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Cisco UCS C-Series Rack-Mount Server BIOS Upgrade Guide

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Upgrading the Cisco C-Series Server BIOS

Upgrading the Cisco C-Series Server BIOS

Overview

This guide describes how to upgrade the BIOS firmware and other firmware of Cisco UCS C-Series Rack-Mount Servers.

When upgrading the firmware of a C-Series Rack-Mount Server, it is important to keep the BIOS and CIMC at the same release level. These components are tested together for each release and a version mismatch may cause unpredictable system operation.

Although several upgrade methods are available, we strongly recommend that you use the Cisco Host Upgrade Utility (HUU), which assists you with upgrading the BIOS, CIMC, and other firmware to compatible levels. You can also use the HUU to recover a corrupted BIOS. For detailed information about this utility, see Upgrading the Firmware by Using the Cisco Host Upgrade Utility.

The HUU can be used to update the CIMC and BIOS firmware from Release 1.2 and later releases. If the server is running Release 1.0 or 1.1, then the HUU cannot be used. In such cases the BIOS and CIMC must be upgraded individually, and you can use the other BIOS upgrade methods described in this document. When upgrading the components individually, perform the steps in the following order:

  1. Upgrade CIMC using the GUI or CLI.
  2. Upgrade the BIOS using one of the upgrade methods described in this document. Do not reboot the server yet.

    Note


    We recommend using the iFlash32 Utility from the EFI shell.


  3. Activate CIMC using the GUI or CLI.
  4. After at least two minutes, reboot the server.

For instructions on upgrading and activating CIMC, see either of the following documents:

  • Cisco UCS C-Series Servers Integrated Management Controller GUI Configuration Guide
  • Cisco UCS C-Series Servers Integrated Management Controller CLI Configuration Guide

These documents can be found at the following URL:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps10739/products_installation_and_configuration_guides_list.html


Caution


When you upgrade the BIOS, you must also upgrade the CIMC firmware to the same version or the server will not boot. Do not power down the server until the BIOS and CIMC firmware are matching or the server will not boot.



Caution


We strongly recommend that you do not attempt to upgrade by more than two release versions. For example, if your current version is Release 1.0, do not attempt to upgrade directly to Release 1.3. Instead, upgrade first to Release 1.2, then to Release 1.3.


Upgrading the BIOS Firmware

Determining the Current BIOS Version

There are two ways you can view the current version and build number of the BIOS:

  • Press F2 during server bootup to open the BIOS setup utility and look at the listing on the Main page.
  • From within a running EFI shell, Windows OS, or Linux OS, use the iFlash32 command with the -i option. See the “iFlash32 Utility Command Options” section for more information on using the iFlash32 command.

Upgrading the Firmware by Using the Cisco Host Upgrade Utility


Note


We recommend that you use this upgrade method whenever possible instead of the other upgrade methods described in this guide.


Cisco provides the Cisco Host Upgrade Utility (HUU) to assist you in upgrading the BIOS, CIMC, LOM, LSI storage controller, Cisco UCS P81E Virtual Interface Card, and selected PCIe adapter firmware to compatible levels. You can also use the HUU to recover a corrupted BIOS.

The correct and compatible firmware levels for your server model are embedded in the ISO disk image file for the Cisco Host Upgrade Utility.

To use this utility, start with the Cisco Host Upgrade Utility Quick Start Guide, which includes the instructions for downloading and using the utility ISO file. Select the correct guide for your desired firmware version from this URL:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps10493/products_user_guide_list.html

  • Cisco Host Upgrade Utility Release 1.4(x) Quick Start Guide
  • Cisco Host Upgrade Utility Release 1.3(x) Quick Start Guide
  • Cisco Host Upgrade Utility Release 1.2(x) Quick Start Guide

    Note


    Release 1.2(x) is required at this time if you want to control the server with UCS integration. In the installation and service guide for your server, see the "Installation for Cisco UCS Integration" section.


Upgrading the BIOS Firmware by Using the EFI Interface

Use the following procedure to update the BIOS firmware by using the EFI interface. Instructions are included for using local media or a virtual device.

Procedure
    Step 1   Download the BIOS update package from Cisco.com and extract it to a temporary location.

    To find the downloads for your server, see the following URL, then click Unified Computing, log in, click Cisco UCS C-Series Rack-Mount Servers, and then select your server from the list.

    http://www.cisco.com/cisco/software/navigator.html

    Note   

    Beginning with Release 1.4, the BIOS update package is no longer available for download as a standalone bundle. To obtain the BIOS update package, you must download the Host Upgrade Utility (HUU) ISO file and extract the BIOS bundle from the ISO file.

    Step 2   Prepare the BIOS update files on either local media for local upgrade, or as a virtual device for remote upgrade:

    For local upgrade—Perform these steps before you go to the next step.

    1. Copy the contents of the extracted bios/uefi/ folder to the root directory of a USB thumb drive.
      Note   

      For some server models, a security catalog (.cat) file is included in the uefi folder to ensure against an incompatible BIOS version update.

