[Micronet] Dell Optiplex bad electrolytics

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[Micronet] Dell Optiplex bad electrolytics

tedcrum
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/29/technology/29dell.html?scp=2&sq=dell&st=cse

Attention Legal:

Nothing but new mobo's on the house will do.

I've got a department full of swollen and leaking caps.

-Ted Crum
  Psychology


 
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Re: [Micronet] Dell Optiplex bad electrolytics

David Rieger
*Banging on the drum again*

Maybe that's why I witnessed a 95% failure rate of Optiplex models
around this time!

Donald Trump said it best: "You're fired!" - As a former IT Mgr I
stopped buying Dells long ago in favor of HP and our California State's
tax-base.

DJR



Ted Crum wrote:

> http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/29/technology/29dell.html?scp=2&sq=dell&st=cse
>
> Attention Legal:
>
> Nothing but new mobo's on the house will do.
>
> I've got a department full of swollen and leaking caps.
>
> -Ted Crum
>   Psychology
>
>
>  
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Re: [Micronet] Dell Optiplex bad electrolytics

David Johnson-2
>>>>> "David" == David Rieger <[hidden email]> writes:

    David> *Banging on the drum again* Maybe that's why I witnessed a
    David> 95% failure rate of Optiplex models around this time!

We've had good luck with Optiplexen - we've got 60 or so 740s on
desks.  We hadn't had one fail for ages until... this morning - just
before I read this message!  Oh dear, here we go....

David.
--
David Johnson, [hidden email], (510) 666-2983
System Manager, International Computer Science Institute

    David> Donald Trump said it best: "You're fired!" - As a former IT
    David> Mgr I stopped buying Dells long ago in favor of HP and our
    David> California State's tax-base.

    David> DJR



    David> Ted Crum wrote:
    >> http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/29/technology/29dell.html?scp=2&sq=dell&st=cse
    >>
    >> Attention Legal:
    >>
    >> Nothing but new mobo's on the house will do.
    >>
    >> I've got a department full of swollen and leaking caps.
    >>
    >> -Ted Crum Psychology
    >>
    >>

 
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Re: [Micronet] Dell Optiplex bad electrolytics

Michael Sinatra-2
In reply to this post by tedcrum
On 6/29/10 1:39 PM, Ted Crum wrote:
> http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/29/technology/29dell.html?scp=2&sq=dell&st=cse
>
> Attention Legal:
>
> Nothing but new mobo's on the house will do.
>
> I've got a department full of swollen and leaking caps.

Around the time indicated by the article, I had two (of three) brand new
PowerEdge 2650s blow capacitors (one did it rather spectacularly--loud
popping, billowing smoke).  I called field service and the guy came to
replace the mobo.  "Did Dell tell you about that?" he asked.  "It's a
bigger problem with the 1650s, but it also happens to the 2650s."  So it
was a known problem, as the article indicates.  Like others, that was
the end of Dell servers for me.

michael

 
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Re: [Micronet] Dell Optiplex bad electrolytics

Rune Stromsness
On 29-Jun-10 14:10, Michael Sinatra wrote:

> On 6/29/10 1:39 PM, Ted Crum wrote:
>> http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/29/technology/29dell.html?scp=2&sq=dell&st=cse
>>
>> Attention Legal:
>>
>> Nothing but new mobo's on the house will do.
>>
>> I've got a department full of swollen and leaking caps.
>
> Around the time indicated by the article, I had two (of three) brand new
> PowerEdge 2650s blow capacitors (one did it rather spectacularly--loud
> popping, billowing smoke).  I called field service and the guy came to
> replace the mobo.  "Did Dell tell you about that?" he asked.  "It's a
> bigger problem with the 1650s, but it also happens to the 2650s."  So it
> was a known problem, as the article indicates.  Like others, that was
> the end of Dell servers for me.
We never had problems with Dell servers.  But around that time we had
every single one of a batch of around 30 Optiplex workstations melt the
capacitors on the motherboard within a period of about 9 months (when
they were between 1 and 2 years old).  Despite having "next business
day" support we were usually waiting 5-10 days for a replacement after
opening the ticket with Dell.  At first we set aside one of the machines
as a spare to go and swap hard drives with a dead one in the field.
Then we set aside a second since we often had two dead and waiting on
replacement mobo's at the same time.

The Dell tech's did tell us that it was a known thing.  But also that we
would have no luck getting preemptive replacements since Dell was so
short on the parts that they weren't able to replace actual dead ones
fast enough, much less ones that hadn't died yet.

That being said, other than that batch of desktops the rest of the Dell
desktops that I've seen in use over the past 12 years and all of the
Dell servers over the past 12 years have been quite reliable...

Rune

> michael
--
Rune Stromsness
Platform Services, UNIX Team
Information Services and Technology
University of California, Berkeley
[hidden email]


 
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Re: [Micronet] Dell Optiplex bad electrolytics

Paul Fisher-2
On 06/29/2010 02:17 PM, Rune Stromsness wrote:
> all of the Dell servers over the past 12 years have been quite
> reliable...

