Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Dell servers stuck at Initializing firmware interfaces...

I have seen a number of 12G Dell servers getting stuck after POST with the message below.

If you leave the server long enough it does move on. I have seem this take 45 minutes!!!
Dell PS are aware of the problem which seems to mainly effect, but not limited to blades with quad port mezz cards.
I have fixed this for one customer by using the lice cycle controller to update all the firmware, but the next site I saw this the firmware didn't work.
The work around seems to be to enter the Life Cycle controller and under the iDRAC setting untick "Collect hardware inventory on boot"

Update: Doing so stops m1000e BIOS profiles from working! Dell state they are having a lot of calls over this and are working towards a fix.


  1. Thanks for this post. I had a similar issue with a Dell R320 and disabling the inventory worked for me as well.

  2. Thanks for this post!
    I have an T620 with the same issue, I put an Adaptec 2805 raid controller in the server, from the previous machine that it was supposed to replace, but I have this problem and I tried to disable the "Collect hardware inventory on boot" and that did not help.

    How did you update all the firmware with the Life cycle controller ?
    and which firmware did you update ?

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Hi, I have a brand new Dell R520 with that problem. A dell tech came onsite, changed the motherboard, changed the Riser card and cable, still my server gets stuck at initializing firmware interfaces...
    On the screen of the server an error "HW2005 Riser 2 cable or card not properly connected.. (or something like that)" comes up.

    If I try to access the life Cycle controller, the system gets me back to the "Initializing firmware interfaces.." screen and I cannot do anything after that.

    At times I notice when the dell logo comes on, it shows "Dell R420" and at times it shows "Dell R520". Can anyone help on this issue, we are not getting anywhere with this.

  5. another possible solution: remove all usb devices connected to the machine.

    1. Thanks Adam. Saved my bacon!

    2. Adam knows how to fuck. As soon as I unplugged USB connected devices, lifecycle comes up almost immediately

  6. The HW2005 Riser error is an issue with the risers themselves. On you risers it will say 1P or 2P. This indicates if they are the proper riser for a single proc or dual proc config. If you are getting that error than you have the wrong riser for the proc config.

    PS. Check riser 1 and 2 to insure they match.

  7. For me, I found this problem was caused by USB hard drives being plugged in. Like Adam noted above, unplugging USB devices gets you past that issue.

  8. I was able to fix this via updating to the new iDRAC, Lifecycle Controller, and BIOS as of 1/4/15. For a long time, I had to unplug all my USB hard drives on reboot, but these updates apparently fixed whatever issue Dell had.

  9. Dell Support: Unplug power from the PSU's. Hold the power down for 20-seconds to clear any residual current from the motherboard. Result: Powered on the server and successfully booted into windows. Apparently this process clears motherboard cache that was preventing the server from booting past the 'initializing firmware interfaces' error. I'm in the process of trying to get a more technical explanation from Dell.

  10. That worked for me. I disconnect the HDD that I use to backup the server, is a Buffalo HD-LC2.0U3

    My server is: Dell T620

  11. Same error on T320. The error popped out due to an USB external HDD plugged in but turned off. Solved by disconnecting or turning on the device.

  12. Adam ur afreaking genius.
    20 min i waited and then saw ur entry.
    I had already dismissed extrrnal usb as the problem necause ony had a keyboard mouse and usb stick. Pulled them all and by the time i looked back at the screen it was entering the lifexycle controller.....thanks

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