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Dell SUU 6.3 Tutorial (System Build and Update Utility)

Last Updated: 7/23/10

Dell changed the SUU from version 6.2 to version 6.3. There is no longer a repository of updates included with the DVD. This kind of makes sense, since any updates included with the DVD (ISO) would be out dated quickly. However, the process of providing a repository that the DVD understands is not documented well and is very difficult. Here are some text instructions, hopefully pictures will follow:

1. Download Dell SUU 6.3 ISO image and burn to DVD. Then save DVD for later steps.

2. Download Dell Repository Manager from Put in the model of your PowerEdge server (I used R710) and find the download under the "Systems Management" section.

How here are some random notes on how to use the very unfriendly Repository Manager. Hopefully pictures will follow to make things more clear.

2a. Select as your repository. Use the filters on the left to select what you want. I chose:
- Urgent and recommended updates
- Firmware and BIOS
- Most Recent updates only
- R710 for my platform

2b. Now, for me there was only two things left displayed (you should be on the bundles tab not the components tab), one bundle labeled R710 - Windows and one labeled R710 - Linux. Make sure you check the box for the LINUX bundle and not the windows one. Then click export. Now we will export the bundle as a SUU package. This option is greyed out by default, so click the blue hyperlink that installs the plugin for you. It downloads this plugin off the internet so be patient, it will take a while. After the plugin installs you can export as a directory or an ISO. Either one should be fine. I even extracted the ISO to my flash drive and it worked fine (note you cannot boot to these files from CD or flash drive, you must boot to DVD from step 1 and provide this package was asked for it!). After selecting either SUU directory or SUU ISO, click next and then finish. Now it will download all the packages from and create a nice SUU package for you. This step can be very long if your internet connection is slow. You can kind of see what it is doing by watching the files change in %temp%\repositorymanager. If you filtered things incorrectly you will see packages for other models than the one you selected and the ftp download process will take a very very long time.

3. Now boot to the DVD you created in step 1. choose all the obvious options until you get to the main home screen. Then choose firmware updates and tell it CD or USB and provide the repository you created in Step 2. When you get to the next screen it will show you the hardware that needs updates and the hardware that is already up to date. At this point you will expect a button that says "Update", expect to be disappointed! This interface is not intuative at all. When you see the hardware list of what needs updates, just click the "Homepage" button at the bottom. (Be patient, you will see a loading message for a long time)

4. Now on the SUU DVD homepage. The Firmware option should be configured, indicated by the missing "configure" link being replaced by a "view/edit" link. As long as you see "view/edit" next to the firmware section (in the middle of the page) then you can click the "apply configuration" button at the bottom.

5. After a minute or so the screen will flicker and change to an installer screen with a progress bar. Don't expect much from this interface. It is very lacking as well. It will stay at 5% the entire time until all firmware and bios updates are installed. You may hear your cpu fans go into hyperdrive, this is normal and indicates progress (better than the progress bar!). Be patient and stare at the 5% progress bar until everything is done and the machine reboots!


I wrote this article after much frustration with the error "usb key does not contain a valid server update utility repository". I used this method to update my ESXi 4.0 machines. Should work on all recent poweredge modes: 2950, R900, R710, etc....

Keywords: dell suu 6.3 6.3 systems build and update utility repository usb key invalid error bios firmware updates