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Random reboot, not blaster, rpc, or auto reboot on crash of explorer

Posted on 2003-10-29
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Last Modified: 2007-12-19
I have a Dell poweredge 2600 running Windows server 2000 sp4, it randomly reboots itself.  I have bios A09, its equipted with a tape drive, three hard drives running raid 5.  It did this out of the box, with sp3 and then after I installed sp4, it still continued.  None of the answers to other peoples questions seemed to work for me.  Any help it much appreciated.
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Question by:mjschiff_redwards
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by:Luc Franken
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First, do you get a blue screen?
If so, can you please give us the error code, it should look like "STOP 0x00000etcetera"

If you don't get one, can you please do this so next time maybe you will get a blue screen:

Rightclick "My computer" => choose "properties" => choose "Advanced" => choose "Startup and Recovery" => uncheck "Automatically reboot" => choose ok.

Next time your computer crashes it should give a blue screen, also post the error code.

LucF
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Luc Franken earned 250 total points
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btw, you said " It did this out of the box" so why didn't you return it for warranty? Or let someone from Dell come and visit you? This problem can have a lot of causes: bad memmory, bad drivers, bad processor, bad motherboard, bad powersupply etc. etc.

LucF

p.s. you should still try to look up the error code.
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by:K_2K
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Call Dell.  They want you happy and have good support.  If this is an "out of the box" problem they will do whatever they can to make it right.


Does it show any sign of trying to shut down before reboot?  

If the whole screen goes black and the first thing you see is BIOS versions and the Power On Self Test routines, this could be a heat or power issue.
If not, skip the rest of this and tell us what you see.
Check to make sure the fans are pushing air, all case holes an inch or more from nearest wall, or properly rack mounted, CPU fan and heatsinks properly mounted and turning, box NOT laying down on carpet, etc.

If one of those is not causing heat problems it could be a bad power supply from the factory.  It does happen sometimes, that it can run long enough to pass burn-in tests, yet fail in the first month.  That's what 90 day warrantees are for, and with Dell I think you can't get less than a year.

Good Luck,
2K
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by:helpnet
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As LucF says, we need to establish if it is a software, or hardware problem.  If it is a hardware problem, Dell should assist with the solution, if they think it could be a software issue it may be difficult getting them to assist.  Changing the Startup and Recovery setting as suggested by LucF is the main way to test this, and the subsequent stop message is what is usually the most useful starting point.

Most Dell servers have some diagnostic leds to help pick up on hardware problems (usually orange instead of green and sometimes flashing).  Look at all LEDs and report any orange or flashing LEDs to DELL. The DELL's diagnostic LEDs can indicate a power supply, fan, motherboard problems and some other issues.

Is the server on a UPS?  Does the UPS have software that can generate a log of supply voltage fluctuations.  If so, check it closely, if not I would consider getting a different UPS (EG an APC SmartUPS) and install the monitoring software.  Are the other devices sharing the power supply that are getting affected?  

I know you say the reboots are random, but I would still also establish how often and when the server is rebooting to establish if there is any pattern to it.  The System event log will indicate a reboot by a message that states the last shutdown was unexpected.  Patterns may indicate power supply issues, or may link to a scheduled task or pattern of usage which often points to a software issue (eg common software issues leading to a reboot can be:  virus scanning or access to a particular file or folder; backups or restores; printing using a particular print or device driver).  Common Hardware issues causing random reboot are frequently power related (external power  or faulty internal power supply), RAM related or linked overheating.  

Ensure you have a UPS, it really is useful, and without it , it could be difficult getting DELL to assist.  Failing this place another box on the same powersupply and check it for random reboots that correspond to the reboots on the server.  Also, ask DELL for steps to help exclude a software issue.

Regards

Anne

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by:helpnet
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Just a couple more questions:  Is it rebooting every day, several times a day?  Is it usually rebooting duing work hours or outside work hours?

I gather you are using hardware RAID.  Have you checked installed and checked the RAID monitoring software, and checked the system and application logs for RAID driver/HDD related errors?
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by:helpnet
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PS, it could even be a faulty UPS...
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by:Luc Franken
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helpnet,
why not wait until mjschiff_redwards responds and tries to return it for warranty?
No offence...

