[rescue] E420R...

Skeezics Boondoggle skeezics at q7.com
Tue Nov 8 18:20:22 CST 2005

On Thu, 03 Nov 2005, "Earl D. Baugh Jr." wrote:

> Anyway, to the question/problem.  It does the initial power on ok.  And
> with the video card I got from Bill, I now can see it thru the Lightwave
> KVM switch.  All very nifty.  I can probe the SCSI bus, and get back
> info on the two drives, and the DVD (or CD...have one of both to play
> with).  Initializes memory fine.

I guess low traffic this week slowed the mailing of the digest - have you 
had any luck yet with your 420R?

> "boot cdrom"  yields a hung system.  No lights on the drive, no nothing.  
> No activity. Can't even stop-A.  Have to power cycle to get it to 
> restart.

First thing I'd do:

	setenv auto-boot? false
	setenv diag-switch? true
	setenv diag-level max
	setenv mfg-mode on

or power cycle the machine.  That way upon a cold boot you'll get the
extremely verbose POST.  (Remember to reset those values later, of course!

Watch carefully to see if _all_ the memory is correctly reported.  The 
first thing I suspect in a 420R is the damned memory riser card -- I've 
seen exactly this kind of behavior (and other similar unexplainable stuff) 
due to that damned riser not being properly torqued.

Do you have the special little wrench gizmo they supply with the machine?  
It's a big round loopy thing, like a pirate's earring. :-)

If you over-tighten the thumbscrews on the riser, you'll damage the
connector on the motherboard, or worse, strip the threaded metal
"grommets" that are embedded in the plastic, or just crack the damned
plastic housing.  (That purple housing that sits around the four CPU
module slots also supports the mem riser, so replacing it is a bit of a
pain.)  They _really_ should have come up with some sort of metal clip, or
used a better connector... :-/

The real pisser is that if you under-tighten the riser, you'll get bizarro
results like this.  I've seen "RED STATE EXCEPTION" messages, or
"Uncorrectable Memory Error" faults that would jump from CPU to CPU, or
the most common is just the hang the second the machine tries to boot.

So, you really do have to torque the thing properly.  It takes some
practice, but once you've got it you should find that the 420R really is
an outstanding machine, a real workhorse, and very reliable.  Email me
offlist if you need more assistance.

Hope this helps,

-- Chris

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