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Unstable Via Epia & LCD prob

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  • Unstable Via Epia & LCD prob

    I have been browsing over a couple of fora, but unfortunately I couldn't find the answers to the probs I have with my carputer...

    Basically my Via Epia (800) is very unstable and is experiencing lockups and blue screens all the time. I've re-installed it with WinXP and Win2k numerous times, upgraded bios and used all patches and updates available for the hardware (see list below). The blue screens read mostly the 'Fault in non paged area' or 'IRQL not less or equal'. Could this be caused by an 'unclean' powersupply? Grounding the pc didn't solve the problem either

    The computer is powered by it's own 90 Watts powersupply (220V) which is connected with an inverter (max. 150 Watts).

    Secondly my LCD screens shows a lot of interference of which the source is unknown to me. It shows white speckles moving across the screen in a constant pattern + some diagonal bars moving across the screen. The screen works on any voltage between 10 and 15 Volts. But when f.e. turning on the lights it dimms a little. Is there a simple (and cheap ) way to somehow filter and stabilize the 12V line going to the screen?

    Any help and/or suggestions are greatly appreciated!

    Via Epia 800mHz
    256 MD SDRAM 133 mHz
    60 gB Western Digital 7200 rpm drive
    SB Live! 5.1 Player soundcard
    Ati Remote Wonder
    90 Watts powersupply

  • #2
    I'll throw a couple ideas out there - The power does sound pretty dirty. Why dont you try running the PC inside the house for a while, and see if it still locks up.

    The problem could be RAM related, try swaping the DIMM

    Lastly - I cant tell from the description where your LCD is geting its power from, but it would be a cleaner signal if you power the screen from the computer PSU. I dont know what else you have pluged into the computer, but the screen does not draw much power, so it should be fine.
    Techonlogy on Wheels


    • #3
      I knew I forgot to put things in my too long story :P

      The memory has been tested thoroughly with Memtest. No errors were found after 10 full test cycles, which should rule out defective memory I think. Harddrive has been tested ok too btw.

      When I hook up the pc in my home it works more or less ok. It does lockup sometimes but not nearly as often as in the car.

      The screen currently gets its power from the same line as the inverter (former cigarette lighter line that is).

      Question: if I draw power from the computer's powersupply, wouldn't the computer interfere with the screen and thus creating speckles again? And isn't there a lot of powerloss when creating a 12V powerline which is at least a couple of metres long


      • #4
        First off, run your wires to your invertor directly from your battery, and for gods sake fuse it and use bigger wire than that **** running to the cigarette lighter.

        Make your wires as short as possible, and ground everything that's connected together to the same spot.

        Run the lcd off your PSU, it will be cleaner, it draws low power.

        Then try everything.

        If your computer is still ******* up, then try a different power supply, if that doesn't work then it's either your invertor or your mainboard, figure it out and return one.
        [H]4 Life
        My next generation Front End is right on schedule.
        It will be done sometime in the next generation.
        I'm a lesbian too.
        I am for hire!


        • #5
          Thnx for your help!
          Just 1 question left; How long can a regular 12V line approximately be before there's too much powerloss? I first had the inverter in the trunk too, but then it wouldn't work properly because the line was too long...


          • #6
            I was going to suggest memory also... I have no experience with the VIA, but have had memory burn me more than once on very strange and unexplained lockups.

            Memtest won't always find your problems...

            I was convinced I had a power supply undervoltage issue and bought a new power supply, didn't fix the problem. Finally replaced the memory and bingo problem was gone.

            Not saying this is your problem, just don't rule it out based on memtest.


            • #7
              The problem with the LCD screen has been solved now As suggested by gizmomkr and frodobaggins I connected it directly to the PSU and the probs have disppeared completely.

              I will check the memory tomorrow by replacing it with some other modules, but I doubt they're causing the trouble. I noticed that the pc runs much stabler when the engine isn't running. Just now it only gave me a bsod after 30 mins. (Yes, that is a record!). Running the pc in my house (grounded plugs) and even with another PSU then it still locks itself up at least a couple of times an hour. I will check the hd again too btw.

              Lastly another small (but irritating) problem popped up. When the engine is turned off I have perfect sound. As soon as the engine is running there's this sort of humming noise in all my speakers. Is this the famous groundloop issue or am I completely wrong?

              (Thnx again for helping a newbie!)


              • #8
                ground loop &/or inverter noise. I would recomend a ground loop isolator from radio shack.

                I know some people with inverters get by without them, but my setup sounded 10 times beter with one implace (till I bought a dc supply)
                Techonlogy on Wheels


                • #9
                  good old EPIA 800.

                  i had the same problems.
                  THE blue screens, turned out the CRUCIAL memory I ordered was bad.

                  The fuzzy, white spots turned out to be the fact that I didnt use the metal panel on the back, which I latered found out was used to ground the RCA. If your not using that metal panel in the back, try using a wire from your rca to your power supply or such..
                  Mine needs to be updated.


                  • #10
                    I managed to solve the problem of the unstable Via. Apparently an extra grounding wire attached to it's backplate does the trick. Strange (in my opinion) but true

                    Just 1 problem left; the humming/static noise. I tried a ground loop isolator but that didn't help at all. When the engine runs I still hear this humming noise. When I give a little more gas the humming gets higher. So it's really interference by the engine. But how can I solve this? Anyone an idea?
                    Only thing I can think of is to rewire the powercable in such a way that it's as far from the audio cable as possible... But before I do that (it's a LOT of work) I'd like to know my options


                    • #11
                      They make 12v DC Filters, truck stops sell them pretty cheap for use with CB's and such.

                      I tried one back in the day, but nothing gave me satisfactory results; So I bought a DC - DC PSU. Given the cost of the pw120 PSU on E-bay , factor in noise, and power consumption (inverters WASTE a lot of power) I would urge anyone building one to go for the DC DC PSU
                      Techonlogy on Wheels