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We've just upgraded our file server using an ASUS P6T WS Pro board, running FreeBSD-RELEASE 8.2 and using zfs to manage 12 WD20EARS disks. Since our 3ware card has been giving us trouble we started using the six on-board SATA connectors and got a SuperMicro USAS2-L8i to provide eight more ports. Mechanically, the card is an awkward fit but electrically it all seems ok.

Upon boot, the LSI controller shows up and states that pressing ctrl-c will bring up the LSI Config Utility. When doing that, the message changes to state that the utility will be started after initialization, however that never happens. There does seem to be an error message that's only displayed too briefly to read and seems to be about PCI and "not enough space". (That message is pushed off by a hardware summary and I've found no way to scroll back at this point.)

The disks do not show up in any recognizable ways after booting, either.

I found a hint in another discussion to check the address mapping on either the card or the motherboard BIOS, but have found no way to do that. So what I tried on a hunch is to disable everything that's on-board, including network adapters, Firewire controller and SATA.

In fact, after doing that, I can successfully launch the LSI Config Utility. As far as I can tell, all looks well in there, and when booting in that configuration it also displays a list of the disks connected to it, which looks just fine as well. Only problem now is that I can't boot that way, because I need the on-board SATA controller and network adapters. As soon as I re-enable any of them I'm back to square one.

That discussion I mentioned about mapping addresses said to try D000, then D7FF, then DFFF, in order. The LSI Config Utility shows the card address as D000 but offers no way of changing it.

Any tips or insights would be appreciated.

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If disabling on-board graphics is an option, then try it. I used to have similar problem with LSI cards when it was conflicting with integrated graphics. Disabling graphics helped, but it wasn't an option and I ended up replacing LSI card with analog from Adaptec.

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Thanks for the suggestion, dtoubelis - unfortunately that board doesn't even have on-board graphics. I did try using a (very old) PCI graphics card, though, and even booting head-less. Obviously doing the latter I can't see any BIOS messages, but what I see in dmesg is pretty much the same as before. –  user102076 Nov 25 '11 at 2:16
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