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BIOS upgrades - uniflash - hotflash

We were updating BIOS for servers, and ran into problems with a few of them. The flash chip on several of the servers were faulty; they were okay if left alone, and used for read only when server is starting up, but attempt to flash new firmware on the chip, and the data gets corrupted. Essentially, several of the servers were bricked, since the BIOS was corrupted.

To fix the bricked servers, we had to find replacement BIOS chip, reflash, and install into the bricked servers.

The faulty part was SST49LF040-33-4C-NH, 128x4K (512K). I looked around but the closest I could find was SST49LF080A 33-4C-NHE which turned out to be 256x4K (1MB). i.e. double in size. Bought 20 pcs of those.

To flash the chip, I had to do what is known as hot flashing. Which is to get a similar server with working BIOS, power up the server, remove the BIOS chip with the server running, put in a new chip, and flash.

The BIOS flashing software refused to write to the 1MB chip as the firmware is 512KB. Fortunately, a 3rd party software known as uniflash was able to "pretend" the chip is SST49LF040-33-4C-NH, and write to it. The verify went ok, and after installing the new chips into the bricked servers, the servers booted up fine.

Mar 2010

[Sysadmin] Access to servers via mobile device and ssh
[Sysadmin] RAID 0 scaling on SCSI U320, Bonnie++ 1.93c benchmark results
[Sysadmin] TODO (Apr 2007)
[Sysadmin] Recover from mistakes in /etc/fstab or e2label usage
[Sysadmin] Server overloaded?
[Sysadmin] Server load high: CPU bound
[Sysadmin] Smokeping: deluxe latency measurement tool
[Sysadmin] Smokeping
[Sysadmin] Jul 08 to Oct 08 updates
[Sysadmin] Weak link - downtimes caused by the organic being
[Sysadmin] BIOS upgrades - uniflash - hotflash
[Sysadmin] Sizing for Virtual Private Server (VPS) & SSDs
[Sysadmin] iphone, ipod - bluetooth keyboard - Nokia e51
[Sysadmin] e2label, fdisk, /etc/fstab, mount, linux rescue, rescue disk, CentOS
[Sysadmin] opensuse, fix waiting for mandatory device, eth0, eth1, eth2, eth3
[Sysadmin] mount: could not find filesystem '/dev/root'
[Sysadmin] Parallels Virtuozzo Physical server to Container migration (vzp2v)
[Web hosting] DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service)
[Web hosting] Uptime for dedicated server, VPS and shared server
[Web hosting] Shared, Guaranteed and Dedicated Bandwidth
[Web hosting] Unmetered bandwidth
[Web hosting] Free domains?
[Web hosting] Joomla Scalability
[SPAM handling] Tracking applications which are exploited for mass spam mailing
[Buzzwords] Clusters, Clustering
[Security] Destruction of faulty hard disks
[Storage] Benchmark using iometer on linux
[SSD] Benchmark Intel X25-E and Intel X25-M flash SSDs
[SSD] Intel X25-E 64GB G1, 4KB Random IOPS, iometer benchmark
[SSD] Intel X25-M 160GB G2, 4KB Random IOPS, iometer benchmark
[SSD] Comparison of Intel X25-E G1 vs Intel X25-M G2
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[Perl] Opening text files for reading, and simple regexp (regular expressions)