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ISO of HPE Support Pack for Proliant - does not work with rufus

Frequent Visitor

ISO of HPE Support Pack for Proliant - does not work with rufus

Hi, this post is just a information for people like me, that fall into the same trap when trying to create an bootable usb stick of a HPE Service Pack for ProLiant with rufus and get an error like "Unable to mount the file system [cdrom]" at boot. Because there are a set of information i collected, i want to share this with others.

First thing, why you are trying to make a bootable usb stick, may because you have a slow internet connection for update inside intelligent provisioning or the downloads in intelligent provisioning fail. So now you picked up a mess when:

You try to write a usb flash drive with the iso image of HPE ProLiant Service Pack - SPP AND you decide to write the image with Rufus (my version is 3.4 with standard settings) because, as like me, you know Rufus as one of the fastest an simplest usb tools. Thereforce it was your first choice. However afterwards, your ProLiant Server won't boot from the stick or he does not recognize it as bootable, or you getting mount errors.

So now, some facts:

• It does not matter if you select ISO or DD mode
• It does not matter if you change vesamenu.c32 with that one Rufus suggest or not
• The syslinux does not match the needed version for the SPP ISO (4.07 vs 3.75 at this time)
• Rufus select the wrong isolinux.cfg in addition
• UnetBootin also didn't get it working

Some people say:
Rufus finds two config files, one at /usb/isolinux.cfg and another at /system/isolinux.cfg. It picks the one at /usb but this is the wrong one, and points to it at \syslinux.cfg. So you have to edit \syslinux.cfg and change it to:

DEFAULT loadconfig

LABEL loadconfig
• CONFIG /system/isolinux.cfg
• APPEND /system/

In my tests, this was true for usb sticks greater 32GB. Without the syslinux.cfg corrections the usb stick was not recognized at boot time (F11). But it had no impact on sticks with or below 32GB. There it makes no difference which of the two isolinux.cfg the syslinux.cfg file points to. They always where recognized and booting. But:

Finally, after all tests, after correcting the syslinux.cfg file, replacing vesamenu.c32 i was most time able to boot, but finally i always got this error message after selecting automatic or interactive update.
Warning!!! Unable to mount the file system [cdrom]
Warning!!! Unable to moun the file system
Preboot maintenance mode
/bin/ash: can't access tty: job control turned off

I did my best, but at this point i have to say, there's no "rufus-way" to get the "very special" HP SPP ISO working. At the end, the syslinux version used inside the ISO and that used by rufus is not compatible. At least i did'nt find it get working.

Working alternative to Rufus - is the HPE usbkey tool:
• Your USB Stick should NOT be greater than 32GB, instead it's not viewed by the tool.
• Within the SPP iso file, there is /usb/usbkey/usbkey.exe. With this HPE Tool you can create you stick and it works anytime. However it's much slower than Rufus, but it works and thats the point. Remember you can simply browse the content of the iso file by open with windows explorer in actual Windows Versions.

Conclusions / Solutions:
To get a working HP ProLiant SPP usb flash disk, you have to choose one of this solutions:

• The simplest solutions is using the usb drive key tool at /usb/usbkey/usbkey.exe inside the iso file, with a usb stick thats not greater than 32GB. Then it works, but you just have to have patience (a lot of patience).
• If you have access to ILO, then use the iso file booting with ILO - this works and is quick too.

There's only one thing left to say... HPE you have nice servers, but the most messy iso arround the globe ;-/


Re: ISO of HPE Support Pack for Proliant - doest not work with rufus


Good Day!

Thank you for posting your concerns.

The SPP contains a lot of product updates like Application , Driver and firmware updates for all the proliant servers.

That is why the HPE SPP is too huge and writing the SPP with HPE Usb key takes a lot of time.

I am an HPE employee
Accept or Kudo
New Member

Re: ISO of HPE Support Pack for Proliant - does not work with rufus

I've run to this problem and tried everything on a ML150 G9, I used Ventoy and bang! It works every time with any kind of ISO. After you installed it on the USB Stick, you just need to drop the ISOs inside of it.

Frequent Visitor

Re: ISO of HPE Support Pack for Proliant - does not work with rufus

Hi Joao_Silva,

i did not know ventoy before. I gave it a try and played arround with that tool. Very nice!
Such a simple way for running iso bootable things. I tried with Service Pack Proliant and a lot of other iso's i have. All boot up wonderful. Thank you for that nice tool tip

milton lin_2
Occasional Visitor

Re: ISO of HPE Support Pack for Proliant - does not work with rufus

I bought a brand new DL360 GEN10. 

Tried latest service pack created with Rufus same experience. 

Then tried the usbkey 3.0 that pas packaged with the service pack and got grub prompt.   I'm reading now that some service packs are bundled with usbkey that won't work so use and older one.  

My goodness why does HPE make this so hard?   

This is terrible user experience.

I am seasoned IT professional and just wasted hours on trying to create a bootable USB.  If this 4th attempt fails , i'm going to return this crap

Frequent Visitor

Re: ISO of HPE Support Pack for Proliant - does not work with rufus


you just can use ventoy ( It works with every PSP i gave a try with.
Anyway, its much more faster thun those usb-key tool. I tried with 32GB USB Sticks.

New Member

Re: ISO of HPE Support Pack for Proliant - does not work with rufus

If you change the top syslinux.cfg as described above, and then change "cdrom" to "usb" in system/isolinux.cfg and in boot/grub/grub.cfg, it will work. At least in BIOS mode which is good enough for SPP. There are more files to change for EFI /UEFI mode.

New Member

Re: ISO of HPE Support Pack for Proliant - does not work with rufus 



Document ID: a00109613en_us

Version: 1

Advisory: HPE Service Pack For ProLiant (SPP) - SPP Version 2020.03.2 USBKEY.EXE Utility for Microsoft Windows Operating Systems Does Not Function Properly
NOTICE: The information in this document, including products and software versions, is current as of the Release Date. This document is subject to change without notice.

Release Date: 2020-12-17

Last Updated: 2020-12-17


HPE Service Pack For ProLiant (SPP) version 2020.03.2 includes a USBKEY.EXE utility for creating a bootable SPP USB key.

The usbkey.exe file is located in \usb\usbkey folder of the SPP 2020.03.2 package. When using this tool to create a bootable USB SPP 2020.03.2, the usbkey will not function properly and the server will boot to a 'grub>' prompt.



Any HPE system configured with HPE Service Pack For ProLiant (SPP) version 2020.03.2.


This issue has been addressed in SPP version 2020.09.0


As a workaround, use usbkey from previous a version of SPP such as SPP 2020.03.0 or any third party usbkey utilities to create a bootable SPP from the SPP2020.03.2 ISO image.