Set custom LCD panel text on PowerEdge R710 servers

I recently bought a pair of these servers to take over VMware duties from a pair of HP ProLiant DL380 G5 servers. Having had a few bad Dell experiences years ago I had stopped buying PowerEdge machines as I considered their design to be inferior (think PE1850) but I’m pleasantly surprised by these R710 machines.

One thing I couldn’t figure out once they were racked, was how to set the custom LCD text when an iDRAC6 card is present.

In the server’s own BIOS options there is a Custom LCD field but entering text here and restarting doesn’t change the panel – it still just shows the Service Tag. Strangely, the iDRAC BIOS doesn’t offer you any control here at all, it just lists what the custom string currently is.

To make matters worse, I had accidentally got the desired result on one of the servers, but couldn’t get the second one configured. The answer lies with the buttons next to the LCD. Though you can view IP settings, temperature, power usage, etc., there is also a Setup option. With 48GB of RAM, each POST of the machine takes about 5 minutes so I had been too cautious to mess about with these options in case I undid some of my initial iDRAC config. I assumed that they would only provide a subset of the BIOS options. Wrong! You need to use the panel – even the iDRAC WebUI doesn’t seem to configure the LCD screen.

As it turns out, this is what you have to do on the front panel:

  • Push the select button (the tick or check symbol)
  • Press right and highlight Setup
  • Push the select button again
  • Scroll right until you see Set Home, and select
  • Then select Name
  • Scroll all the way right until User string, and select
  • Save: Yes

Though I don’t have any to test, I assume the PowerEdge R610 + iDRAC6 will be similar.

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6 thoughts on “Set custom LCD panel text on PowerEdge R710 servers

  1. bilbo

    I followed your instructions and now the LCD screen is blank, does it just display whatever you set in the BIOS? (Can’t check right now as this is a prod server and I can’t reboot it yet)

    Reply
  2. tiddnet

    There are two other methods that you may find useful. From the host os using omconfig or from a remote address using ipmitool.

    omconfig chassis frontpanel lcdindex=1 config=custom text=`hostname -f`

    ipmitool -U root -H DRACip delloem lcd set mode userdefined HOSTNAME

    Verify:
    ipmitool -U root -H DRACip delloem lcd info

    Reply
  3. John

    You can also change it from the OpenManage Server Administrator web GUI.

    Select Main System Chassis
    Then on the menu across the top in the right panel, select Front Panel

    Reply
  4. thomas

    I also have one of this servers ( 2x L5640 72gb ddr3 ecc ram 15k hdd 6x 300gb (RAID 5)
    But i don’t know how to configure the iDRAC enterprise can someone help me ?
    I have the server at home i know how to portforward. . . if needed
    Does i need a cable direct to the router or is it allowed with a switch? (a home switch not a switch like they have in a datacenter)

    Reply

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