Precisionjjs
1 Nickel

T5500 will not POST (strange error lights)

I have a Precision T5500 that has been working fine and in service for several years. Last night I powered the machine down completely (and turned off the power strip). This morning I went to power on the machine  and the fans all cranked up very loud (safe mode setting). Initially the number 2 diagnostic light and the HDD and Network lights were on - All solid and the machine did not go further to POSt. Even stranger was the power button was not responsive, the machine needed to be unplugged for it to turn off. 

Upon plugging the machine back in the #2 light was off and only the NIC and HDD lights were on. I found that strange. 

Currently the machine is striped down to the bare minimum - one 1GB stick of RAM in DIMM #1 (the RAM that came with the machine from Dell - DUAL IN-LINE MEMORY MODULE, 1G, 1333, 1RX8X72, 8, 240, UBE) and I have removed the 2nd CPU rider board and have put only the single original CPU on the motherboard (MODULE, PROCESSOR, E5607, 2.26, XWM, 80W - which also initially came with the machine). 

I am very frustrated at this point since there is no change. The motherboard NIC is not plugged in yet the light is on. Same with the HDD light - even with no HDD's the machine should still POST and allow me into the BIOS.

At no time has the power light turned green or amber and at no time other than the first time this morning has any of the #'s 1-4 diagnostic lights turned on. 

I pulled the power supply and swapped it with another known-good one (I have several of these T5500's) and the PSU works in other T5500's and other PSU's produce the same error in this machine. My only other thought is that the motherboard is dead??? Could that be possible given what I describe? The machine is plugged into an APC 5-minute BBU battery & surge protector. The only other information I can offer is that the machine has been running ESXi for several years with upgraded RAM, CPUs and packed full of drives and components (RAID cards, SSD's, HDD's, SATA power splitters to fit extra SSD's, 72GB RAM, Xeon 6-core X5650 CPUs, etc.) they are maintained, taken care of and I have three more in this exact configuration and all work fine. 

I would appreciate any thoughts or suggestions as to how to properly reset the BIOS or get this thing back functioning again. 

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9 Replies
7 Plutonium

RE: T5500 will not POST (strange error lights)

When was last time you replaced motherboard battery?

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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Precisionjjs
1 Nickel

RE: T5500 will not POST (strange error lights)

About a year ago, I wrote the date (sharpie) on the battery when it was replaced. 10/18/2013. I changed it again yesterday- just incase but knowing it tested OK on a meter - and it gave me a #2 diagnostic light with both the HDD and the network lights on - but not even a green power button.

Upon restart (still unresponsive power button so pull the cord) it went back to the same, just high fan speed with Ethernet and HDD lights on.

Is it time to start looking for a mobo on eBay?

Thanks for the reply. Frustrating because there were zero hardware or software configuration changes and it was working perfectly two nights ago.

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7 Plutonium

RE: T5500 will not POST (strange error lights)

A pre-post #2 is a "reserved" error code according to the manual, so that doesn't tell us anything.

If you pull out all RAM modules, you should get a beep code when you power on. If not that might mean motherboard or CPU failure.

What happens if you pull the video card? Does the error code change? Can you swap that out with another one of your systems?

Unfortunately, electronics do fail suddenly, without warning. One too many power on cycles, etc...

Maybe somebody else will have more/better ideas than I have, so stay tuned...

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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Precisionjjs
1 Nickel

RE: T5500 will not POST (strange error lights)

The same thing happens regardless of what I do which leads me to think mobo issue. It was running ESXi headless so I put in a known-good video card and no change. No change with or without a video card and no beep errors upon starting with no RAM in the machine.

I swapped the CPU with a few different known-good CPU's I had laying around: W5580, QGXP-ES, Q3QN-ES and X5650. No change and all of the CPUs, video cards & RAM work fine in other T5500 machines.

Any ideas would be much appreciated!

Thx.


EDIT #1:

I took everything out of the machine - the CMOS battery, CPU, RAM, etc. and when I power it on I get lights #1, #2 and #4 (in green) come on with the network and HDD LED's - then the power button blinks amber/orange and the whole machine shuts down. If I do it a few more times to try and reproduce the error it changes after the 2nd or 3rd time and just the network and HDD LED come on as they were before.

Odd when it changes and can not always be exactly reproduced. Makes me think maybe there is an issue with the PSU...??? Or mobo... or both...

EDIT #2:

With nothing in the machine as described in EDIT #1, if you hold the button on the back of the PSU as you pull out the power cord, the 1 & 3 LED flash green while the power button flashes amber - it does it three times and then the machine powers off. That's the only thing I can reproduce. While that happens the Network and HDD LED's turn off as soon as the power cord is removed.

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7 Plutonium

RE: T5500 will not POST (strange error lights)

Well, I think you've swapped out just about everything except the motherboard, so I guess you have your answer... [:'(]

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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Precisionjjs
1 Nickel

RE: T5500 will not POST (strange error lights)

This is fairly old but... I had done nothing with that machine other than let is collect dust until a few days ago. I started looking at the motherboards for the T5500 and I'm finding that there are two different models or part numbers:

CRH6C 

and

D883F

What is the difference between the two and since I have the CRH6C (of course it's the more expensive of the two) does that mean I must replace with the same or can I buy either? 

I should add that I am using the secondary CPU riser in the machine, running dual Xeon X5650 CPUs and each DIMM is populated with 8GB memory sticks. 

Thanks. 

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Jimbobawayo
1 Copper

RE: T5500 will not POST (strange error lights)

About your last question. Out of the box, The older board only supports 55xx xeons, the crh6c board will support your 56xx CPU, also it had a few changes for reliability, most notably a passive cooler on the n bridge. I've gotten great knowledge of these specific machines trying to figure out what's wrong with mine! Hopefully some karma will throw me some help next Smiley Happy

Jimbobawayo
1 Copper

RE: T5500 will not POST (strange error lights)

About the last question... 0d board is older, supports 55xx chipset. Crh6c is the updated one, supports 56xx and has notable improvements in reliability. Stick with the crh6c. Sorry if this is a repost, phone glitched out.

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Damiana86
2 Bronze

RE: T5500 will not POST (strange error lights)

i have one with older board and its much stable as its northbridge has a fan and here its very hot weather.

also it supports 56 series cpus ( tried e5620 and l5630

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