Hoopster

Main server MB "died" yesterday

9 posts in this topic

OK, this is a strange one. I upgraded my main server to an ASRock C236 WSI and Xeon E3-1245 V5 in December.  Initially, it had no video output and did not post and enter BIOS.  It turns out there were three bent pins in the CPU socket which when straightened fixed the issues.  The server has been running 24x7 since then with no issues and has been through several reboots for config tweaks and updates.

 

Yesterday, just to test capabilities, I decided to try S3 sleep on the server.  Apparently, that was a bad idea. It is enabled in BIOS and I installed the Dynamix S3 Sleep plugin.  First test worked, sort of.  The server went to sleep when issued the sleep command.  I pressed the power button to wake it up and it woke up (GUI and SSH/Telnet worked), but, no video on monitor.

 

The second test was a disaster. Server went to sleep and this time I tried to wake it with a WOL packet to NIC.  Nada.  No video. No GUI. No SSH/Telnet.  Just spinning fans.  I had to hard reset.  Still nada. No video and no BIOS post just as with my original issue with this board.

 

I removed board from case and tried it with a different PSU, just to verify that the PSU was not the cause.  Same issue with a different PSU.  I removed the MB from my backup server and tried it with both PSUs.  Video output and BIOS posted with both.  That board and i5 is now back in my main server.  The C236 WSI appears to be "dead."  Power LED shows power to the board, but, only the fans spin when the power button is pressed.

 

I have contacted ASRock and they are sending me a couple of newly-flashed BIOS chips.  If that does not work, they will accept an RMA of the board for repair.  I have no idea how a couple of sleep/wake cycles could have caused this, but, maybe the board has had a flakey BIOS from the beginning and this was just a trigger.  Frustrating to say the least.

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Yeah, that sounds painful.  I think there was a latent problem that the S3 sleep exercise just exposed, though.

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Have you tried to clear the CMOS?

Yes, several times. This MB has a clear CMOS pad that is jumpered with a conductive material (I have used a screwdriver blade) with the battery removed. Not a terribly elegant way of doing it and I can only suppose it is working. Since there is no video and no post to BIOS, who knows? ASRock wants me to try a known good freshly flashed BIOS chip.


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Friends don't let friends buy AsRock.  

 

I've never had any great success with their boards, they've either been DOA (and two have had damaged sockets), or run fine for a few months then expire.  It seems the folks in their factories either don't care, don't test the boards before shipping, or both.  Seems they're cheap for a reason, and even this top-end boards have been a bit crap.  I had three of their Workstation boards which died, one even had smoke coming out of it on first power-on (some resistors connected to the Firewire connector flamed out, a feature I wasn't even using).

 

I always stick with Gigabyte or Asus now, pretty much anything else is just a waste of time.

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49 minutes ago, HellDiverUK said:

Friends don't let friends buy AsRock.  

 

I've never had any great success with their boards, they've either been DOA (and two have had damaged sockets), or run fine for a few months then expire.  It seems the folks in their factories either don't care, don't test the boards before shipping, or both.  Seems they're cheap for a reason, and even this top-end boards have been a bit crap.  I had three of their Workstation boards which died, one even had smoke coming out of it on first power-on (some resistors connected to the Firewire connector flamed out, a feature I wasn't even using).

 

I always stick with Gigabyte or Asus now, pretty much anything else is just a waste of time.

Almost every one of the many motherboards I have purchased up until now has been Asus or Gigabyte. I did purchase an EVGA MB once and it had a lot of BIOS issues with USB that eventually got worked out but was a pain for several months. 

 

This is my first ASRock MB and I purchased it because it had the features I needed in a mini-ITX form factor without a lot of extra stuff I did not need.  At $200 it was not cheap for a mini-ITX board.  Many others in these forums were/are using the same board with success.  I may think twice about going with ASRock in the future based on this experience.  Right now, I just want to get it working again even if that means an RMA.

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Contrary to HelldiverUK's experiences, I've been using an Asrock board for a few years that's been rock solid.

 

Gigabyte on the other hand I've had problems with in the past.

 

 

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Obviously, any manufacturer can turn out good and bad boards.  If the product was consistently bad, they would not be in business.  In all my years of building PCs, this is the first motherboard that has ever failed to post.  They have had other issues, but, failing to enter BIOS has not been the issue.

 

I am sure HellDiverUKs post based on his experience can be reworded with any three mainstream manufacturer's names based on others experiences.  I just seem to have the misfortune of having received an, apparently, bad board from ASRock.  Hoping the BIOS chip is the issue.

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