Upgrading firmware and BIOS without Windows/Redhat/Floppy

Mike Warren mike at ef.net
Sun Oct 28 03:53:16 CDT 2007


<20071028032723.GA28737 at auslistsprd01.us.dell.com>; from Matt_Domsch at dell.com on Sat, Oct 27, 2007 at 22:27:23 -0500
> On Sat, Oct 27, 2007 at 07:01:03PM -0700, Mike Warren wrote:
> > How would folks recommend upgrading the PERC 5/i firmware as well as the
> > BIOS on a PowerEdge 1950 that is running Ubuntu Linux?
> > 
> > All the downloads I've seen on the Dell site are either for Redhat,
> > Windows or bootable floppy, none of which I have in this case.
> 
> BIOS is pretty do-able on Ubuntu; I haven't yet tried PERC 5/i.

Matt, thanks for the information on upgrading the BIOS.  I'll give that
a try.  The BIOS upgrade was more of an after thought when I was looking
at the drivers site for the PERC 5/i firmware update which is what I'm
mostly interested in.

> > I'm getting the following in dmesg when I boot on a PE1950 I bought in
> > 04/2007 and not on one I bought in 10/2007.  I think the older firmware 
> > on the 04/2007 PERC 5/i card is potentially the problem:
> > 
> > 04/2007 PE1950:
> > 
> > [   95.264772] scsi 0:2:0:0: Direct-Access     DELL     PERC 5/i 1.00 PQ: 0 ANSI: 5
> > [   95.278139] sd 0:2:0:0: [sda] 975699968 512-byte hardware sectors (499558 MB)
> > [   95.278238] sd 0:2:0:0: [sda] Test WP failed, assume Write Enabled
> > [   95.278270] sd 0:2:0:0: [sda] Asking for cache data failed
> > 
> > 10/2007 PE1950:
> > 
> > [  104.969719] scsi 0:2:0:0: Direct-Access     DELL     PERC 5/i 1.03 PQ: 0 ANSI: 5
> > [  104.983148] sd 0:2:0:0: [sda] 1464074240 512-byte hardware sectors (749606 MB)
> > [  104.983191] sd 0:2:0:0: [sda] Write Protect is off
> > [  104.983194] sd 0:2:0:0: [sda] Mode Sense: 1f 00 10 08
> > [  104.983259] sd 0:2:0:0: [sda] Write cache: disabled, read cache: enabled, supports DPO and FUA
> 
> This isn't really a problem on the older system.  I don't know if it's
> firmware of a new driver that fixes this - it's been the list of
> annoyances to fix for several years.  It's only that - an annoying
> message, not a functionality problem.

I seem to notice that the newer PE1950 seems to have faster disk access
than the older one.  This could just be my imagination as I don't have 
any data to back it up, however it is what started my search for any 
errors in dmesg which led to looking updated firmware, etc.

I figured updating the firmware might be worth a shot, but if you are 
saying that those messages are purely cosmetic then I'll take your word 
for it.

However, it sounds like the PERC 5/i update is "Urgent", so I probably
need to update it regardless.  

In my case, how would you recommend going about it?  I am able to access 
the machine physically if I need to, I just don't happen to be running 
any of the supported OS.

USB Floppy might work.  Do you know if I can boot off a USB floppy on a
PE1950?  If so, that would solve my problem.

- Mike



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