James Liang/Updating Dell R720

Created Thu, 11 Feb 2021 23:05:27 -0500 Modified Wed, 27 Oct 2021 00:48:31 +0000
420 Words

My Dell R720 came with iDrac version 1.45.45 (Build 18) and BIOS version 2.0.19. Before installing Proxmox on the machine I decided to update the system.

I decided to install these updates with Windows Server 2012.

First, I had to create a virtual disk for my physical disk to be recognized in the operating system. After that disk was created, I used my install USB that I created from Rufus and booted via UEFI. The Windows Server 2012 install went on without any issue.

There were stories of R720’s being bricked from updating to the most recent firmwares. To lessen the risk of the system bricking, I decided to install iDrac 1.66.65 then iDrac 2.10.10.10 then BIOS 2.5.4.

I went to Dell’s support site and found the drivers for each of the updates. Since I was using Windows Server to update, I downloaded the Update Package for MS Windows 64-Bit to a FAT32 USB and transferred it to my R720’s downloads folder.

The installation process was very simple. I opened the iDrac 1.66.65 update first and clicked “Install”. The update took around 5 minutes and the fans ramped up for a while, but they eventually returned to normal. When it completed I clicked “Finish” and rebooted. After confirming that the update was successful, I repeated the process with the iDrac 2.10.10.10 and BIOS 2.5.4.

Later on, I decided to update the system to iDrac 2.65.65.65 and BIOS 2.9.0. Instead of using Windows Server 2012, I decided to use the Lifecycle Controller. I formatted a USB to FAT32 and downloaded the necessary update files. I also downloaded iDrac 2.40.40.40 because BIOS 2.9.0 won’t install without the newer update. I renamed the files bios290.EXE, idrac240.EXE, and idrac265.EXE. I then plugged in the USB to the R720 and booted into the Lifecycle Controller by pressing F10.

In the Lifecycle Controller, I went down to Firmware Update, then Launched Firmware Update. I selected Local Drive for the Update Repository. I selected my USB drive and put idrac240.EXE as the file path since the file was on the root of the drive. The system updated and booted back into the Lifecycle Controller after it finished. I did the same with the BIOS and then the latest version of iDrac.

That was all I needed to do to update my R720.