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Dell PowerEdge System Board Fans spining at 12K+ constatnly

Posted on 2014-12-12
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Last night i installed 64GB (8 x 8GB DIMM) RAM into a clients Dell Power Edge 2950. I shutdown cleanly, removed the 8 x 1GB DIMM and installed the new RAM.

As soon as I turned the server back on the system board fans spun up and they were loud. I put this down to the normal boot up. However, even after 12 hours the system board fans are all spining at 12K+!  

Server is 64bit (obviously!) and running MS Server 2008 R2 & SQL Server 2012.

All firmware and BIOS is up to date.

Fans:
Fans
Temp:
Temp
The only issue I can find on Server Administrator is that the Battery on Controller PERC 5/i Integrated has failed:
Battery on Controller PERC 5/i IntegratedWe are awaiting a new battery to arrive on site from the clients break/fix team but I don't believe this is what is causing the fans to constantly spin., as they were not spinning this way prior to the new RAM. Its worth noting that the server can see all 64GB RAM and has no reported issues with it. Both PSUs are active (I mentioned that as I have seen issues in the past with PE2950's were if one of the PSUs has failed or is unplugged the fans can spin faster).

We have rebooted the server a number of times.

Main issue is that there are users sitting directly outside the server room and the noise coming from the room is causing disturbance issues.
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Question by:Mark Galvin
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Dejan Vasiljevic earned 500 total points
ID: 40495669
Hi Mark Galvin,

The problem might be that something in bios went wrong after reinstalling ram, and I saw same problem but with replacing CPU. As I know from dells servers there is and issues, with architecture itself, because dell thinks like this - If You add more ram it will generate more heat, so the fans should spin up faster. Because of You added so much ram, that is why the fans are blowing faster than usual. Fan 2 should be responsible for ram cooling, and they "programmed" it to work something like this - 2gb of ram FAN 2 3000rpm, 4gb 4000rpm, 8 gigs 7000rpm and etc. Something like that for example, so that is why they are spinning so fast, and they are so loud. I guess an update of BIOS should work for You.

Thanks,
D.
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by:Mark Galvin
ID: 40495687
Hi Dejan

I have rebooted the server and gone into the BIOS. Those settings dont exist in there.

I have also checked with Dell Support and the BIOS is at the most up to date version.

Thanks
Mark
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Expert Comment

by:Dejan Vasiljevic
ID: 40495701
Mark,

If BIOS is up to date, and Your temps are good, because of the problem with fans which I mentioned in post earlier, i think You are stuck with it, until they change/solve the problem with new firmware or with new bios update. You could check if the problem is what I am saying like getting like 32 gigs out of it, and leaving others in it. It should drop down rpms, but it should be louder than what You had with 8 gigs at beginning, and if that is the case, You are stuck with it. Only thing that You can do is to manually cut the red wire and then add resistor or anything like that to it so it will reduce the amount of voltage that the fan is getting (it will reduce speed) or You will need to replace fans itself. You chose.

Thanks,
D.
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Expert Comment

by:Dirk Mare
ID: 40495712
check the chassis intrusion option in the BIOS, also make sure that the switch in side the server is functioning correctly.

DirkMare
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Author Comment

by:Mark Galvin
ID: 40495723
@ Dejan - I think your right with the programming side. We upgraded a second server (PowerVault) from 4 GB RAM to 20GB RAM at the same time and the fans are spinning twice as fast but only at 7K RPM so not making as much noise.

I think we need to look at sound proofing the server room!!

@ DirkMare - Intrusion operating correctly and reports:
Intrusion
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by:Dejan Vasiljevic
ID: 40495738
@ DirkMare - The point is right but he already mentioned it ( I know I've got confused of informations that he gave us).

@Mark -  Yes Mark I remember I've saw one post a year ago, or two about the same problem, as I said there is a problem similar to this with CPU which I've got confused with. Yes the problem is with machine and architecture, as DELL stated, and noone from their support will tell you different. Sound proof material would be nice, but if I were You, I would look for a replacement fans, because those from Dell server must be old, dusty and loud as hell after those years. So I would take some lower rpm fans which would blow same or bigger amount of air for lower noise.

That is all You can do my friend.
Regards,
D.
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by:Dirk Mare
ID: 40495758
I don't believe that 14000 rpm is normal. Does the chassis intrusion indicator change when you open the server?

When last was the server cleaned out?

DirkMare
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Author Comment

by:Mark Galvin
ID: 40495768
I will need to check as the server is now in use.

Not sure when it was last cleaned out. Mostly likely never.
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Author Comment

by:Mark Galvin
ID: 40495776
Intrusion working. I have removed lid and :
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by:Dejan Vasiljevic
ID: 40495816
@DirkMate - no it is not normal, but I guess if he had 8x1gb the moment when server was build I guess max was 32. And if You add 32 gigs it will go to like 7000rpm which is normal for server machines. There for 64gb is abnormally large amount of ram for that machine and architecture itself was build when it was not available and therefore we have that big numbers of RPMs. Everything is fine with machine(s) just they are old and was not build for 64 gigs. The other one have 20, and it is acting normally... Just the machine itself is builded that way... That is all. You can like it, or dislike it... either is Your way... or my way, or ours... We need to face the problem and since we know it, I've said my kind of looking at solving this as replacement of fans... They are old, dusty, and I guess they are laud as hell at normal speeds.

@Mark - You are fine... Just it works like You can see. I guess me and Dirk are blessed 'cos we are nowhere near. Haha.

That is all from me. I wish You all the best. Same for Dirk.

Bye,
D.
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Author Comment

by:Mark Galvin
ID: 40495905
Hi both

The noise was too much. So we have remove 4 of the 8GB DIMM and reduced to 32GB and not fans all running at normal levels and noise is minimal.

Thanks for your help!

Mark
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Expert Comment

by:Dejan Vasiljevic
ID: 40495910
Hi Mark,

As I said the problem is in amount of ram... Therefore the speed is reduced when u decrees the amount of ram memory. If You want to add them back again, and if You really need them, just buy other low RPM fans, like delta 8cm 5000rpm fans... Or something like that, and You can use rest 32gigs again in same machine...

You are welcome,
D.
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