Dell C1100 or HP DL 160 G6

mrkrad

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2012
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It has Lo100i - which can share or use its own port, and as I said, the keys if not included are pretty easy to find lol :)
 

RyC

Active Member
Oct 17, 2013
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Necro bumping my own thread, sorry!

Almost a year later I'm finally ready to get one of these things haha. I was definitely leaning towards the HP DL160, however, I want to add an M1015 card to passthrough to a VM guest. It is my understanding from these forums and elsewhere that the HP will not recognize the M1015 (and other non-HP PCIe cards) and ramp the fans up to full speed. Is there any way to fix that? I don't think I have the skills to solder something together to manually ramp the fans down.
 

RyC

Active Member
Oct 17, 2013
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Ok, well I ended up getting the C1100, since I didn't want to risk breaking something trying to get the DL160 quiet with a PCIe card installed. Got memtest running now, but I was wondering if there was any advantage to updating the BIOS/BMC. It seems like it's easy to brick these trying to update since they're DCS servers. It appears the latest BIOS that seems to be working is 3B23 and BMC 1.79?

EDIT: My friend has one of these as well (MAC address comes up as Quanta) and the BIOS is at 3B23, which appears to be the latest on Dell's site. There seems to be conflicting information whether these DCS/Quanta machines can take updates...
 
Last edited:

RyC

Active Member
Oct 17, 2013
357
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Finally some results!

There's a lot of posts on the Dell forum about how the latest BIOS (3B23) and BMC (1.84) can brick these DCS/Quanta C1100's. It looks like it's possible to recover from bad flashing, however. I was coming from BIOS 3A14 and BMC 0.29, so it was pretty old, and some reports said the server wouldn't update (or be bricked), but it worked.

BIOS: Downloaded the 3B23 from Dell's site and loaded it onto a DOS USB stick. Once booted from the DOS stick, navigate to the directory where the files are. It's a good idea to backup your current BIOS by running
Code:
AFUDOS <mybiosname>.ROM /O
Then, to update the BIOS run
Code:
AFUDOS <ROM NAME>.ROM /P /B /K /X
This is the same command that the included F.BAT file runs, except with the /X switch added (which apparently overrides the ROM check). I got an additional message saying "CMOS layout difference between system rom and rom has detected. AFU recommend adding /c commands", but it was OK to proceed. The server restarted a few times, and the update was successful. I did not have to try this, but there apparently is a series of jumpers to set in order to recover from a bad BIOS flash (back to the backup hopefully made). The instructions are in this topic: PowerEdge C1100 dead in the water... - Cloud - Forum - Cloud - Dell Community
I've been running a bunch of VMs (including napp-it AIO with an M1015 passed through), and the system seems stable with the latest BIOS.

BMC: This one's a little trickier, but the BMC seems hard to brick permanently at least. I followed the instructions in this post and the post following: PowerEdge C1100 dead in the water... - Cloud - Forum - Cloud - Dell Community
In a hex editor, I opened the .bin file downloaded from Dell's site, deleted everything before 0x250 (the firmware apparently actually starts at 0x250 or 0x200 depending on version), and padded the end of the file with FF until the file size was exactly 16,777,216 bytes long. I used HxD, it made it very easy to pad the file to exactly 16,777,216. In the Dell download zip, the .bin file is in a different directory as the socflash utility, so after I edited it, I copied it to the /socflash/dosflash folder to be in the same folder as the socflash utility. I loaded everything onto a DOS USB again, booted, and navigated to /socflash/dosflash. Once again, you should backup the current BMC by running
Code:
SOCFLASH of=<mybmcname>.bin
Then, to update the BMC, run
Code:
SOCFLASH cs=2 option=fc if=firm.bin
There is no need for the offset=0x200 (or 0x250) flag if you edited the file as above. I tried using the offset flag without editing the .bin, and it did not work. After socflash completes, the blue and orange BMC lights should be lit on the front. Wait 1 or 2 minutes. You will know if flashing was successful if the fans shut down and turn on just like turning on the server. The blue and orange lights will also turn off, and you should be able to access the BMC web interface immediately. If flashing was not successful, the blue and orange lights will remain lit, but you will still be booted to DOS, so you can reflash the old backup firmware immediately. If you turn off the server and the BMC was flashed incorrectly, the power button will not turn the server on. However, these instructions got me up and running again (the orange light was not blinking, but it's the same instructions): Dell C1100: How to update BIOS and BMC to the latest version. - Cloud - Forum - Cloud - Dell Community

The only possible issue with the new BMCs is that randomly, in the dead of night when nothing is happening on the server, the fans will "pulse" to full speed and back down for ~10 minutes. The ambient temps are cool, and nothing's happening on the server, so I'm trying to work with the seller to see what's going on. This happened with the old original 0.29 BMC as well, so I'm not convinced it's the BMC only.

