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Pc sometimes fails to boot. software or hardware problem??

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  • Pc sometimes fails to boot. software or hardware problem??

    hello forum. in my car i have a big enough system as my carpc. the specs:

    psu:M4-ATX (bliah)
    cpuhenom2 black edition at 3.2ghz (dual core)
    mobo: gigabyte 970A-d3
    GPU: some asuse which i dont recall the name. but not anything great.
    ram: 2GBDD3.
    SSD: san disk 80gb

    also, i have usb's connected : 3g broadband usb stick, camera, gps, remote, keyboard...

    software , brand new (AND legal windows 8.1pro 64bit), and many other things, some of them made by me, that run after the pc starts...

    so, i recently clrear formated the pc, and installed those windows... although the same probelm, existed before as well....
    1)Some times, when the pc starts, it gets stuck in the windows logo screen, (loading), and dosent boot... if you force shutdown and reset some times, it might boot... and it happens on high enough frequency... at LEAST 3 out of 8 times...
    my pc at home , with the same exact windows, (diferent ahrdware), does not have any probs....
    2) also, some times (rarely), after the pc is on, for 5 mins, it will completly freeze (the kind of freeze that the windows Xp had), and there will be no way out, than reset... (which suggests a hardware problem...)

    i also have to add, that the CPU, has ~survived, the complete burn of 2 mobos... (dont ask :P )

    so, do you guys think its a software, or hardware related problem??? any ideas how can i trubloshoot that??

  • #2
    settra did you tried another power supply. if you can use any spare 220vac and plug it to the car pc and run it for a while you could exclude or not the psu.

    it is not a software problem it sounds like hardware one.
    Vw Sharan 2007 1.9tdi || Exide 100Ah
    Fuzzy 945gme + core duo T2400 + 2gb ddr 667 + pci nvidia 5500 256mb + kingston v300 60gb + hdd 2.5" 100gb 5400 + Sure Gps module
    Primary monitor 8" 800x600 || Secondary monitor 15.4" 1280x800
    Powered by M2 atx


    • #3
      once i had a 220v, and it had the same problems... (as i recall).. i lean towards hardware as well..
      i have heard, that if you dnt allow the hard drive to shut down "properly" then it builds up errors, which can cause that kind of behavior (especially in widnows 8, which dosent actually power off, rather than hibernate/power off hybrid)..
      but what is properly ? after the pc has "shut down" does the ahrd drive still require power?? and maybe the psu shuts the power before its finished??...


      • #4
        No. Once the PC is off, the drive is dead. And windows should look after hard disk buffering - ie, empty disk caches before shutting down.
        It's only ungraceful shutdowns - eg, forced power offs - that can mess things up.

        I suppose Win68 still required the occasional defrag? I have noted that that along with cleanups of temp files can solve hangs and slow operation including boots. (I think Win8 manages removal of old install sessions.)

        Hangs like you describe are often memory or bad contacts. Rotate your memory if that hasn't been done, else try a substitute.
        Is 2G RAM enough?

        I presume you have tried Safe Modes or disabling your additions etc?


        • #5
          I left a message but I don't see it so not sure what happened.

          Likely a power supply. Try a known good power supply with JUST the computer.

          Also try different keyboards etc of different brand to test. I had something very similar happen with a keyboard.

          When you shut down your computer it is off...

          The hybernate stuff is where it gets a little weird.

          In order the things I would suspect are:
          Incompatible mouse/keyboard
          Power Supply
          Bad memory or other add on component. (CPU, Hard drive etc..)
          Incompatible external device.

          The only way to do this properly is by removing everything you can and seeing if it still works. If you put like a 600watt power supply on your board with a different mouse and keyboard and it still bombs out then it has to be something within the computer. Otherwise start adding the hardware back to it until you find the piece that is locking it up.

          As to hard drive issues.
          If your computer loses power in any way other than a full shut down you put the hard drive in jeopardy. In theory if you lose power while the hard drive is being written you will corrupt the file that was being written. Some Linux disk setups handle this fine and if you have a RAID where you have a mirrored or other type of setup where your files are duplicated you will be fine. I have heard that there are ways you can prevent issues with Windows 8 but I haven't worried about it too much. The only time my computers generally drop out like that is if I lose power and my UPS's are not working.



          • #6
            so you think that external devices might cause as well cause the problem... because, i think that if i have the 3g broadband modem disconnected when the pc starts, it has more chances to start ok....
            i realy like windows, but their un-stabillity is driving me crazy... and especially since i am starting to implement more and more on the carpc, i cant afford , having it do whatever ti likes... :/ do you guys think that Linux, would have the same problem?? cause as far as i know, they are pretty stable


            • #7
              Windows is fine for a specialized system like this. You will want to use Win 7 or Win 8 if you can. Win XP is OK but self destructs over time requiring a re installation without doing anything to it. With few exceptions windows is going to be more compatible with devices than anything else. Although Windows 8 may not have compatible drivers for all hardware.

              But if you are having a hardware issue it is a HARDWARE issue which won't matter what OS you are running...

              Depending on your external devices you could end up putting your PC over on its power requirements and over taxing the power supply although an M4-ATX should be pretty beefy.



              • #8
                Just a note re Linux & RAID etc.

                Windoze can use RAID. Or rather, it's usually a hardware or motherboard feature but can also be handled by software.

                RAID however does not change ungraceful shutdown file corruption etc except somewhat when using spliced systems that can write twice as fast and hence have written more by the time power is lost, tho the last incomplete splice on each will probably be garbage.

                Lost data/corruption can be minimised by turning off disc caching tho that may mean slower overall performance, and the cached data would not have been written to disc in an uncached system anyway.
                Or a capacitive or battery backed buffer/disc or non volatile buffer etc. Hence UPS to achieve the former.

