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HP EX487 power cycling itself


msawyer91
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Yesterday I noticed my HP EX487, running Server 2012 Essentials, rebooted and Windows reported an unclean shutdown. No blue screen or coredump was generated. I noticed it did it twice again during the night, and several times today. Once was while I was at the console--the server would just power itself off completely. All disks would spin down, the lights would turn off, etc. Then, a few seconds later, it would power itself on again.

 

It's been running Windows Server 2012 with Drive Bender for many months. Other than Windows Updates, which routinely install, nothing changed. The internal disks are the same--an Intel SSD for the system disk, 2 x 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200s and a 2TB Western Digital Green. There's also an eSATA 1TB Western Digital as well as 4 USB disks--3 x 2TB Seagate GoFlex Desk and 1 x 3TB WDC MyBook. None of these disks have changed in months, and all are showing perfect SMART health. There is no indication any of these disks are failing.

 

My gut feeling says the power supply (PSU) is to blame. I ran Core Damage to stress test the CPU, and I've run that several times. No issues there. Memory test says memory is healthy.

 

This evening I was able to reproduce the problem almost on demand--by putting heavy I/O load on the disk pool. Grabbing 100 GB of files from the EX490, my media server, I deposited them into the pool, causing all of the pool disks to start writing. Within 5 minutes, the server powers itself down.

 

My guess is that the I/O load on the disks causes them to draw more current, and if the PSU is teetering on the precipice of failure, the increased load is enough to push it over the edge. Interestingly, plugging in an external USB hard drive (one that powers itself via USB) did NOT cause the server to power down, despite the drive pulling 500 mA of current.

 

What do you folks think? Failing PSU? Failing hard drive? Failing disk backplane? Why would the server power down? I've never seen a faulty disk cause a server to power down, but I've seen PSUs do it.

 

I'm contemplating selling the EX487 as a "for parts" machine. But I cannot do that in good conscience unless I know with a good degree of certainty that the PSU is the guilty party. I don't want to sell it and then have an unhappy buyer come back and say the disk backplane was the problem.

 

Matt

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I think I would agree that the power supply seems like the likely culprit.  I believe Diehard replaced a power supply in his EX470 a while back.

 

Edit: Here is an old thread on an EX470 power supply issue.  http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/1198-help-ex470-appears-to-be-dead/?hl=%2Bex470+%2Bpower+%2Bsupply.

 

Not sure how to test the power supply unless you were to buy a power supply tester.

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Thanks for the suggestions y'all. I looked at the PSUs but like I said in the MediaSmartServer.net forum, I don't have as much time as I used to for tinkering with my computers. Owning my own business consumes a lot more of time time than I ever anticipated, and with a family (which includes a pair of young'ins) as well as a full-time regular job...it has gotten to the point where I've lost interest in trying to keep all this hardware going. There are some nights where I'd like to relax after the young'ins are in bed and the missus and I can watch some Big Bang Theory or Deadliest Catch. But when there are 11 PCs in the house, keeping a homegrown data center going becomes a full-time job.  :(

 

I was able to definitively declare the PSU the guilty party. I pulled out the SSD and a WDC Green drive, and put a pair of power hungry older SATA disks in there. The server kept shutting down trying to spin them up, which clearly demonstrated the PSU just cannot handle the load. I'm guessing there's probably a bursting/bursted capacitor.

 

And so I've decided to part ways with it. I've got it posted here in the marketplace forum -- it's got a nice processor and memory upgrade, plus I'm including the SSD system disk (an OCZ Octane 128 GB), a flash drive with all the drivers necessary for Server 2012, a 500 GB WDC Green drive, the VGA/PS2 debugging cable (allows the use of a monitor, keyboard and mouse with the server) and 1 Home and 1 Professional license to my WindowSMART 2013 software.

 

Matt

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Hah! :) I have owned, at one time or another, 4 different businesses. I never worked less than 70 hours a week with any of them, and I worked up to 130 hours a week with 1 of them. I finally decided I was being an idiot and got a job with a regular old corporation. ;)

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Luckily I knew that without ever owning one. I came close once as I had investors asking me to start a company. Great opportunity but I walked away from it. My time is too valuable for that schedule.

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