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Updating the DRAC Firmware

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Introduction

It's so sad that in the rat race for additional functionality Dell engineers forgot the primary purpose of the DRAC -- to be reliable KVM. The main criteria of its usefulness -- reliability was compromised. And if DRAC hangs the situation is much worse that its complete absence (in this case you just buy a standalone KVM).

This is a serious SNAFU for Dell which essentially makes the server a lemon if remote management is important. In other words Dell got into "HP trap". See iLO 3 -- HP engineering fiasco

In case you don't have personnel on a remote site this is a disaster. In the rat race for additional functionality they forgot the primary purpose of the DRAC -- to be reliable KVM -- and the main criteria of its usefulness -- reliability.

The current version of DRAC 7 is 1.57.57 (May, 2014)

iDRAC7  1.57.57 Release

(Download)
UPDATE - iDRAC7 firmware version 1.57.57 is now an URGENT update for all rack and tower-model server customers with redundant power supply units (PSUs)

This build includes:

note: this release also contains cumulative enhancements and updates from prior releases, including a fix for issues causing sluggish iDRAC7 response after a prolonged period of uptime (approx 45-100 days, depending on the usage). In some cases, if the iDRAC is not reset, it could become unresponsive and require a server power-off/on reset. This issue exists on firmware releases 1.50.50 through those prior to 1.56.55).

Please note that  previous version up to 1.51.51 are unstable and the only enhancement listed are "Adjustments for Intel IvyBridge processor specification updates" 1.46.45 (Build 04) was the initial version on which I first experienced hanging problems. So you need to avoid all version in the interval specified above. If you have one of the them urgent reflash is recommended.  

Never use version lower then 1.56.55, A00  on any production box. For example version 1.51.51 on R620 hangs all the time and makle DRAC useless. Avoid it at any cost.

You need to have reliable TCP/IP connection when doing update of DRAC firmware from the GUI. IF download hangs sometimes you can't proceed. If you can still log in to GUI interface resetting DRAC  might help...

Versions

Problem of two cursors on console

While 1.51.51 does not look stable to me (see Can't connect to iDRAC7 ), but it does solve one nasty problem of old version 1.46.45 (Build 04) -- they version that was installed by Dell on the server. The problem of two cursors. As I am not sure that it is less stable then previous versions (both are very bad). That means that it probably makes sense to upgrade ;-).

Methods of updating your DRAC firmware

There are several methods to update your DRAC firmware.

Where to find the firmware update

The first step to updating the firmware on your iDRAC is to download the update package / image. (Updating DRAC Firmware)

To find the latest version of the iDRAC firmware, check the Dell TechCenter iDRAC page or go to support.dell.com and search for iDRAC6 or iDRAC7.

There are two versions of iDRAC firmware - one for Blade servers (modular) and one for standard rack servers (monolithic). Download only the one you need, or both if you have each type of server.

Before You Begin

Before you update your DRAC firmware using local RACADM or the Dell Update Packages, perform the following procedures. Otherwise, the firmware update operation may encounter a failure.

  1. Ensure that the RAC virtual flash is unmounted or not in use by the operating system or another application or user.
  2. Disconnect and unmount Virtual Media.
  3. Ensure that USB is enabled.

Downloading and extracting the DRAC Firmware

To update your DRAC firmware, download the latest firmware from the Dell Support website located at support.dell.com and save the file to your local system.

The following software components are included with your .exe DRAC firmware package:

This is self-extractable archive. Run it and you will get the two files mentioned above.  Then read the readme file. Don't skip this step, it's important.

Updating the DRAC Firmware Using the Web-Based Interface

Use the Firmware Update page to update the DRAC firmware to the latest revision. When you run the firmware update, the update retains the current DRAC settings.

  1. Open the Web-based interface and login to the remote system.

See "Accessing the Web-Based Interface".

  1. In the System tree, click Remote Access and click the Update tab.
  2. In the Firmware Update page in the Firmware Image field, type the path to the firmware image that you downloaded from support.dell.com or click Browse to navigate to the image.
NOTE: If you are running Firefox, the text cursor does not appear in the Firmware Image field.

For example:

C:\Dell\Drac7\<image_name>. 

The default firmware image name for DRAC 7 is firmimg.d7.

