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  • So close..yet so far

    Well this sucks...

    a few weeks ago my computer was giving me a lot of problems:
    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=74407
    (basically, the harddrive failed, and newegg ended up giving me a refund)

    well, I just bought a new 160 gig maxtor off of tigerdirect with the money newegg gave me for the refund. Took my carputer out, installed the harddrive and set up winXP and all my programs, put the computer back in, and it works fine for the hour or 2 I used it last night. Then later today, I go to turn it on, it runs for 5 mins...and it locks up with the same clicking sound described in my previous thread.

    How is it possible that 2 hard drives have failed on me? I really don't think it is...it has to be something else thats giving me problems..

    What puzzles me even more, is that if i take the carputer out of the truck, it runs fine...if i put it in...it locks up EVERY time within 5 minutes.

    This sucks...I'm just about to wrap up my whole project (minor details left..about a week of work) and now I can't even use it.

    Any ideas/suggestions?

    Right now I'm considering ditching the whole computer and just buying a laptop like I should have in the first place. Hopefully I can keep my laptop budget under $800.

    Or, I guess I could try a laptop harddrive and see if I have better results with that.....I just hate to spend more money and time on something that's not going to work right.
    Take 2 - '03 Audi A4
    macmini with an 8" widescreen (in progress)

    My 2004 Ford Ranger:
    14" LCD w/ custom made aluminum bezel
    Completly custom computer case

    status: Totaled

  • #2
    How are you mounting it etc??? Its odd to have two HDs fail with the same problem like that..... We need more info.

    Can you yank that HD and put it in a different PC and see if it works? More testing is needed.
    '02 GTI
    [Routis '04] [Opus 90W] [160GB Maxtor HD]
    [Lilliput 7" TS] [VIA M10000] [XMPCR]
    [512MB RAM] [Custom housing]
    [Deluo GPS Mouse] [E-MU 0404 Soundcard]
    Progress Meter: [==============|] 99.9%

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by judoGTI
      How are you mounting it etc??? Its odd to have two HDs fail with the same problem like that..... We need more info.

      Can you yank that HD and put it in a different PC and see if it works? More testing is needed.

      the harddrive is mounted vertically, solid to the case. I know some people are using shock protection, but I read that other people were suggesting to mount it solid, as to reduce the vibration that shock protection would add.

      I've taken that harddrive out and put it in another machine, but it doesn't boot off it...I think due to compatibility issues. If i plug the drive into a computer via a USB-IDE cable, I can read all the data fine, without any problems.

      At least if I knew it was the drive, I could send it back...but I'm worried that I could put another drive in, and have the same problem.
      Take 2 - '03 Audi A4
      macmini with an 8" widescreen (in progress)

      My 2004 Ford Ranger:
      14" LCD w/ custom made aluminum bezel
      Completly custom computer case

      status: Totaled

      Comment


      • #4
        sounds like a power overload.... what system are you running & what power supply.... if you have a seperate 12v supply try running the hardrive off that to see, or try taking other stuff off the 12v rail...
        MY NEWEST INSTALL:modded infiniti fx with big screen

        first windows carpc install........my liquid cooled LVDS screen :D

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by turbocad6
          sounds like a power overload.... what system are you running & what power supply.... if you have a seperate 12v supply try running the hardrive off that to see, or try taking other stuff off the 12v rail...
          specs:
          asus motherboard
          2.8 p4
          1gig of sdram
          160 gig harddrive

          I have a 380 watt powersupply running off of an 850 watt inverter. The only devices I have plugged in aside from the hard drive is:
          computer case fan
          processor fan
          usb mouse, keyboard, and GPS reciever
          1 serial remote control receiver
          a dvd rom drive (usb, but it has a seperate molex connector going to it)


          I should add that i tried unplugging everything (all the USB devices, the serial device, sound, etc) from the system except for the monitor and the mouse inside my truck.....and it still locked up.

