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Quotes of the week (Linus special)
Posted Oct 16, 2009 15:34 UTC (Fri) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
1) a floppy drive (on a modern server?! WTF?)
2) Windows: they say FreeDOS 'may' work but only Windows is 'supported'.
3) a lot of luck: the flash images are specific to your particular sub-brand of motherboard or something (possibly even the batch number); this info is not easy to determine, the various images are not clearly distinguished from each other, and the flashing tool doesn't check to see that you're installing the right version
If the flashing fails (and googling suggests that this is not uncommon, not surprising given the info above), your BIOS is toast and you have to send it back to be replaced, only Tyan say they refuse to accept replacement requests from customers and you must go through your OEM. i.e., if your machine is out of warranty, or if it's *in* warranty and your OEM aren't nice guys, you're dead and your umpty-thousand-quid server is toast.
Oddly I have decided to live with whatever BIOS flaws this system may have. I can live without IPMI.
Posted Oct 16, 2009 16:16 UTC (Fri) by bpetkov (subscriber, #51109)
And it can get even more worse: you don't get a BIOS update because the "product has reached end of life... " and all you dumb board buyers should shove it.
Yours is yet another of the gazillion BIOS nightmares people post all over the net. Maybe we should put all those stories along with dmidecode info et al for proper identification on wiki.kernel.org, for people who want to buy a board. The problem with a b0rked BIOS is that you don't always notice it right after you buy the board but after some time of using it and maybe then it is too late to return it.
Posted Oct 16, 2009 20:06 UTC (Fri) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
Posted Oct 16, 2009 22:06 UTC (Fri) by Tet (subscriber, #5433)
Nope. mkisofs will turn a floppy image into a bootable CD-ROM. That's how I did my last BIOS upgrade. Quite why the vendors still distribute floppy based upgrades rather than ISO9660 images is beyond me. But it's not the end of the world.
Posted Oct 16, 2009 22:13 UTC (Fri) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
Posted Oct 16, 2009 23:08 UTC (Fri) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
I'll have a look at that, if I get the gumption to risk my system by doing
an upgrade at all (although bootable USB might be preferable, I dunno).
Posted Oct 16, 2009 23:11 UTC (Fri) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Dell have support for updating their BIOSes via Linux. There's an app that copies it into a pre-allocated chunk of RAM, and then on reboot the firmware performs the flash itself.
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