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Proliant 6500 powers up but won't boot

Adam Hunt
Occasional Visitor

Proliant 6500 powers up but won't boot

I was given a Proliant 6500 quad PPro 200 a while back. I'm just now getting around to setting it up. A couple of weeks ago I plugged the system in, attached a keyboard, monitor and hit the power button. The box came up without a problem, all four processors showed as present as well as the four gigs of memory, CDROM and the seven 9 gig drives. I tossed in a Knoppix disk I had laying around and it started without a problem (actually the array wasn't configured so I didn't have any available drive space but I expected that). A couple of hours ago I downloaded the config tools for the array and burned them to a disk. The system was just as I left it after booting Knoppix but this time when I hit the button it wouldn't boot. The screen was blank, they keyboard LEDs didn't blink and the front panel LCD kept displaying the LCD firmware version. It made plenty of noise, all the fans spun up and each of the SCSI hard drive drive sleds' lights turned on and extinguished in order but it wouldn't boot. After a few tries I reseated the memory, CPU cards, PCI cards (actually I removed them all on one boot attempt) and SCSI drives, nothing. Does anyone have an idea of what could be going on here? I'd really like to get this up and running. Thanks.
20 REPLIES
Greg_224
Occasional Visitor

Re: Proliant 6500 powers up but won't boot

Adam, I have a Proliant 2500 with exactly the same problem. I started a Linux install which gave me a weird memory error first thing so I shut the system down to reseat the memory, etc. (this machine was running NT faithfully for years). Now I'm stuck at the same place you are with an almost totally dead machine that won't go beyond the first stages of the POST. I have found numerous threads on the web referring to similar problems on the Proliants but no real solutions. Appreciate any light anyone can shed on this one.
Adam Hunt
Occasional Visitor

Re: Proliant 6500 powers up but won't boot

Actually, my system doesn't even POST. Normally when I turn it on it the management LCD would change from just displaying the LCD firmware version to showing the management info you would expect.

When I hit the power button the fans start to spin, each of the SCSI drive sleds/carriers light up and extinguish (some sort of self test I suppose), lights on the keyboard blink on and the PCI hot swap status LEDs come on but that's it.
Greg_224
Occasional Visitor

Re: Proliant 6500 powers up but won't boot

Mine's the same. Just the firmware version on the LCD. I read a post somewhere about clearing the NVRAM using the dip switch...did that, no change. Someone else said to unplug the unit and hold the power switch in for 10 seconds...tried that, no change. I also read about a guy who just left his Proliants to sit unplugged in the corner over the weekend to cure them whenever he encountered the problem. I'm just about desperate enough now to try that approach unless someone here comes up with a better idea.

Re: Proliant 6500 powers up but won't boot

Not to sound silly, but does it have gas in it...?..lol...Sounds like your monitor is the only thing not working...bet the monitor plug is not kosher up to the machine.

If not, I like the previous post, where you unplug the machine and make it set in the corner for the weekend. Bad Computer!
Adam Hunt
Occasional Visitor

Re: Proliant 6500 powers up but won't boot

Yes the monitor works. The keyboard as well. Actually I've used three different monitors and a half dozen keyboards with no luck.

Usually after power up the management interface (2x20 LCD and four buttons) springs into action letting you know among other things that the array hasn't been configured. As it is now all that is shown is "COMPAQ LCD Model # 56022 LCD FIRMWARE 1.9" like it normally would when plugged in but not powered on.

Also after I turn it on the three keyboard LEDs turn on for a second then extinguish but hitting the num and caps lock keys doesn't change their states.

Is there a service manual available for the 6500? I know that many may view it as a boat anchor but I'd really like to get it running. I've always been told that Compaq's servers were bullet proof and last forever.

--adam

Re: Proliant 6500 powers up but won't boot

Hmmm, so you say knoppix did good, I suppose you've tried it again since the no boot...
hey wait...

Compaq has an erase utility...wonder if knoppix has done something like that...
where the hardware is fine, but your firmware has been altered...

yeah, I'd check your complementary metal oxide silicon... flash rom first.

mmm hmmm
Adam Hunt
Occasional Visitor

Re: Proliant 6500 powers up but won't boot

The thing is the system isn't even booting. It's just sitting there with the power on. No POST or anything.

Re: Proliant 6500 powers up but won't boot

Adam,

If you have the Smart Start CD, you might want to try the System Erase Utility. It will clear the system configurations and all drives attached to the system and prepare it for OS installation. Then you need to run the System Configuration utility to install the EISA partition on the drive.
There are some guides around for installing the different distros of Linux on Proliants. It is a very tedious process, unless you buy the Compaq distro.
Here's a link to the instructions to install Clark Connect Linux firewall, with some other links to compaq/Linux installation guides.
Hope this helps.

Ben

Re: Proliant 6500 powers up but won't boot

Have you tried booting from a floppy disk.
And run it blind / pretend the monitor is unplugged...and just wait out a normal 3.5 floppy boot. win98 is a good bootdisk / you can edit the config.sys and autoexec.bat to load device drivers...like the controller, or cdrom - real handy.

If you are convinced that the 3.5 got read, and loaded...and you did something at the command prompt like a:\dir just to make the drive whirl and make the light on the drive come on..while it reads the dir...

if this is successful, then whats left but video feed.