CAUTION: Again, there are several reports of people bricking these trying to update the BIOS and BMC. There may be differences even between the DCS/Quanta C1100s that prevent these steps from working. Proceed with caution!
 
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chune

Member
Oct 28, 2013
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The only possible issue with the new BMCs is that randomly, in the dead of night when nothing is happening on the server, the fans will "pulse" to full speed and back down for ~10 minutes. The ambient temps are cool, and nothing's happening on the server, so I'm trying to work with the seller to see what's going on. This happened with the old original 0.29 BMC as well, so I'm not convinced it's the BMC only.
had the same issue on some of my DCS boards. I had the seller ship me a new motherboard but no dice. Turned out to be faulty temp sensors on the backplane. I swapped the backplane out and that solved it 100% for me.
 

RyC

Active Member
Oct 17, 2013
357
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Funny thing, once I moved it to the production location, the fans stopped pulsing. That was all the way back last September, and I haven't had any problems since. Weird considering my test bench probably has more airflow and is cooler.

Also, the BMC firmware offset may have changed with the latest versions on the Dell website. The release notes say the only changes are for Java security fixes, so I haven't had the chance to update yet to confirm.
 

chune

Member
Oct 28, 2013
107
22
18
Finally some results!

There's a lot of posts on the Dell forum about how the latest BIOS (3B23) and BMC (1.84) can brick these DCS/Quanta C1100's. It looks like it's possible to recover from bad flashing, however. I was coming from BIOS 3A14 and BMC 0.29, so it was pretty old, and some reports said the server wouldn't update (or be bricked), but it worked.

BIOS: Downloaded the 3B23 from Dell's site and loaded it onto a DOS USB stick. Once booted from the DOS stick, navigate to the directory where the files are. It's a good idea to backup your current BIOS by running
Code:
AFUDOS <mybiosname>.ROM /O
Then, to update the BIOS run
Code:
AFUDOS <ROM NAME>.ROM /P /B /K /X
This is the same command that the included F.BAT file runs, except with the /X switch added (which apparently overrides the ROM check). I got an additional message saying "CMOS layout difference between system rom and rom has detected. AFU recommend adding /c commands", but it was OK to proceed. The server restarted a few times, and the update was successful. I did not have to try this, but there apparently is a series of jumpers to set in order to recover from a bad BIOS flash (back to the backup hopefully made). The instructions are in this topic: PowerEdge C1100 dead in the water... - Cloud - Forum - Cloud - Dell Community
I've been running a bunch of VMs (including napp-it AIO with an M1015 passed through), and the system seems stable with the latest BIOS.

BMC: This one's a little trickier, but the BMC seems hard to brick permanently at least. I followed the instructions in this post and the post following: PowerEdge C1100 dead in the water... - Cloud - Forum - Cloud - Dell Community
In a hex editor, I opened the .bin file downloaded from Dell's site, deleted everything before 0x250 (the firmware apparently actually starts at 0x250 or 0x200 depending on version), and padded the end of the file with FF until the file size was exactly 16,777,216 bytes long. I used HxD, it made it very easy to pad the file to exactly 16,777,216. In the Dell download zip, the .bin file is in a different directory as the socflash utility, so after I edited it, I copied it to the /socflash/dosflash folder to be in the same folder as the socflash utility. I loaded everything onto a DOS USB again, booted, and navigated to /socflash/dosflash. Once again, you should backup the current BMC by running
Code:
SOCFLASH of=<mybmcname>.bin
Then, to update the BMC, run
Code:
SOCFLASH cs=2 option=fc if=firm.bin
There is no need for the offset=0x200 (or 0x250) flag if you edited the file as above. I tried using the offset flag without editing the .bin, and it did not work. After socflash completes, the blue and orange BMC lights should be lit on the front. Wait 1 or 2 minutes. You will know if flashing was successful if the fans shut down and turn on just like turning on the server. The blue and orange lights will also turn off, and you should be able to access the BMC web interface immediately. If flashing was not successful, the blue and orange lights will remain lit, but you will still be booted to DOS, so you can reflash the old backup firmware immediately. If you turn off the server and the BMC was flashed incorrectly, the power button will not turn the server on. However, these instructions got me up and running again (the orange light was not blinking, but it's the same instructions): Dell C1100: How to update BIOS and BMC to the latest version. - Cloud - Forum - Cloud - Dell Community

The only possible issue with the new BMCs is that randomly, in the dead of night when nothing is happening on the server, the fans will "pulse" to full speed and back down for ~10 minutes. The ambient temps are cool, and nothing's happening on the server, so I'm trying to work with the seller to see what's going on. This happened with the old original 0.29 BMC as well, so I'm not convinced it's the BMC only.

