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Firmware upgrade on an Alpha ES40 running Openvms 8.3

Firmware upgrade on an Alpha ES40 running Openvms 8.3

I need to update the firmware on our ES40 as we currently have a hanging issue on reboot.
We are running console version 7.2 and I have created the CD for V7.3
I have read the release notes and two things stick out.
1. How can I check if I need to do the update to the RMC and TIG? I used anal/sys then clue config to get the console firmware level. Is there a way of checking the others?
2. Should I be attempting this without a FSL floppy in case of problems? If not, then the link to create one doesn't exist anymore.
Can anyone advise?
8 REPLIES
Volker Halle
Honored Contributor

Re: Firmware upgrade on an Alpha ES40 running Openvms 8.3

Jason,

to determine, whether you need to upgrade TIG or RMC, just type

UPD> LIST *

after you've booted the FW Update CD. This command will show the current version and the version available on CD.

I never had to use FSL, but you never know...

Volker.
Andy Bustamante
Honored Contributor

Re: Firmware upgrade on an Alpha ES40 running Openvms 8.3

>>> update the firmware on our ES40 as we currently have a hanging issue on reboot

That's an interesting statement. Do you have a grounding for assuming that a firmware update will resolve the reboot issues? If your hanging issue is tied to a hardware problem, I'd be extremely cautious about attempting to load new firmware.

The > LIST command once you boot the firmware CD will show currently installed and update version.

I've never needed to use FSL floppy, but that's your call. A call to a local field service engineer may be helpful if you feel you need this option.

You may consider console diagnostics prior to updating firmware. Loading new firmware on a dodgey Alpha may not be the ideal troubleshooting path.

Andy
If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over? Reach me at first_name + "." + last_name at sysmanager net
Bill Hall
Honored Contributor

Re: Firmware upgrade on an Alpha ES40 running Openvms 8.3

Jason,

The FSL kit is available at this url: ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/alphaserver/firmware/current_platforms/v7.3_release/ES40_series/. As Volker mentioned, I've never had a need for one. Most of the firmware updates I've done have been done remotely, from a bootable local scsi disk built with save-sets copied across our WAN and without an on-site warm body to do CD or floppy loads.

Be sure to update the firmware on your I/O adapters. Its been a long time since I've done 7.3 on an ES40, so I can't recall if the I/O adapters are done with the manual portion of the update.

Bill
Bill Hall
Mark...
Honored Contributor

Re: Firmware upgrade on an Alpha ES40 running Openvms 8.3

Hi,
Sorry guys bit more to it than that.
This has been the case with all ES40's, DS25 and ES45.
Once you have booted to the LFU or UPD prompt from the f/w cd if you do list you will not see a couple of things like TIG and RMC. From here you need to do "exit" and then once you are asked something like "do you want to do a manual update?" you answer "yes".
You will now be taken to the UPD/LFU prompt again and this time when you do list you will now see the elements taht you sae before + RMA and TIG.
From here just do a normal update for all the elements you wish to update.
For the ES40 you should/must do all the 5 core elements of the system which are
TIG, RMC, ARC or abios, srom and SRM.
Now exit f/w update as normal.
As I said it has always been like this for ES40, DS25 and ES45.
Mark...
if you have nothing useful to say, say nothing...
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: Firmware upgrade on an Alpha ES40 running Openvms 8.3

"Hanging issue" on reboot? That implies a "stuck" device. New firmware might well help, but so might configuring a reset or such. Or the device itself might be faulty, or might be unusually slow to respond.

AlphaServer ES40 FSL and RMC info:
http://labs.hoffmanlabs.com/node/445

Listing of FSL systems:
http://labs.hoffmanlabs.com/node/448

Also see the EV6 SMP caveat:
http://labs.hoffmanlabs.com/node/374

Firmware is an obvious approach toward a solution. But there can be other triggers and other remediations outside the realm of the firmware. Details on the hang can help.

Re: Firmware upgrade on an Alpha ES40 running Openvms 8.3

Thanks for all the help on the firmware issue.
Just to fill in on the booting problem we have, the hang on the system happens just when the screen (Dell screen) is still dark blue and the PGA0 and PGB0 messages have appeared.
I can't access the console using CTRL-P so have to do the power off and then on.
If it boots ok, then after the above messages, the screen turns light blue and the next messages are about the network cards. (Not sure if the screen colour is important. The console is in graphics mode)
If it reaches this point it boots up ok.

The booting problem is intermittant, as sometimes it reboots ok, sometimes it takes a couple of retries.

Rob Leadbeater
Honored Contributor

Re: Firmware upgrade on an Alpha ES40 running Openvms 8.3

That would appear to suggest some sort of issue either with the fibre cards, or the storage that you're talking to...

A Firmware update might help, as that should also flash the fibre cards.

You should probably also check that the storage system is functioning correctly. It it possible that its hanging on some failed paths to the disks.

Cheers,

Rob
Richard W Hunt
Valued Contributor

Re: Firmware upgrade on an Alpha ES40 running Openvms 8.3

Last time I saw the symptoms you described near the end of your thread, we had lost a fiber card on the storage area network controller so that one of our paths was "yammering" over the fiber. I.e. spewing garbage and never allowing its partner to get a word in edgewise. So that card appeared hung.

Time before that, it was a problem with a "strained" fiber cable.

Just a couple of ideas to check.
Sr. Systems Janitor