Update BIOS motherboard ASUS Zenith Extreme x399

This time we show what to expect when updating your UEFI BIOS of your ASUS Zenith Extreme (chipset x399) – a pretty good and performance setup! Here we update the UEFI BIOS from the BIOS itself – in fact, no OS is needed! This motherboard has a built-on utility called

Asus EZ Flash 3 Utility

which is started from the BIOS and it could read your NTFS or FAT filesystem to locate the update firmware file or the easy way to get connected to the Internet, check, download and install the update if any!
So here some screenshots to how to perform the update from 1003 to 1402 – it is easy and safe just couple of reboots needed – total of 4 (but in your case may vary).

STEP 1) Press DEL or F2 to enter your UEFI BIOS

main menu
Enter UEFI BIOS

Keep on reading!

Update supermicro server’s firmware BIOS under linux with the SUM cli

The newer Supermicro motherboards have the ability to update the system BIOS from IPMI Web management or with a Supermicro tool called

“Supermicro Update Manager (SUM)”

This tool consists of a linux cli and it works on most of the X9/X10/X11 Supermicro systems. If you have one of these motherboards you probably could update your BIOS under linux console and throwing away your freedos cd prehistoric update process (probably coming soon). If you’ve used Supermicro with for ages you probably are aware of the problem with the updating the BIOS, their tool is an old DOS flash utility, which could be used under MS Windows and with linux servers we got a problem! But not any more! Recent motherboards with built-in IPMI modules have “BIOS Update” option in the web interface (under Maintenance menu), but you need a license (which by the way is not expensive).

main menu
BIOS Update

So if you happen to have such server you could give a try to SUM linux cli (yes they made a linux cli and even a freebsd one!). With the SUM cli you could do more than just update the BIOS (which is pretty important) here are the functions you can do Key Management, System Checks, BIOS Management, BMC Management, System Event Log, CMM Management, Storage Management, Applications (through the network) and for some of them you still need a license, but for BIOS update you do not need if you do it as Supermicro says

In-Band

which basically means from the server you want to update (or in general use it). KEEP IN MIND this method will reset your BIOS options to DEFAULTS!!! In fact you need a license to use preserve settings you can see the output of the SUM help for the command UpdateBios. So save your changes to recover them after the update!
And here we present a BIOS update with SUM on one of our Supermicro servers with motherboard X11SSV-M4F
So the BIOS version was 1.0 reported by lshw:

[srv@local ~]# lshw|head -n 25
srv@local
    description: System
    product: Super Server (To be filled by O.E.M.)
    vendor: Supermicro
    version: 0123456789
    serial: 0123456789
    width: 64 bits
    capabilities: smbios-3.0 dmi-3.0 smp vsyscall32
    configuration: boot=normal chassis=server family=To be filled by O.E.M. sku=To be filled by O.E.M. uuid=00000000-0000-0000-0000-111111111111
  *-core
       description: Motherboard
       product: X11SSV-M4F
       vendor: Supermicro
       physical id: 0
       version: 1.02
       serial: 112233000044
       slot: To be filled by O.E.M.
     *-firmware
          description: BIOS
          vendor: American Megatrends Inc.
          physical id: 0
          version: 1.0
          date: 10/18/2016
          size: 64KiB
          capacity: 15MiB

And here are the steps to do:

STEP 1) Download the SUM cli – Supermicro Update Manager and unpack it in your server

You could download freely the SUM version 2 from here: https://www.supermicro.com/solutions/SMS_SUM.cfm (this link explains what the tool is used for) at the bottom of the page there is a link to download the SUM – https://www.supermicro.com/SwDownload/UserInfo.aspx?sw=0&cat=SUM Here you should fill the form with your name, company and email address and then you will be redirected to the download page, which at present is like the screenshot below:

main menu
Supermicro Update Manager (SUM)

When downloaded the linux version you would have the following files in the archive file:

[srv@local ~]# cd
[srv@local ~]# tar xzvf sum_2.0.0_Linux_x86_64_20171108.tar.gz
sum_2.0.0_Linux_x86_64/
sum_2.0.0_Linux_x86_64/ReleaseNote.txt
sum_2.0.0_Linux_x86_64/sum
sum_2.0.0_Linux_x86_64/ExternalData/
sum_2.0.0_Linux_x86_64/ExternalData/VENID.txt
sum_2.0.0_Linux_x86_64/ExternalData/SMCIPID.txt
sum_2.0.0_Linux_x86_64/driver/
sum_2.0.0_Linux_x86_64/driver/RHL4_x86_64/
sum_2.0.0_Linux_x86_64/driver/RHL4_x86_64/sum_bios.ko
sum_2.0.0_Linux_x86_64/driver/RHL6_x86_64/
sum_2.0.0_Linux_x86_64/driver/RHL6_x86_64/sum_bios.ko
sum_2.0.0_Linux_x86_64/driver/RHL5_x86_64/
sum_2.0.0_Linux_x86_64/driver/RHL5_x86_64/sum_bios.ko
sum_2.0.0_Linux_x86_64/driver/RHL7_x86_64/
sum_2.0.0_Linux_x86_64/driver/RHL7_x86_64/sum_bios.ko
sum_2.0.0_Linux_x86_64/SUM_UserGuide.pdf

The “sum” file binary is the tool you need.

