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Cisco 7800 Series Media Convergence Servers

Field Notice: FN - 63149 - MCS-78xx-I3 - Warning Message Caused by E6400 CPU Change

Field Notice: FN - 63149 - MCS-78xx-I3 - Warning Message Caused by E6400 CPU Change

October 7, 2008


NOTICE:

THIS FIELD NOTICE IS PROVIDED ON AN "AS IS" BASIS AND DOES NOT IMPLY ANY KIND OF GUARANTEE OR WARRANTY, INCLUDING THE WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY. YOUR USE OF THE INFORMATION ON THE FIELD NOTICE OR MATERIALS LINKED FROM THE FIELD NOTICE IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. CISCO RESERVES THE RIGHT TO CHANGE OR UPDATE THIS FIELD NOTICE AT ANY TIME.

Revision History

Revision Date Comment
1.0
07-OCT-2008
Initial Public Release

Products Affected

Products Affected Comments
MCS-7815-I3
Might affect New or Replacement Servers received after August 1, 2008 and servers whose System Board was replaced after August 1, 2008
MCS-7825-I3
Might affect New or Replacement Servers received after August 1, 2008 and servers whose System Board was replaced after August 1, 2008
MCS-7828-I3
Might affect New or Replacement Servers received after August 1, 2008 and servers whose System Board was replaced after August 1, 2008

Problem Description

Earlier versions of Cisco's Windows Operating System and Linux-Based Applications do not support the new E6400 processor on MCS-78xx-I3 servers.

Using these versions without applying the proper patch as indicated in the Workaround/Solution section is an unsupported configuration, and unpredictable results may occur.

Background

As of August 1, 2008, Intel began shipping system boards to OEM Vendors with the E6400 CPU installed and included a new BIOS.

If a server is allowed to remain in a state as described in the Problem Symptoms section, it may result in unpredicatble behavior, including loss of service.

Upgrades are not required on systems that are not affected, but Cisco Systems, Inc. recommends users apply the latest patches to servers as a best practice.

Problem Symptoms

There are two symptoms of this problem:
1. BIOS Downgrade messages can be seen during installation.
2. After the BIOS downgrade completes, a POST message displays the CPU incompatibility.


BIOS Downgrade Messages in Linux
During the installation of one of Cisco's Linux-based Voice Applications which does not have support for the E6400 processor, the following warning message will be displayed:

Downgrading the BIOS from 1.38 to 1.26
-Flash Chipset-
-BIOS Flashing Messages-
System Rebooting.
System is going to reboot for new BIOS/RAID firmware to take effect

The user is prompted to hit a key before the reboot process begins.

BIOS Downgrade Messages in Cisco's Windows OS
During the installation of Cisco's Windows Operating System which does not have support for the E6400 processor, the following warning message will be displayed:

The current version of the BIOS is 1.38A
The BIOS version tested on this system is 1.26A
The BIOS will be automatically adjusted as part of this installation.
Press 'OK' to continue or 'Cancel' to abort the installation.

Once you click 'OK', the BIOS will be downgraded.

POST Message (both Windows and Linux)
After installation completes and the system reboots, after POST, the system should display the following message:

"01298001 The BIOS does not support the current stepping of Processor 01"

The system will then boot to the Operating System.

Note:
If you already installed an OS or Application version older than those listed in the Workaround/Solution section and don't know if a BIOS downgrade occurred, reboot the server at your earliest convenience and watch the POST messages to check for the message regarding the current stepping of Processor 01. If there is no message, then no action is required. If the message occurs, please follow the Workaround/Solution steps.

Workaround/Solution

Users attempting to install either Cisco's Windows Operating System or a Linux-based Application should allow the BIOS downgrade to occur and then upgrade to a version of the OS or Application which contains the new system BIOS.

Servers that are experiencing the warning message regarding BIOS Support of the Processor Stepping must upgrade to the following patches that contain the System BIOS for the E6400 CPU from the following location (registered customers only):

Voice Applications OS and BIOS Updates for Windows 2000 (registered customers only)
2000.4.5bSR8 or later

2000.4.6 or later


Voice Applications OS and BIOS Updates for Windows 2003 (registered customers only)
2003.1.3a or later

2003.1.2aSR8 or later

Unified Communications Manager Updates for 5.1(x) (registered customers only)
5.1(3b) or later


Unified Communications Manager Updates for 6.0(x) (registered customers only)
6.0(1b) or later


Unified Communications Manager Updates for 6.1(x) (registered customers only)
6.1(2) or later


Cisco Unity Connection Updates for 2.1(x) (registered customers only)
2.1(2) or later

DDTS

To follow the bug ID link below and see detailed bug information, you must be a registered customer and you must be logged in.

DDTS Description
CSCsm67223 (Windows) (registered customers only) OS SR and Intall/Upgrades need an update for System BIOS on MCS-7825-I3
CSCsm47603 (Linux) (registered customers only) BIOS upgrade and relaxation needed for E6400 processor on 7825I3

For More Information

If you require further assistance, or if you have any further questions regarding this field notice, please contact the Cisco Systems Technical Assistance Center (TAC) by one of the following methods:

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