That's right... he's back... With a head scratcher

mac.caldermac.calder Registered User
edited March 2009 in Axon
:( Back again...

Well I got my shiny new graphics card (and a spare)... Don't know whether it was purchased direct from HES or through a distributor (the wonders of having a Technical Purchasing Officer)...

Anyway... Opened it up, installed it, rebooted, et voila! AXON!!!!! Crisp image, no artifacts, just Axon! I thought my trials and tribulations were at an end... But it was not to be.

I ran each of our shows without issue in a dry tech, wash, rinsed, repeated three times, went to bed, had a couple of hours sleep, came back and ran them twice more... No issues!

Then did a full tech rehearsal for the nights show, Hitchless...

Then I left to do some other maintenance, have dinner, all that sort of stuff... Came back at 15 minutes to show, did not look at the Axon, just assuming that since I had done a pretty damn good load test all day it would be fine... Get to the first real use of the Axon... Nudda... Zip... Zilch. Looked at Axon - The Axon looked back, no lights, nothing... So I shrugged... Power outages are not uncommon on ships, maybe it just lost power and did not switch back on... Unusual, but not impossible. Hit the switch... Nudda. Zilch. :-/

So out with the screwdriver... Pulled it out of the rack and onto the bench - tried it there... Nothing... Cracked the case, checked all the connections were secure - Apart from a poor choice of HDD positions which was causing stress on the SATA cable, everything was fine... Unplugged all the power cables and jumped pin 3+4 on the MOBO connector and metered the PSU... All good there, the voltages all matched... Plugged everything back in. Accidently brushed my hand over the DMX card and my hand promptly burst into flames... Well, maybe not... But it was very hot...

SOoooo without being sure if this is the issue (Fried DMX card, and the DMX card having the power switch wired through it which means nothing will start up, because the card says not), and reaching about the end of my limited Axon knowledge I would like to ask for advice from the experts...

Now, if it is the DMX card, is there likely to be an issue somewhere above it as well (PSU, wiring loom, motherboard, bad power etc)...

Whilst I was fine with the purchase of a video card, if I need to purchase a DMX card and then the silent killer strikes again, I can quickly see my budget and my job disappearing

Thanks for all the help... I really do appreciate it, because otherwise, I am sure I would have practiced my diving from the top of the ship by now.

Rgds

Mac

ps... Sorry for the whole "stream of conciousness" thing... long hours, no rest... three different bosses on my back and high environmental stress... you get the picture

Comments

  • Marty PostmaMarty Postma Registered User
    edited March 2009
    First thing I would try is re-seating the RAM cards (pull them out and then snap them back in).

    If they are loose you might not even get the BIOS screen.

    Hope this helps. :)
  • SBlairSBlair Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited March 2009
    Mac,

    It doesn't happen often, but the DMX cards can fail. If you've got voltage on all the rails and the PC isn't even POSTing then I'm gonna guess that it probably isn't the DMX card. The power switch on the card is just the computer soft power, which is a momentary switch. We do that so we can force a reboot via DMX.

    Which model video card did they ship you? As I recall you have a D915GUX mobo which can't handle the newer cards, anything newer than a 1950XTX will have issues with that motherboard.

    As Marty said, pull the RAM and reseat it. Also, when you installed the new card if it wasn't the same model as the one that came out, did you run the latest recovery image with it?

    Is the unit showing the BIOS splash screen at all on power-up? Do the fans spin up at all?
  • Marty PostmaMarty Postma Registered User
    edited March 2009
    Other things to examine....did you leave the AXON powered up the whole time?

    This is not a good practice with any computer.....give it at least 1 hour of downtime in every 24 hour period as a good rule of thumb.

    The other thing to look at is the DMX...make sure your console is sending DMX to the Axon when the server starts up....or it might lock up after appearing to boot properly.
  • mac.caldermac.calder Registered User
    edited March 2009
    I don't even get the PC spinning up at all - No fans, nothing. The motherboard has the little greenish yellow LED near the main PSU connector which stays on the entire time it is on mains power, but the switch does nothing.

    I will try re-seating the ram though, as suggested.

