Step by step guide on how to update SuperMicro FW and BIOS.
Given the period of forced isolation, I decided to do a sort of cleaning and tidiness of my server and for this reason I started to see how to update all the upgradeable of my motherboard.
In addition, not having a valid license to update the bios directly from ipmi (and I don’t want to pay for it), I had to do it by hand with freedos and a usb flash drive.
What do you need
- SuperMicro X10SDV-4C-TLN2F motherboard (duh)
- A USB flash drive, even a 512MB is enough
- Rufus or Unetbootin
- Firmware/BIOS files, you can find them on SuperMicro product page, see the image below
Update BMC Firmware
This is an easy part, just login with admin privileges to the BMC and go to Maintenance –> Firmware Update and press the Enter Update Mode button.
With this, the BMC will enter in Update Mode and the only way to exit is to reboot the BMC (the system will not reboot).
Unzip the REDFISH_X10_386_20191115_unsigned.zip archive previously downloaded.
The file we need is REDFISH_X10_386_20191115_unsigned.bin. Select it and press Upload Firmware.
Now just wait and follow the instructions on screen. All the BMC settings will remain, no need to reset them if you don’t need to do it.
This was easy 😅
Since I don’t want to buy extra licenses for a single bios update, I’ll perform the update manually.
NOTE: Updating the BIOS will reset all the configurations
Prepare the USB flash drive
Use Rufus or Unetbootin to create a FreeDOS usb drive. I’m not going to explain how to prepare it, because if you google you can find very detailed guides.
After creation, extract all files from the archive X10SDVF9_B22.zip inside the root folder of the USB flash drive.
Check BIOS settings
First of all, check some options in the bios. FreeDOS does not support EFI boot. I lost 1 hour before I understood this, because FreeDOS didn’t start and all I saw was a black screen.
You can see in the image below the option Onboard Video OPROM changed in Legacy to avoid black screen during non-EFI boot of FreeDOS.
NOTE: remember to change it back to EFI if you need it
Boot FreeDOS and flash bios
Boot FreeDOS from USB flash drive. When you’ll gain access to console, flash the bios with this command:
The update procedure will take about 5-10 minutes (I have not timed it, but the program will make many checks before each operation).
When the update is finished, you will see the completion message on the screen, where it is also written to shut down the server.
You will see all the default splash screens.
If you need to restore BIOS settings, press DEL and change them.
Now enjoy your newly updated server 🙂