PowerEdge C1100 dead in the water...

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PowerEdge C1100 dead in the water...

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Hello PowerEdge General HW Forum:

My C1100 is in a solid fault condition. When power is applied by plugging it in, power comes on but the system is unresponsive. The power switch on the front panel is non functional. The orange/amber fault light is on solid and the blue system ID light is on solid on the front panel. The BMC does not attempt to boot nor the system. I have gone thru the trouble shooting steps listed in the owner's manual to eliminate all hardware items except for the system board which I do not have a spare of presently. Any ideas? System consists of standard C1100 with four available SATA 2 hdd slots with one filled, 2 Xeon processors and 72 gig (18x4mg) ram. During the last inspection of the system with BMC everything (fans, temperatures, voltages etc.) appeared to be nominal. Thanks for any feedback!

lnelson15

Verified Answer
  • Hey thanks for the reply. Too late for this one a I returned it to where I got it. This box was as they say "HOSED". The only way to
    get it to start or do anything was to plug it in to AC. At that point the power supply fan would come on, the fault light and system ID lights would on and the fan in the power supply would run but there was not power to the system as the power supply did not get the power_good# signal from the
    system board so it would just sit.....for hours until you unplug it ( I could jump out the power_good# to ground in the 24pin plug and turn on the power supply with a paper clip to be sure the power supply was good). Also the power switch light did not come on or blink (as it should while the BMC is starting). All of the switches and reset buttons where inoperable at all times. About every 8th time or so that I plugged it in the power supply would for whatever reason come on, the fans would come on wide open as is correct when they have no control from the BCM, the fault light and system ID lights would come on solid and the power switch light would come on but the power switch would be inoperative as the BMC was not starting up. It would also sit like that for hours (or until one could not listen to fans any longer) until unplugged. Believe me I looked for any sign of activity of the BMC starting (that is what is going on the minute or so before the BIOS starts to POST) or the BIOS. 

    For me the worst part was Dell indicated they were going to cover the item right up until I had them sending me a system board when the dispatch guys who send out the parts discovered the box I had purchased had been provided by some group within Dell somehow involving Dell Financial and the supposed warranty was no warranty at all. That is why the service tag (DNJQQL1) would not work at any of the Dell websites. At that point I would have liked to put that system board up somewhere unmentionable in someone unmentionable. Sorry but that left me funky for a day or so. I am good now as it is just an inanimate object and thankfully we are animate. I just got it for training anyway. It loaded up Windows Server 2012 Datacenter version no issue along with a copy of same in Hyper-V before the other issues caused it to become inoperative.

    Here is what the one I had looked like but mine usually had the cooling shroud in place. This image came from an ebay store selling more than one of these servers. They are falling out of the data centers like dominos right now and operations are trying to recoup some of their costs. That is why they are selling in the $500-600 range for one unit and even less in quantity.

     

    Glad you got yours back!!

     

    Best....Lee Nelson

All Replies
  • Inelson15,

    Have you taken the C1100 to a Minimum To Post configuration? This will let us know if it is being caused by something installed, or a root piece of hardware.

    Take everything out of the system but the following -

    System Board

    CPU

    Heatsink

    1 DIMM  

    Power Supply

    Reduce the system to this and then power it up and see if it will complete POST. If not , then I would assume the system board is the cause if you have tested everything else with known good parts.

    Chris Hawk

    Dell | Social Outreach Services - Enterprise
    Get Support on Twitter @DellCaresPro 
    Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! (iOS, Android, Windows)

  • Thanks for the reply Chris. I will do as you suggest on Tuesday 02/12/2013 as far as the Minimum to Post for this system and also check the Delta power supply voltages to be sure they are firm. I found one thing interesting in the owner's manual on page 110 of the .pdf. Here is quote from Troubleshooting Changes in the BIOS Settings line 3..."3 Move jumper (J15) from the default operation position, covering pins 1and 2, to the reset / clear position, remove the cover from pins 1 and 2."  I have inspected the system board very closely and I have yet to find a J15. Does anyone know where that is on the C1100 system board? There is not reference image for that in the manual. I found the other jumpers mentioned in the manual J24, J21 and JP2.