  1. Click Upload. (you need to move the right edge of your browser window to see the Upload button)
  2. Crick Install (you need to move the right button corner of your browser window to see the Install button button)
  3. You will see System alert RAC0603: Updating Job queue. You can click see the status.
  4. New Windows opens you will see something like JID_911131619378 Firmware update: DRAC
  5. When update finishes you will be automatically logged out.
  6. After the DRAC resets, close the browser, open it again and then log in to the DRAC. It should be a new version of DRAC.

NOTE: After the firmware upgrade, it is recommended to clear the Web browser cache. The simplest way is to close the browser and open it again.


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Old News ;-)

[May 31, 2014] iDRAC7 1.57.57 Release

(Download)
UPDATE - iDRAC7 firmware version 1.57.57 is now an URGENT update for all rack and tower-model server customers with redundant power supply units (PSUs)

This build includes:

note: this release also contains cumulative enhancements and updates from prior releases, including a fix for issues causing sluggish iDRAC7 response after a prolonged period of uptime (approx 45-100 days, depending on the usage). In some cases, if the iDRAC is not reset, it could become unresponsive and require a server power-off/on reset. This issue exists on firmware releases 1.50.50 through those prior to 1.56.55).

iDRAC7 1.57.57
iDRAC7 1.57.57 (Download) 5/7/2014

[May 31, 2014] How do I update Dell iDRAC firmware?

(updated 8/29/2013)
This post was written by Peter Tsai and Raja Tamilarasan


How do I update Dell iDRAC firmware? is a question we are asked often.

Updating DRAC firmware is a relatively common task that doesn't have to be overly complicated. There are a variety of methods available and you should be able to find one firmware update method that is right for you.

The first step to updating the firmware on your iDRAC is to download the update package / image.

To find the latest version of the iDRAC firmware, check the Dell TechCenter iDRAC page or go to support.dell.com and search for iDRAC6 or iDRAC7.

There are two versions of iDRAC firmware - one for Blade servers (modular) and one for standard rack servers (monolithic). Download only the one you need, or both if you have each type of server.

Once you have the driver there are several ways to install iDRAC firmware updates:

  1. iDRAC updates via an Operating System executable
  2. iDRAC updates via iDRAC web GUI
  3. iDRAC updates via command line using RACADM
  4. iDRAC updates via Web Services for Management (WSMAN)

1. For those with Windows installed, the most simple and easiest option for you is to download the "Update Package for MS Windows" and per the instructions on the download page, run the executable on the server that contains the iDRAC to be updated. There are also Linux install options mentioned on the download page as well.

2. The other option is to get the .IMG file update package, extract the file then perform an update either through the DRAC web GUI (assuming your iDRAC is connected to the network and addressable). To do that you type in the IP address of your DRAC card in any web browser, log in with the username / password (if you haven't changed anything u:root p:calvin) then click on the iDRAC Settings > Update tab. Point the GUI towards the firmware image, and you should be good to go.

3. Using a tool called RACADM (Remote Access Controller Administrator) you can update the firmware via a command line. The comand to update firmware is racadm fwupdate -p -u -d <path>

4. Click me to jump to information about firmware update using WSMAN.

One other option is to use Dell Repository Manager or the United Server Configurator, which is a component of Lifecycle Controller.

If you have Internet connectivity in your datacenter, you can just boot USC by pressing F10 during post and choose platform updates. If you don't have access to the internet, it you can still do updates by creating an SUU USB key and booting to USC. To see how this is done, watch the video entitled "USB Updates Using Repository Manager with Lifecycle Controller" on www.delltechcenter.com/RepositoryManager.

[Feb 18, 2014] iDRAC7 1.51.51

12/26/2013 | Dell US

Fixes & Enhancements

Fixes: - SNMP Discovery fails when iDRAC is downgraded from 1.50.50. - Unable to login to iDRAC, when iDRAC is configured for Single Sign On (SSO). - When the operating system language or Browser language has unsupported GUI language, the Login page always appears blank.

[Feb 03, 2014]Updating firmware on Dell PowerEdge R710 by Yury Zaytsev

This blog post is about DRAC 6 process...
Jun 04, 2011 | yury.zaytsev.net

... There are generally several avenues that one might take to update the server firmware:

A rather complete (but possibly not exhaustive) list of components that might require updates is as follows:

What follows are comments regarding each one of those and applicable update methods.

iDRAC firmware update

Updating the DRAC firmware should be the first step to updating anything else, especially in the case of a restricted onsite presence / remote hands availability. During the update, the DRAC might become unavailable for a period of time up to 15 minutes; this is normal and expected.

