The servers were preinstalled with ILOM/BIOS from Sun Fire X4600 M2 Software 2.0 (or SW2.0) which was released during May, 2008. This release contains ILOM version 188.8.131.52 and BIOS version 87. At this time, I decided to downgrade it. Why? According to the EIS standard the new version wasn't included on the latest EIS DVD yet. There is only SW1.3a. I managed the downgrade via ILOM web interface from Maintenance menu.
I'm aware of the fact that the ILOM and BIOS are dependent on each other. It is like with ALOM and OBP on SPARC. But I was not aware of the fact that when I begin the downgrade process then only ILOM will be downgraded. So before the downgrade the ILOM was at version 184.108.40.206 and BIOS at 87, after it the ILOM was at 220.127.116.11 and BIOS still at 87. However, the BIOS should be at 50.
The effect of the previous unsuccessful downgrade was that I wasn't able to power the server off from the ILOM console correctly. Finally, when I unplugged all power cords and then returned them back and powered the server on the POST wasn't initialized and I wasn't able to access the BIOS menu. The server was suddenly unusable. The following screenshot shows the power off issue:
It seems that ILOM at version 18.104.22.168 and BIOS at 87 are not friends. You can try to do the backward upgrade. But in my situation it didn't help. It looked like the BIOS was changed somehow. Even when I upgraded to the original ILOM 22.214.171.124 the server was still dead. This led me to the opinion that BIOS is upgradable only in one direction - to the higher versions, naturally.
Unfortunately, you can install so-called force-recovery jumper P19 at the mainboard. The official documentation is here. In my opinion, it causes deactivation of the BIOS version check during the update. Here is a list of steps I did:
- I powered the server off.
- I installed the P19 jumper.
- I powered the server on.
- I was waiting until the service led was on and the locate button began blinking for a couple of seconds (five?).
- When they stopped blinking I powered the server off, removed the jumper and powered it on.