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Using the KVM Modules: Dell Remote Access Controller/ Modular Chassis Version 1.2 User's Guide

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Using the KVM Modules

Dell™ Remote Access Controller/ Modular Chassis Version 1.2 User's Guide

  Overview

  Installing the KVM Module

  Configuring the Avocent Digital Access KVM Module

  Using Graphical User Interface (GUI) Console Redirection

  Using Virtual Media

  Frequently Asked Questions

  Updating the KVM Firmware


This section provides information about installing, configuring, and using your supported keyboard, video, and mouse (KVM) modules.


Overview

The Dell™ Modular Server Enclosure supports the following KVM modules:

  • Dell Integrated KVM Switch Module

  • DRAC/MC-Supported KVM modules

Dell Integrated KVM Switch Module

The Dell Integrated KVM switch module allows you to configure and manage your system's server modules by providing keyboard, monitor and mouse functions to the Dell PowerEdge™ server modules in a Dell Modular Server Enclosure as if you were directly connected to the module. You can connect to the KVM switch module from either a common access point or across an IP network.

The server modules can be accessed through any one of the following:

  • Local keyboard, monitor, and mouse (or crash cart)

  • External Dell analog KVM switch

  • External Dell digital KVM switch

  • Web-based console redirection through the DRAC/MC

The module includes a local KVM cable (or dongle) that provides two PS2 connections and a video connection. The local KVM cable connects to the custom connector on the module.

See the Dell Integrated KVM Switch Module User's Guide and your system's Installation and Troubleshooting Guide for more information.

DRAC/MC-Supported KVM Modules

The DRAC/MC supports the following KVM modules in a Dell Modular Server Enclosure:

  • Dell KVM pass-through module

  • Avocent Analog KVM switch module

  • Avocent Digital Access KVM module

Table 9-1 lists a feature summary of the DRAC/MC-supported KVM modules.

Table 9-1. DRAC/MC-Supported KVM Module Features 

Dell KVM Pass-Through Module

Avocent Analog KVM Module

Avocent Digital Access KVM Module

KVM connector only.

ARI (RJ-45) and KVM connectors.

Ethernet and KVM connectors.

No network interface.

No network interface.

Network interface supports static IP address or DHCP.

No OSCAR support.

Supports OSCAR.

Supports OSCAR.

No support for Web-based console redirection.

No support for Web-based console redirection.

Supports Web-based console redirection through the DRAC/MC.

No Virtual Media support.

No Virtual Media support.

Supports Virtual Media.

The following subsections provide descriptions of each DRAC/MC-supported KVM module for your Dell Modular Server Enclosure.

Dell KVM Pass-Through Module

The Dell KVM Pass-Through Module provides a KVM connection from the server modules in the Dell Modular Server Enclosure to a local KVM.

This module can be configured by connecting a local KVM cable from the custom connector to a local keyboard, monitor, and mouse.

See the documentation included with your module to identify the custom connector.

Avocent Analog KVM Switch Module

The Avocent Analog KVM switch module provides a KVM connection from the server modules in the Dell Modular Server Enclosure to a local KVM or an external Dell KVM switch.

This module can be configured using one of the following methods:

  • Connect a local KVM cable from the custom connector to a local KVM.

  • Connect a CAT 5 cable from the Analog Console Interface (ACI) port to an external Dell analog or digital KVM switch.

See the documentation included with your module to identify the custom connector and ACI port.

Avocent Digital Access KVM Module

The Avocent Digital Access KVM Module provides a KVM connection from the server modules in the Dell Modular Server Enclosure to a local KVM or an external Dell KVM switch. The module also provides Web-based console redirection through the DRAC/MC.

This module can be configured using one of the following methods:

  • Connect a local KVM cable from the custom connector (see Figure 9-2) to a local KVM.

  • Connect a local KVM cable from the custom connector (see Figure 9-2) to a Server Interface Pod (SIP) and a CAT 5 cable from the SIP to an external Dell Analog or Digital KVM switch.

  • Connect a CAT 5 cable from the NIC connector (see Figure 9-2) to the same subnet as the DRAC/MC.

NOTE: The Avocent Digital Access KVM module default IP address is 192.168.0.121.

Installing the KVM Module

  1. Ensure that the KVM module release lever is fully extended.

  2. Slide the module into the chassis until it is fully seated.

  3. Close the release lever until it seats securely into place.

  4. Install the Phillips head screw that secures the release lever to the module.

  5. Connect the cables to the module.

NOTE: The KVM module can only be installed in the KVM slot under power supply 3, as shown in Figure 9-1.