It is preferable to turn off the server and perform the update from the DRAC management console (iDRAC Settings | Update | Upload). The update package has to be downloaded manually from the server support and drivers home page at Dell.

Additionally, iDRAC is able to re-flash USC / LC using USC repair packages lc-1 in the case if it was hosed during the update. It is generally not recommended by Dell and considered to be a last-resort action, but I have found it to be the only reliable way of updating the USC.

DELL IDRAC7 1.45.45 A00

10/2/2013 | Dell US

Fixes: Instability of IDRAC7 when dhcp6 client is enabled. For more details on the complete list of fixes, Please refer to IDRAC7 release notes PDF/TEXT file.

Enhancements: IVY Bridge CPU support for PowerEdge Servers- R720, R620, R720xd, T620 and M620

DELL IDRAC7 1.40.40

Fixes: - Addresses possible issue with iDRAC being unresponsive - Enabling the fans to run at required speed for PowerEdge servers to avoid overheating of Brocade FC HBA BR815 card, when installed in the system - Instability in system behavior when SNMP feature is enabled. - Enabling the fans to run at required speed for PowerEdge R720 server to avoid overheating of Intel GPGPU card, when installed in the system. For detailed list of Defect Fixes, please refer to IDRAC7 ReleaseNotes PDF/TEXT file. Enhancements: - Pre-enablement/support for future iDRAC chip configurations - Support for the following new network cards: - Broadcom 57840S Quad Port 10G SFP+ Rack NDC supported on R820, R720, R720xd, R620 PowerEdge systems - Broadcom 57840S-k Quad Port 10GbE Blade KR NDC supported on M620 and M820 PowerEdge systems - Support for new Intel General Purpose Graphics Processing Unit (GPGPU) cards. - Support for new AMULET HOTKEY Mezzanine video card on M420, M520, and M620 blade servers. - Support for the following new Sandy Bridge processor on M620 blade server: - SandyBridge-EP M-0 10MB 4c FCLGA 3.3GHz STD 130W C -
For the 12th generation PowerEdge systems shipping with eMMC 2GB card that has JEDEC 4.5 standard, the minimum supported iDRAC7 version is 1.40.40. You cannot downgrade to an iDRAC7 version earlier than 1.40.40. - This release Pre-Supports the eMMC 2GB card that has JEDEC 4.5 standard. Note, that this part is not shipping at this time. When available, the minimum supported iDRAC7 version will be 1.40.40. If your system has that part, you cannot downgrade to an iDRAC7 version earlier than 1.40.40

6/7/2013 | Dell US

DELL IDRAC7 1.40.40 A00 release 1.40.40,A00

IDRAC7 1.40.40 A00 release
Release Date: 6/7/2013
Importance: Urgent
See Previous Versions

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Previous Versions

1.51.51, A00
  • Vendor Version : 1.51.51
  • Dell Version : A00
<ul><li><b>Vendor Version :</b> 1.51.51</li><li><b>Dell Version :</b> A00</li></ul>
12/26/2013 5:47:09 PM
1.46.45, A00
  • Vendor Version : 1.46.45
  • Dell Version : A00
<ul><li><b>Vendor Version :</b> 1.46.45</li><li><b>Dell Version :</b> A00</li></ul>
10/2/2013 3:19:38 PM
1.45.45, A00
  • Vendor Version : 1.45.45
  • Dell Version : A00
<ul><li><b>Vendor Version :</b> 1.45.45</li><li><b>Dell Version :</b> A00</li></ul>
9/27/2013 3:23:28 PM
1.37.35, A00
  • Vendor Version : 1.37.35
  • Dell Version : A00
<ul><li><b>Vendor Version :</b> 1.37.35</li><li><b>Dell Version :</b> A00</li></ul>
3/15/2013 4:56:12 PM
1.35.35, A00
  • Vendor Version : 1.35.35
  • Dell Version : A00
<ul><li><b>Vendor Version :</b> 1.35.35</li><li><b>Dell Version :</b> A00</li></ul>
3/8/2013 1:46:40 PM
1.31.30, A00
  • Vendor Version : 1.31.30
  • Dell Version : A00
<ul><li><b>Vendor Version :</b> 1.31.30</li><li><b>Dell Version :</b> A00</li></ul>
2/1/2013 3:05:17 PM
1.23.23, A00
  • Vendor Version : 1.23.23
  • Dell Version : A00
<ul><li><b>Vendor Version :</b> 1.23.23</li><li><b>Dell Version :</b> A00</li></ul>
9/24/2012 1:32:02 PM
1.20.20, A00
  • Vendor Version : 1.20.20
  • Dell Version : A00
<ul><li><b>Vendor Version :</b> 1.20.20</li><li><b>Dell Version :</b> A00</li></ul>
6/26/2012 1:55:02 PM
1.10.10, A00
  • Vendor Version : 1.10.10
  • Dell Version : A00
<ul><li><b>Vendor Version :</b> 1.10.10</li><li><b>Dell Version :</b> A00</li></ul>
5/30/2012 7:36:14 AM

