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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:39 pm 
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By default, the HP MediaSmart Server BIOS power management setting has the server in "always off" mode after power interruption, but the BIOS has support for “always on” and “previous state” settings.

In “always on” mode, the server will always power on after a power interruption.

In “keep previous state”, the server will return to the state it was in prior to the power interruption. If the server was intentionally powered down, and the AC power is interrupted, it will stay in a powered down state once AC power is restored. If the server was on prior to the power failure, it will return to the powered on state.

Since the server does not have video output, you cannot see the BIOS startup, setup screens, or settings. However, you can change them blindly with the help of a USB keyboard and some CAREFUL keystrokes.

Because the following is not an offically supported set of steps, I need to frighten you with the following disclaimer.

WARNING: THIS WILL VOID YOUR SERVER’S WARRANTY! BLINDLY MANIPULATING THE BIOS SETTINGS IS UNSUPPORTED AND IS POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS TO YOUR SERVER.

Now that you've been frightened, it's really very simple to successfully follow these steps.

CHANGING THE POWER MANAGEMENT SETTING:
    1. Power down your server.
    2. Attach a USB keyboard to the front USB port.
    3. Power on the server.
    4. As soon as the health LED blinks blue and red, press the DEL key. You will see the light stop blinking – it will remain either a solid blue or solid red. Optionally, you can press DEL as soon as you hear the fans slow down (they are full speed at initial power on, but will drop in speed once the BIOS posts.) If you take this route into the BIOS, the health light will remain a solid purple and will never start blinking.
    5. Wait 5 seconds to be certain the BIOS is on the settings page and the health light is remaining solid.
    6. Press the DOWN ARROW key four (4) times.
    7. Press the ENTER key one (1) time.
    8. Press the UP ARROW key two (2) times.
    9. You are now positioned at the power management setting and it is set to “always off”. At this point, decide if you want to have the server be in “keep previous state” or “always on” mode and perform one of the following steps:
      a. To set the power management state to “keep previous state”, press the PG UP key one (1) time.
      b. To set the power management state to “always on”, press the PG DN key one (1) time.
    10. Press the F10 key one (1) time to have the BIOS save this setting.
    11. Press the ENTER and the server should reboot.
    12. Unplug the USB keyboard.


TESTING THE NEW POWER MANAGEMENT SETTING
    1. Power off the server with the power button.
    2. Unplug the server.
    3. Plug the server back in.
    4. If you changed the state to “always on”, the server will immediately power on. You have successfully set the BIOS power management state. If you had the state set to “keep previous state”, the server should remain off. Continue to the next testing steps.
    5. Power on the server.
    6. Once the health LED starts blinking, unplug the server.
    7. Plug the server back in. It should immediately power on. You have successfully changed the power management setting to “keep previous state”.

RESETTING THE BIOS TO FACTORY DEFAULTS
    1. Power down your server.
    2. Attach a USB keyboard to the front USB port.
    3. Power on the server.
    4. As soon as the health LED blinks blue and red, press the DEL key. You will see the light stop blinking – it will remain either a solid blue or solid red. Optionally, you can press DEL as soon as you hear the fans slow down (they are full speed at initial power on, but will drop in speed once the BIOS posts.) If you take this route into the BIOS, the health light will remain a solid purple and will never start blinking.
    5. Wait 5 seconds to be certain the BIOS is on the settings page and the health light is remaining solid.
    6. Press the RIGHT ARROW key one (1) time.
    7. Press the DOWN ARROW key two (2) times.
    8. Press the ENTER key one (1) time. This is selecting the “Load optimized defaults” option, which is how the BIOS is shipped from the factory.
    9. Press the Y key one (1) time.
    10. Press the ENTER key one (1) time.
    11. Press the F10 key one (1) time to have the BIOS save these settings.
    12. Press the ENTER and the server should reboot.
    13. Unplug the USB keyboard.


I hope you find this information useful, and please let me know if any steps need further clarficiation.

-Jerry McCollom


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:12 pm 
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Well clearly if you know that then you also know what we can add to get video on the MediaSmart Server so how about sharing that? :D


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:17 pm 
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INTERESTING . . . . Since there is NO VIDEO OUTPUT, How can you SEE the BIOS, and make sure those are the CORRECT keystroke sequences??

I'd say this procedure is ALOT more risky than upgrading the RAM or changing out the processor as so many others have.

HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN YOUR BIOS IS CORRUPTED IF YOU HAVE TO CALL HP ? ? ?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:35 pm 
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I have seen USB video adapters. I wonder if that would work with the MSS.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:01 am 
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My **guess** would be there is a USB to serial port adapter that when plugged in will give one remote control, of the MediaSmart Server. I think a video adapter, would be unlikely myself.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:28 am 
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Greg H wrote:
INTERESTING . . . . Since there is NO VIDEO OUTPUT, How can you SEE the BIOS, and make sure those are the CORRECT keystroke sequences??

