IBM ServeRAID Firmware/BIOS - Fix

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I went through hell trying to get my ServeRAID 4M card working, and there were no answers that I could find posted anywhere on the Internet, so I thought I would post what happened here in the hopes that some poor soul in the future would not waste as much time as I did.

This is a ServeRAID 4M from EBay with firmware and BIOS versions 4.84. The most current version of the ServeRAID software/firmware/BIOS is 7.12.

I slapped the card in the Netfinity and dutifully downloaded and burned a copy of the latest ServeRAID Support CD from IBM ( leading to I booted the CD and it told me, as expected, that the controller firmware and BIOS needed to be updated to work with the version of the ServeRAID management software that I had just downloaded, and offered to do so. I of course told it to go ahead. It failed, and offered to save a lot with details to floppy. I found one post matching what showed in that log saved on the floppy ( but :P I could not make sense of it. Basically, toward the end of the log I found this:


C1: Searching profile for ServeRAID-4M

C1: Profile match ServeRAID-4M

C1: setting update for FW, reset before BIOS = false

Beginning flash operation on controller 1

C1: ./flash/ipssend romupdate 1 fw codeblk.neo > fw1.dat

The Command: ./ipssend romupdate 1 fw codeblk.neo

C1: ipssend result:

Found 1 IBM ServeRAID controller(s).

Update ROM has been initiated for controller 1. Please wait ...

Writing ROM image to controller 1. Please wait ...

Command failed. Error codes = 0x1446


After trying a whole bunch of different things including all different slots, IRQ's in BIOS, removal of everything from the system that wasn't needed to boot the CD-ROM, trying update floppies instead, updating from Windows, trying it from a non-Netfinity system and generally tearing my hair out and cussing A LOT, I finally found the answer in one of the readme's that I had read repeatedly already. With the 4M and a couple of others (I don't recall which), if the existing code is at 4.84, it has to be updated to 7.00 before anything newer will be able to be used.

I downloaded and made the 7.00 IBM ServeRAID BIOS and Firmware update floppies (, booted the FIRST ONE, it asked me for the third one, read everything into memory and flashed the controller to 7.00 beautifully. Then the 7.12_02 support CD booted and flashed the controller to 7.12_02 and I was able to use it to configure the controller and disk.

Pays to read the fine print in the IBM docs...

Edited by FujitsuSCSIFan

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I have had similar experiences in the past. In fact, as I read the post I wondered if there was a necessary 'intermediate' step. I am an avid user of HP JetDirect products and have had to go through this double-update effort to get up to date. It's a pain, but at least it works in the end.

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A colleague of mine flashed a ServeRAID 6i+ to firmware level 6.11. Funny thing is that controller needs 7.00 to work. Result -> dead controller. Even funnier is that an IBM techie told him to downgrade the firmware to 6.11.

I did upgrade 4Lx's to 7.10 straight from 4.84 IIRC though.

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Yeah, what was strange was that after the 7.12 update failed, I rebooted and used the Ctrl-I mini config utility during POST to see if I could see anything, and it told me the bootblk was 7.12 and the codeblk was 4.84. I was amazed the thing was still running.

Yes, the 4LX will go directly up. It was just the 4M and (looking...) .... actually after looking I have to correct myself, it did not say anything about any specific cards, it just says this in each readme under each operating system type directory on the 7.12 support CD:

Before you can flash up from ServeRAID 4.84 to ServeRAID 7.12, it is necessary to flash first to ServeRAID 7.00.

Obviously it works sometimes and not others.

I did have to dig to find that comment again, and only because I thought to grep for 4.84 in all the text files on the disc... It's not very prominently displayed.

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