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Help please. Bad Hard Drive?? (carputer)

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  • Help please. Bad Hard Drive?? (carputer)

    Hey everyone,

    Need your help with my carputer. I tried to ask the place I bought it from (Mo-Co-So), but they havent been able to answer for sure.

    I have had this set up working great for a few years and it suddenly started to act up. At first my power settings were configurable to hibernate when I shut the car off. Then I could not access the feature because it was grey'd out. Then it wouldnt boot up without the system disc. Then it wouldnt boot up at all. Now it wont even turn on!!

    I plugged it in to AC power and the processor fan is spinning. But that seems to be about it. The mouse light, the front panel light and the rear panel fan will not turn on. The mini blade fuse on the power supply is in tact and reads voltage on both sides of the blades. I tried replcing the SATA cable and didnt help any. I went thru each connection and see nothing unplugged or out of whack. Just wondering if the hard drive could have taken a dump and is causing all this??? When I plug it in to the car, an LED on the motherboard lights up for a half second and shuts back off. The AC adapter I have is a 12volt/ 2amp.

    I would like to upgrade to a solid state, but dont want to throw money I dont have at it. If this is definitely the problem, I wont mind so much. This thing controls my turbo computer and I would really like to get back up again so I can tune.

    Any suggestions??? I like the OCZ Solid states, would it be an upgrade to go from a 160gb Toshiba HDD to a OCZ Vertex 2 80GB SATA II 2.5" SSD 3Gbps??? Is there something better for less than $150?

    Any help is greatly appreciated!!!!!

    Specs: Atom dual core 1.6ghz, Toshiba 160gb HDD, M2-ATX 160 Watt Intelligent Power Supply

  • #2
    it really sounds like you could have multiple different problems..

    1: hibernate option greyed out. on some boards, you need to manually enable this option in the power settings. it is very possible that a recent OS update caused this.

    2: won't boot without a system disc. this could be a bad hard drive, but could also be some incorrect bios settings:

    for instance-- at work, when we load pc's, we disable all bootable drives except for the hard drive-- if you did a similar thing, but left the cd drive as the only bootable drive, this would also cause this.

    if the hard drive is bad, the easiest way is to test it with the specific hdd manufacturers test program(use the seagate program on a seagate drive, etc) on a working pc, or you can also use something like UBCD(ultimate boot cd) you would boot from the cd, and run a full test on the hard drive..

    3. won't power up:

    there are tons of things that can cause this.

    listed in order of my normal testing proceedure:

    3a. bad power supply. i recommend buying a power supply tester for this. you simply plug it in, and if the psu is good, the psu tester will light up and tell you.
    i don't like using a different but similarly-speced pc for this, as i have had some bad psu's destroy that second test board(though rare)-- so with taht in mind, the $5 for a psu tester is well worth it.

    3b. try a known working AC-DC, atx-compliant power supply.

    3c. bad memory. this is the second easiest thing to check, as it doesn't require unscrewing any major components, and everything snaps together..

    you will need to get a different, known-good stick of memory to test this, so it might be easier to take the whole pc to a pc repair shop, and try to find a nice tech that is willing to try to help without the need of you buying a bunch of memory.

    3d. try the known-working ac-dc atx-compliant power supply with the new memory-- if this still doesn't work, then step 3e....

    3e. bad motherboard. if all else fails this is the last thing it can be-- fortunately, most atom boards are cheap, and because the processor is integrated, you cannot separately test it-- otherwise, that would be the second-to-last step..

    good hunting!
    Last edited by soundman98; 05-16-2011, 10:35 PM.
    My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
    "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"

    next project? subaru brz
    carpc undecided


    • #3
      Thanks for your help. The problem did end up being a few things. I added a AC adapter port to the power supply and powered the unit with my laptop charger (20v, 5amp). It fired up so I loaded XP right away. Installed and updated drivers and it was good to go. Not sure why it wasnt firing up with the car wires because they tested fine. I assume the computer was shutting down hard each time the car was turned off. This was due to NOT being able to configure the power supply to hibernate. I have my PSU jumper in the right spot now, the shut down is properly configured and I even added a switch to the case so I can choose between AC plug, or DC from the car. This will also help down the road when installing software and not killing the car battery.

      Thanks again!