IT Connected

  • Dell PowerEdge R720 versus the R720XD rackmount server

    Both the Dell PowerEdge R720 and the Dell PowerEdge R720XD are 2U rackmount servers. These rackmount servers have the capability of running Intel Xeon E5-2600 series and Intel Xeon E5-2600v2 processors *You must have BIOS revision 2.0.19 update or later installed to use the v2 processors. These rackmount servers also offer twenty-four DDR3 slots for RDIMMS, LRDIMMs, and UDIMMs.

    The R720XD weighs in at just a few pounds more than the R720 due to its significant increase in Hard Drive Bays. The R720XD has a few different options for hard drive bays and can hold a staggering twenty-four two and a half inch hard drives or twelve three and a half inch hard drives while the R720 can only hold a maximum of sixteen two and a half inch or alternatively eight three and a half inch hard drives.

    For v1 processors, BIOS revision 1.4.8 upped the maximum frequency supported to 1600MHz for both RDIMMs and UDIMMs when using one or two channels at either 1.5V or 1.35V. BIOS update 1.4.8 also upped the maximum default frequency to 1333MHz on a three DIMMs per channel layout for both RDIMMs and LRDIMMs.

    While moving up the BIOS update chain, if you are using BIOS update 2.0.19 you will be able to use the Intel Xeon E5-2600 v2 processors and also the LRDIMM will support 64GB because in a patch released before the v2 processors were even compatible they released an update (BIOS update 2.1.2) that made that possible. In a later update (BIOS update 2.4.3) LRDIMMs at two DIMMs per channel will have its max supported memory speed upped to 1866MT/s for 32GB.

  • How to Update Dell BIOS

    There are many reasons why you might want to update your BIOS. Maybe you want to update to a newer processor that requires a more recent BIOS revision or maybe you are having some system crashing issue that is mentioned in a BIOS release notes and you want to give it a shot to see if it will fix it. Either way, it is best to take care when dealing with the BIOS because you can easily brick your system. In this guide I will show you how to safely update your BIOS so you can move along with your computing needs. The first step is actually locating the BIOS revision that you are interested in and finding it on the Dell support site. You will want to click choose from all products as shown boxed in red

    choose from all products

    Then navigate to the specific model of computer/server you are trying to flash. Once you click that you should see a tab that says "Drivers and downloads" along the left side. Then you will see a dropdown that includes a BIOS option. You can click download directly from that dropdown for the most recent version or you may click "View details" and read the release notes as well as look at past releases to see what other changes have been made. One thing to note is that many systems cannot be flashed if they do not have a processor or memory installed so if you are planning on using a processor or memory that does not have support on the current BIOS revision then you will have to either borrow from a friend who has an older item for you to flash with or double check that the system you are installing into has an updated BIOS. After you have determined which BIOS version will best work for you download it and put it onto a bootable USB drive. Once you have that arranged restart the target system with the USB drive plugged in. Hit F12 while booting and choose to boot from the USB drive. Once that has booted you should see a command prompt. Once you are there type down the exact file you downloaded and hit enter. This should open up the program and give you some prompts and guide you through the rest of the process. Make sure you allow this process to run completely or you may brick your system. This can take several minutes so make sure you have consistent power, maybe even put your system on a UPS during this process if it is not already on one and don't turn the system off while it may still be doing anything. Other than those considerations though the process should be pretty painless. bios flash dos

  • Factory Reseting Windows 8, 8.1 And 10 If You Don't Have A Password

    Disclaimer: This will wipe all of the data except for the operating system off of the computer. If there is data on the target computer that you need then you will want to find a way to get access and back up the computer before you do the factory reset.

    Why Do A Factory Reset

    There are plenty of reasons to do a factory reset. Sometimes a system gets bogged down over time or gets infected with a virus and it is simpler just to start from scratch than to diagnose individually. Other times you may have simply forgotten your password and need to start over to regain access to the computer. Whatever your reason, the process of doing a factory reset on Windows 8, 8.1, and 10 has become much much easier and it doesn't even require administrator access.

    How To Factory Reset A Windows 8, 8.1 or 10 PC

    1. Find where the power button is for you in your operating system. This is the button you usually press to get the logout, shutdown, restart options. If you are not logged in then you will find it in the bottom right.

