Archive for December, 2012

Where is Hardware Management?

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

I was tasked with adding several machines to a network KVM switch. The HP servers run iLO for remote management functions and they easily installed. The DELL servers use DRAC which required work to get them configured. One DELL server didn’t have a DRAC card so I had to use IPMI.

The server ran Windows 2003 which does not automatically install the IPMI driver. This is accomplished through Add/Remove Programs

  • Click Start, Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs.
  • Click Add/Remove Windows Components.
  • From the component list, select Management and Monitoring Tools, and click Details.
  • Select Hardware Management.

Wait a minute! Where is the Hardware Management option?

It turns out this option is only available with the R2 version of Server 2003. A quick installation and the option was available.

Following the same steps as above, the next step is to click “Next”

The installation wizard will start and it will ask for the Windows Server 2003 R2 installation disk.

After it’s installed; it would be a good idea to verify installation as there is a technote and a hot fix to install if the IPMI driver does not appear.

To verify installation: 

  • Click Start, Control Panel, System.
  • Select the Hardware tab.
  • Click Device Manager.
  • Click View, Show Hidden Devices.
  • Expand System devices.

Look for Microsoft Generic IPMI Compliant Device. If it exists, it’s installed. If not, enter the following command:

rundll32 ipmisetp.dll, AddTheDevice

The device should appear. If not, you might need this hotfix.

Once the device is in place, we can go about configuring it.

I will present this in another post.

As always; the useful links:






A firmware update is currently in progress. Unable to reset the RAC at this time.

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

I was trying to add a couple old Dell servers to mergepoint for remote reboot capabilities. As I was configuring one, I received and interesting message when I attempted a : racadm racreset

ERROR: A firmware update is currently in progress. Unable to reset the RAC at this time.

I had upgraded the firmware and was rather concerned about this error. I really became concerned when I tried to get system information and received the following:

C:\>racadm getsysinfo

RAC Information:
RAC Date/Time = Mon Dec 17 15:24:44 2012
Firmware Version =
Firmware Build =
Last Firmware Update =
Hardware Version =
MAC Address = 00:11:22:33:44:55

Common settings:
Register DNS RAC Name =
DNS RAC Name =
Current DNS Domain =
Domain Name from DHCP =

IPv4 settings:
Enabled =
Current IP Address =
Current IP Gateway =
Current IP Netmask =
DHCP Enabled = 0
Current DNS Server 1 =
Current DNS Server 2 =
DNS Servers from DHCP =

IPv6 settings:
Enabled =
Current IP Address 1 =
Current IP Gateway = /
Autoconfig =
Link Local IP Address = /
Current IP Address 2 = /
Current IP Address 3 = /
Current IP Address 4 = /
Current IP Address 5 = /
Current IP Address 6 = /
Current IP Address 7 = /
Current IP Address 8 = /
Current IP Address 9 = /
Current IP Address 10 = /
Current IP Address 11 = /
Current IP Address 12 = /
Current IP Address 13 = /
Current IP Address 14 = /
Current IP Address 15 = /
DNS Servers from DHCPv6 =
Current DNS Server 1 =
Current DNS Server 2 =

System Information:
System Model =
System Revision =
System BIOS Version =
BMC Firmware Version = 01.23
Service Tag =
Express Svc Code =
Host Name =
OS Name =
Power Status = ON

Watchdog Information:
Recovery Action = None
Present countdown value = 300 seconds
Initial countdown value = 300 seconds

Embedded NIC MAC Addresses:
NIC1 Ethernet =
NIC2 Ethernet =
NIC3 Ethernet =
NIC4 Ethernet =

What was odd was the fact I could run the firmware upgrade without error and the card was talking to the Mergepoint.

I almost reported the card as bad but I had an epiphany and had a look at installed programs. There I found the OpenManage Server Administrator and Drac Toolkit. I uninstalled the Drac toolkit and received valid information from the Drac card.

Lesson of the day: Sometimes different versions of software which interface with a device can give false readings.