Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Creating a bootable USB key with DOS to upgrade a motherboard’s firmware

I went through the exercise of having to upgrade some blade servers with Supermicro motherboards last summer and as some may know, the BIOS package for these motherboards aren’t as upgrade friendly as what we may be used to from vendors such as Cisco, HP, Dell or IBM.  The package I downloaded simply contains the following files:


What I basically needed to do last summer was to create a bootable USB key that would load up DOS to enable me to run the ami.bat X8DTU1.C30 command to upgrade the BIOS.  I remember taking some notes but never wrote a blog post about it and while it didn’t take me that long to find the tools and information I needed, I’m going to write this post anyways so I have a place I can reference to in the future.

First, I didn’t figure this out myself, the simplified instructions can be found here: 


Proceed with downloading and installing the HP USB Disk Storage Format tool here: http://files.extremeoverclocking.com/file.php?f=197

Once you’ve installed the tool, you’ll see an icon similar to the following on your desktop:


As well as an item in your start menu such as the following:


Next, you’ll need to essentially find a package that contains the DOS files required to boot your server.  You can find the package here (Windows Millennium):




Once you have the files downloaded and extracted, proceed with opening the HP USB Disk Storage Format tool and check Quick Format and Create a DOS startup disk.  Select the radio button for using DOS system files located at: and navigate to the extracted DOS O/S files folder:


Continue by clicking on the Start button to format and copy the files onto your OS key:




Once the tool completes formatting and copying the DOS files onto the USB key, open up the key and you should see the following 3 files:





Proceed with copying the BIOS upgrade files onto the USB key:


Boot your server with the key now and execute the required batch file to upgrade the BIOS.


blade server said...

As a Dell employee I think your blog about blade server is quite impressive. I think a blade server is a server chassis housing multiple thin, modular electronic circuit boards, known as server blades. Each blade is a server in its own right, often dedicated to a single application.

Anonymous said...

works great thank you

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