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I took a chance, and it seems that I might have struck out.

I own a pair of Altus 1640SA 1U servers from Penguin Computing. They have dual socket F Motherboards from a manufacturer that went out of business a few years ago (don’t know exactly when). They have been poking along just fine with single Opteron 2216 processors for some time now, but the opportunity has arisen to upgrade them.

Now, the problem is that not only can I not obtain any bios for these units, but Penguin Computing has never tried a six-core Opteron in their Altus 1640SA servers.

I bought a six-core chip, and stuck it in. Unfortunately, all that happens when I turn it on is that it undergoes the strangest reboot. As in, it fires up, stays with all fans in “fighter jet” mode (no beeps, just all fans), and about two minutes in, shuts down completely. As in, zero fans, zero lights. However, this is not the end of the story. About 60 seconds later, it fires right back up again! (Obviously, not a standard reboot… not sure how you can get a 60-second delay in a reboot, but hey.)

Sticking my old two-core Opteron 2216 back in returns the unit to full operation.

So my question (as unlikely as it is to be answered) is this: Has anyone gotten a six-core to work in the Altus 1640SA servers from Penguin Computing? I know for a fact that all Socket F servers can take a six-core (due to the Socket F requirements), it just requires a BIOS upgrade with the right code to see/handle all six sockets. However, not only is the manufacturer out of business, but I cannot find anything about them on the Internet.

Here is what Penguin Computing provided me with in terms of info:

DESCRIPTION Case Assembly, A1640, 1U, 4 x 3.5" HDD, w/ non-redundant PSU, IESC

I am also curious, is there a chance that a BIOS can be modified to accept a six-core processor, even if it is not a manufacturer-supported BIOS?

Edited to add: The Motherboard manufacturer is Inventec Enterprise System Corp.

share|improve this question
The only thing you should be doing with this server is replacing the entire server. Unless you have a lot of development money and a team skilled in x86(_64) assembly, you aren't going to get anywhere with modifying the BIOS yourself. –  Michael Hampton Oct 18 '13 at 6:30
I am still hoping that someone with a known, six-core-functional BIOS for my motherboard will stumble across this post. IESC appeared to have gone out of business after the six-core Opterons came out… surely there must have been some BIOS upgrades built. –  René Kåbis Oct 18 '13 at 6:38

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