Figure 9-1. Removing and Installing a KVM Module

Avocent Digital Access KVM Module Features

The Avocent Digital Access KVM Module includes a custom cable (or dongle) that ships with your system, which provides two PS/2 connectors and one video connector. The KVM module also includes an identification indicator (see Figure 9-2). Table 9-2 lists the indicator status.

See the online help for additional information.

Figure 9-2. Avocent Digital Access KVM Module Features

Table 9-2. KVM Switch Module Features 

Indicator

Activity Indicator

Indicator Code

Identification indicator

 

Off

Dell Server Module Enclosure is not being identified.

Green blinking

Dell Server Module Enclosure is being identified.

Power indicator

 

Off

KVM switch does not have power.

Green

KVM switch has power.

Custom connector

None

Allows two PS/2 connectors and one video device to be connected to the system.

Link indicator

 

Off

The NIC is not connected to the network.

Green

The NIC is connected to a valid link partner on the network.

Activity indicator

 

Off

Network data is not being sent or received.

Amber blinking

Network data is being sent or received.

Identifying the KVM Type Using the User Interface

To identify the KVM type using the user interface, click the Properties tab and then click Chassis Summary. The KVM module appears under KVM Information.

Table 9-3 provides a description of the KVM Information fields in the user interface.

Table 9-3. Fields for KVM Information 

Field

Description

KVM Presence

Indicates whether or not the KVM module is installed in the chassis.

KVM Model

Displays the KVM model and type.

KVM Firmware Version

Indicates the current KVM firmware version level.

KVM Hardware Version

Indicates the current KVM hardware version level.

KVM Status

Indicates the status of the current KVM, which can be N/A, Ready, and Updating.

Current IP Address

Indicates the current KVM IP address.

Current IP Gateway

Indicates the current KVM IP gateway IP address.

Current IP Netmask

Indicates the current KVM IP netmask IP address.

MAC Address

Indicates the KVM MAC address.

DHCP Enabled?

Displays whether DHCP is enabled on the Avocent Digital Access KVM. The default value is Disabled.

NOTE: Some KVM status fields will appear only if an Avocent Digital Access KVM is installed in the Dell Modular Server Enclosure.

NOTE: The KVM status field properties will not appear if the Dell Modular Server Enclosure is powered off.

Identifying the KVM Type Using the CLI

To identify the KVM using the CLI, use the following command:

racadm getkvminfo


Configuring the Avocent Digital Access KVM Module

Use the DRAC/MC GUI to configure the Avocent Digital Access KVM Module in the Dell Server Module Enclosure.

To access the DRAC/MC from the management station:

  1. Open a web browser.

  2. In the Address field, type the IP address of the DRAC/MC that is connected to the Avocent Digital Access KVM Module, and then press <Enter>.

  3. In the Logon box, type your user name and password, and then click OK.

NOTE: The default user name is root; the default password is calvin.

The following sections provide information on configuring your Avocent Digital Access KVM Module from the management station using the DRAC/MC user interface.

NOTE: The Avocent Digital Access KVM Module is the only KVM module that must be configured through the DRAC/MC user interface.

Configuring Your Network

  1. Press the power button on the Dell Modular Server Enclosure to turn on the system (if required). Ensure that the system power indicator is green before proceeding to step 2.

  2. Click the Configuration tab and select Network.

  3. Use the Network Configuration page to configure the Avocent Digital Access KVM Module's NIC settings. Table 9-4 describes each NIC setting.

NOTE: To ensure proper communications between the Avocent Digital Access KVM Module and the DRAC/MC, configure your Avocent Digital Access KVM Module's IP address in the same subnet as the DRAC/MC.
NOTE: To change any of the settings on the Network Configuration page, you must have Configure DRAC/MC permission.

Table 9-4. KVM NIC Settings 

Setting

Description

MAC Address

Displays the KVM MAC address.

Use DHCP
(For NIC IP Address)
(Default: Off)

Causes Dell OpenManage™ to obtain the IP address for the Avocent Digital Access KVM NIC from the DHCP server; deactivates the Static IP Address, Static Subnet Mask, and Static Gateway controls.

Static IP Address

Specifies or edits the Static IP address for the Avocent Digital Access KVM module NIC. This option is not available if Use DHCP is selected.

Static Gateway

Specifies or edits the static gateway for the Avocent Digital Access KVM NIC. This option is not available if Use DHCP is selected.