LucF
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by:helpnet
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LucF

From past experience, DELL usually wants you to demonstrate that you have tried at least several steps to exclude a software issue, and I have had cases in areas of dodgy utility power supply (eg a highly industrial area), that they will not come out if the server is not on a UPS.

Anne
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by:Luc Franken
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Ok anne, I get your point, i've never had any experience with DELLs helpdesk (thank god!) so I didn't know that they asked this kind of questions...

LucF
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by:mjschiff_redwards
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I have contacted Dell because we diagosed it as a hardware issue.  Yes the LED's on the front were orange when it was unheathly, but ithas also rebooted when they were blue, the only problem with dell is the time expended waiting for them to respond.  Within two hours of the first posting, I've received all of your response, so I should check with you guys,(and girls) while waiting for Dell to see if anything new gets said.  No UPS being used right now, this is our new server and we haven't switched over yet.  Also in response to your other questions, the raid software hasn't shown any signs of fault.
The System event log will indicate a reboot by a message that states the last shutdown was unexpected<----this is what I see, but the shutdowns are completly random, the event log is almost identical everyday because we are not using this server yet, so not many services are being used.  Also, when it reboots, I get no message from windows, it simply switches to the dell startup screen.  Reboot automatically is turned off, and we have never seen a blue screen of death. Whoooo, that was a long paragraph.  
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by:Kubrik
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A feature of your dell server:

-- "Automatic Server Recovery will reboot and restart the server if the OS hangs without user intervention"

Try to see Windows 2000 services somthing like "Agent Server" or "Server Agent" and try to stop it and put in "Manual" or "Disable" start mode.

Then you can wait and if OS hangs you can see, perhaps, what happens.

I had the same problem on a IBM server with the same feature and service, after i disabled the service, server never will shutdown, and everything seems work with no problem.
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by:K_2K
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My bad, we have a couple guys that do the hardware swapping one-to-one before calling, so they ask the questions, we tell them the unit that moved the problem from server a to server b,  45 minutes later a driver pulls up with a part, and appologizes for the wait.  

We've only needed this for two servers, the first time was under 30 minutes and we did not get the appology.

Many other manufacturers I considder very good at support do not treat us this well.

Good Luck,
2K
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by:mjschiff_redwards
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How can you test for an overheating CPU? or other overheating issues without having to wait for them to happen?
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by:Luc Franken
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You can download a program like AIDA32 => http://www.aida32.hu and look at the temperatures and the fan speeds.
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by:mjschiff_redwards
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Problem solved by Dell, New CPU, VRM, and fans. Thanks to all.
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by:Luc Franken
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Glad to help, but....

.... shouldn't this be at least a "B" grade answer, look at my second post:
=> btw, you said " It did this out of the box" so why didn't you return it for warranty? Or let someone from Dell come and visit you? <=

LucF
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by:mjschiff_redwards
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i haven't awarded anything until the problem is completly solved.
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by:Luc Franken
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hmmz, sorry for that then, but you said:
"Problem solved by Dell"

Can you please tell us what other problems you have then?

LucF
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by:mjschiff_redwards
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no ****ing grade grubbing, jesus what do think this is, seventh grade.
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by:Luc Franken
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Cool down... I'm only here to help, I just misunderstood you. Sorry about that.

anyway, glad your problem got solved.

LucF
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by:mjschiff_redwards
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FIrst of all the problem was solved by Dell only because I had diagnosed the problem, pre-posting on this website,that the CPU overheating issue ( the ****ing event log states **** like that, as well as the blinking orange lights on the front), the only thing that I was looking for a software or hardware issue that you people might be able to point out, that was UNIQUE from what we were coming up with or unique from the millions of other postings listed on this, and other websites.  I appericiate all of your help but stop the shanagans.  Happy Halloween.
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by:mjschiff_redwards
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Thanks again to Lucf on two accounts now, the server problems as well as the hard drive selection.
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by:Luc Franken
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Happy Halloween 2 U 2, I have to say we don't do Halloween here, but you should have a good time.

LucF
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by:mjschiff_redwards
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thanks
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by:Luc Franken
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yw
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