STEP 2) Download the new motherboard BIOS firmware

, which for our board (X11SSV-M4F – https://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Xeon/C236_C232/X11SSV-M4F.cfm) it was version 1.1 with filename “X11SVMF8_308.zip”, unpack the file under X11SVMF8_308

[srv@local ~]# cd
[srv@local ~]# unzip X11SVMF8_308.zip
Archive:  X11SVMF8_308.zip
   creating: X11SVMF8.308/
  inflating: X11SVMF8.308/AFUDOSU.SMC  
  inflating: X11SVMF8.308/CHOICE.SMC  
  inflating: X11SVMF8.308/FDT.smc    
  inflating: X11SVMF8.308/FLASH.BAT  
  inflating: X11SVMF8.308/Readme for UP X11 AMI  BIOS.txt  
  inflating: X11SVMF8.308/X11SVMF8.308

The file “X11SVMF8.308” is the BIOS firmware of the motherboard. As you can see the prehistoric DOS executable flash utility is still distributed and is supported method of updating.

STEP 3) Update the BIOS

[srv@local ~]# cd /root/sum_2.0.0_Linux_x86_64
[srv@local ~]# ./sum -c UpdateBios --file ../X11SVMF8.308/X11SVMF8.308 
Supermicro Update Manager (for UEFI BIOS) 2.0.0 (2017/11/08) (x86_64)
Copyright©2017 Super Micro Computer, Inc. All rights reserved
Reading BIOS flash ..................... (100%)
Checking BIOS ID ...
Checking ME Firmware ...
Comparing FDT for ROM file and flash.... (100%)

***************************<<<<<CRITICAL WARNING>>>>>***************************

ExitCode                = 254
Description             = Manual steps are required
Program Error Code      = 119.18
Error message:
    FDT is different. Please use system reboot(do not shutdown 
    or poweroff system) command to force ME enter manufacturing mode 
    and run UpdateBIOS command again to update BIOS and ME region.

********************************************************************************
[srv@local ~]# reboot

As you can see we got critical warning! You may not have the critical, but if you do you need to run the command second time to really flash the new BIOS firmware. So here it is, AFTER rebooting your server login again and execute the command again:

[srv@local ~]# cd /root/sum_2.0.0_Linux_x86_64
[srv@local ~]# ./sum -c UpdateBios --file ../X11SVMF8.308/X11SVMF8.308 
Supermicro Update Manager (for UEFI BIOS) 2.0.0 (2017/11/08) (x86_64)
Copyright©2017 Super Micro Computer, Inc. All rights reserved
Reading BIOS flash ..................... (100%)
Checking BIOS ID ...
Programming BIOS and ME (including FDT)
Writing BIOS flash ..................... (100%)
Verifying BIOS flash ................... (100%)
Checking ME Firmware ...
Putting ME data to BIOS ................ (100%)
Writing ME region in BIOS flash ...
 - Update success for FDR
 - Updated Recovery Loader to OPRx
 - Updated FPT, MFSB, FTPR and MFS
 - ME Entire Image done
WARNING:Must power cycle or restart the system for the changes to take effect!
[srv@local ~]# reboot

And there you have it you updated the BIOS of your server successfully. KEEP IN MIND the BIOS settings are reset to Defaults! When you restart the server the second time (if you get the critical warning or the first time if you do not) you should load the optimized defaults and change your settings according your needs. Go to BIOS and load the optimized defaults and change the settings according your needs (or your backup).

[srv@local ~]# lshw|head -n 25
srv@local
    description: System
    product: Super Server (To be filled by O.E.M.)
    vendor: Supermicro
    version: 0123456789
    serial: 0123456789
    width: 64 bits
    capabilities: smbios-3.0 dmi-3.0 smp vsyscall32
    configuration: boot=normal chassis=server family=To be filled by O.E.M. sku=To be filled by O.E.M. uuid=00000000-0000-0000-0000-111111111111
  *-core
       description: Motherboard
       product: X11SSV-M4F
       vendor: Supermicro
       physical id: 0
       version: 1.02
       serial: 112233000044
       slot: To be filled by O.E.M.
     *-firmware
          description: BIOS
          vendor: American Megatrends Inc.
          physical id: 0
          version: 1.1
          date: 03/08/2018
          size: 64KiB
          capacity: 15MiB

