PXE bios update, was RE: [Beowulf] Performance issue - CPU Intel 00/02

Guy Coates gmpc at sanger.ac.uk
Thu Jul 21 11:44:30 PDT 2005

> be changed to Quickboot Disabled on 4.06).  If you're doing this
> via PXE how do you review the settings that exist after the
> BIOS is upgraded?

You are right; PXE+BIOS does give you the ability to brick many machines
in a highly efficient and spectacular manner.

We actually do main BIOS update from within linux where we can.  IBM and
HP kit both support utilities that allow you to flash, query and change
BIOS settings from within linux, so you can do as you describe.

The PXEboot/DOS approach only gets used where we have no other choice. The
last time we did it in anger was to update the firmware on 560 broadcom
NICs, which were locking up under high network load. That flash procedure
is (probably) alot safer than a BIOS upgrade, as there are no
user-settings which need to be kept during the upgrade.



Dr. Guy Coates,  Informatics System Group
The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, CB10 1HH, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1223 834244 x 6925
Fax: +44 (0)1223 494919

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