Monday, 28 January 2008

SBS and Intel SE7520JR2 Warranty Replacement Experience

One of the worst warranty replacement experiences for us ever was when we needed to replace a defective Intel SE7505VB2 on a production SBS 2000 server.

Needless to say, things did not go very well. We made sure to have the replacement board's BIOS level and settings identical to the outgoing board.

Once we had things back together and the OS was booting, we hit a BSOD ... and hit a BSOD ... and hit a BSOD.

Nothing we did brought the server back. We even put the defective board back into the system (on board RAID controller was flaky) and tried to get the server back up.

We ended up spending a huge chunk of time in recovery mode to bring back that SBS 2K server.

This time around, there was a little of that "once bitten" fear for this particular project.

We are working on a 2U, SR2400 series chassis with the SE7520JR2 board in it. The board's USB ports are done for. Nothing USB would be recognized in the OS.

Once we swapped the board out, we booted the system up and were greeted with a BIOS beep code of 3. This error indicates a problem with memory.

We reseated the 4 x 1GB Kingston sticks of RAM and tried again. Still, we received the 3 beep code.

We ended up pulling 2GB out of the server to see if that worked and it did.

For whatever reason, Intel shipped this board to us with the factory original BIOS installed once we were into it.

So, we booted to a USB flash drive with the current BIOS on it and flashed away.

After booting back into the new BIOS, we changed the settings as appropriate and rebooted again. We shut the server down as soon as we saw the POST screen.

In went the extra sticks of RAM. After firing up the server and the diagnostic LEDs started dancing we knew we were in.

This time around, we now have a happy SBS 2K3 Premium SP1 server back online. *phew*

And, our USB ports are now working.

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.

3 comments:

AndyASselin said...

Sound like fun :> lol all with client standing behind you ask when we go to be up lol :>

Sound like fun day seem most board cound use be flast to last bios at time of manfaction or clostet to new bios they can get on before shiped

Chris Knight said...

Good to hear.

If you've swapped the Intel mainboard, then it's probably a ood idea to re-install the chipset drivers as per Intel's installation notes.

The other thing I do in this situation is to remove the old mainboard's driver by doing the following:

Command Prompt
> set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
> mmc %SystemRoot%\system32\devmgmt.msc
View Menu | Show hidden devices
Remove greyed-out devices

Take care with removing devices - especially in Non-Plug and Play Drivers and Sound, video and game controllers - as some of these are still used, as well as devices that just aren't connected at present (e.g. USB HDDs). This is where having a good knowledge of your system is important and preferably a screenshot or two of Device Manager (with the above command line variable set) on a clean system with all categories expanded.

Philip E. said...

Andy,

This is one job we started just as the client was closing ... just in case.

It surprised me that Intel would ship a board out like that ... and yet it did not.

Chris,

You have posted some very handy little bits of info like this one. Where do you find these things? :D

I had to come back tonight to plug in a different USB drive as the one onsite was cratered.

So, I verified all of the hidden devices and everything looks great.

No chipset drivers on Intel's site so they must be built right into Windows.

Thanks again for the great comments!

Philip