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DL380 G4 USB DriveKey Boot Problems

Colin Ferns_1
Occasional Visitor

DL380 G4 USB DriveKey Boot Problems


We have purchased HPDL380 G4's which are running the latest firmware (Aug 2004). The DL380G4's were purchased with HP 256MB DriveKey II's, PN PH657A. The Drive Keys are detectable as USB devices in both Windows 2003 and Windows XP machines.

The short of the problem is that we are receiving the following error message when attempting to boot off the USB device on the DL380G4's (tried 6 different servers):
Error loading operating system

Note: the same key/same boot files was tested on HP workstations and non HP workstations and was *successful*.

My question is this: has anyone successfully got this to work with the product indicated or a simialar device on a DL380G4, and if so how? If using a similar device, could you please supply the PN.

Tools Used to create bootable USB devices:
HPDK2 device was made bootable using the following methods, and tested, each with the above result:
- HPUSBF.EXE (1.00.012) - SP27608
- HPUSBFW.EXE (2.1.8) - SP27608
- HP Drive Key Boot Utility - CP004916

Strange Obvservationn 1: Using the HP Drive Key Boot Utility on any machine, server or workstation, the HP USB devices would not be detected. Even stranger was that the CD-ROM would be detected as a USB device as long as there was a CD in the drive. This is the first version of the utility and I do not believe it can detected the USB drive key with PN PH657A.

Strange Observation 2: I could only use HPUSBF and HPUSBFW with the USB II Drive Keys if there were *two* of them connected to a HP workstation at the same time. With only one connected, HPUSBF could read the the attached USB device description (eg Hewlett-Packakar DriveKey II), but would not detect it as a HP device. Inserting the second USB key allowed this tool to detect *one* of the connected USB devices, which could then be made bootable using the boot files stored within the HPUSBF.EXE. This was also the same for the GUI based version (obviously they use the same detection routines)

Additional info:
-All USB options on the DL380G4's were enabled (eg USB 2.0, All External USB connectors)
- Both the front and rear USB ports on the DL380s were tested, with the same result.
- The USB Key was detected and a boot attempt is made because the error messages without the USB key in the drive was different (the boot sequence makes it to the PXE option and then restarts)
- Other bootable USB Keys were tested (one being an Asus, another a Kingmax) on the DL380 and failed. The same keys and configurations on HP workstations were successful. Note that HPUSBF was used to build the bootable USB device

Any help would be greatly appreciated

Dennis van Duivenboden
Occasional Visitor

Re: DL380 G4 USB DriveKey Boot Problems


I had the same problem. I used only the HP drive key util. This seems to work. The only problem is that there is not 1 way to prepare the usb stick. I'm using Kingston by the way.

Formating the stick with XP and after with the utility sometimes works. But it is a combination of formating it with xp and with the utility. Problem sometimes is that when formating with the utility you can't read the stick anymore under xp. It is a combination of that. After you manage to boot from the firmware option. You can remove everything from the stick except de ldlinux.sys. After that you can use the utility to put a disketteimage on the stick.

I have tried to explain how i prepared the stick, but it seems there is not a particular way to have the same success.

Give it a try.

Colin Ferns_1
Occasional Visitor

Re: DL380 G4 USB DriveKey Boot Problems


Thanks for your response. You had exactly the same problems I was having where getting the devide to boot was very intermittent. After working with HP support for a while, who manage to get it to work every now and then, I gave up.

Lo and behold though, HP have come out with a BIOS update for the DL380G4's, and wouldn't you know it there's a fix for the exact same problems we were having. Seems that there were timing issues with USB devices that caused them to lock up after POST.

Oh well, here's the link

Cheers for your help.

Regards Colin