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

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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.

 

3 COMMENTS

  1. 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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