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Dell Server 2011 Essential Shutdowns and Unexpected Restarts

Posted on 2012-08-17
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Client is having weird server reboot problems. On monday, their bldg had a power outage. We turned the server off before the UPS drained. Turned it back on when the power was restored (I don't think this has anything to do with it, but just a preface)

Ever since then, Tuesday morning, server had 2 unexpected restarts, Thursday a shutdown command (see below) which we did not execute. And today, Friday, 3 unexpected reboots.

Sometimes, the server only stays up for minutes. After unexpected shut downs, it doesn't even have power, so it doesn't reboot, someone has to physically turn on the server.

The server was up for 2 1/2 hours and I remoted in to see somethings and it had another unexpected restart, shutting down to no power.

This server is only 2 months old. Here's what we have done:

1) We put another UPS between the "old" UPS and the server to see if maybe the UPS had an issue
2) Seems to happen in the morning. Was up and running all day yesterday. 9:40am today it crashed.
3) Sometimes it's a Shutdown command, sometimes it's an unexpected shutdown
4) We thought "maybe" it was the toaster over, as it was on the same outlet, so we put an Out of Order sign on it.

Dell ran diags and they said they couldn't find anything wrong with it. I just don't understand those ShutDown commands that we occassionally find, that is what is really sticking out.

I do not know if it's hardware or software. I just disabled AV and Backup software, as well as a Chkdsk, but still have yet to schedule a reboot.

Log Name: System
Source: USER32
Date: 8/16/2012 10:01:00 AM
Event ID: 1074
Task Category: None
Level: Information
Keywords: Classic
User: *(Domain Admin account)*
Computer: Server.Cossingham.local
The process C:\Windows\system32\winlogon.exe (SERVER) has initiated the power off of computer SERVER on behalf of user *(Domain Admin account)* for the following reason: No title for this reason could be found
Reason Code: 0x500ff
Shutdown Type: power off
Event Xml:
Question by:Alski
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Gajendra Rathod
ID: 38306035
Please check below link

LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:Handy Holder
ID: 38306215
Need UPS details, modern PSUs need good quality UPSs or none at all. For example an APC Back-UPS wouldn't generally be suitable for any server with an 80+ PSU.

Author Comment

ID: 38306258
The Microsoft link isn't applicable. It states that the REASON for shutdown is different from what the user types in. We didn't shut down the server. As well, we are also having unexpected shutdowns, not USER32 shutdowns.

As far as UPS, there are 2 daisy chained in a row. The one we have (old one) is an APC SmartUPS SC1500. We have a smaller one that we installed yesterday after the problems existed. Also, how would that explain the "normal" Shutdowns in the logs? There is no UPS software installed on the server. It's not even connected via USB, Serial or Network.
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LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:Handy Holder
ID: 38306301
It wouldn't explain the user initiated shutdown but it may explain the unexpected ones. If the SmartUPS is damaged then whatever the other small one is may matter. You can always prove it out by unplugging UPS from supply and seeing if server stays up. Best to do that test booted from CD rather than OS.

Author Comment

ID: 38306552
Got into the BIOS and then unplugged from the wall, and the server stayed up. I just don't get the non-legitiate "legitimate" shutdowns. There is no UPS software to tell the server to shut down. I ordered a new UPS anyhow, as APC said that new servers want a "pure sine wave", whatever the heck that is.

I can see unexpected shutdowns if there is a power problem, but the 1074's don't make any sense to me whatsoever. Wed/Thur there were 5 1074's, no one told the server to shut down. It's always a random time too. today were all unexpected shutdowns.

LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:Handy Holder
ID: 38306583
Bad PSU maybe, unexpected shutdowns are notoriously dificult to resolve without swapping bits. You could surmise that the building powerout may have been caused by an over-voltage, UPS should protect against that but not if there was a problem on the earth line.

Pure sine wave is what good mains looks like, cheap UPS output is a square wave or stepped aproximation of a sine wave.

Author Comment

ID: 38306603
I thought it was a good ups, a APC Smartups SC1500. I know its a couple years old, but wasn't cheap.

I haven't a clue about it shutting down on it's own. I can see the unexpected shutdowns, but no clue on the legitimate ones in the log.

Weird. Thanks for your help so far.

Author Comment

ID: 38345195
So we left it plugged directly into the wall, and it was up for 8 days straight.

We purchased an APC 1500, the one APC recommended for servers.

Plugged it in on Sat, Server shut down on Monday. Called Dell and they sent a new power supply. Replaced the power supply on Tuesday night, Wed morning at 8am the server shutdown again.

Any else have any ideas?
LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:Handy Holder
ID: 38345342
I'd check with APC but I suspect you have to disable 'green mode' on the smart UPS.

Accepted Solution

Alski earned 0 total points
ID: 38851942
We have found out that it was actually the Front Panel of the server. We disconnected the panel on the front of the server from the motherboard, and it's been up and running ever since. Hope this helps someone.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 38870821
We figured it out. No one even thought of it, even us! Dell figured it out.

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