How do I perform a mass firmware upgrade on APC network enabled products?


29 September 2021

How do I perform a mass firmware upgrade on APC network enabled products?
How can I upgrade firmware on multiple APC Network Management Cards at one time or in an automated fashion?

Product Line

  • Network Management Card 1 (NMC1) - AP9617, AP9618, AP9619
Devices with an embedded Network Management Card 1 include (but are not limited to): Metered/Switched Rack PDUs (AP78XX, AP79XX), Rack Automatic Transfer Switches (AP77XX, Environmental Monitoring Units (AP9320, AP9340, NetBotz 200)
  • Network Management Card 2 (NMC2) - AP9630/AP9630CH, AP9631/AP9631CH, AP9635/AP9635CH
Devices with an embedded Network Management Card 2 include (but are not limited to): 2G Metered/Switched Rack PDUs (AP86XX, AP88XX, AP89XX), Certain Audio/Video Network Management Enabled products.
  • All serial numbers
  • All firmware versions, unless otherwise noted

A user may wish to automate the process of upgrading firmware on Network Management Cards or devices with an embedded card to save time, especially with large quantities of devices.


Users can upgrade the firmware on individual Network Management Cards via a couple of different methods, specifically
  • FTP
  • SCP
  • InfraStruXure Manager (discontinued product)
  • StruxureWare DCE/InfraStruXure Central
  • Firmware Upgrade Utility (the executable is included with the firmware when downloaded)
  • USB (if available)

In some cases, a user may have multiple devices that need to be upgraded. The user can upgrade each device individually. However, this may prove to be time consuming.

Therefore, the user has two options to perform a mass upgrade of firmware.
  • The first, InfraStruXure Manager, is a discontinued item that monitors APC network-enabled devices. A feature of the InfraStruXure Manager is the ability to perform mass firmware upgrades. Please reference the User Guide for the InfraStruXure Manager to perform the mass firmware upgrade. InfraStruXure Central/StruxureWare Central/StruxureWare DCE is InfraStruXture Manager's replacement and offers this feature as well. 
  • The second, the Firmware Upgrade Utility which is included with all currently downloaded firmware for Network Management Card 1, 2 and 3
  •  devices as well as those that embed one of these model cards. You can obtain the latest firmware via the Software / Firmware Download site.

    Download the firmware to your local computer. An example of the firmware that you download will appear as “apc_hw02_aos374_rpdu374.exe”

    Once downloaded, you can run this file and it will automatically launch one of two executables, depending on which firmware you have downloaded. Certain applications have requirements for a firmware update can be applied. Please refer to the particular application's documentation to ensure a mass upgrade can be performed on the device with no other requirements. For instance, the g2ats application has important requirements outlined in Knowledge Base article FA156178 that must be followed before a standalone or mass upgrade can be done.

Network Management Card 1 devices

Once you execute the firmware file .exe, you'll be prompted to extract the files to a chosen location or directory.

Once extracted, the executable will attempt to run the upgrade. Simply close the command prompt windows that open. Locate the directory that the extracted files were saved to. In this directory, you should see a file named “iplist.txt”. Open this file in a text editor. The contents on the iplist.txt should appear similar to:

;SystemIP= (the IP address of the device you wish to upgrade)
;SystemUserName=username (the username of the device you with to upgrade)
;SystemPassword=password (the password of the device you with to upgrade)

In order to upgrade multiple devices, you must edit this text file. You will have to create login parameters for each device you wish to upgrade. (APC recommends no more than 10 devices at one time). Any lines in the iplist.txt file starting with a semicolon will be ignored. 

An example of this file with multiple devices is below. (Actual device parameters may appear differently based on user preferences):



Once you have entered the login parameters for each device, make sure to save and exit the file.

Next, locate the “upgrd_util.exe” file, also located in the same directory that you extracted the firmware files to. Double-click on the “upgrd_util.exe” file and the mass upgrade will begin. In NMC1 Upgrade Utility v1.2 or higher, a username or password longer than 11 characters will be truncated. Thus, you will need to change the password to 11 characters or less to use upgrd_util.exe. This could be modified using a mass configuration first, outlined in Knowledge Base article FA156117. Reference the picture below on how to check your NMC Upgrade tool version.

A menu should appear with the following options:

1. Use parameters in configuration file.
2. Enter parameters for single upgrade.
3. Exit firmware upgrade tool.

Choose option 1.

The firmware upgrade will now begin. The executable will attempt to upgrade all devices listed in your IP list. If any errors are found, the upgrade will continue on to the next device.

Network Management Card 2 devices

On the Network Management Card 2 executable utility that automatically launches after files are extracted (FW_Upgrade_R2.exe), click Device List which will open iplist.txt in your default text editor.

Alternatively, locate the directory that the extracted files were saved to and in this directory, open the file named iplist.txt manually in a text editor. The contents on the iplist.txt should appear similar to:

; Copy, paste, and modify one entry for each device in your network.
; Lines with leading semicolons (;) are considered comments.
; Note: Order and spacing are important and need to be the same as the example. The below portion is in v2.20 Firmware Upgrade Utility or higher only (this actual text instruction, IPv6 support, and downgrade support). Check the previous screenshot to compare your program title bar and see if it says v2.20 or higher. If it only says Firmware Upgrade Utility, it is older.

; SystemIP is the IPv4 or IPv6 address of the device
; SystemUserName is the name of an enabled Administrator or higher account on the NMC
; SystemPassword is the password of an enabled Administrator or higher account on the NMC
; AllowDowngrade can be 0 for disabled (do not allow) or 1 for enabled (allow) for firmware downgrades

; SystemIP=
; SystemUserName=apc
; SystemPassword=apc
; AllowDowngrade=0

; SystemIP=
; SystemUserName=apc
; SystemPassword=apc
; AllowDowngrade=1

Once you have entered the configuration for each device, make sure to save and exit the file. (APC recommends no more than 10 devices at one time). On the Network Management Card 2 executable, select the Upgrade from Device List checkbox and click Upgrade Now to begin the upgrade. See below.

Once the upgrade is complete, you will be required to close the executable/command prompt window.

If you have any questions on this process or experience trouble, please contact APC Technical Support. Before calling, please have the following information available:
  • Firmware that you downloaded.
  • Which method are you using?
  • Device model and serial number that you are attempting to upgrade
  • What type of error do you receive when attempting to upgrade?
  • How many devices are you attempting to upgrade?