Hardware is, well, HARD...

I haven’t posted about it before but we’ve an ongoing saga in attempting to get together a 1U server for a customer. Normally…this isn’t an issue. Our regular vendor (QSol) though has made some business decisions which means, atleast for the time being, for our lowest level/cheapest 1U machines/dedicated servers they’re a little outside of the price point we’re willing to look at. They did their best to get us something as we have a long standing business relationship with them, and so they sent along a machine. We basically *never* have issues with our QSol 1U’s. We unfortunately had to send the unit back, it displayed a number of progressively weirder and more serious errors the longer we left it under burn-in. QSol really didn’t have anything else on-hand that was within the budget point for this particular customer, and believe us, they tried, and QSol is *AWESOME* don’t EVER anyone think that I am bad-mouthing them. They’ve saved our asses so many times I long ago lost count.

SO to that end we cast a net to find a vendor of a cheap 1U…and got exactly what we deserved…we went and tried not once, but twice to order a system from AVADirect. Both orders had to be cancelled because of unavailability of the requested configuration, or chassis. The sales people were/are very apologetic about it but we didn’t have time to try to submit yet another order and potentially have it also cancelled.

So OK fine. We’re running out of time, lets “barebones it” from NewEgg. Ordered an Intel 3065 Xeon CPU, a gig of Crucial RAM (DDR2-667), a pair of SATA HDDs, WD2500KS’s, a 3Ware 8006-2LP and a SuperMicro SYS-5015M-T+. NewEgg came through with the hardware today so I’m thinking SWEET. Get this beast together and get going, so I hand the whole pile of parts to the other SysAdmin here. Except that the SuperMicro PDSMI+ based 1U won’t POST. Just one long warble and a Flashing or Steady on OH/Fan Fail LED. Cept nothing is overheating, all the fans are running. Checked the seating of the heat sink on the CPU die, looked good, cleaned it, applied Arctic Silver to it and reinstalled it to no avail. Pulled all memory, tried a different stick of memory, still, no luck.

So now at this point all we have left is to unmount the motherboard from the chassis and check to see if there’s something conductive under there. If that doesn’t work then we’re left with no choice but to return atleast the chassis, and maybe the whole damned kit as DOA. There’s a documented “long repetitive beep” for the PDSMI+ that stands for no memory connected error, but I would classify this as a “warble” not a beep. high/low/high/low at about 1-2 second intervals (it’s steady but I don’t know how long).

So we’re back at square one. Really should just pay for the extra cost at our usual vendor.