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    S5520SC wont boot with Adaptec 5805 in PCI-e Slot (8x mech)


      Hey there,


      first time post for me so I hope I get it all right and dont forget any important details.


      I disapprove of overclocking, so please consider all information as operated at default speeds (besides who'd overclock such a system anyway?!)

      In addition I seem somewhat addicted to updating all my hardware to the latest firmwares, regardless required or not. Hence rest assured every flashable device in my machine is up-to-date.

      Settings of all components are down to manufacturer's defaults, except for onboard storage controllers of any kind which I deactivated.


      Just a few specs on my workstation's interior:


      S5520SC Board (FW Rev. 55;55;30;112, PBA-Rev. -304)

      2x X5680 processors

      1x 4GB ECC Reg Hynix DDR3 @ Slot A1 (approved by official compatibility list; just to get it running)

      Adaptec 5805 RAID PCI-e 8x SAS/SATAII (FW Rev. 5.2.0 Build 18252, controlling 6 x 1.5TB Seagate SATAII HDDs)

      Using onboard VGA


      ...which is about it really. Before I beef it up with all the neat extras (Dual gfx, RAM galore, etc.) I want to make sure the base components work as expected.


      ...which they DON'T do as you might guess


      In particular the RAID HBA is giving me the hikkups.

      The whole box boots and runs just fine when the RAID adapter is operated in either of the two PCI-e x16 Slots; I can enter Mainboard-Bios, RAID-Config, install software, all peaches n cream.

      BUT since I am planning to use the x16 slots for a dual gfx solution in future, I dont wish to use my RAID adapter in there.

      Thus I slipped it into the x8 mech. slot and what do you know?! Black Screen....


      Box is up and running though. CPU fans spinning like mad, status LEDs all green. Ready to fire up actually. After waiting for half an hour (the adaptec ROM is renowned for extensive loading time) I cut the power.

      I forgot to mention: No onboard SAS module present, PCI-e x8 mech. should be available.

      Another indicator for a compatibility issue is the fact that the RAID adapter has a row of red status leds (pretty much resembling the moving "eye" of a well known black Trans-Am) moving left right while the Adaptec ROM is loading. When seated in the x8 slot it suddenly halts right in the middle of the booting process never to move or blink again.


      No error beeps no error codes by the MB's status leds...


      I'm forlorne and fear that either the x8 slot is totally incapable of hosting RAID adapters (conflicting with onboard SAS-functionality?!) or the adaptec refuses to operate in x4 elec. slots. Latter seems unlikely though, as prior to the S5520SC I used the adapter in a DX48BT2 "Bonetrail" (in x16 mech. x4 elec. PCI-e slot) with no problems at all.


      Any experiences with similar configs or help of any kind is extremely welcome.


      Thanks alot & kind regards,



        • 1. Re: S5520SC wont boot with Adaptec 5805 in PCI-e Slot (8x mech)

          Some thoughts:


          The Adaptec RAID 51645 is the only Adaptec card that is fully supported on that motherboard - see http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/server/s5520sc/sb/CS-030228.htm


          The x16 slots run right off the IOH.  The x8 slot runs through the ICH10R first, and has to share with all that - see p16 (30 of 192) of the TPS at http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/server/s5520sc/sb/CS-030231.htm


          You might be able to get it to work if you disable the network Option ROMs, if you haven't done that already.  But since it hasn't been tested fully, even if you get it to work once there is no guarantee of stability.

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: S5520SC wont boot with Adaptec 5805 in PCI-e Slot (8x mech)

            Hello Dan_O,


            thanks alot for your time and your support.


            I've been through the compat list as mentioned before and indeed I did behold the (shockingly) sole Adaptec entry then. Odd though, the 5805 and the 51645 are rather similar, same controller chip just a few more internal and external ports. I think I shouldn't be too far out stating the PCB circuit designs and firmware rather resemble than differ, so why would one be fully supported and the other one gets thumbs down? Beats me.


            I second your thoughts on the routing of the PCIe 8x signal, that's why I hoped deactivating all onboad storage controller functions would more or less free resources and help the ICH10R focus on the adapter. To me it seems like the default switch between PCIe x8 and SAS module slot wont give way to the add-in card in favor of the sas functionality though no module is installed; really weird.

            Currently I'm toying with with idea to give a different brand RAID adapter a chance to handle my disks. According to the compat list there ARE controllers who would able to deal with the mainboard unfortunately it doesnt give away in which slots operation is guaranteed. No way will I block one of the precious x16 slots!


            And yes I did try to run the machine with EVERYTHING except for the most elemental functions shut off, including both NICs. To no avail


            I have a premonition either BMC or Bios is very choosy which storage controller may be placed in the x8 slot.

