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  1. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    I rotate a few Shuttle XPC cube desktop computers -- a few models. One of them was working fine last night, but this morning it would Stop | Start | Stop | Start right away during bootup attempts. Haven't run into that much, if at all. In my experience, the proprietary PSUs for these things just burn up one day, which you can obviously smell, and then it's dead, time for a new PSU: no intermediary failures like this. I looked around online, found some mention of cleaning out dust (that's not it here), flakey Power-ON button (doubtful), overheating CPU (doubtful), bad BIOS battery, and so forth. There were even some of those very common replies to similar issues saying "Dude, you've got a virus. Time for Combofix," etc. Bullshit ! If the HDD is temporarily disconnected, and you can't even reach the BIOS Settings screen, it ain't no virus ! We're talking pure, basic hardware issue here.
    Google may be our friend, but it does dredge up a lot of very improbable advice.

    I removed the 2032 button battery, which tested weak. Replaced it with a fresh one. No more Stop | Start on boot attempts, so it does not appear to have been the PSU, much as I surmised. But now there is no video coming up. Swapped in a brand new video card, but still no video. Can't be cables, connectors, or anything like that, as they remain a constant, and other computers here still come up normally, going in to the same monitor. So I guess that probably leaves the video card slot, of which there is only one PCIe on this computer, or some other general failure with the motherboard ? Unless I'm missing something here . . . ? I may even have a spare MB for this computer, but I was not really feeling up for a complete rebuild.
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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  2. BIOS set to the right video output? Integrated vs. card?
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  3. Member bendixG15's Avatar
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    When that happened to me, it was because the video card became loose. A good show fixed it and I doubled checked for any more loose connections.

    (I am always suspicious of those damn power supplies.)
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  4. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    BIOS set to the right video output? Integrated vs. card?
    I'd like to be able to check that, but without being able to see any display for the BIOS settings screens, there's no way to know. I don't believe this model had integrated video, anyway. Haven't had one that did for a long time.

    In the past, I've seen a toasted BIOS chip, or a MB that developed some fatal issue, on some Shuttle model. Had to rebuild one from scratch with a replacement MB. But I don't think I've ever seen the cpu go bad, or a video card slot go bad; can't recall whether I've ever had a video card go bad.
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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  5. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bendixG15 View Post
    When that happened to me, it was because the video card became loose. A good show fixed it and I doubled checked for any more loose connections.

    (I am always suspicious of those damn power supplies.)
    "Show" ? Did you mean "shake" ?
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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  6. Member bendixG15's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Seeker47 View Post
    Originally Posted by bendixG15 View Post
    When that happened to me, it was because the video card became loose. A good show fixed it and I doubled checked for any more loose connections.

    (I am always suspicious of those damn power supplies.)
    "Show" ? Did you mean "shake" ?
    You caught me ....I meant "shove" as in shove the card into the slot.
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  7. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    what does it do when the power is turned on? fans turn on, hard drive spin up, any beeps?
    --
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
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  8. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by aedipuss View Post
    what does it do when the power is turned on? fans turn on, hard drive spin up, any beeps?
    HDD spun up (when it was connected); fans were spinning (have to check the one that is on the old video card . . . but the replacement video card I connected briefly was a fanless one). There are at least 3 fans, so I should check all of them. Hardly enough time for anything to get hot, though. No beeps.

    If I'm really being thorough, I guess I have to put the first video card into another computer, to see what it does. Maybe ditto for the RAM sticks. But I doubt that's it.

    Shouldn't you be able to get into the BIOS settings screens, even if a cpu is non-functional ?
    Last edited by Seeker47; 30th Jul 2016 at 17:34.
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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  9. Originally Posted by Seeker47 View Post
    Shouldn't you be able to get into the BIOS settings screens, even if a cpu is non-functional ?
    No. The BIOS is software, read and executed by the CPU, that performs initial test and setup functions. If the CPU is dead, or if there is no DRAM, or if there is some other very serious problem preventing the CPU from running, you will not be able to get to the BIOS screen.
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  10. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    No BIOS beeps is a bad sign. If POST doesn't happen, nothing else will, including video. I would pull the BIOS battery to reset BIOS and try again.
    If nothing then, substitute the power supply. From there, disconnect all drives except boot and all cards except video and RAM.
    If still no go, no BIOS beeps, suspect the MB or CPU.
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  11. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by redwudz View Post
    No BIOS beeps is a bad sign. If POST doesn't happen, nothing else will, including video. I would pull the BIOS battery to reset BIOS and try again.
    If nothing then, substitute the power supply. From there, disconnect all drives except boot and all cards except video and RAM.
    If still no go, no BIOS beeps, suspect the MB or CPU.
    Thanks redwudz (and everyone else). Did you mean to remove and then re-seat the new 2032 cell ? Or fire it up first with no battery in place, then return the battery ?
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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  12. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    Removing the CMOS battery for about 30 seconds will reset the BIOS to factory default. The PC will run without a battery, but the clock won't keep proper time.
    There is also a jumper to do the same thing, but temporarily removing the batter is usually easier.
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  13. Wouldn't hurt to fire it up no battery, then again with.

    Disconnect data and power from all drives, remove data cable from mobo. Disconnect all fans but CPU. Test.

    Next, remove video card, test, remove all RAM, test, no beep here is real bad but need to check mobo specific beep codes.

    Swap RAM with known good unit, test, same with power supply, test.

    If all dead at this point, try briefly with no CPU fan, then you're at a decision point. New board, which is most likely, or new chip, unlikely but faster, or both?
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  14. Sorry to have wasted your time, it will NOT happen again.
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  15. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Nelson37 View Post
    Sorry to have wasted your time, it will NOT happen again.
    Were you talking to me ? I found your advice useful, and had begun to follow it. But, this happens to be on a spare rig that is primarily for testing purposes -- not a production machine. My free time has been quite limited lately. I will pursue this further and report back, as soon as time permits. I can't devote a lot of time to running this down however, if I'm not obtaining much in the way of informative results -- in view of much more pressing concerns at work.
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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    Had a similar problem on my desktop,replaced the PSU and now works normally.Any problem before POST is almost always a power one,lead,plug,switch or wall point.
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    Originally Posted by joeandmarg0 View Post
    Had a similar problem on my desktop,replaced the PSU and now works normally.Any problem before POST is almost always a power one,lead,plug,switch or wall point.
    Thanks, joeandmarg0. In the past, when I've noticed the PSU go on one of these, it visibly sparked or smoked (burnt smell afterwards), or was found clearly dead. It did not occur to me that power could continue being supplied to some things (the MB lights up), but not to others. Replacing a PSU like these -- with the extremely tight spacing of the Shuttle's small and close-together components, is not something I recall being a quick, casual job.

    @Nelson37, sorry you took it that way; I could have gone into more detail, but I never misled you: If this was a production machine with critical stuff on it, this would have been a completely different conversation. But as I said, it isn't: it's a test rig, and so does not nearly command the same priority. I'm commuting between three locations, looking after users and a bunch of computers, though when it comes to hardware I'm definitely not an IT guy, even if somewhat forced into subbing for one. (We used to have one, but he became gravely ill, and won't be returning.) This has mostly worked out, so far. But I'll get back to the less essential tasks when I can.
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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