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I have an IBM xSeries x3400 Intel Xeon server which only works while someone holds in the power button.

My server stopped working and I sent it to IBM Service. After a few hours they told me I could backup my data. When I asked how they managed to turn it on, they said that it works while the power button is pressed.

After I asked if there was a way to repair my server they said that they needed to order a completely new motherboard for the server.

Here are my questions.

  1. Is this a common problem with IBM servers that they only work while the power button is held in?
  2. Is there another way to repair this besides replacement with a new motherboard?
  3. May I use my server with the power button glued down while I wait for a new motherboard to come? (Can I destroy my RAID controller and RAID field doing this?)
  4. Is there any standard practice for how long I can use server in this way (a few hours, a few days, a few months, a few years)? The people at IBM said to me that after this problem, the server usually works few more months and then stops.


1.5. Could they be wrong? Should I try look for a solution inside something else, maybe change RAM, change power supplies, add non integrated Video Card, disconnect RAID controller, or something else?

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  1. Is this common trouble whit IBM that only works while power is pressed?
    NO. Your system is broken. Get it serviced.

  2. Is there other way to repair this beside replacement with new motherboard?
    Possibly - It depends on whether the problem is the motherboard or the daughterboard the power button is on. I defer to the IBM Support Team's diagnosis on this matter.

  3. May I use my server (with glued) power button while new motherboard came … ?
    Procedure is NOT recommended
    Why would you want to use a marginal piece of hardware?
    Why would you want to glue your power button down and risk making the chassis unusable when you get a new motherboard?
    The chance of damaging internal components is slim, but your server may turn itself off for no reason and cause data loss/corruption. Not a gamble I'd take. If you absolutely NEED the system up you should have redundancy (2 or more systems in parallel) so when you have a hardware fault you don't have to resort to hacks like gluing the power button down.

  4. Is there [a best] practice for how long I can use server in this way … ?
    Yes: 0 seconds. Don't do it. (See (3) above).
    Get your data off, and/or replace the defective components so the system operates correctly.

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  1. No idea, but it sounds very odd.
  2. Probably not, if it's under warranty just let IBM deal with it. These days the power button is connected directly to the motherboard (for ACPI control), so thats a logical place to start.
  3. I don't see why not. No, you shouldn't damage anything except maybe the case when you try to un-glue the button.
  4. No idea. I wouldn't really want to hazard a guess. There's this urban legend from pre-ACPI days if it makes you feel any better.
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It is very old post, but maybe help. You have one DIP switch board on motherboard. You must slide switch number 2 to position 2!! After that server will work!

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Funny thing that My server still running on glued (shortens compound) way. Ill try to find that swich can you please prvide more details where I shoud look for that swix – adopilot May 26 '14 at 15:03
What's that switch you reffer? Can't find any dip switch on motherboard, except SW3. – user261344 Dec 26 '14 at 13:31
Thank You for the DIP switch hint. It works. But DIP switch is very small, near SAS controller chip. – user322598 Nov 17 '15 at 3:49

According to IBM, the board must be replaced. I had 2 servers of the same type with the same problem after only 2 years. IBM stated it was not a known issue, which I find hard to believe and seeing many instances of the same issue I doubt. I opted to simply replace the server. The service for parts and labor from IBM was estimated to be around $2000.

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Funy part is that my server still runnig with pressed button – adopilot Jan 24 '14 at 21:14

protected by Community Apr 24 at 12:48

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