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DMala
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Stumped by rebooting Shuttle XPC
#314264 - 09/09/13 07:31 AM


I have a Shuttle XPC (SA76G2) with an Athlon II X2 250 that I built (for my mom) in 2009. It worked great for several years, but it's suddenly started rebooting randomly on her.

It seems to happen when the CPU and/or GPU are stressed. It'll idle happily for hours, but even just loading up a Flash game or video will cause it to abend in 5-10 minutes.

It's *not* a bluescreen. I've disabled auto-restart, and it still just reboots without warning. Event Viewer shows nothing in the logs, other than a note that the previous shutdown was abnormal. When this happens, startup always fails just after POST with a keyboard error. Simply resetting the machine again will boot normally every time.

The first thing I did was replace a wireless keyboard with a basic, wired keyboard. When that didn't change anything, I also tried a known good wired keyboard. Still no change, so the keyboard error doesn't seem to be legit. The keyboards are all USB, which rules out a bad port or anything like that.

Windows 7 and drivers are all up to date as far as I can see. She's got up-to-date virus protection, and the machine is generally very clean, so a virus seems unlikely. I flashed the BIOS to one several revisions newer - no change. Running Memtest86 now, but it's already made it through one pass without errors, so I suspect it's not going to uncover anything.

I'm kind of running out of tests to run, and I hate to start replacing parts at semi-random. Where it seems to be a true hard reset, I'm guessing maybe the PSU or something power-related in the motherboard? Anyone seen anything similar? I can't say I've ever seen a true hard reset in a modern PC before, it's almost always an auto-restart from a bluescreen.



RATMNL
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Re: Stumped by rebooting Shuttle XPC new [Re: DMala]
#314268 - 09/09/13 11:35 AM


Check the fans! Isn't anything overheating?
That's mostly why my old pc's rebooted without reason.. Thermal Shutdown



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redk9258
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Re: Stumped by rebooting Shuttle XPC new [Re: RATMNL]
#314271 - 09/09/13 12:06 PM


I agree. Sounds like a heat issue. You can run a program to watch temperatures such as Speed Fan or other. Also, look closely at the motherboard for swollen caps.



italieAdministrator
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Re: Stumped by rebooting Shuttle XPC new [Re: DMala]
#314275 - 09/09/13 02:19 PM


Open it up, check the caps on the motherboard near the processor. Then do the same to the power supply. Betting you will find some swelling.


*edit*
just looked at the model, yeah, going to be power supply (caps/fan) and MB caps. Get out your soldering iron and you patience, cause those power supplies are a biatch to work on.

or spend the 60$ and get a new one...

http://www.cputopia.com/psu-replace-300-...CFaY-MgodFXEA-w




> I have a Shuttle XPC (SA76G2) with an Athlon II X2 250 that I built (for my mom) in
> 2009. It worked great for several years, but it's suddenly started rebooting randomly
> on her.
>
> It seems to happen when the CPU and/or GPU are stressed. It'll idle happily for
> hours, but even just loading up a Flash game or video will cause it to abend in 5-10
> minutes.
>
> It's *not* a bluescreen. I've disabled auto-restart, and it still just reboots
> without warning. Event Viewer shows nothing in the logs, other than a note that the
> previous shutdown was abnormal. When this happens, startup always fails just after
> POST with a keyboard error. Simply resetting the machine again will boot normally
> every time.
>
> The first thing I did was replace a wireless keyboard with a basic, wired keyboard.
> When that didn't change anything, I also tried a known good wired keyboard. Still no
> change, so the keyboard error doesn't seem to be legit. The keyboards are all USB,
> which rules out a bad port or anything like that.
>
> Windows 7 and drivers are all up to date as far as I can see. She's got up-to-date
> virus protection, and the machine is generally very clean, so a virus seems unlikely.
> I flashed the BIOS to one several revisions newer - no change. Running Memtest86 now,
> but it's already made it through one pass without errors, so I suspect it's not going
> to uncover anything.
>
> I'm kind of running out of tests to run, and I hate to start replacing parts at
> semi-random. Where it seems to be a true hard reset, I'm guessing maybe the PSU or
> something power-related in the motherboard? Anyone seen anything similar? I can't say
> I've ever seen a true hard reset in a modern PC before, it's almost always an
> auto-restart from a bluescreen.

