Posts tagged ‘BIOS’

Turning a Google Search Appliance back to a Dell Poweredge R710

december 13th, 2011

Dutch disclaimer: dit artikel is geschreven in het engels omdat via google het beter te vinden/lezen is voor engels sprekende mensen.

Google Search ApplianceArrowDell Poweredge R710

You have google Search Appliance (GSA)? Ussualy this is because your Google Enterprise Partner Program (GEP) license endend. Why not turn it into a normal server?

Here are the steps to get your GSA (GB-7007) back to a Dell Poweredge R710:

Step 1)
The first thing you’re going to need to do is reset the password on the BIOS so that you can change the boot order. The easiest way to do this is to open the chassis and remove the jumper labeled PWRD_EN.

The jumper is located just behind the memory towards the rear of the server. The next time you boot you can hit F2 to get into the BIOS.

Step 2)
Install or run linux from a live cd (I used CentOS) and download the most recent bios version (in my case that was 6.1.0) here.

Then install the biosdisk tool from Dell:

yum install syslinux
wget http://linux.dell.com/biosdisk/biosdisk-git-06112010.tar.gz
tar zxvf biosdisk-git-06112010.tar.gz
cd biosdisk && ./install.sh

Step 3) 
Run biosdisk to install the bios update:

biosdisk install R710-060100C.exe

Step 4)
After installing the biosdisk it will add a grub boot device, after a reboot go to grub and choose for the first boot devices named R710-060100C.img.

Afther completing that you will run into a message that says that the image is not compatible.

It will go back to a terminal screen, please run the file (this will be the only executable file in the directory) from the device with the option:

/forcetype

You will get a message “Press any key to continue” Press any key to continue and after that enter Y to replace the old Google Search Appliance BIOS. 
BIOS Flash

Voila you now have converted your Google Search Appliance into a Dell Poweredge R710!

Dell BIOS POST

UPDATE 19/12/2011 19:30
I converted about five GSA servers back to a Dell PowerEdge R710 server so far. I had no problems whatsoever.

Sources:
http://comments.gmane.org/gmane.linux.hardware.dell.poweredge/41676
http://ftp1.us.dell.com/FOLDER00108026M/1/R710-060100C.exe

Lots of information is also from here:
http://davehope.co.uk/Blog/turn-an-old-google-appliance-into-an-esx-server