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I'm a applications guy trying to set up a Dell c6100 server that doesn't boot. We'll have physical access tomorrow.

The box has a serial connector for console access. We'll have a MAC laptop. Are there any good instructions to explain exactly which cables we need (e.g. serial to USB) and how to make that connection work on a Mac laptop?

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1… – Greg Askew Apr 7 '13 at 15:56
Exactly what I was searching for, if you'll put that as an answer I'll mark it correct. thanks! – davidparks21 Apr 7 '13 at 15:59

You could use a USB-to-serial adapter. Devices using the Prolific PL2303 chip are known to work with OS X with the driver from the Prolific web site.

Check out this site for more detail and pretty pictures:

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The Keyspan/Tripp-Lite USA-19HS adapter is the most common in the field.

Pair that with a terminal emulator (ZTerm or even screen), and you'll be able to connect to serial devices.

However, the servers you have contain dedicated IPMI ports. Are they not configured or connected? That would be the first place to check for diagnosing boot issues. What operating systems are on the servers? Were they configured for serial console output (e.g. Linux kernel parameters)?

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The IPMI ports are not pingable, it seems they're not configured correctly, so getting on the console to configure IPMI is exactly our goal. I'm just sending in someone who hasn't done this before (even for me it's been 10 years since I did this). – davidparks21 Apr 8 '13 at 3:36
@davidparks21 Well, definitely be sure to have the appropriate software for serial terminal emulation on the Mac. Zterm will be handy. – ewwhite Apr 8 '13 at 3:58

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