          I'm running the computer right now in my basement, with the powersupply from my truck, and it's running great.
          Take 2 - '03 Audi A4
          macmini with an 8" widescreen (in progress)

          My 2004 Ford Ranger:
          14" LCD w/ custom made aluminum bezel
          Completly custom computer case

          status: Totaled

          Comment


          • #6
            the inverter may say 850 watts, but somwtimes inverters are rated like amps & are way overrated , & it may not be able to provide continuous power for the pc....

            when a hard drive does that wir, click, wirrr, click.... it's usually power related...

            go ouyt & get a 1,500 watt inverter... you'll be o.k. then, as long as your alternator can keep up......

            that p4 is a power hungry heat spewing monster, & you need power
            MY NEWEST INSTALL:modded infiniti fx with big screen

            first windows carpc install........my liquid cooled LVDS screen :D

            Comment


            • #7
              ... then you still may have issues when you crank the car......

              at this point your learning why a p4 monster & an inverter is not really the best way to put a pc in your car....

              as long as the battery & alternator are strong you'll be ok with a larger inverter... try it & see if it is good enough for you at this point...

              if you do decide to do it over stay with a low power mobile design & a dc/dc power supply, you'll be much more stable....
              MY NEWEST INSTALL:modded infiniti fx with big screen

              first windows carpc install........my liquid cooled LVDS screen :D

              Comment


              • #8
                you might want to get the dc/dc ATDSX powersupply, it can handle that load i belive. and give you startup/shutdown features tooo.
                95 Mazda Protege LX
                Worklog
                Overall [Project Dead] 0%

                2003 Nissan Altima
                [XXXXXXXX--] 80% Planning
                [XX--------] 20% FABRICATION/INSTALLATION

                Worklog

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                • #9
                  thanks for the replies.

                  The computer has been playing 1 hours worth of songs straight now, and running great. In my truck, it wouldn't stay on for more then 5 minutes without locking up. So I think you're definitly right in saying that it's power related.

                  What I'm going to do next as a quick test, is put the computer back in my truck, and run it, but plug the computer powersupply into an extension cord and see what the results are. I'm thinking that if it locks up...there has to be some kind of wiring problem somewhere.

                  If it doesn't lock up...then the only thing left is, like you said, the inverter. I think at that point, I would really have to decide as to whether to buy an inverter or upgrade the system...But i'm definitly going to take your advice if I do upgrade the system and probably go with a laptop.

                  One of the reasons I went with the p4 2.8 powerhungry monster is because it was given to me for free
                  Take 2 - '03 Audi A4
                  macmini with an 8" widescreen (in progress)

                  My 2004 Ford Ranger:
                  14" LCD w/ custom made aluminum bezel
                  Completly custom computer case

                  status: Totaled

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    yeah, there are larger dc/dc solutions out there, I know an opus 150 won't handle that reliably, but a little bigger might...
                    MY NEWEST INSTALL:modded infiniti fx with big screen

                    first windows carpc install........my liquid cooled LVDS screen :D

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      heres something interesting....

                      I tried putting the computer into my truck, with the powersupply, and instead of plugging the powersupply into the inverter, I used an extension cord...

                      Well, the computer ran fine for about a half hour. After that it locked up, and shortly after that it turned off. So, I went to unplug the powersupply, and when I touched one of the molex connectors it was fairly hot.

                      The way I have my system is that the powersupply is under the drivers seat. From there, i ran wires for 1 molex connector, and an atx power connector to the computer (which is in the back of the pickup truck...about 5 feet away). When the molex connector gets to the computer, it goes to a fan, power for the P4 processor, and the harddrive. I'm thinking that maybe, between all these devices, the current draw is too much (which is heating up the molex connector), and when the power gets to the computer, the harddrive must not be getting enough (because the P4 and the fan are also demanding power) which causes the harddrive to lock up...and occasionally shut down the system.



                      Any ideas on this? I personally didn't think it would have much of an effect to only run 1 set power for everything. But, I guess maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea to run a seperate set of wires for the processor, considering it pulls only from the 12v rail..

