Supermicro X11SSH-LN4F can't enter BIOS, only boots to EFI Shell

Notice: Page may contain affiliate links for which we may earn a small commission through services like Amazon Affiliates or Skimlinks.

OmakLync

New Member
Jul 16, 2022
9
1
3
Hey!

I wanted to migrate my pfsense Box to OPNSense this weekend and so far it's gone horribly wrong and the anxiety slowly starts to hit. The system was running perfectly fine for 3-4 years with pfsense, and now I plugged in the OPNSense installer USB, wanted to reboot and it booted to EFI Shell. Didn't think much of it, hit exit and it booted the installer. Went through the installation and then I noticed that ANY time I reboot the system it just goes to EFI Shell, requiring me to type exit before the system boots up. I wanted to enter the BIOS to maybe check the settings but I can't find any way to enter the BIOS, hitting any of the F-Keys, Delete or ESC during startup or holding them doesn't do anything. I only ever land in EFI Shell.

When I tried to enter the IPMI interface I can't login. The system is not new enough that it has unique passwords and there are none printed anywhere on the board, so I tried ADMIN/ADMIN but it doesn't work either.

I don't have much experience with Server Grade hardware unfortunately. I'm sorry if I didn't provide crucial information but am happy to provide anything asked for. I appreciate any help. Thanks a lot!
 

RolloZ170

Well-Known Member
Apr 24, 2016
5,787
1,767
113
use the Black USB connectors for keyboard.
when the lights on the keyboard goes on(numlock led) hit del
 

OmakLync

New Member
Jul 16, 2022
9
1
3
Thanks for the reply, unfortunately this doesn't seem to help. I've attached some videos of what I'm trying, (Holding as soon as it lights up, smashing it, and holding straight from the start). Nothing seems to help. At least I got it as far that I have OPNsense installed but it still only boots to EFI Shell and not straight to the OS.

I also tried 2 different keyboards, but no luck. I did take videos of what exactly I did, but the files seem to be too large to upload them here.
 

OmakLync

New Member
Jul 16, 2022
9
1
3
Keyboard is plugged into Port 3 according to this diagram from their docs.

1658007267206.png

I also didn't put in the right Motherboard Name in the title, I just noticed. It's actually the X11SBA-LN4F.
 

RolloZ170

Well-Known Member
Apr 24, 2016
5,787
1,767
113
you may update to the same BIOS rev. in IPMI Web GUI with keep NVRAM unchecked.
OK you can't login to IPMI - sorry overlooked that
 
Last edited:

RolloZ170

Well-Known Member
Apr 24, 2016
5,787
1,767
113
have you access to ipmitool ?
try
$ ipmitool –H IP_ADDRESS –U USERID –P PASSWORD chassis bootdev bios
OK you can't login to IPMI - sorry overlooked that
 
Last edited:

nabsltd

Well-Known Member
Jan 26, 2022
498
361
63
I wanted to enter the BIOS to maybe check the settings but I can't find any way to enter the BIOS, hitting any of the F-Keys, Delete or ESC during startup or holding them doesn't do anything. I only ever land in EFI Shell.
I had a similar issue with an X11SRA, and it is caused by an issue with the video mode chosen by the BIOS during boot. If you can try a different monitor, or can add a PCIe video card, that might be enough to fix it.

For me, though, I opened a ticket with Supermicro and they sent me a beta BIOS and it solved the problem.
 

RolloZ170

Well-Known Member
Apr 24, 2016
5,787
1,767
113
tried the good old clear CMOS ?
shutdown, power off, remove the battery. short JBT1 (or short at the battery contacts)
 

RolloZ170

Well-Known Member
Apr 24, 2016
5,787
1,767
113
read the manual about BIOS recovery. the Boot block can be recovered by setting a jumper.
 

OmakLync

New Member
Jul 16, 2022
9
1
3
I tried jumping CMOS, didn't help unfortunately. I never flashed a BIOS before like that, so I'm a bit wary. The manual says to rename the BIOS file into Super.ROM if I don't have any other file like that.

1658013156762.png

Is that the X11SBA0.707 file? That I need to rename and put on a fat32 drive
 

OmakLync

New Member
Jul 16, 2022
9
1
3
Also, I finally got into IPMI with the ipmicfg utility. However, can't flash BIOS from there cause it requires a license. But it does give me a remote console. Unfortunately that still doesn't fix the issue, so I don't think it has something to do with the monitor :/

My eyes are burning now though, it's getting late for me. I'm going to continue tomorrow. Thank you so so much for your help so far, I really appreciate that!
 

