PCI option ROM space errors in UEFI servers - IBM Systems


RETAIN tip: H21709


The IBM BladeCenter Advanced Management Module (AMM) Event log and the Integrated Management Module (IMM) chassis log on rack mount servers show the following error:

  FW/BIOS, firmware progress (Firmware Error) hang

See the following picture for the IMM System Event Log (SEL) log entry for more details:

Current - IMM system error log entry

Note: With Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) code release 1.73, or later for IBM EX5 systems and 2012 products, the message improved to this:

  Error: Error: FW/BIOS, connector (No Op ROM Space) PCI express Slot X fault

Also, for more details, see the following picture for the IMM SEL log entry:

Improved - IMM system error log entry

The slot number will be identified for the Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) device in which the Read Only Memory (ROM) could not run.

Note: The IMM code released in third quarter 2010 illuminates both the FAULT Light Emitting Diode (LED) and the BRD LED on some systems (IBM System x3850 X5 and System x3690 X5).

Turning on the BRD LED is not an expected behavior, and this behavior has been corrected in IMM version 1.28, or later levels. The unexpected LED behavior does not exist on systems using Integrated Management Module II (IMM2).

Affected configurations

The system can be any of the following IBM servers:

This tip is not software specific.

This tip is not option specific.

The system has the symptom described above.


Note that Steps 1 through 3 should solve most option ROM issues, only use Step 4 and later steps as-needed.

Best practices for resolution on UEFI systems:

  1. Firmware updates can reduce ROM size requirements, so this might be a solution. Ensure that all system and adapter firmware is at latest levels.
  2. Disable the Preboot eXecution Environment (PXE) ROM of on-board Network Interface Controllers (NICs).

    The simplest solution to some PCI Option ROM space errors is to reduce the base system ROM requirements to the minimum amount necessary. Typically, this can be accomplished by disabling the PXE (Network start) ROM capability of the on-board Ethernet.

    Note: This does not disable the device in the operating system, it disables only its capability to perform a network start.

    1. Select F1 Setup, System Settings -> Network -> PXE Configuration.
    2. Select the Media Access Control (MAC) address of the on-board NIC-1.
    3. Change the Enable PXE / PXE Mode setting to Disabled.
    4. Select Save Changes.
    5. Select the MAC address of the on-board NIC-2.
    6. Change the Enable PXE / PXE Mode setting to Disabled.
    7. Select Save Changes.
  3. Disable all Legacy Option ROMs for all devices that are not starting.
    1. Start the system and press F1 to enter the UEFI Setup menu.
    2. Select System Settings -> Devices and I/O Ports -> Enable/Disable legacy ROM execution.

    If the machine is PXE or Storage Area Network (SAN) starting, do not disable the Legacy ROMs for adapters that actually are starting a Legacy (non-Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI)) operating system on the machine.

  4. Change the ROM order.
    1. Select F1 Setup.
    2. Select System Settings -> Devices and I/O -> Set option ROM execution order.

    Ensure that the on-board LSI storage controller is first in the list before the on-board Ethernet devices.

  5. Move Fibre Channel and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) cards to a lower slot number, because they tend to require more ROM space and should initialize first to reduce the chance of the issue occurring.
  6. Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) adapters with PCI firmware spec 2.1 should be in lower slot numbers. PCIe adapters with PCI firmware spec 3.x do not need as much Option ROM space, due to design changes.
  7. If the issue still is occurring and there are Intel NICs in the machine, use the following steps:
    1. Download the Intel v15.7 firmware and driver CD (or a later version) from this location: MIGR-5087548.

      See also RETAIN tip H202974 (MIGR-5087756) "UEFI support for boot ROM for Intel-based Ethernet adapters".

    2. Create a CD from the ISO image.
    3. Find the DOS StartUtil utility in this folder:
    4. Find the UEFI StartUtil utility in this folder:
    5. Use the StartUtil with the following parameters:

      For DOS systems:

      1. Copy the StartUtil.exe onto a startable DOS floppy disk.
      2. Start the floppy disk to DOS and run this command:
          c:\> StartUtil.exe -FLASHDISABLE -ALL

      For EFI systems (if offered by the server):

      1. Copy the BOOTUTIL64.EFI utility to a Universal Serial Bus (USB) Key.
      2. Start a Full EFI Shell environment, and then run the utility from the USB key with this command:

      Note: Not all servers offer an EFI shell option (for example, IBM System x3690 X5, x3850 X5)

      For IBM BladeCenter HX5, type 7873, only:

      The IBM BladeCenter HX5, type 7873 has a new setup option called Non-system board PXE under Legacy Support menu (EnableNonPlanarPxe in Advanced Settings Utility (ASU)).

      If users do not need to use PXE start on NICs other than system board/on-board NICs, then this setting could be set to Disable to free up more space for option ROM, and reduce the chances of this error. HX5 7872 UEFI release 1.60, or later supports this setup option.

Additional information

This issue was discovered originally on Legacy (non-UEFI) systems and extensive documentation was provided to explain how to resolve the symptoms.

For more details, see the following .pdf file "IBM Support Info - Resolving 1801, 1802 Errors", which is referenced in RETAIN Tip H194252 (MIGR-5078445):

These errors are due to a permanent restriction of legacy PCI ROM space architecture.

Applicable countries and regions


Document id:  MIGR-5084743
Last modified:  2014-06-03
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