PCI "RAID" controller cards

Hi :slight_smile:
There has been recently a spate of folk having problems with these ADDON cards.
So some information to help you decide what type will work for you.
Firstly the “Chipset”.
If playing safe the card should be Silicon Image based.
The following cards “SiI0680A” - PCI to 2 Port IDE/PATA , SiI3124 - PCI/PCI-X to 4 Port SATA300 , SiI3114 - PCI to 4 Port SATA150 , SiI3512 - PCI to 2 Port SATA150 , SiI3132 - PCI Express (1x) to 2 Port SATA300. There possibly might be others (example Sil3112 is variant of 3512).
Note ALL cards are SATA I. With the obvious exception of the Sil0680A which is IDE.
Plus the PCIe (express x1), not so obvious. Which is SATA II.

All the above have RAID & BASE BIOSes. (BASE BIOS = Non-RAID).
So if wishing to use as a controller for devices like CDRW’s/DVDRW’s.
You’ll most likely have to *flash card with the BASE BIOS.
This applies whether the card is IDE or SATA.

However things to look for.
I have discovered that some cards are either very difficult to flash. Even virtually impossible.
This is PIN Configuration related.
In order to make sure this doesn’t apply to you.
Get one of the following
Older/Standard cards:

Things to note are the tail section - Length (See Amber oblong) - (The relevant) Number of Pins (See red circle).
Note has some pins missing.

Newer/Standard cards:

Things to note as above.
Difference is all pins are present. This may have to do with greater compatibility with the likes of SATA II.
This is pure speculation on my part here.
I do know that these cards seems to be less likely to require BIOS flashing. As they work with ODD’s regardless (in my experience).
You may still want to flash to BASE BIOS to avoid the RAID set up message in the POST (during booting).

Newer cards only:

Things to note:
Shorter tail section, hence missing Relevant Pins.
These cards can be flashed, usually in DOS.

However you need to know which BIOS chip (i.e. SST 39VF010 , PMC Pm39LV010) is present.
There are many.
Get the wrong one & you could render not only the card. But your motherboard useless.

Hmmmm…that was a very interesting read. :iagree:

Thanks [I]zebadee[/I]. :flower:
But, I’m not sure about what you’r trying to tell us.

[I]Pictures.[/I] The red elipse you refer to in above pictures are pins B61 and B62, both for +5V supply (in a section of PCI bus, not mandatory for flashing or propper 32-bits operation, and mainly designed for 64-bits bus).
I for once can’t se any techical explanation how these pins have anything to do with PCI-cards eeprom flashing (windoze or DOZE). Even less I can follow you when you mark the whole B52 to B62 pin section.
Link PCI bus pinout.

To learn how eeprom circuits on Sil “RAID” PCI cards are designed we better read documents like this and this. The most interesting parts at end of documents, ofcourse.

Interesting read, but I would think it’s more dependent on the Flash chip and not the bus itself. SiI flasher covers a good portion of 3.3V Flash chips (29LV) and a few 5.0V chips (29F), and the commands are usually the same address cycles understood by the Flash chips.

The one problem I’ve encountered was when the flash chip is not supported by the flasher, i.e., Am28F010, which is a 12V part, thus, any attempt would fail.

[quote=pinto2;2134750]Thanks [I]zebadee[/I]. :flower:
But, I’m not sure about what you’r trying to tell us.

[I]Pictures.[/I] The red elipse you refer to in above pictures are pins B61 and B62, both for +5V supply (in a section of PCI bus, not mandatory for flashing or propper 32-bits operation, and mainly designed for 64-bits bus).
I for once can’t se any techical explanation how these pins have anything to do with PCI-cards eeprom flashing (windoze or DOZE). Even less I can follow you when you mark the whole B52 to B62 pin section.
Link PCI bus pinout.

To learn how eeprom circuits on Sil “RAID” PCI cards are designed we better read documents like this and this. The most interesting parts at end of documents, ofcourse.[/quote]

Hi :slight_smile:
Thanks for input :bow: :clap:
I have a Linky too. :wink:
Basically trying to give a visual idea of the type of card to avoid with being technical about.
Hence a bit vague.
The Pin layout being the “easy to spot”, though not necessarily relevant directly to actual flashing of said cards.