    2. Connect a VGA monitor and USB keyboard to the Cisco C-Series server.
    3. Insert the USB thumb drive into a USB port on the Cisco C-Series server.

    For remote upgrade—Perform these steps before you go to the next step.

    1. Copy the contents of the extracted bios/uefi/ folder to the root directory of a USB thumb drive that is connected to your workstation.
      Note   

      For some server models, a security catalog (.cat) file is included in the uefi folder to ensure against an incompatible BIOS version update.

    2. Use a browser to connect to the CIMC Manager software on the server that you are upgrading.
    3. Enter the CIMC IP address for the target server in the address field of the browser, then enter your user name and password.
    4. Launch a KVM Console window (click the KVM keyboard icon).
    5. When the Virtual KVM Console window launches, select Tools > Launch Virtual Media.
    6. In the Virtual Media Session window, click Add Image and then use the dialog to navigate to the USB thumb drive that contains the contents of the bios/uefi/ folder.

      The USB thumb drive is displayed in the Client View pane.

    7. In the Virtual Media Session window, check the check box in the Mapped column for the USB thumb drive that you added, and then wait for mapping to complete. Observe the progress in the Details pane.
    Step 3   Boot the server and press F6 when prompted to get to the Boot Option screen.
    Step 4   On the Boot Option screen, select EFI Shell.
    Step 5   Wait for the on-screen message that says that the update is complete and the prompt to reboot the server.

    The update typically takes about three minutes.

    Step 6   Reboot the server to complete the update.

    Upgrading the BIOS Firmware From a Windows Operating System

    Use the following procedure to update the BIOS firmware from a running Windows host OS.


    Note


    The required version of the iFlash32 utility that is used in this procedure is iFlash32 Version 1.1, Build 3 or later. This utility is included in the BIOS firmware update package. See Determining the iFlash32 Utility Version and Build.


    Procedure
      Step 1   Boot the server using a hard drive that has the Windows host OS installed.
      Step 2   Download the BIOS update package for Windows_x86 or Windows_x64 and your server from Cisco.com and extract it to a temporary folder on the server’s host OS.
      Note   

      For some server models, a security catalog (.cat) file is included in the uefi folder to ensure against an incompatible BIOS version update.

      To find the downloads for your server, see the following URL, then click Unified Computing, log in, click Cisco UCS C-Series Rack-Mount Servers, and then select your server from the list.

      http://www.cisco.com/cisco/software/navigator.html

      Note   

      Alternatively, if you do not have a browser installed on the server, you can download the package to a separate computer and then transfer the files by using a USB thumb drive. If you use this method, copy the contents of the extracted Win32 or x64 folder to the root directory of the USB thumb drive, then insert the thumb drive into a USB port on your server. For some server models, a security catalog (.cat) file is included in each folder to ensure against an incompatible BIOS version update.

      Note   

      Beginning with Release 1.4, the BIOS update package is no longer available for download as a standalone bundle. To obtain the BIOS update package, you must download the Host Upgrade Utility (HUU) ISO file and extract the BIOS bundle from the ISO file.

      Step 3   Install the BIOS update driver (flashud.sys) to the OS environment:
      1. At a command prompt within your Windows OS, change directory to the location of the folder that you extracted in the previous step:
        • If you extracted to a location on the host OS, change directory to that folder.
        • If you are transferring the files with a USB thumb drive, change directory to that location using the drive letter assigned to the thumb drive.
      2. Enter the install.cmd command to install the BIOS update driver to your OS environment.
      Step 4   At a command prompt within your OS, use the iFlash32 utility to update the system BIOS in non-interactive mode by entering the following command and options:

      iflash32 /u [BIOS file name] /ni

      See the “iFlash32 Utility Command Options” section for information about available options.

      Step 5   Reboot the server to complete the update.

      Upgrading the BIOS Firmware From a Linux Operating System

      Use the following procedure to update the BIOS firmware from a running Linux host OS.


      Note


      The required version of the iFlash32 utility that is used in this procedure is iFlash32 Version 1.1, Build 3 or later. This utility is included in the BIOS firmware update package. See Determining the iFlash32 Utility Version and Build


      Procedure
        Step 1   Boot the server using a hard drive that has the Linux host OS installed.
        Step 2   Download the BIOS update package for Linux and your server from Cisco.com and extract it to a temporary folder on the server’s host OS.
        Note   

        For some server models, a security catalog (.cat) file is included in the uefi folder to ensure against an incompatible BIOS version update.

        To find the downloads for your server, see the following URL, then click Unified Computing, log in, click Cisco UCS C-Series Rack-Mount Servers, and then select your server from the list.

        http://www.cisco.com/cisco/software/navigator.html

        Note   

        Alternatively, if you do not have a browser installed on the server, you can download the package to a separate computer and then transfer the files by using a USB thumb drive. If you use this method, copy the contents of the extracted Linux folder to the root directory of the USB thumb drive, then insert the thumb drive into a USB port on your server. For some server models, a security catalog (.cat) file is included in the folder to ensure against an incompatible BIOS version update.

