How to patch and update a Dell Server running VMware ESX 3.5

In this post, we’re going to run through patching/upgrading the firmware on a Dell PowerEdge 1950 III Server running VMware ESX 3.5.

The procedure should also apply to most recent Dell Servers running ESX 3.5, but your mileage may vary 🙂

Get your hands on the Software Update Utility DVD ISO and Burn it.

In terms of time, this is pretty much half the job, believe it or not. You’ll need to goto, find your Dell Server, and get the Dell Updates DVD ISO. For the PowerVault 1950 III, go here and then look under Systems Management for “Dell – DVD iso Images” “applies to: DVD ISO – Dell Server Updates”.

Patching the Dell Server


  1. Be sure to VMotion off any Guest OSs that you need to keep running. Shut down everything else, and then put the target server into Maintenance Mode.
  2. Insert the Updates DVD into the Server
  3. Bring up a command prompt, as root, on the Server and run the following to mount the CD-ROM: mount /mnt/cdrom
  4. Now navigate to the CD-ROM: cd /mnt/cdrom
  5. Check what’s upgradeable on your system: sh suu -c
  6. If you’re happy, then run the upgrade: sh suu -u
  7. That’s it, you’re done 🙂

By Phil Wiffen

Phil is an IT Professional working in Cambridge, England. He generally blogs about useful solutions that he comes across in his work/play.

9 replies on “How to patch and update a Dell Server running VMware ESX 3.5”

Oh fuck, I search so long for this today. Your solution is so easy and it work’s! Thanks you!

Ah well…thought this was my saviour, but the client purchased a CD-ROM drive and not a DVD drive. Oh well…thanks anyway

ESXi 3.5.0 build 110271 – SUU needs ESXi 3.5 update 5 on PE2950 before running. IS Update 5 a consolidated upgrade or does ESX have to go through Update 1, 2 etc as well?

Chris, I’m not experienced with ESXi 3.5 (only used ESXi in 4.0 flavour), but when I used ESX 3.5, you could just download the whole CD and upgrade via CD. Maybe the same applied to ESXi?

You should also be able to use VMware’s Host Update Utility to manage the ESXi upgrade, if you have it.

Just run this on ESX4 update1 by uploading the downloaded ISO to shared storage (iscsi) and mounting it on each host from there, means we can do all the updates remotely

Just wanted to thank you for this post. I have managed to update an PE M600 blade server which was giving me problems to update the network card firmware when booting from the Systems Management Tools and Documentation and inserting the SUU DVD..actually both mounted from iDRAC.

thanks again.

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