RE Xserve - force re-install of firmware

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RE Xserve - force re-install of firmware

RICE, THOMAS
>I have an Intel (Late 2006) Xserve and a Xserve (2008) system

>Both of which will now NOT boot from internal drives in the drive bays.

>They WILL boot from an external firewire drive  -  using both 10.4.11 or 10.6.8 operating systems.

>When booting and holding the "alt" key  -  Only a install DVD (if inserted) and the FireWire drive appear as bootable options.

>When the Operating system has booted ALL drives are appearing in both "disk utility" and as a bootable option in "Startup disk"

>I am only using Apple logo'd drives - and have tried different brands and sizes - mainly the 80Gb ones supplied with the Xserves in the first place.
>I have tried Apple SATA disk carriers (many different ones) and Apple SAS disk carriers (again, many different ones).

>I have tried a Drive backplane board from a known working machine and that also fails to boot.


>I thought it cannot be the backplane if the drives are seen by the OS.
>My reasoning is that it must be down to the firmware as the drives are not seen as bootable options.

>The firmware on the late 2006 system is  XS11.0080.B01 - which I believe to be the latest

>I cannot re-install the firmware as the system says "you are using the latest firmware and doesn't require re-loading”

 >I have other xserve systems exactly the same as the ones above

>The drives/carriers WILL boot in these other systems whatever combination of drives or carriers I use


>I had a (brand new) motherboard as part of a service kit purchased from apple and fitted this to the Late 2006 system
>I can now see the three internal drives at boot, and boot from them

>This seems to suggest that either the original Motherboard itself is faulty or the firmware isn’t doing what it should.


>Is it possible force re-install the firmware onto these systems?

I think you're putting the cart before the horse. There are plenty of other reasons, aside from frimware, that a drive would not be seen as bootable. If you can see the drives in disk utility when you boot from an external source have you tried repairing the drives? What format are the drives in the first place? What is supposed to be the bootable operating system? Are these drives in a standalone or RAID configuration? Have you run hfsck from the command line? (essentially what disk utility does anyway). Have you tried reblessing the bootable partion? Even something as simple as reinstalling the latest combo update for the OS in question when you have the machine booted from an external source can fix it. What happened right before the machine failed to boot?

tom

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Re: RE Xserve - force re-install of firmware

Tony Baker-2

>> I have an Intel (Late 2006) Xserve and a Xserve (2008) system
>> Both of which will now NOT boot from internal drives in the drive bays.
>> They WILL boot from an external firewire drive  -  using both 10.4.11 or 10.6.8 operating systems.
>> When booting and holding the "alt" key  -  Only a install DVD (if inserted) and the FireWire drive appear as bootable options.
>> When the Operating system has booted ALL drives are appearing in both "disk utility" and as a bootable option in "Startup disk"
>> I am only using Apple logo'd drives - and have tried different brands and sizes - mainly the 80Gb ones supplied with the Xserves in the first place.
>> I have tried Apple SATA disk carriers (many different ones) and Apple SAS disk carriers (again, many different ones).
>> I have tried a Drive backplane board from a known working machine and that also fails to boot.
>> I thought it cannot be the backplane if the drives are seen by the OS.
>> My reasoning is that it must be down to the firmware as the drives are not seen as bootable options.
>> The firmware on the late 2006 system is  XS11.0080.B01 - which I believe to be the latest
>> I cannot re-install the firmware as the system says "you are using the latest firmware and doesn't require re-loading”
>> I have other xserve systems exactly the same as the ones above
>> The drives/carriers WILL boot in these other systems whatever combination of drives or carriers I use
>> I had a (brand new) motherboard as part of a service kit purchased from apple and fitted this to the Late 2006 system
>> I can now see the three internal drives at boot, and boot from them
>> This seems to suggest that either the original Motherboard itself is faulty or the firmware isn’t doing what it should.
>> Is it possible force re-install the firmware onto these systems?
>
> I think you're putting the cart before the horse. There are plenty of other reasons, aside from frimware, that a drive would not be seen as bootable. If you can see the drives in disk utility when you boot from an external source have you tried repairing the drives? What format are the drives in the first place? What is supposed to be the bootable operating system? Are these drives in a standalone or RAID configuration? Have you run hfsck from the command line? (essentially what disk utility does anyway). Have you tried reblessing the bootable partion? Even something as simple as reinstalling the latest combo update for the OS in question when you have the machine booted from an external source can fix it. What happened right before the machine failed to boot?
>
> tom

Andrea/Tom Thanks for replying

I will try to get the firmware from the links supplied by Andrea

Tom: As I said in my original Post

The same drives and carriers   WILL   boot in another identical system
Also, when I replaced the motherboard - those same drives and carriers that did not boot previously  NOW DO  boot. So I believe the drives and carriers to be OK.  -  The new motherboards firmware is XS11.0079.B00.

In the two machines that I had  -  BOTH had Apple RAID backplanes - which I was consistently getting either battery problems - or in the case of the 2008 system - The RAID failed to see any drives at all - So I removed the backplanes and replaced them with a standard backplane - (and I used the correct backplane for each Xserve system).