Static Subnet Mask

Specifies or edits the static subnet mask for the Avocent Digital Access KVM NIC. This option is not available if Use DHCP is selected.

Auto Negotiation

Determines whether the DRAC/MC automatically sets the Duplex Mode and Network Speed by communicating with the nearest router or hub (On) or allows you to set the Duplex Mode and Network Speed manually (Off).

Duplex Mode

Enables you to set the duplex mode to full or half to match your network environment. This option is not available if Auto Negotiation is set to On.

Network Speed

Enables you to set the network speed to 100 Mb or 10 Mb to match your network environment. This option is not available if Auto Negotiation is set to On.

Other Options

The Network Configuration page provides the buttons in Table 9-5 in the top-right corner of the screen.

Table 9-5. Network Configuration Page Buttons (Top Right) 

Button

Action

Print

Prints the Network Configuration page.

Refresh

Reloads the Network Configuration page.

Apply Changes

Saves the changes made to the Network Configuration page.

Configuring Network Security

Ensuring Network Security

The DRAC/MC and KVM use certificate management to secure your DRAC/MC and KVM network communications.

Certificate Management Overview

A certificate signing request (CSR) is a digital request to a certificate authority (CA) for a secure server certificate. Secure server certificates ensure the identity of a remote system and ensure that information exchanged with the remote system cannot be viewed or changed by others. To ensure DRAC/MC and KVM security, it is strongly recommended that you generate a CSR, submit the CSR to a CA, and upload the certificate returned from the CA.

A certificate authority is a business entity that is recognized in the IT industry for meeting high standards of reliable screening, identification, and other important security criteria. Examples of CAs include Thawte and VeriSign. After the CA receives your CSR, they review and verify the information that the CSR contains. If the applicant meets the CA's security standards, the CA issues a certificate to the applicant that uniquely identifies that applicant for transactions over networks and on the Internet.

After the CA approves the CSR and sends you a certificate, you must upload the certificate to the firmware. The CSR information stored on the KVM firmware must match the information contained in the certificate.

NOTE: Using the KVM default certificate for SSL generates a host mismatch warning in Netscape. You must upload a CA-generated SSL certificate to the KVM for proper security.

See "Managing and Recovering a Remote System" for more information.


Using Graphical User Interface (GUI) Console Redirection

Overview

The DRAC/MC and KVM console redirection feature allows you to access the local server console remotely in either graphic or text mode.

Today with the power of networking and the Internet, you do not have to sit in front of each server to perform all the routine maintenance. You can manage the servers from another city or even from the other side of the world from your desktop or laptop computer. You can also share the information with others— remotely and instantly.

NOTE: Your Dell Modular Server Enclosure must be turned on and configured with a KVM to use this feature.

Using Console Redirection

NOTICE: Before you can use console redirection, all browsers must have a Sun Java Virtual Machine Plug-in (version 1.4.2 and later) installed, and the Java cache must be cleared and disabled from the Java plug-in control panel in your operating system. For more information, see "Supported Web Browsers."
NOTE: When you open a console redirection session, the managed system does not indicate that the console has been redirected.

The Console Redirection page enables you to manage the remote system by using the keyboard, video, and mouse on your local management station to control the corresponding devices on a remote managed system. This feature can be used in conjunction with the Virtual Media feature to perform remote software installations.

The following rules apply to a console redirection session:

  • Only one console redirection session is supported.

  • A console redirection session can only be connected to one target system.

  • When a console redirection viewer application is running, the Server Selection option is unavailable. To select another server, close the application, select another server, and then reopen the application.

Opening a Console Redirection Session

When you open a console redirection session, the Dell Digital KVM Viewer Application starts and the remote system's desktop appears in the viewer. Using the Digital KVM Viewer Application, you can control the system's mouse and keyboard functions from a local or remote management station.

To open a console redirection session, perform the following steps:

  1. On your management station, open a web browser.

  2. Connect and log into the DRAC/MC.

The default user name is root; the default password is calvin.

  1. In the left window pane, expand DRAC/MC and click Console.

  2. In the Console Redirection screen under Select a server blade, select the target PowerEdge system and click Select Server.

The target remote system is selected.

NOTE: This procedure may take a few seconds to complete, depending on your network connection speed.
  1. Click Launch Application.

