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Dell Poweredge 2600 is loosing Network connectivity, mouse and keyboard function

I have a very odd problem and its getting to be a pain and possiblity a big problem down the road.  For no reason the server which runs windows 2000 server with the latest service pack, exchange 2003 server will lose netowrk connectivity, and the keyboard and mouse function will not exist either.  the only way to get it back is to reboot the server.  this problem happens randomly.  maybe once every 3 days or it might happen 6 months from now.  There are no events logged and i ran diags on the network card.  I even bought a new switch and it still happens.  Does anyone have any clue of whats happening with this system.  I was thinking of upgrading the bios but I dont know if that would make things worse or even help the situation.  Please advise.
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Matt Pessolano
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Matt Pessolano
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1 Solution
 
rindiCommented:
I'd test the server's hardware. memtest86+ which is on the UBCD is a good way to start. This CD also contains many other Tools You can use for diagnostics. Plan for enough downtime!

Also open the box up and clean out all the dust, make sure all the fans are running properly, check the heatsink is attached firmly, if necessary remove it from the CPU, thoroughly clean both surfaces and add a very small amount of thermal transfer paste.

http://ultimatebootcd.com
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Matt PessolanoAuthor Commented:
would updating the bios do anything?  would it help?
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xcromxCommented:
Yeah I would flash your bios and see if that helps...Sounds like a hardware issue with the MB..
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rindiCommented:
I wouldn't try updating the bios before you are sure the hardware is OK, otherwise you could make the pc non-functional!
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Matt PessolanoAuthor Commented:
ok.
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Matt PessolanoAuthor Commented:
this is what the dell rep emailed me with..let me know what youthink about what he suggested

 just wanted to follow-up with your case. I would recommend updating the system's firmware and drivers as a next step to isolating this network connectivity and keyboard/mouse issue's source. You can download all the latest updates from the Dell website that I have linked below. I would also recommend updating the network card drivers and run a consistency check with Array Manager to verify that the array is in optimal condition.

http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/devices.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=gen&SystemID=PWE_FOS_XEO_2600&os=WNET&osl=EN 

Please follow the steps below to properly update your system, making sure not to skip more than 1 revision. Example: If your system is at A10 System Bios version, you will need to run the A12 update then the A14 update. Earlier versions can be found by locating the most current version and selecting the Other Versions link beneath the Download Now link.

Steps in updating the system:

Do all BIOS updates to the latest version.
ESM/BMC updates.
Update the controller drivers using either device manager or the update package then update the controller firmware with the update package or reboot having the firmware already on disk and ready for updating.
Update the controller firmware.
Uninstall any existing Open Manage applications then install the latest version of Server Administrator with Storage Manager.
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rindiCommented:
Do that once you have testet the
RAM and made sure the server is cool enough like I explained in my first post. If a BIOS upgrade doesn't work the server will be left unbootable
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Matt PessolanoAuthor Commented:
thanks for the info.  I download those tools.  Can I ask you one more questions because you seem to know what you are talking about.  Can you give me some reasons why Motherboards just go bad one day?
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rindiCommented:
At the moment I'm not suspecting the motherboard, but the RAM modules. Ram is often a problem, I don't know why really. Sometimes it could be because they might not have been handled properly at some stage (got picked up while not being grounded, etc).

The other thing I'm thinking of is cooling, and that is just due to dust building up, the fans not working properly anymore, after all they are mechanical and have a limited life span, which also can be shortened a lot by dust. Also, the thermal transfer paste between the CPU and heatsink is often badly applied ( there should only be an idea of this paste, too much can cause the opposite from what is wanted, insulating the CPU from the heatsink thermaly. Also this thermal paste ages. If the CPU gets too hot, a system crash is very often the case.

There can sometimes be problems with mainboards, and most of those are due to electrolytic capacitors which used a bad electrolyte. Thise caused them to start leaking, cracking, bulging or even explode. But problems with mainboards are, compared to the other failures, rather small.
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