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Blue Screen of Death during WOT?!?!

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  • Blue Screen of Death during WOT?!?!

    I've got a problem.

    I have a mac mini with carnetix p1900 and xenarc 700tsv. Running Windows 98.

    During wide open throttle pulls, I will get the memory dump (blue screen). It will show that screen then take 10 minutes to complete restart. It is only during hard WOT pulls at 8-9k rpm.

    I am not sure how to diagnose the cause. The mac mini is behind the dash so maybe it is getting too hot? Not sure, but if that were the case I would guess it wouldn't start right back up. Some have said the power supply may be bad too. Could it be getting too much voltage/not enough voltage?

    Any advice on where to start?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by JETT86; 05-20-2013, 10:05 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by JETT86 View Post
    I've got a problem.

    I have a mac mini with carnetix p1900 and xenarc 700tsv. Running Windows 98.

    During wide open throttle pulls, I will get the memory dump (blue screen). It will show that screen then take 10 minutes to complete restart. It is only during hard WOT pulls at 8-9k rpm.

    I am not sure how to diagnose the cause. The mac mini is behind the dash so maybe it is getting too hot? Not sure, but if that were the case I would guess it wouldn't start right back up. Some have said the power supply may be bad too. Could it be getting too much voltage/not enough voltage?

    Any advice on where to start?

    Thanks!
    Not much to go on, but let me throw out some ideas.

    How bad are the vibrations during WOT - too much shaking of a harddrive will cause a BSD. Vibrations could also cause your memory or any IC socketed chips to creep which would cause a BSD.

    Have you done the "Big Three" wiring upgrade for your engine compartment. I've never heard of WOT causing a loss of power, but if WOT is causing a bad ground you'll get a BSD from the loss of current. If the power supply is any good there should be no such thing as too much voltage. I'll let someone else chime in on diagnosing the power supply going bad.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by GizmoQ View Post
      Not much to go on, but let me throw out some ideas.

      How bad are the vibrations during WOT - too much shaking of a harddrive will cause a BSD. Vibrations could also cause your memory or any IC socketed chips to creep which would cause a BSD.

      Have you done the "Big Three" wiring upgrade for your engine compartment. I've never heard of WOT causing a loss of power, but if WOT is causing a bad ground you'll get a BSD from the loss of current. If the power supply is any good there should be no such thing as too much voltage. I'll let someone else chime in on diagnosing the power supply going bad.
      The vibrations are pretty intense I am guessing (car has full solid mounts, stiff suspension, and 740+whp). The mac mini is secured to the top of my ECU with 2 foam strips in between. Is there something else I could put in between to help absorb vibrations?

      I had done the "Big Three".

      Thanks!

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      • #4
        hmm i'd suggest a power fluctuation, but technically the voltage should be highest at WOT. I guess a simple way to test Gizmo's theory is to WOT in neutral and see if the problem persist. I'd still tend to believe its a power spike which the p1900 cant handle and shuts down to protect the circuitry.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Sonicxtacy02 View Post
          hmm i'd suggest a power fluctuation, but technically the voltage should be highest at WOT. I guess a simple way to test Gizmo's theory is to WOT in neutral and see if the problem persist. I'd still tend to believe its a power spike which the p1900 cant handle and shuts down to protect the circuitry.
          Is there something I can add, maybe in line from power supply to mac mini, that would make sure no more than 12v could get through?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JETT86 View Post
            Is there something I can add, maybe in line from power supply to mac mini, that would make sure no more than 12v could get through?
            Well you could always through another power supply inline or a regulator, but that wont guarantee the problem is solved. In looking briefly at the spec sheets on the carnetix page they don't really make reference to the input range. The output range of up to 20v suggests it should be able to handle an input range of at least that much, but that's really just a guess. The problem as I see it is a power spike which brings the voltage up to 14-20v, the p1900 cant handle it and shuts down or fluctuates the regularly smooth output voltage.

            Do what I suggested, put the car in neutral, do some revs and see if the computer is affected. If it BSODs, that suggests its power or interference rather than vibration that's the culprit. In my experience, you'll see something quirky in the screen before the computer flat out crashes if its a power problem, maybe a flicker or a screen jutter.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by JETT86 View Post
              The vibrations are pretty intense I am guessing (car has full solid mounts, stiff suspension, and 740+whp). The mac mini is secured to the top of my ECU with 2 foam strips in between. Is there something else I could put in between to help absorb vibrations?

              I had done the "Big Three".

              Thanks!
              I also run the Carnetix and its pretty hearty. I'm leaning more toward hard drive G limit exceeded.

