OMSA 6.5.0 - SMBIOS data is absent

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OMSA 6.5.0 - SMBIOS data is absent

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Bought three 1950s from an off-lease place, installing identical versions of 2008R2 on them.  Installing OMSA 6.5.0 on them, two work fine, but one givesme nothing in the "System" tree except "Main Chassis," and then nothing underneath there - no "Memory""Fans," etc.   Windows event log hasevent id 1005, source "Server Administrator" with data "SMBIOS data is absent.  Following my friend google on that info, I see things like "The system does not contain the required systems management BIOS version 2.2 or higher, or the BIOS is corrupted. "

1 - I'm pretty sure the systems were sent with idential BIOS and Firmware updates, but just in case - how do I check those outside of OMSA?  On a reboot, what would I look for on the pre-windows boot info?

2 - If I really do have a corrupt SMBIOS, what do I do to flash and update that?  The 50 or so downloads available at support.dell.com aren't exactly clear on the topic.

Thanks - BH

Verified Answer
  • SMBIOS data is populated into system RAM by the BIOS during POST. Corrupt, unreadable, or missing SMBIOS data can occur when the BIOS neglects to populate the data, populates it incorrectly, the first megabyte of physical memory is faulty, or the data was overwritten after POST.

    On Dell servers it is also possible the BMC in particular may not be cooperating with the BIOS and both components may need to be updated to their respective latest versions. With no SMBIOS information you will not be able to determine the BIOS, BMC, and DRAC firmware versions inside the OS. You will have to observe these components as they initialize during POST to determine the firmware versions.

    For your PowerEdge 1950 I recommend updating the BIOS to 2.7.0 and the BMC firmware to 2.37. If you have a DRAC please also update that to 1.60, because the DRAC overtakes the BMC on this model. For updating from within Windows, here are URLs you can use to download and apply these updates:

    • BIOS 2.7.0: downloads.dell.com/.../PE1950_BIOS_WIN_2.7.0.EXE

    • BMC 2.37: downloads.dell.com/.../BMC_FRMW_WIN_R202156.EXE

    • DRAC 1.60: ftp.us.dell.com/.../RAC_FRMW_WIN_R298944.EXE

    If you still have trouble with the SMBIOS after updating the BIOS and BMC, and DRAC if applicable, then you may need to reset the NVRAM according to the jumper reset procedure in the hardware owner's manual support.dell.com/.../HH176A02MR.pdf on page 116.

    If you still have this issue after that, it is possible the BMC/DRAC is faulty. Try removing the DRAC (page 71 of the hardware owner's manual) and also clearing power from the system by unplugging it from power and holding down the power button for 10 seconds.

    Let me know how it goes and if I can provide further information or assistance, and I'll try to help.

    Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! (iOS, Android, Windows)

  • OMSA's service dependencies interact directly with the BMC (or DRAC if installed). If you remove the DRAC and the BMC still has the appearance of not working or the DSM services will not start, you most likely have a bad BMC. If you are concerned about the OS or OMSA install you can, without destroying your current setup, boot to the OpenManage Live CD from linux.dell.com/.../OMSA65-CentOS6-x86_64-LiveDVD.iso which is basically a known-good config. I have emailed the address associated with your profile to request your service tag so I can check on the warranty status.

    Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! (iOS, Android, Windows)

All Replies
  • SMBIOS data is populated into system RAM by the BIOS during POST. Corrupt, unreadable, or missing SMBIOS data can occur when the BIOS neglects to populate the data, populates it incorrectly, the first megabyte of physical memory is faulty, or the data was overwritten after POST.

    On Dell servers it is also possible the BMC in particular may not be cooperating with the BIOS and both components may need to be updated to their respective latest versions. With no SMBIOS information you will not be able to determine the BIOS, BMC, and DRAC firmware versions inside the OS. You will have to observe these components as they initialize during POST to determine the firmware versions.