Re: Proliant 6500 powers up but won't boot

Greg_224
Occasional Visitor

Re: Proliant 6500 powers up but won't boot

Adam, I left my Proliant to sit over the weekend (as one poster had suggested) fired it up this morning, but no luck...still stuck at the same place. Looking over the posts here I think we need to make it clear that you and I have two separate systems doing the same thing and that these systems are not even getting to the POST. Floppy boots, CD boots, system erase, whatever are not going to work because the system isn't going far enough along in the boot process to boot from a floppy or CD. Removing all expansion cards, resetting the CMOS using the dip switch, sitting in the corner for the weekend, etc, hasn't worked for me. I'm stuck.

Re: Proliant 6500 powers up but won't boot

If I had to extrapolate - I would

check the manual, see if dead batteries would give told symptoms, if no...

Id replace the power supply.

I CAN believe that two folk...would post here...and both have a failed power supply.
This is believable. its concievable...

What Say You.
Greg_224
Occasional Visitor

Re: Proliant 6500 powers up but won't boot

Could be a missing power supply voltage to the motherboard for sure...the power supply is not your normal mid tower clone variety and I have nothing equivalent to swap in. I'd have to be a gymnast to get access to the test points to measure all the power supply outputs. Could also be a processor or board problem. I'm not spending any more time on this beast...down to the local marina she goes...some skipper will be glad to have it for a boat anchor.

Re: Proliant 6500 powers up but won't boot

Anchors Aweigh!

Just kidding - You got Classic Power Supply Failure Symptoms. Wonder what a new power supply costs. n n n aaaand...I know you could buy a new BMW for what the whole setup costs new. Id sit on it bro...maybe take the ps out, and let someone fix it for you, might be cheaper that way.

Definetely label the supply wires, to the target connect with numbers... 1/1 2/2 etc.
I mean, I would have to anyways.

NEXT!
Adam Hunt
Occasional Visitor

Re: Proliant 6500 powers up but won't boot

Thanks for the reply Barry. What are the chances that both of my PSUs died at the same time (the 6500 has dual hot swappable supplies)?

--adam

Re: Proliant 6500 powers up but won't boot

I agree, it sounds jiggy, but narrow that user population, then by brand then by forum subj, makes sense to me.

Id fixitup! A fiiine machine. The baddest server on the block! (heaviest too..lol)

I don't know if I mentioned, mine really grinds...the bus can't keep up with the 4 processors (they've never been above 72% NEVER)...

Good Luck!
Chris Fink
Frequent Advisor

Re: Proliant 6500 powers up but won't boot

I just had pretty much the same thing happen to a 6500 running NT 4.0. It's been running for years and tonight after patching it and rebooting it, it stopped seeing the disks.

I tried reseating everything, all PCI devices (NIC, 3200 controller), memory and CPU's. Nothing. I was about to try the unplugging of power and let it sit for a bit, when we figured we'd try a different 3200 controller. We put the new controller in, plugged power back in and it came right up. It did have 1 failed drive though.

The system is back up and running.

Re: Proliant 6500 powers up but won't boot

Hi, very cool! what a hit, to me sometimes it's like fixing a car...could be one of several things you know.

The poser above, couldn't get anything to come to screen, I suggested running blind or headless..see if could spin some drives..but not even this...

Just thought I'd post seeing that your display was not bad. Now Im wondering if the drive is really failed...I mean, you never say, but sounds like drive was ok till it went down...now it's failed...don't throw that drive away yet. lol

Barry
Tom B_3
Occasional Visitor

Re: Proliant 6500 powers up but won't boot

I had the same problem with my 6500 -- no POST, no boot, just the LED firmware message. After reading the setup guide at ftp://ftp.compaq.com/pub/products/servers/ProLiant6500-SetupInstallGuide.pdf I realized that it was the "Interlock System" that was keeping the rest of the machine from getting power. If the light next to the triangular symbol on the power supply is on, then the Interlock system has detected a loose board or panel. There is an amber light on the fan board that you can see through the fan grills. You need to keep pulling out and reseating devices specified by the list in the setup manual until both lights go off.
Adam French
Occasional Visitor

Re: Proliant 6500 powers up but won't boot

Yep, I have exactly the same problem.
Issue I have is that the CD-ROM drive drawer won't even open either so no chance in hell that I can get the smart start cd in.
The light on the front of the cd-rom lights up. I don;t get any lights on the drives though but I do on the floppy drive.
LCD display reads out the firmware details but that's it.
fans are running but no signal on the monitor but I am getting power through to the KVM switch and also on the Network card so seems to have most items powering ok.
My guess is that this is likely (as mentioned above) Power supply related or a power controller issue.
i'm guessing as there are 2 psu's in these servers there must be some kind of interface that controls how these 2 interact with the server as when you pull out the power cord to one of the psu's the fan on the other spins up faster (guessing to counteract additional heat that would be generated)
Therefore it's either controller related or something on the motherboard stopping the correct signals going through to allow the machine to POST properly.
At this stage I am going to bench the server and remove all components such as i/o cards and memory modules and see if this clears the problem.
I will keep you posted on my progress.