In this case the victim is the very Excelsior that I bought to run the Gentoo tinderbox, and which I’m hosting to my expenses at Hurricane Electric in Freemont.This is important to say, because it means I have no direct access to the hardware, and nobody else can help me there.The second step is to update the BIOS of the server itself. You have two options to download: a Windows executable or a ZIP archive. The Windows executable is supposed to build a floppy to upgrade the BIOS. At first I wanted to give it a floppy disk image via HTTP, and use the Serial-over-SSH to enter the boot menu and do stuff.

First, I decided to get rid of the low-hanging fruit: the IPMI sideboard.

I couldn’t find release notes for the update, but it went from version 2.05 to 3.16, and it was released at the end of June 2014, so it’s pretty recent, and one would expect quite a bit of bug fixes, given that I had trouble running its i KVM client two years ago already, and I tried to get more information about its protocol without success.

Not a driver problem, they would not appear on the PCI bus.

To be precise, now that I compared this with the actual running setup, the two PLX PCI-E switches were not to be found on the bus, the network cards just happen to be connected to them. I was already considering the costs of adding a riser card and a multiport card to the server (wouldn’t have helped, as I noted the PLX were gone), when Janne suggested doing a reset to defaults anyway. The settings were basically the same I left before (looks like “optimal defaults” do include SVM), just changed SATA back to AHCI (yes, even in optimal settings, it defaults to IDE compatibility). But then only three out of five drives were recognized (one of the SSDs was disconnected when I was there in April and I hadn’t had time to go back there in June to put it back).

Now luckily the new release of it works fine with Iced Tea, unlike the previous one. I even found a blog post showing how to do so, based on Gentoo, as it says to ! Unfortunately, Free DOS download page now provides you with a great way to download … If you do remember to type 1 and press enter at the Sys Linux prompt, it’ll then default to install (again, why did I bother installing Gentoo on the NUC when I could have used Free DOS like the cool kids? Instead, you can choose to boot Free DOS from the Live CD with no support and no drivers, with just the CD drivers, with the CD drivers and . Since Sys Rescue CD uses VFAT by default, and the BIOS shows the USB devices transparently to DOS, it was visible as .

Unfortunately it still is not working out of the box. I decided I wanted to play it safe since it’s a BIOS update, and booted with just the CD drivers (I needed the BIOS files after all). Here is the shortcut from above: I should have just used a random Free DOS boot floppy image, and just copied the BIOS onto that particular thumbdrive, back before I started using Java. But I forgot about that thumbdrive and I was hoping I would be able to start bootdisk. Of course that meant I had to finish booting the system in Linux proper, mount the USB flashdrive, over the BIOS update, and reboot. But still much less than all the time trying to get Free DOS into booting the right thing.You know, the kind of things that most of our home routers or cable TV boxes manage nearly all the time. So instead it requires you to reset the full configuration when you upgrade the firmware of the device.Which is fine because you can use from userspace to dump the configuration (minus the passwords) and reset it back.Your computer's BIOS - Basic Input/Output System - is a chip on the motherboard which contains enough information to allow it to start up before the main operating system begins to load.Here's everything you need to know about how to update a PC BIOS, whether traditional or the newer UEFI standard.If the configuration it downloads is actually accepted as valid, which in my case it wasn’t. So the i KVM I just upgraded supports “virtual media” — which means you can give it files on your computer that it’ll use instead of floppy disks or CD-Rom.