SiI3531 add-on card

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SiI3531 add-on card

Postby dhdurgee » Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:19 pm

As I finally heard from Intel that the ICH7 chipset on my DG41TY mainboard does NOT have the ability to support NCQ or port multiplication I looked around for a PCIe-x1 add-on card that could do so. I found a card with the SiI3531 chipset available for a very good price and ordered it.

While I was exchanging messages on a listserver about this topic someone warned me that some add-on cards have BIOS that will write their own RAID formatting to a drive attached to them. As I am going to be connecting an ARC-5020 external RAID unit, which of course is already RAID formatted and appears as a set of multiple drives, this would be deadly to my already formatted unit and the operating systems and data loaded on them. Given this I have installed the card but have not yet attached the unit to the eSATA port. I see no additional BIOS messages at startup, so perhaps this particular card has no such BIOS. Or perhaps the BIOS doesn't even issue messages until a drive is attached.

I have booted Gloria with this card installed and lspci -vv shows the following for it:

02:00.0 Mass storage controller: Silicon Image, Inc. Sil 3531 [SATALink/SATARaid] Serial ATA Controller (rev 01)
Subsystem: Silicon Image, Inc. Sil 3531 [SATALink/SATARaid] Serial ATA Controller
Control: I/O+ Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B- DisINTx-
Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B- ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR- INTx-
Latency: 0, Cache Line Size: 64 bytes
Interrupt: pin A routed to IRQ 16
Region 0: Memory at d2202000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=128]
Region 2: Memory at d2200000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=8K]
Region 4: I/O ports at e000 [size=128]
Capabilities: [54] Power Management version 2
Flags: PMEClk- DSI+ D1+ D2+ AuxCurrent=0mA PME(D0-,D1-,D2-,D3hot-,D3cold-)
Status: D0 PME-Enable- DSel=0 DScale=1 PME-
Capabilities: [5c] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit+ Queue=0/0 Enable-
Address: 0000000000000000 Data: 0000
Capabilities: [70] Express (v1) Legacy Endpoint, MSI 00
DevCap: MaxPayload 1024 bytes, PhantFunc 0, Latency L0s <64ns, L1 <1us
ExtTag- AttnBtn+ AttnInd+ PwrInd+ RBE+ FLReset-
DevCtl: Report errors: Correctable- Non-Fatal- Fatal- Unsupported-
RlxdOrd- ExtTag- PhantFunc- AuxPwr- NoSnoop-
MaxPayload 128 bytes, MaxReadReq 4096 bytes
DevSta: CorrErr+ UncorrErr- FatalErr- UnsuppReq+ AuxPwr- TransPend-
LnkCap: Port #0, Speed 2.5GT/s, Width x1, ASPM L0s, Latency L0 unlimited, L1 unlimited
ClockPM- Suprise- LLActRep- BwNot-
LnkCtl: ASPM Disabled; RCB 64 bytes Disabled- Retrain- CommClk+
ExtSynch- ClockPM- AutWidDis- BWInt- AutBWInt-
LnkSta: Speed 2.5GT/s, Width x1, TrErr- Train- SlotClk+ DLActive- BWMgmt- ABWMgmt-
Capabilities: [100] Advanced Error Reporting <?>
Kernel driver in use: sata_sil24

I see no mention in the above of a ROM, even a disabled one. Can I be certain in this case that there is no BIOS ROM?
I have a message in to Areca support asking if there is a way to write-protect the unit, but I got an automated message that they are out until Monday due to a typhoon in the area. Should I wait to hear back from them?


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Re: SiI3531 add-on card

Postby Husse » Tue Aug 11, 2009 5:47 am

There is always a BIOS in all hardware, but you generally know it as firmware
I took a look at this but I could not find if it formatted the disks or not.
I think this
The SiI3531 is a single-lane PCI Express to single port Serial ATA (SATA) II host controller

indicates no RAID....
You can download the manual from here
but you should have it already
Don't fix it if it ain't broken, don't break it if you can't fix it

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