It is possible to run the IBM X330 server without the C2T cable for keyboard, video and mouse. The X330 supports a PCI video card and it also supports USB keyboard & mouse. Installing a PCI video card is easy enough, the main problem is that legacy USB is disabled by default and without it the USB keyboard won't work. It can be enabled in the BIOS but that entails using the keyboard, which creates a bit of a catch-22. There is a work-around, that is to use the remote console option that the X330 provides through the RS232 serial port to change the BIOS settings. That enables console redirection to a terminal & one can set up the BIOS from that.

A null modem cable is required to connect the X330 to another PC running a terminal program such as Hyperterminal for Windows. Plug the cable into ComA (com1) of the X330. Set up the terminal software for a baud rate of 9600 (or 57,600), no parity, 1 stop bit and no flow control. Start the terminal software and turn the server power on, press Esc on the terminal to bring up the login screen. Log in as USERID and enter PASSW0RD for the password (all upper case, passw0rd with a zero). From the menu that appears select option Z - Start Remote Video. The line “0 - Write or 2 - Read” should appear then, press 0 (zero) to send the command to the service processor on the server & the console redirection should start. From there it's straightforward, when you power up the server the console will show the X330s boot routine on the terminal just like one sees it normally…..just a bit slow & jerky. Press F1 when the prompt comes up to get into the X330 BIOS and navigate the menus to the option that enables legacy USB. Save your changes, reboot when finished & you should have the USB keyboard working.

On the terminal you can Press Ctrl-R + Ctrl-E + Ctrl-T to redisplay the menu from console redirection mode. Esc returns to the main menu from any sub-menu. The server doesn't have to be running to bring up the terminal session, just needs power applied to it. You do of course need to start the server to get anything coming up on the console once console redirection is enabled. If the USERID and PASSW0RD are rejected you're in trouble, because that's the default login & someone would have changed them if they don't work. Double-check your typing & be sure you're using upper case, if it doesn't work then you need to borrow a C2T cable or read the manual for a way of clearing the NVRAM via jumper on the mainboard. If you get garbage on the screen with the terminal try a baud rate of 57,600. When setting up the BIOS it pays to disable boot error counting as well as that resets the BIOS back to defaults if it detects three interrupted boots in a row. (will lose your USB again if it does that).