I have 2 used Dell PowerEdge 2650s and they worked well for a few months but now one of them won't boot properly. When I try to boot it, it tries to "Initialize Remote Access Control" which after a few minutes reports a initialization failure. It then enters into the BIOS but after displaying "Checking embedded server management" it then says its not present, finally displaying
Two 2400 MHz Processors, L2 cache: 512 KB
It then hangs at that point and is completely unresponsive to input. I've looked around the internet and these forums to see if others have had similar problems like this and a lot have suggested to me it was the riser board. So I switched the riser boards between the working and unworking server, and the one that previously hanged went with no problems while the other previously working one had exactly the same problem.
I have also heard that a BIOS update/RAC driver update could possibly fix it, but considering I can't seem to boot from a floppy/disk I haven't been able to try it out.
Is there any alternative to fix this problem without having to buy a new riser board?
From what you have described, there is not much else you can do besides replace the riser. I think you have pretty much covered the bases to confirm the riser is bad. BIOS/BMC updates can fix some problems, but obviously not if you cannot boot the machine 🙂
You might try - as a long shot - clearing the NVRAM using the motherboard jumpers. Good luck.
Thanks for the suggestion but I put the jumpers on NVRAM_CLR and rebooted my machine and it didn't seem to have any effect. I guess my only option now is to order a working riser.
I have one last question. Will any Dell 2650 riser boards be compatible with my machine or will I need to buy a specific one? Like if I bought a riser without an integrated RAC, would this cause my BIOS to give me errors when I hooked it up? I'm asking this because the used riser boards are much cheaper than buying a new one and as I don't want to spend too much money on this server I was hoping to get one cheap.
No, not all risers are compatible with all motherboards. I would start by searching for the part number currently in your system. There's no need to buy it new - just make sure there is a warranty in case of DOA 🙂 You can find it on the riser itself - it should have a sticker with a long alpha-numeric - the part number is embedded inside of that - usually you drop the first, then take the next 5 to give you something like F0153, P1743, J0686, etc. You can also find it by going to support.dell.com, entering your Service Tag, clicking the Warranty Status link on the left, then going to the Original Configuration tab.
How would I reseat/remove it? I can definitely live without it if it means I don't have to buy a new riser card. But looking at it, it seems soldered to the motherboard.
I think you're thinking of the 2850. The DRAC4 is a daughter card mounted on the systemboard near the power supplies ... in a 2850. The 2650 has an ERA (Embedded Remote Access) chip embedded in the motherboard. The ERA port is also on the left side - away from the power supplies. Unless I am grossly mistaken, the ERA in a 2650 cannot be removed.