Help with setting up Dell R710

First of all, if this problem gets too involved I will split it out into multiple questions as we conquer one problem at a time.
I recently acquired a used Dell R710 server.  
The system had a system board replacement right before I acquired it, and I did s secure wipe on the drives to remove old software and proceeded to start reloading it.  I'm not extremely well versed in Server systems, and even less so in Dell, so forgive my ignorance as you attempt to help m.
I loaded Server 2016 on the system via DVD and this resulted in some missing drivers, as you might expect.  When I started trying to hunt down drivers I found the suggestion that I should upgrade the bios as well as the iDRAC and LCC.  
   I'm not all that familiar with iDRAC or the LCC, so I spent some time reading up and attempting to upgrade these.  I did finally get the iDRAC upgraded to the latest version, but have been unable to get the LCC firmware updated.  The updates I've attempted, via the iDRAC, remotely from within my LAN, have just sit and spin and tell me that the file is being uploaded, and days later it never changes.  
   I tried accessing the LCC using F10 on bootup, and this has proven futile. I did manage to access it once, but was unable to navigate to the updates that I had on my network share, and while I was in there I noticed some errors in the logs about new hardware installed, such as the ram, processors, etc.... this was a result of the new mainboard being installed, and I found something in the LCC about inventory, so I told it to search for inventory on reboot.  This didn't prove very useful, it never succeeded, and it hangs on that when trying to boot the system.  I tried going back into the utilities with F10 and it hangs at 'entering UEFI please wait....
   I don't have enough experience with Dell Servers, to feel comfortable and I've already spent weeks trying to get answers to my lack of knowledge, so I'm here.  
  My train of thought is that I need to get the bios and LCC firmware up to date in order to go forward, and I'm open to advice and suggestions on the best course of action.
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Jeff PerkinsOwnerAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Have you tried just downloading the Firmware DVD from DELL, sticking it in the server, booting from it, and update ALL firmware.

2016 may or may not be a supported OS on this server, as the server is end of life and old.

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Jeff PerkinsOwnerAuthor Commented:
Thanks Andrew,
I did download and create a bootable usb that was supposed to update all the necessary equipment from  https://dell.app.box.com/v/BootableR710

I booted and ran this, and it gave an extremely long log of stuff that looked as if it wasn't successful on anything.  The LCC definitely did not update, nor did the firmware, as for just making  bios disc and booting to it, no I have not.  

I understand that 2016 may not be supported, and I'm ok with that, and I'm also ok with the EOL on the server.  It's  a learning experience and a way to have a backup server if the need arises for me.   I have however read several posts of people who are running 2016 on the R710, and Dell recently updated the  iDRAC version to accommodate, among many things, the use of 2016.  But everything I've read and come across seems to indicate it's essential to bring the bios and LCC up to most current version.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It's possible Dell have removed firmware from the later version, and you may need to input TAG Number, and browse and download an earlier version.

I've also read people have updated iDRAC and LLC and bricked their servers in chasing support for recent OS.

So be cautious here!
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Jeff PerkinsOwnerAuthor Commented:
Ok Andrew,
    I am not sure the best method to attack the bios update, but when I go to the dell support site for my system, I have the bios update, it's native is exe, but obviously this won't do for a bootable disk.  I've captured a SS of the various formats, can you advise what would be the best way to create a bootable disk to update the bios?
bios formats available
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Did you search for the Firmware DVD ?
Jeff PerkinsOwnerAuthor Commented:
Yes, this is what comes up under firmware, not sure what any of this is?
firmware.JPG
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Jeff PerkinsOwnerAuthor Commented:
Ok, I'll try that and see what I can come up with. It will probably take me a few days to get that tested, so don't think I've abandoned. I appreciate the help my friend.
Rowan HawkinsSystem IntegratorCommented:
Another possibility, since many of the dell bios updates need to be run within windows would be to temporarily install a currently supported OS maybe 2008R2,  and flash the firmware from within that. That will also give you 180 days to test the system is functional before wiping it out and installing the 2016.

