Did I [gulp] kill two of our 941GXL?

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  • #422
    optimist
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    Have I done permanent damage to a couple of our 941XGLs?

    I purchased six of these units for my brother’s company about 18 months ago. I have been trying to get them working since. With what little spare time I have had, I finally learned enough about Rapport (WDM) and got four of units re-imaged and updated (WDM 4.5.1 on a Windows 2000 Server).

    Unfortunately, I may have killed two of the units early on when using Wyse’s Simple Imager. When these dead units are turned on, there is no video, no beeps, no attempts to grab an ip from Rapport and, maybe, no luck! When I take out the flash module and put in one from a working unit, no problem.

    Have I killed the units? I have read a little on this site about the first partition, but am still a bit vague about what is on it. If I were to copy a good flash module with Linux or Ghost or something, would that work? Any other suggestion (that don’t involve physically injuring myself)?

    Also, thanks for the site. It has been a life saver!

    Patrick

    #9568
    thinkthin
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    Hi Optimist,

    You mentioned that if you swap the flash over from a working unit it boots fine – this is great news!

    What has happened is you have corrupted the OS on the flash but the BIOS is fine. All you need to do is download the Wyse Simple Imager and load a new image, this will format the flash and partitions correctly. Do not install this on the same server as the Rapport server.

    To be honest for 6 units the simple imager is all you may need to deliver images, here are some links for you:

    Download simple imager under the 941G section:
    http://www.wyse.com/serviceandsupport/support/dlOraFW.asp?which=52&model=Winterm%20941GXL

    Pull an image with simple imager:
    http://www.freewysemonkeys.com/site/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=47&mode=&order=0&thold=0

    Latest SP2 image for 941G:
    ftp://ftp-us.wyse.com/Pub/Support/firmware/XPe/941GXL/941G_S462_256_EN.exe

    #9628
    optimist
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    • Total Post: 5
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    Well I’m finally getting back to this…

    Thank you for the reply. It seems I lied (not on purpose!) I thought I went both ways in a nice controlled experiment. No so, or at least not this time. I could boot up the known good test unit with a bad memory module, but the suspected unit would not boot with a good module.

    With good or bad flash disks I can’t get the monitor to even flash green (video signal present) on the two suspect units. When I power one on, the power light comes on and the hard drive light flashes for a fraction of a second. And then nothing. When I press the power button, it takes about five seconds power off (I was trying to think about where that signal occurs)?

    ASIDE: Just so I get the terms down. When you guys talk about the BIOS, are you referring to that small partition on the 256M flash memory or the separate chip on the board (with a Wyse sticker on mine)? I am referring to the latter.

    How could I wipe two BIOS’s by taking out the memory modules and putting them back in, even if I did corrupting them? Admittedly I am an idiot about these machines, but I have built a couple hundred computers and only screwed up one (even then I knew I was taking a chance). I am pretty careful with things like static, fat fingers, and such.

    If I did hose the BIOS chip, is it possible to buy another (for a reasonable amount)? At least they don’t seem to be soldered on.

    Again thank you for the help.

    #9633
    thinkthin
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    Hi,

    The BIOS is the same as a PC – its a small 1cm x 1cm chip. If its dead (no power or Wyse BIOA splash screen) you can pull it out and send it back to a Wyse services center to have it re-programed.

    In my tinkering I have had to do this about 7 times now 🙂

    The “flash” (NON volatile RAM) is plugged in to the IDE port and appears to the OS as a HDD. Just like a HDD you can screw the image up but a quick re-image fixes this.

    Finally the RAM is PC133 RAM but I can recall the voltage – I know I tried a few old non Wyse DIMMS I had once and they did not work – I never got around to looking up what was in it exactly.

    Imaging with WSI does update the BIOS, this happens fast but if interrupted or loaded with the wrong image you can corrupt the BIOS (which is what has happened to you?)
    If you interrupt it during the main image load no problem just re-start the imaging job. You can also edit the 941Gpush.i2c file in the ftprootrapporttoolssa directory to stop the BIOS update (PUSHNOR=NO)

    Cheers,
    -TT

    #9647
    optimist
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    • Total Post: 5
    • Newbie

    Thinkthin,

    Thanks for the explanation. I think it helped me to figure out what happened.

    My egotistic side wants to say that I do recognize the difference among BIOS, CMOS, system memory, flash ram, and the like. But, truth be told, I had to go off the other day when I wrote my first followup and review the difference between CMOS and BIOS.

    I think the confusion cleared when you said that the update or imaging process also updates the BIOS. I didn’t know that.

    With that information, my best guess is that I did, in fact screw up the BIOS when re-imaging and then I repeated the mistake on another unit later. I’ll check to see how much Wyse charges for cleaning up the BIOS chips. Now where is that chip puller I used to need to upgrade memory on the old IBM XT machines.

    Thanks again.

    #9725
    optimist
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    • Total Post: 5
    • Newbie

    Just an update.

    I bought a couple of replacement BIOS chips from Ray at ARCY Solutions. ($25 per chip; very helpful folks, recommended by Wyse.)

    Well, the good thing is that I know the BIOS is fine. The bad side is that it hasn’t changed anything. Additionally, someone else handed me another Wyse with the same EPIA motherboard. Exact same problem.

    After doing some research, I found a few forum postings about failed capacitors on these EPIA boards. I was wondering if others here have had experienced dead motherboards on these higher end Wyse clients.

    #9726
    thinkthin
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    Hi,

    Hmm, if you think its the CAPs failing on the board you should definitely take it up with the service center or Wyse to see if they fix it – even if they are out of warranty,

    Cheers,
    -TT

    #9728
    optimist
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    • Total Post: 5
    • Newbie

    Thanks.

    I thought about giving them a call. Quite honestly, I am not sure what it is. I just read a few of these postings about the caps. When I look at them (the capacitors), some DO look like they are bulging, but I am also susceptible to astrological or extraterrestrial explanations at this point.

    That’s why I was wondering if other people, especially people with more than a few later model thin clients, were having higher than expected failure rates of the same type (no video no beeps).

    Patrick

    #9729
    thinkthin
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    It could be time to send one in to ARCY and get a quote to repair and see what they diagnose the problem as, unfotunatly it may be the only way to find out what is wrong with the unit now. (worth the cost given the unit)

    Post back what you end up doing to resolve this…could be interesting 🙂

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