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Assistance Needed Resurrecting IBM IntelliStation Z Pro


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#1 Lord Dark Star

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 07:10 PM

Greetings!

I have quite recently come into possession of an IBM Intellistation Z Pro, type 6221 Here is a brief technical description of the computer:

2.8 GHz Intel Xeon Processor x2, 512 KB Level-2 cache, 533 MHz front-side bus

3 GB PC2100 RAM

36.2 GB IBM e-Server SCSI HDD - Formatted

Integrated Broadcom 10/100/1000MBPS high-bandwidth Gigabit Ethernet

Matrox Millennium G450 (DVI-I) 4X with 32 MB double-data-rate (DDR) synchronous
dynamic random access memory (SDRAM) video memory and a single DVI-I or dual
analog connectors.

425W output power supply

It came installed with a floppy drive, a DVD drive and a DVD/RW drive

When I first got the computer home, I was able to bring it up to its boot screen, although it would not proceed to the boot menu or into BIOS. I cleared CMOS and on restart I was greeted by the appropriate beep code, however the computer did not ask for the time or date to be reset.

I removed the SCSI HDD and replaced it with a larger IDE HDD (the computer predates the advent of SATA unfortunately). I also gave the box a thorough dusting (which it really needed )- compressed air alone was used. On restart, the fans spooled up - and that was it! No display on the monitor, no beep code to tell me what I screwed up, NADA!

I have tried all the troubleshooting tricks I know. I reseated to processors, I tried a different graphics card. I checked every adapter in the box to make sure it was correctly and well seated, I even put the original SCSI HDD back in (although I'm unsure that would make a difference) and there has been no Joy!

I am at my wit's end (although that isn't very far off) and I find myself in need of some sage advice and guidance on how to proceed to at least get back to where I was in the first place!

Thanks for reading this. I hope it makes sense.

Dark Star

Edited by Lord Dark Star, 26 October 2009 - 12:26 PM.


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#2 the_patriot11

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 08:23 PM

You did plug all the power cables in correctly right? im not saying your a fool or something, but I do that all the time rebuild a computer, then it wont turn on or something similar and its because I accidently did something stupid like not plugging in the CPU power all the way or something simple like that. Last time, I moved my computer to a bigger case that didnt have a system speaker and it turned on, no boot screen, fans spooled up etc. but nothing but a blank screen, of course no beeps (no system speaker) to tell me what. turns out I didnt clip one of the memory modules in all the way. I pushed it all the way in and it booted just fine.

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#3 Lord Dark Star

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 12:24 PM

Thanks for the reply!

Don't worry about whether I think you think I'm a fool, 'cause. like you, sometimes I am! :thumbsup:

In this instance I can assure you that all cables were (and are) connected correctly. I am confused and frustrated by the fact that I was able to (and now am unable to) get the initial splash screen to appear and when I was able to get it to appear I was unable to proceed past that point to check the boot order or examine BIOS settings which I should be able to do even without having an operating system installed. :flowers:

Amazingly enough in the many years I have worked with (and on) computers I have never had any experience or training on IBM systems. I have read the user's guide, the installation guide and the hardware maintenance guide specific to this computer. From what I can discern, the manuals all assume that there is an operating system installed. Since mine does not, I presume I have to begin from the BIOS - either that or I'm screwed - or......another perspective?

I'm always eager to listen to another perspective! :trumpet:

#4 hamluis

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 12:46 PM

Have you tried a new CMOS battery?

Louis

#5 Lord Dark Star

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 05:50 PM

Yep, Just put in a brand new one. No change, unfortunately :thumbsup:

#6 hamluis

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 06:27 PM

I would try a temporary switch of power supplies with a known good system.

Louis

#7 Lord Dark Star

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 07:07 PM

That would be an excellent suggestion, however unlike ATX power supplies, the IBM's power supply has 24 pins (I discovered this rather off putting fact when I attempted to check the computer's PS with my ATX power supply tester! :flowers: ). The only alternative I can come up with is to buy or borrow a 'known good' IBM 425W PS. Either that or find the pin out for the power supply so I can test it with a VOM.

