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Need help setting up PCI pasthru of LSI 9201-16i on ESXi 6.x

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Hi all,


I've seen references to using PCI passthrough with the LSI 9201 controller with Xpenology (using 5.2 at the moment) and I'm having no luck. Here's what I've done so far.


1. Installed and configured 5.2 as a VM under ESXi (no passthrough yet) and it works fine. Boots without issues. Only issue I do have, which is minor, is that the VM BIOS won't boot from the virtual CD/ISO by default and I have to enter the VM BIOS at every restart to select it manually. In other words the VM BIOS won't "save" the boot order.

2. I then went into ESXi via Vcenter and first added the LSI controller as an available PCI passthrough device. I did this by targeting the esxi host > configure > hardware > edit > selected the LSI controller (checked it's box) and saved/ok.

3. I then rebooted the esxi host. After restart I targeted the Xpenology VM and went to configure > VM Hardware > Edit > New device > PCI Device (the new PCI device adds to the list as the LSI Logic/Symbios device).


I assumed that was all but I think I'm missing some other steps here to make the Xpenology VM see the device properly. Maybe some config I'm supposed to edit?


In any case after doing the above I power on the VM and it displays the Xpenology title and then the VM crashes and powers down (you don't see the crash... the console just goes to a "VMWare connecting" screen since the VM is now down).


I've searched for posts but can't seem to find anything specific on setting this up properly or even how to know if my hardware supports PCI passthrough properly (running an ASUS X58 Sabertooth with an Intel i7 950 processor.)


Thanks in advance!

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  • 5 months later...

I also have LSI SAS 9201-16i and it works in DSM 6.0.2. I have flashed the latest IT firmware, so that may be required in order to get it to work (not completely sure). The only thing this PCI card breaks is SNMP. Enabling SNMP in DSM works a few minutes/hours and then the resource manager crashes and a lot of stuff stops working. Keeping SNMP disabled solves that issue.

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One question to you guys trying to pass-through a raid controller in esxi : why?
I simply pass the disk through with some esxi commands

ls -l /vmfs/devices/disks
Pick the string with t10.ATA
And add the virtual raw device like this

vmkfstools -z /vmfs/devices/disks/t10.ATA_____ST4000VN0002D2AH166__________________________________WDH0K40S /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/RDM/RDMdisk1.vmdk

Afterwards you can add the disk in esxi vm settings

You(esxi) have full control over this disk only disadvantage is the missing temperature and smart values in dsm although in console you can get that information, maybe somebody knows a workaround for that.
A pro point is definitely no need for any drivers...

Gesendet von meinem ONE A2003 mit Tapatalk

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Thanks NeoID. I started from scratch to prepare the VM and it works fine now with the HBA controller. I used Jun's 3615 1.02a loader.

I also agree with you about the disadvantages of RDM drives as opposed to passthrough HBA controller. For one, if any of the RDM drives fail, the entire VM will not start

Edited by epicurean
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On 6/13/2017 at 1:46 PM, 463nt0ran63 said:

One question to you guys trying to pass-through a raid controller in esxi : why?
I simply pass the disk through with some esxi commands


Why, because that is the proper way of doing it, pass it through so the software has full control. If you are going to use ESXi, learn about it as well.

When you have to replace a HD you will be happy you did it right.

Your motherboard and cpu both have to support Vt-d. Check at ark.intel.com for your cpu and check your BIOS for a Vt-d switch or support.



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