Clearing a SAN lockdown state

Hah, are you really bragging that you know how to clear a lockdown at one of California’s finest hotels?

No… Just No, I think that would involve blackmailing the governator or some mild kidnapping both are way beyond my ability to pull off.

Is this something to do with restoring operation of a faulty biological SAN/pacemaker?

As much as I enjoyed biology in A level that would also be beyond my knowledge and this is a computer orientated blog.

I am talking about restoring operation of a Storage Area Network controller that has reached a software enforced lockdown state specifically the LSI/Netapp built IBM branded DS3524 SAN incorporates lockdown counters which track the number of power cycles that one/both controllers on this unit experiences and if a threshold is reached then a lockdown is enabled which prevents the unit in question from booting.

Is that a nasty tactic to sell service contracts?

I don’t think so, this behaviour is likely to protect your precious data from a flaky controller which is advantageous unless your SAN controllers are operating correctly but experience a series of temporary power fluctuations in that case once reliable power has been restored this lockdown would need to be cleared to enable operations.

This lockout is indicated by LU appearing on the twin 7-segment LED displays on the controller mounted status indicators to the rear of the SAN.

A word of warning, please ensure that the SAN controller is only in this state due to external factors and not a fault and as normal I take no responsibility for your actions.. if you kill you data it was your choice to try and clear this lockdown.

To perform this lockout reset you will need an IBM serial-console/din connector and a computer/remote console host equipped with a RS232/Serial/DB9 connector.

The IBM serial to Console cable is pictured below and should have been included with the SAN if not IBM may send you one


This cable plugs into a female DIN port hidden under a black plastic cover at the rear of the SAN controllers.


Install Putty on the computer connected to the SAN to be used as a terminal emulator then once the connection has been made set the connection to serial and then set the parameters as follows.



Serial Line: This should be the COM port that your RS232 is port is listed as, this can be determined by the your system HW manager but in my case it should be COM 1.

Speed (Baud): any speed will do as the SAN controller uses adaptive baud rates but I use 19200.

Data bits: 8

Stop bits: 1

Parity: None

Flow Control: XON/XOFF

When you connect there may not be a message so press <CONTROL> and <BREAK> until correct speed detected, this will be indicated by intelligible onscreen text.
When prompted to press <S> for Service Menu press <ESC> instead.  This will take opens a shell prompt.

At this shell prompt you *may* be able to use these credentials as they seem to be generic with FW images (verified by these working on a replacement controller) if these dont work then contactyour IBM/LSI representative

User ID:    shellUsr
Password:    wy3oo&w4

The following commands need to be issued into this terminal in a specific order depending on which controller is in lockdown.

If controller A is in lockdown:

Run the following commands on both controllers –

Then unplug ctrl-A and run the following commands on ctrl-B:

Then Hot-plug ctrl-A

This should sync setting across the controllers and clear the lockdown and you should be able to use your SAN again : )

The SANDISK SD Card Slowdown

Are you talking about how capacities aren’t growing as quickly as they did in the past?

No but the rate of doubling capacity (from 2009:   that existed until we reached 16gb or so needed to stop if only due to the reason that most people with media players don’t use up that amount of space (especially since the advent of cloud based players such as Spotify and Google music) and photographers shouldn’t carry all of their photos in a single high capacity storage card that could easily be swallowed/lost or fail.

I am talking about the apparent slowdown in new high capacity micro SD card read/write rates, in reality this is just an evaluation of the r/w rates of SD cards over the past 5 years.

That is a big claim… is there proof?

Yes! I recently bought a HTC HD2 and promptly installed both WP7 and Android on it,  these are 2 operating systems which shine on the HD2 when given fast storage cards so I had to evaluate suitability of cards that I purchased throughout the years (these aren’t cherry picked ‘review samples’ provided by manufacturers)  including a new 16GB ‘class 6’ SanDisk card.

What cards were tested?

These were all Micro SD cards, the majority of which were made by SanDisk

  1. 16GB SanDisk Mobile Ultra, Class 6, 2012
  2. 2GB SanDisk, Class 2, 2010 (pack in with new phone)
  3. 6GB SanDisk, Class 4, Mid 2008 (Killed in Action)
  4. 2GB Verbatim,  Mid 2008
  5. 4GB SanDisk, Class 2,  Nov  2007


Not Pictured: The Verbatim 2GB card that was used to take this image

All of these cards are genuine and were bought from respected retail chains.

How were these tested?

The cards were formatted using FAT 32 with default cluster settings using the windows formatter tool, they were then tested using CrystalDiskMark (sequential) and H2Testw (used to detect counterfeit flash memory products) both with a 500mb file size.

These tests were run on 2 different computers one desktop using a Belkin USB card Reader (2011) and one Laptop which with an inbuilt card reader, both  benchmarks were run twice on both computers and averaged (the raw numbers are in the attached spread sheet ).



Testing Outcome



The results show the following ranking by performance (fastest first):

  1. 2008 SanDisk 6GB
  2. 2007 SanDisk 4GB
  3. 2008 Verbatim 2GB
  4. 2012 SanDisk 16GB
  5. 2010 SanDisk 2GB

So it seems that these cards ARE getting slower this could be due to many reasons but I think either the newer Classification system (Class 6 etc) means that card manufacturers can develop cards which support the bare minimum speeds required to satisfy a speed rating or that this performance reduction was to provide more reliable operation of the cards.

On a side note the 6GB SD card died during this testing, it is no longer being recognised in ANY device not even in some E series Nokia phones that seem to be able to resurrect some locked cards from the grave. Was this due to a high performance interface that was unreliable or simple fatigue? I will likely never know.

In the end I used the 16Gb card on my HD2 as holding more than 3 albums held too much appeal.

The raw data can be accessed in a Google spread sheet at :

UPDATE: It appears to be a SanDisk problem, other people have noted and recorded similar speed drops