SuperMicro IPMI when a board wont post

I bought a used Supermicro X9DRi-LN4F+ from ebay to use for datascience projects involving large datasets where having >128MB RAM and 20+ cpu cores would speed up data processing. The boards, E5–26xx v1/v2 series cpus and ECC DDR3 RAM can be sourced relatively cheaply relative to newer boards/cpu’s using DDR4 RAM.

After installing a single E5–2690 v1 cpu and 1 RAM DIMM I found the board exhibited two beeps plus a short blip and would not post (nothing displayed on screen).

I removed the board from the PC case I had installed it in and put it on a desk (see Fig. 1), connected power and tried power on. Note that to power on without a case switch you can use a bit of conductive material and briefly connect the PWR pins on the board (bottom 2 pins on JF1 on the board — see Fig 2)

Fig. 1. SuperMicro X9DRi-LN4F+ on bench

I tried swapping the single (and dual) RAM DIMMs, swapped out the cpu for one I knew worked.

Fig 2. Using copper wire to bridge pins on JF1

After no post again, I read you could use the onboard IPMI to debug beep codes. The issue was 1) I couldn’t find any information as to what 2 beeps +1 blip meant and 2) I could not find any information about how to use IPMI when the board would not post to video.

To connect via IPMI I undertook the following steps:

Install wireshark on an Ubuntu laptop.

Connect a LAN cable from the Laptop Ethernet port to the SuperMicro IPMI port (shown in Fig. 1.)

Disable wifi on the laptop (would be too noisy in wireshare trace) and enable wireshark trace.

I saw the following in the wireshark log:

MS-NLB-Phys-Server... who has 172.16.0.44? tell 172.16.12.61 — Broadcast ARP

The exact local address may differ but as far as I have seen the SuperMicro boards tend to use class B 172 prefixed IPv4 addresses.

Now that I I had the boards IPMI address (the one ending in 61) I could now try to connect to it.

I edited

sudo nano /etc/netplan/*.yaml

and set the laptop to use the same 172.16.12.xx network:

# Let NetworkManager manage all devices on this system
network:
version: 2
renderer: NetworkManager
ethernets:
eth01:
addresses: [172.16.12.50/12]
gateway4: 172.16.1.1
dhcp4: true

then applied using

sudo netplan apply

Now I could ping the IPMI address on the board from the laptop and receive a response ie

ping 172.16.12.61

Then in firefox I opened

https://172.16.12.61

And then successfully browsed to the SuperMicro IPMI login page

Geophysicist and Deep Learning Practitioner