Dell PowerEdge: Troubleshooting a Server that does not start (No Power, No POST, No Boot and No Video)


Dell PowerEdge: Troubleshooting a Server that does not start (No Power, No POST, No Boot and No Video)


This article provides information about how to troubleshoot No Power, No POST, No Boot and No Video issues on a Dell PowerEdge Servers including blade, rack, and tower servers.
Note: This article is part of the Server Tutorials: Support Tools, available here.


Table of content

  1. Definitions
  2. Before starting Troubleshooting
  3. Troubleshooting a No Power
  4. Troubleshooting a No Post
  5. Troubleshooting a No Boot
  6. Troubleshooting a No Video
  7. Additional Resources

1. Definitions

When a server has an issue, it is important to check what stage your system has reached. This aids troubleshooting and to help identify the root cause of your issue.

No Power definition
Once the Power button is pressed, no Diagnostics LED's will illuminate nor the Power button LED. The system has no signs of power to the system. The fan remains silent as they are not spinning and the iDRAC should not respond to ping. This is defined as a no power. Follow the No Power troubleshooting steps below.

No Post (Power On Self-Test)

If your system appears to have power, but will not complete POST once the power button is pressed. The system goes through a series of internal checks. If any of these checks should fail, the system will normally show an error on the LCD if present or have LED's to aid should illuminate to help indicate the potential problem.

No Boot
Once the system has loaded the Dell splash screen and then finished the POST checks, the Dell splash screen goes off and the system hands over to the Operating System. If the operating system does not start for any reason, this is called a No Boot. A common symptom is also that there is not any boot device available, and the following error will be displayed "No boot device found." It can happen if the virtual disks are no more online, due to a hard drive or PERC issue.

No Video
Once the Power button is pressed, the system will power on and proceed to the POST checks where you may see the Diagnostic LED's illuminate for a short period. The Power button LED illuminates and the keyboard LED's but there will be no signs of video on the Screen/Display. The iDRAC is working, and video output may be seen in the virtual console (Virtual Console is available for Enterprise licenses) you have a no video situation.


2. Before starting troubleshooting a Dell PowerEdge Server

Collect the following information:

  • What events preceded the failure? After which steps does the problem occur?
  • What has been changed since the time the server was working?
  • Did you recently add or remove hardware or software? If so, did you remember to change the appropriate settings in the server setup utility, if necessary?
  • How long has the server exhibited problem symptoms?
  • If the problem occurs randomly, what is the duration or frequency?

Once you have obtained the following information, you should then check the iDRAC logs for additional information that can help with troubleshooting.(Not possible for no power)

Log in to the iDRAC to view the Logs also View the LifeCyle Logs this aids Troubleshooting.
iDRAC9 > Maintenance > LifeCycle Logs + System Event Logs.
iDRAC8 > Logs + LifeCycle Logs + Logs.

Export the iDRAC logs for Dell Tech Support and to view the overall health of your system.

How to export Logs - iDRAC9 SLN306670
How to export Logs - iDRAC7/8 SLN295784


qrl.dell.com Look Up > Error Code




Troubleshooting a No Power on a Dell PowerEdge Server

Collect pre troubleshooting information as per "Before starting Troubleshooting"

  • First remove both power cables and hold power button in for ten seconds to drain any residual power. (How do I Reset and Drain Power of my Dell PowerEdge Server?)
  • Connect power cables(s) to power Supply's bypassing any UPS temporally if being used the LED should illuminate on the PSU (press PSU BIST button if required).
  • If no BIST leds check with knowing working power cables and wall outlet.
  • Further diagnostic steps are available in the article SLN305797 - How to troubleshoot a Server Power Supply Unit?




Troubleshooting a No POST on a Dell PowerEdge Server

Collect pre troubleshooting information as per "Before starting Troubleshooting"

  • Remove both power cables and hold power button in for ten seconds to drain any residual power.
  • Reconnect power cables and wait two minutes for the iDRAC to initialize before attempting to power on.

Check the LCD screen or LED quad pack for any error messages.
Troubleshoot any error messages. For information about troubleshooting the error, search for the error code in the qrl.dell.com > Look Up > Error Code

Confirm that the server is receiving power by checking if the power LED on the power supply is lit green.

Important: When removing/replacing parts, always remove the AC power cord(s) and allow 10 seconds for the flea power to dissipate. After reinserting the AC power cord allow two minutes before powering the server on, this allows time for the iDRAC to power back-up, otherwise error messages will not be reported correctly.
Refer to the appropriate Owner's Manual for detailed instructions on how to remove components.

  1. Remove all external devices except the monitor (including mouse and keyboard).
    • After removing the devices, attempt to POST the server.
      • If the server now completes POST, plug the external devices back in one at a time until the defective device is found. Replace the defective device once it has been isolated.
      • If the server still does not complete POST, go to the next step.
  2. Remove all third-party components and parts.
    • After removing the parts, attempt to POST the server.
      • If the server now completes POST, plug the parts back in one at a time until the defective part is found. Replace the defective part once it has been isolated.
      • If the server still does not complete POST, go to the next step.
  3. Disconnect the hard drives from the server.
    • After removing the parts, attempt to POST the server.
      • If the server now completes POST, plug the parts back in one at a time until the defective part is found. Replace the defective part once it has been isolated.
      • If the server still does not complete POST, go to the next step.
  4. Disconnect the optical drive and any internal tape drive.
    • After removing the parts, attempt to POST the server.
      • If the server now completes POST, plug the parts back in one at a time until the defective part is found. Replace the defective part once it has been isolated.
      • If the server still does not complete POST, go to the next step.
  5. Remove PCI cards including integrated NDC/PERC if applicable.
    • After removing the parts, attempt to POST the server.
      • If the server now completes POST, plug the parts back in one at a time until the defective part is found. Replace the defective part once it has been isolated.
      • If the server still does not complete POST, go to the next step.
  6. Reseat the control panel connector.
  7. Test with minimum to post Normally PSU, Motherboard, CPU1, 1 RAM Stick and Backplane. Full details for minimum to post can be found in your Owner's Manual > Minimum to Post.
    • If the server now completes POST, plug the parts back in one at a time until the defective part is found. Replace the defective part once it has been isolated.
    • If the server still does not complete POST the remaining parts have to be considered (example - Motherboard, BackPlain, Control Panel, PDU)




Troubleshooting No Video on a Dell PowerEdge Server

Collect pre troubleshooting information as per "Before starting Troubleshooting"

If the server has completed post and booted to the operating but system has no video on a directly connected monitor.

If the system is still showing no video from the front panel and the rear, replace the system board.



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Article ID: SLN111201

Last Date Modified: 02/19/2020 04:29 AM

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