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Major "server" hardware trouble

Last response: in Opinions and Experiences
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December 29, 2004 6:56:20 PM

Alright. I'm having some major hardware problems with my so-called server. I consider myself clueful and have successfully built several systems in the past. I'm asking here because I can't believe what has happened.

So... the thing is that I have been gathering (new) parts to build a cheap, yet powerful, 1U rackserver.
I got all the parts from Web stores in Sweden (where I live), except from the cooling, which took me very long to find and which was only available in USA...

This is my hardware:

* 1 x Chieftec 1U rackserver chassis, model UNC-110S-B (http://www.chieftec.com/products/IPC/UNC-110S.htm).
* 1 x ASUS K8V-X motherboard (http://usa.asus.com/products/mb/soc...-x/overview.htm).
* 1 x AMD Athlon 64 2800+ (1800 MHz) CPU (OEM).
* 1 x Cooler Master E1U-KPFCS-01 (at the bottom of http://ecd.coolermaster.com/product...3&cat_id=1, or http://ecd.coolermaster.com/upload/P_img_42.jpg)
* Memory and HDDs that have nothing to do with my problems.

I talked to a number of persons to find and make sure that these parts were compatible, although they all clearly say so (the 1U heatsink is MADE for my CPU, and both the case and the mobo support the ATX format etc...).

Now on to my problems...

The mobo didn't fit in the case. I was stunned. The back panel, apparently, does not follow any particular standard, and the audio panel was roughly 0.75 cm too high (the rest was okay).
I eventually solved this by actually breaking it off (carefully). This after talking to several people suggesting this, as I wouldn't get a warranty as it is openend anyway.
It actually worked. So... well... this was just a minor annoyance; to pay for something you just break off... bad psychological feeling and so on...

After installing the CPU, put on some fine-quality cooling paste, and then attaching the fine heatsink, screwing it on properly and turned on the memory (with everything properly, connected, of course), I realized that there was no VGA socket, so I couldn't get a picture.
Now, before you laugh at me, I collected the stuff I was going to buy several times and picked different products etc. I kind of must have assumed that VGA was included on all mobos with on-board audio...
Anyway... I let it run (the four internal case-fans screaming out loud) and when I came back, it was powered off. I thought to myself: "No... NO!".

I remember having an old Voodoo 2 card laying around, but it was too much of a hassle to get working. Since this box (my only workstation) had an AGP card, I decided to use that to make sure that it would work. And it did. Only I couldn't have the mobo screwed on at the same time, because of the insufficient space in the rackserver in the rear end :\

But anyway... I went into the BIOS (as you probably can tell, the box at least is running at this point), and went to the hardware overview thing, where the temperatures are given.

The CPU temperature started out on around 30 degrees (CELCIUS!), and sloooowly went up and up and up... at 60 C, I was a little scared...
But it didn't stop. It went all the way up to 100 C, and I was starting to get really freaked out. Wondering why it didn't power itself off (knowing that 100 C is the absolute max. temp. for my CPU), I threw myself over the power off button.

I was mad. Why didn't my heatsink work, which has official support for my CPU?

I asked some people, and they didn't seem to think that I was crazy for letting it run for that long while so warm, and basically told me exactly what I wanted to hear (no sarcasm): the heatsink must be improperly installed.

I went back, re-seated the heatsink and put the paste on even more properly, and tried again.

The same damn thing happened.

Several times.

Eventually, for some reason, it stopped working at all. My server now powers on, but there is no video output, and there is no beep. The CPU/heatsink doesn't get warm, and it looks like something is really [-peep-] up.

I got freaked out but eventually gave up and declared it dead. Now I'm writing this because I have no idea what to do. I'm going to send it (the CPU) back and see if they will give me a new one, but even if they do, which I kind of doubt, I will still have the problem about it overheating (not to mention the hassle of having to dig out my graphics card ever time I wanna check).

Basically... can any of you see any errors in my setup? I'm poor — that's why I didn't buy "real" server hardware. Since there is a 1U heatsink for my CPU, it should really be enough.

I don't get this.

Please help... I spent more than my last money on this, and my project depends on it <:-(
January 19, 2005 6:18:23 AM

I really dont see anything you did wrong here, everything was done to spec. My guess is that the coolermaster heatsink is junk. Did you check to make sure the voltage to your CPU was correct in the BIOS? as well at it reading the proper CPU frequency? If so then like I said above, the heatsink is garbage and I would contact Coolermaster directly to dump on and get your cash back. Zalman makes decent rack server heatsink's. I've never been a fan of coolermaster. :p  (no pun intended)
June 17, 2005 6:35:19 AM

That is passive heatsink.

So are you sure that the airflow was good enough ?

edit: why i see joining dates as post date ?

<font color=red>"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
- Albert Einstein</font color=red><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by HansGruber on 06/17/05 09:37 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
June 20, 2005 11:59:09 PM

To have a vid card in it I assume you probably had the top of the case off. That would cause the airflow to not be focused on the heatsink. Also, the heatsink is not going to point in the correct direction to even get airflow when on that motherboard. In your situation you have the one flat side of the heatsink pointed at the fan instead of all the individual ridges. There is no way that heatsink will work with out a fan on it or near it blowing through those fins.
Now, I gotta ask. Why 1U for a home server? Do you actually have a 19" rack in your house that is so crammed that it requires a 1U server? Also, what is this server going to be doing once it is up? Depending on what you are doing with it some old stuff can work great.
I just setup a new server in my house. It is a Dual PIII 866 with 1.7gb of PC133, Tyan Thunder LE mobo, 3ware 7410 ide raid card, 3com gigabit server nic, 1 10krpm 18gb scsi drive (bootdrive), and 4 250gb seagate drives in a raid5 (750gb array). It is a domain controller for my house (4 users, 8 comps), file server, ftp server, 2 game dedicated servers, dhcp, dns, and many more. That sucker is never hurting and it only cost me about $600 to build. I bought the seagate drives retail, everything else I scavenged from old comps or bought off ebay.

<A HREF="http://www.folken.net/myrig.htm" target="_new">My precious...</A>
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