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Boot problems...

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  • Boot problems...

    Hi, I'm hoping someone can help me here... this is really starting to bug me

    VIA EPIA MII 10000
    512 MB PC2100 DDR RAM
    40 GB laptop drive
    M1-ATX power supply

    My carputer runs fine after the computer has "warmed up". When I boot the computer after leaving it overnight, it always requires 3 or 4 reboots to get it up and running correctly. When I boot in the morning, it'll get into windows, start my frontend and then just restart. This will repeat 3 or more times before the carputer boots up and run correctly. The carputer runs fine for the rest of the day until the next morning after leaving it off for a long period of time.

    I notice that this doesn't happen when I start the computer for the first time of the day if the car has been sitting in the sun all morning. I'm in Georgia and it hasn't gotten cold yet so I'm really not sure what's going on.

    I've tried swapping out RAM with no success.. same problems. The only thing I can think of is either the power supply hasn't warmed up properly or the video chips haven't warmed up properly (reason i say this is because I get blank spots on the screen when the carputer isn't working properly, spots go away when booted properly).

    I've updated the video drivers and all software ... don't know what else to do except to replace power supply.

    Any inputs appreciated...

  • #2
    It almost sounds to me like it's teh battery drawing so much to start the engine that it can't sustain the M1-ATX. After teh alternator recharges the battery, it works just fine.

    Just a theory.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?

    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.


    • #3
      Where in Atl. I'm in Lawrenceville. Maybe we can get together to look at it. I have a M1-ATX that is brand new we can test and I am an auto tech so we can test your battery and charging system properly instead of just guessing.

      PM me if you are interested.
      The Car 2005 Scion xB

      The Truck 2004 GMC Canyon


      • #4
        i'm going to rule out the alternator/charging system for now. i disconnected the power to the computer this morning before starting my car and let the car warm up for about 15 minutes... turned off engine, connected power to the computer, and started engine and computer like i normally do. same problems... reboots about three times before everything is fine.

        so i think it's either a power supply issue or motherboard issue... i'm going to pull out my carputer tonight, leave it overnight and try runing it with a regular desktop atx power supply in the morning. i guess this will rule out the power supply.


        • #5
          This is defaintly a tough issue.

          Beleive it or not, your computer components enjoy the cold air. (if the air is above 32F)

          On dead or failing harddrives one could place the drive in a freezer for a few minutes and when its cooled, connect it to a computer and retreive data. (This obviously works on some cases and not all depending on the nature of the failure)

          With that said, have you check your harddrive for bad sectors? You may want to take the drive out and run the manfacturers drive checking software even if chkdsk doesn't see any errors. (Do this while your pc's on the bench)

          I'm only mentioning this as another option to check, originally I was thinking power or ram (like you)
          Progress [I will seriously never be done!]
          Via EPIA MII
          512MB RAM
          OEM GPS (embedded)
          nLite WinXP pro on
          1GB Extreme III CF card
          Carnetix 1260 startup/ DC-DC regulator
          Software: Still, re-Writing my existing front end in .Net


          • #6
            i didn't suspect the hard drive, but it's definitely something i'll look into when i have the computer pulled out... since you mentioned hard drive, i should probably check my hard drive cables. i chopped up one to reduce space so it may be a bad cable... still doesn't explain why the computer only acts funny in the mornings...



            • #7
              I have a simular problem with a home PC after setting a few days it will reboot 1 or 2 times before it runs fine. I replaced the power supply, the hard drive, memory, and it still reboots. I think it may be the Motherboard or the battery of the MB but I am not sure.
              VIA EPIA V 1.1ghz
              512mb memory
              40gig 3.5" HDD
              Slim Line DVD/CDRW
              80w DC-DC Monex psu (fried 2, working on #3)
              8" Datalux TS LCD
              Sound Blaster USB


              • #8
                update of what I've tried so far...

                i was able to try more things thanks to fixerofallthing's suggestion to stick the carputer in the fridge to cool it down instead of waiting overnight... don't know why i didn't think of that...

                so i removed my entire carputer from the car (all components sit in a double din enclosure behind the lcd in the dash) and chilled it in the fridge for about 45 minutes... i powered the carputer from a desktop atx supply that i hacked up (the atx is supplying 12 volts to the m1-atx supply of the carputer, so the setup is basically the setup in the car)... problem repeated... 3 reboots until everything works... put it back in the fridge again and for a second trial, this time removing all fans i have connected (two 5v fans and one 12v fan) and same results.

