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'No Video' condition on Intel S5000PAL/SR2500 server running Windows Server 2008 Stnd x64 w/ATI ES1000 v8.240.50.2000 Drivers

Posted on 2008-10-08
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Greetings,

I've recently taken possession of two new Xeon servers for our company that are virtually identical (except for RAM & processors). They are SR2500 chassis platforms that are fully loaded and equipped with Intel S5000PAL mainboards, RMM2 modules, I/O modules and integrated RAID with hardware activation keys on the midplane. Five Seagate Cheetah 15K (ST3146855SS) SAS hard drives are installed in a RAID5 array encompassing all. The array is partitioned with a 'System Volume' C: and 'Storage Volume' D:. They are not equipped with the 6th hard drive option or RAID batteries (xxBBU3) at this time.

I've intended to run Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition x64 on each unit with varying roles using 64-bit operating systems on each machine, and for memory support beyond 4GB in Standard Edition: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsserver/cc196364.aspx.

Server '08 has no native driver for the ES1000 chip in 64-bit and applies the Standard VGA Adapter driver during installation.

The problem I've encountered (and it's a show stopper) is LOSS OF VGA OUTPUT following the installation of the latest 64-bit ATI ES1000 WHQL video drivers for Windows Server 2008 from Intel (ATI/AMD does not post a public driver for it). ATI does not prompt for restart following the installation of the video drivers, and one can immediately maximize the screen resolution and apply settings without incident.

After a period of time (or immediately after restart and at the time of the Windows splash screen load following POST) - VGA output is lost , as indicated by 'No Signal' on the LCD panel display. Two LCD's have been tested on both the front and rear VGA ports, a ViewSonic VA712b 17" and a Mitsubishi Diamond Point NXM56 15" LCD - each with the same result which is disengaged video.

One can bootup in Safe Mode and play all day long. The same is true for starting up in low-resolution mode @ 640x480 resolution. However - immediately upon adjusting the screen resolution to 800x600 or greater - BOOM. Lost video. Keyboard indicators respond and the system seems to be otherwise operational but video cannot be restored. The grace period in which you can 'escape' from new display settings is usually several seconds but hitting ESC or keystroke for 'No' is ineffective. That is, attempting to cancel the new video settings as you would if you exceeded the refresh rate for example - does not work. Disabling hardware acceleration for the adapter is also ineffective.

The same results are occuring on both identical systems with the same OS/hardware configurations. The same results also occur after installing video drivers on a rock stock system with no firmware updates yet applied.

If anyone else has encountered this issue or variants of it, I would appreciate you sharing your experiences. I've not seen ANY chatter on the web concerning such a problem and have currently exhausted my ideas.

$12,000 and no video  :(

Thanks in advance!

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Question by:KKOS-KS
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KKOS-KS earned 0 total points
ID: 22675980
I've resolved this issue a few hours following the post of this question.

Problem drivers:
The ATI ES1000 video drivers v8.240.50.3000 for Windows Server 2008 (x86 & x64) supplied by Intel DO NOT work properly under Windows Server 2008 Standard x64. Filename 'WS2K8_WHQL_support_Multi_lang_R1.zip' @ http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&ProductID=2451&DwnldID=16989&strOSs=All&OSFullName=All Operating Systems&lang=eng

Workaround (downgrade):
ATI ES1000 video drivers v8.240.50.2000 for Windows Server 2003 (x86 & x64) seem to work properly and install without issue under Server 2008 x64. Video is normal after multiple restarts.
Filename '8.24.50.2_071025a_062084C_Intel_R2.zip'
http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&ProductID=2451&DwnldID=16990&strOSs=All&OSFullName=All Operating Systems&lang=eng

I hope this presents a quick resolution to anyone else who might encounter this problem in the future and will force Intel/Microsoft/AMD to post another revision that works normally, considering it's declared support for the operating system in question. Not to mention its supposed WHQL status.

Grrr.

Travis
KKOS
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