Need more juice to boot your server?

A colleague reported a non booting server that was displaying led indicators pointing towards a motherboard failure on a dell pe sc 1430. On attending to pick up said non booting server I was trying to ascertain if there had been any power issues prior to the failure. A user told me that the server had been unplugged for portable appliance testing just prior to the issue. Checking the power supplies I noted a small UPS powering the unit. On attempting to boot the server there was actually no post – nothing. This was not what was expected and as a test I used a different power supply – and the server booted – without errors on the front panel leds.

What actually turned out to be the issue is that the UPS had actually developed  a problem and was not presenting enough power for the server to fully boot and the led display was pointing to a fault powering up the motherboard – not with the motherboard itself.

So the moral is – make sure you remove all the external dependancies before testing – that includes all devices such as disks and connections such as ethernet and in this case the UPS.