              "Intense vibrations" - if you can't completely isolate the CPU, do you have a "mobile harddrive?" MP3Car sells hard drives that are engineered for the rigors of the automotive environment. I bricked three hard drives before I bit the bullet and got one and haven't had a problem since.

              Originally posted by Sonicxtacy02 View Post
              hmm i'd suggest a power fluctuation, but technically the voltage should be highest at WOT. I guess a simple way to test Gizmo's theory is to WOT in neutral and see if the problem persist. I'd still tend to believe its a power spike which the p1900 cant handle and shuts down to protect the circuitry.
              Yeah, I would think a power spike would cause a shutdown, not BSOD.

              Originally posted by Sonicxtacy02 View Post
              Do what I suggested, put the car in neutral, do some revs and see if the computer is affected. If it BSODs, that suggests its power or interference rather than vibration that's the culprit. In my experience, you'll see something quirky in the screen before the computer flat out crashes if its a power problem, maybe a flicker or a screen jutter.
              Great idea, reminds me of laptop power supply testing - if the power supply voltage/current is failing the first indication is the LCD screen blanking out or not coming on at all.
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              • #8
                Sounds like it may be a serious voltage drop at high revs. The motor would require a lot of power to run at the rpm's your talking about. If the alternator cant keep up the power output it will draw power from the battery causing a momentary voltage drop. try putting a volt meter on the power supply and rev engine to the rpms and note the power voltage best testing it at those rpms while the engine is under load rather than just reving it in neutral

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                • #9
                  Engines & vehicles do not consume much extra electrical power at high RPM or speeds unless they are electric. It's essentially only the extra sparks and they take insignificant power.

                  And alternators increase power output with RPM. They do not drop off at high RPM. (Though they might physically break down, but that is permanent.)

                  But testing that is simple - a voltmeter across the battery, and across the supply concerned.

                  IMO it is more likely to be a bad connection (in the load or the power feed & GND to it).
                  It may be other things like spikes or even over-voltage, but checking or bypassing its supply is the first step.
                  Last edited by OldSpark; 05-28-2013, 05:49 PM.

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                  • #10
                    One thing I saw while I worked at an electronic repair shop years ago, may have nothing to do with this though.

                    A customer brought in a camcorder (remember I did say years ago), complaining of the picture washing out. He included a tape to show is what was happening. It ends up he had a camera mount on a roll bar of some kind of little race car. To be specific, a rear engined race car. The video he left in the camera showed us what was happening at the race track. At idle, the picture was fine, but at high RPM's, the EFI coming from the engine was enough to white out the picture. The sound was normal, you could hear the high RPM's. When the car went into a corner, slower, lower RPM's, the picture would fade back in. Then it would fade back to white as the car's RPM's increased. We had to tell him there was nothing wrong with his camera.

                    Granted, this camera was probably close to the spark plug wires, and it was VHS, or VHS-C probably. We are talking about 1991 or so. Not sure if this is what is happening here. Maybe try some sort of shielding? Or you could try temporarily moving the computer to another location. But that might be helping in two ways, less EFI and less vibration. Good Luck!

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                    • #11
                      Good point.
                      Racing cars often use unsuppressed HT cables - ie, pure copper without resistive splug caps instead of typical carbon/resistive leads.
                      Usually radios will pick up that noise - especially on AM - but few race cars have HUs etc. (My rally car did, but we drifted in style.)

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                      • #12
                        I agree, interference can be the cause. I was once playing with a homebrew plasma ignition / CDI for a single cylinder engine using a non res plug. The ECU is a pic micro and each time I revved it up the MCU would reset on its own. Not surprising due to the amount of interference that thing spew out.

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                        • #13
                          Yeah youd think that. But ive seen this problem before with volt drop at high rpms. Low amp rated alternator with high powered ignition system was the problem. And I doubt its interference from ht leads. The pc would drop out at low rpm's too not just at high rpm's. Good luck
                          Last edited by pcmoto.com.au; 05-29-2013, 03:51 AM.

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                          • #14
                            IMO that must have been a heck of a low rated alternator. Spark energy is essentially negligible compared to other overheads, and alternators should have enough reserve to charge at low RPM with headlights & wipers.
                            Being a high powered ignition I'd suspect an unusually low output alternator (for racing etc) or maybe even and incorrectly geared alternator.
                            But as I said, that's easy to determine with a simple voltage test. Or even switching other loads like headlights, or noting headlight dimming.

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                            • #15
                              I did some testing. Revved the motor while sitting in neutral - screen did not turn blue.

                              Took the car out, did a pull, and screen went blue at higher rpms.

                              I purchased some vibration absorbing material and placed between the ECU and mac mini (my mac mini is mounted to my ECU). Still does the same thing.

                              I'm running an OEM alternator that reads anywhere from 12.8-13.7v during high rpms.

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