            However that slot is usually designed for operation of add-in storage controllers (in addition to hi-perf NICs) so actually it's the proper place for the adaptec.


            I'll post this on adaptec support as well.


            Again cheers for your thoughts.


            The search goes on...

            • 4. Re: S5520SC wont boot with Adaptec 5805 in PCI-e Slot (8x mech)

              Arvo Doc,


              cheers for your recommendation. But I'm rather fond of the adaptec controller (which btw was pretty costly) so I rather try to figure it out this way first before using an onboard controller. Besides SAS is out of the question due to enclosure limitations.


              Does anyone have evidence of the Adaptec 51645 (which is officially approved for this board) running ok in the x8 slot? I might get hold of one for small bucks.


              Thanks again for any help provided,




              P.S.: Just stumbled over this:



              @ page 12

              • 5. Re: S5520SC wont boot with Adaptec 5805 in PCI-e Slot (8x mech)

                Workaround Use BIOS revision R0050.Hello,


                There is a similar problem in this Document (P19).



                34. System with BIOS Revision R0054 may hang when Adaptec* 5405 or 5805 RAID card installed.




                On a system with the Adaptec* 5405 or 5805 RAID card installed, the system may hang during POST.




                This issue may be fixed in a future BIOS revision.




                Use BIOS revision R0050.




                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • 6. Re: S5520SC wont boot with Adaptec 5805 in PCI-e Slot (8x mech)

                  Hello katuragi,


                  thanks alot for your posting.


                  Looks like you got a bullseye there, so it IS the MoBo after all. I was suspecting that already.


                  Adaptec's been wrecking their heads on the prob since. I flashed the controller with all different kinds of official and unofficial ROMs to no avail plus to me it seems rather fishy the 5805 should work sweet in the x16 slots but refuses to operate in the x8 slot supposedly due to errant controller behaviour.. no way.


                  I shall implement the workaround mentioned in the specification update this weekend and then post the results.


                  Stay tuned.






                  • 7. Re: S5520SC wont boot with Adaptec 5805 in PCI-e Slot (8x mech)

                    Hey folks,


                    so this is how it went:


                    It's understood that after flashing the devices I reset both to defaults and deactivated as much as possible.


                    First I implemented the official workaround by downgrading to Bios Ver.R.0050, to no avail. I toggled board based BBS support on the RAID controller, nada. Unfortunately there's no option in the BIOS to toggle EFI support. I noticed in the past, manufacturers would recommend to deactivate it, so all I could do here was to delete the EFI platform as a bootable option, didnt change anything though.


                    Step-by-step downgrades of MB Bios/BMC and Controller, back to ridiculously ancient versions (had to be careful not to brick my box though as late implementation of x5600 Xeon CPU's into microcode updates) >> Dead end


                    I tried to find the Bios/BMC Version (48,49,25) announced by the Adaptec-Compat list to be fully compliant with the 5805 controller (mentioned in my last posting). The only Bios offered by Intel download closest to that was the 48.2,51,25. Made no difference though.


                    I detected something that had escaped my attention before: The system status and the diagnostic LED's ( shame, shame, I know )


                    1. System Status LED = Blinking amber = Non-fatal alarm – system is likely to fail:
                    – Critical temperature threshold asserted
                    – CATERR asserted
                    – Critical voltage threshold asserted
                    – VRD hot asserted
                    – SMI Timeout asserted (putting my money on this one, as Status LED is fine when running RAID controller in PCIe x16, or taken out of the box)


                    2. Diagnostic LED's (all green except for #2) =

                    #7 aka A (flashing nervously),

                    #6 aka B (on),

                    #5 aka C (flashing nervously),

                    #4 aka D (on),

                    #3 aka E (flashing nervously),

                    #2 aka F (off),

                    #1 aka G (flashing nervously),

                    #0 aka H (on)

                    (Using LED syntax acc. to TechSpecUpd - App.E)


                    The flashing LEDs dont seem to follow a specific rhythm which makes diagnostics according to TechSpec table impossible and in conjunction with the amber flashing status LED I cant shake the feeling my primary suspicion turns out to prove correct namely resource allocation failure by BMC/SMI.


                    I hope this will help intel track down the problem for their next BIOS/BMC release for this board.


                    Other suggestions are still welcome.





                    • 8. Re: S5520SC wont boot with Adaptec 5805 in PCI-e Slot (8x mech)

                      For the system led I would recommend running SEL View ans see what is getting logged.


                      • 9. Re: S5520SC wont boot with Adaptec 5805 in PCI-e Slot (8x mech)

                        I have one other thought, but I am not having any luck finding the correct specification on addaptex site.


                        Basicly the 8x mech slot on the S5520SC is a Gen 1 PCIe interface.