Thanks for the suggestion Louis! :thumbsup: If you have any other thoughts please let me know!

Frank

#8 hamluis

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 09:31 PM

Most power supplies of the last few years...have 24-pins.

But they also can be adapted to fit 20-pin connectors, http://www.smps.us/20-to-24pin-atx.html.

Louis

#9 Lord Dark Star

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 11:38 AM

Well I appreciate the education! :thumbsup: As this computer is circa 2002-04, I thought just the obverse. I spoke with my technically inclined friends to see if any of them had a 24 pin to 20 pin adapter, but alas they do not, nor unfortunately do any of them have a spare, known good, 24 pin power supply. If I continue to pursue a possible power supply issue, I'll just have to use the pinout from the link you sent me (Thank you VERY much for that! :flowers: )

I'll let you know what I find out.

Best regards,

Frank

#10 hamluis

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 12:08 PM

Those adapters are sold (I think) because some users don't realize that there is no need for an adapter in many cases.

When I first had a board with 24-pin connector and I only had a 20-pin PSU, I looked it up on the Web...and promptly connected them. When I finally needed/wanted a new PSU, I bought one with 24-pin connectors :thumbsup:.

Louis

#11 Lord Dark Star

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 08:49 PM

Report on Power Supply:

Well, I FINALLY got 'er done! :thumbsup: All pins check out as specified with the exception of pin 14. The diagram states it should be -12 VDC. My VOM reported -11.86 VDC. It was checked twice with the same result. I don't know if -0.14 VDC is significant or is within tolerance :flowers: (although my suspicion is if it ain't -12.0 VDC, it ain't right). What do you say Louis? Is my PS hosed :inlove: or am I off to track down another suspicion? :trumpet:

Best regards,

Frank

#12 hamluis

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 02:22 PM

LOL, I'm not the person to answer technical questions...I just try to be logical and remember that I don't know "the answer" :thumbsup:.

One of the more knowledgeable persons here will have to throw out some ideas for you to digest.

Louis

#13 garmanma

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 05:58 PM

11.86 is fine
It's within tolerance

Was the motherboard battery a coin-type or did it look like a AA cell?
The antique I worked on had a proprietary battery that looked like a AA cell

Edited by garmanma, 28 October 2009 - 06:06 PM.

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#14 Lord Dark Star

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 11:11 PM

It's good to know the power supply is all within tolerance. :flowers: The CMOS battery is a standard 3V Lithium CR2032 coin cell. I have heard of mainboards that use AA cells (generally more than one). I have also heard of mainboards where the manufacturer actually soldered the CMOS battery in! Can you imagine such a thing!? :inlove:

As things turn out, the mainboard for the IntelliStation Z Pro is actually a Micro Star International MS-9121, although it appears IBM modified the BIOS. Other than the BIOS it does not look like IBM made any other changes, at least superficially.

I went through the computer yesterday to re-seat everything and make sure I didn't forget something essential. One really curious thing that happened was when I was re-seating the CPUs in both cases when I unlocked the CPU's heatsink, the CPU came straight up out of its socket still firmly attached to the heat shield! Now, just to make sure we're all on the same sheet of music, this is an Intel socket 604 we're discussing. The lion share of my experience has been with AMD, but I have never, EVER seen a processor come of of its socket until the locking bar is released and I presume it is the same with Intel processors. Now maybe I'm just whistling in the dark :trumpet: , but I wonder if THIS is not the (probable) cause of the computer's contrary (not to mention frustrating) behavior? If there is an Intel Guru out there, would you be so kind as to advised if this behavior is known in socket 604 and how it may be overcome (hopefully).

Many thanks to garmanma and to Louis as well as other denizens of the forum! :thumbsup:

Frank

#15 garmanma

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 11:14 AM

manufacturer actually soldered the CMOS battery in

The old RTC module or RealTime Clock battery
Yeah, they were a pain. I still see those occasionally in some industrial boards from time to time

CPU came straight up out of its socket still firmly attached to the heat shield!

I've had it happen before
Be sure to check the bottom of the CPU for hot spots
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