Converting a NetAPP SAS-drive (i.e. Seagate ST3300655SS) to a normal PC-Harddisk

By dose | December 22, 2020
Under: Uncategorized

Recently my boss discovered that he had some spare SAS 300GB drives which weren’t accepted by the Adaptec RAID Controller.
When trying to use them, the Adaptec RAID controller (8805) just showed that the drive is “currently not supported by the raid adapter” on bootup and refused to show the drive in its list. It showed drive name and Firmware version and is seems that these drives were made for NETAPP Storage appliance according to the Firmware version (also indicated by the Firmware NA01 on the drive’s label).
Now I found out that these drives seem to be formatted with 520 bytes sector size instead of the “classic” 512 byte, thus the RAID controller refused them.
To make them standard drives, I flashed Standard firmware on them, a step, that may not be necessary, but I did it anyway to ensure proper operation:

I first downlaoded a package containing SeaFlashLin, a little Linux distribution by Seagate that included their flash program and put it an a bootable USB stick by just running 
bootable tools/USBbootBuilder-16_Kernel4.3.0-SeaFlashLin-046.USBsetup.exe from the archive.
Next, I downloaded Standard firmware (Release 006) for the drive from HP, as none is available from Seagate’s website. HDDGURU also has a mirror of the needed 15K5_SAS0006.lod firmware file. I put the mentioned .lod file on the USB stick I created and booted it up.

I then flashed the drive with

seaflashlin -f 15K5_SAS0006.lod -d /dev/sgX

where /dev/sgX is the device node of the harddisk on the controller that gets shown in the list of the startup script (which basically just does seaflashlin -i).
After flashing the firmware, drive reset fails, but I just powered down the machine with poweroff command so that the drive gets reset.

Next, I booted up a USB stick with Knoppix Linux which contains the sg3_utils which are needed to reformat the drive with 512 byte Sector size.
One can verify the device node /dev/sgX where the drive is located by checking dmesg, as lsscsi command is not available in Knoppix per default. But it should usually be the same as before when the drive was flashed with new firmware. These drives seem to need a 6 byte command instead of 10 bytes, that’s why the –six parameter is needed. So as root:

 sg_format --format --size=512 --six /dev/sgX

In my case, the formatting was completed very quickly but it showed an error DID_NO_CONNECT when querying status before success-mssage. 
One can either wait a few hours until it is believed that the formatting is complete, or reformat the drive in the RAID controller’s menu. 
After that, the drive just worked fine in the RAID.


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