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Is it time to replace server?

Posted on 2008-11-16
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I have a customer with 4 y/o gateway 960 server. Very recently I believe there was an electrical event onsite causing several problems on the server. Now the server is behaving strangely. A front case fan, a cpu fan and one of the redundant power units went out all at the same time. I have replaced the fans, but they show in the management software that there are not running...but they are by visual inspection I have replaced the secondary power supply...but it will not work. I inserted the secondary power unit and get yellow caution light on power unit and when I unplug primary, the server will not start up. I switched it back then got a blue screen with memory dump. I started in safe mode, rebooted and got the server running again normally but with some WMI event 10 errors now. This has been a very good server with no problems until now ( I have babied it). I am thinking it is time to replace before it goes out and have no replacement server causing the doctors office where located  to be shut down while awaiting a new one. All of the medical records reside on the server. I feel there are too many electrical problems to trust this server for much longer. I can replace the unit for 2500 to 3000 dollars...am I being overly cautious?  Just want a second opinion :)
Question by:signaltracker

Expert Comment

ID: 22971486
It sounds as if the electrical event has caused damage to the motherboard :-( if this holds critical data then I would upgrade.

Expert Comment

ID: 22971523
With the laundry list of problems you listed, I agree that replacement is definitely warranted. This would be a very good time to be sure that your backup system is working correctly in case it takes a turn for the worse quickly. It might even be worthwhile to make a copy of the critical data files onto a USB drive or something similar even.

Expert Comment

ID: 22971623
The cost of $2500 for a new server is far less than the cost of insurance around lost medical records.
When making such a choice for a customer, always see the business need.

If it were a free online game server, and you could just get a new one when it broke, wait for it to die.
It is going to fail completely, soon.  Doctor on the other hand, are required to keep patient records.

Given the critical nature of the data, you should replace it.

As a side note, $2500 for a server to hold records in a doctors office seems more than it should be.
A good mirrored disk quiet server should be much less.  Unless you have to buy a lot
of software for it.  That is missing in your description
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Accepted Solution

george507 earned 750 total points
ID: 22972201
I agree with  all comments presented here, if you choose to purchase a new motherboard or even a power distribuition board like the one that provides redundancy for the power supply, do you think that it will be worth the cost? in most cases if the server is really old, you will find a refurbished  part that will work fine for a while and then what? you will wait for another part to break down?  the best solution for you bakcup first, upgrade your hardware before it is too late, then even if this is a small office think about the future in case they grow up and then at least a raid 1 with a good raid controller that will provide enough capacity for extra hard drives in case you need more redundancy like a raid 5 with three hdds. :)
LVL 97

Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 750 total points
ID: 22972550
Simple Answer:
If the machine is out of warranty and IS an important server - then yes, it's time to replace it - EVEN IF IT WORKS FINE.  Why would you have a system that's important to your business that is NOT under warranty?  

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31517264
Thanks to all for the answers. I did order a new Dell. It is a dual proc quad core, 4 gigs ram, raid 5 - 250 gb hds. In todays economic environment there is always another shop that will come in and say "we would have done this instead" so it is always nice to have some more opinions. To be honest I was going to replace it no matter what becasue I no longer trusted it to work properly. Thanks again for all the answers

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