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Author Topic: Hardware Question: Baseboard Management Controller communication failure  (Read 5126 times)

Edvard

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I picked up a couple of Dell PowerEdge SC1425 server racks from Craigslist for FREE.  One for me to play with self-hosted cloud services and shared storage, the other for my son to build a Blender offline renderer.  Now his machine is giving the afore-mentioned error, and the fans keep going on full.  I realize the server isn't "broken" per se, just the thing that controls the fans, but I'm wondering if there's any way to fix this?  I've done the power down-unplug-push power button-repower cycle, but the same error came up.  There are a few posts marked Solved on Experts-Exchange, but the answers are held ransom (no more simply scrolling down).  Anybody have experience with this, and is there a way to fix it, or is the hardware simply toast?

x16wda

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Re: Hardware Question: Baseboard Management Controller communication failure
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2013, 03:28:28 PM »
This from Dell forums:

Quote
Good Day,

I have a PowerEdge 2950 server that has been down for 6months, just booted it up today and i'm getting the following error at post "Baseboard Management Controller Communication Failure".

I can still boot into the server, but my fans are spinning out of control and generating some serious noise. I checked under the Open Manage Server Administrator and i'm not seeing my fans at all.  

Just wondering if anyone encountered this problem and what solutions they used to rectify this problem

Thanks in advance

Darryl
-----------------------
Posted by theflash1932  
on  10 Jan 2011 8:46 PM
Verified Answer
Verified by darryl325

Was the server set aside because of this error, or is this a new problem?
◦Remove anything unnecessary from the server (drives, expansion cards, etc.).
◦Reseat all cable connections (power, data), especially the riser card(s) on the left hand side of the chassis.
◦Using the jumpers on the  motherboard, clear the NVRAM.

-----------------------
darryl325    
Posted by darryl325  
on  11 Jan 2011 11:49 AM
  
thanks for the fast response .

Reseating all cable connections (power, data) did the trick for me Yes

Many thanks
darryl

Maybe something similar will do it for you. Sounds like the BMC can't talk to its little monitoring minions so it's assuming it needs to run the fans on high.
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Edvard

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Re: Hardware Question: Baseboard Management Controller communication failure
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2013, 03:36:39 PM »
Thanks for that, but I did see that posting and many others like it but the method described did not clear the problem.  I read somewhere there was a software solution to turn the fans down after booting to a Linux operating system, but I've lost it and it may have needed the BMC to be functional (which it is not at this point).

40hz

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Re: Hardware Question: Baseboard Management Controller communication failure
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2013, 05:09:51 PM »
If it's not a loose cable somewhere, usually clearing the VRAM will fix a BMC comm failure. I'm not sure how it works on the SC1425 since I've never done one of those - but on many Dell servers it's a jumper setting (labeled NVRAM-CLR or something similar) on the mobo. If you download your server's installation/troubleshooting guide it should show you how to do that. Dell's server documentation is quite good.

I'd power down and remove the power cord, re-seat everything, set the jumper to clear the VRAM, reboot and then power down. With the power off and the power cord disconnected, move the jumper back so the VRAM settings will be saved next time you start up. Then reboot again. Proceed with a BIOS setup if needed and all should be well going forward.

Luck! :Thmbsup:

Edvard

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Re: Hardware Question: Baseboard Management Controller communication failure
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2013, 06:50:17 PM »
Aha, I missed booting with the NVRAM jumper set. I assumed it was like a BIOS clear jumper, in which case, setting the jumper for a few seconds is all that's needed.  I'll have to wait until Debian is done installing (we were going to fancontrol a go) and I'll give that a shot.
 :Thmbsup:
Thanks, I'll report back with results

40hz

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Re: Hardware Question: Baseboard Management Controller communication failure
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2013, 07:05:32 PM »
^I could be wrong, but AFAIK the VRAM reset happens on the next boot, not just from switching the jumper.


Luck! :)

Edvard

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Re: Hardware Question: Baseboard Management Controller communication failure
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2013, 08:10:32 PM »
Power down.
Set NVRAM jumper.
Boot up.  Get NVRAM jumper warning.  Grub can't find disk (my bad, fixed on next reboot).
Power down.
Un-set NVRAM jumper.
Boot up.  Fans do not spin down like normal, same error, but I fixed the disk problem.  Runs, but noisy as hell.

:(

x16wda

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Re: Hardware Question: Baseboard Management Controller communication failure
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2013, 10:40:34 AM »
Does it have the latest BIOS & ESM installed?
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Edvard

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Re: Hardware Question: Baseboard Management Controller communication failure
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2013, 04:21:14 PM »
Yes to the BIOS.  I checked the BIOS version and it is the same as the latest one on Dell's website.  The ESM I'm not so sure about. 
The thing is, the machine worked perfectly when we got it, approximately 3-4 months ago.  Then my son went to a local youth camp for their leadership training program for 3 months, during which time the machine sat idle, unplugged.  Some posts I saw suggested a faulty battery, so I checked the BIOS battery, but it was a full 3 volts. 
My wife is not too happy about yet another broken piece of junk possibly recoverable hardware hanging around the basement.  I'll check into the ESM.