How to Upgrade the Firmware on a Dell 2950 running ESXi (with no physical floppy drive).

How to Upgrade the Firmware on a Dell 2950 running ESXi (with no physical floppy drive).

NOTE: This tutorial is only valid if you have a DRAC card installed in your 2950.

This process was surprisingly simple. Basically what I’m going to do is use the downloaded EXE from Dell’s website. This EXE will create a bootable floopy, but instead of doing this to a physical floppy (because I don’t even have one). I’m going to do this to a virtual floopy. To do this edit the settings of any VM you have access to, Click on the Floppy Drive, then select “Create new floppy image in datastore”. Choose your location and name and hit okay, then hit okay again.

I had to go back in after this and then select, “Use existing floppy image in datastore” then select the file I just created. Don’t forget to check the box “connected” once you have done this.

Now log into the VM and format the floppy drive. Once formatted, copy the file you downloaded from Dell (the BIOS file) and execute it on the VM. This will build the “floppy”. Once completed Edit the settings of you VM again and uncheck the “connected” box.

Now you want to browse to the datastore where you created the .flp file and download it to your local desktop.

With the .flp file on the local desktop you need to log into your DRAC. And select the Media Tab:

NOTE: If you have not enabled Virtual Media, click on Configuration and change the Attach Virtual Media setting to “Attached”.

Select the Floppy Image File and browse to your desktop and select the .flp file. Now click connect.

Put your ESX server in Maintenance Mode and reboot the server. Connect to the console of the ESXi server via DRAC and on boot select F11 for boot options. When the boot options come up select virtual Floppy Drive.

From here it’s a straight forward BIOS upgrade, have fun!



worked a treat for me thanks, though I needed to rename the file from bios.flp to bios.img, otherwise DRAC would say it was an invalid floppy/ISO

I follow everything to the tee, including renaming the extension to .img (as PaulNSW added) & it finally "maps" in the Virtual Media Session, but upon rebooting and entering the boot menu, there is no Virtual Floppy option.  I then go into the System Setup (bios settings) & also do not see any any "virtual floppy" or virtual anything to add to the boot sequece.  Help.  What a pain in the butt this is turning into.

I have a Dell 2950 III, with iDrac 1.65 & bios is currently 2.6.1.  I am trying to get to 2.7.0 so I can upgrade the host from 4.1 to 5.1

Anyone have any ideas for me?

I'm late to the party, but very helpful write up.  Just got my PE2950 from Ebay for Esxi home lab.  It had the 2.2.6 bios, your direction worked flawlessly.  Thanks for sharing.

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