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Thread: Carputer Woes---just work right!

  1. #1
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    Carputer Woes---just work right!

    I need some ideas thrown at me. The carputer has freezing issues and I've been unable to fix them.

    Symptoms:
    Sudden/random complete system freeze, most often with completely corrupted video.
    Cannot replicate problem on bench, only occurs in the car.
    Most often occurs when going over a bump or making quick acceleration. Doesn't always happen this way, but it happens this way most often.

    System:
    Jetway J7F3E-1750 AMD Geode http://www.logicsupply.com/products/j7f3e_1750
    1GB RAM
    7200 RPM 2.5" Sata drive
    M2-ATX
    VoomPC-2 Case


    The entire time I've run this PC, and it's been 3 or so years now, I've had issues with the occasional random reboot. Oftentimes it would go for months without issues, so I dealt with it. Literally every part in the PC has been replaced once.

    My first M2-ATX killed the motherboard. I had to replace both. I've replaced the hard drive twice---most recently to try to fix the freezing problem. The drive I just replaced returned an "EXCESSIVE SHOCK DETECTED" failure on Hitachi DFT. Upon replacing the drive, the computer would run unbearably slow in PIO-Mode and refused to switch back to DMA until----and this is super random----I unplugged one of the 40mm case fans. If i plug that 40mm case fan into another port, (even if I am not running the other case fan) it also runs slow...so lets forget that fan for now.

    The drive, memory, and other components pass a variety of standard and stress tests.

    This freezing issue, and it happens pretty regularly, about 50%+ of the times I drive around, is just unbearable. It's a pretty recent problem in terms of the video corruption/freeze. So I pulled the computer out and noticed the M2-ATX had leaking (capxon) capacitors. Blargh---I replaced all the bad caps hoping that would fix the problem. It didn't, so I replaced the hard drive after that.

    So, anyone have any ideas? Just throw them at me. It's kind of hard given my very limited budget of pretty much 0 right now to start throwing more parts at it in hopes of fixing it. Sorry if my post seems jumbled and out of order...I'm just really frustrated at this point. When it works great, it runs beautifully. I'm just a little burned out.
    Last edited by wwiifanatic; 10-01-2011 at 04:22 PM.

  2. #2
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    sounds like it might be time to upgrade to a ssd hdd.

  3. #3
    Newbie theBlueLight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wwiifanatic View Post
    Cannot replicate problem on bench, only occurs in the car.
    Is this with a bench power supply or the M2-ATX? Sounds like power supply problems to me, especially the bit about unplugging the case fan. The leaky caps might have corroded the board perhaps?

  4. #4
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    Less HDD. More SSD
    Your laptop hdd is designed to shutdown to protect data when it detects curtain levels of G force. E.g. If you drop laptop the hdd can detect that it is falling and will quickly shutdown and lock the swing arm in milliseconds before it hits the ground. This is a safety feature built into SATA drives. It stops the arm from scratching the disc when it hits. They are designed to take some punishment but can be a little sensitive sometimes, especially as they get old. SSD is the best option for your O.S. at least. Hdd's seem to be more shock tollerent when media is just loaded onto them without operating system.
    Also, i just remembered that your pc might be trying to perform Disk Defragmentation on that hdd and this can cause those issues your describing. You may only be running the system in short spells and it cant complete this task in time. So it continues to do this everytime you run the system untill it completes the task. So this makes the hdd more vulnerable to sudden movements/shocks. So maybe disable auto disk defragmentation and do it periodically when the vehicle is stationary. Again, an SSD is still the better option for running pc O.S. if your wallet can handle a little more weight loss.
    Last edited by pcmoto.com.au; 10-02-2011 at 10:39 AM.

  5. #5
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    I have definitely considered the SSD upgrade option. The question to me is how come the new hard drive is experiencing the same problems the old one was towards the end of its life. Nothing has changed that would cause such a noticeable frequency of problems. I have also shaken the crap out of the hard drive while bench testing it without any freezing issues lol.

    When I bench test the system I'm using a spliced up laptop power adapter that's alligator clipped to the M2-ATX.

    But what's the possibility that it may be a problem in the car's electrical system. How fast does the M2-ATX adjust to fluctuations in voltage when things like the AC come on?

  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate kegobeer's Avatar
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    Have you considered that the motherboard might be the problem? I had a D510MO for about a year in my car and it suddenly started having resume from hibernation issues only while in the car, at seeming random times. I bought an E350M1 and it doesn't have any power issues at all. I ended up sending the Intel board back for a RMA.

    If you have another board, swap it and see if the drives still are acting up. If not, it might just be motherboard replacement time. Three years of vibration and heat could definitely be responsible for the problems.
    Last edited by kegobeer; 10-02-2011 at 12:44 PM.
    1999 Mercury Grand Marquis GS with: ASRock E350M1 w/4GB RAM, 80GB Intel SSD, Opus DCX3.120, Visteon HD Radio + HDR-USB, PL-18N wifi, OBDLink Scan Tool, BTA6210 BT, BU-353, Win 7 Ultimate, CF 4.0, Alpine MRP-F240 + MRP-T220, RF Punch 1572s, Kicker 8" Comp.

  7. #7
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    Another thing that may help if you continue with the hdd, is to add more ram. system may have more loaded on it since it was new. Adding more pressure to the system ram and hdd as the system will use some the hdd's memory as ram when the system ram is at max.

  8. #8
    Variable Bitrate chris350's Avatar
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    I have the same intel D510MO board. No problems with it so far. I had it about a year. But to solve your problem bro, I think a SSD might solve your problems. I still use a standard 2.5 sata and dont have any serious issues. I guess each person had their own experiences. Lol. I always figured computer parts are universal but each system has there own gremlins that you have to get rid of. Good luck. Keep us posted
    CarPc
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  9. #9
    Variable Bitrate chris350's Avatar
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    Also, what car do you have and have you modified the suspension? I go over bumps all the time and I never got a frezzing issue.
    CarPc
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  10. #10
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    hey, what brand 2.5" are you using?

    i had some issues way back in the beginning where the entire system would start acting really slow using a 2.5" WD drive. i switched to seagate drives and had bad skipping issues, and in the end, had messed up 2 of them before i finally upgraded to a ssd which corrected most of my problems.(i have another issue where my ram likes to become unseated after long car rides..) in short, i have found that WD drives appear to be more durable through vibration, and seagates are less forgiving..

    now, my mounting system is much less solid-- i just use a sheet of acrylic that everything gets screwed to, so i believe that my system is much more prone to secondary vibrations.

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