Thursday, August 20, 2009

How to use HP Proliant DL380 with only 5 fans (instead of 8)

Some people never learn the meaning of "mind the gap".

When you reset the BIOS or change the motherboard on a HP Proliant DL380 server, the automatic motherboard protection feature doesn't let you boot the system as it feels few fans are missing.

There is only one possible way of solving this problem without spending 150$ (x3) on each so called missing fan.

The server supports redundant hot-plug fans to provide proper airflow to the system if a primary fan fails. The server airflow is divided into three zones:
processor, I/O, and power supply. Shared fans 4 and 7 each provide airflow for two zones. If a shared fan fails, the failure is experienced in both zones.

In the standard configuration, five fans cool the server: fans 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7 in the processor zone; fan 4 in the I/O zone; and fan 7 in the power supply zone.

For the redundant configuration, fans 1, 3, and 8 (one fan per zone) are added to cool the server. This allows the server to continue operation in non-redundant mode if only one fan fails per zone.

The server shuts down in the following scenarios:

• At POST:
  • The BIOS suspends the server for 5 minutes if it detects a cautionary temperature level. If the cautionary temperature level is still detected after 5 minutes, the BIOS performs an orderly shutdown and then restarts. This process repeats until the cautionary temperature level is no longer detected.
  • The BIOS performs an orderly shutdown if the following minimum requirements are not met: one working fan in the I/O zone, five workingfans in the processor zone, and one working fan in the powersupply zone.
  • The server performs an immediate shutdown if it detects a critical temperature level.
IMPORTANT: An immediate shutdown is a hardware-controlled function and it overrides any firmware or software actions.

Here is the solution:
As seen from the table below, some fans are primary and some are redundant. If you only socket your fans into the primary slots, leaving the redundant ones empty, the system will boot up normally.

At this point I'd strongly advise you to enter the BIOS settings (F10) at post and disable the automatic overheat shutdown function as this function shutsdown the system without even checking the heat difference. No worries, as it says above, even if this function is turned off, its still active and it will switch the system off if the heat level goes critical.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Size Does Matter : Outlook Express

Its nice to have an easy to use mail client such as Outlook Express. Believe it or not, not only home users, many companies still "try" to use Outlook Express. Worse, as they runaway from the complications of Outlook such as "rich text messaging" :)

The primary target of OE has always been the home user, it has some limitations to it. No, its not limited with your disk size, but its limited with your "inbox" or "sent items" folder size.

Unlike Outlooks one file OST or PST file (mail storage file), OE keeps all its data in separate files such as inbox.dbx, sent.dbx, etc. As it explains it on Microsoft Support article bad news is the .dbx files are limited to 2Gb file size. In our expanding and everyday developing urge for more gigabytes, what is 2Gb ?

Well that is not the bad news. OE has never been designed to handle even 2Gb dbx file sizes. I have seen alot of cases where all the folder sizes of users ended up about 23 Gb in total. Conclusion ? FATALITY. As OE's blind look into the future, when your dbx size gets over 2Gb, its bound to fail. Its a simple structured database file which holds messages in certain order. Every database has its structures and if they are not used for the right purpose, just as any other database file they are bound to break.

So, as usual where ever there is Microsoft, there is chance for people to make extra penny or two. If you don't want to be a customer of mine or others, my advice would be to:

  1. Upgrade your client to Ms Outlook, which it can hold mail just about up to 20 Gb without any problems.
  2. Archive your old mails once in 3 months.
  3. Backup your mails regularly. You can use Outlook Express Backup 6.5 by (Free of Charge!)
  4. Use a proper mail protecting antivirus software. Avast and Kaspersky are the most successful ones at the moment.
  5. CHKDSK /F your HDD at least once a week.
  6. Delete unneeded mails.

If you are reading these lines most probably you are one of those users which weren't aware of these facts, which your OE is not running or giving silly error messages.

If you google your error, you will find alot of software sellers who sounds very promising to save or salvage your inaccessible data. Well some can. But can they salvage it the shape and order you would like it to be recovered ?

I already explained that below somewhere...

Debian Linux 5.0.2 (Lenny) Locale Error after installation

As being a novice Debian user, I installed Debian Linux 5.0.2 (lenny) on my Vmware about 4 times today thinking that its a temporary CRC checksum / hash error.

But its bugged. It happens. Eventually worked my through it in the simple way:

Error it gives:
locale: Cannot set LC_CTYPE to default locale: No such file or directory
locale: Cannot set LC_MESSAGES to default locale: No such file or directory
locale: Cannot set LC_ALL to default locale: No such file or directory


perl: warning: Setting locale failed.
perl: warning: Please check that your locale settings:
LANGUAGE = "en_US:en_GB:en",
LANG = "en_US"
are supported and installed on your system.
perl: warning: Falling back to the standard locale ("C").

This generally means that the package "locale" has not been loaded. If you try to install it with apt-get install locale, it points directly to the installation CD which is the first DVD usually. But there is a hash error on installation package so it fails.

Workaround is very simple:
Although it looks like there is a faulty installation, there is no installation made. So, what it means is generally, locales package has not been installed.

  1. Remove the DVD from drive and run command apt-get install locale it will prompt for the DVD.

  2. Do NOT place the DVD inside and press enter. It will not find it, and it will eventually start downloading it from the website automatically.

    If it does not load it automatically you will have to write apt-get update, then re-run apt-get install locale

  3. dpkg-reconfigure locales

  4. in the process select the locales you would like to use and tadaaa there it is.