Question about Dell PowerEdge 1800 Server

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Concise Question, Poweredge 1800 powerup failure

Hi: I asked earlier, but my info was not well thought out. I thought best to try again.

1)On occasion when I power on, the case fan turns on, and a yellow wire output line from power shows 12V for maybe 5 seconds or less. Then the voltage drops to nearly nothing, and the orange light starts to blinks on the server. It never shows anything on the video screen.

2) If I try it again soon after, while the case fan never turns on, the voltage shows nearly nothing. The power supply fan does run though.

3) However If I wait awhile to try it again (maybe an hour) it will again do what it did in (1) above.

I did try running it, disconnecting all drives and the fans one by one. This did not help (I was looking for a short).

To me, this smells of a bad power supply. But expensive to guess. Any feelings on this? Thanks. Sorry for bad question before, I was not being clear.

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  • fkalich Feb 11, 2009

    Correction: (2) should read

    2) If I try it again soon after the power supply fan does not turn on and the
    voltage shows nearly nothing. The power supply fan does run though.

    I worded it sloppily, and thought it might confuse. It has been curious to me that power supply does run its own fan fine. But I guess a defective power supply might still be able to do that.


  • fkalich Feb 11, 2009

    Disregard the correction comment, screw up again. I mean to say

    2) If I turn it off, and try to power up again right after that, the case fan does not turn on at all, and the
    voltage shows nearly nothing from the beginning. The power supply fan does run though.


  • fkalich Feb 13, 2009

    Thanks Aenim4. I did try the PS from an old dell 1600 and nothing happened at all. But that server is set up differently. When you plug the 1600 in, there is no activity, not until you push the start button. There is a line from the PS to the front, I expect to the start up switch. On my 1800 there is no such line, the PS fans turns on and the case fans for a few seconds when you plug it in. I even was able to keep that long line hooked into the 1600, and pushing the start there, but that did not help. But I will try a different PS when I can, or some other way as you suggest. I will give you the appropriate 'helpful' or 'FixYa' rating after I found out if this indeed was the deal (as I expect it will be). Again, thanks for your help.

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It is definitely the PSU that's not working properly,because defective motherboard should still receive the 12V. you can use a desktop standard power supply to check if the server runs fine, even a cheap one is ok for a test run. they sell also cheap (about 15-20$) PSU tester, definitely worth when working with servers and WS.
the Power supply fan might have a dedicated rail coming from the thermal sensor(thermistor.)this is why it can run even with bad 12V rail.

Posted on Feb 13, 2009

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