3rd Party PCIe cards (via NVMe adapter) and their BIOS

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domih
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3rd Party PCIe cards (via NVMe adapter) and their BIOS

Unread post by domih » Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:13 am

Dear Odroid,

Now that I have PCIe cards working through the NVMe to PCIe x4 ADT.Link adapter, I'm coming up with questions :D

Some of these cards are supposed to be configurable at boot time via their own BIOS settings.

I do not see the cards boot screens with prompt on the H2, like I see them on a regular PC.

Is this something not implemented (yet)?

TIA!

Dominique

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Re: 3rd Party PCIe cards (via NVMe adapter) and their BIOS

Unread post by odroid » Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:27 am

I have no idea.
Can you give me a link of the ADT.Link adapter which has a BIOS ROM on the board?

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Re: 3rd Party PCIe cards (via NVMe adapter) and their BIOS

Unread post by domih » Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:55 am

Not the ADT.Link adapter itself but the cards you can insert into it. Many PCIe cards can be configured at boot time: i.e. RAID cards.

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Re: 3rd Party PCIe cards (via NVMe adapter) and their BIOS

Unread post by odroid » Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:09 am

I see. We don't have a PCIe RAID card at this moment.
We will buy one with a PCIe x4 ADT.Link adapter.
Can you tell me an exact part number of the ADT.Link PCIe x4 adapter which works with H2?

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Re: 3rd Party PCIe cards (via NVMe adapter) and their BIOS

Unread post by domih » Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:27 pm

1) Well, never mind on my side, the two cards I tried on the H2 do not have any boot time configuration! I just check them on a PC. Sorry :-)

2) So we do not know if it is an issue or not, maybe it works OK, we'll know when someone tries it. The ADT-Link adapter is this one: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32833359557.html, choose the orientation of the connector and the cable length at your convenience. Credits note: this cable was originally recommended by RomaT and yes it works 100%. It comes with the SATA to floppy-like connector cable to power the PCIe bus, so you'll need a 12v source (can be one of the SATA power connector-cable of the H2 or an external PSU). Note that if you already have a M.2 to PCIe x4 adapter in-house, this will do too. It is not related to the ADT-Link adapter itself.

3) Finally you need to find a PCIe card that is recognized by the H2 and has boot time configuration. Best bet is a RAID card IMHO (a cheap one, no need to spend $$$.) Or maybe you already have such a card in-house not forcibly a RAID one.

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Re: 3rd Party PCIe cards (via NVMe adapter) and their BIOS

Unread post by odroid » Mon Jul 29, 2019 2:28 pm

I've ordered two ADT.Link adapters with 150mm cables from Aliexpress.
It may take 3 weeks for delivery from China to Korea.
Once I receive it we will try to find a powering solution as well as cheapo RAID card.

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Re: 3rd Party PCIe cards (via NVMe adapter) and their BIOS

Unread post by RomaT » Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:02 pm

Today I also received this adapter, it is from this seller.
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IMG_20190729_115111s.jpg
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Last edited by RomaT on Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 3rd Party PCIe cards (via NVMe adapter) and their BIOS

Unread post by odroid » Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:03 pm

What is the length of the flat PCIe cable?

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Re: 3rd Party PCIe cards (via NVMe adapter) and their BIOS

Unread post by RomaT » Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:08 pm

Model: R42SL 150mm, the cable is quite hard, rests against twisting
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Last edited by RomaT on Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: 3rd Party PCIe cards (via NVMe adapter) and their BIOS

Unread post by odroid » Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:17 pm

Okay. Well noted.

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Re: 3rd Party PCIe cards (via NVMe adapter) and their BIOS

Unread post by domih » Sun Sep 08, 2019 6:54 am

odroid wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 2:28 pm
I've ordered two ADT.Link adapters with 150mm cables from Aliexpress.
It may take 3 weeks for delivery from China to Korea.
Once I receive it we will try to find a powering solution as well as cheapo RAID card.
I'm reviving this thread because I was able to test a card which has a boot time configuration. The card is a Mellanox ConnectX-3 Pro.

Here is a screenshot of the configuration screen which you access by pressing Ctrl-B at boot time at the moment the FlexBoot prompt is displayed.
Screenshot at 2019-09-07 14-49-02.png
Screenshot at 2019-09-07 14-49-02.png (21.12 KiB) Viewed 277 times
This configuration screen is accessible on other PCs but not on the H2. So my (wild) guess it that you have to add some code to your PCIe implementation to query the devices for possible boot configuration and then process them if any.

Otherwise the card works AOK on the H2.

Code: Select all

domih@h2a:~$ lspci | grep Mellanox
01:00.0 Network controller: Mellanox Technologies MT27520 Family [ConnectX-3 Pro]
domih@h2a:~$ sudo lspci -vv -s 01:00.0 | grep Width 
		LnkCap:	Port #8, Speed 8GT/s, Width x8, ASPM L0s, Exit Latency L0s unlimited, L1 unlimited
		LnkSta:	Speed 5GT/s, Width x4, TrErr- Train- SlotClk+ DLActive- BWMgmt- ABWMgmt-
domih@h2a:~$ sudo mstflint -d 01:00.0 query
Image type:            FS2
FW Version:            2.42.5000
FW Release Date:       5.9.2017
Product Version:       02.42.50.00
Rom Info:              type=PXE version=3.4.752
Device ID:             4103
Description:           Node             Port1            Port2            Sys image
GUIDs:                 f452140300346ea0 f452140300346ea1 f452140300346ea2 f452140300346ea3 
MACs:                                       f45214346ea1     f45214346ea2
VSD:                   
PSID:                  MT_1090111019

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Re: 3rd Party PCIe cards (via NVMe adapter) and their BIOS

Unread post by crashoverride » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:12 am

domih wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 6:54 am
This configuration screen is accessible on other PCs but not on the H2.
Most likely it uses a BIOS option ROM and not a UEFI one. You can confirm by disabling CSM (BIOS compatibility) on the PC.
These users thanked the author crashoverride for the post:
domih (Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:02 am)

domih
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Re: 3rd Party PCIe cards (via NVMe adapter) and their BIOS

Unread post by domih » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:02 am

crashoverride wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:12 am
domih wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 6:54 am
This configuration screen is accessible on other PCs but not on the H2.
Most likely it uses a BIOS option ROM and not a UEFI one. You can confirm by disabling CSM (BIOS compatibility) on the PC.
This is correct. Just tested it on a PC:
- When CSM is enabled I see the card prompt and can enter the card configuration screen.
- When CSM is disabled I do not see the prompt.

So now, is there a CSM option in the H2 UEFI? I saw a Compatibility Mode option in Chipset -> PCI Express Configuration. In the past I tried both Enabled and Disabled but did not see the card prompt while booting.

Thank you very much for you help!

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Re: 3rd Party PCIe cards (via NVMe adapter) and their BIOS

Unread post by mad_ady » Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:09 am

No, the BIOS (or CPU?), doesn't support csm sadly

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Re: 3rd Party PCIe cards (via NVMe adapter) and their BIOS

Unread post by domih » Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:41 am

It does not bother much because I can configure the network cards I'm using via the sys file system. But it could be an issue for other users who want to configure a low-cost SATA RAID card and do not have the stomach for poking into the sys file system. Anyway it's on ODROID todo list, so let's just wait. Not urgent on my side.

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