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APC UPS SMX1500 firmware update failure - and fixed

Discussion in Smart-UPS & Symmetra LX / RM started by Colin , 10 days ago
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  • colinbutcher
    Colin
    Apprentice Apprentice
    Colin 10 days ago

    Hello,

    This is posted in the hope that it helps other people with resolving firmware update failures that can otherwise leave the UPS "bricked".

    I have a SMX1500RMI2UNC (SMX1500 240v, with network card at f/w 6.5.0), ID=20, UPS was at f/w 9.9, now at f/w 10.1.

    Attempting to update from 9.9. to 10.1 through the NMC failed. The UPS was left in a "restart cycle", with LED1 off, LED2 yellow, LED3 blinking red and LED4 permanently red and the message "firmware update in progress"  on the front panel display. Previous updates have worked as intended via the NMC.

    Event log messages during the update attempt and failure were as follows (bottom up, most recent at top):

    02/09/2018 14:02:39 Device UPS: Lost the local network management interface-to-UPS communication. 0x0102

    02/09/2018 14:02:19 System File 'SMT20UPS_10-1.enc' transfer failed. 0x000F

    02/09/2018 14:02:19 Device UPS: Firmware transfer to UPS failed 0x0178

    02/09/2018 14:02:19 Device UPS: Finished UPS firmware transfer  [Xmodem Cancel] 0x0177

    02/09/2018 13:58:21 Device UPS: Transferring firmware to UPS. 0x0176

    02/09/2018 13:57:48 Device UPS: The output power is turned off. 0x0114

    02/09/2018 13:57:48 Device UPS: The graceful shutdown period has ended. 0x014F

    02/09/2018 13:57:47 Device UPS: The power for switched outlet group 3, OG3-C14x4-desk, is now turned off. 0x0135

    02/09/2018 13:57:47 Device UPS: The power for switched outlet group 2, OG2-C14x2-ds10, is now turned off. 0x0135

    02/09/2018 13:57:47 Device UPS: The power for switched outlet group 1, OG1-C14x2-xw8600, is now turned off. 0x0135

    From these messages, it appears that the NMC loads the firmware into the UPS with the xmodem file transfer protocol. The failure appears to be when the NMC transfers the firmware file internally to the UPS using xmodem over the internal serial interface between the NMC and the UPS.

    The UPS was left in an unresponsive state. To reset the UPS, disconnect the batteries, disconnect the mains input, remove the NMC and leave the UPS for several minutes. It can also be useful to hold down the power button for 10 to 15 seconds to drain the capacitors etc.

    On powering up the UPS, attempting to connect with a USB2 cable was unsuccessful. The firmware update wizard could find the UPS, but could not communicate with it.

    Connection through the serial port using a terminal emulator was successful. Port settings are 9600 baud, 8bit, 1 stop bit, no parity, xon/xoff flow control.

    On power-up the UPS output was as follows, in a repetitive loop with a beep every restart of the download manager:

    APC(R)2011 Download Manager

    Version 07.05 - 0014

    CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

    Error XModem retry count exceeded

     

    APC(R)2011 Download Manager

    Version 07.05 - 0014

    CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

    Error XModem retry count exceeded

     

    APC(R)2011 Download Manager

    Version 07.05 - 0014

    CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

    Error XModem retry count exceeded.

    At this point, the UPS is "bricked", unless firmware can be loaded using the download manager as a "failsafe firmware loader" mechanism, which requires using the xmodem file transfer protocol over the serial connection.

    I used xmodem (included with extraputty, based on the putty terminal emulator) to transfer the firmware file (10.1) to the UPS. This was successful. While the transfer is in progress, the LEDs flash alternately green (led1) and red (led3).

    When the transfer completed, the UPS screen went blank with a beep and the UPS turned off.

    On power up, the UPS worked, passed the self test and showed 10.1 as the firmware version.

    After re-installing the network card, the UPS is back and working, without having lost its configuration data (the UPS specific configuration elements and the network card configuration elements).

     

    The conclusion is that the firmware update process from 9.9 to 10.1 has a fault under some as yet unknown set of circumstances, which can cause it to fail and leave the UPS in an unserviceable state, until the firmware is reloaded through the serial port with xmodem.

    Cheers, Colin.

  • voidstar
    voidstar
    Expert Expert
    voidstar 9 days ago (in response to Colin)

    Nice! Depending on UPS, you can often re-attempt the transfer via the NMC. Doesn't look like that was the case with yours but luckily you're handy with RS232.

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