NOTE: Multiple message boxes may appear after you launch the application. To prevent unauthorized access to the application, you must navigate through these message boxes within three minutes. Otherwise, you will be prompted to relaunch the application.
NOTE: If one or more Security Alert windows appear in the following steps, read the information in the window and click Yes to continue.

The Dell Digital KVM Viewer Application window appears with the remote system's desktop in the application window.

  1. If two mouse pointers appear on the remote system's desktop, synchronize the mouse pointers on the management station and the remote system. See "Synchronizing the Mouse Pointers."

Using the Digital KVM Viewer Application

The Java-powered Dell Digital KVM Viewer Application provides a user interface between the management station and the remote system, allowing you to see the remote system's desktop and control its mouse and keyboard functions from your management station. When you connect to the remote system, the Digital KVM Viewer Application starts in a separate window.

The Digital KVM Viewer Application provides various control adjustments such as video calibration, mouse acceleration, and snapshots. Click Help for more information on these functions.

When you start a console redirection session and the Digital KVM Viewer Application window appears, you may be required to adjust the following controls in order to view and control the remote system properly. These adjustments include:

  • Adjusting the video quality

  • Synchronizing the mouse pointers

Adjusting the Video Quality

The Digital KVM Viewer Application provides video adjustments that allow you to optimize the video for the best possible view.

To adjust the video quality, perform the following steps:

  1. At the bottom of the Digital KVM Viewer Application window, click Calibrate.

  2. To adjust the video quality automatically, click the Automatic Video Adjustment button.

To manually adjust or fine tune the video quality, click each remaining video adjustment button in the window and adjust the controls as needed.

Click Help for more information.

NOTE: Reducing the Pixel Noise Ratio setting to zero causes multiple video refresh commands that generates excessive network traffic and flickering video in the Dell Digital KVM Viewer Application window. Dell recommends that you adjust the Pixel Noise Ratio setting at a level that provides optimal system performance and pixel enhancement while minimizing network traffic.

Synchronizing the Mouse Pointers

When you connect to a remote PowerEdge system using Console Redirection, the mouse acceleration speed on the remote system may not synchronize with the mouse pointer on your management station, causing two mouse pointers to appear in the Dell Digital KVM Viewer Application window.

To synchronize the mouse pointers, disable mouse acceleration on the target server module, the management station, and the Dell Digital KVM Viewer application. When you complete these procedure, the remote system mouse pointer and the management station mouse pointer move together (or shadow) as one mouse pointer.

To synchronize the mouse pointers, perform the following steps. See Table 9-6 for the procedure that is appropriate for your operating system.

  1. Open a console redirection session and start the Dell Digital KVM Viewer Application on the target server module.

  2. Identify the operating system that is running on both the target server module and your management station.

  3. In the Dell Digital KVM Viewer Application window, disable the mouse acceleration speed on the target server module. See Table 9-6.

  4. On your management station, disable the mouse acceleration speed. See Table 9-6.

  5. In the Dell Digital KVM Viewer Application window in the Mouse Acceleration box, click the drop- down menu arrow and select None.

  6. In the Dell Digital KVM Viewer Application window, move your management station mouse pointer to the top left corner of the screen until both mouse pointers move together (or shadow) as one mouse pointer.

NOTE: Synchronizing the mouse pointers may take several seconds to complete, depending on your network connection.

Table 9-6. Disabling Mouse Acceleration 

Remote System's Operating System

Procedure

Microsoft Windows 2000

  1. On the remote system's desktop, click Start and select Run.
  2. In the Run field, type regedit and click OK.
  3. In the Registry Editor left window pane, expand HKEY_USERS®.DEFAULT® Control Panel.
  4. Click Mouse.
  5. In the Registry Editor right window pane, right-click MouseSpeed and select Modify.
  6. In the Edit String window in the Value data field, change the current value from 1 to 0 and click OK.
  7. Close the Registry Editor window.
  8. On the Windows desktop, click Start and select Control Panel® Mouse.
  9. In the Mouse Properties window, click the Motion tab.
  10. In the Acceleration box, click None and then click OK.

Windows Server™ 2003

  1. On the remote system's desktop, click Start and select Run.
  2. In the Run field, type regedit and click OK.
  3. In the Registry Editor left window pane, expand HKEY_USERS®.DEFAULT® Control Panel.
  4. Click Mouse.
  5. In the Registry Editor right window pane, right-click MouseSpeed and select Modify.
  6. In the Edit String window in the Value data field, change the current value from 1 to 0 and click OK.
  7. Close the Registry Editor window.
  8. On the Windows desktop, click Start and select Control Panel® Mouse.
  9. In the Mouse Properties window, click the Pointer Options tab.
  10. In the Motion box, deselect Enhance pointer precision and then click OK.

