Archive for April, 2009

Cisco 3500xl Updating IOS

Posted in HowTo on 27/04/2009 by Undersys

I scored a cheep Cisco 3500Xl 48 port switch of ebay last week.
I am currently using Nortel switches, while i have no issues with them and they work fine, I really need to understand cisco a bit better and one of my 24 port nortel switches is full, hence the 48 port.

I am not going to tell you where or how to get IOS, i am going to assume you have a valid license and support contract :)

In order to update the IOS you will need to use tftp or zmodem. For this I will be using tftp as we can upload the whole .tar package including the useless web page. Also and we already have a tftp server set up.
The last current IOS according to Cisco at the time of writing this was 12.0-5 WC17.

Commands are in italics

  1. Copy the IOS tar file to your tftp boot server, into the tftpboot folder
  2. If you switch is low on flash space you will need to remove the old IOS and html files. You can do that with the following.
  3. Log into the switch enter the “enable” command set and run the following command :
    Check the name of current IOS boot file
    This will show you the .bin file and some other files if they exist, we only wish to remove the .bin
    in my case :-
    delete c3500XL-c3h2s-mz-120.5.2-XU.bin
    hit enter to accept the delete
    delete flash:html/*
    you will need to mash “enter” a lot, for each file under html/
  4. At this point you should try and upload a new flash via :-
    tar /x t flash:
  5. In my case the switch got rebooted! So it fails to boot..( Lets not ask now i managed this feat of dumbness)
  6. The switch should now boot to “switch:”  you will need to extact the .bin file from the .tar file and have a local copy. We need to use xmodem via serial port for this.
  7. At the “switch:” prompt enter the following command :-
    First lets set a higher baud rate
    set BAUD 115200
    You’ll need to reset up your connection after this
    copy xmodem: flash:c3500xl-c3h2s-mz.120-5.WC17.bin
    this should give you the following responce “Begin the Xmodem or Xmodem-1K transfer now…”
    So fire up your  method of xmodem I use minicom.
    point it at the local of the bin file and wait.
  8. Change you baud back to 9600 , I like to keep things standard
    set BAUD 9600
  9. then boot the new image :-
    boot flash:c3500xl-c3h2s-mz.120-5.WC17.bin
    this will also update the default boot path.
  10. You can now upload the .tar via tftp if you want the useless web site, or you can just leave it as CLI :)

That’s it, the IOS is now up todate. I still need to fix its noisy blower fan.


IBM Blade Center E

Posted in HowTo, Projects on 13/04/2009 by Undersys

I love hardware.. old, new and obscure I love it all..

A good friend recently brought off eBay a IBM blade center E Chassis, came with two PSU’s and the management module. You know.. we all have blade’s and fiber channel arrays in our homes… :)

He also got the following later on :-
* 1 Intel Xeon HS20 Blade
* 1 4 port Gigabit switch module (Nortel) (59P6620)
*  A large quantity of working and non working IBM QS20 Cell blades

Why is this important to me? He knows how much I love hardware especially when its something odd like Cell Blades. He’s given me the blade chassis the Intel xeon blade and two QS20’s to get working for him, this I am very thankful for. Its a wonderful opportunity to get my head around Cell architecture and blade computing. So once again thank you :)

Lets talk about the chassis first.

First I need to get the management module back to defaults You can do this with a paper clip following steps taken from this guide

Reset the entire management module (including user IDs and passwords) to the factory defaults

  1. Press and hold the reset button for 5 seconds.
  2. Release the button and wait 5 seconds.
  3. Press and hold the button for another 10 seconds.

After that the module will have the following IP If you have a local DHCP server it will obtain a DHCP lease from that and ignore the internal Ip addres.  Default user name is “USERID” and default password is “PASSW0RD” (All caps and the number zero in password)

You should now be able to log into the web interface of the managment card.
When Possible I like to have the latest Firmware on all things. You can find all updates firmware and such here

First we will update the Management Module
The most current update for the management module is v1.22R (BRET86R)
You should read the readme file the following is just a quick how to!

  1. Download the file named “
  2. unzip the file, make sure you have the following two files :-  CNETRGUS.PKT and CNETMNUS.PKT
  3. You must update CNETRGUS.PKT first! So log into the management module and go to the firmeware updates, browse to the file “CNETRGUS.PKT” and hit update. Note if you’ve got two modules they both will get the update.
  4. Once that’s complete you will need to restart the management module , click “Restart MM” and then “reset”
  5. Close off the browser window when asked and log into the module
  6. Go back into “Update MM firmware” and now browse for the file CNETMNUS.PKT click upload then continue.
  7. You’ll need to restart you module again. Select “Restart MM” Close off the browser when asked and re log in.

That’s it F/W is up to date . Note that the “Boot ROM” is no longer updated.

We will also update the switch f/w.

First we will reset the switch back to factory defaults then flash and ensure ports are online.

  1. Log into the Management module and select “I/O Module Tasks”
  2. Select “Configuration”  then select “advance Configuration” on the right hand window
  3. Select “restore Defaults”
  4. Go back to the “Configuration” page and set a static IP. User name and password will be  “USERID” and “PASSW0RD” (number zero in password)
  5. Download the latest switch F/W  [ 1.09 (00.00.97)]
  6. Unzip the file, make sure you have “ibmrun.097”
  7. Now log into the Switch.
  8. Select “Maintenance” Then “Using Browser” then select “Upgrade Firmware/Configuration”
  9. Browse to the file “ibmrun.097” then  select “Start” Click OK to continue and wait for reboot of switch module.
  10. Go back to the management module and select “I/O Module Tasks” then select “Admin/Power/Reset”
  11. Under  “I/O module Advance Setup. Ensure “external ports” is enabled. otherwise your switch will never work .

That’s it. All up to date. Its much simpler to use the Web Interface for F/W updates as when you go in via SSH you need to make sure of a TFTP server.
Out of Interest you can access the management module via Web(http and https)  and SSH :)
You can also access the switch module via   Web and Telnet
Command line rocks, good on IBM for giving us a command line you can use to admin your blade system.

There will be more articles in regards to this blade chassi. Getting the QS20 and HS20 working.