Changing FRU information on Supermicro servers

This blog post is not just for fun but because of a reason. I reinstalled my three Supermicro homelab servers with vSphere 7, and during setup, I noticed that ESXi shows incorrect values for the server model. What could cause this?

No, it shouldn’t be a “Super Server”, even if Supermicro servers are super for homelabs. But it should be an “SYS-300-8D” as this is the model I bought.

So how can I fix this? The short answer is: there is no fix until today, unfortunately. I tried it and asked also some fellow VMware friends, but still no success. It seems that this might a bug or something. I don’t know what values are read from ESXi to display that. And even after I changed the FRU values with the IPMICFG tool, reboot, and reinstalled the ESXi, the values were still displayed wrong. But at least I learned some new things during that troubleshooting. And I wanted to put the lessons learned into a blog post. Just in case you have similar issues, or you want to do the same things.

BIOS and IPMI upgrade first

First I did a BIOS and IPMI firmware update. You can download the update files here from Supermicro. In the top right corner, you can filter for your mainboard. First check which mainboard is installed in your server. Then you click the “Download Zip” file link (after filtering for your mainboard), accept the EULA, and proceed to the download. The upgrade is pretty simple. Log in to the IPMI web interface, click the Maintenance tab, and on the left-hand side you can spot the places where to upgrade the IPMI (firmware), and the BIOS.

If you have your ESXi host up and running, place it into maintenance mode first, because a reboot is needed, at least with the BIOS update.

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