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Installing a second processor on a server

Posted on 2007-10-01
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Last Modified: 2013-12-10
We have a Power Edge 2800 server (Windows 2003) in our office with a Xeon CPU (dual processor capacity).  I have a second processor hardware (same specs as the first one), including the fan and additional memory ready to be installed inside the box.  I haven't done installing a second CPU on a server before.  I'd like to make sure the upgrade goes smoothly.  Do I just plug the hardware (processor and fan) and not do any configuration on the Windows O/S before actually installing the hardware?  Secondly, what needs to be installed first, the additional memory or the processor.  Thanks for the input.
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Question by:r_yague
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Stephen Manderson earned 400 total points
ID: 19994816
Hi there,

Shut down your server, disconnect all the leads etc.. When installing hardware, particuarlly on a server be sure to ground yourself. It dosnt make much difference what order you install both the ram and the cpu but for talks sake I would go for the CPU first. then make sure the heat sink has got enough thermal gel before placing it on top of the CPU then the fan. Then its just a quick snap in of the RAM. (Personally I would at this point keep the case off and plug in monitor & keyboard to boot into BIOS to make sure the hardware is installed and most importantly your CPU fan is working properly.) Then close it all back up.

Boot to windows and will no doubt have to re activate your copy due to significant hardware changes.

Regards
Steve
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by:McKnife
McKnife earned 400 total points
ID: 19994817
It does not matter what you put in first.
To use a second core, you simply mount the second cpu and boot windows. Then inside task manager open the list, navigate to "computer", doubleclick and change the driver from ACPI uniprocessor pc to multiprocessor cpu and reboot.
BUT: in your case even this is not necessary: the xeon already is multicore, the correct driver is already loaded.
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by:McKnife
ID: 19994826
That should have been "...inside device manager" , not task manager of course :)
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by:65td
ID: 19994873
Don't forget an anti-static strap!
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by:Mark
ID: 19995026
Here is the guides  download page for the power edge 2800. You may have to upgrade your BIOS before upgrading to a dual processor configuration.
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/pe2800/en/index.htm

Here is the Processor upgrade guide for this server
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/pe2800/multlang/processor/F6587A01MR.pdf
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 19995682
Lots and lots of info... but here's the thing, there's nothing to it because your already using a Hyperthreaded CPU which means you're using the multi-CPU HAL already.  Plug in the processor and the RAM, boot up and you should be done - all 4 CPUs should display (2 per HyperThreaded Xeon - which both Xeons are - 2x2=4).
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by:r_yague
ID: 20001787
Do I have to upgrade the BIOS before installing the 2nd processor?  If yes, I will need assistance on upgrading the BIOS-how to do it.  I checked the version on the registry and it says DELL  1 Phoenix ROM BIOS PLUS Version 1.10 A04.  Does this upgrade necessary or optional, and is there a possibility that the server crashes and never goes back to where it was?  Never done this before.  
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by:65td
65td earned 400 total points
ID: 20001872
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by:Mark
Mark earned 400 total points
ID: 20002241
Here is what Dell gives as a  list of "Fixes and Enhancements" that each BIOS starting with your present A04. As it is, staying at A04 bios shouldn't effect the adding of an identical CPU as it is supporting the one already installed. None of the additional BIOS updates show any changes effecting DUAL CPU configuration.

A04 BIOS
* Update RHEL4 ATI Radeon 7000m driver to the latest version available on the
* Dell website before flashing this BIOS.
*
* This BIOS adds support for INTEL(R) Xeon(TM) Dual-Core Processor with
* 800MHz System Bus and 2x2MB of L2 Cache.

A05
* Update RHEL4 ATI Radeon 7000m driver to the latest version available on the Dell website before flashing this BIOS.
* This BIOS adds support for INTEL(R) Xeon(TM) Dual-Core Processor with 800MHz System Bus and 2x2MB of L2 Cache.

A06
* Updated Intel(R) Xeon(TM) Dual-Core Processor with 2x2MB L2 Cache A0 Stepping Microcode (Patch ID=0C).
* Added code to support Dell SAS5/e adapter card.
* Added code to increase the fan speeds if there are RAID Cards in the system.
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Author Comment

by:r_yague
ID: 20002933
What would be the worst thing that could happen after the additional processor is installed (whether the BIOS is upgraded or not).  Can I just pull the new processor out to get to how it was before ( with just 1 proc) without damage?
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 400 total points
ID: 20003057
The worst  that could happen is you break/short something and whole thing is unusable.  But that's REALLY not very likely unless you're, as they say "all thumbs"

As I said, install the processor - there's nothing to it.  Windows will see it and you'll be good to go.  And even if Windows DOESN'T see (VERY VERY VERY Unlikely), Windows will still boot and work JUST FINE, seeing only one CPU.

If this is causing you this much concern, then DON'T DO IT.  Hire a consultant to come in and do it.  There's no reason it should take them more than an hour.
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