Remote Enabling BIOS Features Using OpenManage

If you're like me, you'll sometimes forget to tweak one area of the BIOS or another on a server once you've racked it and are ready to install applications. This can also happen if you are repurposing servers after a P-V migration, or upgrading applications.  (I have a tendency to forget VT-X enablement, myself) Now, this can mean either a trip back to the datacenter, or into the server room, which, depending on where that is located, could be quite the hike. If you have a truly remote datacenter - you may be stuck for a while.

Luckily, with Dell hardware, there's a way to do this without leaving the comfort of your desk chair. I use the Dell OpenManage software to keep tabs on most the PowerEdge hardware I look after. If you're lucky enough to have this problem on a Dell server, there's a command line bios tool that you can use to edit things that take effect on reboot.

First, ensure that you have OpenManage installed - I generally download and install from Dell directly: v7.2.0 is the latest

Once OpenManage is installed, navigate to the following directory:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Dell\SysMgt\oma\bin

omconfig.exe is your savior.  Using this program, you can set most BIOS options from within your OS.  For BIOS settings, you can get all your options via the following:

omconfig chassis biossetup /?

This will list all your settable attributes.

The one I'm looking for right now, is :

attribute=cpuvt          setting=<disabled|enabled>

Now that you know what you're looking for - it's easy to script! in my case of forgetting VT-x, all I needed was the following:

omconfig.exe chassis biossetup attribute=cpuvt setting=enabled

Reboot, and just like that I have a hypervisor-capable processor.

This site is a the personal space of Nick Couraud. While I touch on both personal and work related issues, everything here is my own opinion, and not necessarily reflective of my employer's views. Don't hold it against them.