    I should also mention that I made one pass at updating the system BIOS and two passes at updating the BMC firmware. The one BIOS update pass was rejected by the system. This B23 was the version used. Both of the BMC firmware update passes were rejected by the system at the 99% mark. This 1.82,  A01 was the version used. Possibly the server certificate was an issue for these operations. It was completed by Dell, Inc. in Taiwan in 02/2010 but was rejected by IE10 as invalid and needing updating when I browsed the BMC GUI for inspection. The BMC firmware was fully functional when I browsed it before the BIOS update pass or BMC firmware update passes.???

      

  • Okay I put the hardware in the Minimum to Post. This did not make a difference. The state the system is now, I effectively do not have a power switch. I plug in the power supply and about 5/6 of the time the system just sits there like it should with the fan in the power supply on and +5vsb at 5 VDC. The other 1/6 of the time the system get a PS_ON# signal and the power supply comes on; the fans start to run and power is in the system but that is it. I checked all of the voltages in the supply by enabling the PS_ON#. They are right on the mark. When power does go into the system, the light in the power switch glows green but the switch is not functional. The amber fault and blue system information light are on as they have been since it faulted. I am probably gong to have to start looking for a system board. I have a Dell warranty that runs through 05/18/2013, but I am not sure if it covers the system board nor do I know how to go about getting warranty service. My service tag (Svc Tag removed by moderator) for whatever reason is not in the support part of the Dell system and trying to get support without it is practically impossible. I guess maybe just pick up the phone and call. A couple of places have this system board for between $200 and $300 used if worse comes to worse. Trying to integrate another vendors dual processor Intel chipset 5500 based server board into this case would be hit and miss especially considering the required connections to the front panel and expander board are probably proprietary to this system board.

  • Inelson15,

    I sent you an email for details. Please reply when you get a chance.

    Chris Hawk

    Dell | Social Outreach Services - Enterprise
    Get Support on Twitter @DellCaresPro 
    Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! (iOS, Android, Windows)

  • Hi,

    I just experienced the same thing as you (lnelson15) got any luck?

    But in my case:

    . I used the BMC for the BIOS, rebooted the server multiple times and saw the new version of the BIOS, BCM still working, etc.

    . Then I used a MS-DOS Bootable USB Key for the BMC which went ok;

    until I remove the power and move the server into his new rack.

    PS: No output from either the com port or the internet port.

    PS1: Must be a bad batch, mine is also due to expire around May 2013.

    ------

    Good news... there is a secret "handshake" with those 3 jumpers where you can bootstrap the BIOS.  (Be patient once the fan start at full blast ~5 minutes)

    I took the one before last BIOS, bootstrapped it (look up AMIBOOT.ROM), re-booted on a USB FLASH drive, used SOCFLASH for the BMC (one before last again) and Voila!  Back from the dead.

  • Hey thanks for the reply. Too late for this one a I returned it to where I got it. This box was as they say "HOSED". The only way to
    get it to start or do anything was to plug it in to AC. At that point the power supply fan would come on, the fault light and system ID lights would on and the fan in the power supply would run but there was not power to the system as the power supply did not get the power_good# signal from the
    system board so it would just sit.....for hours until you unplug it ( I could jump out the power_good# to ground in the 24pin plug and turn on the power supply with a paper clip to be sure the power supply was good). Also the power switch light did not come on or blink (as it should while the BMC is starting). All of the switches and reset buttons where inoperable at all times. About every 8th time or so that I plugged it in the power supply would for whatever reason come on, the fans would come on wide open as is correct when they have no control from the BCM, the fault light and system ID lights would come on solid and the power switch light would come on but the power switch would be inoperative as the BMC was not starting up. It would also sit like that for hours (or until one could not listen to fans any longer) until unplugged. Believe me I looked for any sign of activity of the BMC starting (that is what is going on the minute or so before the BIOS starts to POST) or the BIOS. 