CAUTION: Again, there are several reports of people bricking these trying to update the BIOS and BMC. There may be differences even between the DCS/Quanta C1100s that prevent these steps from working. Proceed with caution!
Where did you come up with the 16,777,216 number? The 186 BMC from dell is 16,122,512 bytes. I got HxD and assume you use the Edit>Insert Bytes function to do the FF fill, but what math are you using to get the bytecount? I tried a simple test of filling FF for 1024 bytes into a new file and the filesize did not correlate at all... Can you just post this magic BMC?? Also the board model you have would be amazing!
 

RyC

Active Member
Oct 17, 2013
357
89
28
Where did you come up with the 16,777,216 number? The 186 BMC from dell is 16,122,512 bytes. I got HxD and assume you use the Edit>Insert Bytes function to do the FF fill, but what math are you using to get the bytecount? I tried a simple test of filling FF for 1024 bytes into a new file and the filesize did not correlate at all... Can you just post this magic BMC?? Also the board model you have would be amazing!
I think I read on the Dell forums that the BMC versions after 1.84 have a different offset and size, but I haven't had the chance to upgrade past 1.84 yet and see if you still need the hex editing. The BMC versions past 1.84 seem mainly related to security fixes, which I'm not too worried about in a home lab (or should I be :eek:)

I *believe* this is the modified firm.bin file I used to flash 1.84, just remember to make a backup of your current BMC file in case I'm wrong! Dropbox - firm.bin

Which board model are you looking for? Is there a more specific one than CS24-TY?
 
Last edited:

chune

Member
Oct 28, 2013
107
22
18
I think I read on the Dell forums that the BMC versions after 1.84 have a different offset and size, but I haven't had the chance to upgrade past 1.84 yet and see if you still need the hex editing. The BMC versions past 1.84 seem mainly related to security fixes, which I'm not too worried about in a home lab (or should I be :eek:)

I *believe* this is the modified firm.bin file I used to flash 1.84, just remember to make a backup of your current BMC file in case I'm wrong! Dropbox - firm.bin

Which board model are you looking for? Is there a more specific one than CS24-TY?
Yes, i need the actual part number on the board (ex: CN-0C584T or DP/N: 0C584T) There are a few different revisions of each and apparently all the ones i have are afflicted by this PSOD nonsense
 

chune

Member
Oct 28, 2013
107
22
18
Thanks for the BMC firmware by the way, it flashed successfully however it did not address my PSOD issues. I think im going to attempt a c1100/c2100 crossflash, or just throw my good c2100 boards in c1100 chassis and change the FRU to say c1100. Let me know if you get a peak at that board number!
 

RyC

Active Member
Oct 17, 2013
357
89
28
Glad to hear! Although I wouldn't expect the BMC to fix the PSOD. I think you said you're already on BIOS 3B23 though. I'll grab the board number the next time I open it up
 

spyrule

Active Member
Hey guys,
Sorry to revive such an old thread, but I'm kinda stuck.
I recently got one of these C1100 CS-24TY models, and the Bios was 3B22, and BMC was 1.00.29. So stupid me decided to flash the BIOS anyway to 3B23, and was hoping to flash the BMC to 1.89.

Flashing the BIOS failed it seems, and upon reboot wants to do a recovery.

I've created a freshly formatted Fat32 USB key, and stuck a copy of the original BIOS (luckily I took a copy before flashing the new one).
However, it gets stuck at "Reading file Amiboot.rom", and never goes any further (everyone says 5-10 minutes, I've let this run for over an hour, and nothing. nada.

I've tried 2 other USB keys, and all the same results.

Maybe it's my copy of my original BIOS, so I've also tried the latest version that I could get from Dell, and same problem as above.

Does anybody have a dump copy of a WORKING Bios/BMC (preferably the latest if possible) ?

Or if you know the solution to this reading amiboot.rom stuck situation.