SuperMicro X9 E3 boards - December 31, 2020 BIOS bug

webjunkie

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Mar 17, 2016
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It seems like SuperMicro X9 boards with E3v1/v2 CPUs (X9SCL-F, X9SCL+-F, X9SCI-LN4F, X9SCA-F, X9SCM-F, X9SCM-IIF, etc) will not allow you to enter BIOS if the system date is past December 31, 2020. When attempting to enter BIOS, it comes up with a blue screen, and in the bottom right the error code "AB", which apparently means "Setup Input Wait" per SuperMicro documentation. If you clear CMOS, you can get into BIOS. We've tried with the latest BIOS (v2.3) and also older BIOSes with the same results.

I wonder if SuperMicro will release an update to fix the problem.
 

webjunkie

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Mar 17, 2016
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It does allow you into BIOS if you manually set the date back to before December 31, 2020 from the OS.

The F11 boot menu also seems to work fine still, and the systems are still booting up normally so far.
 

BlueFox

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Oct 26, 2015
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Doesn't look to be all X9 boards. My X9SPV-F on version 2.0a isn't impacted.
 

Sean Ho

seanho.com
Nov 19, 2019
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Given that the system can still boot just fine, my guess is it's a bug in displaying the date in BIOS setup. One of our users on ServerBuilds reproduced the issue by clearing CMOS (so as to reset RTC prior to 2021), entering BIOS setup, and manually changing the RTC date from there. When the year is set to 2021, the BIOS screen hangs.

I don't have an affected board myself, but my X9DRD systems are unaffected. Perhaps it's just the C204 boards.
 

webjunkie

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Mar 17, 2016
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We tested both single CPU E5 and dual CPU E5 boards and they are not impacted. We also tested some X8 X34xx series boards and they are not impacted either.
 

mphilli7823

New Member
Jan 4, 2021
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So I have a SuperMicro X9SCM-F running BIOS 2.3, and I can confirm it's impacted. Furthermore I have noticed a weird issue when I can't get into the BIOS (BLUE SCREEN + AB) my LSI 9260-8i RAID controller shows the F/W is in a fault state. Soon as I pop the battery on the motherboard for the "work around" my RAID controller works again.....So frustrating
 

mphilli7823

New Member
Jan 4, 2021
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So actually I am going to walk back my statement in regards to a correlation of the BIOS to the LSI 9260-8i. Not sure these issues are related, so just going to replace the RAID controller. However the BIOS issue definitely impacts the motherboard.
 

Sean Ho

seanho.com
Nov 19, 2019
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Vancouver, BC
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Clearing the CMOS is a bit drastic as it also clears any BIOS settings (e.g., IPMI IP) you might have set. You should be able to boot into an OS, from which you can backdate the RTC.
 

Neccros

New Member
Jun 22, 2018
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Any ideas if you can back date the RTC in PFsense? Havent had time to mess with mine yet.
 

webjunkie

Member
Mar 17, 2016
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Clearing the CMOS is a bit drastic as it also clears any BIOS settings (e.g., IPMI IP) you might have set. You should be able to boot into an OS, from which you can backdate the RTC.
Yes, when we were testing, we weren't sure what was wrong. It took clearing CMOS to figure out it was date related, because as soon as we tried setting the date after clearing CMOS, we noticed that while changing the year from 2020 to 2021, the system locked up.
 

zir_blazer

Active Member
Dec 5, 2016
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I want to take this opportuity to post THIS again. Another reason to add to the list why open source Firmware alternatives are long overdue.