Firmware (Microcode) handling for RS/6000 and follow-ups
Before upgrading the operating system, especially
AIX Versions 5.x, it should be checked whether the system microcode
(aka firmware) needs an upgrade. It is a good idea to have
the latest microcode loaded, otherwise OS install might fail
and even leave the system in an unusable state.
Firmware levels are identified by a 5-digit code representing the
release date in Julian notation,
day 287 of year 2005. You get the currently installed firmware level by
lscfg -vp | grep -p openprom
which tells you the service processor's microcode version as well.
Alternatively, one may use the SMS Menu at system startup to get that 5-digit number.
Some older microcode packages require a password to unpack the microcode after download.
The eleven-character, case-sensitive password is
Follow the steps:
Use the IBM site
(unfortunately IBM seems to change their web links at least once a month),
follow the links to
microcode and look for available
updates for the machine under consideration.
Alternatively, use the
AIX version, usually a self-extracting
Unpack it, e.g.:
chmod u+x ./TCP05287.BIN
will result in a file
Verify the checksum
ftp) the image to the target system, then
./update_flash -f TCP05287.img
will trigger the update, which implies an automatic reboot.
transfer the image to an MS-DOS formatted floppy and apply
the update via SMS Menu
Last update: 24-Oct-2013, M.Kraemer