I have a PE T710 with iDRAC6 which is refusing to boot. It gets stuck before the monitor comes on and so there is absolutely no display coming from the server. That is, there is no bios welcome screen or memory check output. The monitor LED stays amber.
This is a result of performing a number of FW and BIOS updates
1) Power supply went from M1.01.04 -> M1.01.09
2) ST9500430SS DS62->DS66 (drives)
3) BIOS 2.1.9 -> 6.40
4) Nextreem II BCM5709 Gigabit Ethernet rev20 (eth2,3 and prob 1) 5.2.7->7.8.53
5) Dell 32 bit diagnostics v.5142A0,5142.2. 5142A0->5158A3
6) PERC H700 Integrated Controller 0 FW. 12.3.0-0032->12.10.6-001
7) ST9146852SSFW HT62->HT66
😎 Dell OS Drivers Pack V126.96.36.199 188.8.131.52-> 184.108.40.206
9) iDRAC6. 1.5->1.97
10) Dell Lifecycle Controller V1.4.0.A445, A01. 220.127.116.11->18.104.22.1685
Although during these updates, the output was 'success' apparently after rebooting the server something went wrong. For example the iDRAC still lists the bios as 2.1.9, even though it was supposedly updated to 6.4
On the status LCD on the front of the T710 it usually says "system booting..." and the number of dots is 3 or less. The number is not the same on each boot, but it never gets past that message. The post code is 0x05 which is "BIOS shadow into memory" which according to the iDRAC6 is not a problem.
The iDRAC6 was successfully updated to the latest FW and the lifecycle controller as well. I suspect the BIOS update did not complete successfully or was done in the wrong order.
So I have tried in vain to update the BIOS through the iDRAC6 but it says that the win32 DUP for any version of BIOS using the iDRAC6 web interface update FW page. In fact from browsing google for a few days, it is not immediately clear if the BIOS can be upgraded from iDRAC6. The web interface returns the error that the uploaded file format is incorrect.
I have also used the iDRAC6 update FW to update the iDRAC6 FW to its latest version after rolling it back to 1.5. I also repaired the lifecycle controller successfully, but I cannot update the BIOS!
I have been told that I should replace the mobo. Your advice is welcome.
Thanks for the thorough description. You've done some nice troubleshooting. I suspected the LCC repair myself, but you have already eliminated that and you are most likely correct that this is a rare occurrence where the BIOS flash did not go well. Some things you can try is to reset the NVRAM. Furthermore, I would perform the stand minimum to post test to ensure the FW flash did not damage one of the other components.
Here is the min to post list for the T710:
Processor with Heatsink - CPU1 (min for troubleshooting)
One stick of memory in DIMM A1 (B1 also if testing with both procs)
Control Panel w/cable
1 Power supply - Test both one at at time.
Let us know if that helps.
I had pulled everything down to minimum you described (even swapped the Dimms, CPUs and PSUs) and you can still talk to the idrac6 express, but I still get the same incomplete boot and no monitor outputs. Sometimes "System booting..." will show up on the front panel LCD and sometimes it might not, and sometimes the number of dots after "system booting" will vary.
Does the iDRAC6 actually allow a BIOS flash? I cant find any mention of this in the User's guide!! It seems like only the iDRAC6 FW can be updated and apparently a repair of the LCC also works (since I managed to do it). I would be interested in knowing the answer to that question even if the mobo is dead.
That's what I did. I pointed it to the 32 bit .exe, but the error that came back was that the file was in the wrong format. I tried various formats and various versions (just to make sure). But in all cases iDRAC complained: the format of the file you've uploaded is bad.
Note that it did not have a problem with the iDRAC6 FW and lifecycle repair files. So something works, but NOT the BIOS update. 😞
New mobo installed and back up and running. Most likely BIOS or LCC was corrupt and no way to recover. I also tried Dell Open manage essentials which looked promising, but timed out when I tried to update the BIOS or other FW.