                the next thing i tried was removing the m1-atx from the carputer and supplying the computer with the desktop atx directly. chilled and tested about two times but couldn't repeat the problem. so now i'm leaning towards a faulty m1-atx (possibly a cold solder joint?)

                so i left the carputer sitting out overnight and did a quick test this morning with the m1-atx hooked up to the carputer. everything booted fine so now i'm not 100% sure that it's the m1-atx... but my apt is warmer than the car and the computer was left off for only about 6 hours so it may have not cooled down enough.

                i'm going to run a few more tests tonight and see what else i find out. i seem to think that it's the m1-atx


                • #9
                  That is great you were able to duplicate the problem. This way you can verify it is fixed before you put it all back in. Just a reminder I have an M1 brand new we can use to test. LMK
                  The Car 2005 Scion xB

                  The Truck 2004 GMC Canyon


                  • #10
                    well, i ran a few more tests last night to try and duplicate the problem with the m1-atx and a regular mtx... it seems to be harder to narrow the problem down.

                    i cooled just the m1-atx in the fridge for about an hour and hooked everything up... problem repeated...

                    i cooled the computer in the fridge for about an hour and powered it with the desktop atx... problem repeated.

                    so it starting to look like it may be both the power supply and motherboard?

                    the only difference i saw this time around was that the computer only rebooted once instead of mutiple times like in the car

                    i checked the hard drive and cables and everything appeared to be fine... i think i'm going to try a few tests just cooling the hard drive and see what happens... and then just cooling the motherboard


                    • #11
                      Easy on the fridgeration of your components! This is only meant for a harddrive that is known to be failing.

                      First and foremost unplug or disconnect all unneeded components. You need just a known working ATX powersupply,keyboard, mouse, harddrive and ram connected to your mobo. (thats right disconnect your optical drive as well) Check to make sure all the fans on the system board are working properly, also make sure there is clearance between your mobo and mounting surface. I've seen a mobo have weird groundout problems when not mounted correctly make sure there is some distance between your mobo and its mounting surface, also with compressed air give the surface of the mobo a brief cleaning. Be careful when blowing the air, sometimes it can create moisture, if you see white spots on your system board wait at least 30 minutes to fire up your mobo. Now check for stability.
                      Secondly start with drivers, BIOS and patches. Make sure your system has the latest BIOS and the latest drivers for all your main components, including your operating system. (Check in device manager for any unknown devices, or devices not working properly and fix if there's any) Check for stability.

                      If your stability issues haven't been solved by the above. You DEFINATLY have a hardware issue. Check the harddrive first by going to the hardrive's manfacturer website and support pages and download thier drive health/checking software. Run it according to thier directions. If it states that it has fixed curropted sectors, let it fix them and then check the system again for stability. If its locking up or freezing here, replace the harddrives IDE cable with a known working cable and run through this section again.

                      If this doesn't solve the problem check the ram. You can do this two ways. If you have a spare stick of known working ram (same clock speed) snap it in and and check for stability. The second way to test if you don't have another stick of ram is to download "memtest" and run it. If this says you have bad RAM then buy a new stick of RAM and check the system for stability.

                      If the problem is still occurring then check your second power supply because it may not be functioning properly, although this is an unlikely situation it can and has happened. To check you need to buy a Power Supply tester or Take it to a PC repair shop and have them test it for you. Don't take the M1ATX to the repair shop because they'll look at you funny. Just take your Standard ATX.

                      At this point, if you have followed my instructions to the T, I mean exactly and you are still haveing the issues try repeating some of the steps because its likely you may have more than one problem. If you done that then I'd say to replace your systemboard. Replacing a systemboard should be the last thing you do.
                      Progress [I will seriously never be done!]
                      Via EPIA MII
                      512MB RAM
                      OEM GPS (embedded)
                      nLite WinXP pro on
                      1GB Extreme III CF card
                      Carnetix 1260 startup/ DC-DC regulator
                      Software: Still, re-Writing my existing front end in .Net


                      • #12
                        i definitely think it's a hardware issue... i haven't been placing my components in the freezer, just the fridge to cool it down a bit to try and cool it as if it were overnight..

                        all of my bios, patches, and software are up to date...

                        i've checked the hard drive with the manufacturer's utility as well as windows disk check utility and everything looks good as far as the hard drive goes...

                        i've also tried swapping out RAM with no success...

                        i'll check the mounting of the motherboard and all the components to verify that everything's ok.. and try to obtain a third power supply to test with...

                        i'll probably also look into grounding the motherboard and power supply properly as well

                        thanks for all your suggestions.