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ThinkStation p920 won't boot - please help

2021-08-25, 2:13 AM

Hello

 

I am trying to troubleshoot a system that will not boot.  I have the computer isolated down to the bare minimum and I still can't get it to boot or beep. Does anyone have any idea what could be the problem?

 

Motherboard is the Intel LGA3647 NO DPK (Jordan Motherboard (Nile v1.0))

5B20U90959

 

CPU is Intel® Xeon® Platinum 8153 Processor

 

RAM is Crucial 16GB 2400RDIMM 1.2 DDR4

CT16G4VFS424A / PC4-2400T-RFB-10

 

Manufacturer Crucial
Manufacturer Part # CT16G4VFS424A
Memory Type DDR4 SDRAM
Capacity 16GB
Data Transfer Rate 2400Mhz
Pins 288 Pin
Bus Type PC-19200
Error Correction Registered ECC
Cycle Time 0.83ns
Cas CL17
Memory Clock 300Mhz
Rank Rank 1
Voltage 1.2

 

GRAPHICS I tried both the NVIDIA RTX 4000 and 3060

 

POWER DELTA DPS-1400 EB A

1400W MAX

 

To start the computer I connect the two pins on the motherboard for power and I hear the fans for the CPU and Graphic Cards start up but there is nothing on the screen at all, and the keyboard and mouse remain unlit.  I tried resetting the BIOS and having a USB key with the recovery bios software but nothing seems to work at all.  Any ideas ?  Thank you very much

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5221 Posts

02-22-2010

United States of America

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Re:ThinkStation p920 won't boot - please help

2021-08-25, 13:04 PM

Do you have just a single 16GB DIMM of that Crucial memory installed?  If so, is it installed to the proper DIMM slot per the slot order guidelines on the chassis system label (found inside the front cover)?

 

If you remove all system memory, do you get the expected error beep sequence (3 short + 1 long)?

 

I'm assuming this board isn't installed inside a chassis, or is installed in some 3rd party chassis, since you mention having to power the board on by shorting pins in the front panel header.  If this is the case, have you made all the standard cable connections, or is there possibly something you've left out or overlooked?

 

I'm assuming based on the info provided that you have a single CPU (8153) installed.  Is it installed in the proper socket?  CPU1 is the socket closest to the front edge of the board.  Depending on the answers to some of the above questions, it might also be a good idea to pull the CPU, do a careful inspection of the socket looking for bent pins, and then try reseating the CPU.  Also ensure you're using the proper torque to install the heatsink (10-12 inch pounds as I recall, but check the system label and/or heatsink label).

 

 




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Re:ThinkStation p920 won't boot - please help

2021-08-25, 22:23 PM

Hi!

 

Thanks so much for your response... 

 

@ psuturtle wrote:

Do you have just a single 16GB DIMM of that Crucial memory installed?  If so, is it installed to the proper DIMM slot per the slot order guidelines on the chassis system label (found inside the front cover)?

 

It is 2x 16 GB but I have tried with both,  with just one and with none. Yes I have followed the guide for which slot to use when only using one or two sticks. For troubleshooting, I have kept 1 stick x 16GB in slot 5.  

 

 

If you remove all system memory, do you get the expected error beep sequence (3 short + 1 long)?

 

When using no memory, I don't get any beeps at all (I have not heard any beeps ever but I think it is because I don't think the board has an on-board speaker) I have attached a speaker to the 2 audio pins, and while this speaker will beep when used this way in other PC's, for the lenovo, it only emits ticking sounds, and constantly every few seconds. I recorded the sound the speaker makes here : https://www.dropbox.com/s/2d6743wpd0emt0h/lenovo_speaker.m4a?dl=0

 

I'm assuming this board isn't installed inside a chassis, or is installed in some 3rd party chassis, since you mention having to power the board on by shorting pins in the front panel header.  If this is the case, have you made all the standard cable connections, or is there possibly something you've left out or overlooked?

Correct, I do not have it in a case at all.  I don't know what cables are standard.  I only have the power connected to the board.  The cpu has its fan cable plugged into the board and it spins up when powered on. Something I found strange however is when I use the power supply to power the graphic card, the entire system won't start.  When I unplug the graphic card power cable, the system immediately starts.  So I have been powering the graphic card with a secondary power supply.  Is there a reason the main power goes into what looks like a protection mode when I try to use any of the 12 pin power? 

 

12 pin power won't work

 

I'm assuming based on the info provided that you have a single CPU (8153) installed.  Is it installed in the proper socket?  CPU1 is the socket closest to the front edge of the board. 

 

Yes it is one cpu and is seated in the cpu1 side.  I have tried to seat and reseat it, along with tighten and loosen the torque (12 you are correct) but it has not made a difference. 

 

Depending on the answers to some of the above questions, it might also be a good idea to pull the CPU, do a careful inspection of the socket looking for bent pins, and then try reseating the CPU.  Also ensure you're using the proper torque to install the heatsink (10-12 inch pounds as I recall, but check the system label and/or heatsink label).

 

 

Does the lenovo board absolutely need to be in the lenovo chasis to work? Are there any other power cables needed or is the power supply being attached directly to the board slot all that is needed?

 

Thank you so much for your help

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Re:ThinkStation p920 won't boot - please help

2021-08-26, 14:46 PM

Thanks for the info.

