Question : PowerEdge 1850 Will Not Boot


This is a follow-on to an earlier question.  I have a Dell PowerEdge 1850 running 2003 Server that serves as a Backup Domain Controller.  Three weeks ago the unit was shut down and unplugged for 8 days.  When it was rebooted everything seemed fine.  The next day I installed several MS patches.  When I went to reboot I got this error:

Memory/Battery problems were detected. The adapter has recovered, but cached data was lost. Press any key to continue.

I press any key and Server 2003 starts to load, but never fully loads.  After about 5 minutes the server reboots.  After several calls to Dell and a question here, we thought that the RAID battery had failed.  I bought a new battery from Dell, installed it, and ran into more problems.  Now the unit would not boot at all.  The amber warning light on the front and back would flash one time.  When I installed the RAID battery I also cleaned out dust from the server fans, CPUs heat sinks, and motherboard.  Not sure if this is relevant, but I wanted to mention it.

I went through a 60+ minute diagnostic with Dell where I took the server out of the rack and systematically disconnected and reconnected various components.  At no time did the motherboard ever sound a single warning beep when I powered the system on.  Even after I removed all RAM there were no beeps.  The Dell technician listened to my PDU and said it sounded strange.  He had me pull the PDU from the server and plug it in detached.  The fan started running right away at full speed.  He said that should not happen and suggested I had a bad PDU.  I ordered a reconditioned PDU from Stallard Technologies.  I tried plugging this PDU disconnected from the server to see if it's fan would run.  Sure enough, it sounded the same as my old PDU.  I went ahead and installed it and tried to reboot.  The same problem exists.  So now I am out the cost of a RAID battery and PDU and no closer to getting this server back online.  The unit is no longer under warranty.  The Dell tech said if it was he would send me a new motherboard.  The cost of a new motherboard $700+ is more than I paid for the server itself.  I really need to fix this in a cost-effective manner.  Does anyone have any ideas on what else could be the problem?

Also, let's assume the worst case and my motherboard is fried.  The server has two hot swappable drives configured in RAID.  If I could find an identical server, could I simply plug in my old hard drives and have a working unit with my configurations?  Or will I need to hire an IT guy to set up the server from scratch?

Answer : PowerEdge 1850 Will Not Boot

If you used compressed air to clean your processor heatsink and blew through the fan you may have spun the fan too fast and sent a negative overvoltage to the motherboard, the permanent magnet motors in these fans make great generators--I suspected that I did that once and tested my theory on a junker which wouldn't boot afterwards. Now I always hold the fan from tuning when I blow them out.

Your RAID array should work in an identical machine.
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