[QUOTE=zebadee;2135158]…The Pin layout being the “easy to spot”, though not necessarily relevant directly to actual flashing of said cards.[/QUOTE]Thanks for your input [I]zebadee[/I]. :wink:
The “Pin Layout” is standardized, so for sure this has nothing to do with your flash “problems”.

As you maybe already know, PCI bus supports all those voltages. :wink:

Maybe you better find a compatible flasher for your “12V card”, or get in touch with a knowledged programmer.
But most probably your problem is the PSU not being able to supply stable/sufficient voltage needed, (for erase/write operation).

Z or anyone with their heads above water…

I have a P4 sys (short description below) I am trying to put a Liteon DH-4B1S-08 Bluray burner into.
I opted to get both it and a Mascool XWT-RC061 SATA PCI card from Newegg.
The SATA card has the Sil3512 chipset.
I have read numerous post on various sites and tried to follow some of the suggestions.

Problems (opportunities to tax my little mind):

The system will sometimes halt at bootup with the Sil RAID screen
– Press <Ctrl+S> or F4 to enter RAID utility

When it does boot the Blu-Ray drive isn’t seen

The Silicon Image ATA Controller Properties (from Control Panel) has the Browse File for BIOS flash greyed out.
I have tried the SilFlash utility at a Windows DOS prompt (SiFlashTool /File:b4384.bin) for the Base (non-RAID BIOS)
SiFlashTool /V returns my same old BIOS version.

I could inject all sorts of conjecture here, but instead I’ll simply ask…

Questions:

Doesn’t this card (XWT-RC061) require flashing to a non-RAID BIOS for ODD support?
(I have no SATA HDD’s or RAID requirements)

Should it be possible to flash this card in Windows Vista 32 bit?

What’s my best bet for getting this Liteon Burner to work on this system?

======================================================
CPU-Z 1.49 report file
Specification Intel® Pentium® 4 CPU 2.80GHz
Northbridge SiS 648FX rev. 51
Southbridge SiS 963 rev. 25
AGP Transfer Rate 8x
Memory Type DDR
Memory Size 3072 MBytes
Mainboard Vendor ASUSTeK Computer INC.
Mainboard Model P4S800
BIOS Vendor Award Software, Inc.
BIOS Version ASUS P4S800 ACPI BIOS Revision 1009
BIOS Date 06/08/2004
Windows Version Microsoft Windows Vista (6.0) Ultimate Edition Service Pack 1 (Build 6001)
DirectX Version 10.0

Hi and Welcome![quote=trunkdog;2209927]):

The system will sometimes halt at bootup with the Sil RAID screen
– Press <Ctrl+S> or F4 to enter RAID utility

The Silicon Image ATA Controller Properties (from Control Panel) has the Browse File for BIOS flash greyed out.[/quote]You made sure you have the latest drivers from SiI installed?

I have tried the SilFlash utility at a Windows DOS prompt (SiFlashTool /File:b4384.bin) for the Base (non-RAID BIOS)
SiFlashTool /V returns my same old BIOS version.
Flash under plain DOS run off a Floppy or bootable CD. These commandline-tools don’t work if started from cmd.exe within a Windows environment.

Questions:
Doesn’t this card (XWT-RC061) require flashing to a non-RAID BIOS for ODD support?
A controller in Raid mode and ODD is a bad combination. So, the answer is yes, flash the controller bios to non-Raid version.

Should it be possible to flash this card in Windows Vista 32 bit?
There are some cards, that cannot be flashed at all, some other cards can only be flashed with a tool from the card manufacturer.

Michael

Michael, Thx for the response and welcome.

[QUOTE=mciahel;2210559]Hi and Welcome!You made sure you have the latest drivers from SiI installed?
Flash under plain DOS run off a Floppy or bootable CD. These commandline-tools don’t work if started from cmd.exe within a Windows environment.Michael[/QUOTE]
<<snip>>

When I boot to DOS I am prompted for a selection (1 -14) of a compatible flash chip or QUIT (15).
How do I determine which of these options (other than 15 :bigsmile:) is appropriate?