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Thread: Annoying Problems - Need to vent my anger, sorry

  1. #1
    Low Bitrate frangolfgt's Avatar
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    Annoying Problems - Need to vent my anger, sorry

    Hi all,

    Please help me if you can. My car PC seriously enjoys annoying me. I get so many problems with it, it's untrue and when I seem to fix one, an new problem crops up. Now I have hit the worst problem of the lot.

    I have the voom 2 pc case, m2- ax, via jetway 2ghz, 512 ddr2, 80gb sata drive connected to creative 5.1 external sound card (on its own usb) and a usb hub in the other back usb port, which has my touchscreen, usb cable to dashboard (to connect things like pen drives) and usb gps in the left front usb port.

    The usb port on the front on the right doesn't work and the left one will not work with a pen drive for some reason.

    This setup worked ok for I guess about 1 month (using hibernate) but all of a sudden the pc stopped hibernating properly. It brought hibernation up on the screen but when the bar filled up, it went back into the desktop, and when I tried to hibernate it again, it went into standby until i shut it down.

    I then went on a long trip using GPS and throughout the trip, roadrunner kept on crashing/ loosing folders/ label info/ changing its own confing settings/ generally ing me off. Freedrive also behaved strangely; closing menus on its over, or locking up. After this trip I unplugged the GPS and haven't used freedrive since. I had no problems for about 3 months, and then for some reason the hibernation/ standby problem came back.

    I tried stopping this with hibernation monitor/ devcon but this caused another problem - my soundcard would not turn on and I had to restard the PC every time. So I reverted to not using devcon and it worked ok for a month.

    The latest problem is the motherboard starts and goes through post, and then I get no signal (and sometimes garbled pixels) and the computer either beeps continously, beeps for 1 second and is silent for 1 second and beeps for 1 second (repeating over and over until its unplugged) or (very rarely) starts with no problems. I cannot find any pattern to why/ when it does these things apart from strangely if I leave it unplugged and give it a 'rest' , it starts once. I then hibernate the PC and this also works, but when I come back to start the car, it messes up again.

    Every now and again I get a Cmos checksum error and the bios goes to default settings - needing a keyboard/ floppy disk attached. As I dont have a keyboard attached or fd, I have to unplug the PC as it wants a key press to continue, so I have to turn it off, attach a keyboard and redo the bios settings AGAIN. This has happened atleast 20 times at random since I've had it.

    I am thinking of getting a more powerful PSU (lost confidence in m2 and I guess it is a bit bad to have a cheap PSU) but I would like to keep the PC compact and in the voom 2 case, and as no other PSUs fit in the case (that I know of) I am a bit stuck as to what to do.

    Has anyone else experianced any of these problems? Just thinking is it worth all the effort... over changing a few cds and buying a separate gps.


    Nevermind, I am just mad, PCs just hate me, they never work properly. Oh well I need to go away and calm down.
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  2. #2
    Vendor - Qube colin's Avatar
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    I had a CMOS "problem" once. Basically I left the motherboard unpowered for a long time and the battery died, so I had to reset the BIOS. After I reset it and powered up / down, the same thing came back, "F1 to continue, blah blah blah". I set it up, went to Windows and pressed F8, canceled the resume from hibernation and started fresh, then hibernated it again.

    So either:
    CMOS jumper on motherboard is set wrong -- make sure it's not in the CMOS_CLEAR position
    Battery is bad -- make sure it can still hold a charge and power your BIOS for a while
    Hibernation is messing it up -- start fresh once it works and then rehibernate

  3. #3
    Newbie neilhart's Avatar
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    In car troubleshooting is a real pain. I would pull the thing out and put it on the bench and base line the system.

    I would pull the motherboard and use a desktop power supply and a standard monitor, keyboard and mouse. Run diagnostics such as PC Check and Mem Test. If the mother board is not rock solid on the bench throw it out and find one that is. This also goes for memory: binary, it is either rock solid or throw it out - Run Mem Test for a full day at least (good memory will pass).

    This is very binary. Most of us can not affect a repair on motherboards and replacement is cheaper then paying for repair tech labor.

    Once you have a rock solid mother board running on the bench, you can try putting it into the chassis and running the basic system on your internal PSU. Get a laptop power adapter capable with about 16VDC output and at least 5 amps to power the internal PSU on the bench.

    The idea is to keep adding components one at a time and testing. Don't rush, a test cycle should be at least a day. The pass fail criteria is very simple. Don't not accept any failures on the bench.

    Again, my point is that trying to fix a problem in the car is often nearly impossible.

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  4. #4
    Confusion Master
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    I have two observations.

    1. USB and hibernation is the work of the devil.


    Quote Originally Posted by frangolfgt View Post
    I then went on a long trip using GPS and throughout the trip, roadrunner kept on crashing/ loosing folders/ label info/ changing its own confing settings/ generally ing me off. Freedrive also behaved strangely; closing menus on its over, or locking up. After this trip I unplugged the GPS and haven't used freedrive since. .
    this one sounds like you are/were getting random/erroneous key/mouse strokes.
    If you had no keyboard connected that could have had a key trapped it's possible the PC was detecting the USB GPS as a serial mouse.

  5. #5
    Low Bitrate frangolfgt's Avatar
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    Hi guys,

    Thanks for your replies; I've been a bid buisy recently but finally managed to get the pc out this weekend. I used a different psu (a normal 230v psu) and the same thing was happening - I think this rules out a problem with my m2atx or does it? I disconnected everything but the ram - no luck. I re-seated the ram - no luck. Then I reset the cmos with the jumper and re-seated the battery and it booted fine. I then reconnected the hdd and it was still fine.


    I had it running for a good 8 hours in the house with no problems doing various scans - scandisk, defragmenter and some uniblue scans - registry, pc and spyware remover/boosters. I then put it back into the car and turned it on - again it booted fine. I then put it to hibernate and left it for about 36 hours. It now no longer boots and does the same long beeps.


    Could this mean the the bios battery is dud/faulty? What happens with this battery - does it get recharged everytime the pc is on and because it's off for a while, its getting drained? (if it is this fast it must be dud right?) Do you think getting a new battery will solve my problem?

    Any more help will be greatly appreciated,

    Thanks again,

    frangolfgt
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  6. #6
    Confusion Master
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    The bios battery is a lithim battery and not rechargeable. Normally a CR2032.

    It's a little silver disk, about the size of a 10p coin.

  7. #7
    Low Bitrate frangolfgt's Avatar
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    Yes I've no problem identifying it, just wondering if it could be the problem as I pulled it out and put it back in and the pc could boot shortly after.
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  8. #8
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    cr2032 is very cheap, less than $10.
    Try it first and rule out the possibility if it doesn't solve the problem.
    But I'd say it's very unlikely caused by the battery.

    Anyway, I put dsatx on my voompc 2 case with a very simple attachment kit.
    Parts + cutting from online vendor cost less than $8.
    Check my signature.
    dsatx in voompc 2 case <HERE>

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