Question about Dell PowerEdge 1600SC Server

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No Boot on 1600sc

Hi, I stripped down all the component parts from a Dell PowerEdge 1600sc Server to clean them before reinstating the server. On plugging in, the LED motherboard light (labelled D2, between the power connector and the front panel connector) lights green (continuous) but there is no other activity, no boot, no beeps, no post, no front panel lights, nothing. I connected only the system HD (IDE), inserted memory (2x 512Mb) and single processor (single processor system only), fans, front panel connector, mouse, keyboard and monitor. All other hardware not connected until I was sure the system would boot. Note: the first 2x time on powering up, the fans came on and then the system powered down by itself after 5 seconds. But now nothing happens. Any suggestions? Ric

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  • ric_m Aug 19, 2007


    And many thanks for your replies.

    First, everything worked perfectly prior to the clean.

    I have disconnected pretty much everything including keyboard and mouse on the basis that a fault with any of those might cause a problem. Without these items in place I should get errors on post and an appropriate number of beeps.

    Ditto memory.

    The motherboard is dry and clean and warm - no problems there. Video and LAN is on-board and no other PCI cards present. CPU checked and reinserted; pins perfectly straight. Front panel control cable and panel pcb checked and reinstalled. There isn't much else now to connect or reconnect.

    I think the problem is either the power supply is no longer working (maye one voltage but not the other) or maybe the motherboard has somehow been damaged. However, I have cleaned dozens of boards and systems before and never had a problem and this server has been treated with exactly the same care.

    One interesting side effect - if I leave the server for about 30 mins and reattach the power supply and press the power button, the cpu fan starts up (and only the CPU fan) for around 5 seconds and then powers down again. Then nothing more after that - no front panel lights, nothing. The only thing that remains lit is the motherboard LED (D2) next to the power connector.

    If asked, my suspicions are with the PSU.


  • ric_m Aug 19, 2007

    Hi again

    ... and thanks for your detailed reply. I have stripped down the power supply again and rebuilt it, taking care to ensure all the wires and connectors are tight.

    Connected the motherboard power connectors and plugged in and hit the power button on the front panel. It now boots.

    OK, there are lots of error messages at POST - but that's because all the devices are still disconnected. The fact that we have POST and a display means we are in business!

    All I have to do now is connect-in the remaining items one at a time and adjust a few BIOS settings.

    Thanks again for all your help and advice - it pays to persevere and double check your work. There was nothing obvious that was wrong - but clearly something was.

    If this hadn't worked the only alternative is probably to buy a 2nd hand server off eBay for the parts and swap out until the problem is fixed.

    Kind regards,

  • ric_m Aug 20, 2007

    ... and I have my baby back :-)



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The easy answer is: Did you ensure the CPU fan connector is attached to the PROPER motherboard CPU fan power pins? The 2nd easy answer is: Are you sure your CPU is properly placed inside the socket? Could it be tilted slightly up on one side? The more complicated 3rd answer is: I've seen people use the spray can of AIR, which, believe it or not causes a moisture problem AND can overly cool a component. Although the motherboard looks fine, it won't boot or power on until the part(s) rewarm to room temperature or the moisture dissipates. This is how I solve this problem. I remove the motherboard or open it completely up to clean it with 80psi of compressed air. (remove all components) If it had previously been cleaned with a can of AIR, I let it sit for half an hour. When putting the parts back together (leave the HD, the CD, the floppy disconnected), (oh...ensure your front panel connectors are properly on the correct motherboard pins too.) 1)take extra caution with both the video card and the memory chip slots!! Inspect the video card gold edge and video card slot for a few strands of carpet fiber or DUST bunnies wedged or attached to the card/slot (which causes the computer to not power ON) 2) Inspect the memory sticks and memory slots in the same manner. (I had to see it with a magnifying glass, to see the problem) Once back together, if it boots, I'm done. If it didn't boot, I replace the power supply. If that didn't solve it, I reposition or change the RAM memory. Attention to detail is the key to success. ZT3000 "Beta tester of "0"s and "1's"

Posted on Aug 19, 2007

  • 2 more comments 
  • Anonymous Aug 19, 2007


    I've seen the mouse and keyboard have a short which causes the computer to not power up, but that is very rare.

    I'm assuming the computer ran fine PRIOR to it's rebuild.

    "Beta tester of "0"s and "1's"

  • Anonymous Aug 19, 2007

    Just before you replace the power supply, check the motherboard capacitors for bulging, raised tops or rusty dots on top.

    It is definetly a power circuit problem because after the components bleed down and cool down, they begin to work (albeit for a short time).

    That's why my suggestions were (in order):
    1) Reinspect the cleaning job
    2) Reinspect the installation job
    3) Replace the PSU
    4) Replace the RAM

    Although I was a bit wordy in describing these steps (for clarity).

    "Beta tester of "0"s and "1's"

  • Anonymous Aug 19, 2007

    I wish this forum had an easy "edit post" feature. sigh..

  • Anonymous Aug 20, 2007

    Glad it is now working. I feel like I've given birth.



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