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Thread: Major system issues - please help!

  1. #1
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    Major system issues - please help!

    Ok, I consider myself pretty savvy when it comes to computers, but this carputer has really thrown me for a loop. I can't tell what the problem is and there are so many inconsistancies, I can't pinpoint one thing....

    Here is a quick synopsis of my system and the existing issues -

    Epia M10000 Mobo
    256 MB RAM
    120 GB WD 3.5" HD
    Opus 150W PS
    Sound Blaster Audigy 2 NX
    USB 2.0 Powered Hub
    USB 2.0 DVD-ROM/CD-RW
    Lilliput 7" Touchscreen LCD
    Delorme USB GPS
    D-Link USB Radio Tuner

    I'm powering the Audigy, Hub and DVD off the 5V rail and the LCD off the 12V. Running Windows XP Pro and MediaEngine 2.1.

    Everything worked fine for the first few days it was in the car... All the sudden I'm getting all sorts of problems. Half the time it gives me a series of long beeps when I start the car up and doesn't post. Other times it powers up the peripherals and not the rest of the system. Occasionaly it boots up and runs normally for a while then locks up. Yesterday it booted up after work and ran flawlessly my entire commute home (about an hour and a half...)

    I can't figure out if its a power supply issue (am I running too much off the PS?) I remember reading that WD hard drives are very susceptible to shock, could it have been hitting too many bumps and that damaged the HD (I didn't mount the HD with any sort of damping, its just mounted to the case and the case is solidly mounted underneath the back deck...)? I figure if that was the case, why does it boot up sometimes and work fine? Possibly a software conflict?

    If this was a normal computer with a normal ps, I would be fine on diagnosing it, but I'm thinking the issue resides with the PS or the HD...what are your thoughts? Its driving me crazy since I put all of that time into this, specifically because of the amount of time I spend in my car and now I'm worse off than when I started the project...

  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate eCarô's Avatar
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    That sounds a lot like what I was going thru once. I think it was a poor connection at one of the memory sticks. Problem went away after I took them out to test known good memory. Put old memory back, and still did not have problem. Poor connection, I guess.

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate Magnezium's Avatar
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    The long beeps and the powering up everything but the board sounds like a PSU problem. I've had that problem before. At some point, before the beeps, I thought it was a CPU problem. But the lock ups, that's usually not a power problem. That sounds like an overheating problem. Maybe it's all related. It's possible the heat sink you're using is draining power. If you have a crappy heatsink with a power hungry fan, then who knows?

    You might want to try another CPU cooler.

    Also, check into your power inverter. Makesure it's supplying enough power to your PSU. If you have a 300 Watt PSU and 100 Watt Inverter, you could be running into other problems.

    I hope this helps.

    Mg.
    Just your friendly neighborhood computer specialist.

    2002 Pontiac Trans Am WS.6
    Silver/Black
    Looks like new... Wanna know why they call me "Crash"?

  4. #4
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    Mag - I'm using an Opus 150W DC-DC PS, so there is no inverter involved. Update on my issue - Started the car up this morning peripherals powered up, no post...

    Just went to lunch... system powered up fine and worked normally on my way to the restaurant, shut the car down, came out 10 minutes later, it worked fine again after starting it up...

    All of this is leading me to believe the issue lies within the Power Supply. Is it possible that the Opus requires a specific range of current from the battery and if this current falls short, the PS is insuffcient to power all of the peripherals and the mobo? The only reason I can try to extrapolate is that after driving in, the alternator has recharged the battery to a level which allows the Power Supply to function normally... If this is the case, perhaps it makes sense to unplug a few peripherals in the morning to test my hypotheis and see if it powers normally... I don't know, but I guess its a start.

    Looking for some confirmation from you guys if you think this could be at the heart of the problem.... Thanks!

  5. #5
    Raw Wave Laidback's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Litespeed
    Mag - I'm using an Opus 150W DC-DC PS, so there is no inverter involved. Update on my issue - Started the car up this morning peripherals powered up, no post...

    Just went to lunch... system powered up fine and worked normally on my way to the restaurant, shut the car down, came out 10 minutes later, it worked fine again after starting it up...

    All of this is leading me to believe the issue lies within the Power Supply. Is it possible that the Opus requires a specific range of current from the battery and if this current falls short, the PS is insuffcient to power all of the peripherals and the mobo? The only reason I can try to extrapolate is that after driving in, the alternator has recharged the battery to a level which allows the Power Supply to function normally... If this is the case, perhaps it makes sense to unplug a few peripherals in the morning to test my hypotheis and see if it powers normally... I don't know, but I guess its a start.

    Looking for some confirmation from you guys if you think this could be at the heart of the problem.... Thanks!
    It would be a good start, basic pc fault finding/minimum configuration - get rid of everything that's not needed!

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate P4_2.66GHz's Avatar
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    Also, power your monitor using Car's power, not PC one.

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