Friday, January 28, 2011


In my research into the uEFI settings on IBM's Nehalem offerings (info soon), I ran into a bit of a gem: IBM Advanced Settings Utility. It's a command line utility that can script setting BIOS/RSA settings via the RSA. Trust me, IBM's not paying me for this publicity to my legions of readers, but I'm a pretty big fan of this thing so far. I sifted through IBM's typically lacking documentation* and translated it into usable English for you.

  1. ASU can edit select settings on the uEFI/BIOS and IMM/RSA. Surprisingly robust options on a x3650m2, I'm not sure about RSA's or RSA2's yet.
  2. Some settings are no reboot required. I didn't have time to dig into this.
  3. Search for ASU to download it, their links change too frequently to post an URL here. The architecture (64 vs 32 bit) of the exe refers to the server you are using this tool on as opposed to the target server being configured. These two are not always the same thing, as it works over the network too.
  1. Double clicking the downloaded exe extracts ASU.exe and supporting files.
  2. Two methods of configuring a server using ASU:
    1. Run on local server. It will connect to the IMM via OS integrated drivers: "USB in-band interface." Basically a virtual NIC in Windows.
      1. CMD: Asu.exe batch c:\admin\uEFI.log
    1. Run on a hop server. It will connect to the IMM over network at the IP you specify (!!!!).
      1. CMD: Asu.exe batch c:\admin\uEFI.log options --host
      2. e.g. Asu.exe batch c:\admin\uEFI.log options --host
      3. If you go over ethernet, you will need to supply credentials. Do so using the following syntax:
CMD: Asu.exe batch c:\admin\uEFI.log options --host --user --password
e.g. Asu.exe batch c:\admin\uEFI.log options --host --user batman --password robin

  1. Developing your batch file
    1. Cmd: Asu.exe Show > c:\admin\uEFI.log
    2. Edit
      1. Remove top lines
      2. Syntax: set "setting value"
        1. e.g. set IMM.IMMInfo_Location "1234 Batcave Drive"
        2. Use this line to see your options:
asu.exe showvalues C:\admin\Values.log

You may need enable the "Allow commands on USB interface" setting if your script is connecting to the IMM, and then failing to properly execute.
"Note: The ASU works with a disabled USB in-band interface if an IPMI device driver is installed."

ASU Guide

Notes on the "Allow commands on USB interface" option.

*Most tech writers are far too focused on being complete and accurate to remember that documentation is supposed to be helpful. The efficiency of the reader seems to rarely be taken into consideration, so most of it ends up looking like a yahoo search: tons of data you don't need and one thing you do need, written in a way that will make perfect sense once you already know it. And that's why I use Google :-)

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