Red Hat® Enterprise Linux
(version 3) with a command line interface

Red Hat Enterprise Linux
(version 4) with a command line interface

  1. At the command prompt, type the following and press <Enter>:

xset m 0

NOTE: When you restart your system, the value resets to the default setting.

  1. In the Dell Digital KVM Viewer Application window in the Mouse Configuration box drop-down menu, select None.
  2. Move the mouse until the mouse pointer and the curser shadow each other.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux
(version 3) with the X Window System

  1. Click the Red Hat icon and select Preferences® Control Center
  2. In the Control Center window, double click the Mouse icon.
  3. In the Mouse Preferences window, click the Motion tab.
  4. In the Speed box under Acceleration, adjust the toggle halfway between Slow and Fast, and then click OK.
  5. In the Dell Digital KVM Viewer Application window in the Mouse Configuration box drop-down menu, select None.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux
(version 4) with the X Window System

  1. Click the Red Hat icon and select Preferences® Mouse.
  2. In the Mouse Preferences window, click the Motion tab.
  3. In the Speed box under Acceleration, adjust the acceleration speed bar halfway between Slow and Fast.
  4. Click Close.


Using Virtual Media

Overview

The Virtual Media feature provides the managed system with a virtual CD drive, which can use standard media from anywhere on the network. Figure 9-3 shows the overall architecture of virtual media.

Figure 9-3. Overall Architecture of Virtual Media

Using Virtual Media, administrators can remotely boot their managed systems, install applications, update drivers, or even install new operating systems remotely from the virtual CD/DVD and diskette drives.

The management station provides the physical media or image file across the network.

NOTE: JAVA Runtime Environment (JRE) version 1.4.2 (or later) must be installed on the management station to run a virtual media session.

When Virtual Media is connected, all virtual CD/floppy drive access requests from the managed system are directed to the management station across the network. When Virtual Media is not connected, virtual devices on the managed system behave just like two drives without media present.

Currently, the virtual floppy drive can be connected to a legacy 1.44 floppy drive with a 1.44 floppy diskette, a USB floppy drive with a 1.44 floppy diskette, a 1.44 floppy image, and Dell USB keys. The virtual CD/DVD drive can be connected to a CD/DVD or ISO image.

Managed System Requirements

Table 9-7 provides the management station system requirements to run Console Redirection and Virtual Media sessions.

Table 9-7. Management Station System Requirements

Component

Minimum Requirements

Processor

Intel® Pentium™ 650 MHz or equivalent

RAM

128 MB

Network connection

10BaseT or 100BaseT (100BaseT recommended)

Operating System

  • Windows 2000 Workstation, Server, or Terminal Server with Service Pack 4 or later

NOTE: When using Virtual Media to install Windows 2000 Server, the installation CD must have a built-in Service Pack 4, which is required to access the virtual drives. This requirement also applies to using the virtual drives with Windows 2000 Server. The drives will not appear until Service Pack 4 has been successfully installed.

  • Windows XP Home or Professional Edition
  • Windows Server 2003, Standard, Enterprise, or Web Edition
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (version 3) Advanced Server (ES, AS, and WS)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (version 4) Advanced Server (ES, AS, and WS)

Video

  • XGA video with a graphics accelerator
  • 800 x 600 resolution
  • Color palette of at least 256 colors

Using the Virtual Media Feature

To use the Virtual Media feature, perform the following procedures from your management station:

  1. Open a console redirection session.

  2. Attach the Virtual Media device to the remote system.

  3. Connect the virtual media to the Virtual Media device.

The following subsections provide the necessary steps to perform these procedures.

Opening a Console Redirection Session

  1. Perform the procedures in "Opening a Console Redirection Session."

  2. In the Console Redirection page in the Select a server blade column, record the server name that you selected as the target remote system. This information is required in the following section.

Attaching the Virtual Media Device to the Remote System

  1. In the Remote Access Controller/Modular Chassis window's left window pane, expand DRAC/MC and click Media.

All the available server modules are listed under Select a server blade.

  1. In the Virtual Media screen under Select a server blade, select the server that you chose in "Opening a Console Redirection Session" and click Attach.

  2. Click Launch Application.

NOTE: If one or more Security Alert windows appear, read the information in the window and click Yes to continue.

