Soft Restart of Dell R230 reporting memory issues.

I have noticed that a soft or software restart of Dell Power Edge R230 Server (four drive, big LED display version of the ubiquitous entry-level 2xx series Dell units) doesn’t work reliably. It goes down fine, then fails to POST.  By this, I mean that shutdown -r now, or reboot will result in you sitting there waiting for the ping to return for a LONG time… as it has failed. You go to visually inspect the unit and find two lights on. One for Error. One for Memory. The unit is now sitting there having failed to POST and reporting a memory configuration error on the bezel display.

Restarting the unit using IPMI works without issue.

Restarting the unit hard – no issue.

I am not alone in noting this, as colleagues have stated that ‘oh, that will just need an IPMI or button’ or ‘they cold start fine’.

I believe this has something to do with the BIOS, and when I get a unit that is not in production to test on I will have a look at this, and see if I can pull together some version numbers of working and not working. Regretfully my “WHY IS THIS STILL DOWN?!” encounters on Friday resulted in the Life Cycle Manager throwing a fit when I asked it to update the BIOS from ftp.dell.com. I will find the time, and I will update this article – however, if you have similar findings – do let me know.

On the upside, it’s really great to see Dell FINALLY paying attention to details with the HP Proliant esque layout, built features, even lid. Yay for better late than never.

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