[nycbug-talk] Newbie can't boot server - needs person or shop in NYC with mobos & CPUs to troubleshoot

alex at pilosoft.com alex
Fri Aug 19 01:39:51 EDT 2005

On Thu, 18 Aug 2005, Maude User wrote:

> SUMMARY: I have a new server which I'm unable to boot up after talking
> to tech support from various vendors over the phone. Since I don't have
> any spare CPUs or motherboards around for troubleshooting I'd like to
> find a shop or person in NYC I can take it to. I'm asking the nycbug
> list if you can recommend a shop or person in New York who does
> troubleshooting / configuration / installation for hardware and FreeBSD.
You don't need BSD clue. You need hardware clue.

> MORE DETAILS: This is a 1U rackmount server (Tyan GS12 barebones) from
> buy.com, the RAM & CPU are from axiontech.com and the hard drives are
> from monarchcomputer.com. (Detailed specs below.) I have been unable to
> get it to boot into the BIOS setup, even after talking to tech support
> at Tyan.
Identify which RAM. See below.

> Orginally I had registered, ECC RAM in it because the Tyan website
> erroneously said the GS12 motherboard required "unbuffered, reg./ECC"
> which I now know is a contradiction in terms (the site has been fixed
> since I talked to them - I have a screenshot of the old incorrect
> version though!). On the phone they told me "registered" = "buffered"
> and they said this server actually requires _unbuffered_. Now I have 2 x
> 1024MB of _unbuffered_, non-ECC RAM and it still won't boot into BIOS
> Setup. The old CRT monitor I'm using appears to be correctly connected
> because the greenish screen "blinks" once when I power on the server,
> and goes all white when I unplug the monitor from the VGA port - but I
> don't get anything at all on the monitor.
I am willing to bet you have "high-density" (AKA 128x8) memory, which
won't work in this motherboard (or in almost any intel mobo). Get "low
density" memory and see.

> Today Tyan had me reset the CMOS and it still wouldn't boot into the
> BIOS Setup. They say I have the correct RAM and CPU installed so the
> next step would be swapping in a different CPU to see if there's
> something wrong with my CPU, or putting my CPU in a different
> motherboard to see if there's something wrong with my motherboard.
> I was really nervous about getting a server because all my life I've
> just done database programming, and if the hardware broke I always had a
> help desk to turn to. I've been very confused trying to understand all
> the different specs for motherboards, CPUs and RAM and what goes with
> what - and after the past few days of frustration I'm tempted to return
> everything to the vendors and I'll only be out the shipping costs. But
> on the other hand, I think it's about time I learned about hardware and
> OSes so I want to stick with it and get this thing up and running so I
> can get back to learning PostgreSQL and Ruby on Rails!
> Unfortunately I don't have any spare CPUs or motherboards to test with,
> so I think the best thing to do now would be to find a shop or a person
> in the New York area I can take the machine to for troubleshooting. I'm
> looking for someone who's knowledgeable about rackmount servers and
> FreeBSD and who hopefully also wouldn't mind if I hung out and watched a
> bit so maybe I could learn a few things about configuring hardware and
> the OS.
What puzzles me is *why* people assume they know all about PC hardware and 
try to assemble server themselves instead of buying one from Dell. You 
spent more money on parts and far more money on time, than if you just 
bought Dell 750 server.

That being said, we'll help you out. Come to 55 Broad with your server. We 
have pretty much every imaginable PC part in stock as a spare.


More information about the talk mailing list