The adventures of a HP client
While I normally wouldn't engage in such idle posting given my frustration today at work I figured raising a little awareness can't be a bad thing.
As such we introduce "The adventures of a HP client". Today I was working with my employers R1500 G2's and R/T 3000 UPS. All seven of these units are fitted with an AF401A HP UPS Management Module. Unfortunately one of these cards failed some time ago and decided that its MAC was to be FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF leaving me with a pretty well non functional NIC. From all other points of view the card was working fine. Today I grabbed the 2.1.11 firmware and took to the units. Broken as it seemed to be it the unit still flashed OK via serial. Here I was expecting a brick... This suggested that the corrupted fields were not actually a big deal in the BAU operation and only affected me trying to connect to the NIC.
After calling HP support I was told that no every number I had printed on the module was not the right serial number and I had no way to confirm in software as the serial number field was also full of rubbish. After accidentally hanging up (No honestly it was an accident for some reason the speaker phone function hates me looking like a nice guy) I decided to just do what I normally do in this case and go see if some one has found a fix in their own time that wouldn't involve having to deal with HP again (unless it really does turn into a brick).
This lead me to the fantastic discovery! As it turns out Stirling University ran into this problem in 2009.
In short; HP have embedded undocumented features for resetting the serial number, hardware address and hardware version. Read on for the documentation at http://www.staff.stir.ac.uk/p.g.ward/af401afirmware.html
I hope that in time this finds its way to google and can live on to help another person with my problem :)