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no video during Dell R815 server boot

Posted on 2015-01-22
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I can't get any video when I boot my Dell PowerEdge R815 server, lcd display doesn't show any errors.

Need some help troubleshooting this. I have added two more CPUs and fully populated memory banks.

Regards,

Oljeg
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Question by:pajkico
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by:rindi
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Does anything display when the bootup has finished? Are you connecting the display directly to the server's VGA output or is there a KVM switch in between? Sometimes KVM switches cause such problems, so connecting a display directly can help.
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by:pajkico
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monitor is connected directly to the vga port on the back of the server, tried front vga connector too.
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by:rindi
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You haven't yet replied to whether anything displays after bootup has finished. Or doesn't it finish?
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by:pajkico
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no, nothing displays on monitor, and lcd on server says "booting", no errors showing.
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by:rindi
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Did it work before adding the new hardware? Have you tried returning it to the original configuration? Does it work then?
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by:pajkico
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it worked before adding the rest of memory modules, and additional two CPUs. Is still seems to work, the SAS controller initializes and all hard drives light up, and I can list items under server's small LCD screen. I just don't get any video during or after post / boot process. LCD screen remains blue indicating no error conditions.
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by:rindi
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But have you returned the server to it's original configuration to see if you get a display?
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by:pajkico
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no need for that, I already know that I had a video showing with original configuration. I tested it before adding the rest of the memory and CPUs.
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by:rindi
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I think you don't understand the most basic troubleshooting procedures.

If something worked before you changed something, then you need to go back to that state when it worked. If after that it works again, you know that something you changed stopped the system from working. It could mean that the CPU's you changed aren't compatible, or also the RAM might not be compatible. So the general way to find the problem would be to maybe first only add a RAM module at a time, then try booting. The same thing applies to the CPU's. If one of the devices is bad, you'd then know which is the problem.

Besides that, generally before upgrading hardware on servers, it is always a good idea to make sure all the firmware and BIOS are up-to-date (of course after having taken a good backup). Often you need newer BIOS versions to also support newer CPU's or Memory types.
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by:pajkico
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this is a new server deployment, all the memory modules are of the same kind, and the CPUs are the same model too. If there was a problem with memory modules, I believe that there would be an error condition or a beep, and the same is with the CPU. I am also getting a remote login for DRAC6 through the network.

There are 32 memory modules on the server by the way.
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by:rindi
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Still. Return it to the original setup and look if it works.
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by:pajkico
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Well, thanks on your comments, but truly I was hoping for some other ideas where I don't have to do that. I have been in the troubleshooting business since 2005, but this issue is strange, normally when there's a problem with startup the computer freezes up  and there's no activity (like incompatible memory configurations or similar issue), but in this case computer seem to go on initializing sas controller, and lighting up sas drives, etc...

and in the and, it all seems ok, but since the OS is not installed, I am unable to check other things. Is it possible to redirect the console to serial port without going to the BIOS?
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by:pajkico
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I did return it to the original setup and it works...
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by:rindi
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dd RAM modules, but no all at the same time and check if it works. If yes, add more and so on. Until you see which modules or CPU cause it to stop working.
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by:pajkico
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there's nothing wrong with the RAM modules, they are all present and the server boots up. It is only after the CPU upgrade that there's no video present at boot...
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rindi earned 500 total points
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Then there's something wrong with the CPU upgrade. Have you tried one more CPU at a time?
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by:pajkico
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no, I tried with all four of them, and right now it is only two 8-core CPUs present. I only tried putting in all four of 12-core CPUs at once
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by:rindi
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Have you made sure those new CPU's are compatible with the server? Have you also upgraded the BIOS and all the firmware, as sometimes support for newer CPU's gets added that way?
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