Supermicro X9SCL-F hangs on loading option rom

felmyst

New Member
Mar 16, 2016
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Some weeks ago I had run into a problem: my X9SCL-F began to freeze on boot after a new network card installation. Here's a solution.

Symptoms:
  • System takes almost forever to boot up if you have add-on cards option roms enabled (10-20 min in my case)
  • Enabling embedded network adapters PXE option rom results in freezes on boot
  • System seems to freeze with A2/B2 post code
  • Entering Intel Boot Agent settings (Ctrl + S on boot) results in fan speed up, system becomes unresponsive and hangs. Also the system hangs when trying to save changes in Intel Boot Agent pressing F4.
  • System crashes/freezes when entering LSI settings
  • You just upgraded to latest BIOS (rev 2.2) and latest IPMI (R 3.38)
  • Re-flashing BIOS/Intel EEPROM results in nothing
Causes:

Looks like some of newer BIOS revisions have a bug or I've just messed up my motherboard. I've tried contacting Supermicro support: they suggested re-flashing everything (including Nic EEPROM, Intel ME, BIOS, IPMI) but it had no result. So I've tried downgrading to an older BIOS revision and suddenly everything is working again. That led me to an idea of testing every single old BIOS I could find to find when the problem occurred the first time.

Solution:
  • You'll need to downgrade your BIOS. Make a DOS bootable USB stick. You can use Rufus for simplicity.
  • Download the latest available BIOS for X9SCM/L(+-F) and extract it to a new folder on your bootable USB stick
  • Download any of the older BIOS revisions (you can find some here: Supermicro X9SCM-F and VMWare thread info )
  • Inside the archive you will find a file named x9scmX.XXX. This is firmware file. Place it in the folder you created on your bootable USB stick
  • Rename AFUDOSU.SMC to AFUDOSU.EXE on your bootable USB stick
  • Unplug AC power cord, uninstall everything from the MB: add-on cards, disk drives, etc
  • Shorten JPME1 & JPME2 jumpers
  • Reboot to a DOS USB stick, cd to your newly created folder and execute the next command: AFUDOSU.EXE %your_firmware_file% /P /B /N /K /R /FDT /MER /OPR
  • Press "Y" when asked about breaking system activation. WARNING! ONLY PRESS "Y" IF IT ASKS EXACTLY ABOUT SYSTEM ACTIVATION. DO NOT FORCE DOWNGRADE IF ASKED ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE. RELATE TO THIS FAQ ENTRY IN CASE OF QUESTIONS: Super Micro Computer, Inc.. - FAQ Entry
  • After the flashing is done, unplug AC power cord, remove JPME1 & JPME2 jumpers, remove the battery and press power on button for 15-30 sec.
  • Power on the system and let it reboot several times
Tested BIOS versions:
  • rev 1.1 — works great, very fast, but no Xeon E3 v2 support. You need to flash older IPMI BEFORE flashing BIOS or the system will not boot. You'll need to disable IPMI completely (jumper JPB near LAN ports) in this case.
  • rev 2.0a — works EXCELLENT. Fastest boot times in my opinion. Works with newest IPMI
  • rev 2.0b — same as 2.0a
  • rev 2.0c — boots slower, some noticeable delay when pressing F4 in Intel Boot Agent settings. Except that works fine
  • rev 2.10 — same as 2.0c. Had some random issue when rebooting with Ctrl + Alt + Del: keyboard went unresponsive and buzzer started playing some evil suffering 56k modem noises from hell. Performed an exorcism and downgraded.
Personally, I'll stick to rev 2.0a.
I've uploaded an archive with everything you need to flash X9SCL-F. Just extract this to your bootable DOS stick and you're ready to go. Here's the link: x9sclf.zip

UPDATE:
Looks like the old Supermicro FTP server is not available anymore. You can find everything you need here: Index of /SUPERMICRO/X9SCM-F
 
Last edited:

felmyst

New Member
Mar 16, 2016
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What network card did you install?
Any add-on card with option rom resulted in freeze. I've tried:
3 x Intel x520-da2
2 x Intel x520-t2
4 x Intel i350-t2
2 x Intel i350-t4
3 x Intel pro/1000 dual port
2 x Broadcom netextreme II
2 x Dell h310 with IR firmware
1 x Areca 1260 RAID controller

I do not have any other card with option rom, but can bet it would hang the system too.
P. S. Just to clarify: the problem did not occur before the new network card installation because previously every option rom was disabled as I didn't need them. BIOS was upgraded to the latest revision after option rom loading was disabled.
 

Jolt

New Member
Apr 19, 2016
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On the x9scl and x9scm you have to have both onboard NICs boot options enabled when you flash the board otherwise you end up with corrupted NIC firmware. When this happens there are also different issues in OSes as well such as the NIC being detected and a driver installed by being unstable to the OS flat out refusing to see the nic except as some pci device.

You can contact SM per the following Error or if you will PM me an email address I can send you the files need to fix the issue.
 
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felmyst

New Member
Mar 16, 2016
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On the x9scl and x9scm you have to have both onboard NICs boot options enabled when you flash the board otherwise you end up with corrupted NIC firmware. When this happens there are also different issues in OSes as well such as the NIC being detected and a driver installed by being unstable to the OS flat out refusing to see the nic except as some pci device.

You can contact SM per the following Error or if you will PM me an email address I can send you the files need to fix the issue.
We already contacted Supermicro support and got nic eeproms, bios and ipmi firmwares and detailed instructions how to flash them. That didn't worked.
Supermicro support contacted their bios engineers and they suggested sending them our system for further investigation. Sadly, we cannot afford this.
This thread is only for informational purposes for someone that can run into similar problem.
 

Drewy

Member
Apr 23, 2016
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I've had similar issues with this board recently when swapping out a connectx-2 for a x520-da2. I eventually "fixed" my issue by enabling smb - pci and resetting the bios to defaults.
Not taking anything away from your solution, could well be the best\correct answer however this did work for me.

I do have a couple of LSI hba's on the board too.