                      Or, is the bottom line that the power supply is just underrated? (Even though after putting it into one of thoes online wattage calculators, I went with what I thought would be a more than sufficient powersupply)




                      maybe a dc/dc solution might not be so bad then...if it solves all this.........

                      even so...I think I'm going to start saving for a laptop. I saw an Acer 1.6ghz pentium M with 512mb on tigerdirect for like $700. Less powerhungry, fewer wires, cleaner install, and more convient...though, I still need a solution for this setup for now......
                      Take 2 - '03 Audi A4
                      macmini with an 8" widescreen (in progress)

                      My 2004 Ford Ranger:
                      14" LCD w/ custom made aluminum bezel
                      Completly custom computer case

                      status: Totaled

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rocky388
                        The way I have my system is that the powersupply is under the drivers seat. From there, i ran wires for 1 molex connector, and an atx power connector to the computer (which is in the back of the pickup truck...about 5 feet away). When the molex connector gets to the computer, it goes to a fan, power for the P4 processor, and the harddrive.
                        You extended the ATX connector and one molex connector for a P4? What did you extend it with?

                        First: If you still want to keep the PSU far from the mobo, definitely beef up the extension. Extend the square molex connector from the PSU with wire thicker than what it uses (if it doesn't have a square connector, use a separate molex). Extend another molex for the other stuff. I guess you can try keeping the ATX connector as it is, since replacing all cables with thicker gauge would be a pain, but thicker would be better.

                        Second: Want to slightly alleviate your problem? Go into the BIOS for your motherboard and find the Front Side Bus setting. You might have to enable some sort of advanced options to get there. Change it manually from 200 Mhz to 166 Mhz for 2.32ghz, to 133 Mhz for 1.86ghz, or 100 Mhz for 1.4ghz clock speed. If you can lower your CPU voltage, then play around with doing that as well (lowering too far could create an unstable system).

                        Third: If you can, you might want to avoid using the molex that you previously found hot (any of them on the same wires). Might be fine but I'm sure your PSU has plenty others available.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          "I'm thinking that maybe, between all these devices, the current draw is too much (which is heating up the molex connector), and when the power gets to the computer, the harddrive must not be getting enough (because the P4 and the fan are also demanding power) which causes the harddrive to lock up...and occasionally shut down the system."


                          yup,that's your problem, a molex connector isn't going to handle that kind of amperage & will heat up & have a lot of resistance.... just hardwire it....

                          5 feet isn't to bad, & you can run a single wire, but I would feed it with more than one leg& use like a 12gauge wire... solder your connections....
                          MY NEWEST INSTALL:modded infiniti fx with big screen

                          first windows carpc install........my liquid cooled LVDS screen :D

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RawsonDR
                            You extended the ATX connector and one molex connector for a P4? What did you extend it with?

                            First: If you still want to keep the PSU far from the mobo, definitely beef up the extension. Extend the square molex connector from the PSU with wire thicker than what it uses (if it doesn't have a square connector, use a separate molex). Extend another molex for the other stuff. I guess you can try keeping the ATX connector as it is, since replacing all cables with thicker gauge would be a pain, but thicker would be better.
                            well, the ATX connector was extending, and one molex connector. From the molex connector, it goes to the P4, and the HDD. I never would have though 2 devices, plus a fan really wouldn't be that much of a concern. I ran 16 AWG wire for all the extensions. Voltage drop at the end of any of these lines is not critical at all..less than .3 volts...on the 3.3 volt line, i'm getting 3.1volts.
                            Take 2 - '03 Audi A4
                            macmini with an 8" widescreen (in progress)

                            My 2004 Ford Ranger:
                            14" LCD w/ custom made aluminum bezel
                            Completly custom computer case

                            status: Totaled

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              after i found that the molex connector got hot, i decided to bring the computer back down to my basement, and run everything off of just 1 molex connector, and the atx power connector to the motherboard.

                              It's been running for about 2 hours and no problems at all. The connectors aren't even warm.

                              It has the be the fact that not because it's running on 1 molex connector, but because it's on 1 molex connector AND going 5 feet.



                              I guess I'll have to run another set of 4 wires from the seat to the computer. Hopefully that'll solve my problem...

                              Thanks for all the replies
                              Take 2 - '03 Audi A4
                              macmini with an 8" widescreen (in progress)

                              My 2004 Ford Ranger:
                              14" LCD w/ custom made aluminum bezel
                              Completly custom computer case

                              status: Totaled

                              Comment

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