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HOWTO: update POWER firmware using VIOS/IVM PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Michael Felt   

Updating AIX firmware has been simplified greatly compared to several years ago. The easiest way, imho, is to use the HMC. But what are the steps when you don't have an HMC, but do have VIOS, or Integrated Virtualization Manager.

The initial steps are very simple, but there are some some settings you need to verify.
1) Insure vios partition can access internet (e.g. ping
2) Login to IVM interface
3) click on Updates on left menu
4) click on Microcode Updates tab and then click on Generate New Survey Button
5) when the survey is complete you should have a screen looking something like this
6) At this point I highly recommend you read the details, especially of the POWER5 firmware, before you start the download process. They may be things you need to do first, For example, when the change to firmware SF240_XXX first started it was necessary to upgrade VIOS first.
A short excerpt from the Details file:
7) Once you are sure you have mt the requirements, if any, for the patch, you can start the download by clicking the checkboxes and the download button at the bottom of the screen. The next screen appears with, among other things: the commands that need to be executed from the VIOS partition to actually get the firmware updated.
8) Do not forget to accept the license, or you will be greeted by the following screen:
9) If all is well, you will see this:
10) Once the task is complete, you will return to the main screen.In the colume "Download" you should see "Yes" rather than "no". For the actual update, you will need to login into the VIOS via telnet or ssh (if available), or directly on the console. Note that the default directory for the downloads is /var/adm/invscout/microcode.
$ invscout -?
Usage: invscout  [-vpd | -report] [-model Type-Model]
                 [-serial SerialNumber] [-version]
       invscout  -rpm rpmPackage rpmOption ...
       invscout  -install Device [-file FileName]

Option flag is not valid.

$ invscout -rpm ibm-ide-dvdrom.drom00205K1-P733.rpm -i --force --ignoreos
$ invscout -install cd0

To install microcode, this service aid must have exclusive access to the device cd0. However, the device driver indicated that the device was in in use. You can free the device or stop installation

Use Enter to continue the installation if the device is now free. The device driver indicates that the device is in use. Free the device and rerun this task.

Command did not complete.

"invscout" was last subcommand run.

11) Seems I forgot to remove the cd0 as a device connected to a partition. After doing that, I repeated the commands, and after a short wait:
$ invscout -rpm ibm-ide-dvdrom.drom00205K1-P733.rpm -i --force --ignoreos
$ invscout -install cd0
Installation of the microcode has completed successfully.  The current microcode for cd0 is IBM-DROM00205K.P733.
Please run diagnostics on the device to ensure that it is functioning properly.
$ invscout -rpm `invscout -rpm ibm-ide-dvdrom.drom00205K1-P733.rpm -qp` -e

This completes the HOWTO. Although there is a lot of help text provided, it still takes some time to get all the steps accomplished. And remember, it is much better to read the details too many times, and have everything ready, than not enough, and have an extended downtime while you resolve otherwise avoidable problems.

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