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HP proliant ml350 bad caps, bad cpu, CMOS reset raid 5


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#1 zingo156

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 03:33 PM

Bit of an issue here:

 

A client called me and stated they had a HP Proliant ML350 Server (windows server 2003) that was reporting a bad cpu. They replaced the cpu with an identical xeon cpu, but the same error occurs, they also said they reset the cmos (possibly bad situation)...

 

They repalced the cpu with a general xeon cpu, the xeon chip matches every number from the original one. Now I have very little experience with HP servers but for some reason I recall them possibly having proprietary cpu's something they do with stepping etc. I don't know if this is the case or not. I did a bit of research and found no solid conclusion if they use proprietary cpu's or if an identical xeon chip (not hp) would work.

 

Does anyone here know for certain>>>>?

 

This server has 1 cpu in the first slot. I went over there to check it out and instantly noticed 5 blown caps on the mainboard. Now of course my first guess is that these blown caps are the reason the computer will not post and throws a cpu error. I have not tried to replace these caps yet, my concern here is this:

 

The server has a raid 5 with 3 hard drives setup. They have reset the cmos by using the actual server reset switch #6 on the board and then they unplugged it and pulled the cmos battery... There is no raid controller with battery backup, it must be using the onboard. I am wondering if the raid will even come back if the board is replaced or the caps are replaced? I have actually never reset a cmos when a raid was setup, or replaced a motherboard for that matter. In all cases I have dealt with there was a specific raid controller card (with it's own battery). Is there any reason for concern here? I have no idea what the raid settings were at all, nor do they unfortunately. That said, the data is backed up but they run proprietary software on this server which they say is no longer supported by the software company.

 

The data base is pervasive.

 

Anyway, should they try an official HP xeon chip? Will the raid come back if I set a new mainboard to raid 5 (I suspect this is what it was), or if I replace the caps without any issue?

 

I am tired and not feeling well so I can't really make heads or tails of what to do. Maybe I will just replace the caps, see if it posts and try to fix the raid if it is broken.


Edited by zingo156, 31 October 2014 - 03:45 PM.

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#2 Kilroy

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 09:40 AM

This is one of those very ugly situations.  You have a client that was saving money and now it has come back to bite them.  Anything you can accomplish will be great.  Replacing the capacitors my resolve the issues, but don't offer them any guarantees.  Odds are the drives were configured in RAID5, provided there are at least three drives.



#3 zingo156

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 03:05 PM

The server has 3 hard drives, I too suspect it was raid 5. I just wonder if even after replacing the caps or replacing the board, if I can get the raid back. I know I could recover data using RStudio and playing around to find the raid settings.

 

The software that ran on this server has a USB key and is pretty old (10+ years), it may not be possible to re-install without them purchasing a new version and having help from the company that writes it. I haven't looked into it much yet. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it I suppose.

 

I am thinking about buying a genuine hp cpu just in case, if that doesn't work, then replace the caps, then replace the board as a last option. I rarely see cpu's fail so I am betting it is the board. I definitely won't offer any guarantees in this situation. They were trying to save money on both the software and hardware. Generally I keep a clone of the setups I install after I get all of the software installed so I can restore it quickly. That or a windows image etc. This raid is on 160gb drives so they could have easily created a backup on a newer external drive. At least they had a backup script running to save the database to one of their other servers.

 

I know for certain I can get the server back up and running, the problem is getting it to boot from the raid 5 after the raid settings were likely cleared.

 

Thanks for the input.


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#4 zingo156

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 03:30 PM

FYI for anybody who comes across this thread: replacing the mainboard or resetting the cmos will not kill the raid array on a ml350 using onboard e200i raid cards, the raid information is written to the disks as well as stored in the raid controller, using the same/similar replacement motherboard has solved this problem and the raid array is back up after a few reboots. Note: the reboots were required due to a newer firmware on the newer version motherboard 003 vs old 001, same board, same hardware, newer number on the raid chipset which refers to the firmware version.


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