The virtual media session starts and the Virtual Media window appears.

The Status box displays the target drives and the corresponding connection status for each drive.

NOTE: A USB memory key or a floppy image file is also listed under Floppy Drive because they could be virtualized as a virtual floppy. To renumerate the USB channel, click USB Reset.
NOTE: The drive letters of virtual devices on the managed system have no correlation to the drive letters of physical drives on the management station.
  1. In the Dell Digital KVM Viewer Application window, verify that the virtual media device is attached to the remote system.

Connecting the Virtual Media to the Virtual Media Device

  1. In the Floppy Drive box or the CD/DVD Drive box, select the virtual media that you want to connect to the virtual media device.

  2. Click Browse and select the appropriate drive.

  3. Click Connect.

The Connected To column displays the connection status for the selected target drive. The Read Bytes column displays the data transfer speed.

Changing the Virtual Media Device

NOTE: Changing virtual media while connected could stop the system boot sequence.
  1. In the Virtual Media window, click Disconnect.

  2. Remove the CD or DVD from the management station CD drive (if applicable).

  3. Perform one of the following procedures:

    • Insert another CD or DVD into the management station CD drive.

    • In the Floppy Drive or CD/DVD drive box, click Browse and select another floppy drive or ISO image.

  4. Click Connect.

Disconnecting the Virtual Media Device From the Virtual Media Device

  1. In the Virtual Media window, click Disconnect.

In the Status box, the target drive status in the Connected To column changes to Not connected and the data transfer rate for each disconnected drive in the Read Bytes column change to n/a.

  1. Close the Virtual Media window.

  2. In the Close program request window, click Yes to close the virtual media window.

Detaching the Virtual Media Device from the Remote System

    1. Navigate to the Dell Remote Access Controller/Modular Chassis window.

    1. In the Virtual Media screen, click Detach.

    2. When prompted, click OK to close the virtual media connection.

In the Virtual Media screen, the Select a server module selection changes to None and the Detach button changes to Attach.

  1. Close the Dell Digital KVM Viewer Application.

In the Dell Digital KVM Viewer Application window, click Close.

  1. Close the Console Redirection session.

In the Dell Remote Access Controller/Modular Chassis window, click Log Out.

Booting From the Virtual Media

On supported systems, the system BIOS allows you boot from virtual CD or virtual floppy drives. You need to enter the BIOS setup window to ensure that the virtual drives are enabled in the boot sequence menu and that bootable devices are in the correct order.

To change the BIOS setting, perform the following steps:

  1. Boot the managed system.

  2. Press <F2> to enter the BIOS setup window.

  3. Scroll to the boot sequence and press <Enter>.

In the pop-up window, the virtual CD and virtual floppy (USB) drives are listed along with other regular boot devices.

  1. Ensure that the virtual drive is enabled and that it is the first device with bootable media present among the listed devices. If it is not the first device, you can change the boot order by following the instructions on the screen.

  2. Save the changes and exit.

The managed system reboots.

The managed system attempts to boot from a bootable device based on the boot order. If the virtual device is connected and a bootable media is present, the system boots to this virtual device. Otherwise, the system ignores the device, just like a physical device without bootable media.

NOTE: You have to connect the virtual media before the IDE option ROM runs to boot from the virtual media.

Installing Operating Systems Using Virtual Media

NOTE: The two virtual drives work simultaneously only when the operating system is running. During the operating system installation using the virtual CD drive, the virtual floppy drive is not available.
  1. Ensure that your operating system installation CD is inserted in the management station's CD drive.

  2. Ensure that you have selected your local CD drive and that you have connected to the virtual drives.

  3. Follow the steps for booting from the virtual media in the preceding section to ensure that the BIOS is set to boot from the CD drive that you are installing from.

  4. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation.

Using Virtual Media When the Server's Operating System is Running

On Windows systems, the virtual media drives are mounted and given a drive letter.

Using the virtual drives from within Windows is similar to using your physical drives. When you connect to the media at a management station, the media is available at the system by simply clicking the drive and browsing its content.

On a Red Hat Enterprise Linux system, the virtual drives must be mounted before the drives can be accessed. Before mounting the drive, you must first connect to the media at the management station.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux automatically creates mount points in the /etc/fstab file for the virtual floppy and CD drives.

