'I don't know how technical you are...'

This data center brings down all 11 of its servers in order to install a new generator on the emergency power supply, reports a pilot fish working on the project.

"When the install was complete, the systems were reenergized with no problem except for the most recent addition," fish says. "This system would only fire for two seconds with no video, code beeps, nothing. Since it was less than two months old, we called tech support."

Since there's no power to speak of, fish is pretty sure the trouble has to be one of two things: Either both redundant power supplies are bad, or the power supplies' backplane is toast.

But fish has no similar servers he can cannibalize to test with. And the vendor's guy on the tech support has his script.

As instructed, fish and his cohorts proceed to remove memory, processor and drives. They switch around the redundant power supplies. They remove the power supplies and reinstall them. No joy.

Several times, the vendor tech tells them to remove the second processor -- even though there isn't one.

Tech decides it's a bad motherboard. He overnights one. Fish installs it. No joy.

They call back and run through the checks again with a new tech -- and again have to tell the tech there's no second processor. Tech ships a new processor. It's installed. No joy.

Another call, another tech, another run through the script, another explanation that there's no second processor. This tech ships a backplane for power supplies. But after installation, it's the same old story.

"I now had a server with a new motherboard, new processor and new backplane," says fish.

"Finally it was determined that it must be the power supplies. The next morning I got a call from the vendor's authorized service center that they are coming 50 miles to install two new power supplies.

"They must have thought it was too technical for us to handle sliding power supplies in and out.

"This solved the problem."

Solve a problem for Sharky. Send your true tale of IT life to me at sharky@computerworld.com. Ill send you a sharp Shark shirt if I use it..

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Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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