Anyone familiar recovering bricked Dell PSU from firmware update failure?

BLinux

cat lover server enthusiast
Jul 7, 2016
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I've had a stack of Dell servers sitting around for a few months that I really need to sell. This week, I forced myself to move forward on this and start getting the servers ready for sale. I usually like to update all the BIOS/ firmware and clean the servers and test everything before I sell them. Well, when it comes to Dell PSU firmware, I guess "don't fix what isn't broken" really applies... apparently the firmware update is tricky and prone to brick the PSUs. I've now got at least 2 bricked PSUs. I'm not going to do those updates anymore, but now I'm wondering if this can be fixed? I have a few other PSUs of the same model that work and I'm wondering if I can read the firmware off the working units and flash them onto the non-working units? Anyone attempt this before and know what's involved? I do have a USB->SPI/I2C adapter, but not sure what hardware is in the PSU yet...

Just wanted to reach out to the collective at STH ... if this is futile effort, I'll not waste my time at it. If no one has tried it, i may spend a little time to investigate.
 

NashBrydges

Member
Apr 30, 2015
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I had the exact same outcome when trying to upgrade firmware on my Dell R620. Bricked both PSUs and nothing I did could revive them. Luckily it was still under warranty and Dell sent replacements. The moral of this story for me is that I don't do firmware upgrades on PSUs anymore.
 

John Piontkowski

New Member
Dec 1, 2019
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Austin, TX
I've updated hundreds of those in R510's without an issue. I always use the update thru the lifecycle controller. Not updating the firmware can cause the PSU to lose communication and may not fail over to the 2nd PSU properly. You might try putting a "bricked" one in the 2nd slot with a working one in the 1st slot and try the update again. follow the update instructions carefully, the box needs to reboot itself during the process, dont reset it yourself
 
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