iDRAC6 web admin interface not allowing virtual media configuration

Stroller stroller at stellar.eclipse.co.uk
Tue Mar 23 21:14:31 CDT 2010


On 24 Mar 2010, at 01:43, Gernot Hassenpflug wrote:

> On Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 10:19 AM, Stroller
> <stroller at stellar.eclipse.co.uk> wrote:
>> Hi Gernot,
>>
>> Firstly, what model of iDRAC6 do you have? I'm looking at the  
>> Enterprise
>> model on my screen right now. The "Express" has fewer features.
>
> Hello and many thanks for the reply. Excuse the strange information at
> times below---my interface is Japanese so I am trying to guess what
> the English terms might be in places!
>
> Here the information from the "version information":
>
> Integrated Dell Remote Access Controller 6 - Enterprise
> Version  1.30
> 2008-2009 Dell Inc. All rights reserved.

Ok, so you have the good one.

>> On 23 Mar 2010, at 11:33, Gernot Hassenpflug wrote:
>>>
>>> The problem is that when I want to configure virtual media at the
>>> system -> console/media web interface there is only a display of the
>>> current settings (detached) but no "configuration" option like is
>>> mentioned in the online iDRAC instructions.
>>
>> I believe this relates only to the VFlash virtual media, and not CD- 
>> ROM
>> emulation. The "configuration" is in black letters immediately  
>> underneath
>> the tabs. But ignore this if you want to mount an iso image.
>
> Any chance I can send you a screen shot? There is no such wording that
> I can see, only two "tables", one for "console redirect" and one for
> "virtual media", both contain uneditable lines of two colums each : a
> parameter and a value. The value for the first parameter in the
> "virtual media" table which I think could be translated as "status"
> says "detached".

Am sending you a screenshot off-list. But note that this only relates  
to the VFlash configuration, the SDcard that fits inside the iDRAC  
unit itself.

>>> So when I open a console and then try to select virtual media (CD
>>> drive) from the virtual media menu, there are some images, and I can
>>> add images, but they are "read-only" and pressing the "complete
>>> mapping" button results in an error message. Also, booting the  
>>> server
>>> and pressing F2 to enter the BIOS menu shows no virtual drives to  
>>> boot
>>> from (even when I have a CD in the drive, or have added a an image  
>>> and
>>> selected boot from virtual CD in the web admin interface).
>>
>> I click "Add Image..." and can browse to an .iso file. They  
>> *should* be read
>> only, I think, because you just want to boot from them, the image  
>> should be
>> of an installation CD. You wouldn't want to write to them.
>
> OK. That makes sense. I do not find any way to set up or select
> "floppy" drives ...

This is unrelated to the configuration within the main web-interface.  
The CD and floppy emulation is completely separate.

If you wanted to mount a virtual floppy - say a bootable DOS disk - I  
think you would put that in your local laptop and use `dd if=/dev/fd0  
of=~/floppy.img`.  Then you could mount that using the virtual media  
menu from the console's drop-down.

> and what I am looking for is a way to attach a USB
> drive in a way to write to it (for making a backup)

I don't think you can do this. Where is the USB drive located?  
Remotely from the server?

I can only think you can boot with a LiveCD, mount the drive(s) and  
then tar via an ssh connection, use scp or similar.

>> I see "Virtual Floppy" and "Virtual CD" by going into BIOS via F2,  
>> then
>> "Boot Settings" and "Boot Sequence". I think the ordering may be the
>> unexpected way around.
>
> Nothing in my boot sequence on F2 about virtual drives, only the local
> hard drive, the MD1000 hard drive and one more (maybe network but I
> forget, and I cannot reboot the machine right now).

During the boot sequence I see in BIOS two messages about Virtual  
drives, one handled by BIOS, can't remember what the other one says  
(it's just gone off the screen). Then there is mention of the iDRAC,  
its network settings and a message to press CTRL-E to enter its  
configuration. This leads you to an iDRAC-specific BIOSy page; under  
"Virtual Media Configuration" I have "Auto-Attach" enabled.

>> I have definitely booted my system and installed an o/s using the  
>> Virtual CD
>> this way.
>
> Maybe I misunderstand: apart from the ability to boot with a virtual
> CD (which is one thing I am trying to do) I am also trying to mount a
> USB device to write to from the system that I boot up from CD

I don't know that this is possible. Is it advertised as being possible?

I believe the VFlash can behave somewhat as a USB mass storage device,  
but only of 256meg (512meg using a Dell-branded SDcard). I have not  
been successful in getting this working (see my previous thread  
"Booting with iDRAC6 VFlash - Linux Live CD or similar", 6th March)  
although I now see that I didn't have it enabled in the CTRL-E BIOS.

Stroller.



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