RS/6000 SP 9076 System and Service Processor Firmware Update

Applies to:
IBM RS/6000 SP 9076-260  Power3 SMP Thin/Wide Nodes

If you experience problems or have questions regarding any component of this document or the installation of the code please call 1-800-IBM-SERV for assistance.

Please read this document in it's entirety and in particular understand the Notes and Cautions section before applying this F/W to any node.


1.0 Machines/Nodes Affected

2.0 Revision History

3.0 Related Publications

4.0 Cautions and Important Notes

5.0 Downloading and Unpacking the Firmware Update Package

6.0 Putting the Firmware on the System

7.0 Validating the Checksum

8.0 Determining Your Current Firmware Levels

9.0 Updating the Firmware on the Target Nodes

1.0 Machine/Nodes affected

This update provides new System and Service Processor (SvP) firmware (FW) on RS/6000 SP 9076 Power3 Thin/Wide Nodes.  This firmware can be applied to a Power3 Thin/Wide node (FC 2052/2053) operating on any model of 9076 that has an operating system of AIX at 4.3.2 or greater and PSSP 2.4 or higher.

NOTE:  Both the System Firmware and the SvP Firmware have been combined into a single file to reduce the number of reboots.

The latest F/W image is:  fw04197  (Replaces fw03021)

Made Up Of:
                        System F/W = SPX04197
                        Service Processor F/W = px040617

2.0 Revision History




  • Added support for the FAT-16 file system.
  • Added support for ARP (address request protocol).
  • On the IBM10/100 Mbps Ethernet PCI adapter (FC 2698), the default network settings were changed to auto,auto.


  • Added support for AIX 5.3.
  • Resolves ethernet adapter link errors reported in AIX error log during boot on systems equipped with IBM 4-Port 10/100 Ethernet Adapter (FC 4951), IBM Universal 4-Port 10/100 Ethernet Adapter (FC 4961) or integrated adapters based on these adapter types.
  • Corrected boot failure with 'Default Catch' message displayed on console when booting from tape media containing large boot image.
  • Enhancements to prevent potential ping and NIM boot failures on SP and Cluster attached servers.
  • Added support to provide response to APR requests for Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP) or other network processes that generate ARP requests during NIM operations.


  • Corrected boot failure with checkpoint E1F6 displayed after bootlist is set via AIX and more than 5 devices are specified. 
  • Corrected error 20EE000B: unable to find boot record after restore on NIM install on 36GB or larger disks. 
  • Corrected 'Default Catch' message displayed on console after SMS 'Change SCSI ID' utility screen is accessed. 
  • Parameter change to limit bootlist entries set via AIX to 5.


  • Change to allow modification to ethernet speed and duplex settings in SMS to apply immediately. 
  • Correction for SMS ping failures when the system is not connected to a network or when Media Type (10 Base T, 100 Base TX, or Auto) is set incorrectly (doesn't match setting at ethernet switch or hub). 
  • Correction for handling xoff character transmitted to ASCII terminal during boot.  Failure symptom,: terminal would stop displaying data during boot
  • Removed gateway IP address limitation for ping when client and server are on the same subnet - the gateway address no longer has to be specified as
  • Correction to allow return to SMS utilities menu after a ping on any token ring adapter
  • Added support for 10/100 Ethernet (FC4961,A-E)
  • Corrects boot problems from Dual-Channel Ultra SCSI (FC6203,4-Y)
  • Fix for Auto Configuration on 10/100 Ethernet (FC2968,9-P)


  • Enhanced settings for 10/100 Ethernet adapter (FC4962,A-F)
  • Added support for SP Switch2 MX2 adapter (FC4026,6-M)
  • Corrects NIM boot failures from foreign packets
  • Enhanced defect isolation for NIM install/boot interrupt


  • Added support for IBM PCI Dual Channel Ultra-3 SCSI Adapter. 
  • Corrected UTP auto speed NIM problem when using IBM 10/100/1000 Base-T  Ethernet PCI Adapter. 
  • Corrected device tree properties for 64bit PCI Base Address Registers. 
  • Removed check for PCI Vendor id  and PCI device id.
  • Added Serviceability enhancements. 


  • Support for IBM 10/100/1000 BaseT ethernet adapter (FC 2975)
  • Enhanced memory POST failure isolation
  • Change to Memory Scrubbing threshold algorithm
  • Miscellaneous Serviceability / Maintenance fixes


  • Adds Miscellaneous Serviceability / Maintenance Fixes 
  • VPD enhancements for Serial Number
  • Corrects "SP Menus unreachable" after shutdown -F in telnet session
  • Support for IBM 4-Port Base TX Ethernet PCI Adapter 


  • Add compilation flag to handle MC in checkstop 
  • RAS enhancements
  • Correct processor chip ID
  • Fill HB info in NVRAM err-log partition
  • Turn on "Unrecoverable"bit of extended error log

3.0 Related Publications

You may have to refer to the following publications during this install:

4.0 Cautions and Important Notes

WARNING!   If you flash from a current level, back to level SPX00095, the system will hang.
This is due to the fact that the new firmware uses a different NVRAM layout and the old firmware gets confused when it sees this.  Flashing from the old to the new is not a problem because the new firmware recognizes the old layout and changes it to match the new one.  If you need to flash back to the old level you will have to reset NVRAM.


