I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the best way to upgrade the BIOS on a Dell Poweredge 650. I had multiple problems because I didn’t have a floppy drive to use at first and the fact that the PE650 is an older Dell server model. Since I didn’t have a floppy drive to test with initially I attempted to use the Dell System Build & Update Utility however I was unable to ever get it working properly. Initially the problem was simply getting the tool downloaded. Finally I decided to order a floppy drive and below are instructions to upgrade the PE650 using a floppy disk.
One thing that can be annoying on Dell servers is the long boot process though you can modify the BIOS and other items to make the boot process faster. One of this first things I always do is disable the PXE boot delay by making a modification to the BIOS and by modifying the settings of the Intel Boot Agent. A better view and description of the PXE boot delay on a Dell Poweredge 650 is displayed below as well as both of the modifications used to minimize the delay of the PXE Intel Boot Agent.
I have a development server, which is a Dell Poweredge 650, running CentOS Linux that is used for testing PostgreSQL database replication via log shipping and recently the server has been crashing after only running for a couple hours from a kernel panic. One of the things I wanted to verify is if there is a new BIOS version available but first needed to verify the current BIOS version installed. Below is information on how to determine what BIOS version a Linux server is using while the server is running.
Getting the BIOS version for a Windows 7 computer can be completed by checking Windows System Information or by verifying it using the Registry Editor. Below we first describe how to open the Windows System Information window to verify your computers BIOS version which includes an example image so you know what to look for. After the System Information method we then describe how to check the Registry Editor to verify the BIOS version.