The R710 is a good learning system, and I'm somewhat surprised that the new system board was not flashed to the current image on install by the Dell Technician. The other issue is that the new motherboard will have a different service tag and that is the one that you should be basing your updates around, not the one on the chassis. though peripheral/addon card software will still be located under the old chassis tag.
Jeff PerkinsOwnerAuthor Commented:
Rowan,
   You are actually talking to the 'Dell Technician' who replaced the board....LOL  The situation was I had been telling the owners that the server was limping for a while and when it was shut down for cleaning after a remodel it wouldnt' come back on, so we grabbed a used board right away to get them up and running while the new server was being built to replace it.  I didn't have a clue how to redo the info in the system when I put the new board in, so I'm the one who didn't do it correctly, but knowing that I was going to take the hardware and utilize it, I wasn't all that worried about it at the time.  
   I never really thought of the idea of putting an older OS on for update purposes, thank you for that suggestion.  You sound rather knowledgeable on Dell servers. I'm willing to follow any instructions to do this, with it being a good idea to do it right, first of all, and experience and education, something no one can take away from you being a second good reason.  
   I didn't even know what iDRAC or LCC was before I started on this, and there isn't much information that leads to a good education on this subject.  Lots of tech talk, but that leads to 20 rabbit holes in the process.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You could always install ESXi (free), and then install 2016 as a Guest VM.

do you know what BIOS version you have ?
Jeff PerkinsOwnerAuthor Commented:
Bios version 6.4.0, as reported by the iDRAC
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
That is the latest and LAST BIOS for the R710, as fixed for Spectre and Meltdown.

there will be no more BIOS updates. (Server End of Life)
Jeff PerkinsOwnerAuthor Commented:
Well, I'm relatively certain that it was a bit older when all this started, but I'll have to look thru my notes to be certain. Perhaps the updates I did last time actually worked on some things.  
I had someone at the place we purchased the used replacement mainboard, tell me that the Express card could be going bad, which is why I'm having trouble entering the LCC.  Is this a problem?  I'm just planning to run this server to replace my other older server so I can load Linux on that one and get familiar with it.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Express card

what would that be ?

I've got a "few" R710's here in the DC, I could pop an install of Server 2016 on them to check what they do...

these are full patched (as of last firmware for them!)
Jeff PerkinsOwnerAuthor Commented:
The express card, is the iDRAC controller, I'm sure that's improper terminology.... they have two different ones, the iDRAC express and the enterprise.  
I was able to update the iDRAC, but not the LCC, not sure how essential that is?  
Now that I have told the LCC to check inventory on next reboot, I cannot seem to boot into Windows, I need to reboot and try again.  I've tried so many things over the last month or so that its hard to remember what works and what doesn't....LOL
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I'm going to install Server 2016 on a R710 here now....
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I was it's got a failed to communicate with iDrac6 error message and restarts....

ah, latest bios 6.5.0
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Installing....

I'll let you know tomorrow, when the missing drivers are on my R710
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Okay, so installed Windows Server 2016, and all drivers are present in device manager no missing drivers.

BIOS version - 6.5.0
iDRAC6 - 1.6 (not the latest!)

This was a server which was update to ALL latest firmware, when Dell announced their last firmware SUU for the Server. Later the BIOS was upgraded from 6.4.0 to 6.5.0 for Spectre and Meltdown.

But we have not attempted to change iDRAC6 firmware or LLC - due to issue we've read and seen on the internet. (and to be honest with you not required by us), we don't go chasing firmware updates just because there is a later version.....

Unless there is a real requirement which affects us e.g. Spectre/Meltdown
Sean BravenerSenior Information Technology ConsultantCommented:
I can attest that 2016 runs just fine on an R710.  As far as patching goes, you can run firmware updates from within windows using the exe files shown in your screen shot above.  It will load a firmware or bios update and then reboot your server(or prompt for reboot). I was able to update all the various firmwares from win 2016but loading an older os is a grand idea as well
Jeff PerkinsOwnerAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys for the help.  I'm not sure that LCC is something I have a need for in my little shop.  I got 2016 installed, and have drivers left, but I don't think its going to be an issue. The bios update and the iDRAC  is up to latest.   I'll leave this open until tomorrow, just to make sure no one suggests doing something I haven't.  Thank you again!
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I got 2016 installed, and have drivers left,

does that mean you've got missing drivers in Device Manager ?

after installing 2016 ?
Jeff PerkinsOwnerAuthor Commented:
Andrew,
Sorry for the delayed response, it's been a bit crazy around here.
I don't actually have missing drivers persay (no exclamation marks or red x), but i recognize some generic labels for drivers in Device Manager that I 'm sure will be rectified by updating drivers from the Dell Support site.
Jeff PerkinsOwnerAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys to everyone for pitching in and helping me on this. I appreciate your patience and your insight.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
and there lies another debate, which drivers are best - Microsoft or Dell!

again Dell R710 is end of life, and not sure if drivers actually exist for it from Dell for 2016/2019..
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