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IBM HS22 Blade boot failure


After upgrading firmware (BIOS, SAS Controller, IMM) on an IBM HS22 (MT:7870) Blade and inserting it into a BladeCenter H slot, the Blade did not boot from HDD.

Background & Analysis:

  1. The HS22 Blade was intended to replace another failed HS22 blade.
  2. The replacement HS22 Blade was first inserted into another BladeCenter H chassis and its firmware (BIOS, SAS Controller, IMM) was upgraded.
  3. The failed HS22 Blade was removed from its BladeCenter H chassis and its HDDs, HBA and NIC were swapped with the replacement HS22 Blade. The HDDs contained an installation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.
  4. The replacement HS22 Blade was inserted into the same slot which previously hosted the failed HS22 Blade and powered on.


NOTE: Steps 3 and 4 were performed to prevent any need for Ethernet/FC configuration on BladeCenter and upstream switches.


Symptoms & Solutions:

 SYMPTOM 1: The HS22 Blade failed to boot. The boot sequence listed 5 HDDs (HDD0 – HDD4), although the Blade had only 2 HDDs meant to be configured in RAID 1.

SOLUTION 1:  In the system setup (F1 after power on), do the following:

  1. Select Boot Manager and press Enter.
  2. Select Add Boot Option and press Enter.
  3. Select Legacy Only and press Enter.
  4. Press Esc to return to Boot Manager.
  5. Select Change Boot Order and press Enter.
  6. Select the existing Boot Order and press Enter.
  7. Select Legacy Only and press the + key to promote it to a position above the local device which contains the operating system . Typically, this would be above Hard Disk 0. Press Enter.
  8. Select Commit Changes and press Enter.
  9. Press Esc to return to Boot Manager.
  10. Select Reset System and press Enter.

NOTE: The above steps are taken from IBM’s documentation

SYMPTOM 2: The HS22 Blade failed to boot. The boot sequence no longer listed 5 HDDs, but an attempt was made to obtain a DHCP address and PXE boot. The boot sequence displayed a message indicating that the RAID array was INACTIVE.

SOLUTION 2:  After power on, during the boot sequence, do the following:

  1. Press CTRL+C when prompted, to enter the LSI Raid Configuration utility.
  2. Go to Manage Array –> Activate Array


Root Causes:

  1. Since RHEL 4 is a Non-UEFI aware operating system, it requires “Legacy Only” boot option and this option was not added.
  2. The RAID Array was inactive.


(1) The solution above describes a successful problem-solving experience and may not be applicable to other problems with similar symptoms.

(2) Your rating of this post will be much appreciated as it gives me and others who read this article, an indication of whether this solution has worked for people other than me. Also, feel free to leave comments.


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At times, you may not be able to open a KVM session with a CISCO UCS Blade because somebody has left an active KVM session and is no longer around to accept your request to share the session or disconnect his/her session. In such situations, you will have to disconnect the active KVM session and here’s how you do it. For the instructions below, let’s assume you wish to disconnect an active KVM session on Blade 1 in Chassis 1.

  • Login into the UCS Manager Web UI.
  • Go to the Equipment tab in the left pane.
  • Navigate the hierarchy to Equipment (+) –> Chassis (+) –> Chassis1 (+) –> Servers (+) –> Server1
  • Click on "Recover Server" in the main window for Server1 (right) and you will see the following window pop up
  • Click Reset KVM Server and confirm that you want to continue.

NOTE: The above instructions have been tested with CISCO UCS Manager 2.0 (1s)

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