmark. You'd never believe this system has a K63+ in it. Overclocked, and lots and lots of cache! :D

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I am trying to update the bio on my SIL 3114 to the non-raid bin file b5216. I am using updflash and have entered the correct commands to flash with b5216. Every time I try to do it, it states cannot open file. Sometimes updflash directed me to its menu and states the flash card on my SIL 3114 is not in the list of compatible flash drives.

Is the solution that I should just buy another SIL 3114 that (hopefully) will be compatible with updflash?

Thanks,

Steve

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i dont't know if this is going to help enybody but i will give it a try i am

from greece so my speling will not be so good i had took the sil680 ultra ata/133 raid

pci card and i had some problems booting my pc so i shearced the internet

many times but nothink so here is one kind of help if you only want to have hdd's

on your pc without raid and enythink else just download the flash program from www.siliconimage.com

and erease the whole bios from the card with this way the card will loose the bootable

abilty i works just fine for me at least you sould

give it a try

NOTE: the card wil not be able to boot or create eny raid until you flash her again with eny bios new bios but winxp will be able to detected even with no bios :D

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