Never power off the node during the update process

How to determine release date from the file name

The firmware uses the 5-digit Julian date code method in terms of day number in a year (such as 99190 for fw99027 level --  27th day of 1999 or  January 27, 1999).

Installation Time

The typical time to install this microcode on one node is 1.0 hr. This firmware can be installed on more than one node at a time but the total install
time will vary depending on how many nodes/frames are involved with the upgrade. The microcode does not become active when installed and
requires a system reboot to become active. This reboot  time will vary depending on the system and the amount  of  features installed.

5.0 Downloading and Unpacking the Firmware Update Package
Instructions for downloading and unpacking the firmware update package follow.

5.1 Internet Package
The firmware, in AIX and DOS formats, are located at the web site


Follow the instructions on this web page. You must read and agree to the license agreement to obtain the password (case sensitive) for unpacking the firmware packages.

In the table for System Microcode, scroll down to the entry for 9076 375MHZ POWER3 SMP T/W.

The download choices at that entry are:

You will want a copy of the description (instructions document) and one of the format choices. You may transfer files to the target system in one of several ways.

Detailed download/unpacking instructions follow for each of the downloading preferences.

5.1.1 Downloading the AIX Format File
Use this method to download to an AIX system.

Note: In the instructions that follow are specific AIX commands.
           AIX commands are CASE (lower and upper) SENSITIVE, and must be entered exactly as
           shown, including the filenames.

  a) Provide a directory on an AIX system to receive the AIX format file.

        mkdir /tmp/fwupdate

         Note: If the directory /tmp/fwupdate already exists,
           make sure it is empty before proceeding.

  b) Transfer the AIX format file to the /tmp/fwupdate directory (using "Save as ...").
       You'll see that the filename is 9076260F.BIN

  c) Unpack the file by executing the instructions below.
       You will be need the password from the license agreement.

Enter the commands:

        cd /tmp/fwupdate
        chmod +x 9076260F.BIN

     [Don't overlook the periods (.) in the above command.]

 These files will be added to  /tmp/fwupdate:


If you used the above procedure to transfer the AIX format file directly to the target server,  proceed to Section 7.0,Validating the Checksum.

Otherwise, from the intermediate AIX system, choose one of the following methods for transferring files to  the target server.

To transfer files to the target server via the ftp method, continue to paragraph5.1.1.1.
To transfer files to the target server via the diskettes method, skip to paragraph5.1.1.2. The FTP Transfer Method
This method presumes you have ftp access to the target server.

On the intermediate AIX system,

   Enter the commands:
      ftp {name of target server}
     {Login with a valid userid and password}

     lcd /tmp/fwupdate
     mkdir /tmp/fwupdate
     cd /tmp/fwupdate
     put fw05217.img

Proceed to Section 7.0,Validating the Checksum. The Diskette Transfer Method

This method can be used for cases in which electronic connections between the intermediate AIX system and the target server are inconvenient.

 One 2MB (HD) new or freshly formatted diskette is required.

 With a diskette loaded in the drive,
  Enter the commands (this process will request additional diskettes as each is filled):

       cd /tmp/fwupdate
       ls *.img | backup -i -v -f/dev/rfd0

This will produce AIX backup diskettes.  Label these diskettes, respectively,

     "Volume 1:  FW (fw05217) for 9076-260"

Proceed to Section 6.0,Updating the Firmware.

5.1.2 Downloading the DOS Format File
Use this file to download to a DOS or Windows workstation.

  a) Prepare a directory for receiving the DOS format file.
      This directory can be in any partition with 12MB available space.
      Executing in such a partition, called [path] in these instructions
      (ex. c:\download),

       md [path]\fwupdate

     Note:  If the directory [path]\fwupdate already exists,
                 make sure it is empty before proceeding.

     b) Transfer the DOS format file to the [path]\fwupdate directory (using "Save as ...").
         You'll see the filename is 9076260F.EXE

     c) Unpack the file by executing the instructions below.
         You will need the password from the license agreement.

        Enter the commands:
        cd [path]\fwupdate

These files will be added to the fwupdate subdirectory:


       readme.txt Diskettes for Firmware Updates

One 2MB (HD) new or freshly formatted DOS diskette is required.

  Note: The diskettes produced below will be in a format that can be used
             directly with a computer running AIX as it's operating system. These
             diskettes, once made on a PC platform, cannot be read using normal PC
             platform tools or command line operations.

  a) With a diskette loaded in the drive,

         Enter the commands:

            cd [path]\fwupdate

      Label this diskette,
           "Volume 1: FW (fw05217) for 9076-260"

6.0 Putting the Firmware on the System

On the 9076 CWS that you are going to use this firmware, insert the diskette in the floppy diskette reader (rfd0) on the CWS.

Login as root on the Control Workstation (CWS).

Login root

Enter the commands:

mkdir /tmp/fwupdate
cd /tmp/fwupdate

This will put the firmware file into the /tmp/fwupdate directory.

