TIP: Upgrading ASMB8-IKVM on Asus motherboards

ph0ton

New Member
Mar 23, 2017
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Hi all,

I just wanted to share an experience with you about my Aspeed BMC firmware upgrade on an Asus P10S-I. I couldn't find much on the topic, so I thought this could serve as a nice tip for others.

tl;dr version: When applying the FWU using a Freedos bootable USB stick, the update takes a long time, and during the initial steps, it looks like the updater has crashed, since no output is seen for a long time. Just be patient and wait, it'll get there.

The reason why I wanted to upgrade was that the current iKVM viewer Java applet wouldn't run on JAVA 8 update 131 or later, due to the MD5 signature of the applet no longer being supported. It is possible to circumvent this, however I think it would break every time I updatede Java on my windows machine. I was unhappy that Asus didn't release an update this issue. However, they actually did, but only if you visit their ASMB8-IKVM support site.

I downloaded the update, and initially I though I could use the web-based firmware upgrade, but it did not work, worse yet, the BMC did not recover from the upgrade before I rebooted the whole system.
So next step was to:
  1. Create a bootable USB, using Rufus
  2. Move the contents of the update zip file to root of the usb stick
  3. Boot up on the stick
  4. Execute flash2.bat, press Y to start the upgrade.
  5. The update takes a long time, and during the initial steps, it looks like the updater has crashed, since no output is seen for a long time. Just be patient and wait, it'll get there. I think I waited 5 - 10 minutes before any output was shown. I guess it took about 25 mins, but I did not time it.
  6. The update seem to wipe any configuration, so make sure to set up management LAN NIC, admin password etc. afterwards.
Now I can update Java without issue and the iKVM functionality still works.
 

ph0ton

New Member
Mar 23, 2017
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Yes, I'd prefer that they moved to a HTML5 approach. Asus wasn't my first choice, however the board was dirt cheap compared with Supermicro and Asrock offerings at the time.
 
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casperghst42

New Member
Sep 14, 2015
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Interesting, I downloaded the same version (2.0.4) for my MB, the P10S-I which has an earlier, and where Java8 is failing. It looks like they released different version of the firmware for different MB's ... I have a call open with Asus regarding this, and am waiting, so I'm not really ready to do a firmware update with a version which was intended for another MB.

As for the HTML5/iKVM, I was told by Asus that only the new generation will have that: ASMB9 ....
 

ph0ton

New Member
Mar 23, 2017
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I don't think aspeed 2400 and other older aspeed chips supports html5, so I don't it's necessarily an question of Asus being lazy.

Regarding price ASMB8 : if you are in the EU, then search on various comparison sites. I was able to save about 15 eur .

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
 

casperghst42

New Member
Sep 14, 2015
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8
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52
I don't think aspeed 2400 and other older aspeed chips supports html5, so I don't it's necessarily an question of Asus being lazy.

Regarding price ASMB8 : if you are in the EU, then search on various comparison sites. I was able to save about 15 eur .

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
My Supermicro X11SSH-F has an AST2400 and does have have HTML5/iKVM ... there could be more things involved, but it could look like that Asus (and ASRock) just don't fell like doing it.

But which FW did you use, there are two different ones, and the one for the P10S-I is larger than the one for the rest of the Server boards?
 
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liv3010m

New Member
Jul 22, 2018
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Buenos Aires, Argentina
Hi!

Yesterday I installed my new Z10PA board and obviously since day one I startet experiencing problems with this ASMB8 stuff. I even updated to the latest version wich was released same yesterday (version 1.14.2 date 2018/09/07). Besides java complaining about weak MD5 (still after the update) I got a black screen when I connect via console redirect.
Does anybody know if there is an HTML5 beta update for ASMB8?
If not, is the iKVM functionality provided by AMI, right? no way to crossflash ASMB8 with ASMB9 firmware or "hack" it to add the missing HTML5 portion? Does a standard/generic version of AMI MegaRAC SP-X exist?
HTML5 works as someone previously said on AST2400 based BMC, so Asus could/should implement it on it boards that use those chips.
https://ami.com/ami_downloads/MegaRAC_SP-X_Data_Sheet.pdf
 
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djstrauss

New Member
Jul 29, 2015
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Hi all,

I just wanted to share an experience with you about my Aspeed BMC firmware upgrade on an Asus P10S-I. I couldn't find much on the topic, so I thought this could serve as a nice tip for others.

tl;dr version: When applying the FWU using a Freedos bootable USB stick, the update takes a long time, and during the initial steps, it looks like the updater has crashed, since no output is seen for a long time. Just be patient and wait, it'll get there.

The reason why I wanted to upgrade was that the current iKVM viewer Java applet wouldn't run on JAVA 8 update 131 or later, due to the MD5 signature of the applet no longer being supported. It is possible to circumvent this, however I think it would break every time I updatede Java on my windows machine. I was unhappy that Asus didn't release an update this issue. However, they actually did, but only if you visit their ASMB8-IKVM support site.

I downloaded the update, and initially I though I could use the web-based firmware upgrade, but it did not work, worse yet, the BMC did not recover from the upgrade before I rebooted the whole system.
So next step was to:
  1. Create a bootable USB, using Rufus
  2. Move the contents of the update zip file to root of the usb stick
  3. Boot up on the stick
  4. Execute flash2.bat, press Y to start the upgrade.
  5. The update takes a long time, and during the initial steps, it looks like the updater has crashed, since no output is seen for a long time. Just be patient and wait, it'll get there. I think I waited 5 - 10 minutes before any output was shown. I guess it took about 25 mins, but I did not time it.
  6. The update seem to wipe any configuration, so make sure to set up management LAN NIC, admin password etc. afterwards.
Now I can update Java without issue and the iKVM functionality still works.
Hi all.

Sorry to bring this back, but I have an issue with the ASMB8 Module, the thing is i recently purchased a P10S-I Board from the egg at discount price. It's working as expected. Then I realized that i wanted to buy an IPMI Module for managing porousness. Well I found one on affordable price. Receive the module and proceeded with the install.

Every time server Boots it can unit the BMC Module and in BIOS there's a FAILED Message on Server Management tab.

Then I proceed to perform a BIOS Upgrade to the board and a BMC Firmware Update. For my surprise i saw that the ASMB8 module says Z10PA-D8 and not P10S-I. I supposed that this module is a generic part that can be used in any compatible board.

Well I was expecting to perform a forced firmware upgrade and have tried any combination of commands to do it, but nothing happened.

Is there a chance to know which module do you have installed on the P10S-I motherboard and the steps you made for updating the BMC Firmware.??

Thanks
 

anomaly

Active Member
Jan 8, 2018
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The ASUS iKVMs are notoriously unreliable. I had to desolder and reflash the NAND in mine to solve an issue long ago. Eventually it started doing the same: power cycling it results in a dead server (never comes back). There is also zero chance Asus will do anything about the upgrades... they just don't care.

I was hoping that the open source KVM/BMC project that includes support for some ASpeed models would cover it, but in my case it was a no go.

One solution is to use a relay or mosfet board... and just switch the buttons yourself.