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Possible dead motherboard

Posted on 2010-08-28
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I have a Dell PowerEdge 500SC that won't boot today. In BIOS it shows all primary and secondary drives as Unknown. That sounds like a mainboard failure to me. Am I right or can it be something else?
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Question by:LarryDAH
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PowerEdgeTech earned 500 total points
ID: 33550233
If there is something actually connected to it, it is more likely a bad drive than the motherboard.  If there is nothing connected to that port, then simply turn it off.  Reseat the connections to those ports/drives, or try clearing the NVRAM using the jumpers on the motherboard.
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by:dbrunton
ID: 33550748
Or possibly a bad battery that isn't holding information.  Won't hurt to put a new battery in.
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Author Comment

by:LarryDAH
ID: 33550831
This is not my server so I just started working on it today and while doing some research at Dell on a new MB I heard some clicking. I disconnected one drive, no change, then the other and the clicking did not come back plus BIOS showed the HD, CD and tape drive attached. I could also boot to the OS, so it was a bad HD. The OS just shows the C drive, the rest of that drive was spanned across the dead drive. Any chance of getting that data back? Slaving the drive to a good PC for example.
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Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 33550937
It is possible IF the drive is still functional.  If the drive is completely dead, then you would need to consider professional data recovery, who can disassemble the drive and reassemble it within a working drive casing.  However, if the drive is working otherwise (powering on, spinning up), then you may have problems with that too ... clicking is a bad sign because the clicking is most likely causing damage to the storage medium of the drive.  The more you run it, the more damage is done.  So, if you are not prepared to spend a LOT of money to safely recover the data, then you can just fire it up and get what you can from the drive before it dies or is corrupted.
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 33551048
There is a variety of data recovery software which can attempt data recovery from spanned disks.

One is Active Undelete http://www.active-undelete.com/download.htm (demo mode).  You'd need to purchase the Enterprise Edition in your case if it can see the files.

You could try the demo version and get an idea of whether it is worth pursuing data recovery.

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Author Closing Comment

by:LarryDAH
ID: 33587005
Disconneting all the drives then connecting one at time allowed me to find that one drive had gone bad, not the MB. We will send it off for data recovery.
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