7.0 Validating the Checksum

Checksums can be used to verify the FW files you received have not been corrupted or altered during transmission. To calculate the checksum, enter:

sum [FW filename]

The checksum is the first number of the output.  Compare the number you get with the table.  If the numbers match then you can be sure the firmware files are not corrupted.  Do this for both the system and service processor firmware.







Aug 2005




Sept 2004




July 2003




October 2002




April 2002




November 2001




December 2000




May 2000




January 2000




8.0 Setting up the Distributed Shell

On an SP, you need to perform on each node what would normally be done on a standalone RS/6000 server.  To install the firmware you must distribute the code to all of the applicable nodes, then install it there.  You must be logged on as root to properly do the install.

All the following commands shown will be run from a window on the CWS. It should not be necessary to telnet or rlogin to the individual SP nodes. You should be familiar with the "dsh" and "pcp" commands. If not, refer to the (GC23-3897) IBM Parallel System Support Program for AIX: Administration Guide or (GC23-3900) IBM Parallel System Support Program for AIX: Command and Technical Reference.

  1. Verify all the target nodes are powered ON and quiesced (ie. No user applications or activity should be allowed).
  1. You will need to create a list of what nodes to install the code on.  To do this type the following command:

  splstdata -G -n

You should see something similar to the following:

                  List Node Configuration Information

node#   frame#   slot#   slots    initial_hostname    reliable_hostname    dcehostname
      default_route     processor_type   processors_installed   description
    1        1       1       2    ""               MP                      1   Power3_SMP
    3        1       3       2    ""               MP                      2   Power3_SMP

The output will include every node in your system.  For each node that has Power3_SMP in its description, record the first part of the initial_hostname field.  In this case since the initial_hostname is, you would record vion01.  This will become your list of nodes to be installed with the code.

  1. Next, prepare a Working Collective file to permit you to use the "dsh" and "pcp" commands to install all of the applicable nodes in parallel. Next you will need to put the list of nodenames you just created into a file and export it.  To do this enter the following commands:

            cat > group1
     press Ctrl D
            export WCOLL=/tmp/fwupdate/group1

  1. Test this file to ensure it is working the way you expect by typing:

  dsh date

You should get back a list that looks something like:

            nodename1: Wed Apr 10 10:37:46 EDT 1996
            nodename2: Wed Apr 10 10:37:46 EDT 1996
            nodename3: Wed Apr 10 10:37:47 EDT 1996
            nodename4: Wed Apr 10 10:37:48 EDT 1996

If this output does not contain all the nodes that you expected, examine your node list file /tmp/fwupdate/group1 and also ensure that the Kerberos ticket is current to permit "dsh" to be performed. You may need to refresh the Kerberos. Refer to the SP Administration Guide (GC23-3897) for further help. The System Administrator should also be able to help you with Kerberos initialization. Otherwise, consult your support center.

8.0 Determining Your Current Firmware Levels

To check the System Firmware level enter:

          dsh "lscfg -vp | grep -p 'System Firmware'"

This command will produce a system configuration report containing sections similar to the following for each node:

System Firmware:
ROM Level (alterable)…......L05217<==System FW level SPX05217
System Info Specific.(YL)…P2

The ROM Level (alterable) lines list the level numbers of your currently installed System Firmware. If the five right most characters of the update level are less than the latest level than you MUST install the update.

            To check the Service Processor Firmware level enter:

                         dsh "lscfg -vp | grep -p 'SP_CARD_'"

            This command will produce a system configuration report containing sections similar to the following for each node:

                            ROM Level.(alterable).......px040617<==Service Processor FW level px040617
                            System Info Specific.(YL)...P2
            The ROM Level (alterable) lines list the level numbers of your currently installed Service Processor Firmware.  If the six  right most characters of the Service Processor  Firmware indicate that you are not at the latest level, you MUST install the update.

9.0 Updating the Firmware on the Target Nodes

This section describes the method for transferring the new firmware into the target nodes. Each flash update should complete within one minute.



  1. Use "pcp" (parallel copy) to copy the firmware file to each of the target nodes (defined by the Working Collective from above).

            hostlist | pcp -w - /tmp/fwupdate/[firmware filename]  /var

         NOTE:  You must copy the firmware image to the /var directory. Any other directory besides /var will not work.

  1. You may wish to verify the firmware copied over correctly. Perform the following command and verify the firmware files are found on each target node.

            dsh "ls /var/*.img"

  1. You must have root authority on the CWS to update its nodes. This method uses the AIX "shutdown" command, and it assumes the firmware update images are located in the /var directory according to the instructions in this document.  To help ensure file system integrity enter:

            dsh "sync;sync;sync;sync"

  1. Update the firmware:

            dsh "/usr/sbin/shutdown -Fu /var/[firmware filename]"

The node will power down and reboot to the AIX login prompt.

  1. Remove all old .img file from the /var directory.

            dsh "rm /var/*.img"

  1. Remove all temp files.

            rm -r /tmp/fwupdate

Verify that everything was installed properly.  Use section 9.0 Determining Your Current Firmware Levels to do this.