At first I thought this was a fluke, but I've now built well over 50 of these servers and I can't seem to find a solution. We are deploying HP DL360 G7's. Before you used to be able to hit F8 during boot up to enter into a ROM based setup utility for iLO. However now it simply shows a mention of iLO during POST, but you don't get a chance to press F8. Even if you spam the F8 key, you'll see the briefest flash of the "Press F8 to Configure" message which almost immediately disappears. It then continues on through POST. Has anyone else had this issue? Is there any way to resolve it? I have 17 servers I need to build today and the online config tool isn't an option (in an isolated build environment). Any help would be very much appreciated, thank you.

  • 1
    Are they new or used?
    – Chris S
    May 24, 2012 at 17:29
  • Did this solve your issue?
    – ewwhite
    May 24, 2012 at 20:26
  • They are brand new, some preconfiguration done by HP.
    – Matthew
    May 24, 2012 at 20:47
  • 1
    So @Matthew isn't crazy. I was bit by the same bug.
    – ewwhite
    Dec 24, 2012 at 15:52

3 Answers 3


The key to entering the ILO BIOS setup utility on current-firmware G6 or G7 ProLiants is to follow the prompts very carefully and get the timing just right...

Note: You can also configure the ILO directly from the HP SmartStart DVD included with the system. Also, there's a way to script the ILO and BIOS configs in a pre-boot environment (see: conrep). This may be helpful given the number of systems you have to build.

I'm running this step-through on an HP ProLiant DL360 G7 server to show you the critical points to make your keyboard selections.

1:08 - Black screen to first display
0:41 - Temperature and sensor registration (Press any alpha-key when prompted)
0:04 - SATA DVD initialization
0:10 - Time before ILO3 prompt (Press `F8` for ILO3 configuration)

The "Sea of Sensors" POST routine takes roughly 1:50 from the first screen prompt (on a warm-boot) to step through RAM checks and to register the sensors. After the ambient temperature display, you will receive a prompt to "Press any key to view Option ROM messages" - Press any alpha-key on the keyboard at this point. enter image description here

From that point, you'll have < 0:14 to the point where the ILO3 configuration prompt surfaces. Press F8 as soon as you see the message. You have a 2-second window to do so. enter image description here

Here, you can make your ILO changes and save them. The system will continue booting once you exit the BIOS utility. enter image description here


One more item if you're really having a problem getting the prompt. You can set the ILO Security DIP switch on the server's motherboard. Are these systems completely new, or was some configuration applied by another party?

Identify the system maintenance switch (#2 in the diagram below) and flip the switch in position #1 to ON. Reboot and follow the same sequence in the diagrams above, but you'll get a prompt to get into the ILO config at the right time.

enter image description here

  • 4
    I'm tempted to switch to HP just because their POST screens are so pretty... Dell - take note! May 24, 2012 at 2:17
  • 1
    Ironically we switch that graphic POST off during BIOS setup as a 'yeah we configured BIOS on that one' mark.
    – Chopper3
    May 24, 2012 at 10:57
  • Oh, so you don't script the BIOS settings either?
    – ewwhite
    May 24, 2012 at 11:17
  • My issue is that there is no press F8 to configure prompt. It comes up for around 1ms, and then disappears. You literally do not have a chance to hit the F8 key. I agree in most cases you'd have a few seconds to hit F8, but the latest firmwares don't seem to allow you to do that.
    – Matthew
    May 24, 2012 at 16:34
  • Which firmware revision are you on? Is there an ethernet cable in the ILO? Have you made any general BIOS changes? See if the Display ILO IP on POST option is enabled in the BIOS.
    – ewwhite
    May 24, 2012 at 16:36

For some reason the only way I was able to get it was, when seeing the "press any key for bios messages", I hit F8. Then the screen flashed and began showing BIOS messages. As soon as it began showing iLO configuration info, it brought me into the iLO configuration menu. Weird. It may just be the way they're preconfigured when they hit our company.

  • 2
    I think I've just encountered the same issue on a stubborn ProLiant DL360 G7. Pressing F8 at the "Press any key" prompt worked.
    – ewwhite
    Dec 24, 2012 at 15:40

For the benefit of future searchers with this issue: on a DL360 G6 I found that changing the BIOS option under:

Advanced Options -> Hide Option ROM Messages

from its default of "Enabled" to "Disabled" gives me more time to hit the magical F8 key. It also lets me know when that test-of-patience window is starting, too. Disable hide = show? They could have made this clearer...

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