How to install via the USB Drive

When installing software on a new machine, or even slipping the License Internal Code, you can now do this via the USB.  I will show you how to download IBM i 7.4 LIC, but you can do this for 7.2, 7.3, or 7.4. My screenshots show 7.4, and the only difference would be the USB I_BASE_01 code for each release.  For POWER7, POWER7+, POWER8, and POWER9 systems tag the USB adapter as the alternate restart adapter using an HMC.  For POWER9 systems not managed by an HMC the USB system ports are in the default search sequence for a D-mode IPL, so it is not necessary to tag the USB adapter.

In order to do this, you need to do the following:

From the ESS website you need to sign in and download the software.  You will select the version of the operating system that you want.  I selected IBM i as below along with the version that I wanted and then go to the bottom of the screen and hit continue.

On the next screen hit continue again, where we will open up the details by clicking on the link details next to 5770-SS1.  We are going to select a different I_BASE_01 than you would if you were using this for an image catalog or burning it to a DVD.

Now you will the lots of packages links, scroll down until you find 5974: 7.4 USB Lic Mach Flsh Img v07.04.00, ENU, ESD.  Once you click on link packages it will open up and you select the ones on the screenshot below, followed by the continue box at the bottom of the page.

Accept the agreements, and click on the download now button.

Once downloaded, extract the zip files.

Plug a USB 3.0 flash drive into a USB port on a PC that is running Windows 7, Windows 10,  or Mac OS 10.11 or newer,  and has Java version 8 or greater installed. Click on the USBUtility- file, which will launch the java executable.  You will be presented with the options box.  Choose the LIC Image you just downloaded to your PC, and the USB device.  On the USB device, even if you format it, it doesn’t show the volume name, so with multiple USB drives, insure that you have the correct one.  Once ready, press the Create Media button.  It will change the name of the volume when it is complete.

It will take a few minutes, but the progress bar will move.

This will take a few minutes to complete, and when it is done, the name of the USB volume will be called I_BASE_USB and it will look like this.

Now, insert the USB into the front USB port of your POWER9, and you will find that it will create a new RMS device, another Optical volume which will be associated, and then the message I_BASE_USB added to optical volume.  You can verify this with a DSPMSG QSYSOPR.

When you do a WRKOPTVOL, you will notice that the Volume Type is *CONTAINER.   If you aren’t familiar with the Volume Type of *CONTAINERS, a container volume can hold one or more optical image catalogs. If you enter WRKOPTVOL, you will see a screen that looks like this:

I then installed the License Internal Code from the USB.  I did notice that it was a little slower than tape or a virtual optical device, but it worked fine.  In fact, other than the speed there is no other difference.  You can load the other Groupx_0x DVDs onto the same USB stick, in fact, you can even put the PTF images on there as well.

2 thoughts on “How to install via the USB Drive”

  1. Hi Pete,
    This is great – thank you. If I recall correctly, booting via USB was not supported on POWER 7/7+ boxes.

    Did this change?

  2. Pete I would like to know if you can install RDI from USB, this is my situation I want to buy RDI for a single user which is me, the company that I work for as a consultant do not want to pay for the tool so I’m planning to buy it and install it on their laptop which I could have the permission for, but once I leave the company I will uninstall it since the license is mine no the company.

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