• Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

Project: Bring TD200 Back to life

Solaris17

Creator Solaris Utility DVD
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Messages
19,632 (4.16/day)
Likes
6,571
Location
Florida
System Name Venslar
Processor I9 7980XE
Motherboard MSI x299 Tomahawk Arctic
Cooling EKWB L360 R2.0
Memory 32GB Corsair DDR4 3000mhz
Video Card(s) Gigabyte 1080TI
Storage 2x 2TB Micron SSDs | 1x ADATA 128SSD (Cache) | 1x Drevo 256SSD | 1x 1TB 850 EVO | 1x 250GB 960 EVO
Display(s) 3x AOC Q2577PWQ (2k IPS)
Case Inwin 303 White (Thermaltake Ring 120mm Purple accent)
Audio Device(s) Realtek ALC 1220 on Audio-Technica ATH-AG1
Power Supply Seasonic 1050W Snow
Mouse Roccat Tyon White
Keyboard Ducky Shine 6 Snow White
Software Windows 10 x64 Pro
#1
Its been really boring since the rig died. Most of my time has been passed with labs, work and more labs. Since most of my time tinkering must by done not on my production home server it limits the amount of things I can do with no spare systems.

However I was super pumped when a co-worker was doing some hauling work for a friend of a friend, the facily had a lenovo think server TD200 and all of a sudden it was dropped in my lap.

Lets take a closer look.

https://shop.lenovo.com/ISS_Static/WW/AG/merchandising/US/PDFs/WW_TS-TD200-DS_draft-5_June26.pdf


The TD200 is nehalem based It came to me with no RAM. So I went on the hunt. It would not boot my DDR3 and documentation was scarce. I tried a stick of ECC I had lying around and it still was not happy. So I did some digging and came across a post on a long abandoned forum with a modem number to a default stick that led me to what I was after.

Enter RDIMMS. RDIMMS are registered memory and while I haven't handled them in a long time it explains why even my ECC sticks didn't work. So I went on the hunt on ebay and came across some cheap RDIMMS.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Micron-MT18...875527?hash=item5b3185ca07:g:ODUAAOSwzaJX9sL3

I bought two kits and waited patiently. In the mean time I tried to boot the system and was greeted with sparks. A closer examination of the power supply cage and we see why. The cage design allows wires to be caught in it and it has metal tabs like teeth. So i go on the hunt for a new cage and find that I just cant afford it at $100+ for the cage I figured I could pick one up next pay period if needed but I would give sealing them a shot.


I applied some silicone to the damaged wires and after it dried rebundled them tightly with wiring tape to help prevent further issues.


While I was waiting for RAM it was time to see what I was working with, the PSU seemed to work after the repair but expectedly the server did nothing when I powered it on. so I take off the air shroud and heatsink and find a single E5506. I then do some digging to see what the CPU support list is for this server. Unlike desktops servers are ALOT more finicky and so I wanted to see what the manufacturer specified.

I came across this page. https://support.lenovo.com/us/en/documents/migr-73208 I was dissapointed by my findings and then kind of curious. Apparently there was a TD200X model. Interested in why something so close in model name would totally cut off hyperthreaded chips I decided I wanted to know a little bit more about big brother. Searches for CPU support and untested/documented results where nowhere to be found. Apparently no one experiments and understandably so. Servers are meant to run critical tasks and given how much these machines were, i'm not surprised rogue system admins in the SMB space did not take risks.

A little digging revealed this however. Someone on wikipedia has been keeping track of thinkservers and had information on the ones I was curious about. While machines prior and after the TD2XX series held different chipsets, the TD200 and TD200X had the same one. This was a good sign since chipsets being the same most likely meant it could handle the CPUs.

Back to the drawing board I decide to keep within lenovo spec and look at the CPU support matrix once again this time paying attention to the TD200x. The TD200x max support (atleast when that was made) was the E5530 which is more aikin to a I7 920 and with hyper threading. I also happened to find a deal for 2 of them on ebay for $8!!!! I snagged them because $8 was not much of a risk.

With aprts on the way I try to get to know the system better. I pull out the 2 redundent PSUs and they read 12 x 76A

By the code these units are 920w redudent PSUs. Well thats good, atleast I know I can load her up now. I also notice on the board there are stickers on some ram slots though they say not to use them because they wont work on this model, however they are electrically connected.


