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Best practices for selecting and configuring hardware

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Best practices for selecting and configuring hardware

Ensure that the BIOS supports console redirection and the SPCR table.

  • If there is no Serial Port Console Redirection (SPCR) setting, the basic input/output system (BIOS) either enables it automatically or does not support it. It is preferable to have a BIOS that supports the SPCR table. If this is not the case, you must enable and configure Emergency Management Services manually. You can do this during Setup or by using the Bootcfg.exe tools in the operating system. Configure Emergency Management Services to use the same settings as the BIOS console redirection. Be sure to make a note of the baud rate and the serial port that you set.

  • You might find it necessary to enable console redirection in the BIOS settings. COM 1 is the preferred COM port. Make a note of the baud rate and the COM port that you set. You must use this information to attach a serial cable properly to the correct port. You also must use this information to configure your terminal emulator to the correct baud rate.

  • If the SPCR table is supported by the BIOS, it can be enabled automatically when BIOS redirection is enabled. If the BIOS has a setting for SPCR or SPCR table, be sure to configure it.

  • Configure your server to reboot automatically if a Stop error occurs. This allows the server to reboot without requiring you to access !Special Administration Console (!SAC) or the power switch to reboot it manually. This provides maximum availability if a Stop error occurs.

    For more information, see Firmware console redirection.

Choose the highest baud rate that your hardware and Emergency Management Services allows.

  • This gives you the best performance.

  • This also prevents a slow text-mode Setup process.

  • For the preferred Remote Installation Services (RIS) implementation, use a redirecting BIOS that prompts you to boot from the network and a version of Startrom.com that does not redirect.

    For more information, see Configuring Serial Ports.

When using Emergency Management Services with a serial port, use a null modem cable with carrier detect.

Select service processors that support Emergency Management Services.

  • A service processor can provide additional management functionality that complements that of Emergency Management Services. This gives you a more complete remote-management solution.

  • Use an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) service processor that provides, at a minimum, reset and BIOS console redirect capabilities.

  • You must select a service processor that supports Emergency Management Services. In addition, you might find it necessary to enable the service processor so that it provides that support.

  • It might be necessary to update your firmware to enable it to support Emergency Management Services. Service processors can require their own firmware updates in addition to system firmware updates. With the proper firmware updates, your current service processors might support Emergency Management Services.

    For more information, see Service processors.

Configure your server to reboot automatically if a Stop error occurs.

  • This makes it unnecessary for you to access !SAC or the power switch to reboot the server manually. It also provides maximum availability if a Stop error occurs.

Select hardware and firmware that supports VT-UTF8.

  • If your hardware and firmware do not use the same terminal type that Emergency Management Services uses, it can be extremely difficult to send the proper command escape sequences. This is because the command escape sequences change according to whether the hardware, firmware, or Emergency Management Services is controlling the port.

  • Hardware and firmware that support VT-UTF8 or VT100+ provide the best compatibility. To prevent incompatibility, you must at least select hardware and firmware that support VT100.

  • It might be necessary to update your system and service processor firmware to enable VT-UTF8 or VT100+ output.

    For more information, see VT-UTF8, VT100+, and VT100 conventions.

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