Supermicro X9SCM-F and X9SCL-F: BIOS Flash v2

1
Posted September 20, 2012 by Patrick Kennedy in Client Tips

We get feedback that some users have issues flashing Supermicro X9SCM-F, X9SCM, X9SCL, X9SCL-F, and X9SCL+-F BIOS. This is especially important since these boards share the same BIOS file and have been around for awhile. These Supermicro motherboards that came out with Sandy Bridge need a BIOS update to support Intel Ivy Bridge based Xeon E3 CPUs. The first step is ensuring that if one is using a v1.x BIOS motherboard, one must use a Sandy Bridge generation CPU to flash, such as the Intel Xeon E3-1230. Beyond this, even having done this process to several motherboards just as the Ivy Bridge Xeon E3-1200 series CPUs were launched, I still was left scratching my head at some times. I decided to write something up to help folks.

The common way to flash BIOS these days is to make a bootable USB drive. I was on my Macbook Air 11″ and frankly did not feel like going through that process. After making the BIOS flash USB drive, I would then have to go to the lab to perform the BIOS flash. With onboard IPMI 2.0, there had to be a better way. After downloading the BIOS zip from Supermicro, I realized it was too large for a floppy disk. By the way, who has a Supermicro X9SCM-F based Intel Xeon E3 server and a floppy disk anyway? CD-ROMs are almost out of fashion at this point and the floppy died years ago. Alas, there was my answer, I decided to make a bootable DOS ISO with all of the items I needed for the BIOS flash. You can find information on the Supermicro BIOS Flash LiveCD here.

Common Errors During the BIOS Flash

I saw a few common errors when working on this guide. Here is a quick list:

Error: BIOS doesn’t support process ME information.

Error when sending Enable Message to ME !!

File not found – AFUDOSU.SMC

Follow the guide, and you will not have to worry about these.

Supermicro X9SCx BIOS Flash Quick Guide

There are a bunch of pictures on the Supermicro BIOS Flash process for the Supermicro X9SCM-F, X9SCM, X9SCL, X9SCL-F, and X9SCL+-F motherboards. For those looking for a quick guide, here are the twelve steps:

Supermicro Motherboard Flashing Steps:

  1. Download ISO
  2. Mount ISO through IPMI
  3. Boot from IPMI CD-ROM
  4. Wait until you get to the A:> prompt
  5. Type C:
  6. That should take you to the C:> Prompt, now type cd FLASH
  7. Type ami.bat X9SCM2.608
  8. Reboot
  9. Wait until you get to the A:> prompt
  10. Type C:
  11. That should take you to the C:> Prompt, now type cd FLASH
  12. Type ami2.bat x9scm2.608

Yes, it is that easy. I also had my LSI BIOS on that for various LSI SAS 2008 and SAS 2108 RAID cards and HBAs I am constantly flashing. One ISO, lots of uses.

Supermicro X9SCx BIOS Flash Pictorial Guide

For those like me that like pictures, I decided to add a few in the second part of the Supermicro X9SCx BIOS flash guide.

After getting the ISO and mounting it via IPMI (steps 1 and 2 above), the next step is to ensure you are booting to the ISO. This is important because the guide is based off of a DOS flash. Go into the BIOS and ensure that your IPMI Virtual CDROM is what you will boot to.

After the ISO boots, you need to move to the C:\Flash directory (steps 4-6 above.)

Once this is done type ami.bat X9SCM2.608

Supermicro X9SCM-F X9SCL-F Flash Step 1 AMI.bat

Supermicro X9SCM-F X9SCL-F Flash Step 1 AMI.bat

Wait for the process to stop. Then reboot the server.

Supermicro X9SCM-F X9SCL-F BIOS Writing Flash

Supermicro X9SCM-F X9SCL-F BIOS Writing Flash

Navigate back to C:\flash (steps 9-11 above) and type ami2.bat x9scm2.608 and wait for that to finish before rebooting.

Supermicro X9SCM-F X9SCL-F Flash Step 2 AMI2

Supermicro X9SCM-F X9SCL-F Flash Step 2 AMI2

You may be wondering what that ami2.bat is, because it is not in the standard download. Because the CD-ROM is not writable, I created a one line batch file to do the second part of the flash, the ME update.

Conclusion

For all of those wondering how to quickly do a Supermicro X9SCx BIOS flash, this is a simple way to go about it. I decided to make this guide because I needed it myself. If you do happen to see a new BIOS come up, please let me know on this forum post and I will update the ISO for my own personal use.

 


About the Author

Patrick Kennedy

Patrick has been running ServeTheHome since 2009 and covers a wide variety of home and small business IT topics. For his day job, Patrick is a management consultant focused in the technology industry and has worked with numerous large hardware and storage vendors in the Silicon Valley. The goal of STH is simply to help users find some information about basic server building blocks. If you have any helpful information please feel free to post on the forums.

One Comment


  1.  
    dba

    I did not know that the Supermicro IPMI could mount a remote ISO image. I’ll be downloading the ISO you built very soon. Thank you!





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