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Exceptions Occur in the System When an AC Power Failure Occurs During a BIOS Upgrade

Publication Date:  2015-06-19 Views:  113 Downloads:  0
Issue Description
Hardware configuration:
V2 servers (RH/E/X series servers developed on the Romley platform)

Symptom:

When the basic input/output system (BIOS) is being upgraded through the firmware upgrade web user interface (WebUI) of the iMana, an AC power failure occurs. When the BIOS is upgraded again, the upgrade fails, or the operating system (OS) is powered off or restarts.

Handling Process
1.  Check operations performed by the customer when the fault occurs and iMana logs to determine whether the fault occurs after an AC power failure during the BIOS upgrade.

2.  Upgrade the BIOS two to three times.

3.  If the BIOS still fails to be upgraded, disconnect the AC power supply from the server, wait 1 to 3 minutes until the mainboard is powered off, and then power on the mainboard and upgrade the BIOS again. If the fault persists, replace the mainboard.
Root Cause
1.  The Romley platform of V2 servers forcibly uses the management engine (ME). The board cannot be powered on or start properly if the ME fails to start or functions abnormally.

2.  The BIOS of V2 servers is upgraded in the following sequence: a. The ME enters the recovery state before the Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) bus is switched. b. The BIOS is upgraded. c. The ME returns to the normal state.

3.  If an AC power failure occurs during the BIOS upgrade, BIOS software loading may be not complete, and the ME cannot enter the normal state from the recovery state. As a result, the BIOS upgrade fails. Upgrade the BIOS again. The upgrade may fail, and the OS may be powered off or may restart.
Suggestions
Do not restart the OS or disconnect the AC power supply from the server during a BIOS upgrade.

Note:
The ME is an Intel-developed server management engine. The ME can manage server hardware (in terms of power capping, CPU temperature, and fan status) by responding to commands issued by the iMana.
The SPI is a bus interface between the platform controller hub (PCH) and the BIOS flash memory.

END