Updating BIOS and BMC on a Dell SC24

Un – FREAKING – real!

I managed to (biting nails, fingers, wrists and arms) to update the BIOS and BMC on my Dell SC24.  I purchased mine from Stallard Technologies.  Here’s the link to the server:  http://www.stikc.com/Catalog/dell-custom-servers-CS24-SC

I’d recommend calling and asking for William or Geoff, a couple of sales guys from that place I do business with.  I am NOT in any way making money by putting a link to their site, I in no way work for that company and I in no way have ever met them.  I pretty much email them and have spoke with Geoff about some RMA’s because a system I put in didn’t go well (blogged about the Dell drive controllers on another post).

Back to business!

References for this “how to” are as follows – again, NOTHING I found was clear cut and nobody held your hand like I’m going to…I’m that sensitive!  LOL!

The most helpful:  http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/cloud/f/4442/t/19512575.aspx

The second most helpful and the post that got me going, it was the first one I found:  http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/cloud/f/4715/t/19456940.aspx?pi239031352=1

Now down to brass tacks.  I recommend BEFORE doing anything you read those two posts AND my entire post – yes even the bottom – just so you know how this crap works OK!  If I EVER catch you trying something WITHOUT understanding it first…I’m bringing the pain!  Running scripts without reviewing them, downloading junk on the Intenet then applying it to hot machines…big mistake.  I am a fairly trusted sources though BUT STILL!  Please understand what YOU are doing then we’ll all be a better race.

Another side – if this made things easy as pie for you, how about a $5 donation…or a $2 donation?  On the right hand side toward the top you can PayPal me –>       :-)

Donations received:

  • Eder Torreiro – Spain ($2 April, 2014)
  • Rafael (Badwolf) – US ($5 April, 2017)

1 – Fire up your server, get into the BIOS by hitting f2.  Navigate in the BIOS screen to your BMC and find out what IP address it is.  I think by default it’s set to DHCP.  I believe under the BIOS screen it’s under the “Server” area.

2 – Open a web browser and try to get into the BMC – it’s usually:  https://IPaddressHERE:447 or maybe port 81.  Mine was :447.  The default user will be one of two things.  root:root (like mine was) or root:changeme (per the documentation for this BMC).  By the way I think it goes without saying that in order to connect with a web browser to your BMC you need to have it plugged into ETHERNET.  It’s the optional NIC next to the 2 onboard dual NIC’s.  Plug that in first, then do the above step in the BIOS to find the IP address.

3 – Now that you’ve established you can get into your BMC go to:

BMC Version (tab):  You should see something LESS than 1.95 for “Firmware Revision”

Server Board Information (tab): You should see something LESS than “S45_3A20”.  Mine started out at BMC 1.10 and FW S45_3A09.

4 – Go to this website and download rufus, it is quite nice:  http://rufus.akeo.ie/

5 – Make a freedos boot disk on USB.  This assumes you have a USB disk you can live without for now as it WILL wipe out all your files so back that disk up!

6 – Download my files that I collected from the above forums:  http://rafaelwolf.com/sharedfiles/sc24_bios_and_bmc_udpates.zip

7 – Extract them to your desktop or something.  On your pen drive make a directory called “bios”, copy the files you just extracted there.  Feel free to look at the bat files, you’ll be calling them in the DOS environment, nothing sexy as it could be here but eh; it gets the job done!

8 – Reboot your server, you might need to do another “F2” and get into the boot options making your USB drive the fist boot device, I had to.

9 – Boot to DOS, you’ll see a “c:\” just sitting there if you’re successful and I know you will be because you’re under expert tutelage :P

10 – NOW, here’s the warning – this has ONLY worked on my SC24.  Like all the other losers online I make no warranties or guarantees.  It’s now time for YOU to do some nail biting :P

11 – cd bios

12 – bios.bat – per the bat file contents it will backup your current BIOS to “S45_3A09.ROM” and then slap the new one on there for you.

13 – That will get done successfully

14 – bmc.bat – per the bat file contents it will backup your current BMC version to “backup.BIN” and then slap the new one on there for you.

15 – When it’s successful you can do a ctrl + alt + del.  One commenter on the forums said yank the cord but I don’t think you have to…even though I pussed out and did!

NOTE:  Don’t cry too early – you WILL GET AN ERROR, FANS WILL SCREAM.  The BIOS will get a “checksum error” BUT it will say…resetting to defaults in 5 seconds.  Your server will reboot and all will be right with the world.  DO NOT NOT NOT YANK THE CORD if you see this checksum error.

Another note:  I have VMWare 5.5 with all the updates and the server is STILL misbehaving.  I might try and back rev it to 5.1 or something.  The processors are at 50% utilization or higher with NOTHING on them.  A real shame but I don’t think the SC24’s are on the HCL for VMWare so…that’s what I get.

If by chance you need to restore your firmware or your BMC firmware, you can – we backed it up.  You’ll need to edit those batch files and point them to the backups to do a “restore” but if it works I don’t know who would want to go back.