Tag Archives: PowerEdge

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 seeĀ 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.