Friday, June 27, 2008

Attack of the Clones

So, I finally got round to booting the other three new servers we'd recently purchased (these are nice simple dual core, dual CPU boxes (Dual-Core AMD Opteron(tm) Processor 2216) on Tyan Thunder n3600M (S2932) Motherboards)

I'd always been exceptionally suspicious of the PXE MAC address thet the 1st one offered (60:50:40:30:20:10) rather than the imprinted one on the rj45 socket starting with 00:E0:81 but the fact that three out of four machines all had the same mac address meant a phone call to the vendor was called for.

The one that works has the 2.01 BIOS, the others were already shipped with 2.02 and downgrading didn't cure the amnesia. I don't see a utilty to reburn the mac address ont the machine, so have left that in the capable hands of the vendor for now. Googling seems to suggest that nvidia cards are somewhat prone to wierdisms like this. Bother.

3 comments:

Kostas Georgiou said...

I've seen this on a desktop box a couple of years ago. For that mobo there was a dos utility that allowed you to write a new mac address on the nvram(?) of the network card.

Elwell said...

Someone mailed me asking for an update on this - The vendor came onsite and reflashed the Bios with a utility disk. No I don't have a copy of it - I was offsite that day. They seem to be OK now though.

psuter said...

Hi Elwell
i work for another vendor selling some tyan based machines and we had the exact same problem after we flashed the bios to a newer version. The reason for this is, that the Nvidia Chipsets store the mac address in the bios' rom. when you flash your bios without naming the right mac address it gets overwritten with a default mac stored in the provided rom file.
to restore your original mac addresses (they are usually printed on a sticker on the ethernet port inside your pc) you simply need to flash your bios once more but provide the correct mac address(es). in the flash.bat file from tyan you have one line starting with AFUDOS. before the /REBOOT option add another one like this /M001122334455
this would flash your mac address to be 00:11:22:33:44:55. if you have more than one network interface the other mac addresses are probably messed up too.. just add the other mac addresses behind the first one.. so for example /M001122334455001122334456 would flash your nic1 to 00:11:22:33:44:55 and your nic2 to 00:11:22:33:44:56
hope that helps some others out there.. it's a shame tyan does not provide such important information at least in the readme.txt of their bios updates..