Edited by italie (09/10/13 03:44 AM)



bodger319
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Re: Stumped by rebooting Shuttle XPC new [Re: DMala]
#314286 - 09/09/13 07:21 PM


IŽm having a similar problem with a FX6100 running Win7 64Bit.
Randomly shuts down without a BSOD. Occasionaly reboots by itself but most times I have to retart it myself. Also occasionally hangs on the POST screen after a re-start but starts okay on a second attempt.
Temps all seem to be okay and I canŽt detect any hot spots within the case, 4 fans blowing in, one bottom front over the drives, one top rear and two on the side. 2 fans extracting on the top.
Ran a program that could report the system voltages and they were all low. The 460W PSU may be on the limit for this system so I have ordered a 600W model.
IŽll report it if this fixes it or not.



R. Belmont
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Re: Stumped by rebooting Shuttle XPC new [Re: bodger319]
#314303 - 09/10/13 03:38 AM


> Ran a program that could report the system voltages and they were all low. The 460W
> PSU may be on the limit for this system so I have ordered a 600W model.
> IŽll report it if this fixes it or not.

Yeah, if all the fans turn and are clean then low voltage seems likely, with bad motherboard caps a close second. For power supplies, always buy ones that pass the HardOCP.com torture test - cheap Chinese junk (which unfortunately is sold under a lot of otherwise reputable brands) frequently only puts out half its rated wattage before the voltage sags and the magic smoke starts coming out.



krick
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Re: Stumped by rebooting Shuttle XPC new [Re: R. Belmont]
#314305 - 09/10/13 04:20 AM


> For power supplies, always buy ones that pass the
> HardOCP.com torture test - cheap Chinese junk (which unfortunately is sold under a
> lot of otherwise reputable brands) frequently only puts out half its rated wattage
> before the voltage sags and the magic smoke starts coming out.


The only power supplies I buy are Seasonic brand. They make very well built and well reviewed power supplies. They also make power supplies that are re-badged and sold by many other manufacturers, though the quality of the re-baged models are sometimes not as good as Seasonic branded models.



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DMala
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Re: Stumped by rebooting Shuttle XPC new [Re: italie]
#314363 - 09/11/13 04:57 AM


> Open it up, check the caps on the motherboard near the processor. Then do the same to
> the power supply. Betting you will find some swelling.

Power supply looks OK to me. None on the motherboard are really badly blown, but I see two that look a little suspect. Not sure how well you can see in the pic, but the two blue ones look pretty domed.

IMG_0019 IMG_0018 IMG_0017

EDIT: There seems to be a third suspect on the other side of the processor. Again, the blue one:

IMG_0024

Edited by DMala (09/11/13 05:02 AM)



italieAdministrator
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Re: Stumped by rebooting Shuttle XPC new [Re: DMala]
#314371 - 09/11/13 10:44 AM


> > Open it up, check the caps on the motherboard near the processor. Then do the same
> to
> > the power supply. Betting you will find some swelling.
>
> Power supply looks OK to me. None on the motherboard are really badly blown, but I
> see two that look a little suspect. Not sure how well you can see in the pic, but the
> two blue ones look pretty domed.
>
>
>
> EDIT: There seems to be a third suspect on the other side of the processor. Again,
> the blue one:

That would be enough to cause trouble. You can replace only those three if you want and give it a try, but I usually do a clean sweep as long as I'm in there. At a minimum I would recommend all the caps of similar brand/value.

They can be a little rough to get out, so re-flow the solder a little bit on each leg as a first step on the caps you remove. Then hit each leg with some wick, and all the solder should pull out clean.

If the power supply looks good, leave it for now. It really is a monster to work on, there isn't a lot of room.



DMala
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Re: Stumped by rebooting Shuttle XPC new [Re: italie]
#314384 - 09/11/13 06:50 PM


> That would be enough to cause trouble. You can replace only those three if you want
> and give it a try, but I usually do a clean sweep as long as I'm in there. At a
> minimum I would recommend all the caps of similar brand/value.
>
> They can be a little rough to get out, so re-flow the solder a little bit on each leg
> as a first step on the caps you remove. Then hit each leg with some wick, and all the
> solder should pull out clean.
>
> If the power supply looks good, leave it for now. It really is a monster to work on,
> there isn't a lot of room.

With my soldering skills and equipment, I'd trash the board for sure. No, I think it's time to sell mom on a nice little upgrade, maybe a laptop with a camera so she can Skype with the grandkids.

Anyhow, thanks for the help. It's nice to have a definitive answer.



redk9258
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Re: Stumped by rebooting Shuttle XPC new [Re: DMala]
#314396 - 09/12/13 01:08 AM


Box that some-bitch up and send it to Italie.



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Re: Stumped by rebooting Shuttle XPC new [Re: redk9258]
#314414 - 09/12/13 05:07 AM


> Box that some-bitch up and send it to Italie.

