Diagnosing a problem

Before you contact IBM or an approved warranty service provider, follow these procedures in the order in which they are presented to diagnose a problem with your blade server.

  1. Return the server to the condition it was in before the problem occurred.
    If any hardware, software, or firmware was changed before the problem occurred, if possible, reverse those changes. This might include any of the following items:
    • Hardware components
    • Device drivers and firmware
    • System software
    • UEFI firmware
    • System input power or network connections
  2. View the light path diagnostics LEDs and event logs.
    The blade server is designed for ease of diagnosis of hardware and software problems.
    • Light path diagnostics LEDs: See Light path diagnostics for information about using light path diagnostics LEDs.
    • Event logs: See Event logs for information about notification events and diagnosis.
    • Software or operating-system error codes: See the documentation for the software or operating system for information about a specific error code. See the manufacturer's website for documentation.
  3. Run IBM Dynamic System Analysis (DSA) and collect system data.

    Run Dynamic System Analysis (DSA) to collect information about the hardware, firmware, software, and operating system. Have this information available when you contact IBM or an approved warranty service provider. For instructions for running DSA, see the Dynamic System Analysis Installation and User's Guide.

    To download the latest version of DSA code and the Dynamic System Analysis Installation and User's Guide, go to the IBM Dynamic System Analysis (DSA) website.

  4. Check for and apply code updates.
    Fixes or workarounds for many problems might be available in updated UEFI firmware, device firmware, or device drivers. To display a list of available updates for the blade server, go to the Fix Central website.
    Attention: Installing the wrong firmware or device-driver update might cause the blade server to malfunction. Before you install a firmware or device-driver update, read any readme and change history files that are provided with the downloaded update. These files contain important information about the update and the procedure for installing the update, including any special procedure for updating from an early firmware or device-driver version to the latest version.
    Important: Some cluster solutions require specific code levels or coordinated code updates. If the device is part of a cluster solution, verify that the latest level of code is supported for the cluster solution before you update the code.
    1. Install UpdateXpress system updates.

      You can install code updates that are packaged as an UpdateXpress System Pack or UpdateXpress CD image. An UpdateXpress System Pack contains an integration-tested bundle of online firmware and device-driver updates for your blade server. In addition, you can use IBM ToolsCenter Bootable Media Creator to create bootable media that is suitable for applying firmware updates and running preboot diagnostics. For more information about UpdateXpress System Packs, see the IBM UpdateXpress website. For more information about the Bootable Media Creator, see the IBM Bootable Media Creator website.

      Be sure to separately install any listed critical updates that have release dates that are later than the release date of the UpdateXpress System Pack or UpdateXpress image (see step 4.b).

    2. Install manual system updates.
      1. Determine the existing code levels.

        From the advanced management module web interface, click Monitors and then click Firmware VPD.

        In DSA, click Firmware/VPD to view system firmware levels, or click Software to view operating-system levels.

      2. Download and install updates of code that is not at the latest level.

        To display a list of available updates for the blade server, go to the Fix Central website.

        When you click an update, an information page is displayed, including a list of the problems that the update fixes. Review this list for your specific problem; however, even if your problem is not listed, installing the update might solve the problem.

  5. Check for and correct an incorrect configuration.

    If the blade server is incorrectly configured, a system function can fail to work when you enable it; if you make an incorrect change to the blade server configuration, a system function that has been enabled can stop working.

    1. Make sure that all installed hardware and software are supported.
      See the IBM ServerProven website to verify that the blade server supports the installed operating system, optional devices, and software levels. If any hardware or software component is not supported, uninstall it to determine whether it is causing the problem. You must remove nonsupported hardware before you contact IBM or an approved warranty service provider for support.
    2. Make sure that the server, operating system, and software are installed and configured correctly.

      Many configuration problems are caused by loose power or signal cables or incorrectly seated adapters. You might be able to solve the problem by turning off the blade server, reconnecting cables, reseating adapters, and turning the blade server back on. For information about performing the checkout procedure, see Checkout procedure. For information about configuring the blade server, see Configuring the blade server.

  6. See controller and management software documentation.

    If the problem is associated with a specific function (for example, if a RAID hard disk drive is marked offline in the RAID array), see the documentation for the associated controller and management or controlling software to verify that the controller is correctly configured.

    Problem determination information is available for many devices such as RAID and network adapters.

    For problems with operating systems or IBM software or devices, go to the IBM Support Portal.

  7. Check for troubleshooting procedures and RETAIN tips.

    Troubleshooting procedures and RETAIN tips document known problems and suggested solutions. To search for troubleshooting procedures and RETAIN tips, go to the IBM Support Portal.

  8. Use the troubleshooting tables.

    See Troubleshooting tables to find a solution to a problem that has identifiable symptoms.

    A single problem might cause multiple symptoms. Follow the troubleshooting procedure for the most obvious symptom. If that procedure does not diagnose the problem, use the procedure for another symptom, if possible.

    If the problem remains, contact IBM or an approved warranty service provider for assistance with additional problem determination and possible hardware replacement. To open an online service request, go to the Service requests and PMRs website. Be prepared to provide information about any error codes and collected data.