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3U Server - last four disks don't come up

wolfh

Member
hi there - hoping for some advice / ideas / suggestions. I purchased a used 3U server in a good condition and got it shipped to me. It was working before and the seller validated this with Kaleidescape and also showed me the the functional system. I got it shipped to me and the server was well packaged although all hard discs were in the chassis which I was told was not ideal.

Anyway when I powered the device on, all discs are spun up with the exception of the last four one and K Support mentioned that these drives cannot be recognised and advised to swap the drives - good thing is the drives seem to work, bad thing is that there seems to be an issue with the backplane? As the device is no longer under warranty I opened it to check if there was anything broken and could not find anything. does anyone have any ideas what else I could check or what kind of 'spare parts' I should check?

appreciate any help...
 

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cinelife

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I'm assuming you went through the usual:
-confirmed all the drives are the original drives that were in the unit when it was working.
-the drives were removed, you checked the rear connecting point and the drives for damage.
-confirmed all of the drives are using the same file system. (Support can confirm.)
-confirm it's the server (likely) and not the drives. (Shutdown, swap some of the good drives with the drives in the last 4 slots, i.e. swap slots 5,6,7, and 8 with the drives in 11, 12, 13, and 14, and see what happens when you power back up. Don't swap with 1 -4, those seemed to boot up correctly, so keep those in place to insure the server boots up.) Note: although the slots are technically numbered 1- 14 left to right, it does not matter where you place individual drives, drives are not "married" to any particular slot.

Jim
 

wolfh

Member
I did what you have mentioned and really tried to figure out if there would be any kind of damage but was unable to do so - but now I am in the great position that the server even doesn't book up any more - meaning I press the power button and nothing happens.

So very likely I either have to get an empty chassis from somewhere or will at least to keep my financial damage to a minimum sell the drives which K Support told me are fine.

I am still trying to figure out what I now can do to at least bring it back alive and the bower & boot up works and then go for the next steps.
I assume that by unplugging cables and plugging them back in should not bring the server into a state that it is being reset right?
 

cinelife

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Whatever "resetting" of the server accomplishes, it does so by powering off the Server at the mains (unplug it from the outlet, or pull power cable from rear of server) for a minute or so before powering back up.

Although I still cannot figure out the last 4 drive issue, I'm wondering if the power supply is bad, or going bad. (But I would think K Support would have mentioned that if it was a problem.)

Jim
 

wolfh

Member
Thanks a lot, I will try that in the next few days as again I got totally frustrated and could not think what I could have done wrong so that the server doesn't power up again, so potentially the power supply issue was starting with the four disks not being recognised and then ended up with no power.

is there a chance to find out which disks were on which slots when all was working? I assume or hope K support should know that too right?
 

cinelife

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Support can tell you the drives in each slot, but only based on the last connection to K, which may or may not be the last time it powered up correctly.

Jim
 

htroberts

Well-known member
hi there - hoping for some advice / ideas / suggestions.
I haven't taken a 3U apart, but I expect the disk bus is divided into segments of three or four disks, and one of the parts that supports that segment is dead. The chips at U8-U11 are ACT574, which are multi-state flipflops, and the data sheet says "the devices are particularly suitable for implementing [...] bidirectional bus drivers".


Of course, without seeing a schematic, this is total speculation and the problem could easily be elsewhere--bad trace, power problem, something on the other side of the board...

I would try to let it be the seller's problem, but if you can't do that, you could get someone to poke at those chips with a logic probe and see if the one at the problem end of the bus is acting funny (i.e. are you seeing strobing inputs & clock, but nothing on the outputs?). You could also ask if K would sell you one of those backplanes, but I'd be (pleasantly) surprised if they said yes.
 

wolfh

Member
appreciate your response and will give it another view - I figured out that the power supply seems to work but somewhere between power supply, mainboard, backplane and the pogo board (power button) something is not working as expected as there is no 'reaction' when I press the button.

I also realised that the fan is very different to the one in my other 3U server and will publish a picture here for others to let me know if this was modified or not. Ultimately I would want to get this second server working or at least understand which is the broken part :)
 
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