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HP ProLiant server hangs at “Power and Thermal Calibration” screen

HP ProLiant server hangs at “Power and Thermal Calibration” screen

(OP)
Hi...
I have a new HP ProLiant DL360 G7 system that is exhibiting a difficult-to-reproduce issue. The server randomly hangs at the "Power and Thermal Calibration in Progress..." screen during the POST process. This typically follows a warm-boot/reboot from the installed operating system.

The system stalls indefinitely at this point. Issuing a reset or cold-start via the ILO 3 power controls makes the system boot normally without incident.

When the system is in this state, the ILO 3 interface is fully accessible and all system health indicators are fine (all green). The server is in a climate-controlled data center with power connections to PDU. Ambient temperature is 64°F/17°C. The system was placed in a 24-hour component testing loop prior to deployment with no failures.

The primary operating system for this server is VMWare ESXi 5. We initially tried 5.0 and later a 5.1 build. Both were deployed via PXE boot and kickstart. In addition, we are testing with baremetal Windows and Red Hat Linux installations.

HP ProLiant systems have a comprehensive set of BIOS options. We've tried the default settings in addition to the Static high-performance profile. I've disabled the boot splash screen and just get a blinking cursor at that point versus the screenshot above. We've also tried some VMWare "best-practices" for BIOS config. We've seen an advisory from HP that seems to outline a similar issue, but did not fix our specific problem.

Suspecting a hardware issue, I had the vendor send an identical system for same-day delivery. The new server was a fully-identical build with the exception of disks. We moved the disks from the old server to the new. We experienced the same random booting issue on the replacement hardware.
I now have both servers running in parallel. The issue hits randomly on warm-boots. Cold boots don't seem to have the problem. I am looking into some of the more esoteric BIOS settings like disabling Turbo Boost or disabling the power calibration function entirely. I could try these, but they should not be necessary.

Any thoughts?

RE: HP ProLiant server hangs at “Power and Thermal Calibration” screen

wow…thank you for this awesome post. It really shows your immense knowledge and research on this topic. Please keep sharing.
I appreciate your effort in sharing your thoughts. It affected me, and many readers for sure, in a positive way.

RE: HP ProLiant server hangs at “Power and Thermal Calibration” screen

Try posting in Forum 484 the HP server forum, and not NetApp forum. But I ran into something similar on IBM servers in an AT&T Fios site, that tried to use Belkin USB KVM adapters for a cheap KVM solution. One adapter per rack, and they would hot plug the adapter into the server they needed to see on the kvm, I had service calls on 3 servers, each in a different rack, and the only difference was the "problem" servers had the belkin adapter plugged in when attempting to boot. Removing the adapter and unplugging power and plugging it back in cleared the hung USB bus, and allowed the systems to boot normally. I suspected the adapters were trying to pull too much current from a single usb port, and caused a power issue on the server causing it to halt.

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