Tony

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Re: RE Xserve - force re-install of firmware

Tony Baker-2
On 21 Mar 2014, at 08:05, Tony Baker <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>>> I have an Intel (Late 2006) Xserve and a Xserve (2008) system
>>> Both of which will now NOT boot from internal drives in the drive bays.
>>> They WILL boot from an external firewire drive  -  using both 10.4.11 or 10.6.8 operating systems.
>>> When booting and holding the "alt" key  -  Only a install DVD (if inserted) and the FireWire drive appear as bootable options.
>>> When the Operating system has booted ALL drives are appearing in both "disk utility" and as a bootable option in "Startup disk"
>>> I am only using Apple logo'd drives - and have tried different brands and sizes - mainly the 80Gb ones supplied with the Xserves in the first place.
>>> I have tried Apple SATA disk carriers (many different ones) and Apple SAS disk carriers (again, many different ones).
>>> I have tried a Drive backplane board from a known working machine and that also fails to boot.
>>> I thought it cannot be the backplane if the drives are seen by the OS.
>>> My reasoning is that it must be down to the firmware as the drives are not seen as bootable options.
>>> The firmware on the late 2006 system is  XS11.0080.B01 - which I believe to be the latest
>>> I cannot re-install the firmware as the system says "you are using the latest firmware and doesn't require re-loading”
>>> I have other xserve systems exactly the same as the ones above
>>> The drives/carriers WILL boot in these other systems whatever combination of drives or carriers I use
>>> I had a (brand new) motherboard as part of a service kit purchased from apple and fitted this to the Late 2006 system
>>> I can now see the three internal drives at boot, and boot from them
>>> This seems to suggest that either the original Motherboard itself is faulty or the firmware isn’t doing what it should.
>>> Is it possible force re-install the firmware onto these systems?
>>
>> I think you're putting the cart before the horse. There are plenty of other reasons, aside from frimware, that a drive would not be seen as bootable. If you can see the drives in disk utility when you boot from an external source have you tried repairing the drives? What format are the drives in the first place? What is supposed to be the bootable operating system? Are these drives in a standalone or RAID configuration? Have you run hfsck from the command line? (essentially what disk utility does anyway). Have you tried reblessing the bootable partion? Even something as simple as reinstalling the latest combo update for the OS in question when you have the machine booted from an external source can fix it. What happened right before the machine failed to boot?
>>
>> tom
>
> Andrea/Tom Thanks for replying
>
> I will try to get the firmware from the links supplied by Andrea
>
> Tom: As I said in my original Post
>
> The same drives and carriers   WILL   boot in another identical system
> Also, when I replaced the motherboard - those same drives and carriers that did not boot previously  NOW DO  boot. So I believe the drives and carriers to be OK.  -  The new motherboards firmware is XS11.0079.B00.
>
> In the two machines that I had  -  BOTH had Apple RAID backplanes - which I was consistently getting either battery problems - or in the case of the 2008 system - The RAID failed to see any drives at all - So I removed the backplanes and replaced them with a standard backplane - (and I used the correct backplane for each Xserve system).
>
> Tony

Update - I got the firmware recovery disks - but unless I am being slow - or because the systems do NOT require the version on the recovery disks - When all the system LEDs flash and and inserting the recovery disk - it ignores it and boots normally - no attempt to load the firmware disk that I can see.

Is there a foolproof method for using these Recovery disks? - once a firmware is at a particular version - can this then be downgraded ?

Regards

Tony
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Re: RE Xserve - force re-install of firmware

Andrea Govoni
On 26/03/14 14:17, Tony Baker wrote:
> Update - I got the firmware recovery disks - but unless I am being slow - or because the systems do NOT require the version on the recovery disks - When all the system LEDs flash and and inserting the recovery disk - it ignores it and boots normally - no attempt to load the firmware disk that I can see.
> Is there a foolproof method for using these Recovery disks? - once a firmware is at a particular version - can this then be downgraded ?

Re-reading the Apple article I noticed
"You can only use this to restore the firmware after an interrupted or
unsuccessful update."
and
"This CD cannot be used to return an Intel-based Macintosh computer's
firmware to a previous version if a successful update has already been
performed.".
So maybe it doesn't apply because the firmware appears OK or because the
firmware on the CD is older than the installed one (I didn't find the
version numbers of the firmwares on the CD).

Do you already considered to send the units in for service?
Xserve (Late 2006) is already vintage[1] so no hardware service should
be available (unless you live in Turkey or California…) but Xserve
(Early 2008) is still supported.


[1] <http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1752>

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Re: RE Xserve - force re-install of firmware

Tony Baker-2
On 27 Mar 2014, at 02:29, Andrea Govoni <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 26/03/14 14:17, Tony Baker wrote:
>> Update - I got the firmware recovery disks - but unless I am being slow - or because the systems do NOT require the version on the recovery disks - When all the system LEDs flash and and inserting the recovery disk - it ignores it and boots normally - no attempt to load the firmware disk that I can see.
>> Is there a foolproof method for using these Recovery disks? - once a firmware is at a particular version - can this then be downgraded ?
>
> Re-reading the Apple article I noticed
> "You can only use this to restore the firmware after an interrupted or unsuccessful update."
> and
> "This CD cannot be used to return an Intel-based Macintosh computer's firmware to a previous version if a successful update has already been performed.".
> So maybe it doesn't apply because the firmware appears OK or because the firmware on the CD is older than the installed one (I didn't find the version numbers of the firmwares on the CD).
>
> Do you already considered to send the units in for service?
> Xserve (Late 2006) is already vintage[1] so no hardware service should be available (unless you live in Turkey or California…) but Xserve (Early 2008) is still supported.
>
> --
> Andrea Govoni

Andrea Hi

Thanks for taking the trouble to reply

I too read the article, I suppose I was just hoping that there was some “secret” knowledge around that would allow me to force this firmware.

Tony
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Re: RE Xserve - force re-install of firmware

Angus Fox (Multizone)
I have a working 2006 Xserve / 10.7.5 in the UK if its any help to diagnose - Im in Surrey but alas have no secret knowledge. You could try an Authorised Apple Service Centre - they are pretty good about out of warranty diagnosis (for a fee of course)


Angus





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