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How to upgrade BIOS on machine with VMware ESXi

Posted on 2011-02-14
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11

I have a Dell PowerEdge 1950 loaded VMWare ESXi.  How can I upgrade the BIOS on this server?
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Question by:canuckconsulting
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 1200 total points
ID: 34887157
Your Dell Server comes with a BIOS update CD of floppy disk, or you can download the latest version of the firmware from Dells support site.

So you'll need to shutdown the server and restart from floppy disk or cdrom, and flash update the bios.

What version of VMware ESX do you have?
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by:canuckconsulting
ID: 34887284
ESXi 4.1.0 is the version running.  Does the CD still apply?

Thanks for help!
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LVL 126
ID: 34887292
Yes, I think it's safer to update the BIOS from CD/DVD or/and floppy disk.
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by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 800 total points
ID: 34888823
The link hanccocka posted is the actual repository of firmware updates for the nearly all Dell servers (including the 1950), but you must use this in conjuction with another utility ... Systems Build and Update Utility (SBUU).  You can use the version of SBUU (or SMTD which contains SBUU) that came with your 1950 or you can download the latest version here:
http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/download.aspx?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&releaseid=R288889&SystemID=PWE_1950&servicetag=&os=WNET&osl=en&deviceid=24134&devlib=0&typecnt=0&vercnt=3&catid=-1&impid=-1&formatcnt=0&libid=36&typeid=-1&dateid=-1&formatid=-1&source=-1&fileid=430015

You simply boot to the SBUU disk and choose Firmware Update, and when it asks for the update repository, put in your SUU (linked by hanccocka) and continue.

Even though your goal is to update the BIOS, please note that you should update all your system firmware (which SBUU/SUU will do), including RAID firmware and ESM/BMC firmware, as they often support each other.
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