Compaq ProLiant 1600 server freezes when detecting keyboard

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at
Wed Jan 11 01:31:47 PST 2006

Another thing you really need to watch and that isn't common knowledge
with Compaq proliants, is the use of non-Compaq disk drives in the
systems.  It isn't recommended and sometimes will cause problems
like this.

Compaq actually has a huge program that they distribute that you
expand onto about 20 or so floppies, which's sole purpose is to
boot the server into DOS and do firmware updates to their hard
disk drives.  Because of the length of time it takes to deal with
this on a server with a big array, it's quite often ignored by techs.
Because of this few techs ever stop to ask the question of why
is this necessary?  After all the hard drives in the array are OEMed
to Compaq from someone like Seagate or such, Compaq certainly
doesen't make it's own drives.  Yet the frequency of firmware
updates to generally available disk drives from the major manufacturers
is much less.  So then why do you see 3-4 disk drive firmware updates
for Compaq-branded disk drives, yet the same model Seagate that
isn't Compaq branded, you don't see this on Seagate's site?

Compaq has a long history of tampering with peripheral firmware.
For example I've got on my desk a Compaq professional 
workstation that has an Adaptec scsi controller in it - the
card looks identical to a standard off-the-shelf Adaptec SCSI
card - yet if I take this card and swap it out with the same model
scsi card in a random system, that random system will
refuse to boot.

I've got back at the shop a Compaq DL360 (early generation)
that has the same spontaneous reboot problem with Solaris x86.
Yet if I put FreeBSD on it, it never reboots, and if I put the Solaris
on a different Compaq DL360 we have that was bought at a
similar time, it runs rock solid.  The only difference between
the 2 DL360s is the disks in the one with the reboot problem -
they are aftermarket, not from Compaq.


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