* SUM cli – UpdateBios help output

[srv@local ~]# ./sum -h -c UpdateBios
Supermicro Update Manager (for UEFI BIOS) 2.0.0 (2017/11/08) (x86_64)
Copyright©2017 Super Micro Computer, Inc. All rights reserved
Description
    Updates BIOS with the given image file.
Required Arguments
    --file    <file name>
Optional Arguments
    --reboot
          Forces the managed system to reboot or power up after operation.
    --flash_smbios
          Overwrites the SMBIOS data
    --preserve_nv
          Preserves the NVRAM region
    --preserve_mer
          Preserves the ME firmware region
    --preserve_setting
          Preserves setting configurations
Usage Modes
    [OOB] [In-Band] [Multiple systems OOB] 
Node Product Key Required
     No for [In-Band]
    Yes for [OOB]
Examples
OOB
  # ./sum -i 192.168.34.56 -u ADMIN -p ADMIN -c UpdateBios --file BIOS.rom 
    --reboot
In-Band
  # ./sum -c UpdateBios --file BIOS.rom --reboot
Multiple systems OOB
  # ./sum -l IP_ADDR_RANGE.txt -u ADMIN -p ADMIN -c UpdateBios --file BIOS.rom 
    --reboot
Notice
    1. For [OOB] and [Multiple systems OOB] usage modes, before executing this 
    command, it is recommended to shutdown the managed system first.
    2. --preserve_setting option is only supported in Purley and the platforms 
    of later versions. Note that --preserve_setting option for in-band usage 
    requires "SFT-OOB-LIC" product key. The preserved setting configurations 
    will be listed in preserved_settings.log.

* SUM cli generic help output


[srv@local ~]# ./sum 
Supermicro Update Manager (for UEFI BIOS) 2.0.0 (2017/11/08) (x86_64)
Copyright©2017 Super Micro Computer, Inc. All rights reserved

NAME
  sum (Supermicro Update Manager)

SYNOPSIS
  sum [OPTIONs] [COMMAND] [COMMAND ARGUMENTS]

OPTIONS
  -h  Shows help information.
  -v  Displays the verbose output.
  -i  <BMC/CMM IP address or BMC/CMM host name>
  -l  <BMC/CMM system list file name. Refer to the user's guide for formatting>
  -u  <BMC/CMM user ID>
  -p  <BMC/CMM user password>
  -c  <command name> (case insensitive)

USAGE MODES
○  Single System Out-Of-Band (OOB) Management [operates on single BMC/CMM]: 
    Must use -i,-u, -p options
○  Single System In-Band Management [operates on local OS]: Do not use -i, -u 
    and -p options
○  Concurrent Systems OOB Management [operates on multiple system BMCs/CMMs]: 
    Replace -i option with -l option

COMMANDS
Function Group             Command Names

Key Management             ActivateProductKey, QueryProductKey, ClearProductKey
System Checks              CheckOOBSupport, CheckAssetInfo, 
                           CheckSystemUtilization, CheckSensorData
BIOS Management            GetBIOSInfo, UpdateBios, GetDefaultBiosCfg, 
                           GetCurrentBiosCfg, ChangeBiosCfg, 
                           LoadDefaultBiosCfg, GetDmiInfo, ChangeDmiInfo, 
                           EditDmiInfo, SetBiosAction
BMC Management             GetBmcInfo, UpdateBmc, GetBmcCfg, ChangeBmcCfg
System Event Log           GetEventLog, ClearEventLog
CMM Management             GetCmmInfo, UpdateCmm, GetCmmCfg, ChangeCmmCfg
Storage Management         GetRaidControllerInfo, UpdateRaidController, 
                           GetRaidCfg, ChangeRaidCfg, GetSataInfo, GetNvmeInfo
Applications               TpmProvision, MountIsoImage, UnmountIsoImage

COMMAND USAGE
  See help message for each command
  Syntax:"  # ./sum -h -c <command name>"
  Notes: 1)Command support is platform dependent. Please refer to Appendix C in 
         the user's guide for platform dependency hints.
         2)If BMC/CMM user ID or password includes special characters, it has 
         to be quoted.

EXAMPLES
OOB
  # ./sum -i 192.168.34.56 -u ADMIN -p ADMIN -c ChangeBmcCfg --file BmcCfg.txt
  # ./sum -i 192.168.34.56 -u ADMIN -p "&123456" -c ChangeBmcCfg --file 
  BmcCfg.txt
Multiple systems OOB
  # ./sum -l IP_ADDR_RANGE.txt -u ADMIN -p ADMIN -c GetBIOSInfo --file BIOS.rom
  # ./sum -l IP_ADDR_RANGE.txt -u ADMIN -p "&123456" -c GetBIOSInfo --file 
  BIOS.rom
In-Band
  # ./sum -c UpdateBios --file BIOS.rom
Help Message
  # ./sum -h -c UpdateBios