PXE bios update, was RE: [Beowulf] Performance issue - CPU Intel 00/02

David Mathog mathog at mendel.bio.caltech.edu
Thu Jul 21 09:56:37 PDT 2005

Guy Coates <gmpc at sanger.ac.uk> wrote:

> >
> > that's what I'd do.  remember that you can use pxe to boot a bios-update
> > image, so you don't necessarily have to touch each machine.
> >
> If you are stuck with bios updates that only comes as DOS floppy images,
> you can use bpbatch to turn them into PXE-bootable images.
> http://cui.unige.ch/info/pc/remote-boot/soft/

That's all very interesting but I've seen all sorts of whacko things
happen with BIOS upgrades.  For instance, the loss of all
previous settings (the default in the last Tyan BIOS upgrader
I used, there was an optional command line switch to retain them) or
the redefinition of existing settings to have different
meanings (also Tyan, where Quickboot Enabled on 4.03 had to
be changed to Quickboot Disabled on 4.06).  If you're doing this
via PXE how do you review the settings that exist after the
BIOS is upgraded?

Actually this is one of my long standing pet peeves about the BIOS
in general.  Even updating straight from a floppy I've always wanted
to be able to do something like:


where the text file settings.txt contains all of the settings
for the BIOS that's being loaded.  Unfortunately I've yet to encounter
a single BIOS utility that provides anything remotely near this level
of functionality.  


David Mathog
mathog at caltech.edu
Manager, Sequence Analysis Facility, Biology Division, Caltech

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