These common server issues can be hard to differentiate and have very different root causes. Below you will find explanations on the issues as well as troubleshooting steps.

Table of Content:

1. No Power (nothing happens when pressing the power button)

2. No POST (server doesn't load further than POST)

3. No boot (server doesn't load into the Operating System)

1. No Power

Definition: When pressing the power button on the front of the server chassis, nothing happens or maybe it will try to power up but shuts back down straight away.


  • At this stage, nothing shows on the screen.
  • The LED light on the power button stays off or flashes briefly.
  • Maybe there was a power cut a few hours before.

Diagnostic steps:

  • Check, and when possible change, the power source: wall socket, UPS, power cable.
  • Check the server's Power Supply for LEDs.
  • Perform a Server Reset or ESD.

Server Reset or E.S.D.:

A hardware reset or Electro Static Discharge could resolve this issue. Discharging the accumulated static electricity from the server is always a good first test in this situation.

Here are the steps to perform:

  1. Ensure the server is completely turned off / powered down.
  2. Unplug the power cable(s) and all other possible source of power.
  3. Unplug all USB cables.
  4. Press and hold the power button for 15 seconds. Nothing will happen since all the cables are unplugged.
  5. Plug only the power cable(s) back in.
  6. Press the power button to turn on the server.

If the issue is still not resolved after this, then you need to troubleshoot further by swapping components with another working server.

2. No POST

Definition: Failure to complete the Power-On Self Test, a series of diagnostic tests that run automatically when turning on the server. The actual tests can differ depending on how the BIOS is configured, but usually include memory, keyboard and hard disk tests.


  • Error message on the black POST screen
  • Error message on the server's LED panel
  • LEDs on the Quad pack lights (for older generations)

Diagnostic steps:

It's important to recover the error message at this stage, as this will help identify which component is causing the issue. Once you have recovered the error message, you should:

  • Review the Server's user manual, available on the Dell Support site: 
  • Try the following troubleshooting guide on our Dell knowledge base: 
  • Paste the error message in a search engine to get more information.
  • Create a post on our community forum to ask your questions and paste the error message.

3. No boot

Definition: Failure to load into the Operating system. The server powers on and completes POST but doesn't load the operating system.


  • Blank operating system screen
  • Error message on the Operating system desktop

Diagnostic steps:

It's important to recover the error message and contact the Technical Support team for the Operating system provider. Once you have recovered the error message, you should:


For more technical content, you can refer to our online Enterprise Knowledge base.