Hoopster

Main server MB "died" yesterday

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Hoopster    4

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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tdallen    57

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

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Hoopster    4
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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HellDiverUK    27

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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Hoopster    4
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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CHBMB    171

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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saarg    37

I have to add to @CHBMB experience with ASRock boards. Never had any problems with them. 

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Hoopster    4

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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Last two machines I built used ASRock boards,  both of them had issues with BIOS.....  One wouldn't switch off completely and one I think I had issues with the onboard video.

 

At least these days you don't need to boot from a floppy to upgrade the BIOS. :)

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bman    7

Never had much luck with S3 no matter which OS or board I've tried. Weird things happen, at least to me.

 

That said I have had great success with Asus, MSI, and Supermicro boards for unRAID. My Gigabyte board for my main system has a flaky BIOS and that was enough for me to steer clear of the brand for servers. 

 

My last few Asus systems were beyond 11 years old and too painfully slow to use daily, otherwise they still worked fine when I recycled them. My current unRAID servers both have 10+ year old Supermicro workstation/server motherboards in them (because I could get them for free) and they're solid.  Admittedly a 12-year-old Supermicro from my first server died last week, prompting a swap to a newer (by a year) one last night, but I'd say Supermicro is a winner too, in general.

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Hoopster    4

Replacement BIOS chips arrived today (shipped to U.S. address and forwarded to Mexico).  ASRock sent me two just in case.  No change. No post, no video, just spinning fans.

 

Looks like the board is going back under RMA.  I am assuming it is the board and not the CPU, but, I really have no way of knowing.  I have tried two speakers on the MB speaker header to see if I get any kind of BIOS beeps that might indicate where the problem lies; nothing but silence.

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zonderling    3
Posted (edited)

Would'nt blame mobo just yet.  Hear my story.  I'm running a Asus mobo.

 

I had identical the same issue in December 2016, wanted to test S3 sleep.

Installed Dynamic S3 and enabled this function on the mobo.  reboot

 

It worked, kinda worked ... before it all whent from bad to worse ... after a reboot i had no more GUI, still power on the mobo.  Fan spinning statusled was green and all.  Seems like it when into sleep without waking up .... more " coma " then " sleep" :0)

 

Panic

 

ended up fixing it by removing ALL plugins all together, factory reset on the BIOS mobo and deleting the SSH folder on the mem stick.

 

 

Edited by zonderling

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Hoopster    4
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, zonderling said:

Would'nt blame mobo just yet.  Hear my story.  I'm running a Asus mobo.

 

I had identical the same issue in December 2016, wanted to test S3 sleep.

Installed Dynamic S3 and enabled this function on the mobo.  reboot

 

It worked, kinda worked ... before it all whent from bad to worse ... after a reboot i had no more GUI, still power on the mobo.  Fan spinning statusled was green and all.  Seems like it when into sleep without waking up .... more " coma " then " sleep" :0)

 

Panic

 

ended up fixing it by removing ALL plugins all together, factory reset on the BIOS mobo and deleting the SSH folder on the mem stick.

 

 

 

I don't think I have the same situation.  I have reset CMOS multiple times, I am not necessarily trying to boot into unRAID, I have tried attaching an SSD with Windows 7 to the MB and removed the unRAID flash drive. I have also tried booting with no drives attached. 

 

I cannot factory reset the BIOS (but trying the two new BIOS chips is the same thing) as I cannot get into the BIOS, at least as far as I can see as there is no video output.  The monitor power LED just flashes indicating no video signal.  The board power LED is green.  It is at least in a deep coma that persists with all power removed for long periods of time, with, apparently, no way to wake it up.

Edited by Hoopster

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zonderling    3
13 hours ago, Hoopster said:

 

I don't think I have the same situation.  I have reset CMOS multiple times, I am not necessarily trying to boot into unRAID, I have tried attaching an SSD with Windows 7 to the MB and removed the unRAID flash drive. I have also tried booting with no drives attached. 

 

I cannot factory reset the BIOS (but trying the two new BIOS chips is the same thing) as I cannot get into the BIOS, at least as far as I can see as there is no video output.  The monitor power LED just flashes indicating no video signal.  The board power LED is green.  It is at least in a deep coma that persists with all power removed for long periods of time, with, apparently, no way to wake it up.

Ok, agreed.  Not the same.  Sounds like complete failure of hardware.

 

The approach i would advise:

 

-Unmount the board from the case and tray and put it on an insulator ( wooden box) or paper or something.  ( I have had similar issues in the past, it was a rogue screw getting behind the PCB and chassis, making a short.)

 

 -Try reseating RAM memory + prefer to boot with one RAM module) not all of them.

 

- tried with another PSU? Volt fluctuations would to that what u describe.

 

Good luck!

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Hoopster    4
3 hours ago, zonderling said:

Ok, agreed.  Not the same.  Sounds like complete failure of hardware.

 

The approach i would advise:

 

-Unmount the board from the case and tray and put it on an insulator ( wooden box) or paper or something.  ( I have had similar issues in the past, it was a rogue screw getting behind the PCB and chassis, making a short.)

 

 -Try reseating RAM memory + prefer to boot with one RAM module) not all of them.

 

- tried with another PSU? Volt fluctuations would to that what u describe.

 

Good luck!

 

Yep, I have done all that.  Board is currently out of the case.  I have reseated RAM multiple times, tried just one stick etc.  I have also tried two different PSUs both of which work with other boards in other cases.

 

RMA is my only option now.

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jonathanm    139
1 hour ago, Hoopster said:

I have reseated RAM multiple times, tried just one stick etc. 

Does it respond with appropriate POST codes for missing memory if you remove all sticks?

 

Can you take a close up picture of the empty CPU socket? I suspect more bent pins.

If you don't have a good macro lens, a decent quality magnifying glass can be used to take a good macro shot, preferably from 4 slightly different angles to show pin alignment.

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Hoopster    4

It has been several months since I started this thread, but, just a quick follow up on this experience.

 

I was finally able to ship the board to ASRock in early July.  I had been living out of the U.S. and knew I would be returning in July, so, I decided to wait as the board was under warranty until November.

 

According to ASRock, the board booted fine with no issues when they received it.  How, I do not know as I had been through everything several times as documented in this thread.  Nevertheless, they chose to send me a different board as a replacement.  Since receiving it in mid-July, the new board has worked without issue and I updated it to the latest 2.10 BIOS yesterday.

 

I have no idea what happened with the first board and neither does ASRock; however, they were always very responsive and even sent me a new board at no charge even though they could find no problem with the original.  I would rather have not had the issues, but, I have to give ASRock a lot of credit for being very responsive and making sure my issues were resolved as quickly as possible.

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zonderling    3

Cool.  I'm happy to hear it sorted out.  I've had that before, the way 1 see it 2 possible scenario's.  

A. ASRock is covering it up, for  whatever reason.

B. One of the connectors on the board is a bit loose, physical shocks make it work intermittently.  

 

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HellDiverUK    27

I'd go with A.  "No fault found" and sending a new board means "Board was f**ked and here's a new one along with some BS story to make it look like we're better than we are".

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