Quick Fix Server Troubleshooting Guide | TechMikeNY
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TechMike’s Quick Fix Troubleshooting Guide - PSUs

TechMike’s Quick Fix Troubleshooting Guide - PSUs


Every day our support techs answer questions from our customers – and potential customers – on technical questions with Enterprise servers. We thought it would be helpful to create a blog post series that summarize the common issues that come up and provide the quick-fix solutions and server troubleshooting steps that we frequently offer.

It’s our first entry in TechMike’s Quick Fix Guide – Power Supply Units.

Zip, Zero, Zilch. The server Won’t Power On.

Nothing is more frustrating than expecting a server to hum to life – fans spinning, disks whirring – only to be met with DEAD SILENCE. Very often, this issue is caused by PSUs. 

Below are the top three troubleshooting steps to take when it comes to PSUs and a server with no power:

Confirm the PSUs Are Properly Seated

Make sure the power cords are fully inserted into the power supply plugs. We’ve seen PSUs that look installed and secure within the chassis but actually require a slightly stronger push to be fully seated with their socket.

Confirm PSUs are the Correct Voltage

Make sure PSUs are compatible with your electricity voltage. For example, Titanium PSUs only take 240V. While 240V plugs are noticeably larger than a standard 110V wall outlet, because the power cord is interchangeable, it’s possible to try and plug a 240V PSU into a standard wall outlet and have nothing happen. (You would typically connect 240V supplies to a Power Distribution Unit (PDU) in a server rack.)

Confirm PSUs Have Enough Wattage

Low-end PSUs are 450W. We’ve found that servers with robust specifications simply need more power. While you may receive a notification on start-up that the power exceeds the system’s PSU, 450W PSUs may not even be enough to boot the machine for especially high-spec machines.

TECHMIKE QUALITY CHECK. When we build your Configure-to-Order machine, our builders stress-test the server. If the PSUs are insufficient for the power draw, we’ll note it, and one of our reps will reach out to discuss upgrading the PSU.

 You can shop from our selection of PSUs on our Power Supplies Product page!


You Have PSU Issues at Boot-Up

If you experience PSU errors on start-up or the system logs report a PSU error, perform the following:

  1. Remove power cables from PSU.
  2. Hold the power button for 10 seconds to drain the power left in the PSUs.
  3. Turn on the server and see if the problem remains.

You should also move a problematic PSU to another slot to see if the issue follows the PSU. That will help determine if it is a faulty PSU unit (that then can be replaced) or if it is a more problematic issue with the server’s PSU socket or chassis.

‘BEST PRACTICES’ TECH TIP – 2X PSUs! Enterprise servers run optimally with two power supplies that share the load under normal conditions (If one PSU is nearing its max load, that can cause errors as well). You can read more about dual PSUs in our blog post, What Is the Advantage of Having Dual Power Supply Units?

Final Thoughts

While a DOA server can be frustrating, rest assured that the above troubleshooting steps can usually isolate or resolve the issue. While we’re on the subject, we’ve written before on spare parts, and it behooves us to remind you to keep spare PSUs. It’s an economical way to ensure you never have any downtime!

Do you have PSU troubleshooting tips that you’d like to share with us? Leave it in the comments! We love hearing from our readers, and everyone will appreciate the additional suggestions!

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