    Windows Power Button

    2. Once you have found this button, click on it so that it shows you the various options. Now hold the shift key on your keyboard and click on the restart option. This should lead you to a screen that has a few options

    3. Click on the option that says "Troubleshoot"

    Shift Restart Troubleshooting

    4A. Windows 8 or 8.1 Now if you are on Windows 8 or 8.1 you will see the options Refresh or Reset Your PC. Refresh will try to correct errors in your Windows install and return many settings to default as well as remove some apps, but it will try to keep all of your files in place. If you do not have access to the computer or if you are trying to prepare the item to sell then this is not what you want. If you just want to see if it can fix some minor errors in Windows then it is likely worth trying this before you do a full wipe.Reset will return Windows to factory settings and remove all files and apps. This is likely the option you want if you are preparing to sell the system or want to do a full wipe to regain control of the system.

    Troubleshoot Reset PC

    4B. Windows 10 If you are on Windows 10 then you will be given the option to reset your PC. Click this and then You can choose between keeping your files or removing everything. The keep files option is the same as refresh was for Windows 8 and 8.1. If you choose this then Windows will make an effort to correct errors in the operating system as well as remove some apps but try to keep the files. If you are just trying to correct some errors, but want to keep the data then likely this is what you want. The remove everything option will wipe the computer all the way to factory settings. This will remove all apps and all files and make it so you have access to the computer again if you do not currently have a password.

    Windows 10 Reset Options

    5.The computer will restart a few times now and if you chose the reset option in Windows 8 or remove everything in Windows 10 then you will be left with a computer that is configured just as it came from the factory and is ready to be setup for the first time or sold.

  • Intel C200 Series Chipset Quirks

    Compatibility can be a bear. Especially when you are just scrapping together server and desktop parts and trying to get a good deal while also getting good performance. Many people are drawn in by cheaper ECC memory or Xeon processor that are cheaper than their desktop counterparts. This is a very interesting option for people looking just to set up a home lab or a high-performance gaming rig. As of writing, the 8 Core E5-2670 can be had for around $70. There aren't even any options with 8 cores on the desktop side under $500 dollars, let alone $100. The biggest hurdle though is if it will work in your motherboard. If you would like a general guide showing which desktop chipset might have a chance of running a Xeon processor or vice versa you can check out my General Motherboard Compatibility Guide, but in this article, I am going to focus on some bizarre quirks with Intel's C200 series of motherboards.

    The first thing I am going to talk about is what has changed. It used to be that the memory controller was a component on the motherboard inside of the chipset, but in recent years, starting with Nehalem, the first generation with the i7 naming scheme, moved the memory controller onto the processor itself. Previously you used to have to look at the chipset of the  motherboard to see if it could handle a certain memory capacity or speed and when they moved the memory controller onto the processor you would think that then you would have to look at the processor's compatibility with the memory. This is true, but there is a catch. You still need to look at the motherboard's chipset because it still plays a part in compatibility. The most major thing to note is that while the C200 series chipsets all have desktop equivalents that seem like they should be the same, they are actually slightly different in the memory category. As you would expect they support ECC memory. Since the chipset is only designed for workstations and not servers they use Unbuffered ECC memory(If you are confused about memory type then check out my post on memory compatibility) instead of Registered ECC memory.

    Generally, people think that in order to run ECC memory you need a Xeon processor, but things get confusing when you have HP releasing products like their Proliant MicroServer which comes with a Celeron a C200 Series Chipset and Unbufffered ECC memory.

    Proliant MicroServer

    So what gives? How is it that they put a Celeron with ECC memory? Well, It turns out that Intel left the ECC functionality on on their lower end parts like the Celerons, Pentiums and i3's for some unknown reason. This is interesting because it allows OEM's to make really cheap server systems because they do not have to use the more expensive Xeon processors. The downfall of this is that it make it very confusing to upgrade. You are capped at best with an i3. That is probably plenty fine for many tasks but you need to be aware that if you put an i5 or i7 in it isn't going to work.

    One thing you might be thinking now is, Hey, the memory controller is on the i5 and i7 now so if I put those in there then I just need to use non-ECC memory. Unfortunately, as I said earlier, the compatibility is still linked to the chipset in some way so even though your i5 or i7 you want to put in there can support non-ECC memory, the C200 series chipsets cannot.

    ...Or can it? There is one exception to this rule. It seems that Intel has added non-ECC support to any C200 series chipset ending in 6. e.g. c206, c216, c226. This is quite peculiar because it seems like all of the chipsets are mostly the same, give or take a couple I/O options and PCIe lanes. What this means though is that if you have a C2X6 series chipset then you can use an i5 or i7, but since they do not have ECC support you will need to switch over to non-ECC memory. Theis makes the  C206, C216, C226 chipset motherboards turn out to be some of the most versatile motherboards that have ever been released. Check out all of the possible CPU's that you can use for a C206 based motherboard like the Asus P8B WS . You can use Celerons, Pentiums, i3's, i5's, i7's and Xeon E3's From both Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge generations given that you have the correct memory for your processor. You could start with a system featuring a measly Celeron with ECC memory and then decide you want more Compute power and switch to an i7 with non-ECC memory and then if you determine that you need the ECC memory again you can switch over to a Xeon for the high computing power and ECC memory.

