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eggwis
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PowerEdge 2800 power problem

I have a PowerEdge 2800 that won't boot.  At first glance, everything would appear to be normal.  Plug in the power cords and the green LEDs light on the back of the power supplies, fans "whir" and lights light on the front of the machine, light on the power button blinking.  BUT, push the power button and you get nothing.  After some diligent observation, I noticed that fans came on in only one of the power supplies.  That struck me as odd, because if there were a problem with the other power supply, one would think the LED would indicate that.  I also noticed that on the front of the machine, neither the blue or amber status light is light.  Documentation indicated that the system has no power.  OK, well that seems obvious, but both PS indicate that they are functional and there are no error messages in the operator panel message display.  Anyone have any thoughts on this?  Is it a bad power supply causing the problem, the system board, or the switch?

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15 Replies
Moderator
Moderator

Re: PowerEdge 2800 power problem

Hi there,

Thanks for making us aware of your issue - if it's okay with you, I've got some questions I'd like to ask, just so I can fully understand what's happening with your server. If you could answer the following, it would be a massive help:

1) When did this issue start to occur? For example, did it occur randomly or did it occur after any hardware changes or even after the server experienced a power cut?

2) Have you tried any troubleshooting steps yourself? This is just so we're not asking you to redo steps that you may already have tried.

3) Have you tried reseating the PSUs to ensure they are connected firmly? Also, to completely rule out any PSU problems, have you tried connecting one PSU to the server at a time?

4) If you have any peripherals connected, please remove these and try to power on the server. Does this make any difference?

5) Does the power button switch feel broken when you press it in?

6) From the information you have given us about the LEDs, I can't see anything that would indicate a likely cause of the issue but when you press the power button, do any of the front or back LEDs change at all?

Once you've got back to us, we'll be able to look at other likely causes of this issue. Thanks again and we hope to hear from you soon!

John C

Dell EMC
| Commercial Social Media Quality Lead

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Re: PowerEdge 2800 power problem

Also, when the system is plugged in, does the small lcd on the front show information (even though it is not backlit), and is the power light flashing green?  Would you happen to have another PE2800 that you could swap the power supplies with?

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eggwis
1 Copper

Re: PowerEdge 2800 power problem

Hi John,

Thanks for your prompt reply.  To answer your questions:

1) The server was not in use for some period of time.  In fact, it was at my home where I had last been loading and configuring software when the project was put on hold.  I think the week before Thanksgiving the project was "On" again, so I hauled everything back out and set it up on the dining room table (my wife just loves me when I get involved in these things!).  The server booted up.  I logged in, checked that everything was the way I remembered leaving it and then I shut it down.  We needed to get a new copy of WS 2008 R2.  The server sat there for a couple of weeks (more love!).  Sunday evening I took the server to the office to set it up and it wouldn't boot.  It's possible that the server was still plugged in at the house for a few days after I checked it out.  I don't recall that for sure, but I definitely am not aware of any power problems during that time and noting else in my home has been abnormal electrically or electronically.  I am positive that if it were plugged in, it wasn't more than a couple of days because shortly thereafter I took the surge protector that the server had been plugged into and used in the girls room for their new TV.

2)  I have tried everything that I could think of short of plugging a multimeter into the server to start checking voltages.  ...and I would have done that had I had access to the reference voltages.  I did try reseating both power supplies numerous times throughout the TS process.  I also tried swapping them from one bay to another and trying to boot the server with only one PS in at  a time.  I disconnected the cable from the front operator panel to the backplane board, then plugged in the power cords.  I thought that in the absence of a switch, if the system were in proper working order, power should be applied and the system should boot, or at least try.  It did not.  Then I removed the memory and tried the same thing again.  I also tried disassembling the server completely and then putting it back together.  I mean I pulled out P/S, the expansion card try, all 4 hard drives, DVD/floppy, memory, processors, the whole bit.  My thought was that if the issue were just a connection issue where something had wiggled just a little out of place, that process should resolve it.  No luck with that either.  I tried moving to several different outlets at various different places in the room.  No luck there.  There could be more than that.  I'm not sure to be honest.  It's only  a box with a defined number of potential problem parts and I spent probably 8 or 9 hours trying to get it to boot.  So at some point you begin trying things you've already tried and steps start to overlap and co-mingle.

3)As stated above, I tried every combination of things I could think with regard to the power supplies.

4)Initially, there was a standard, run of the mill flat screen display plugged in, along with the keyboard and mouse.   Somewhere in the middle of the TS process I removed them altogether and have not plugged them in since.

5) I guess perhaps I have not paid enough attention when pressing power buttons as I'm not entirely sure what a broken switch feels like.  Honestly, I don't think I've ever worked on a machine that had a broken power switch.  I did pay very close attention to how it felt in this case however.  It felt quite fluid and smooth.  Several times I was able to feel only the most subtle of "clicks", 2 or 3, when I pressed the power button.  But I don't believe I felt that consistently.  That was when I decided I should try disconnecting the power switch and applying power to the machine via the power cords to see if it would boot that way.

6)When the power cords are plugged in, there is an amber LED on the back (System Status Indicator LED I believe)  lights just for a couple of seconds, not more than 3 I think, then it shuts off and that's it.

On the front, the LED in the power button blinks green, on and off at regular intervals.  The system status indicator LCD is lit and displays nothing abnormal.  I think it says "Dell Poweredge 2800" scrolling across.  I don't recall ever having seen either the blue or amber system status indicator LEDs light at all.  Nothing appears to change at all when the power button is pressed.  I do recall a few instances when I thought I had heard the hard drives "click" as if they were unlocking at start-up, but i was never able to replicate that on any sort of consistent basis.

That's all I've got for you John.  I hope there is something there that is of use to you in identifying the problem!  Thanks for your time.  I do appreciate your help and I look forward to hearing from you.

Best Regards,

Gregg Lewis

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eggwis
1 Copper

Re: PowerEdge 2800 power problem

Yes, Yes and No.  If had had another 2800 lying around I'd have been swapping parts and we"d have been done yesterday.

Best regards

Gregg Lewis

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eggwis
1 Copper

Re: PowerEdge 2800 power problem

re: item #6) On the back of the machine, there are also the P/S LEDs.  Only the green LED is lit on both.

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Moderator
Moderator

Re: PowerEdge 2800 power problem

Hi Gregg,

I've sent you a friend request as it allows me to send you a private message. If you could read this and send me an e-mail to the e-mail address listed in the friend request, it would be very much appreciated.

Thanks again!

John C

Dell EMC
| Commercial Social Media Quality Lead

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eggwis
1 Copper

Re: PowerEdge 2800 power problem

Good evening John,

I sent you an email from my Dell support account, but I have not heard from you.  Were you asking me to send you an email from my GMail account?  If so, Im not sure whee I should be sending it.  If you send me an email at the gmail address indicated, then we can go from there.  Looking forward to hearing from you!

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Moderator
Moderator

Re: PowerEdge 2800 power problem

Hi Gregg,

I've sent you an e-mail as promised - looking forward to your reply!

John C

Dell EMC
| Commercial Social Media Quality Lead

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JimHamade
1 Copper

Re: PowerEdge 2800 power problem

Hello John C,

I'm having the same issue as Gregg Lewis.  It appears that someone else describes the same problem at the Experts Exchanges with no solution www.experts-exchange.com/.../Q_23091501.html

I found the server off when I returned from the Xmas holiday.

The power supply light & fan come on.  I know it's not the power supplies because only one was plugged into power and connecting power to the 2nd PS yields the same results.

Anything you can suggest?

Thanks,

Jim

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