        Note   

        Beginning with Release 1.4, the BIOS update package is no longer available for download as a standalone bundle. To obtain the BIOS update package, you must download the Host Upgrade Utility (HUU) ISO file and extract the BIOS bundle from the ISO file.

        Step 3   Change directory to the folder that contains the BIOS update package.
        • If you extracted to a location on the host OS, change directory to that folder, then continue to the next step.
        • If you are transferring the files with a USB thumb drive, perform the following substeps:
        1. At a Linux prompt, enter the following command to verify that the USB thumb drive is detected:

          fdisk -l

          If the thumb drive is detected, it appears as /dev/sdb1 in the list of detected SCSI devices.

        2. Mount the USB thumb drive as a directory in the Linux file system:

          mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/usb

        3. Change directory to the folder on the USB thumb drive that contains the BIOS update package. For example:

          cd /mnt/usb/c250

        Step 4   Run the iFlash32 utility to update the system BIOS in non-interactive mode by entering the following command and options:

        iflash32 - ./iflash32 -u -ni [BIOS file name].cap

        See the “iFlash32 Utility Command Options” section for information about available options.

        Step 5   Reboot the server to complete the update.

        Using the iFlash32 Utility

        iFlash32 Utility Support Matrix

        The iFlash32 utility is currently supported for use only in the following C-Series Rack-Mount Server platforms and operating systems:

        Platform/OS EFI Windows Server 2003 Windows Server 2008 Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6 SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11
        UCS C200 Y Y Y Y Y
        UCS C210 Y Y Y Y Y
        UCS C250 Y Y Y Y Y
        UCS C460 Y N/A Y Y (except 5.3) Y

        iFlash32 Utility Command Options


        Note


        The command syntax shown below is for Linux and EFI. For Windows, use “/” in place of “-” for all options.


        You can use the iFlash32 command with the following options:

        • To view the command-line help page: iflash32 -h [BIOS file name]
        • To update the system BIOS: iflash32 -u [BIOS file name]
        • To update the system BIOS in non-interactive mode: iflash32 -u [BIOS file name] -ni
        • To display BIOS file information: iflash32 -i [BIOS file name]
        • To display the current system BIOS version: iflash32 -i
        • To restore the BIOS settings to the factory defaults: iflash32 -rd

        Determining the iFlash32 Utility Version and Build

        Determine the version and build of the iFlash32 utility as follows:

        Procedure
          Step 1   Copy the iFlash32.exe file to a USB thumb drive.

          The iFlash32 utility is included with the BIOS firmware download. Find the file in the directory structure where you extracted the update package:

          • For Windows: ...\c250-BOS\[BIOS version]\bios\windows\[Windows version]\
          • For Linux: .../c250-BIOS/[BIOS version]/bios/linux/
          Step 2   Boot the server, and when prompted, press F6 to open the Boot Option menu.
          Step 3   Select EFI Shell to boot the server to the EFI shell.
          Step 4   At the shell prompt, enter the map -r command to map the USB thumb drive.
          Step 5   At the shell prompt, enter the fs0: command to change the shell to the mapped USB thumb drive.
          Step 6   Enter the command to display the iFlash32 information:
          • For Windows: iflash32 /i
          • For Linux: iflash32 -i
          • For EFI: iflash32 -i

          The command output is similar to the following example:

          fs0:\> iflash32 -i
          
          Iflash32 BIOS Update Utility Ver 1.3 Build 2
          (C) 2009-2011 Copyright Cisco Systems Inc. All rights reserved.
          
          System BIOS Version.......C200.1.4.1.0.071320110702
          
          fs0:\> 
          

          Additional Information

          Related Cisco UCS Documentation

          Documentation Roadmaps

          For a complete list of all B-Series documentation, see the Cisco UCS B-Series Servers Documentation Roadmap available at the following URL: http://www.cisco.com/go/unifiedcomputing/b-series-doc.

          For a complete list of all C-Series documentation, see the Cisco UCS C-Series Servers Documentation Roadmap available at the following URL: http://www.cisco.com/go/unifiedcomputing/c-series-doc .

          Other Documentation Resources

          An ISO file containing all B and C-Series documents is available at the following URL: http://www.cisco.com/cisco/software/type.html?mdfid=283853163&flowid=25821. From this page, click Unified Computing System (UCS) Documentation Roadmap Bundle.

          The ISO file is updated after every major documentation release.

          Follow Cisco UCS Docs on Twitter to receive document update notifications.

          Obtaining Documentation and Submitting a Service Request

          For information on obtaining documentation, submitting a service request, and gathering additional information, see the monthly What's New in Cisco Product Documentation, which also lists all new and revised Cisco technical documentation.

          Subscribe to the What's New in Cisco Product Documentation as a Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed and set content to be delivered directly to your desktop using a reader application. The RSS feeds are a free service and Cisco currently supports RSS version 2.0.

          Follow Cisco UCS Docs on Twitter to receive document update notifications.

          Documentation Feedback

          To provide technical feedback on this document, or to report an error or omission, please send your comments to ucs-docfeedback@external.cisco.com. We appreciate your feedback.



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