OmakLync

New Member
Jul 16, 2022
9
1
3
OMG It's working! I finally have a BIOS again, was able to change the boot order to boot from disk and now it's not going into EFI Shell all the time!
I still don't know what it was but thank you so so so much for helping me figure this out!

For people that might have the same thing, here's what I've done in quick steps:

1. Create a new user with IPMICFG over the EFI Shell, which allowed me to log in to the IPMI and reset the ADMIN password
2. Create a product key and activate IPMI to allow BIOS Updates over it (mentioned in above post by RolloZ170)
3. Upload BIOS file (X11SBA0.707 in my case) and start BIOS Update
4. Finally be able to hit DEL on startup and get into BIOS. Adjust boot order and voila :)

Again @RolloZ170 thank you so incredibly much for your amazing help!!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: RolloZ170

i386

Well-Known Member
Mar 18, 2016
4,315
1,592
113
35
Germany
OMG It's working! I finally have a BIOS again, was able to change the boot order to boot from disk and now it's not going into EFI Shell all the time!
I still don't know what it was but thank you so so so much for helping me figure this out!

For people that might have the same thing, here's what I've done in quick steps:

1. Create a new user with IPMICFG over the EFI Shell, which allowed me to log in to the IPMI and reset the ADMIN password
2. Create a product key and activate IPMI to allow BIOS Updates over it (mentioned in above post by RolloZ170)
3. Upload BIOS file (X11SBA0.707 in my case) and start BIOS Update
4. Finally be able to hit DEL on startup and get into BIOS. Adjust boot order and voila :)

Again @RolloZ170 thank you so incredibly much for your amazing help!!!
Are you going to buy a 20$ license for a feature that saved that board?
 

OmakLync

New Member
Jul 16, 2022
9
1
3
Didn't know I can buy them for 20 Bucks. And where to buy them, but if I'd have known beforehand that it'd be the only way to update BIOS (which is kinda meh imo anyway) then I probably would've spent it.
But in all honesty, I think that's a feature I pay for when I purchased that board. I'm not really a fan of locking stuff like this behind another paywall.
 

RolloZ170

Well-Known Member
Apr 24, 2016
5,787
1,767
113
but if I'd have known beforehand that it'd be the only way to update BIOS (which is kinda meh imo anyway) then I probably would've spent it.
not correct.
you can use the Super.ROM method or:

1. Save this BIOS zip file to your computer.

2. extract the files to a DOS bootable device (such as a bootable USB stick, or CD).
2. Boot to a DOS prompt and type Flash.BAT BIOSname.###.
4. Do not interrupt the process until the flashing is complete.
5. After you see the message of BIOS has completed the update, unplug the AC, clear the CMOS and plug in the AC and power on the system.
6. Go to the BIOS setup screen and press F3 to load the default and press F4 to save and exit.

both do NOT need a OOB licence
 

OmakLync

New Member
Jul 16, 2022
9
1
3
Well, I don't know how to get a Bootable DOS, which feels a bit old IMO. If a windows stick works as well with just command line, then I think the documentation is a bit lacking and should reflect that.

As for Super.ROM: I was going for that, but wasn't really sure about what file to rename (the documentation always assumed it's already called Super.ROM). I already had a stick with the file I thought would be right, but then you mentioned the IPMI activation, which was far easier!
 

RolloZ170

Well-Known Member
Apr 24, 2016
5,787
1,767
113
Well, I don't know how to get a Bootable DOS, which feels a bit old IMO
usual way on server platforms.
f a windows stick works as well with just command line, then I think the documentation is a bit lacking and should reflect that.
of course not in windows. and at latest/new platforms the OS can't flash the BIOS for security reasons.
the BIOS is just uploaded to the BMC flash-disk and after a reboot the BMC does the update.(SUM.efi)
As for Super.ROM: I was going for that, but wasn't really sure about what file to rename (the documentation always assumed it's already called Super.ROM).
because you had a corrupted BIOS, this won't have worked for you.
 

OmakLync

New Member
Jul 16, 2022
9
1
3
usual way on server platforms.
That's good to know. I usually don't work with Server hardware. That board is the only one in my home.

of course not in windows. and at latest/new platforms the OS can't flash the BIOS for security reasons.
the BIOS is just uploaded to the BMC flash-disk and after a reboot the BMC does the update.(SUM.efi)
That definitely makes sense.