Finally my RAM comes in!!!! one of the sticks was bad. but 1 out of 8 isnt bad. I am only using 4 ATM. but she lives!! With RAM the server beats to life.



Unfortunately it isnt all good times and fun. I get my new 5530s in and totally forgot to get another CPU cooler. That isnt the worst of it though. The system doesnt take them. every attempt to boot with CPU1 or CPU2 in SKT1 or SKT2 results in failure. The rage is real. Not discouraged though its back to the drawing board. At this point from what iv read and seen the TD200x was nothing more than a TD200 with a bit more ram and better CPUs out of the box. This was most likely a pre-boxd solution Lenovo thought they would be able to charge a premium for and get more money.

So lets go through the painstaking process of server BIOS' upgrades. This Lenovo in total took about 14 of them. thats right. 14 different BIOS' as in for all the equipment on it. It took me around 3.5 hours to do them all.

More importantly was the painstaking process of doing them in the correct order. Thankfully Lenvo helped me out. The process isnt documented anywhere except the actual readme of the ZIP file that holds the .bin or .exe of the flash itself.

The proper order is.

IMM
DSA
Systemboard

Those 3 primaries are what need to be done ideally first and in that order to not break anything. So I did. and while I jumped the BIOS' years into the future they are still quite dated (not that it matters) with the newest being around 2013 IIRC.

However. After all is said and done its time to whip out the thermal grizzly and try again. HOLY SHIT!


It works!! Looks like it all paid off, I was REALLY hoping I would not need to force flash the TD200x BIOS' to this machine I was also hoping it didnt have any extra protections that would prevent that from happening. Thankfully though its undocumented in all of the literature I could find on IBMs site and in the readme docs of the flashes themselves they updated the microcode. The TD200 can offically support hyperthreaded chips.


Now I dont know much about VMware since im a BSD/windows guy so I dove a bit into the hypervisor. To cut it short it simply wont do. the latest edition supported by the TD200 was 4.1 U3 and 5.5, 6, 6.5 will not run. The issue is that because of this any VM past win 7 or server 2008 will not run.

So I jumped back to what I knew and grabbed my 2016 EVAL.



Success! Server 2016 didnt have an issue with picking up the hardware or running on the system. So I guess my labs will still cater to Hyper-V for now.

more updates in the future when I get my second cooler in and can get that other kit of RAM running with it!
 

JackDarx

New Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
12 (0.02/day)
Likes
10
#2
Definitely looking forward to the updates, not everyone has a chance to have a server box like this in their hands.
 

qubit

Overclocked quantum bit
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
15,258 (3.94/day)
Likes
8,886
Location
Quantum Well UK
System Name Quantumville™
Processor Intel Core i7-2700K at stock (hits 5 gees+ easily)
Motherboard Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3
Cooling Noctua NH-D14
Memory 16GB (4 x 4GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 PC3-12800 C9 1600MHz)
Video Card(s) Zotac GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme Edition
Storage Samsung 850 Pro 256GB | WD Green 4TB
Display(s) BenQ XL2720Z | Asus VG278HE (both 27", 144Hz, 3D Vision 2, 1080p)
Case Cooler Master HAF 922
Audio Device(s) Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty PCIe
Power Supply Corsair HX 850W v1
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
#3
Hey, great story and well done on getting it working. Looks like it got quite a bit of research to get it going and the cage and cable repair are cool. :toast:

I'm curious about something though: how did you manage to insert a DDR3 module into a Rambus slot? I'd have thought they'd be mechanically different to prevent this.
 

Solaris17

Creator Solaris Utility DVD
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Messages
19,632 (4.16/day)
Likes
6,571
Location
Florida
System Name Venslar
Processor I9 7980XE
Motherboard MSI x299 Tomahawk Arctic
Cooling EKWB L360 R2.0
Memory 32GB Corsair DDR4 3000mhz
Video Card(s) Gigabyte 1080TI
Storage 2x 2TB Micron SSDs | 1x ADATA 128SSD (Cache) | 1x Drevo 256SSD | 1x 1TB 850 EVO | 1x 250GB 960 EVO
Display(s) 3x AOC Q2577PWQ (2k IPS)
Case Inwin 303 White (Thermaltake Ring 120mm Purple accent)
Audio Device(s) Realtek ALC 1220 on Audio-Technica ATH-AG1
Power Supply Seasonic 1050W Snow
Mouse Roccat Tyon White
Keyboard Ducky Shine 6 Snow White
Software Windows 10 x64 Pro
#4
Ah it's RDIMM ram bus and RDIMM are different technologies. RDIMMs are just registered memory sticks they can be ECC or non ECC. The issue being is that regardless of weather or not it's DDR3 most ram like what is in my other server and our PCs is unregistered or UDIMM not to be confused with ECC. My haswell based server for example will not post with DDR3 but will post with DDR3 ECC.

