[Beowulf] Arima motherboards with SATA2 drives

Geoff Jacobs gdjacobs at gmail.com
Tue Mar 9 13:15:43 PST 2010

David Mathog wrote:
> Have any of you seen a patched BIOS for the Arima HDAM* motherboards
> that resolves the issue of the Sil 3114 SATA controller locking up when
> it sees a SATA II disk? (Even a disk jumpered to Sata I speeds.) 
> Silicon Image released a BIOS fix for this, but since all of these
> motherboards use a Phoenix BIOS, it is not like an AMI or Award BIOS,
> where there are published methods for swapping out the broken chunk of
> BIOS (5.0.49) for the one with the fix (  Sure, one could work
> around this on a single disk system, at least, with an IDE to SATA2
> converter, or a PCI(X) Sata(2) controller, but reflashing the BIOS would
> be easier.  Or it would be if Flextronics, who bought this product line
> from Arima, would issue another BIOS update :-(.
> Thanks,
> David Mathog
> mathog at caltech.edu
> Manager, Sequence Analysis Facility, Biology Division, Caltech

I'm assuming that the boffin Flextronics has handling legacy support for
Arima is not being very responsive?

Well, editing the BIOS image for the mainboard seams kind of dodgy. If
chassis space isn't a problem, I would think replacing the controller
would be a better solution. I'm also unsure if Coreboot is a viable
option, although it seems the HDAMA is supported. I'm not 100% sure if
the Sil controller is, though.

Interesting problem, though.

If you want to, find a copy of BNTBTC (Bog Number Two's BIOS Tools
Collection) and install Phoenix Bios Editor. Hopefully you have no
missing VBVM 6.0 files. You'll need to find the correct module for
replacement. I was just checking the ROM image myself, but I was using
an older BIOS editor and things were a little gnarly. We'll see with the
new version...

Geoffrey D. Jacobs

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