On a system running Red Hat Enterprise Linux, type the following command to quickly identify the assigned virtual media devices:

cat /var/log/messages | grep VIRTUAL

The virtual CD has an entry for a device named /dev/cdromX (where X is an optional index that is assigned by Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Normally, the virtual CD drive is named /dev/cdrom1 name and the local CD drive is named /dev/cdrom.

The virtual floppy drive has an entry for a device named /dev/floppyX (where X is an optional index that is assigned by Red Hat Enterprise Linux). Depending on whether or not a local floppy drive exists, the virtual floppy drive is named /dev/floppy or /dev/floppy1.


Frequently Asked Questions

Table 9-8 lists frequently asked questions and answers.

Table 9-8. Using Virtual Media: Frequently Asked Questions 

Question

Answer

When I boot my system, the following messages appear during POST:

Drive Number: 0 failed to detect Virtual device

Drive Number: 1 failed to detect Virtual device

The Dell Virtual Media devices may have been disabled. To verify the device configurations, type the following command:

racadm getconfig -g cfgRacVirtual

Sometimes when I try to access virtual floppy media, the Windows File Explorer displays a "Not Responding" message in the title bar, but the floppy access light indicates that the floppy is still being accessed. Why does this happen?

The access to a 1.44 floppy is slow, especially over a network. As a result, you must wait long enough for Windows to read the floppy. The Windows File Explorer may display a "Not Responding" message in the title bar while it continues to read the floppy. Note that USB keys are faster to access.

Why does the Eject command fail to work?

The Eject command fails to work with Virtual CD devices if no Virtual Media client was connected at the time the Red Hat Enterprise Linux host was booted.

To eject CD media from a Virtual CD device in this situation, ensure that the CD is not mounted, and then press the Eject button on the client CD drive.

Why do error messages like the following display on the console when Red Hat Enterprise Linux boots a Dell server with a DRAC/MC present?

... other console startup messages ...

Apr 16 14:48:27 localhost kernel: hde: VIRTUALFLOPPY DRIVE, ATAPI FLOPPY drive

Apr 16 14:48:27 localhost kernel: hdf: VIRTUALCDROM DRIVE, ATAPI CD/DVD-ROM drive

Apr 16 14:48:27 localhost kernel: ide0 at 0x1f0-0x1f7,0x3f6 on irq 14

Apr 16 14:48:27 localhost kernel: ide2 at 0xccf0-0xccf7, 0xcce6 on irq 23

Apr 16 14:48:27 localhost kernel: ide-floppy: hde: I/O error, pc = 23, key = 2, asc = 3a, ascq = 0

Apr 16 14:48:27 localhost kernel: ide-floppy: Can't get floppy parameters

... other console startup messages ...

The Red Hat Enterprise Linux IDE driver writes all error responses that it receives to the console log for diagnostic purposes. However, in this case, the messages are not indications of any real errors and should be ignored.

The reason these error responses are generated is because a Virtual Media client is not connected to the DRAC/MC management board while the system is being booted, but the Red Hat Enterprise Linux IDE driver is requesting information regarding the Virtual floppy media size. This information is not available until a Virtual Media client connects its floppy device to the DRAC/MC.

The error response, in this case, (key=2, asc=3a) from the DRAC/MC hardware indicates: media not present.

 

When I have a floppy drive or USB key open through Windows Explorer and I try to establish a Virtual Media connection on Windows for the same drives, I get a connection failure and I am asked to retry. Why?

You cannot establish a connection until you close the Windows Explorer that is accessing the floppy drive or USB key. DRAC/MC does not allow shared access for floppy drives and USB keys on Windows.

Do I need to install drivers on the server to make the Virtual Media feature work?

No. Drivers are not required on either the managed system or the management station. The operating system provides what is required for this feature.

See "Managed System Requirements" for a list of supported operating systems.

When I performed a firmware update remotely using the DRAC/MC user interface, I noticed that the Virtual Drives on the managed system disappeared.

Firmware updates cause the DRAC/MC to reset, which causes the Virtual Drives to be unmounted. You can restore the Virtual Drives on systems running Windows by either restarting the system or by using the Windows device manager to scan for new hardware. You can restore the Virtual Drives on systems running Red Hat Enterprise Linux by re-mounting the drives after the firmware update completes.

What will my Virtual Media feature look like before the system is booted?

During system boot, the BIOS lists the virtual devices that are available. You should see a message that lists 2 devices as follows:

Drive Number : 0 VIRTUALFLOPPY DRIVE Removable Media Drive

Drive Number : 1 VIRTUALCDROM DRIVE

How do I set my virtual device to be bootable?

