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INFORMATION BULLETIN: Potential Issue with AP8XXX series Rack Power Distribution Units with rpdu2g v6.0.9 firmware


Issue

The AP8XXX series Rack PDU's Network Management Card's interface becomes inaccessible or unresponsive as well as the LCD display. The Network Management Card's interface may also be in a reboot loop. The reboot loop is evident by the network jack status LED alternating green and orange or via event log messages showing frequent "System: Network Interface Restarted" events. Additionally, the data logging or event logging feature may stop functioning properly.
 
An image of an unresponsive LCD display is shown below - no text on the display, all other LEDs may be off:
 

This is specific to rpdu2g v6.0.9 firmware only. More detail below.


Please IMMEDIATELY upgrade the firmware on any unit with version 6.0.9 (apc_hw05_rpdu2g_609.bin) to version 6.4.0 (apc_hw05_rpdu2g_6.4.0.bin) or higher, available for download on apc.com (http://www.apc.com/tools/download/index.cfm) or direct from ftp://restrict:Kop$74!@ftp.apcc.com/restricted/hardware/nmcard/firmware/rpdu2g/640/apc_hw05_aos640_rpdu2g640_bootmon108.exe.


Product Line
  • Rack Power Distribution
    • AP8XXX series, all models

Environment
  • All serial numbers
  • AOS v6.1.3/rpdu2g v6.0.9

Cause

Schneider Electric has become aware of an issue in rpdu2g firmware application v6.0.9 (apc_hw05_rpdu2g_609.bin) that may degrade the Rack PDU functionality over time. The Rack PDU will continue to supply power and will not present a hazard. However, the unit's features may not function as expected and its network interface and/or LCD may become unresponsive.


Resolution

Please IMMEDIATELY upgrade the firmware on any unit with version 6.0.9 (apc_hw05_rpdu2g_609.bin) to version 6.4.0 (apc_hw05_rpdu2g_640.bin) or higher, available for download on apc.com (http://www.apc.com/tools/download/index.cfm). Select Filter by Software/Firmware and choose Firmware Upgrades - Rackmount Power Distribution and press Submit. Download part number SFRPDU2G640.

Alternatively, a direct FTP link to download is available here -> ftp://restrict:Kop$74!@ftp.apcc.com/restricted/hardware/nmcard/firmware/rpdu2g/640/apc_hw05_aos640_rpdu2g640_bootmon108.exe

Lastly, the firmware will be attached to the bottom of this knowledge base. 

Firmware upgrade instructions are available here -> How do I upgrade the firmware on an APC Network Management Card (NMC) or NMC embedded device (Rack PDU, etc)? and if you have multiple units, please consider reviewing the instructions on "mass" firmware upgrades in knowledge base article ID FA156099.

To verify your current firmware version:
  • Using Telnet/SSH/local console serial connection: Log in and refer to the versions on the top of the screen for AOS and APP:
 
 
  • Using web interface: v6.X.X firmware has an easily identifiable green and white web interface. If your interface is light blue and white, this is v5.X.X firmware and is not affected by the issue. If your interface is green and white, go to About->Network and verify the versions, as shown below.
 



If your PDU is in an unresponsive state and you cannot access it to upgrade the firmware, try a reboot first. This can be done by power cycling the Rack PDU if you have the capability to do so or pressing the Reset button on the Rack PDU display. If that is unsuccessful, the next step is to try to access BootMonitor mode, which is roughly equivalent to a Basic Input Output System (BIOS) of a computer or device.

In order to access BootMonitor mode, you'll require:
  • Local access to the Rack PDU
  • the included 940-0144 configuration cable
  • a computer that supports a terminal emulation program (If a firmware upgrade is required via Bootmonitor, your terminal emulation program must support XMODEM protocol - like HyperTerminal or TeraTerm.)

Once you have the required materials:
  1. Select a serial port at the local computer and disable any service that uses the port.
 
  1. Connect the 940-0144 serial configuration cable to the selected port and to the RJ-12 serial port at the Rack PDU.
  1. Run a terminal program such as HyperTerminal, and configure the selected port for: 57600 bps, 8 data bits, no parity, 1 stop bit, and no flow control.
 
  1. Press the Reset button on the Rack PDU display (using a paperclip or similar), and then immediately press the Enter key 5-7 times rapidly, or until the BootMonitor prompt displays the following: 

Rhodes BootMonitor
BM>

Note: If this does not work, you may need to try to reboot the PDU's management interface by pressing Reset again to get the timing right. Perhaps start pressing Enter before you press the reset button and continue to while you press the pinhole reset button.

Furthermore, if using HyperTerminal, try configuring the port settings, going to Call->Disconnect menu then to File->Properties press the Configure button on that screen and OK to confirm the correct settings. Press OK on the remaining dialog boxes and try the process again.

 
  1. Issue the sysinfo command to note the AOS and APP versions in this interface. Make note if rpdu2g v6.0.9 application module is in use or not as it will need to be upgraded later. Make note of the BootMonitor version as well.
 
  1. a. If your Rack PDU has bootmonitor version 1.0.8, issue the factory_reset command. Note: This will erase ALL configuration settings from the PDU which is likely required to recover the PDU. When you issue this command, type factory_reset_confirm to confirm and carry out the factory reset action. 
 
b. If your Rack PDU has BootMonitor version 1.0.1 or 1.0.2, it can be updated to version 1.0.8 through this interface in order to support the factory_reset command. To proceed with this, make sure your terminal program supports XMODEM protocol.
  • Obtain the apc_hw05_bootmon_108.bin file from the v6.1.0 firmware release after extracting the .exe and files inside. The download link is above. 
 
  • Type XMODEM at the BM> prompt. The Rack PDU will start showing CCCCCC indicating it is waiting for a file transfer.
 
  • Go to your terminal program's menu to send a file, making sure to specify the XMODEM protocol (as opposed to ZMODEM or YMODEM). Browse for the apc_hw05_bootmon_108.bin file and send it to the Rack PDU.
 
  • When the transfer is complete, type sysinfo again to confirm the BootMonitor 1.0.8 is now loaded. If so, proceed with step 6a.
 
  1. Once step 6a is successfully completed, the rest of the firmware modules (AOS, rpdu2g application module) need to be loaded by one of the methods available here: How do I upgrade the firmware on an APC Network Management Card (NMC) or NMC embedded device (Rack PDU, etc)? .Your PDU will still have its AOS (APC OS) so you can use any method you wish, including continuing through BootMonitor or even USB if you'd like. If you wish to exit Bootmonitor, type the boot command at the BM> prompt or press the pinhole Reset button again. The PDU will continue booting its AOS and be accessible at 9600 baud rate.
 
  1. Once these steps have been completed, your PDU should be active again but will require re-configuration.


We sincerely regret any inconvenience this may cause you and/or your customers. Should you have any questions about this process, please contact technical support at http://www.apc.com/support/contact/index.cfm via your preferred contact method.

 
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