Archive for September, 2009

OpenSolaris and 3ware 5950SE-4ME SATA Controller

Got one of these super cheap of ebay – oh dear not again. What can I say a SATA/SAS x4 RAID controller for £15 it would have been rude not to!

This was originally part of a “sidecar” kit for the mac but is listed as supporting other Operating Systems on the 3ware website so could be a great buy.

But after installing it in the opensolaris server it is not recognised!

I download the 9.5.2 drivers from 3ware that seem to suggest that the device is supported but although the install works just fine – nothing!

The machine knows it’s there (according to the Device Driver Utility) but thinks it’s a 9550SX and says that no driver has been found.

After some digging (AKA googling) here’s the apparent solution. Based on this page (

1. Using the Device Driver Utility, find your Smart Array controller, right-click on it, and select “Show Details”. Note the values of “subsystem-vendor-id” and “subsystem-id”.

2.  Unconfigure the driver:

# rem_drv tw

3. Re-configure the driver with your controller’s PCI IDs:

#add_drv -c scsi -i ‘”pci13c1,1003″‘ tw

The general format of the -i option is


4. modinfo should now show the driver as loaded:

#modinfo | grep tw
223 fffffffff7ce9000  140d0 132   1  nsmb (SMBFS network driver v1.36)
249 fffffffff7d2d000   6fb0 265   1  tw (3ware SCSI HBA 1.7)

5. Run the tw_cli to check…
john@shs:/opt/AMCC/CLI$ pfexec ./tw_cli
//shs> show

Ctl   Model        (V)Ports  Drives   Units   NotOpt  RRate   VRate  BBU
c12   9590SE-4ME   4         0        0       0       1       1      –

Encls         Slots  Drives  Fans  TSUnits  PSUnits
e0            4      0       1     1        0

OK so far!

All I have to do now is sort out a cable!!!

Ekk! SFF-8088 (aka Infiniband) to SFF-8470 – the cables are more expensive that the controllers! SPAN is a good source but lists the cable at £40!

Now I realise why the controller was so cheap – I found a reasonable cable (from hong-kong via ebay) for $30USD which is about £19 in real money. Oh dear.

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