I have a Dell PE 2950 server that was booting fine a few weeks ago. Today I installed it in our rack and plugged in 4 new hard drives (in addition to the two that were in there). System would post but then go black and the LSI raid controller never came up and the system didn't boot into Windows.
So, I powered off the server and removed the extra drives. Powered on and same thing happened.
Next, I tried removing the network cable and the first two drives to try to minimize the configuration. CD/DVD tray was empty, no hard drives, no mouse, one USB keyboard connected (no PS/2 ports available) and a VGA monitor.
Same thing happened, in fact, it started happening even earlier in the boot process. The Dell splash screen and the loading bar show up and the bar doesn't even get halfway done before the screen goes black.
Finally, I tried removing the CMOS battery, waiting for several seconds, and putting it back in, then booting. Same results.
Any idea what could be wrong?
Let us try make use of full minimum to POST components with the following requirements just in case there happens to a problem with another component.
Let us know if this works for you.
So far the LSI raid controller prompt has not yet come up.
I can get to the screen showing how much RAM is installed, and with only one stick it showed the warning that it was not optimal.
But I never get to the point where the LSI controller starts.
OK with the minimum configuration (all PCI cards removed, DVD drive disconnected, raid card removed, no drives, 1 stick of RAM, 1 CPU)
I am still getting a splash screen and then black, no message about RAM at all.
Next I will try 1 stick from another working server and try that.
With two sticks from the other server, the 2950 gets past the splash screen and shows the amount of RAM installed.
However, it doesn't get any further. Screen goes black like before and nothing happens.
After I was able to get to the screen with the number of CPUs installed, amount of RAM, and broadcom boot agent, I attempted to connect a keyboard to see if I could get into the BIOS.
Unfortunately, I was still brought to the black screen, I could not get into the BIOS. I also tried getting into the boot menu pop up, but that did not come up either.
It appears to be failing right after the broadcom boot agent initializes.
Before we may conclude that the Broadcom NIC is faulty, clear the NVRAM on the PnP system by moving NVRAM jumper to the CLR position while OFF and UNPLUGGED. Plug it in and turn it on, power off, unplug, return the jumper to the original position and plug in and power system back on normally. Now try minimum to POST again.
Removing the CMOS battery and waiting several seconds does not clear the NVRAM.
Please let me know if this helps out.
Ok, following those steps:
Powering on the system after the jumper was moved to CLR, I got a keyboard error since I didn't have the keyboard connected and was prompted to hit F2 to enter setup, then the screen went black.
I powered off the server and moved the jumper (server was unplugged from power), then I plugged the server back in and powered back on. Server went to the black screen immediately after the splash screen as before.
I removed the CMOS battery and put it back in earlier for good measure but, same thing.