hp Z800 workstation failed memory error after install of dual nic pcie card

Dana D
Dana D used Ask the Experts™
on
I have plugged in this dell dual pcie nic card ( Link ) into port 0 of my pcie slot on my HP Z800 Workstation and it is now beeping 5 times when i start the server and it also shows the following during boot:

207-incompatible DIMMS Detect
       slot CPU0 DIMMS
203-Memory module failed self-test and failing rank was disabled
       slot CPU0 DIMMS
207-incompatible DIMMS Detect
       slot CPU1 DIMMS
203-Memory module failed self-test and failing rank was disabled
       slot CPU1 DIMMS


When i allow the workstation to load it states that it is only using 8 GB out of the 12 GB that is actually installed on the Workstation

When i remove this PCIE card the workstation will load without any beeping or reported errors as above and will show it is using all 12 GB of memory installed!

Any ideas how to resolve this?
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Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer

Commented:
Speculation:  The NIC is failed in a mode that it is jamming the DMA channel above 8 GB (bit 32 and higher).  This would tend to be confirmed by the fact that when the NIC is removed, the system is normal.  Therefore it is not a memory problem, though the failure mode from the diagnostic does suggest that.

Try the NIC in a different PCIe slot (assuming one is available).  If the problem persists discard the NIC and buy a replacement, or send it for replacement if it is under warranty.

Less likely:  The motherboard has addressing problems at bit 32 and higher.  It would be necessary to swap the NIC into an identically configured identical motherboard to prove or disprove this.
IT Consultant
Commented:
Thank you for the response Dr Klahn But i found my own solution with the help of a friend:

The dell card was made to work with specific dell servers/workstations and this card sends information to the server via the i2c bus such as card temp and diag results,..... this i2c bus usage is what is causing the errors when the card is used in a non dell system.

You can disable the i2c  on the card by masking off pins 5 and 6  on the front side of the card using tape or nail polish

I was able to use black electrical tape to block off pins 5 & 6 on the top/front side of the pcie card and when turning on the server with the card in it allowed the server to boot properly with the card in and it recognized all 12 GB of memory and had no errors!
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
It's actually SMBUS rather than I²C, not that that affects the outcome. You get exactly the same issue with Dell PERCs. Thanks for posting the question, I hadn't come across the issue before but even found a youtube video of someone taping the pins on a H310 controller.
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer

Commented:
It would be good if someone will collate this information and write this up as an article so that it's there for future reference.

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