                        Some gen2 PCIe card can cause system lock-ups.


                        So is the Adaptec 5805 a gen1 or gen 2 card?

                        • 10. Re: S5520SC wont boot with Adaptec 5805 in PCI-e Slot (8x mech)

                          Arvo Doc,


                          thanks alot for your contributions.


                          Will give the Selviewer a chance asap

                          I hope BMC keeps a record of earlier incidents as I wont be able to run the prog while the controller is seated in the x8 slot (thx to stalled booting process).


                          As for your question, the 5805 is a PCIe Gen.1 HBA (as is its big bro the 51645 btw, which is officially supported by intel for use in this board!)

                          As mentioned in an earlier posting both HBA's are pretty much alike, the full size 51645 has a few more connectors but the circuits and the BIOS should be more or less equal.


                          I'll post the selview results as soon as I can set myself to it.



                          Cheers Alex

                          • 11. Re: S5520SC wont boot with Adaptec 5805 in PCI-e Slot (8x mech)

                            Your are likly to get more results than you know what to do with.


                            Look for any thing flag critical or having to do with the PCIe bus like mal-formed TLPs

                            • 12. Re: S5520SC wont boot with Adaptec 5805 in PCI-e Slot (8x mech)

                              Hello Doc,


                              I completed the selview extraction using the EFI platform (for some reason the linux version wouldnt be able to read BMC log on Fedora 13 ).

                              The results are attached to this posting.


                              Of a total of approx. 4000 entries, I noticed several thousand pointing at the same alert:


                              "Critical Interrupt /PCIe Fat Sensor CRITICAL event: PCIe Fat Sensor reports a fatal PCI Express Malformed TLP error. SMI Handler (Channel #00h)"


                              Looks like we found the needle in the haystack


                              The question remains, how are we going to get rid of it? Not much can be done from my side by the looks of it.

                              BMC/SMI obviously cant handle ressource allocation by the controller.


                              I guess this is where intel has to take over.



                              Thanks for your precious help doc.


                              Kind regards,





                              P.S.: To exclude a mechanical problem I tested the box with the 5805 in a x16 PCIe and an Intel Pro/1000 PF Quad PCIe x4 NIC in the x8. The NIC and the workstation were fully operable (however, using a x4 card in a x8 slot leaves a couple of PCIe lanes untested).

                              • 13. Re: S5520SC wont boot with Adaptec 5805 in PCI-e Slot (8x mech)

                                Hello again,


                                long time no post, but now that I have some time and put a few bucks aside I decided to put this drama to an end by choosing the undesired way of getting a new controller.


                                Somewhat smarter and less laddish this time I went by the book which means I chose a controller from the official intel compatibility list for this mainboard and since I pretty much believe in Adaptec (all my servers run on Adaptec RAIDs just sweetly; driven by intel Mainboards btw.) I stuck to the only card left by the HWCL:


                                Adaptec 51645


                                Before putting myself to it I updated my mainboard firmware to 57;56;30;112 reset the whole box, cleansed all caches, updated the RAID to the latest firmware, cast a few prayers and placed the Adapter in the x8 slot (without attaching ANYTHING to it) kicking off the machine with the RAID card all BIOS set to defaults.


                                Do I actually need to mention the result?

                                (for those of you baffled now, please refer to the results mentioned in earlier posts)


                                Of course I followed all standard procedures again as done with the 5805, but the end of the story proves my former assumptions correct.


                                I am pi..ed to say the least.


                                Dear Intel, I would very much appreciate if YOU invested a little more time in this debugging instead of asking me to settle it with Adaptec as done in a support email the other day. Starting out with a thorough revision of your compatibility list for this mainboard!


                                Much obliged and kind regards,



                                • 14. Re: S5520SC wont boot with Adaptec 5805 in PCI-e Slot (8x mech)

                                  Hi, Alex


                                  I've got the same problem as you with an Areca ARC 1231 DML.

                                  I can't use the second x16 slot since I've watercooled the chipset behind it and the cooler's too high.


                                  But I've started with the controller working on the board, I've got in trouble when I updated the BIOS.

                                  I followed the advice with the BIOS downgrade, but went back to the version I had - 0.45

                                  And voilà - everythings fine again with the controller.


                                  I'll push this at Intel since I've got some contacts there.


                                  I want the BIOS update, cause I've got odd CPU usage spikes repeating in a pattern looking like saw tooths - starts with 60% CPU, then 0, then 56%, then 0, then 52%, then 0 etc, then a little pause with normal activity and then the same again. It's correlated with "Interrupts" shown in Process Explorer. The machine get's a little sluggish sometimes and I blame this.

                                  I read that a BIOS update should help...




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