IBMi.org – Bart's blog

IBM i and PowerVM features and tools

HMC 8.8.2 and SP1 installation

I would like to bring to attention installation order of fixes for the HMC firmware 8.8.2. If you  install the fixes in incorrect order, you might loose the RMC connection to all AIX/VIOS hosts.

Last week, I’ve finally decided to migrate the most critical HMC set to the latest firmware together with all required fixes. The upgrade went straight forward. Everything looked good, until I had to perform an emergency LPM, and it didn’t work due to the missing RMC connectivity. Of course, I’ve started the regular RMC recovery, but it didn’t help. Moreover, I’ve noticed that I was missing the RMC to all AIX’s and VIOS’s. At this point I realized that something is seriously wrong.

I tried the HMC command lspartition -dlpar to verify the status. Apparently this command didn’t work, and return the following error:

Can’t start local session rc=2!

I’m lucky that I have a friend in Austin labs, she told me that this is a known issue, and I have to rebuild the RMC DB. To do so, the pesh password is required, because you need the root access (you can get it from IBM support). The process how to log in with the pesh password you can find here.

Once, you are logged in as root, you need to run following commands:

/usr/sbin/rsct/install/bin/recfgct
/usr/sbin/rsct/bin/rmcctrl -p

This will rebuild the RMC DB within next minutes. And the command lspartition -dlpar returns feasible results. You should have the RMC working again.

Now, why it happened. Before you install SP1 for 8.8.2 (MH01455) , you have to install mandatory efix (MH01454). If you run installation of the SP1 without the efix, most likely the RMC DB will be corrupted.

In my opinion this is odd, because I would expect that the service pack contains all previous fixes. The other thing is that IBM probably realized this issue recently, because I downloaded the service pack few months ago, and it had different description than today.

This package represents a service pack image that can be used to update
your HMC from HMC V8R8.2.0 to HMC V8R8.2.0 Service Pack 1. You can also
reference this package by PTF MH01455 and APAR MB03837 .  This image can
be installed on top of HMC Version 8 Release 8.2.0 Recovery installation
(MH01453) with or without additional PTFs installed.

While today, this text looks as following:

This package represents a service pack image that can be used to update your HMC from HMC V8R8.2.0 to HMC V8R8.2.0 Service Pack 1. You can also reference this package by PTF MH01455 and APAR MB03837.  This image must be installed on top of HMC Version 8 Release 8.2.0 Recovery installation (MH01453) with mandatory PTF MH01454 installed with or without additional PTFs installed.

Have you found the difference? ” …with mandatory PTF MH01454 ” 🙂

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