Updating iLO Firmware on Vanilla ESXi Builds

A while back I needed to update the iLO firmware in my environment. Unfortunately, the HP VMware recipe called for a version that was newer than what was included with the latest Service Pack for Proliant (SPP). No big deal. I downloaded the online ROM flash utility and when I ran it I received the following error:

ERROR: Can not find iLO on the server.

iLO fails to install


We’re running the generic ESXi build, not the HP build, so we’re missing out on some of the offline bundles that would otherwise help us to get the job done. But don’t be discouraged, there’s another way to update your iLO firmware.

What you’ll need:

  • The latest SPP iso available from HP (active warranty/support agreement with HP is required to download)
  • 4GB USB stick
  • iLO Online ROM Flash for Red Hat 6

Build the boot-able USB key:

1.)  Download the HP USB Key Utility for Windows

2.)  If you’re running Windows 8.1 and try to install the utility, it will fail with “The software is not supported for installation on this system.”


Not a big deal, simply extract the files to a directory



3.)  Launch HPUSBKEY.EXE

4.)  Click Create a bootable USB key from CD/DVD


5.)  Select browse for ISO file and select your SPP ISO


6.)  Click Next and wait. The utility will go un-responsive for a while, but be patient!

HP USB Key Utility 1.7 - Format_Copy (Not Responding)


7.)  Once it’s complete, click Finish.
HP USB Key Utility Complete


8.)  If you haven’t already downloaded the RHEL 6 iLO online ROM flash .scexe file, do so now.

9.)  Copy .scexe file you downloaded to X:\HP\SWpackages


10.) That’s it! Place your host in maintenance mode and install the USB stick.

 Upgrade the iLO Firmware:

If you’re familiar updating your firmware with the SPP, the process is unchanged.

1.)  With your host in maintenance mode, reboot it

2.)  Perform a One Time Boot off your USB DriveKey



3.)  Select Interactive Firmware Update



4.)  The SPP should recognize the additional package



5.)  Select the new firmware to be installed


6.)  Click Deploy and reboot when finished.


That’s all there is to it! Verify the iLO has been patched when the host reboots.


Matt Bradford

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