Theresa Arzadon-Labajo

Cannot update Dell BIOS with .BIN file

Posted by Theresa Arzadon-Labajo (tarzadon) on May 25 2012
Tech Stuff >> Unix-Linux
When I try to upgrade the BIOS on our PowerEdge servers with the BIN file provided by the Dell support website, I get the following error:
#./BIOS_H9K1G_LN32_2.7.0.BIN
...
                Unable to get the System Generation.
or
               The update failed to complete
What works instead:

Biosdisk Method

  • Download the Windows .exe BIOS file to your Dell.
  • Make sure you have syslinux installed
    yum install syslinux
    
  • Copy memdisk to /boot
    cp /usr/lib/syslinux/memdisk /boot/
    
  • Download the biosdisk tarball
    wget http://linux.dell.com/biosdisk/biosdisk-git-06112010.tar.gz
    
  • Extract the contents of the tarball
    tar zxvf biosdisk-git-06112010.tar.gz
    
  • Install the package
    cd biosdisk
    ./install.sh
    
  • Install the BIOS image to grub
    #biosdisk install R810-020700C.exe
    Creating BIOS floppy image at /tmp/R810-020700C.img
    Copied image to /boot/R810-020700C.img and updated bootloader
    
    # ls -ltr /boot
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 8388608 May 25 10:56 R810-020700C.img
    
    Contents of grub.conf has been changed:
    title R810-020700C.img
            root (hd0,0)
            kernel /memdisk floppy c=8 s=32 h=64
            initrd /R810-020700C.img
    
  • Reboot the machine, choose the BIOS option in grub to begin flashing the new BIOS.
  • After the machine has rebooted, uninstall the BIOS line in grub.conf:
     biosdisk uninstall R810-020700C.exe
    
    The lines are no longer in grub.conf
    You may have to remove the .img file from /boot

Last changed: May 25 2012 at 10:45 AM

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Comments

Thanks for the help! By Guest on Jul 25 2012 at 4:51 PM
Thank you for posting this solution. I found it very useful and have a minor addition if these steps are attempted on a system using grub2.

When I executed the step:
#biosdisk install R610-060203C.exe

I encountered the following error message output:

# biosdisk install R610-060203C.exe
Creating BIOS floppy image at /tmp/R610-060203C.img
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/usr/sbin/blconf", line 304, in
(loader, conffile) = find_bootloader(conflist, loader, conffile)
File "/usr/sbin/blconf", line 72, in find_bootloader
raise ValueError, "bootLoader not supported or can't be determined"
ValueError: bootLoader not supported or can't be determined
Copied image to /boot/R610-060203C.img and updated bootloader

With help from the following link, I was able to manually update /boot/grub2/grub.cfg:
http://forums.fedoraforum.org/archive/index.php/t-276477.html

The GRUB config was:
title R610-060203C.img
root (hd0,0)
kernel /memdisk floppy c=8 s=32 h=64
initrd /R610-060203C.img

The GRUB2 config is:
menuentry "BIOS R610-060203C.img" {
set root='(hd0,msdos1)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root
linux16 /memdisk
initrd16 /R610-060203C.img
}

The manual steps are:
sudo vi /etc/grub.d/40_custom
Paste the above GRUB2 configuration at the end of 40_custom
- (Make sure that the --set=root matches the other entries so the UUID is correct)
grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg
Thanks By Guest on Sep 13 2012 at 12:04 PM
I did the same thing with pxe using memdisk.
http://ramblings.narrabilis.com/largefloppy
Are you running CentOS or similar? That could be the reason By Guest on Nov 13 2015 at 12:03 AM
http://lists.us.dell.com/pipermail/linux-poweredge/2012-October/047180.html

Looks like the tool is trying to parse /etc/redhat-release and not handling
Scientific Linux. If I change the contents to match RHEL6:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 6.3 (Santiago)

Then the update works.
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