Help! Supermicro case shutting self off after a few minutes

AveryFreeman

ESXi + ( ILLUMOS / ZFS ) = HAPPY
Mar 17, 2017
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Hi everyone,

I have a new computer I'm trying to put together, it's an X9SPU-F and a SC825-5 case from Supermicro. I've never built a full supermicro computer before, I've just used their motherboards in other manufacturer's cases, so I'm a little confused by some of the intricacies of their chassis.

I have redundant hot-swappable PSU and intrusion detection, all of which I have never worked with before.

Anyway, I have the server all put together except for the riser cards. I've used the motherboard in a different case, so I'm fairly confident it works OK. It was fine then.

After a few minutes the computer shuts itself off. I am wondering, does anyone know if there's some feature that might be doing this?

As I write this, I'm starting to wonder if perhaps it's not a thermal issue ... but if anyone has any ideas about what else it might be, I'm all ears.

Thanks!
-Avery
 

AveryFreeman

ESXi + ( ILLUMOS / ZFS ) = HAPPY
Mar 17, 2017
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Yep ... that's what it was :facepalm:

EDIT: Actually, now that I have fixed the thermal issue, it's still having problems. The two power supplies seem to be interacting with each other weird. If I pull the cables out just a little bit, it'll turn on, but I can't know for how long.

If it were a more simple device, I would think it might have an issue with the contacts, but the whole dual hot-swappable power supply thing is so complicated it seems like there could be other issues going on, perhaps the way they're interacting (if one of them is dying and the other isn't), or perhaps the internal contacts, or a component either on the hot-swap interface or inside one of the power supplies itself.

Has anyone ever had issues like this that might be able to give me some insight?

Thanks
 
Last edited:

AveryFreeman

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Mar 17, 2017
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Welp, the whole thing decided to crap out on me today. It was starting up, posting, and I was able to install a copy of W2016 on one of the drives w/ hyper-v and at least try and get a good start on things.

Left it on all night after struggling with powershell commands to try and make ReFS mirror for my VMs, and while I was in the other room I heard the fans kick into overdrive, jet engine style.

Now when I try and turn it on, it won't post anymore. It turns on and the LEDs appear to be working correctly, but no screen activity (I've swapped out both the monitor and the video cable to make sure that's not the issue).

I ordered a couple replacement power supplies hoping that's the issue, but I suppose it could be anything. It currently has a couple PWS-501P-1R platinums but I got two PWS-721P-1R to replace them with, since they were only $10/ea I suppose if that's not what the problem is, I won't be that much further in the hole.

No experience with Supermicro gear (except motherboards). Looks pretty nice so far, but the whole not-working part is definitely putting me off for them as a brand...

If anyone knows anything that might be of help, please, please, tell me your experiences. I'm totally flying blind here.
 

Fritz

Well-Known Member
Apr 6, 2015
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Check your memory. Install only the minimum required and swap modules as needed.
I doubt it's the PSU's, especially both of them. SM PSU's are super reliable. The fans revving up is a clue that something MB related zonked out.
 

AveryFreeman

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Mar 17, 2017
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No go on the memory adjustment

I'm noticing that the power supply leds on the back are flashing, not solid yellow like they were before. I really think it's power-supply related. I have the replacement power supplies coming, but there's also the power distribution unit. There are some capacitors on the distribution unit which might have just blown.

Luckily since all this stuff is pretty old, it's really inexpensive - I can pick another one of those up for around $20 ... worthless if it doesn't work, though ...
 

fad

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Dec 9, 2015
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I had the same issue. Turns out one of my PSU fans was not spinning. So it would power the unit for a while (2-3mins) before overheating and shutting off, and not want to turn back on. After cooling the unit for a while it would turn back on for a further 2-3mins.

I have quite a few PSUs to test with. Try with just one PSU installed. When you get a failure remove this PSU, and try the other. You may, however, have two dead ones.

It is also really difficult to hear which fan is spinning, with the noise level of all of the fans in a Supermicro chassis. My chassis front and back fans would ramp to 100% because of the temperature of the PSU.
 

Terry Kennedy

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Jun 25, 2015
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It is also really difficult to hear which fan is spinning, with the noise level of all of the fans in a Supermicro chassis. My chassis front and back fans would ramp to 100% because of the temperature of the PSU.
You can also disconnect all of the power supply cables from the motherboard and either use a real tester like this (many "brands", identical guts) or even the paperclip test to get the power supply fans spinning. These don't provide enough of a load to get the power supply working hard enough to shut down, even if the fan(s) are bad.
 

Rand__

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Mar 6, 2014
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Can you try with another PSU, eg ATX? Just temporary to get down to the bottom of it.
 
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AveryFreeman

ESXi + ( ILLUMOS / ZFS ) = HAPPY
Mar 17, 2017
165
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Near Seattle
averyfreeman.com
I had the same issue. Turns out one of my PSU fans was not spinning. So it would power the unit for a while (2-3mins) before overheating and shutting off, and not want to turn back on. After cooling the unit for a while it would turn back on for a further 2-3mins.

I have quite a few PSUs to test with. Try with just one PSU installed. When you get a failure remove this PSU, and try the other. You may, however, have two dead ones.

It is also really difficult to hear which fan is spinning, with the noise level of all of the fans in a Supermicro chassis. My chassis front and back fans would ramp to 100% because of the temperature of the PSU.
Thanks for your reply -- I know the fans were spinning because I could actually feel the air coming off from them when they were plugged in. I think something else might be up with them though. I ordered a couple new (refurbished) ones to try and replace them with in hopes that that is the problem, but I also have replacements for essentially all the other components too -- another motherboard, got another processor (upgrade), cooler, etc. The stuff is DIRT cheap on eBay so it's really nothing to try and replace...
 

AveryFreeman

ESXi + ( ILLUMOS / ZFS ) = HAPPY
Mar 17, 2017
165
19
18
39
Near Seattle
averyfreeman.com
You can also disconnect all of the power supply cables from the motherboard and either use a real tester like this (many "brands", identical guts) or even the paperclip test to get the power supply fans spinning. These don't provide enough of a load to get the power supply working hard enough to shut down, even if the fan(s) are bad.
Oh, that's a good idea - I might try that if I can't get it working by replacing all the stuff. I even got another power distributor for testing that...