Description

IDRAC7 1.40.40 A00 release

Level of Importance:Urgent

Dell highly recommends applying this update as soon as possible. The update contains changes to improve the reliability and availability of your Dell system.

Important Information

Please refer to Release Notes.

Compatibility

Systems

PowerEdge M420

PowerEdge M520

PowerEdge M520 (for PE VRTX)

PowerEdge M620

PowerEdge M620 (for PE VRTX)

PowerEdge M820

PowerEdge R320

PowerEdge R420

PowerEdge R520

PowerEdge R620

PowerEdge R720

PowerEdge R720xd

PowerEdge R820

PowerEdge T320

PowerEdge T420

PowerEdge T620

PowerVault NX3200

PowerVault NX3300

Powervault NX400

Operating Systems

Not Applicable

Applies to

Fixes & Enhancements

Fixes: - Addresses possible issue with iDRAC being unresponsive - Enabling the fans to run at required speed for PowerEdge servers to avoid overheating of Brocade FC HBA BR815 card, when installed in the system - Instability in system behavior when SNMP feature is enabled. - Enabling the fans to run at required speed for PowerEdge R720 server to avoid overheating of Intel GPGPU card, when installed in the system. For detailed list of Defect Fixes, please refer to IDRAC7 ReleaseNotes PDF/TEXT file. Enhancements: - Pre-enablement/support for future iDRAC chip configurations - Support for the following new network cards: - Broadcom 57840S Quad Port 10G SFP+ Rack NDC supported on R820, R720, R720xd, R620 PowerEdge systems - Broadcom 57840S-k Quad Port 10GbE Blade KR NDC supported on M620 and M820 PowerEdge systems - Support for new Intel General Purpose Graphics Processing Unit (GPGPU) cards. - Support for new AMULET HOTKEY Mezzanine video card on M420, M520, and M620 blade servers. - Support for the following new Sandy Bridge processor on M620 blade server: - SandyBridge-EP M-0 10MB 4c FCLGA 3.3GHz STD 130W C - For the 12th generation PowerEdge systems shipping with eMMC 2GB card that has JEDEC 4.5 standard, the minimum supported iDRAC7 version is 1.40.40. You cannot downgrade to an iDRAC7 version earlier than 1.40.40. - This release Pre-Supports the eMMC 2GB card that has JEDEC 4.5 standard. Note, that this part is not shipping at this time. When available, the minimum supported iDRAC7 version will be 1.40.40. If your system has that part, you cannot downgrade to an iDRAC7 version earlier than 1.40.40

Update iDRAC Firmware, LifceCycle Controller, Bios via Command Line

May 17, 2013 | Dell Community
nampnx

on 17 May 2013 3:29 AM

Hi all,

My company currently have over 200 dell m610 servers. Now I need to update my DELL M610 servers to latest versions (iDRAC, LifeCycle, Bios) via command line. With dell m620 i used WSMAN command to update many server by creating script but m610 i couldn't because out of date versions: iDRAC, LC, Bios. If using RACADM I only update iDRAC firmeware not LC, Bios. Is there any way to update date all of them by command line?

Thanks so much.

DELL-Josh Cr

Hi nampnx,

What OS are you running? If you are using Windows or Red Hat you can use the update packages for those OSes and run them from command line. You can use the /s switch to run them silently without user intervention as part of a script.

Here are the current updates:

iDRAC remote access controller firmware 3.50, A00, released 3/29/13, URGENT, *May take 8-15 minutes to complete:

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