    I was sent two graphics cards identical to the one I pulled out (Sticker on the back had X1900 near the S/N)

    As for shutting them down - yeah, I shut them down every night, however I know that it was not done here previously, and they had been left on pretty much 24/7
  • SBlairSBlair Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited March 2009
    Good news that it is an X1900 and not one of the newer cards given the mobo that is in there.

    If pulling the RAM and re-seating it doesn't work, you might also try pulling the Coin cell battery for the BIOS too. Be sure that the power is unplugged when doing either of these.
  • mac.caldermac.calder Registered User
    edited March 2009
    Unfortunately no success - I reseated the ram (after removing the video card... tight squeez that MoBo), pulled out the bios battery, waited 10 minutes, attempted to boot, sans battery, no success, attempted to boot with battery, no success... About the only indication that there is life in the box is the front green DMX light which is glowing faintly and the greenish LED near the 2x10 power connector.
  • Marty PostmaMarty Postma Registered User
    edited March 2009
    I remember a nasty little problem with those older P4HT mobos where if a certain jumper came off or loose it would do almost exactly what you describe.

    I can't remember where the jumper was though....let me see if I can find it in my notes.....
  • SBlairSBlair Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited March 2009
    Marty,

    You're thinking about the BIOS configuration jumper. You can see it here: http://download.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/sb/c6413302.pdf That is a good thing to check to make sure it didn't come loose.

    Mac, do you have any other Axon servers there that are using the same video card?

    I would try pulling the video card out and disconnecting power to everything but the motherboard and HDD and see if you can get the CPU to spin up.
  • Marty PostmaMarty Postma Registered User
    edited March 2009
    Yes Scott, that is the one...on page 3 of that PDF look along the bottom of the board diagram and check the BIOS jumper.
  • mac.caldermac.calder Registered User
    edited March 2009
    Yeah, when Scott mentioned the make of MoBo I downloaded the PDF and made sure everything was connected correctly, even used a known good jumper on the bios one as it had been put under stress by the SATA connection on the HDD to no avail.

    Did as suggested and disconnected everything, except MoBo and hdd, still nothing.
  • Marty PostmaMarty Postma Registered User
    edited March 2009
    Next step would be to verify that your SATA & SATA power cables to the HDD are connected properly/seated well.

    There is a little adapter for the SATA power on the HDD to connect it to the rest of the power harness, so check there as well.

    The SATA cables, the BIOS Jumper, or the RAM are the only things I have ever personally seen that would prevent the unit from even posting to the BIOS on power-up.
  • SBlairSBlair Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited March 2009
    Mac,

    Sounds like you might have a motherboard or possibly power supply failure there.

    I'm not sure if we currently have any of that model motherboard in used parts stock as I'm working from home today. The hardware (mobo, CPU, RAM) combination can always be replaced and upgraded to our current model here.

    Best thing might be for us to get it shipped back here for repair.
  • schiefelsschiefels Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited March 2009
    Hi Mac,

    I have seen some cases in the past where the relay on the DMX card fails in a closed position. This relay is wired to the soft power on/off circuit of the motherboard. When the failure occurred it would not allow the server to power up. If you haven't already, one thing you might try is disconnecting the harness that goes from the case power swith to the DMX card (2 wire harness, should have "pwr sw" printed on it) and then plug the server in and jump the power swith header on the motherboard.
  • mac.caldermac.calder Registered User
    edited March 2009
    No joy...
  • Marty PostmaMarty Postma Registered User
    edited March 2009
    I'm going to guess that the problem is somewhere in the motherboard then....or possibly the power supply.

    Your best bet is probably going to be sending the unit back to HES for a full diagnostic and repair.
  • mac.caldermac.calder Registered User
    edited March 2009
    That's what I feared...
  • SBlairSBlair Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited March 2009
    Mac,

    Give the support guys here a call and they can probably give you a reasonable idea of what to expect cost-wise.

    Do you have any other Axons there? If so, what generation hardware do they have in them?

    The good news is that the current generation hardware will have a lot more horsepower than the D915GUX does.
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