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Archive for the ‘Storage technology’ Category

Xyratex -Autodesk Secrets from the void

26 Jan

I’ve been playing with the Xyratex kit for the past few years, mainly when there is a spare hour or so…
During this time we found any number of really interesting “things” one of which is listed below…

After entering the monitor during boot-up via:

“Press and hold to invoke monitor”

you are presented with a screen showing

“Monitor>”

Entering “?” gives you a list of commands:

and from this list of commands you can do ‘really cool’ things like “upload firmware” or take a look at the temperature…

Lets be honest… it is absolute garbage.. not worth the time of day other than for very basic maintenance….

However
If you enter the command “set debug

now do the command “?”

And suddenly the whole world opens up for you….

Commands you should NEVER EVER do as a newbie…..
“ef”… You will erase the controller firmware…(bye…..)
“sw”… You will completely destroy your controller firmware if not pre-prepared for this action
“go”… If you randomly enter addresses you can jump into the middle of any number of “dangerous” routines….
“fi”… You can destroy critical ram tables as well as writing to the device I/O
“i2w1”. This can destroy critical settings on the i2c buss 1
“i2w2”. This can destroy critical settings on the i2c buss 2
“fwp1”. This can destroy critical settings on the PCI buss 1
“fwp2”. This can destroy critical settings on the PCI buss 2

Those and any command that does a “write” to any address the user can enter…..

Oh… and if you break it.. there is a good chance that a power cycle WILL NOT CORRECT THE ISSUE………..

Anyone who thinks this is bullshit can go try the “SW” command………
What happens.. is a bug….. the internal flash chips are erased.. then it attempts to copy an alternative firmware that is stored in ram…. but it don’t exist… becasue you did not pre-store it.. oh and you cannot load one becasue you don’t know the details of the load file header and validation….. (plus ur running an AD or maybe Xyratex boot monitor)
If it is an AD monitor you are completely fucked.. becasue it will only load “AD” firmware…
and to date I have never seen an “AD” load file…

so you are left with erased flash chips and no real way to recover……… unless you have firmware files

You would have thought they would validate the “alternative ” firmware BEFORE the chip erase… but nope….. Sorry..
There is a firm warning in the “ver” command… if you can spot it.

What is SHOULD look like before doing anything stupid.

As can be seen we have a safety “default” Alternative Operational firmware saved.

same with the “go” command… you can jump right into one of the many “erase chip” functions by accident…

 

Xyratex Autodesk branded RS-1200 5412E hard drives (Using most drives)

07 Feb

Well we picked up a “few” Xyratex RS-1220-F4-5412E Autodesk systems a few years ago, you know the ones with the AD22 firmware that is locked.
Total cost was $40usd for 4 including a shed load of spare controllers & drive sleds
The controllers are generally marked:
RS-LRC-F4-5412E-1024-ADSK 08 Mar-31 (happy decade!!)
RS-LRC-F4-5402E-1024-ADSK 06 21 (almost a teenager)

Unfortunately no drives were included.

Had a quick look on the internet to see if we could find anything on “non Autodesk” drives, mostly just people saying that the devices were locked to drives with a special FW AD02 or AD03
Others were saying there was a magic firmware AD20 or something…….

Breakthrough
I had a few hours to throw at it the other day, since I was waiting for some new PCB’s to assist in a hack of the new Seagate F3 drives with locked down firmware.
We burnt some drives with a drive sig of XR36 & XR38 inserted them into the array but nothing was showing up , other than the drives were “unsupported”

I cannae change the laws of physics Captain
But it’s in here some place

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HP Servers with Non HP Disk Drives, Where is Temperature Sensor #29 on DL380?

05 Nov

I have a home built system consisting of several HP Proliant DL380 Gen7 & Gen8 servers.
Now normally when sitting idle these are solid servers with fairly low power consumption and in many cases Whisper quiet when under no load.

That was until a recent upgrade of a failed disk drive.
Actually the server went from one seagate drive to almost exactly the SAME model of Seagate drive with a slight difference in the part number.

From a ST2000LM007 to ST2000LM015, both are: 2.5″ SATA 6Gb/s 5400RPM, 128Mb ram.
This simple change has left the internal fans running at 90% of full speed and continual warnings of the drives over heating.

Temperature Sensor #29
It is believed that this is a “pseudo sensor”, take a bunch of system temperatures pass them though a formula or table matrix and arrive at some sort of “system Health” number.
Why think this?, because it is possible to “fool” this sensor in reporting different temperatures that are not related to anything temperature like in particular

There has also been a very interesting support note released by HP recently covering most of the HP production and EOL systems.
Notice/ ProLiant Gen7 Gen8 and Gen9 Servers – Fan Speed May Be Higher Than Expected If No Hard Drive Is Present In the System

I think what we are looking at is not actually a system problem ,but rather a iLO X problem, or more likely a design “feature” to lock down the hardware.
Why would anyone run a server without disk drives?, simple…. cloud implementation… throw in a few optical connectors to an optical switch and a fiber based NAS
and you have very cheap computing systems that can be easily configured from a central location ,no local disk drives needed.

Problem is, that this increase in fan speed “by design” as HP likes to put it , is potentially breaking the law of some countries related to Environmental impact of electronic equipment.
Those extra ramped up fans are adding 90-100W to the power consumption , which equates to over 2KWh a day. which adds up to several hundred KWh per year of power that is being “deliberately wasted” for no reason what so ever(parts NOT fitted in the server, as an option to SAVE power resources.).

 

IBM Hard Drive Crash

20 Feb

Digging through my old photo library , I came across the following painful photograph.

Specifically  the pain related not to loosing the disk-drive or data (it was a scrap drive) ,but rather to the fact that the platters exploded on my workbench, throwing micro-fragments of glass into my right hand.(I was trying to disassemble the platter stack)

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