RDIMMs are just registered and they buffer the actual signaling process of the modules for improved reliability. While ECC actually error checks the data.

Thanks for all the interest all! I will keep it updated when I get my other cooler in so I can show at least the first TD200 I can find on the net with 16 threads!
 

Solaris17

Creator Solaris Utility DVD
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Messages
19,632 (4.16/day)
Likes
6,571
Location
Florida
System Name Venslar
Processor I9 7980XE
Motherboard MSI x299 Tomahawk Arctic
Cooling EKWB L360 R2.0
Memory 32GB Corsair DDR4 3000mhz
Video Card(s) Gigabyte 1080TI
Storage 2x 2TB Micron SSDs | 1x ADATA 128SSD (Cache) | 1x Drevo 256SSD | 1x 1TB 850 EVO | 1x 250GB 960 EVO
Display(s) 3x AOC Q2577PWQ (2k IPS)
Case Inwin 303 White (Thermaltake Ring 120mm Purple accent)
Audio Device(s) Realtek ALC 1220 on Audio-Technica ATH-AG1
Power Supply Seasonic 1050W Snow
Mouse Roccat Tyon White
Keyboard Ducky Shine 6 Snow White
Software Windows 10 x64 Pro
#5
I know its a bit dusty (just got rid of a bookshelf so mind the dust) but the P3 reads 140w on idle with 1 CPU idle at the desktop.

When she is booting up and the disks are loaded she pulls around 160w. These tests are with the E5530 I didnt really feel like putting the E5506 back in. This is with both PSUs connected (to a power strip by itself) and no monitor or other accessories. (everything is remote managed)

Will take another reading when I have the second CPU in.


Also the PSU Fans stay spinning when the unit is shut down. at the wall it reads 40w during off phase.
 
Last edited:

Solaris17

Creator Solaris Utility DVD
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Messages
19,632 (4.16/day)
Likes
6,571
Location
Florida
System Name Venslar
Processor I9 7980XE
Motherboard MSI x299 Tomahawk Arctic
Cooling EKWB L360 R2.0
Memory 32GB Corsair DDR4 3000mhz
Video Card(s) Gigabyte 1080TI
Storage 2x 2TB Micron SSDs | 1x ADATA 128SSD (Cache) | 1x Drevo 256SSD | 1x 1TB 850 EVO | 1x 250GB 960 EVO
Display(s) 3x AOC Q2577PWQ (2k IPS)
Case Inwin 303 White (Thermaltake Ring 120mm Purple accent)
Audio Device(s) Realtek ALC 1220 on Audio-Technica ATH-AG1
Power Supply Seasonic 1050W Snow
Mouse Roccat Tyon White
Keyboard Ducky Shine 6 Snow White
Software Windows 10 x64 Pro
#6
BLAHHHH Another kink. Finally got my second cooler in.


Get it all plugged in and looking pretty!


The machine slow blinks indicating it is ready for a boot. I hit the switch and nothing. Thinking something is wrong with the switch I connect to my IMM. I send a remote command to start the system and the page resets to nothing.

Turns out I need IBM VRM 39Y7395. That is too say that is the PN I got from the blowout on Lenovo's site. The idea came from getting frustrated and spending a few moments reading the panel on the inside of the side panel.


enlightening. I should do this more.

Unfortunately I cannot find one reasonably affordable. In Fact they aren't really all that common at all. Alas it looks like it will be several weeks before I might be able to get a part. I will keep looking and hopefully I can find one not from a sketch website that I can pickup.

