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Flea Draining Equipment

I recently had someone ask me about flea power, or electrostatic discharge. I thought it might be useful for some to go over what it is, and how to drain it. This little procedure can be the magic touch that gets a piece of hardware up and working again.

So first, what is flea power in computer equipment?
Flea power is the residual static electricity that remains on electrical components (like the capacitors on a motherboard, for example) the computer even after it has been powered off, even if a battery has been removed.

What symptoms are typical?
This gets a little tricky. I’ve personally seen issues where a server refuses to power on. A good rule of thumb is, if you can power the server down to troubleshoot any issue with any component, a flea drain may help you resolve issues with bad power causing inconsistencies with the components.

Now, how do we fix it?
This part’s easy. Enterprise components are designed to remain powered on 24/7 but when you face an issue, a Reset of your device can make things work. There are 3 levels of Reset, all defined below. In order, you should try to Restart the system first, then try to Reset the system, and if the problem is not resolved you should Hard Reset the system. Here’s what that means:

Restart: Use the normal procedure to restart your device.

Reset: If the device is not responding to any command, press the power button for 10 seconds. Power is cut, and device will restart.

Hard Reset: As some components are still powered and do not reboot when you reset (for example the iDRAC on a Dell EMC server), it is advised to perform a hard reset if the 2 above procedures are not solving the issue or if some components are not responding.

  1. Power the system down.
  2. Disconnect all power cables and network cables from the system.
  3. Hold down the power button continuously for at least 15 seconds.
  4. Reconnect all power cables and network cables to the system.
  5. Wait about 2 minutes before powering on server to give the out-of-band management, like a Dell EMC iDRAC, time to initialize.
  6. Power the system on.

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Senior Infrastructure Engineer , Topgolf

Scott is an experienced professional and recognized leader specializing in the design and implementation of enterprise virtualization, enterprise storage, server infrastructures and operations. A self-starter able to work both independently and in a team-oriented environment, Scott has a proven ability to create and automate solutions to improve productivity, reliability and performance. Throughout his professional career, Scott has proven successes implementing technology and service improvement initiatives and has a demonstrated ability to think strategically about business, create technical definition around objectives in complex situations, develop solution strategies, motivate and mobilize resources, and deliver end-to-end technology solutions. Scott has achieved multiple industry recognized certifications in virtualization, networking, cloud, storage and other technologies, and is honored to be a VMware vExpert in 2018, 2019 and 2020.



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