    The C200 series is definitely confusing, but I believe that it is a very good deal either way because the variants ending in 6 have immense compatibility potential while the non-6 variants give great value and leave the possibility of Xeon upgrades down the road. You just have to remember that the chipset as well as the processor both must support the kind of memory that you are looking to run.

  • General Motherboard Compatibility Guide

    Here is a chart I have created that will function as a quick cheat sheet for people to look through and determine processors that may be compatible with their motherboard based on which chipset it uses. Just click on your motherboard's chipset and it will drop down with the associated Code Name, which processors are potentially supported and which type of memory it uses.  Note that this is not an absolute guarantee that a certain processor will be compatible. There are simply too many variations to guarantee compatibility for anything but it is a good place to start. Please check your manufacturer's website to confirm any compatibility issues if you are uncertain. If you find any errors or think I should add anything to the chart you can leave a comment below or email me at [email protected] I will be looking to add more individualized looks at each chipset in the near future.

    H81

    Code Name

    Lynx Point

    Processors Supported

    Haswell, Haswell Refresh, Haswell WS(E3-1200 V3) Xeons may be supported

    Memory Standard

    DDR3

    B85

    Code Name

    Lynx Point

    Processors Supported

    Haswell, Haswell Refresh, Haswell WS(E3-1200 V3) Xeons may be supported

    Memory Standard

    DDR3

    Q85

    Code Name

    Lynx Point

    Processors Supported

    Haswell, Haswell Refresh, Haswell WS(E3-1200 V3) Xeons may be supported

    Memory Standard

    DDR3

    Q87

    Code Name

    Lynx Point

    Processors Supported

    Haswell, Haswell Refresh, Haswell WS(E3-1200 V3) Xeons may be supported

    Memory Standard

    DDR3

    H87

    Code Name

    Lynx Point

    Processors Supported

    Haswell, Haswell Refresh, Haswell WS(E3-1200 V3) Xeons may be supported

    Memory Standard

    DDR3

    Z87

    Code Name

    Lynx Point

    Processors Supported

    Haswell, Haswell Refresh, Haswell WS(E3-1200 V3) Xeons may be supported

    Memory Standard

    DDR3

    Z97

    Code Name

    Wildcat Point

    Processors Supported

    Haswell, Haswell Refresh, Broadwell, Haswell WS(E3-1200 V3) and Broadwell WS(E3-1200 V4) Xeons may be supported

    Memory Standard DDR3

    H97

    Code Name

    Wildcat Point

    Processors Supported

    Haswell, Haswell Refresh, Broadwell, Haswell WS(E3-1200 V3) and Broadwell WS(E3-1200 V4) Xeons may be supported

    Memory Standard DDR3

    X58

    Code Name

    Tylersburg

    Processors Supported

    Bloomfield, Gulftown and Westmere-EP Xeons may be supported

    Memory Standard

    DDR3

    X79

    Code Name

    Patsburg

    Processors Supported

    Sandy Bridge E, Ivy Bridge E, Sandy Bridge EP(E5-2600) and Ivy Bridge EP(E5-2600 V2) may be supported

    Memory Standard

    DDR3

    X99

    Code Name

    Wellsburg

    Processors Supported

    Haswell E, Broadwell, Haswell-EP(E5-2600 v3) and Broadwell-EP(E5-2600 v4) Xeons may be supported

    Memory Standard

    DDR4

    H110

    Code Name

    Sunrise Point

    Processors Supported

    Skylake, Skylake WS(E3-1200 v5) Xeons may be supported

    Memory Standard

    DDR4

    B150

    Code Name

    Sunrise Point

    Processors Supported

    Skylake, Skylake WS(E3-1200 v5) Xeons may be supported

    Memory Standard

    DDR4

    Q150

    Code Name

    Sunrise Point

    Processors Supported

    Skylake, Skylake WS(E3-1200 v5) Xeons may be supported

    Memory Standard

    DDR4

    H170

    Code Name

    Sunrise Point

    Processors Supported

    Skylake, Skylake WS(E3-1200 v5) Xeons may be supported

    Memory Standard

    DDR4

    Q170

    Code Name

    Sunrise Point

    Processors Supported

    Skylake, Skylake WS(E3-1200 v5) Xeons may be supported

    Memory Standard

    DDR4

    Z170

    Code Name

    Sunrise Point

    Processors Supported

    Skylake, Skylake WS(E3-1200 v5) Xeons may be supported

    Memory Standard

    DDR4

    C232

    Code Name

    Sunrise Point

    Processors Supported

    Skylake WS(E3-1200 v5) Xeons, may support Desktop Skylake (i3, celeron, pentium)

