PE 1750 "blinks" on a PE180AS KVM switch

Howard Powell hbp4c at
Tue Apr 24 14:01:41 CDT 2007

Last week I was setting up a PowerEdge 1750 to become a dedicated  
print server for my deparment.  The server is running Centos 5 and is  
set up to run only in text mode, no X graphics.  The machine firmware  
is level A12.

When I set up the machine, I connected it to an older Dell 71PXP KVM  
switch I had in my office.  After debugging cups and getting things  
running smoothly, I moved the machine over to my rack where it was  
connected to a PowerEdge 180AS KVM switch.

When it was connected to the first switch, everything worked great.   
When I connected it to the 180AS, I now get an annoying "blink" when  
it boots every time the system starts a service and the green [OK]  
comes up.  When I log in (again, text mode, X is not set up on this  
machine) it blinks.  The most annoying issue is if no one uses the  
machine for 5 minutes or so, the display blanks out and never  
returns.  Pressing numlock or caps lock doesn't turn on any lights  
once it's in this state (though in the first 5 minutes these buttons  
function fine).

I've checked out my grub.conf and I am not passing any vga options to  
the kernel at boot - it should be as vanilla as I can get it to be.

I've also replaced the cat5 cabling between the machine and the  
180AS.  The only thing I haven't replaced is the USB/VGA to Cat5  
coupler behind the machine.  The 180AS works as expected with other  

Any ideas?  I suspect a software bug, but like I said, I can't find  
anything else that might be mucking with the vga settings.


Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake
     Napoleon Bonaparte

Howard Powell
Computer Support Technician
Astronomy Department, UVa

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