Send it with a six-pack of Guinness and you got a deal. Have the caps sitting in front of me.


///Can you even ship beer?



krick
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Re: Stumped by rebooting Shuttle XPC new [Re: italie]
#314420 - 09/12/13 05:47 AM


> ///Can you even ship beer?

FedEx and UPS... maybe if your state allows it. It seems complicated...
http://billybrew.com/the-ins-and-outs-of-shipping-beer

USPS... I think the answer is still no...
http://money.cnn.com/2013/08/02/news/economy/postal-service-beer/index.html



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DMala
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Re: Stumped by rebooting Shuttle XPC new [Re: krick]
#314424 - 09/12/13 07:03 AM


> > ///Can you even ship beer?
>
> FedEx and UPS... maybe if your state allows it. It seems complicated...
> http://billybrew.com/the-ins-and-outs-of-shipping-beer
>
> USPS... I think the answer is still no...
> http://money.cnn.com/2013/08/02/news/economy/postal-service-beer/index.html

It seems like the only reasonable way would be to fly out and just hand deliver it. Which would be awesome, but sadly, not in the cards right now.



bodger319
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Re: Stumped by rebooting Shuttle XPC new [Re: R. Belmont]
#314437 - 09/12/13 09:22 PM


Fitted the new PSU yesterday and no suddden switch-offs since, but still early days. Program still shows extremely low voltages so maybe it is not compatible with my motherboard.
Electrolytics on the MB are all SMD, Electrolytics in the old PSU are conventional but none are domed or leaking.
However a low-level high-pitched whining noise has now disappeared.
Possibly the 460 was capable of the task but a flaky fan in the PSU was causing the temp to rise and cause the sudden switch-off ?
Dry joints in the PSU circuit-board are also a possibility, but it is single-sided so I will have to dissect the PSU to check that
> > Ran a program that could report the system voltages and they were all low. The 460W
> > PSU may be on the limit for this system so I have ordered a 600W model.
> > IŽll report it if this fixes it or not.
>
> Yeah, if all the fans turn and are clean then low voltage seems likely, with bad
> motherboard caps a close second. For power supplies, always buy ones that pass the
> HardOCP.com torture test - cheap Chinese junk (which unfortunately is sold under a
> lot of otherwise reputable brands) frequently only puts out half its rated wattage
> before the voltage sags and the magic smoke starts coming out.



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Re: Stumped by rebooting Shuttle XPC new [Re: bodger319]
#314443 - 09/13/13 03:29 AM


> Fitted the new PSU yesterday and no suddden switch-offs since, but still early days.
> Program still shows extremely low voltages so maybe it is not compatible with my
> motherboard.
> Electrolytics on the MB are all SMD, Electrolytics in the old PSU are conventional
> but none are domed or leaking.
> However a low-level high-pitched whining noise has now disappeared.
> Possibly the 460 was capable of the task but a flaky fan in the PSU was causing the
> temp to rise and cause the sudden switch-off ?
> Dry joints in the PSU circuit-board are also a possibility, but it is single-sided so
> I will have to dissect the PSU to check that
> > > Ran a program that could report the system voltages and they were all low. The
> 460W
> > > PSU may be on the limit for this system so I have ordered a 600W model.
> > > IŽll report it if this fixes it or not.
> >
> > Yeah, if all the fans turn and are clean then low voltage seems likely, with bad
> > motherboard caps a close second. For power supplies, always buy ones that pass the
> > HardOCP.com torture test - cheap Chinese junk (which unfortunately is sold under a
> > lot of otherwise reputable brands) frequently only puts out half its rated wattage
> > before the voltage sags and the magic smoke starts coming out.

High pitch noises are usually coming from the switcher or caps. Caps don't have to be domed to be bad, but it's a pretty solid indicator that one has failed when they are domed.

Start by replacing the caps. If the noise persist, move on to the resistors and diodes near the switching transistors.

(assuming the noise wasn't coming from a fan)



bodger319
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Re: Stumped by rebooting Shuttle XPC new [Re: italie]
#314541 - 09/15/13 06:14 PM


> Start by replacing the caps. If the noise persist, move on to the resistors and
> diodes near the switching transistors.
>
> (assuming the noise wasn't coming from a fan)

The problem has not re-occurred with the new PSU even with four of the fans switched off, and just the two case fans blowing in, even though seeding and folding at maximum.
With working in the electronics business, it is not worth my time trying to repair the duff PSU. I could repair it but it is cheaper to just replace it.


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