We have ESX3 running on some HP DL580 G3's and we noticed some SCSI timeouts on SAN drives. Long story short, our Emulex HBA firmware was out of date by more than a year and we need to upgrade.
In 2007, servers no longer come with floppy drives. Emulex provides a Linux update utility but it looks like there are other pre-requsities that fall outside of VMWare. So an offline firmware upgrade seems like the best bet.
HP (and Emulex) only provide a DOS based utility for offline updates, and leave it up to the user to figure out how to boot into DOS without a floppy drive.
I start with BartPE. Only problem is that this is Windows PE and it won't let you change CD's because Windows is running from it! Drat! Can't copy it to a local drive because there are not FAT or NTFS partitions. Drat! I tried the USB flash drive, but I guess Windows PE doesn't provide USB support. Drat!
I noticed that on the BartPE site they have a bootCD image designed specifically for BIOS upgrades. Great! When I boot from it I get this pretty red screen with "Illegal OpCode" and a bunch of scarry binary jibberish.
A few googles later and I find the Ultimate Boot Disk. This CD-ROM lets to boot to 3 different versions of DOS (FreeDOS, OpenDOS, etc.).
I try it and I'm thrilled to learn that I can run DOS, and change CD's (and have CDROM support)!
Finally! So I run the LP6DUTIL and it tells me that the flash image is corrupt. That's odd. I tried other versions of DOS and they gave me a similar but different error (the error codes in LP6DUTIL were different!).
Is a DOS driver or component interfering? Is my CD image bad?
I re-downloaded the firmware, made a 2nd CD and tried again with about a dozen permutations of DOS and driver settings. Each one the LP6DUTIL program tells me the flash image is corrupt.
I am following the documentation for LP6DUTIL (which comes with the firmware download to a "T").
I also tried downloading the Emulex offline DOS utility (DOSLPCFG) and I get the same "bad image" error. I downloaded the file twice and burned it twice and I somehow doubt the files got corrupted. The EXE's on the same CD seem to work fine (beyond not allowing me to download firmware).
So with this, I leave the community with a simple question. Has anyone ever found a way to successfully upgrade Emulex HBA firmware on an ESX server? What DOS Boot CD did you use? What settings? What utility? All the details please!
I've spent the better part of 2 days now on what should be an easy task. I'm beginning to wonder if such a herculean feat is even possible, but I'm sure there's some zenu guru wizard out there who has been able to conquer this task, and upgrade their Emulex HBA's?