HOWTO: Recover a failed firmware update on a #HPE / #Marvell Ethernet Adapter

It’s no secret that I exclusively utilize HPE’s oem’d Marvell Ethernet and FC adapters in not only my own servers, but all of my customers servers too. For the most part, they work great, they are feature rich compared to the competition, and lets face it, they are cost effective. The downside is that the firmware updating process provided by HPE is not overly robust, and has more than once left me with a bricked adapter. Once bricked, the adapter still appears in the ILO and server inventory, but doesn’t show any ports, MAC addresses, etc. So then I have to wait for HPE PointNext to dispatch a field tech to replace the bricked card because apparently they do not know how to fix it.

While troubleshooting another issue a while back with both the HPE ILO and Marvell Ethernet firmware development teams, the topic of bricked, borked, or otherwise dead adapters after failed HPE firmware updates came up. One of the Marvell engineers shared with me how to bring these adapters back to life, and I’m going to re-share that here. It’s a relatively easy process, and saves you from having to call to HPE support and waiting for PointNext to come replace it.

My screenshots below are based on a DL380 Gen9. As near as I can tell, this works on both Intel and AMD based Gen9 and Gen10 servers (I have definitely tested it on DL360 Gen9, DL360 Gen10, DL380 Gen9, DL380 Gen, DL325 Gen10 and DL385 Gen10). So just because the screenshots below may not look exactly like your system, the same basic steps will apply.

And as always before I begin:

Use any tips, tricks, or scripts I post at your own risk.

First, you need to extract the current firmware from the HPE executable with 7-Zip. Ideally you’ll want just the firmware .bin file in it’s own folder.

Next open Internet Explorer, log into the ILO and opened the .NET ILO console. Reboot the server to the RBSU and select embedded applications.

From the Virtual Drives drop down menu, select Folder. If you do not see Folder listed there, then you did not use Internet Explorer and / or the .NET ILO console, which is required to be able to mount a folder via the ILO.

Navigated to the folder where the extracted the firmware is and picked the folder that had the .bin file in it.

Select Firmware Update from the list of Embedded Applications, then select the adapter that requires reflashing from the list of devices.

*** Note that depending on the bricked-ness of the adapter – it may not actually appear as it’s real name – but it should be obvious which device it is by process of elimination.

At the Firmware Updates menu, select “Select a firmware file”   (**note – this particular 533FLR-T used in these screenshots is not bricked and the “Current Firmware Version” on this 533FLR-T is actually what I’m reflashing with, so the pictures may be differ slightly from what you see on screen)…

When prompted, select “[iLO Folder] iLO Virtual USB 1 : HP iLO Virtual USB Key”.

**Note – the naming of this varies depending on the BIOS version and generation of the Proliant – but the iLO Folder should be obvious in the list.

Select the firmware .bin file from the list presented…

**Note – with Gen10, I’ve noticed that sometimes the file names are truncated to 8.3, so this is why I suggest having only the .bin file in the folder presented via the ILO as it makes it alot easier to pick the right file then!

The new firmware file will load.  It generally about 10 to 15s.

Hit Start Firmware Update (as shown in the prior screenshot 3 above)…

The update process will take between 30 and 60s generally.

Once completed, exit back to the RBSU, and cold boot the host via the ILO.

Upon reboot – your Ethernet card will be back alive and ready to go again!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s