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Modified BIOS for Microserver N40L enables hidden features


diehard
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I thought (was hoping) the N40L and N36L BIOS was actually the same, is this not the case? (Based on the topic of this thread)

I should own an N54L within about a week or two, so I was kind of hoping to BIOS mod that.

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I thought (was hoping) the N40L and N36L BIOS was actually the same, is this not the case? (Based on the topic of this thread)

I should own an N54L within about a week or two, so I was kind of hoping to BIOS mod that.

 

I don't think anyone has confirmed, yet, that the Mod works on the N54L..... hopefully soon.

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Well I'll help where I can on this, I figure the most logical thing to do is to find the BIOS version in the BIOS itself to begin with. I'm also hunting HP's sites now to see if I can find a copy of the N54L stock BIOS, that might answer it straight away.

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Hi All,

I've seen a few posts on here without any real answer...so here goes.

 

I too have an N40L microserver and obviously wanted to do the BIOS mod to allow the extra port etc. So I followed the instructions, got the usb bootable, got the files , checked the files against the list, got the modded files and moved them over etc and then restarted the N40L with the bootkey in the USB slot and hey presto....nothing. It starts with a red light behind HP logo and nothing else. It wont wont boot into bios or show anything on display.

 

So the question is what has happened?

 

I don't think its even gone through the process of flashing the BIOS yet because there was no interaction with it at all. Nothing to say a BIOS flash was taking place or had completed.

 

So can anyone explain what actually happens during the bios flash so I can say for certain it didn't get that far?

 

secondly ...the red light ...was I just unlucky in that the power supply has gone faulty as a result of the attempted flash ?

 

thirdly ...anyone any ideas on how to get the boot into the BIOS back?...I have tried CMOS clear.

 

Cheers :-)

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Can you get into the BIOS on startup? Did you set the boot order to look at the USB port first?

 

Some people have had issues with some brands of USB memory sticks so you also might try another brand if you are still having problems.

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No I cant get into bios at all....It switches on OK but that is it. Red light is on constantly as if there is a constant power / possible BIOS fault before the bios starts its own processes.

 

By default the server is set to look at usb key first according to HP documentation.

I used a known working, but hardly used, Kingston usb key which was proved to be previously working with a corporate version of Ghost. ....that definitely was bootable! Also the usb key was made bootable with the official SP from HP without any issues at all in another PC. So I am pretty sure its not the key.

 

I work in an environment with around 1000 HP PCs and Laptops etc as Administrator so I know for a fact the KIngston USB keys are definitely known to be working with HP gear.

 

I am also not a novice when it comes flashing HP BIOS chips. I've probably done 100s possibly 1000s over a 10 years period without a single fail...apart from yesterdays episode with my own kit. However this is the first BIOS I have done via a booted usb key for a long, long time ...usually HP BIOS upgrades are done within the Windows environment. I suspect the BIOS upgrade itself hasn't even started as usually you get some sort of choice before you go on to complete the flash itself. I didn't even get to that point on restart.

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Hi All,

I've seen a few posts on here without any real answer...so here goes.

 

I too have an N40L microserver and obviously wanted to do the BIOS mod to allow the extra port etc. So I followed the instructions, got the usb bootable, got the files , checked the files against the list, got the modded files and moved them over etc and then restarted the N40L with the bootkey in the USB slot and hey presto....nothing. It starts with a red light behind HP logo and nothing else. It wont wont boot into bios or show anything on display.

 

So the question is what has happened?

 

I don't think its even gone through the process of flashing the BIOS yet because there was no interaction with it at all. Nothing to say a BIOS flash was taking place or had completed.

 

So can anyone explain what actually happens during the bios flash so I can say for certain it didn't get that far?

 

secondly ...the red light ...was I just unlucky in that the power supply has gone faulty as a result of the attempted flash ?

 

thirdly ...anyone any ideas on how to get the boot into the BIOS back?...I have tried CMOS clear.

 

Cheers :-)

No I cant get into bios at all....It switches on OK but that is it. Red light is on constantly as if there is a constant power / possible BIOS fault before the bios starts its own processes.

 

By default the server is set to look at usb key first according to HP documentation.

I used a known working, but hardly used, Kingston usb key which was proved to be previously working with a corporate version of Ghost. ....that definitely was bootable! Also the usb key was made bootable with the official SP from HP without any issues at all in another PC. So I am pretty sure its not the key.

 

I work in an environment with around 1000 HP PCs and Laptops etc as Administrator so I know for a fact the KIngston USB keys are definitely known to be working with HP gear.

