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Dell Hardware Question - Poweredge 6800 CPU upgrade

Posted on 2010-11-25
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Last Modified: 2013-12-09
I have a Dell Poweredge 6800 system. It currently has 4 64Bit XEON 3.16GHZ 667Mhz FSB 1MB Cache processors. I bought 4 64Bit XEON 2.8GHZ DUAL CORE 800Mhz FSB 2MB cache processors to upgrade wtih. The reason why I went with these processors is that they have the VT Extensions for ESXi and Hyper V. Everywhere I have looked on the internet I have found that my exact model unit came with either the single core 667Mhz FSB chips or these Dual Core 800Mhz FSB chips. The system boots to the Dell logo screen so they obviously should work in some configuration. It just halts with an error message after the Dell screen.

The processors installed just fine. When I power the unit on, It passes the Dell Logo screen. Then the system halts saying "667/800 Mhz Components Mixed" "System Halted!".

I have model number ND891 Memory Cage. THis cage is specifically for 667/800Mhz FSB systems. Says so on the label.
I have PC2-3200 DDR 400 CL3.5 ram installed that is Dell logo'd.
I have the right VRM's. They are model T2745.
I am running BIOS rev A06.

I installed just 2 of the processors and removed the VRM's for CPU 3 and 4. The system still gave me the "mixed components" message. So that cleared the plug in VRM's as being part of the issue. The Dell server has built in VRM's for CPU 1 and 2.


Can't seem to figure this one out.

Any Ideas?

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Question by:icepick94
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by:Kent Dyer
ID: 34215757
If I were you, I would put on my "Dick Tracy" hat and start to peel back the layers of the onion..  I would start undoing the things that were recently done until you get your system back on line..  If you did not buy the procs from Dell, good luck as they are pretty propietary, but you may want to call the tech desk where you bought them and check compatibility and that you may have to make some changes in the jumper setings/BIOS/etc.

HTH,

Kent
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by:Kent Dyer
ID: 34215767
One other thing that you may have to do is to do a system re-build/repair as the HAL.dll (Hardware Abstraction Library) is different with the new procs.  The HAL is built at system install as they can pretty specific due the system configuration and build..  However, this is not guaranteed either, but a suggestion.

HTH,

Kent
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by:icepick94
ID: 34215796
Some quick repsonses. Thanks!!

The procs are Dell and they are matched. Same stepping order and everything.
The system never makes it any further than just after the bios screen. When I put the old procs back in the system works fine. What happens is after the log screen, the server checks the LSI logic controller and the perc controller then boots to OS. When I run the 4 new procs in the system, it gets past the Dell log screen and halts before it checks the SCSI controllers. With that being said, the system never gets to the MBR on the HDD. I'm running ESXi so I would never see a hal.dll load since that is specific to windows.

Keep the ideas coming.

Thanks guys!


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by:D_Vante
ID: 34218107
Can you verify the chip set on the mb will handle a multicore processor
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by:dlethe
ID: 34218299
Just because the new chips will physically plug in does NOT mean that Dell's BIOS will accept them.  If Dell doesn't offer systems with that same chipset on that same model, then don't expect it to just "work".

I would check out Dell's community support site for that motherboard and post a question there.  Gut feeling is that it just won't work because DELL won't let it work.
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 34218338
Try clearing the NVRAM/CMOS by using the jumpers on the motherboard ... this may clear any bias the BIOS might be retaining while registering new hardware.
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by:dlethe
ID: 34218404
One way to potentially verify that a foreign (non-dell branded) CPU will work, is to look at the release notes for the BIOS updates.  You will often find dell mentioning that they added support for such-and-such CPU in a BIOS update.  That should not only prove to you that BIOS's care about CPU models, but also confirm that Dell architects their systems to only support certain chips from the get-go.

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by:kevinhsieh
ID: 34219229
I suggest that you make sure that the BIOS and all other firmware levels are up to date. I have seen many Dell BIOS updates where they add processor compatability.
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by:kevinhsieh
ID: 34219266
I see that you are running the current BIOS. Will Dell give you support? I know that it's a pretty old machine, and I don't know if you have support on it, though they should give you support for the Dell processors that you just bought. Frankly, I am surprised that it's cost effective to do a processor upgrade on a machine that old.
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icepick94 earned 0 total points
ID: 34232981
Guys,
Here is the scoop. Dell produced two types of 6800 servers. The regular type that used the single core procs and the 800T whitch would run the dual core processors. Now, guess which board I have. I upgraded my system with a RD317 revision motherboard that came in the 800T version of the 6800. It sees the processors and everything is running fine. I used all of the same peripherals. I just swapped the MB out for a newer revision.

Here is the kicker: Dell support told me that there should be no problem running those cpu's in my motherboard. Even support did not know about the newer rev motherboard. I found out about it by doing some hardcore research.

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by:Modalot
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Implementing revised Cleanup recommendation.

Modalot
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