By November 25, 2010

How to Update a HighPoint RocketRaid 2220 RAID Card BIOS Without a Floppy Disk Drive

I have a home server set up at the house. It runs the latest beta of Windows Home Server, and the disk array is in a RAID 5 configuration. The RAID array is managed by my old RocketRaid 2220 card by HighPoint Technologies.

One of the things I like about the RocketRaid 2220 is that it can do Online Capacity Expansion, or OCE. OCE allows you to add additional disks to the original array to make it bigger. Without the OCE capability, you would have to build a new array, copy the information from the old array to the new, and then reclaim your old array’s disks. It’s a big problem for those of us who have to build a server on a budget and expand our capacity as needed.

So anyway, I was in the middle of an OCE job and my newest hard drive failed. The RocketRaid 2220 reported roughly 300+ bad sectors errors on the disk. I removed the bad disk and sent it back to Western Digital. I ordered a replacement disk from Amazon.com and it arrived two days later.

This put me in a weird spot. The RocketRaid 2220 was still trying to complete the OCE, but it was minus one disk. This meant it was impossible for it to truly finish. I wound up fixing this issue, but that will be the topic for another post.

The fix required me to update the BIOS on my HighPoint RocketRaid 2220. The update was originally designed to be done on a floppy disk. I haven’t owned a floppy disk since probably 2002.

Here’s how to update the BIOS on a RocketRaid 2220 with the use of a USB flash drive in case you don’t have a floppy disk.

What You’ll Need

  • A motherboard that supports booting from a USB device. Without this you’re screwed.
  • Any software that allows you to decompress a .zip archive, such as WinZip or WinRAR.
  • A USB thumb drive with at least 32MB of capacity. This should be any USB flash drive you’ve purchased within the last four years or so.
  • Download the Ultimate BIOS Boot Edition. You can download it from me, or Google for it. This contains two important utilities you’ll need:
    • The HP USB Boot Utility HP_USB_Boot_Utility.exe made by Hewlitt Packard. It doesn’t matter who made your USB drive, it will work.
    • usbdos.zip, which contains three MS-DOS operating files: command.com, IO.SYS and msdos.sys. You’ll need these to boot into DOS.
  • Download the latest RocketRaid 2220 firmware from HighPoint. As of this writing, that’s version 1.7. You can also download it from me.

Step 1: Unzip the bootbios.zip file to your hard drive.

Step 2: Unzip the usbdos.zip file to your hard drive.

The usbdos.zip file is located in the bootbios/boot_usb_stick/ directory.

Step 3: Make your USB drive bootable

Plug your USB drive into your computer. Run HP_USB_Boot_Utility.exe, located in the bootbios/boot_usb_stick/ directory.

http://gallery.drfaulken.com/d/9949-2/make-usb-drive-bootable.jpg

  1. MAKE SURE YOU SELECT THE RIGHT USB DEVICE!

    I recommend that you unplug or eject any other USB memory sticks / devices you have in your machine, including any memory cards or mobile phones that may have been mounted as a USB device. The HP utility will format your USB drive, and you will lose all of your data.

  2. Select FAT32 as your file system.
  3. Check “Create a DOS startup disk”.
  4. Select the second radio button, “using DOS system files located at:”
    Navigate to where you unzipped usbdos.zip and select the unzipped usbdos folder.
  5. Click Start. Click Yes.

Step 4: Unzip and copy the HighPoint RocketRaid 2220 files to the USB drive

Unzip the RR222x-BIOS-v1.7-102607.zip file to your hard drive. Open the RR222x-BIOS-v1.7-102607 folder and copy ALL of the files to your USB drive. In my case, I copied them to a directory named “bios.”

http://gallery.drfaulken.com/d/9952-2/usb-drive-contents.gif

Step 5: Update the RocketRaid 2220 BIOS.

  1. Put your USB drive in your file server, if you haven’t done so already.
  2. Make sure that you selected the correct boot priority in your motherboard’s BIOS so that it boots to your USB drive before your hard drive. Consult your motherboard documentation for how to do this.
  3. Start your server and boot from the USB drive.
  4. Type “cd bios” without the quotes from the DOS prompt.
  5. Type “LOAD.EXE rr222x.v17” in the DOS prompt, where rr222x.v17 is the name of the BIOS file you want to update.
  6. The BIOS updater will ask if you want to back up your old BIOS. I suggest you select “Yes.”
  7. The BIOS updater will ask if you want to update your card with the new BIOS. I suggest you select “Yes.”
  8. Hope the power doesn’t go out.

That’s it! It isn’t very difficult, but it was damn hard finding easy directions. Most of the bootable USB directions are about booting into Windows, which I didn’t need. I wound up getting these directions from a German site and using Google Translate to figure out WTF to do.

Hopefully this will help someone else out there who needs to update the BIOS on a HighPoint RocketRaid 2220 without the use of a floppy drive.

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Posted in: technology

6 Comments on "How to Update a HighPoint RocketRaid 2220 RAID Card BIOS Without a Floppy Disk Drive"

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  1. Patrick Glomski says:

    Thanks a million. These instructions were SO helpful in flashing the bios on my RocketRAID card. You’re my hero, man.

  2. Shawn Sesna says:

    JUST what I needed, thank you very much!

  3. Pat says:

    Thanks! This worked great on my 2760a.

  4. Matthew Nitti says:

    Thanks much for this guide, really helped me updating my RocketRaid 3530 BIOS.

  5. Highflow says:

    Many thanks for this tutorial !

    its just creepy Highpoint still stuck with old fasion floppy drive method to flash a bios.

    i fix a usb stick to flash the 2740 , hope that wll sucseed

    will message soon about it .

    Floppy is a no-go today , its so weird why Highpoint didnt fix a proper tool to flash just in msdos, or with livetools like some brands use for mainboards.

  6. Highflow says:

    I sucsesfully updated the bios for the Highpoint 2740 now using this tutorial , it did went all fine,
    i had to hit F8 while bootup and the bootmenu appeared to choose the usb as bootmedia and it started from usb in dos mode with a nice C:/

    next i entered the commands cd bios , load.exe rr2740D.v11 and the bios update program started and could backup the bios first before flash the new one.
    very handy this to always be able to flash back if something went wrong.
    no errors at all and it seems everything went fine
    one question after ; how can i checkout if it really use the new bios ?
    i didnt see any information in the Highpoint webgui op this 2740 card of what bios it use.
    But i guess we need to trust the update tool that it really was updated ? =)