I'd say this procedure is ALOT more risky than upgrading the RAM or changing out the processor as so many others have.

HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN YOUR BIOS IS CORRUPTED IF YOU HAVE TO CALL HP ? ? ?


I have access to a development unit that does have outboard video, so the instructions were put together with visual validation.

You really won't risk CORRUPTING your BIOS with this... the worst outcome would be that you did not get the power management setting you hoped for, which would mean you missed a keystroke somewhere and *possibly* changed some other setting. In that case, you should do the reset to defaults procedure.

Type carefully and you'll do fine -- it's still safer than taking a solderig iron to the motherboard to get video out :) (I'm still toying with those instructions, but that would be REALLY risky!)

As for USB video -- the USB video adapters I've see act as a secondary display and require a driver -- those would not work to see the BIOS post screens.

Jerry


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:41 am 
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So as you have access to the BIOS is there anyway we can get it to see a new processor such as the LE-1620 or a LE-1640? What happens if we pull the battery on the motherboard?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 12:04 pm 
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A new BIOS would be required to support most different (Athlon or dual-core) CPU's.

Nothing bad happens if you pull the battery. There is a weirdness with the drive LEDs for the first few seconds, however that only occurs if the power cable is disconnected from the server. The default BIOS settings are the exact same as what ships.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 2:10 pm 
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Ok, jrock, Thanks for clarifying that!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:41 pm 
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I'm sure HP has software tools that can make POST settings changes from inside the running OS.

It is just a matter of making a limited version of that tool available to the server owners. HP can actually integrate it in the HP software that is preinstalled on the server and make the setting avaialble in the WHS Console.

That I would call customer care. Do they care?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 11:54 pm 
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Wouldn't it be easier to connect the MSS to a UPS to minimize the chance of it losing power? I have mine connected to a UPS that will give me several hours of battery runtime. I've only seen three power outages in the last 14 years that lastet longer than a few hours.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:34 am 
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I'm glad you have a solution to this problem but your experience is not typical for some parts of the US (e.g. Pacific NW), where we have at least one major power event every year due to inherent problems of aerial power lines in adverse whether conditions.

Due to the economics involved and the way the climate is changing this is going to stay the same or get worst.

An UPS to last one day or more it is too expensive for home use.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:17 am 
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I had a very interesting occurrence last night. Power went off around 4 AM and we slept thorough the BBU (UPS) alarms. Because of that I did not have an opportunity to do any shutdowns.

By the time we realized it had happened (2 1/2 hours later) the MSS lights were all off, the Vista machine had powered down and only the router and cable modem were operating. (All three of these are on separate power units). Oh yeah, the laptop, not on a UPS, was suspended.

An hour later the power came back on. Turned on the laptop and went to turn on the MSS. IT WAS ALREADY BACK ON-LINE AND RUNNING JUST FINE. Lights all blue and purring like a kitten. Had to restart the Vista unit, of course.

Not believing what I was seeing I looked at the MSS event logs. Errors where it had tried to do backups just after the power failure -- but the Vista machine had already shut down and the laptop had suspended. And there is a big gap in the Security Log audit "information" messages as well as a number of unusual ones between the time of the power failure and when the MSS evidently did shut down. The Application Log shows a midnight "chkdsk" and then "MSDTC, EventSystem, BonjourService", etc. when the power was restored -- all normal indications of a restart.

I had recently done a Factory Reset and had not yet installed the APC UPS software, but the USB cable to the UPS was connected.

Why did the MSS restart? Not having a monitor, I have not changed any BIOS configuration settings to have it restart! Was it because the LAN was still "alive"? (My router and cablemodem are on a separate 1500 UPS that will keep my phones operational for a very extended period of time.) Would love it if that were the case -- I wouldn't need to jury rig a monitor to change the BIOS configuration settings -- and voiding my warranty!

Thoughts, folks?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:16 pm 
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I just tried another experiment. I disconnected the LAN cable and the power to the UPS and let it run down again. This time it did NOT restart! I am beginning to think the presence of an active LAN cable makes a difference here. This is not a behavior I have seen before (or if I have I never noticed it), but, frankly, I do like it!

By the way, it is only in the last two months that the router and cablemodem have been on a separate (and significant) UPS. Before that they would probably have failed before the MSS.

Someone else want to experiment? Can we rely on this?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:10 pm 
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There is nothing to my knowledge that would support your theory of an active LAN connection allowing a reboot from a UPS-initiated shutdown. The only posibility I can think of would be if the server went into an S3 sleep state instead of shutdown, milking just enough juice off the UPS to stay alive until power returned, at which point it woke up.

Making the change to the BIOS described in this thread is the only way I know of to allow boot from power on. I have NOT done extensive testing with UPS systems, though.


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