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HPE HDD Online/Offline Firmware updates: few theoretical questions

Honored Contributor

HPE HDD Online/Offline Firmware updates: few theoretical questions



I have a HPE ProLiant DL180 Gen9 which was equipped during end of 2016 with HPE Smart Array P440/4G controller and five 1TB 7.2K SATA LFF SC HDD (Part Number 657750-B21) configured into a RAID 6 Array.

All those five disks are - as theirs labels report - HPE Model MB1000GDUNU (Model MG03ACA100 so probably built on Toshiba hardware, HPE Part Number 739333-001, HPE GPN 657753-002).

By factory those initial five HDDs were deployed with Firmware HPG3 then, after applying latest available SPP 2016.10.0, their Firmware was updated flawlessly to the new available version which is HPG4.

I need to add now a 6th HDD as the Global Hot Spare disk for the actual RAID 6 Array and so I purchased the same type of disk (Part Number 657750-B21) discovering that it is Western Digital based (its label reports HPE Model MB1000GCEEK instead of being MB1000GDUNU as the five the Server is already equipped with) and it runs, by factory, an HPG2 Firmware version.

Initially I thought that HPG2 was "older" than the equivalent HPG4 but then I discovered that those Firmware versions apply to different HDD Hardwares (MB1000GCEEK versus MB1000GDUNU, as example) and so HPG2 doesn't necessarily mean older than HPG4 in this specific case.

Exploring the SPP 2016.10.0 components I learned that:

  • HPG4 is the latest available Firmware version for MB1000GBUNU drive models
  • HPG2 is the latest available Firmware version for MB1000GCEEK drive models

so I know that - up to the next SPP - I shouldn't care for any particular Firmware update for the added 6th drive. That's good. A maintenace operation I can avoid (especially considering that equipping the Server with Hot Plug HDDs let the Server to be powered-off for maintenance less times when dealing with HDD add/remove operations).

Now my theoretical questions:

Supposing that the newly added HDD - the 6th one - was instead another Toshiba based unit with factory HPG3 Firmware version (so updateable to latest HPG4):

  1. How can I then manage and perform the update (Online versus Offline) considering the OS (Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 in my case) is running over a RAID6 protected Volume provided by the Smart Array P440/4G Controller without knowing nothing about underlying physical disks?
  2. If the Offline method is possible: should I just need to reboot the Server into the latest available SPP (actually 2016.10.0 or 2016.10.2) and that drive will be recognized accordingly?
  3. If the Online method is instead possible: can I do it directly from the OS the Server is running on?
  4. Will the online executable file (in this example will be the cp030808.exe which is the "Online ROM Flash Component for Windows (x64) - MB1000GDUNU, MB2000GDUNV, MB3000GDUPA, and MB4000GDUPB Drives") be able to recognize that the Server has just one physical drive (of six drives it is equipped with) which require specifically a Firmware update (let me say HPG3 to HPG4) or this capability is only available by booting into SPP at boot time and not online?