If any of you see one LMK! Excited to finally see it done!
 

t_ski

Former Staff
Joined
Apr 11, 2006
Messages
11,960 (2.67/day)
Likes
6,450
System Name My i7 Beast
Processor Intel Core i7 6800K
Motherboard Asus X99-A II
Cooling Nickel-plated EK Supremacy EVO, D5 with XSPC Bayres & BIX Quad Radiator
Memory 4 x 8GB EVGA SuperSC DDR4-3200
Video Card(s) EVGA 1080 SuperClocked
Storage Samsung 950 Pro 256GB m.2 SSD + 480GB Sandisk storage SSD
Display(s) Three Asus 24" VW246H LCD's
Case Silverstone TJ07
Audio Device(s) Onboard
Power Supply Corsair AX1200
Keyboard Corsair K95
Software Windows 10 x64 Pro
#7
I have something like this in my data center. Vendor showed up one day said they needed a network port. Our team goes to that office to look at the situation and finds the vendor has a server. Ends up in the DC on a separate VLAN. :pimp:

I'll have to see what model it is. It's several years old, and we were just talking the other day about how it needs to go away. (Either P2V or replaced by a new system we're implementing.)
 

Solaris17

Creator Solaris Utility DVD
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Messages
19,632 (4.16/day)
Likes
6,571
Location
Florida
System Name Venslar
Processor I9 7980XE
Motherboard MSI x299 Tomahawk Arctic
Cooling EKWB L360 R2.0
Memory 32GB Corsair DDR4 3000mhz
Video Card(s) Gigabyte 1080TI
Storage 2x 2TB Micron SSDs | 1x ADATA 128SSD (Cache) | 1x Drevo 256SSD | 1x 1TB 850 EVO | 1x 250GB 960 EVO
Display(s) 3x AOC Q2577PWQ (2k IPS)
Case Inwin 303 White (Thermaltake Ring 120mm Purple accent)
Audio Device(s) Realtek ALC 1220 on Audio-Technica ATH-AG1
Power Supply Seasonic 1050W Snow
Mouse Roccat Tyon White
Keyboard Ducky Shine 6 Snow White
Software Windows 10 x64 Pro
#8
thats pretty sweet. I was so dissapointed to see it needed a VRM, Its been so long since I worked on the dual socket systems from scratch. usually I have them pre-assembled (Dells/HPs) but I'll be damned if I can get my hands on the VRM card.
 

t_ski

Former Staff
Joined
Apr 11, 2006
Messages
11,960 (2.67/day)
Likes
6,450
System Name My i7 Beast
Processor Intel Core i7 6800K
Motherboard Asus X99-A II
Cooling Nickel-plated EK Supremacy EVO, D5 with XSPC Bayres & BIX Quad Radiator
Memory 4 x 8GB EVGA SuperSC DDR4-3200
Video Card(s) EVGA 1080 SuperClocked
Storage Samsung 950 Pro 256GB m.2 SSD + 480GB Sandisk storage SSD
Display(s) Three Asus 24" VW246H LCD's
Case Silverstone TJ07
Audio Device(s) Onboard
Power Supply Corsair AX1200
Keyboard Corsair K95
Software Windows 10 x64 Pro
#9
I'm assuming that's the slot under the left socket? I've seen some older Dell workstations that has something like that.
 

Solaris17

Creator Solaris Utility DVD
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Messages
19,632 (4.16/day)
Likes
6,571
Location
Florida
System Name Venslar
Processor I9 7980XE
Motherboard MSI x299 Tomahawk Arctic
Cooling EKWB L360 R2.0
Memory 32GB Corsair DDR4 3000mhz
Video Card(s) Gigabyte 1080TI
Storage 2x 2TB Micron SSDs | 1x ADATA 128SSD (Cache) | 1x Drevo 256SSD | 1x 1TB 850 EVO | 1x 250GB 960 EVO
Display(s) 3x AOC Q2577PWQ (2k IPS)
Case Inwin 303 White (Thermaltake Ring 120mm Purple accent)
Audio Device(s) Realtek ALC 1220 on Audio-Technica ATH-AG1
Power Supply Seasonic 1050W Snow
Mouse Roccat Tyon White
Keyboard Ducky Shine 6 Snow White
Software Windows 10 x64 Pro
#10
I'm assuming that's the slot under the left socket? I've seen some older Dell workstations that has something like that.
yeah apparently its got a very specific tooth pattern as well



Iv tried looking into VRM cards for servers just prior and after in model type and they are vastly different so that shot my chances.
 
Top