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Black screen on startup

Posted on 2011-02-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a client that has a Dell PowerEdge 840 running SBS 2003.  They called me out saying the server wouldn't turn on.  The server will power on and goes through the post process.  After POST it just goes to a black screen.  If I press F8 right away it will bring up startup options but goes to a black screen eventually.  When I choose Safe Mode it goes through the process and locks.  The last line displayed is loading acpitabl.dat.  Also when the screen goes black the monitor does have the sync light that it is receiving a signal and the keyboard seems to lock.
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Question by:LiberatingInsight
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Expert Comment

by:JAN PAKULA
ID: 34899400
1 pull all the drives except for the OS drive. After that try to boot,
If not
2Check your PSU on server - servers need more juice then pcs
3 replace the SATA cable
4  move os drive to a spare port on another SATA card in the box

Jan ICT tech CCNA
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Expert Comment

by:JAN PAKULA
ID: 34899590
and dont forget to chkdsk all drives - especially OS one
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Assisted Solution

by:JAN PAKULA
JAN PAKULA earned 250 total points
ID: 34899616
it also might be cmos battery dying - that  would cause raid build servers to fail - (raid would become depreciated)
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Expert Comment

by:discgman
ID: 34900490
Cause: RAID Problem

Resolution:

Turn off the server.
Unplug one of the hard disk in your RAID.
Boot the server.
The RAID status now should change to degraded.
You should now be able to see the login screen.
Login, do the necessary backup.
Plugin the hard disk, rebuild the RAID array with its software.
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Author Comment

by:LiberatingInsight
ID: 34901532
No luck so far.
The server does have a RAID controller and had said the RAID was in a good status.  Reset BIOS settings and that didn't solve the issue.  Going to try and boot off a 2003 Server disk to see if I can run chkdsk.
Any other ideas?  What is acpitabl.dat?
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Assisted Solution

by:discgman
discgman earned 250 total points
ID: 34901675
Its the cmos battery error.
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Accepted Solution

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LiberatingInsight earned 0 total points
ID: 34916133
Turns out the issues were related to a bad Motherboard, CPU, and RAM according to Dell.  They are sending replacement parts out to me.  (Sounds like a "shotgun" approach by Dell)
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Author Closing Comment

by:LiberatingInsight
ID: 34959292
The CMOS battery was not the issue but helped me toward finding that it was a faulty motherboard.
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