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Netfinity 3000

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The Netfinity 3000 is a Pentium II[1] or III[2] based server from IBM released in 1999, it used an NLX[3] form factor motherboard.

Here are some issues that may occur and how to fix them:

Problem Solution
CMOS battery dies very quickly, frequent "Your system has been tampered with" errors on startup This issue is often caused by the capacitors C345, C346, and C380 being bad (in many cases they may be leaking or bulged)

Here is a guide on how to replace:

1: Remove side panel of tower, to do this find the release notch on the panel towards the back of the tower, pull forward (in direction of arrow) and up on the notch to release panel.

2: Unscrew the bottom panel and remove.

3. Remove the motherboard, it is on rails, firstly pull the white rail (towards the front of the system) up, so that it is no longer caught in any notches or holes in the chassis. Next there is a black lever that is mostly hidden under the PCB, pull it outwards, as long as all the rails have been un-caught the board should slide out and disconnect from the I/O riser board. (note that this takes a decent amount of force, and will likely require getting the board un-stuck from various things a few times.

4. By this point processor, memory, and CMOS battery should be removed from motherboard

5. Remove the 3 capacitors (they are the 3 large brown electrolytic caps, just right of the CMOS battery.

6. Solder new capacitors on, 560μf, 25v (watch the polarity!)

7. Reassemble system and everything should work.

Images coming soon

System hangs on startup (black screen, boot logo or messages)
  • This issue is likely caused by a faulty or misconfigured hard drive, tape drive, or optical drive, open the computer, unplug the power and data from the hard drive(s), optical drive(s), and even the floppy(s) this includes drives on add-in controller cards. After this try booting the system.
    • If the system boots with no drives then ensure the Master/Slave jumpers on each drive are configured correctly, ensure that the cable is fully inserted and try again. If it fails again with drives reconfigured then test each drive standalone to isolate the problem drive and repair or replace the problem drive.
  • Another cause of this issue could be a misconfigured or faulty PCI or ISA card, particularly those cards that have standalone BIOS, ROMs, and boot capabilities (ISA is more likely to cause issue than PCI) Try removing all PCI and ISA cards then booting the system, if applicable also remove any AGP GPU and switch to onboard graphics. After this try to boot the system.
    • If the system boots with no expansion cards then check the IRQ and address jumpers/DIP switches on your ISA cards. Make sure the addresses and IRQs that you choose are configured to be available in the system BIOS.
    • Also ensure that if any card has a bootROM, check for a ROM capacity or similarly named jumper and ensure that the selected size corresponds with the installed ROM chip. (also ensure that the device will accept that specific type of ROM chip, 27xx, 27cxx, 29xx, etc.)
    • If the system still fails to boot with all cards installed then start adding cards one by one and trying to boot to isolate the problem card. If this card is an ISA that requires manual configuration then try booting with only it and verifying the set address will work, it may be conflicting with other ISA cards (particularly cards that perform the same or similar functions). On cards that do not have configurable addresses, research the card or check for stickers to see what address it uses and ensure it is marked free in BIOS setup.
    • If the problem card is one with a bootROM (like a drive controller or network card) then try removing or disabling the bootROM and booting, if it POSTs without the bootROM and you are sure that the size jumper and ROM address are set correct then it may be worth re-flashing the ROM chip (if possible) or buying a new compatible flash/eeprom chip and flashing the desired firmware onto it. IMPORTANT: Back up the contents of the chip BEFORE flashing or erasing it, the firmware on them is often proprietary and unique to the hardware (especially true for drive controllers), it may be impossible to find a copy online!
    • If none of this works then repair or replace the problem card.
  • If the system still does not POST then try removing the CMOS battery, boot without the battery. If the system boots then there may have been some BIOS setting (probably a legacy resource setting) stopping your system from booting.
  • If the system still fails to POST with no drives then ensure that DIP switches are set properly (fig. 1 & fig. 2)
  • If it still fails to boot then try swapping CPU/RAM/PSU for known good parts.
  • The system BIOS could be corrupt, download the BIOS from IBM then de-solder the chip from the board and manually flash with external programmer device
  • If nothing works then it is probably a hardware-level issue with the board, check for obvious dead parts and try to replace. Try following generic board troubleshooting guides.

For additional info, the hardware service manual is available from IBM's website: https://www.ibm.com/support/pages/hardware-maintenance-manual-netfinity-3000