Compaq ProLiant ML350 G1 Server Feature Board

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Compaq ProLiant ML350 G1 Server Feature Board

Postby ph4nt0m » 2019-5-10 @ 13:56

This is the beast.

Image

It is basically an all-in-one PCI card with an ATI Rage II 4Mb video, dual channel Ultra2 SCSI controller (LSI 53C896) and Fast Ethernet network (Intel 82559). Everything sits behind an Intel branded DEC 21152 PCI-to-PCI bridge. However it isn't going to work if you just put this board in a regular PC. It POSTs and halts the system because it isn't the original ProLiant. It gets further with this check bypassed by turning the SW3.8 DIP switch on, but halts anyway with "Error 1611 System Fan". This boards takes care of CPU and system fans which use non-standard pinouts. I guess it does more than this because there are two FPGA chips, a larger one NEC CMOS-8 UPD65811 with over 100K gates, and a smaller one Lattice 2032VE with 1K gates. Their firmware is embedded in the 2Mbit SCSI BIOS flash chip. Another 2Mbit flash chip contains Compaq branded ATI BIOS for Rage II. There is also a 3V lithium battery to hold NVRAM settings.

So, the challenge is to make this board work in regular PCs. The video BIOS is more or less reference. I have left it untouched. The SCSI BIOS has to be disassembled with all those Compaq proprietary features removed, but the easier way is just to replace it with a reference LSI SCSI BIOS. The latest I could find is v4.19, but it stores configuration data in NVRAM. Compaq engineers have designed a different NVRAM interface, so it doesn't work with the LSI BIOS. I have flashed the less functional v4.12 BIOS which doesn't store anything in NVRAM and it does work. I could boot to Windows XP and it picked up drivers just fine.

Although the network chip was recognised as "Advanced System Management Controller" PCI_VEN 0E11 PCI_DEV A0F0, but there is a separate EEPROM chip, Fairchild FM93C46, which also needs to be flashed with generic firmware in order to enable regular Ethernet controller.

Has anyone got any more success tweaking this board?
Attachments
ml350_sfb-bios.zip
BIOS dumps
(59.45 KiB) Downloaded 5 times
User avatar
ph4nt0m
Member
 
Posts: 228
Joined: 2018-1-01 @ 19:03

Re: Compaq ProLiant ML350 G1 Server Feature Board

Postby chinny22 » 2019-5-19 @ 11:02

I doubt anyone has even tried what you are doing but I wish you luck, its an interesting project
User avatar
chinny22
l33t
 
Posts: 2366
Joined: 2011-8-26 @ 12:02
Location: Australian but living in the UK for now

Re: Compaq ProLiant ML350 G1 Server Feature Board

Postby ph4nt0m » 2019-5-20 @ 10:03

Maybe someone who buys this board in the future and gets puzzled with it, finds this thread. It's a good board actually. Decent 2D video up to 1280x1024 24bpp, Ultra2 SCSI 80MB/s per channel, 10/100 Ethernet in a single PCI slot. Can be connected to a Voodoo2 for gaming.
User avatar
ph4nt0m
Member
 
Posts: 228
Joined: 2018-1-01 @ 19:03

Re: Compaq ProLiant ML350 G1 Server Feature Board

Postby Unknown_K » 2019-5-20 @ 16:49

I have an ML330 and it has a card something like that in it.
Collector of old computers, hardware, and software
Unknown_K
Oldbie
 
Posts: 855
Joined: 2013-4-22 @ 18:59
Location: Youngstown, OH USA

Re: Compaq ProLiant ML350 G1 Server Feature Board

Postby ph4nt0m » 2019-5-20 @ 17:30

Unknown_K wrote:I have an ML330 and it has a card something like that in it.

Seems very related. The most noticeable difference is a single channel SCSI controller. The rest is more or less the same.

Image
User avatar
ph4nt0m
Member
 
Posts: 228
Joined: 2018-1-01 @ 19:03


Return to General Old Hardware

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: alvaro84, mothergoose729, NJRoadfan, Yuuker and 15 guests