LSI firmware

Please read these instructions carefully! Any mistakes can make your system unusable

Many of the people I work with are running OpenZFS on FreeBSD or FreeNAS. They also mostly run lsi HBA’s. The LSI controllers are the best for connecting a server running ZFS to a set of disks. It is very important to make sure you run the same firmware and driver versions. These instructions are for SAS controllers. I don’t typically run or recommend SATA disks for commercial installs.


For SAS2/6gb it has been preferred to use the version 19 of driver and firmware in FreeBSD for quite some time. In the FreeNAS world it has had version 16 of the driver since 9.3. Recently FreeNAS has moved to a 9.3.1 and changed the default driver to version 20. The version firmware is known to be bad but the version seems to be quite good and stable. In the last few weeks I have done extensive testing of 9.3.1 release 1104 and the firmware and have found it to be fairly solid. I still prefer the 16 or 19, but … I have found a lot of the people running FreeNAS are running the 9.3.1 and don’t have the ability to rollback to an earlier driver.

If you are running FreeNAS 9.3.1, are running a 9207-8e and would like to move to a version 20 of firmware these procedures will work for you to upgrade.

First download and untar this file sas2.tar

on the command line run

#sas2flash -o -f 9207-8e.bin -b mptsas2.rom


There are many lsi 12gb sas controllers that are running well in FreeBSD or FreeNAS. Some of the servers we have recently worked with came with an onboard 3008 lsi chip. If you are running the 9300-8i internal SAS3/12gb controller then download and untar this sas3.tar

on the command line run

#sas3flash -o -f SAS9300_8i_IT.bin -b mptsas3.rom

If you aren’t running one of those 2 cards find the correct firmware binary file and rom at

You will need to download the correct firmware for your card by searching the card and downloading the Package_P20_IR_IT_Firmware_BIOS_for_MSDOS_Windows. Even though it says windows, the firmware binary will be in the Firmware folder within that zipfile and the bios will be in the “sasbios_rel” folder. Make sure you use the IT version.

There all kinds of instructions out there on how flashing the firmware needs to be done, but most new/current LSI branded cards will flash easily on the command line with sas2flash or sas3flash utilities which are included with FreeNAS and downloadable for FreeBSD.

Our preferred reference doc for flashing firmware is here even though it is written for linux, it is easily transferable to bsd.

If you would like help, we would be happy to .. for a couple bucks. 🙂