You must go into the BIOS setup at the managed system and then go to the boot menu. Once in the boot menu, you find a listing for the virtual CD drive and the virtual floppy drive. You can change the order of the virtual devices in the boot order. For example, to boot from a CD drive, you must put the CD drive first in the boot order.

What media can I boot from?

DRAC/MC allows you to boot from a bootable CD/DVD media, a bootable 1.44 floppy disk, a bootable 1.44 floppy image, and a bootable USB key.

How can I make my USB key bootable?

Dell provides a Windows utility for formatting its USB Solid State devices as bootable devices on the Dell Resource CD that ships with a Dell system. You can use this utility to make the Memory Key bootable. You can also use the utility to format the Memory Key, to add an active partition, and to transfer basic MS-DOS system files to the Memory Key.

This utility is also available on the Dell Support website at support.dell.com. You can find the utility by searching for "Memory Key Boot."

How do I make a floppy image file to be used as a virtual floppy?

Windows users can create image files from physical 1.44M floppy diskettes, using Dell's DRAC III Remote Floppy Boot image file creation utility:

diskimage <-c|-p> [-d <drive:>]
[-f
filename] [-v]

-c Create file image of a target disk.

-p Put existing file image onto a target floppy.

-d <drive> Drive letter containing floppy disk. The drive letter must contain a ':'. The default drive letter is "a:".

-f <file> File name of boot file. The default file name is bootimg.bin.

-v Display version information.

-h Usage string is displayed.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux users may use the dd (data duplicator) utility to make images from the supported Virtual Floppy media types (and vice-versa)

dd if=<input-file> of=<output-file>

where input-file is the input file or device, for example, /dev/fd0

where output-file is the output file or device, for example myimage.bin

What does Virtual Media look like at the server?

On Windows systems, you see additional CD and removable media drives appear in "My Computer." On Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems, you see devices that can be mounted. You can find the device names by looking at /etc/fstab.

How do I know which drives are my virtual media drives?

When you connect your management station drive to the managed system drive then the title of the inserted media should automatically appear next to the drive letter on Windows systems. But the best way to know which drive is the virtual media drive and which is the physical drive is by opening/mounting the drive and looking at its content.

Will the drive letters change on Windows systems?

Generally, the drive letters will not change. So if you have a CD drive that is labeled D: and a removable media drive that is labeled F:, then those drive letters will remain the same.

How do I find my device names on Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems so I can mount them?

You can look at the /etc/fstab file which lists the device names for all your devices. When you know the device name, then you can use the mount and umount command to mount and unmount your CD or floppy drives.

To manually identify the virtual media devices, type the following command:

cat /var/log/messages | grep VIRTUAL

Then look for mount points for those devices in the /etc/fstab file, for example:

cat /etc/fstab | grep /dev/hde

Finally, use the associated mount point on the mount command, for example:

mount /mnt/cdrom1


Updating the KVM Firmware

NOTICE: The DRAC/MC remains available until the KVM firmware update is complete. Dell recommends that you avoid using the DRAC/MC Web-based user interface and the telnet interface until the KVM firmware update is complete.

Use one of the following methods to update your KVM firmware.

  • Web-based interfaces

  • racadm CLI — See "fwupdate."

Using the DRAC/MC Web-based Interface to Update the KVM Firmware

  1. Copy the KVM binary file to update the TFTP root directory.

  2. Log on to the DRAC/MC Web-based user interface using a supported Internet browser.

  3. From the DRAC/MC Web-based user interface main window, click the Update tab. The Firmware Update window is displayed.

  4. On the Firmware Update window, enter the IP address of the TFTP server and the KVM firmware image name and select the KVM firmware as the option to update.

  5. Click Update Firmware.

  6. The TFTP download and firmware update process may take several minutes. After the update completes, the KVM will reset.

Using the racadm Command-Line Interface to Update KVM Firmware

  1. Copy the KVM firmware binary file to a TFTP server root directory.

  2. Log on to the DRAC/MC telnet or serial interface.

  3. From the telnet or serial interface, using the racadm fwupdate command, type a command line similar to the following example:

racadm fwupdate -a <TFTP_IP_Address> -d <kvm_firmware_name> -m kvm

  1. The TFTP download and firmware update process may take several minutes. After the update completes, the KVM will reset.

NOTE: The remote racadm utility that is shipped with other Dell Remote Access Controllers is not compatible with DRAC/MC and cannot be used to update the KVM firmware.


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