 

I won't say a P920 board wouldn't function outside of the P920 chassis, but there certainly are some challenges associated with doing so.  Using the supported 1400W PSU is pretty critical I think as all power to the board is delivered through the edge connector on the PSU, which is proprietary.  I'm not sure if you're using the supported aux power cable to drive aux 12V power to the GPUs, or if you've just sort of randomly started inserting cables to that larger molex style connector.  But my recommendation would be to use the supported cabling to ensure fit and the proper pinouts as that molex connector is not necessarily following any set industry standards.  Acceptable FRUs for that cable are 04X2796 or 5C10U58499.  Your GPU power problem could also be a timing issue caused by attempting to power the GPUs with an external source. 

 

You should be extremely careful hooking up the 1400W PSU outside of the chassis on a bench-type setup.  That PSU is heavy, and the card edge connection is not designed to support the weight of the PSU.  I can easily see the board being damaged in that sort of configuration.  I'd also highly recommend that you place a proper cover on the open 2nd CPU socket.  Having that LGA exposed (as in the pic) is asking for trouble.

 

The fact that the system is not beeping when no memory is installed is troubling.  Though the speaker symptom you've described and recorded makes me wonder if the system is actually attempting to beep...but it's just not being output correctly (possibly due to the speaker you have attached?).  Just a thought there.  Also, DIMM 5 is not the proper 1st DIMM population for a single DIMM config.  Slot 3 is.  See the P920 memory whitepaper we created for more info on this.

 

For cabling, I don't think there are additional cables that would be required to get the board to POST.  A proper ambient thermal sensor would be required for the fan control to work properly, but your system isn't getting that far in the process at this point.  If you had the proper front panel assembly, that would allow you to see any diagnostic errors or possibly BIOS checkpoint codes to help debug the issue.

 

Has this board ever booted properly?  There are a ton of variables involved here already, so just trying to narrow down the list.  I'm suspicious of the memory at this point, but that's mostly a hunch based on a lot of variables.




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Re:ThinkStation p920 won't boot - please help

2021-08-26, 19:13 PM

@ psuturtle wrote:

Thanks for the info.

 

I won't say a P920 board wouldn't function outside of the P920 chassis, but there certainly are some challenges associated with doing so.  Using the supported 1400W PSU is pretty critical I think as all power to the board is delivered through the edge connector on the PSU, which is proprietary.  I'm not sure if you're using the supported aux power cable to drive aux 12V power to the GPUs, or if you've just sort of randomly started inserting cables to that larger molex style connector.  But my recommendation would be to use the supported cabling to ensure fit and the proper pinouts as that molex connector is not necessarily following any set industry standards.  Acceptable FRUs for that cable are 04X2796 or 5C10U58499.  Your GPU power problem could also be a timing issue caused by attempting to power the GPUs with an external source. 

 

Thank you, I am using an edge to take the weight of the power supply so that the board is not holding it up by the slot.  It is a heavy psu, and I was told it is the correct one for the board.  It is 1400W and I gave the model number.  As for the GPU power cable, I am using a standard power cable, I noticed that the power supply connector has the same shape as an 3x 8pin connector and so I used it this way but it did not work.  I will order the supported cable as you suggest.  

 

 

You should be extremely careful hooking up the 1400W PSU outside of the chassis on a bench-type setup.  That PSU is heavy, and the card edge connection is not designed to support the weight of the PSU.  I can easily see the board being damaged in that sort of configuration.  I'd also highly recommend that you place a proper cover on the open 2nd CPU socket.  Having that LGA exposed (as in the pic) is asking for trouble.

 

The fact that the system is not beeping when no memory is installed is troubling.  Though the speaker symptom you've described and recorded makes me wonder if the system is actually attempting to beep...but it's just not being output correctly (possibly due to the speaker you have attached?).  Just a thought there.  Also, DIMM 5 is not the proper 1st DIMM population for a single DIMM config.  Slot 3 is.  See the P920 memory whitepaper we created for more info on this.

 

Yes, even though I wrote slot 5, you can see that the DIMM is actually in Slot 3.  I have two sticks and I tried both together and one at a time.  Are you thinking the memory is defective or not compatible?  This same speaker makes proper beeping sounds when in other systems, but yes it does seem like it is trying to beep. Not sure why it clicks.

 

For cabling, I don't think there are additional cables that would be required to get the board to POST.  A proper ambient thermal sensor would be required for the fan control to work properly, but your system isn't getting that far in the process at this point.  If you had the proper front panel assembly, that would allow you to see any diagnostic errors or possibly BIOS checkpoint codes to help debug the issue.

 

Is there a way to purchase the front panel assembly?  That would allow me to have a speaker also to hear the beeps as well as the bios checkpoint codes. Or is there a standalone diagnostics reader available?  

 

Has this board ever booted properly?  There are a ton of variables involved here already, so just trying to narrow down the list.  I'm suspicious of the memory at this point, but that's mostly a hunch based on a lot of variables.

 

This board I purchased from someone who received it from Lenovo to fix and repair his own computer which was under warranty but he didn't end up fixing.  It was still sealed so technically I think it's a refurbished part but I would assume, Lenovo would have most likely tested it to make sure the refurb was working before sending it to a customer as a repair part. I would be surprised if they sent a broken part to replace a broken part but as you say, there are too many variables.  Is there a lenovo tech in Montreal where I could bring it and they could try the board with a working cpu, ram and psu?  

 

Thanks again much appreciated

 

 

 

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