                And not that I'm up to date - maybe the above has changed in the past decade or so. But it was over 20 years ago I saw my first systems that upon reboot would return the user to the same cursor position with no loss of data no matter what the package or when the outage. Even non-specialised hardware systems could do the same but with possible data loss (ie, the last entries or sentence etc).


                • #9
                  well, i placed the RAM (it was 4gb after all), on my home desktop, and run memory diagnostics, and came out fine. ( i also [played 3 hours diablo without any crash :P ) , so i guess this rules out the ram problem :P
                  i also, placed the SSD and tested it with HDtune and AS SSD, and all fine again... :/

                  [EDIT] : it might be software after all... :
                  (although this dosent explain the freeze, After the boot)
                  Last edited by settra; 04-10-2014, 12:54 PM.


                  • #10
                    Just because the RAM works in another computer doesn't mean it will work fine in another. You can run into compatibility problems.

                    As an example, I have a Server motherboard right now that will accept non ECC ram. I put some unused 4 gig modules in it because I upgraded the other computers with 8gig modules. Worked fine in the computer they came out of and should have worked fine in the server board. Board wouldn't boot up...

                    Had another set of ram from same company same model etc... Put in same server board and the server has been running fine since.

                    So you really need to test the equipment with the PC you are having issues with. You MAY have to remove it from your vehicle to properly test it.

                    Edited - Removed RAID discussion

                    Last edited by redheadedrod; 04-14-2014, 12:53 PM. Reason: Remove RAID discussion that apparenty confuses Old Spark


                    • #11
                      Rodney beat me to what I was going to say about testing - especially with intermittents where its not unlkely to be a combination of issues.

                      But re RAID I am talking about data loss & corruption of HDD files due to loss of power etc - NOT normal HDD failure modes.
                      (And mirroring can be twice as slow es;e is no faster than non-mirrored. Splicing (striping) is usually twice the speed of non-striped.)


                      • #12
                        Well if you have had experiences with software RAID arrays that complete write cycles despite the CPU hanging, your experience certainly outranks mine. I'm sure others would love to hear how they manage to achieve that - I certainly would!!!

                        I can understand hardware RAIDs doing that, but they require separate RAM and power to do that.

                        I look forward to an explanation of your experience.

                        Of course if you are still talking about disc corruption recovery then I/we have no interest since that is not what Settra's issue is about.

                        PS - having specified & built & used RAIDs from 0 to 10, I am aware of the many variations of implementation - eg, mirrors that stagger their data writing order and mirrors that have independent buffers so as to not halve their overall writing speed. Of course to ensure valid directories given Settra's problem, they are NOT software RAIDs.


                        • #13
                          settra i think you have to focus on specific things if you want to get out of this fast. computer hardware problems amd compability issues are not a black or white case. the combination and possibilities of different failure causes are endless . so when you are dealing with pc problems you have to deal and exclude one at a time.

                          a computer freezes where urs does is most of the times power problem . that means that someone l may oc his hardware without giving enough power , someone else may inderlocked again without adjusting power. When the pc boots up ( post screen ) then it uses big amount of power as the drivers ( that deals with every single device ) have not loaded yet. That means that a lot ram ( more ram more watt ) a cd a fast hdd > 4200rpm ( ssd doesnt consume a lot ) some usb ( they consume power without drivers loaded ) can force the psu or / and car battery to a semi failure ) not booting .

                          The one thing that you have to do is get down in the car a desktop psu . This will tell you a lot. After that if problem remains then undock everything and i mean everything from the pc and try again .

                          Something else you may want to try is to boot at night ( you got some hot already down there ) with engine running. a cold psu with good voltage input may do the difference.

                          I had weird power provblems with mine once that i could find the cause. after a while i saw it was a bad earth contact.

                          Also you have to look the jumpers and internal connections on the pc. clean the hardware with a air pistol ) dust and humidity is the worst enemy for high end pcbs.

                          i am having problems with starts and boots now cause of a dirty vga . i know when i cleaned it they will dissapear.

                          i am using the same hdd raid config for 2006 in my work pc. never lost even a byte. mirror raid is a must for computers.

                          i am not getting into temp problems with ur pc but big temp are not good for psus

                          but from what i can understand is that ur pc needs more than 250w to work well and you dont have them.

                          last but not least . see if all of the cards and rams are properly inserted at their slots. also you did't mention the vga and if it has an additional supplu requiremnts . if so have you plugged anything.

                          i dont know ur bios but gigabyte has good bios ( and hardware ) and a ctrl+F1 hidden settings. look at bios settigns with energy savings and try to change their default settings.

                          m4 is a fine psu for me . maybe not the best but it is fine for what it costs.

                          hope it helps.
                          Vw Sharan 2007 1.9tdi || Exide 100Ah
                          Fuzzy 945gme + core duo T2400 + 2gb ddr 667 + pci nvidia 5500 256mb + kingston v300 60gb + hdd 2.5" 100gb 5400 + Sure Gps module
                          Primary monitor 8" 800x600 || Secondary monitor 15.4" 1280x800
                          Powered by M2 atx


                          • #14
                            Rodney - RAID is irrelevant to this conversation unless you can explain how RAID recovers data that has yet to be written to disc?

                            Fixing mismatched info in RAIDs is handled by normal procedures & tools.

                            But since Settra does not have a RAID, I don't understand why you are so keen to go off on an irrelevant tangent anyhow.


                            • #15
                              Edited - removed RAID reference

                              So anyhow... Did you try booting the PC up outside of the vehicle on its own off a larger AC powered supply with nothing hooked to it externally?

                              Last edited by redheadedrod; 04-14-2014, 12:56 PM.