    Memory Standard

    DDR4

    C236

    Code Name

    Sunrise Point

    Processors Supported

    Skylake WS(E3-1200 v5) Xeons, may support Desktop Skylake (i7, i5,i3, celeron, pentium)

    Memory Standard

    DDR4

    C202

    Code Name

    Cougar Point

    Processors Supported

    Sandy Bridge EP(E3-1200) and Ivy Bridge EP(E3-1200 V2)  Xeons, may support Desktop Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge (i3, pentium, celeron)

    Memory Standard

    DDR3

    C204

    Code Name

    Cougar Point

    Processors Supported

    Sandy Bridge EP(E3-1200) and Ivy Bridge EP(E3-1200 V2)  Xeons, may support Desktop Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge (i3, pentium, celeron)

    Memory Standard

    DDR3

    C206

    Code Name

    Cougar Point

    Processors Supported

    Sandy Bridge EP(E3-1200) and Ivy Bridge EP(E3-1200 V2)  Xeons, may support Desktop Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge (i7, i5, i3, pentium, celeron)

    Memory Standard

    DDR3 ECC UDIMMs and Non-ECC DIMMs

    C602

    Code Name

    Patsburg

    Processors Supported

    Ivy Bridge EP and Sandy Bridge EP Xeons (E5-24XX compatible with LGA1356 motherboards) May work with Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge I7's

    Memory Standard

    DDR3 ECC LRDIMMs, RDIMMs, UDIMMs and Non-ECC DIMMs

    C602J

    Code Name

    Patsburg

    Processors Supported

    Ivy Bridge EP and Sandy Bridge EP Xeons (E5-24XX compatible with LGA1356 motherboards) May work with Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge I7's

    Memory Standard

    DDR3 ECC LRDIMMs, RDIMMs, UDIMMs and Non-ECC DIMMs, DDR4*

    C604

    Code Name

    Patsburg

    Processors Supported

    Ivy Bridge EP and Sandy Bridge EP Xeons (E5-24XX compatible with LGA1356 motherboards) May work with Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge I7's

    Memory Standard

    DDR3 ECC LRDIMMs, RDIMMs, UDIMMs and Non-ECC DIMMs

    C606

    Code Name

    Patsburg

    Processors Supported

    Ivy Bridge EP and Sandy Bridge EP Xeons (E5-24XX compatible with LGA1356 motherboards) May work with Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge I7's

    Memory Standard

    DDR3 ECC LRDIMMs, RDIMMs, UDIMMs and Non-ECC DIMMs

    C608

    Code Name

    Patsburg

    Processors Supported

    Ivy Bridge EP and Sandy Bridge EP Xeons (E5-24XX compatible with LGA1356 motherboards) May work with Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge I7's

    Memory Standard

    DDR3 ECC LRDIMMs, RDIMMs, UDIMMs and Non-ECC DIMMs

    C216

    Code Name

    Panther Point

    Processors Supported

    Sandy Bridge EP(E3-1200) and Ivy Bridge EP(E3-1200 V2)  Xeons, may support Desktop Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge (i7, i5, i3, pentium, celeron)

    Memory Standard

    DDR3 ECC UDIMMs and Non-ECC DIMMs

    C222

    Code Name

    Lynx Point

    Processors Supported

    Haswell WS(E3-1200 V3) and Broadwell WS(E3-1200 V4), Broadwell or Skylake i3, Pentium, Celerons may be compatible

    Memory Standard

    DDR3 ECC UDIMMs

    C224

    Code Name

    Lynx Point

    Processors Supported

    Haswell WS(E3-1200 V3) and Broadwell WS(E3-1200 V4), Broadwell or Skylake i3, Pentium, Celerons may be compatible

    Memory Standard

    DDR3 ECC UDIMMs

    C226

    Code Name

    Lynx Point

    Processors Supported

    Haswell WS(E3-1200 V3) and Broadwell WS(E3-1200 V4), Broadwell or Skylake i3/i5/i7, Pentium, Celerons may be compatible

    Memory Standard

    DDR3 ECC UDIMMs and Non-ECC DIMMs

    C612

    Code Name

    Wellsburg

    Processors Supported

    Haswell-EP(E5-1600 v3, E5-2600 V3, E5-4600 V3) and Broadwell-EP(E5-1600 V4, E5-2600 V4, E5-4800 V4)  Desktop Haswell and Broadwell may be possible in single socket configuration

    Memory Standard

    DDR4

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