    For your PowerEdge 1950 I recommend updating the BIOS to 2.7.0 and the BMC firmware to 2.37. If you have a DRAC please also update that to 1.60, because the DRAC overtakes the BMC on this model. For updating from within Windows, here are URLs you can use to download and apply these updates:

    • BIOS 2.7.0: downloads.dell.com/.../PE1950_BIOS_WIN_2.7.0.EXE

    • BMC 2.37: downloads.dell.com/.../BMC_FRMW_WIN_R202156.EXE

    • DRAC 1.60: ftp.us.dell.com/.../RAC_FRMW_WIN_R298944.EXE

    If you still have trouble with the SMBIOS after updating the BIOS and BMC, and DRAC if applicable, then you may need to reset the NVRAM according to the jumper reset procedure in the hardware owner's manual support.dell.com/.../HH176A02MR.pdf on page 116.

    If you still have this issue after that, it is possible the BMC/DRAC is faulty. Try removing the DRAC (page 71 of the hardware owner's manual) and also clearing power from the system by unplugging it from power and holding down the power button for 10 seconds.

    Let me know how it goes and if I can provide further information or assistance, and I'll try to help.

    Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! (iOS, Android, Windows)

  • Further info:  found the update package for BMC 2.37 firmware.  Ran it - it said "update 2.37 to 2.37," I said yes, it ran and wiped it out entirely (on reboot, the pre-windows screens said "no BMC firmware").  Ran it again, it said "update 0.00 to 2.37?", I said yes, and it ran properly and all looked right on reboot.  However, I ran OMSA and still saw no info in System.  Uninstalled, rebooted, reinstalled, and still nothing.  But now, instead of the "SMBIOS dat is absent" error, I get error 7034, "The DSM SA Data Manager service terminated unexpectedly," and the services applet shows that service not running; if I try to start it, it fails again and write the same error to the event logs.

    Check config against the working systems, and they look alike.  I suppose I could wipe out the OS, since it's not really doing anything yet, and try again, but I don't think it's the OS that's the problem, or OMSA - isn't this looking like something wrong in the BMC hardware?

  • It does sound like this is more related to the BMC than anything. You might still try draining the power and resetting the NVRAM with the jumper. Unfortunately, the BMC is integrated and you may need to replace the motherboard to resolve the issue.

    Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! (iOS, Android, Windows)

  • Thanks for the detailed suggestions - unfortunately, no luck with any of them.  Those BIOS, BMC, and DRAC versions were already installed; I re-flashed them anyway.  I reset NVRAM.  I removed and reseated the DRAC.  After all procedures, I rebooted and tried OMSA, and got nothing.  The DSM SA Data Manager service refuses to start.  I've contacted the vendor and am playing phone tag.  If it's the BMC/DRAC, will replacing the DRAC do the job?  Or would I have to replace more than that?

  • Oops, just saw that you're suggesting replacing the motherboard.    OK, calling the vendor now.  Thanks.

  • OMSA's service dependencies interact directly with the BMC (or DRAC if installed). If you remove the DRAC and the BMC still has the appearance of not working or the DSM services will not start, you most likely have a bad BMC. If you are concerned about the OS or OMSA install you can, without destroying your current setup, boot to the OpenManage Live CD from linux.dell.com/.../OMSA65-CentOS6-x86_64-LiveDVD.iso which is basically a known-good config. I have emailed the address associated with your profile to request your service tag so I can check on the warranty status.

    Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! (iOS, Android, Windows)

  • Amazing - I did the LiveDVD and the thing worked.  Then I had the brainstorm I should have had hours ago, and took the disks out of one of the identical servers I'd already installed and put them in the bad one - and OMSA worked.  Apparently, I have an OS issue of some sort (since I had uninstalled and reinstalled OMSA, it must be the OS).  I'm going to wipe it out and do it over.  Kinda embarrassed that I didn't do this earlier.  Thanks for all your help.