 

I am also not a novice when it comes flashing HP BIOS chips. I've probably done 100s possibly 1000s over a 10 years period without a single fail...apart from yesterdays episode with my own kit. However this is the first BIOS I have done via a booted usb key for a long, long time ...usually HP BIOS upgrades are done within the Windows environment. I suspect the BIOS upgrade itself hasn't even started as usually you get some sort of choice before you go on to complete the flash itself. I didn't even get to that point on restart.

 

 

I suspect the BIOS upgrade itself hasn't even started as usually you get some sort of choice before you go on to complete the flash itself. I didn't even get to that point on restart.

 

The MicroServer is different. You get no choice with the MicroServer – the process begins instantly: If the stick is in a USB port on the MicroServer when you power it on – the whole process is automatic – as soon as the stick is seen the MicroServer will begin to flash your BIOS – and will need roughly a minute or more to complete the process – if power is interrupted before it finishes to the prompt the BIOS will be corrupted and the Flash failed. If power is interrupted -- U may also need to check the stick to make sure it’s also OK and may even have to rebuild your MOD-BIOS stick.

 

If you power cycle the MicroServer again with the stick in a USB Port it will again attempt to flash your BIOS – and again -- if power is interrupted before it finishes to the prompt the BIOS will be corrupted and the Flash failed. U may also need to check the stick to make sure it’s also OK and may even have to rebuild your MOD-BIOS stick.

 

If you followed the directions you should have another (spare) USB stick with the factory BIOS – what were the results when you tried flashing that spare stick?

 

 

thirdly ...anyone any ideas on how to get the boot into the BIOS back?...I have tried CMOS clear.

 

If you didn’t create a spare factory BIOS stick when creating the MOD-BIOS stick then -

check these links:

Troubleshoot a Problem

Firmware and System ROM

HP Support Document – Advisory: HP MicroServer G7 – System May Fail to Boot After Updating the System BIOS

HP ProLiant MicroServer: Download Drivers and Software

 

 

secondly ...the red light ...was I just unlucky in that the power supply has gone faulty as a result of the attempted flash ?

 

I doubt it -- but my experience may be (actually is) limited. The only time I recall the HP insignia light being red was if it couldn’t find a bootable drive at start-up.

 

 

So can anyone explain what actually happens during the bios flash so I can say for certain it didn't get that far?

 

You power-up the MicroServer with the USB stick you created via directions in one of the USB ports on the MicroServer.

 

During power-up as soon as the MicroServer see’s the USB Stick it begins the process to Flash your BIOS - immediately.

 

This is how the process went for me (times in seconds):

0sec I Hit power button to energize the MicroServer

10 HP ProLiant MicroServer Splash Screen

13 Splash Screen Blanks out

15 BIOS Starts initializing Processor, USB Controllers

20 2GB Memory detected

25 Auto-detecting USB Mass Storage Devices

28 Screen Blanks out

30 Screen Flash then blanks out

32 Post Prompts displays – dots count across screen to 35 Sec Mark

37 Copyright Screen displays and indicates config.sys/autoexec.bat are about to execute

39 DOS Command Shell copyright displays and loading ROM Image notice displays

42 Screen fills with characters

46 C:\> is displayed at bottom of screen

 

Flash was complete at the 46 second mark.

 

DO NOT power down the MicroServer before you see the prompt.

 

After you’ve powered down the MicroServer then power it back up and hit the F10 Key to get into the BIOS and check out the new things that are visible and make changes starting at the Southbridge menu as outlined Here.

 

 

Can you get into the BIOS on startup? Did you set the boot order to look at the USB port first?

 

Some people have had issues with some brands of USB memory sticks so you also might try another brand if you are still having problems.

 

IMHO, CSKenny's suggestions are spot on and probably cover at least 99% of the problems people have Flashing the BIOS. Bad or incompatable memory sticks and messed up boot orders are the biggies I've seen (power system bumps or outages during the Flash are also big killers).

Edited by Joe_Miner
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secondly ...the red light ...was I just unlucky in that the power supply has gone faulty as a result of the attempted flash ?

 

I went and pulled all the drives from my Microserver. When powered on the HP logo is blue and it will run through the Microserver splash screen and POST screen. It eventually gets into a loop as it searches for an OS.

 

Doing some quick reading the RED logo is a critical failure. At this point you have a couple of options.

1. Pull out the MB and verify the memory is seated along with all the other connectors to the MB.

2. Call HP as you probably have a faulty system and they will need to replace it.

 

From my reading if you can't power it on and get past the red logo then you will not be able to do anything.

 

FYI - I didn't try putting a USB stick into the system to act like I was going to flash the BIOS to see if I would get a RED light. I didn't really want to experiment and see if I could corrupt my system. That being said, if I was you I would still try and find another brand of USB stick and try flashing the BIOS again.

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