Procuring equipment for your home lab can be expensive—the used servers I purchase come from sources like eBay, Craigslist, and r/homelabsales. Dell is my preferred vendor for used servers because they provide access to firmware updates without needing an active support contract.
This article details my process of setting up newly acquired PowerEdge servers.
Reset the server
I reset the acquired servers to factory defaults for security purposes and to eliminate misconfigurations.
Press F10 on startup to enter the Lifecycle Controller
Select Hardware Configuration -> Repurpose or Retire System
Select all features and components.
The server will reboot, automatically enter the Lifecycle Controller, begin the cleanup, and shut down. This may take 5–10 minutes.
Once the server is shut down, power it back on. Next, the server will run an In-System Characterization and power off. Power the server back on and press F10 to enter the Lifecycle Controller.
Initial Setup Wizard
Next, you will be greeted by the Initial Setup Wizard.
Configure your Lifecycle Controller Network settings. The firmware updates use this configuration to pull from the internet.
Configure the iDRAC network settings.