    For me the worst part was Dell indicated they were going to cover the item right up until I had them sending me a system board when the dispatch guys who send out the parts discovered the box I had purchased had been provided by some group within Dell somehow involving Dell Financial and the supposed warranty was no warranty at all. That is why the service tag (DNJQQL1) would not work at any of the Dell websites. At that point I would have liked to put that system board up somewhere unmentionable in someone unmentionable. Sorry but that left me funky for a day or so. I am good now as it is just an inanimate object and thankfully we are animate. I just got it for training anyway. It loaded up Windows Server 2012 Datacenter version no issue along with a copy of same in Hyper-V before the other issues caused it to become inoperative.

    Here is what the one I had looked like but mine usually had the cooling shroud in place. This image came from an ebay store selling more than one of these servers. They are falling out of the data centers like dominos right now and operations are trying to recoup some of their costs. That is why they are selling in the $500-600 range for one unit and even less in quantity.

     

    Glad you got yours back!!

     

    Best....Lee Nelson

  • any more info on this "secret handshake" combination of jumpers?  i have a similarly dead server with no POST screen after bios update (plus amber service light).  But i cannot get it to seem to do anything.  I tried clearing the bios, and changing the "recovery" jumper - but it still just roars with full fans, no display, and amber light...

    Thanks

  • No secret handshake. These servers being sold on e-bay appear to be custom designed for some ISP or were part of a different release cycle than the one for which drivers are available on Dell's site. If you have forced a BMC update by downloading the BMC firmware from Dell's website, then you have bricked the server. Once bricked the BMC Disable jumper will not work either.

     

    Heed the BMC's warning when it says the firmware does not pass checksum (or something similar to that which appears when you try to flash the firmware.) Its basically telling you that this firmware will not work with this device.

     

    The only way I know of to recover a C1100 that has been bricked is to desolder the BMC EEPROM from the board, program it back to its original firmware code and solder it back on.

     

    Shahid

     

  • Well,

    ( I got schooled lately on that subject )

    I got 12 CS24-TY, they where leases to <insert really big name here> and at the end of the leases they are replaced by newer hardwares and the old ones are sold off to the highest bidder.  ( About the same as with fleet of cars. )

    My CS-24TY's came with 1.42 iBMC and 3A16 BIOS.

    When I bricked my first one "hard", I was aware of the BOOTSTRAP function on the board, that will boot the BOX and enable you to re-flash a good BIOS (3B22 in my case) and from that point I was able to re-flash a good iBMC (1.79).

    I found that using the SOCFLASH option in both case is the safest way to go about this upgrade.

    ( 12 box later and no problem )

    That BOOTSTRAP is undocumented to non-Dell personal, but it is a sequence of those 3 jumpers near J22.

    No need to get out the solder iron and go all '90 over that MB =D

    PS: Sorry if you had a bad experience with those CS24-xx but we had the budget I would have bought more of them.

  • The sequence is not a secret....make sure you save an original copy of your ROM file.

    If you "brick" your system, do the following:

    Move jumper j24 ("clear cmos") to the 2-3 position to clear the cmos. Plug power in and wait 5 seconds.  Unplug the power. Put j24 back to the original position.  Move jumper J1E1 (directly to the left of j24) to the 2-3 position. (if you look between the jumper and the sata connections, you will see that it says "cmos recovery").

    Copy the ORIGINAL rom file you wish to restore on to a usb flash drive, and rename it on the flash drive to "amiboot.rom". (flashdrive does not need to be bootable) Plug the power in and wait several minutes. System should start after several minutes and load a builtin program to re-flash back to the original bios.  

  • Can you walk us through how you brought it from 3A16 to current. Mine started with 3A14 and I messed it up when I tried to upgrade.  Any help would be appreciated!

  • I was not able to bring the system to a current rev unfortunately, despite trying most of the versions on the Dell support site.  I was able to recover it back to the original bios version. This chipset is not compatible with the current revs of the bios.  

  • When I saved my bios to a recover file, I didnt realize that the flash drive was full so I didnt successfully backup my firmware before I tried, any chance I can get a copy of your firmware backup to recover from?

  • Let me check.  I may have it.

  • Might be able to do that later this week. (my datacenter is a few hundred miles away) I will post back and find a way to send it.