End of an Era for me

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  • This topic has 12 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated Aug 8-6:35 pm by seaken64.
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  • #39392
    Member
    AvatarBobC

    My old 1997 Super Micro Dual P III server finally stopped booting completely. No beeps, green light on the MB LED, no video. Tried a bunch of cards.

    I had tried to make a video of it running antiX 19 moving windows around and such to demo the IceWM and Wingrid tiling, and made the mistake of running Firefox, and the load of that just seemed to kill something in it.

    It hasn’t been able to boot since then. I replaced the battery and after that, no video at all.

    RIP, I guess I’ll strip it for a few parts. Its a shame. It was such a solid machine. I probably will give up on 32 bit stuff, as that was the only one I still had running 32 bit Linux, and my favorite for playing games on Win/98 back in the day.

    It costed about $4000 for the parts back in 1997, Dual Pentium III 750’s with huge coolers, 2 gb server ram, 3 dual output nvidia cards driving 6 lcd 22″ screens, Adaptec fast wide SCSI with a 10,000 rpm Cheetah drive, and a big server power supply.

    #39396
    Member
    AvatarModdIt

    Hi BobC, before you give up might be worth checking for swollen, burst or dry condensors, both on board or if you are really experienced and
    safe working in the power supply, otherwise ask an old tv repairman, they are well schooled in high tension applications..
    Switching Power supplies can kill in an instant, high voltages stored in big caps !!.

    Condensors failing is very common.

    If you have a manual you can check if you have right voltages reaching board, that is safe and easy with a cheap multimeter.

    Maybe your old device has some more life left.

    #39405
    Forum Admin
    rokytnjirokytnji

    Power supply change out and cost won’t make sense in my area where I can sometimes find ” It fell off the Truck ” type of old boxes.
    Emachine and Old IBM P4 Single core small form factor went belly up over here.

    Parts is parts.I usually use the cases in my scrap metal bin

    Sitting on the other side of the Chrysler Crossfire. I\Used one panel already on my bicycle work stand

    Sometimes I drive a crooked road to get my mind straight.
    Not all who Wander are Lost.
    I'm not outa place. I'm from outer space.

    Linux Registered User # 475019
    How to Search for AntiX solutions to your problems

    #39413
    Member
    XecureXecure

    I know how painfull it is. Maybe you are in luck and can save the board with ModdIt’s suggestions.
    For good or for bad, we generally outlast all things we own.

    #39415
    Member
    AvatarModdIt

    @ all th9s is pretty special historic hardware, parts in the street or tip unlikely.
    Without the exact board number i can not be sure but Supermicro has power supply standards
    for the P3 legacy boards on the website. Maybe, if you ask nicely you can get schematics
    from them too. @least what voltages you should have reaching the board, on many it is printed
    next to the sockets.

    Edit: Board handbooks are available to download on the supermicro USA main site, they supply
    a lot of information including on Power supply requirements and Connector voltages.

    Wish some other big companys were as user friendly.

    Should be no more than 12 Volts as highest anywhere there so safe to measure.
    Some old PSU were dangerous design so use insulated probes on multimeter no matter how unlikely
    be safe.

    May now be one of the last left. here likely a museum or OEM office would be interested.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by ModdIt.
    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by ModdIt.
    #39439
    Member
    Avatarseaken64

    I’m not very good at troubleshooting the electrical stuff. But I have good results in stripping the computer down to it’s individual parts and then cleaning and reassembling. Sometimes it’s just too much dirt buildup. And removing the CPU’s and memory chips and reinstalling can be helpful.

    If after that there is still no response it is probably a power supply issue or bad capacitors. That’s where I start to get flustered. Sometimes I can just swap the power supply. Resoldering capacitors and chips is more than I can handle.

    Seaken64

    #39445
    Member
    AvatarModdIt

    @seaken64, strip and clean seems unlikely to help bob c special case. He has been in the computer business a long time.

    Changing capacitors is actually very easy with exception of modern smd where you need a microscope and oven. Hot air gun just blows the tiny parts away. replacing many older chips is easy too. Just carefully cut off all legs then remove one a time, desoldering braid lets you clean solder from pads, to clear a hole i use a needle in a cork. Fit new chip and solder in. THE RIGHT WAY ROUND, please do note that before cutting all legs.

    just practice on a junk board, melt on one side and rock the cap in other direction to pull the wire out of board,
    repeat back and forth. Be gentle you will most likely have a multi layer board, do use a decent soldering iron, not some massive thing which gets too hot.

    In power supplys it is usualy the mains side where caps fail. BUT i repeat power supplys are dangerous.

    I have repaired some but only because not doing so would mean buying a new Monitor or computer and with greatest caution..

    BobC can probably, if he so wishes find a fitting PSU.

    #39449
    Member
    Avatarseaken64

    @seaken64, strip and clean seems unlikely to help bob c special case. He has been in the computer business a long time.

    Unless he hasn’t done it yet. He didn’t say either way.