The Dell 2650s were the last of line for me.  I don't recall which
model of the available Dell PERC RAID cards had the problem (one was
made by LSI and the other by Adaptec), but with enough I/O, the PERC
would happily crash the server.  Throwing production CalMail load at
the 2650s was a great way to reproduce the problem.  Dell had numerous
firmware updates over a one to two year period that made the problem
less likely to happen, but the problem was never completely fixed, and
Dell apparently switched a single vendor (without broken hardware) for
PERCs in the 2850s.

Paul

 
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Re: [Micronet] Dell Optiplex bad electrolytics

Graham Patterson
It is always interesting when equipment reliability issues come up. Some
people swear by the item, others swear at it...

I have had some bad OptiPlexes - 260/270 models I think. The problem was
often mis-diagnosed as a CPU/PSU issue, then we got replacement M/Bs.

The older 240s were rock solid - apart from a spate (8 of 15) with drive
failures within 6 weeks of each other under warranty.

My 2600 with PERC RAID controller from way back did OK. I hear it has
been retired at last.

These days I have a mix of Apple, Dell, Tyan, and SuperMicro
motherboards on the servers. Some I picked, others were gift horses 8-)

I wasn't impressed - I suppose I was almost shocked - by the 'try it and
see' attitude by manufacturers when the capacitor problem surfaced.

Graham
--
Graham Patterson, Systems Administrator
Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley   510-643-2222
"...past the Tyranosaurus, the Mastodon, the mathematical puzzles, and
the meteorite..." - directions to my office.

 
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Re: [Micronet] Dell Optiplex bad electrolytics

Greg Merritt
In reply to this post by tedcrum
We had an OptiPlex GX280 go up in smoke -- literally.  It was  
exciting! O.o

-Greg

 
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Re: [Micronet] Dell Optiplex bad electrolytics

Aron Roberts
In reply to this post by tedcrum
On Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 1:39 PM, Ted Crum <[hidden email]> wrote:
> http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/29/technology/29dell.html?scp=2&sq=dell&st=cse
>
> Attention Legal:
>
> Nothing but new mobo's on the house will do.
>
> I've got a department full of swollen and leaking caps.

  Some (semi-polemic) background on this issue, which goes far beyond Dell:

http://www.discovercircuits.com/dc-mag/Issue_4/rants-raves.htm

> I’m seeing a disturbing trend.  For several years now I have seen
> many expensive electronic products die an early death due to poorly
> constructed electrolytic capacitors.  Nearly all of these bad devices
> are made in China.

  A true rant, with a potentially offensive word in the title / URL,
also very much in the same vein;  included here because of the level
of detail that the author goes into:

http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archives/2226-Chinaman-Fails-To-Hose-American.html

Aron Roberts
Information Services and Technology

 
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Re: [Micronet] Dell Optiplex bad electrolytics

Aron Roberts
On Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 10:07 AM, Aron Roberts
<[hidden email]> wrote:
>  Some (semi-polemic) background on this issue, which goes far beyond Dell:
>
> http://www.discovercircuits.com/dc-mag/Issue_4/rants-raves.htm
>...
>  A true rant, with a potentially offensive word in the title / URL ...
>
> http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archives/2226-Chinaman-Fails-To-Hose-American.html

  And yet more background, this article claiming the issue arose -
literally - from a mis-copied electrolyte formula, by a scientist or
scientists who jumped ship from a Japanese firm to a Chinese
competitor:

  http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2010/jun/29/dell-problems-capacitors

  As that article notes, this issue has even made it to Wikipedia :-):

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague
  (accompanied by a slew of topic-specific debates on that arficle's Talk page)

Aron

 
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Re: [Micronet] Dell Optiplex bad electrolytics

Jay Bryon
In reply to this post by Aron Roberts
Aron Roberts wrote:

> On Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 1:39 PM, Ted Crum <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  
>> http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/29/technology/29dell.html?scp=2&sq=dell&st=cse
>>
>> Attention Legal:
>>
>> Nothing but new mobo's on the house will do.
>>
>> I've got a department full of swollen and leaking caps.
>>    
>
>   Some (semi-polemic) background on this issue, which goes far beyond Dell:
>
> http://www.discovercircuits.com/dc-mag/Issue_4/rants-raves.htm
The part that seems to be missing from these rants is the larger
dysfunction of our trade imbalances with China.  It's tempting for
anybody to put cheap crap into the market when we demand absurdly low
prices.

That said, it is really sad when a 5 cent part kills a $500 product and
produces more toxic land fill.  (yet another argument for the maker's
bill of rights, but that's another conversation).

But other than that, they're dead on.  There's a more positive guy who
does an electronics video blog that speaks to the care and feeding of
capacitors and shows how *not* to use them.  Not directly on point but
fun anyway:

http://www.eevblog.com/2009/11/04/eevblog-42-exploding-capacitors-in-high-speed/

--
Jay Bryon
Senior Network Engineer, U.C. Berkeley/IST/IS/Network Operations and Services
[hidden email]
2-5636

"Unfortunately, the gap between theory and practice is not as wide in theory as it is in practice."
-Anonymous

[Unless stated explicitly otherwise, all opinions are my own and do not represent official policy of any part of IST, U.C. Berkeley or the U.C. Regents.]  


 
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