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Thread: Cold weather lock up problems

  1. #31
    Newbie theforce's Avatar
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    Well I tried it again on my way home and it locked up again before the desktop could load.

    When I got home I booted it again and had no problems for about 5 minutes then it locked up on its own. I rebooted again let it play for about 5 minutes then shook the hell out of it for about a minute and it did not lock up.

    I'm starting to think it may be a noise issue but I cant pinpoint it.

    I have the +12v hooked directly to the battery. The negative is hooked in on part of the chassis near the battery.

    If it would be noise in the power how would I fix the issue? And why would it just now start happening when its getting colder? I have rigged up an old mini ATX power supply to power the car PC when I have it in the house. I wonder if I ran that power supply off my inverter to power the PC if that would eliminate any "noise"? I guess I could give it a try in the morning. I have the thing set up so its just "plug and play".

    Also if it is a noise issue why hasn't it locked up during post? Why has it always locked up either during XP booting or while XP has loaded? Maybe I should try safe mode? I was starting to think it may have been a windows update causing the issue seeing as how updates are the only thing really different since it has started locking up but I think I can throw that idea out since I have seen it lock up on the XP logo screen and lock up 5-10 minutes playing songs.

  2. #32
    FLAC
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    1) i'd say try to see for sure if vibration and shock is the reason for the lock up, by leaving it on while the car is not running/ or driving multiple times. If it locks up then ur definitely not having vibration issue.
    2) after that, i'd check whether the power supply is acting funny. Best way to do this is bring out a desktop psu + extension cable (if required) plugged it into the car and let it run. see if that locks up (make sure you take off the power sw cable from the car psu to the mobo, so it doesnt send any shutdown signal). If it doesnt lock up, chances are you got a bad psu.
    3) next would be testing your software(ie winxp). Turn the system to safemode, drive around see if anything crashes. If you can not get the system to crash when ur in safe mode, you'll be pretty darn sure its a windows/driver problem. If that's the case, reinstall windows, don't install any driver or software after. drive and see if it'll ever crash, then add one by one by one. Or create a system restore for each install, and work backward to find which one causes the problem.
    hope that helps.

  3. #33
    Variable Bitrate dMand's Avatar
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    Thermal insulation for your PC is needed in a very cold environment. Changing state from very cold to warm creates moisture. A single water droplet, micro in size, positioned in the right place, will cause your pc to lockup. Water is an excellent conductor.

    Furthermore, with the PC ON, go through every molex connection on the motherboard and external drive. One wire at a time, using needle nose pliers, wiggle each wire lightly to check for a loose connection. A single loose wire will cause erratic behavior.

    It happened to me before, I was thinking the psu or motherboard was the issue. It took me a while to discover a loose (yellow/Black) 12v+ wire inside a 4pin molex was the problem. I caught hell trying to figure it out. The molex was snug on the motherboard, however, that one single wire was loose inside of it!

    good luck

  4. #34
    FLAC
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    its -30*C today in calgary, i went out to start the car, the computure refuses to turn on.
    Leave it running for about 10mins, restart the car, and it turn on and run just fine (3.5" Desktop HDD). Though i don't imagine my drive will last all that long if i keep running it in this weather. I'd probably get a new setup + ssd by summer though.

  5. #35
    Newbie theforce's Avatar
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    Tuesday I ran some tests but because it was near 50F out side I dont know if I can trust the results.

    I ran the computer normally for an hour. When I got out side after the hour it had locked up. I then turned off the PC and waited an hour for the PC to cool down. Next I booted into safe mode. I let it run for an hour and it was still playing video when I check on it. I then turned off the PC and let it cool for an hour. Next I ran the PC normally and it did not lock up after it ran for an hour. I think it ran OK because of the warm temperature out side and the PC may have still been warm.

    Today since it was going to be near freezing all day I decided to only do a safe mode test on my way to work and on my way back. It did not lock up at all. If I was to run it normally in these temperatures it would have locked up in about 5 minutes.

    So how would I diagnose this one?

    Computer locks up when temps are below 50F
    Computer does not lock up in safe mode when temps are below 50F
    Computer does not lock up when its warm.

    The only thing I can think of is its a combination of hardware and software issue. But what hardware / software combo would cause the PC to lock up when its cold?

  6. #36
    FLAC
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    Does not lock up in safe mode. Could it be a connected device? I think device drivers aren't loaded in safe mode.

  7. #37
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    I'm not so sure it's cold. Each time it has locked up, it has been booted to normal Windows, right?

    When you tested it out in the car on Tuesday and let it run for an hour, was the car running or were you running it off of the battery?

    Some inverters, particularly the cheap ones, do not produce a true AC sine wave output. Your power supply could be sensitive to that.
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  8. #38
    FLAC WuNgUn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugbyte View Post
    I'm not so sure it's cold. Each time it has locked up, it has been booted to normal Windows, right?

    When you tested it out in the car on Tuesday and let it run for an hour, was the car running or were you running it off of the battery?

    Some inverters, particularly the cheap ones, do not produce a true AC sine wave output. Your power supply could be sensitive to that.
    Good God...I hope it isn't a M2 or M4 PSU! That would be the first thing I changed!

    Did you have any problems all summer long similar to this??

  9. #39
    Newbie theforce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobb View Post
    Does not lock up in safe mode. Could it be a connected device? I think device drivers aren't loaded in safe mode.
    One of my previous tests I removed everything except the VGA and USB to the screen. It still locked up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bugbyte View Post
    I'm not so sure it's cold. Each time it has locked up, it has been booted to normal Windows, right?
    Yes normal windows.

    When you tested it out in the car on Tuesday and let it run for an hour, was the car running or were you running it off of the battery?
    Yes and no. I have a Prius which has been converted to a plug in. The car was turned on and forced to run off the extra high voltage battery but the whole time the PC ran straight off the 12v. The 12v gets charged from the high voltage battery. The engine did not run at all during the tests. I can give a more detailed process of how the car works if needed but I doubt it would necessary.

    Some inverters, particularly the cheap ones, do not produce a true AC sine wave output. Your power supply could be sensitive to that.
    I normally run straight off the 12v. I only used the cheap inverter / mini atx power supply just to see if it made a difference which it did not.

  10. #40
    Newbie theforce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WuNgUn View Post
    Good God...I hope it isn't a M2 or M4 PSU! That would be the first thing I changed!

    Did you have any problems all summer long similar to this??
    Its an Opus power supply that came with the larger opus mini itx case. I have not had any problems with it over the summer. It works fine if I bring it inside where its warm.

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