    I am a gas fireplace technician and it always amazes me how it can often be something simple. No sense in recapping or swapping PS if you haven’t already done the easy stuff.

    Seaken64

    #39450
    Forum Admin
    rokytnjirokytnji

    No sense in recapping or swapping PS if you haven’t already done the easy stuff.

    Like cmos battery or power cord has a open wire to those chincy plastic molded in plugs.
    1st thing I checked on mine. < spare cords or fluke >
    Then checked ram sticks in other oldy hardware.

    Shuttle Box amd P4 single core cpu also bit the dust a while back. HAD a decent nvidia video card in it. It now sits in the Dell shop computer.
    I gotta eol message on that shop box running MX linux jessie version. Totally spaced that out of my mind.

    If I never got the popup. I woulda spaced it out a lot longer. Yeah. I am like that. Procrastinate city. Hence why my testing is slow, but, steady.

    Gas fire-place tech would go broke here in the West Texas desert. 🙂

    Sometimes I drive a crooked road to get my mind straight.
    Not all who Wander are Lost.
    I'm not outa place. I'm from outer space.

    Linux Registered User # 475019
    How to Search for AntiX solutions to your problems

    #39451
    Moderator
    masinickmasinick

    No sense in recapping or swapping PS if you haven’t already done the easy stuff.

    Like cmos battery … or power cord has a open wire to those ‘chincy’ plastic molded in plugs.

    Shuttle Box amd P4 single core cpu also bit the dust a while back.

    … Yeah. I am like that. Procrastinate city. Hence why my testing is slow, but, steady.

    Gas fire-place tech would go broke here in the West Texas desert. 🙂

    “Birds of a feather flock together”.

    This “bird” had a Dell Dimension 4100 from 2001 until 2010 or 2011. Before I put the 4100 to rest, I had a 17″ Gateway 2000 “portable” – I don’t refer to it as a “laptop” because though I could move it, the unit was too big and cumbersome to qualify, at least in MY BOOK as a ‘laptop’ computer. That was a good, solid machine. Alas it was a 32-bit machine. I also acquired a 32-bit Lenovo 3000 series laptop; that one was a little smaller, so when I “went out with it”, I used the Lenovo. Alas, it didn’t have a huge battery life, but both the Gateway and the Lenovo were solid.

    I effectively replaced them with a Dell Inspiron 5558 in or around 2015, but only actually physically disposed of the other computers in late 2017 or early 2018. Interestingly I looked for places who would refurb and use such old systems and did not find any local; it would have COST me money to send them somewhere to be reused so I took them to an electronics store, which at least disposed of them or tore them apart at no cost to me. I’m guessing that made them money. Decades ago when I worked at Digital Equipment Corporation, our reclamation business did about $1B a year, tearing apart the equipment into the raw components or metals and sold the raw materials instead of putting the hazardous materials in a dump. Not bad to pull an extra billion a year just by tearing apart old junk!

    I have a couple of “new” reclamation projects – an excellent old IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad X201, an HP 5000 series desktop with a very nice monitor, and an old HP laptop with a marginal hinge between the display and the keyboard – but all three work. I have MX Linux on the Thinkpad and antiX on the two HP models, and my Dell Inspiron 5558 is my multi-boot every day machine plus test bed system. I also have a slow, but steady Lenovo N22 Chromebook; it’s slow, but very solid, and it’s OK for simple browsing.

    Brian Masinick

    #39456
    Member
    Avatarseaken64

    Gas fire-place tech would go broke here in the West Texas desert.

    Yeah probably. Yet I have colleagues in Arizona and New Mexico also, and also Southern California and Florida. I also fix wood stoves and pellet stoves, so maybe between them all I would survive! Or I would switch to being a motorcycle tech!

    Seaken64

    #39969
    Member
    AvatarBobC

    One of this weekend’s projects is to either get it working or strip it for usable parts. My guess is I goofed up the MB when trying to replace the CMOS battery. I’ll inspect it for obvious damage just in case. I’m pretty sure I can use one of the CPU’s to replace a much slower slot 1 P II CPU in a machine with a similar MB, and will see if I can use the memory because the other machine doesn’t have enough. Also the DVD will swap, and WiFi and the ATI video. It has a big PS but will have to look if I can use that in anything else.

    I’m not good enough at electronics to fix anything tricky unless I have a full shop manual, like my old Heathkit radio stuff used to come with, where they gave check voltages at pin outs, etc.

    The only value it has is sentimental at this point…

    #40010
    Member
    Avatarseaken64

    Yeah, I understand the sentimental part. I have an old AST Premium 486/33 that I used for years in my home office. I learned a lot on that machine. When I took it out of storage it had a nest in it. I tried to clean it up but it won’t boot. I haven’t thrown it out though. I want to keep trying.

    I also had a nice little Sony VIAO that I picked up at the dump and I had DOS/Windows on it and it was a nice little machine. Then I tried updating the BIOS and I bricked it. That hurt. Had to throw that one away. I did re-use some of it’s parts though in other machines.

    I hope you get it to work.

    Seaken64

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