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Author Topic: Very odd problem w/desktop machine  (Read 1944 times)
gamfa
Vectorite
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Posts: 245



« on: August 12, 2007, 10:17:31 am »

I know there is a lot of HW savvy here so I thought I would look here first. I have been reworking one of my desktop machines for my daughter and it has started doing something weird. It will not shutdown on its own. I have been in the process of setting up XP Pro on it and it was working fine till today. When I shut it down from an operating system, either XP and VL 5.8 Live, it will power down for a second or two and then reboot itself. At first I figured XP had gone daffy but when it wouldn't shut from the VL CD I knew I had a real problem. I have had the box up for 20 hours or so doing stuff to it and ran Mentest86 on it overnight. I have reset the bios to defaults with no change. Has anyone had this happen to them? Any suggestion where to begin to solve the problem?Huh
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"Don't tell my cattle I have leather seats in my truck"

"I never let schooling stand in the way of my education"...Mark Twain
Vxt
Member
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Posts: 86


« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2007, 04:44:47 pm »

Hi G

Did you re-examine  the BIOS ?
If it has a "suspend to" feature OR "what behaviour if power is interupted"
(by power Co. failure or accidental button hit )
- which computer will not know  how it was powered down_

If state has been inadvertantly  set (ON) >
restarts when/if power is available:

The BIOS is doing exactly as it should (reboots)
If no other oddities were noticed -
& Esp if anyone accessed BIOS - the settings are easily missed.

Another possibility - the physical "reset" on some non-laptop computers 
There is an Mfgr's  sometimes lengthy delay - same as any automated circuit breaker
Punching (literally) that same buttom, re-cycles power events
Much as when resetting a circuit breaker too soon

BTW - memtest will endlessly access/loop   Angry   same RAM bank portions -
in same sequence !

Three or four loops will suffice for it

What is wanted - the stress of random access
IF an errant flag is  Undecided   not re-setting -
it may even be the pointer flag that indicates if energy is stored (in use)
or now re-usable to "writes" (MT)

"Dirty"  flags are indication of degrading RAM
If/when memory seem the culprit:
Try 1st swapping slots
Chances are excellent that combo of accessing will never get repeated.
Even if Ram is deteriorating
Faulty ram will rear ugly head in many wierd behaviour errors
Repetitive parsing,  sector read errors - anybodies guess
The thing to note >  it will be more noticeable the more the RAM
gets stressed (Linux accesses in flat/linear mode)

Some  have found - using (Linux) md5 against large as possible stored data
where the data is copied into mem then de-compressed to read/write
& every single  byte is checked : Is the  more reliable method
The process should hickup at relatively the same task

Best of luck -'tis likely sum -thing simple
(heat factor been considered ?)
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exeterdad
Packager
Vectorian
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Posts: 2046



« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2007, 05:01:36 pm »

I'd poke around in the bios settings as well.  Many boards have "wake on" for just about everything.  Mouse movements, lan activity, someone sneezing next door, you name it.
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nubcnubdo
Vectorian
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Posts: 675


« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2007, 07:56:03 pm »

Stuck (sticking, sticky, dirty) power button can be responsible for a lot of arbitrary off and on activity. How fast is machine? How old is machine? What kind of power management? I recently put together a Gigabyte board with Athlon 900 MHz. Even after flashing the BIOS, it required extra boot parameters to get it to shut down. (acpi=force)
« Last Edit: August 12, 2007, 07:59:07 pm by nubcnubdo » Logged
gamfa
Vectorite
***
Posts: 245



« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2007, 05:57:59 pm »

Well..I discovered the cause of the problem...I don't know why it is causing the problem..but in the long run the device causing the problem isn't needed on that system.

It turns out the culprit is the pci to pcmcia adapter card that I use to allow me to access the Internet through my Sierra 875 Aircard. The machine I'm working on is a 2.0gz P4 system I put together a while back on a MSI 6788 MB and used for my main desktop box for about 9 months. About 6 months ago I put together an Athlon XP 2800 on a MSI 6712 MB and the P4 was relegated to a backup machine but still used on occasion. Both boxes have been rock solid. The adapter card is a "no name" unit that uses a Ricoh chipset. It has worked flawlessly on the Athlon. The bios on both machines are set for factory defaults with the exception of turning on SMART for the hardrives. With the machines using different CPU's and different chip sets the bios capabilities are different on each box. Tomorrow evening I will have a little more time and will try to look a little deeper into the bios settings with an eye to the suggestions given here and see if I can come up with an explanation.

Thanks for your help..

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"Don't tell my cattle I have leather seats in my truck"

"I never let schooling stand in the way of my education"...Mark Twain
Vxt
Member
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Posts: 86


« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2007, 01:00:06 pm »

Gary:

That seems to indicate  an accidental "wake on" mode ?

Looking at my BIOS manual ~  (Wake on events)

The default value for suspend is  (S1)
> Power off
Time out is default disabled

Manual says "Soft" (ware ?) off  is default  INSTANT OFF  >
 (or?)  by pressing power button

If option was set on > pressing  power button enters  "suspend to mode"
(Wake on events)
> timed or no-timeout

Next comes options for loss of power events

Lastly the umpteen wake-events offered
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mine (older iron) has  no sneeze button,  but computers are getting too smart
We may soon see some enter "bored  mode"
>  unless  "interesting"  Web sites are used

Fully expect an automated icon creation (sponsored by M.S)
> with  menu "to resume ~  Grin insert coins"
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gamfa
Vectorite
***
Posts: 245



« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2007, 06:10:38 pm »

It was a "Wake Up Event" setting. The one that was causing the reboot instead shutdown is labled "Resume On PME#". The default is enabled. Setting it to disabled allowed the P4 to shutdown normally with the adapter card installed. The MB manual says this about that setting....

Quote
Resume On PME#
This field specifies whether the system will be awakened from power
saving modes when activity or input signal of the specified hardware
peripheral or component is detected. Settings:Enabled, Disabled

What seems odd is I don't see anywhere in the bios to specify a "hardware peripheral or component". What kind of "activity or input signal" could an empty adapter card emit? Strange...

On the Athlon it is labled "Wake Up On PME".The default for that setting is also enabled, but the Athlon shutdown as expected with the card installed. Its manual says this about its PME setting...

Quote
Wake Up On PME
When set to Enabled, the feature allow your system to be awakened
from power saving modes through any event on PME (Power Management
Event).

I guess I see what caused the reboot but I don't understand why. Maybe this PME setting is related to some other setting in bios but if it is, I haven't been able to figure it out.

Quote
Fully expect an automated icon creation (sponsored by M.S)
> with  menu "to resume ~  Grin insert coins"

I think with todays technology it would be a dialog box something like this

To Resume please supply two of the following..
1. The name and password of your PayPal Account.
2. The name and address of your bank along with your checking acct. No.
3. Your credit card number along with the authorization code
Press enter when complete.
 Grin


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"Don't tell my cattle I have leather seats in my truck"

"I never let schooling stand in the way of my education"...Mark Twain
Vxt
Member
*
Posts: 86


« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2007, 07:19:50 pm »

It's working - cross it off as  it as  Grin one of 'puter- dumb's tiny blessing we all need

PME > must be ACPI "enhanced' options, mostly for laptops

apm is the only need for most iron (the two are incompatible > 1 or tuther)

No lan/monitor/keyboard/"sneezes" activity etc, etc:  settings ?

OToH > maybe terrorist  Wink K.  Dehasabad-memglitch snuk in

Like he foo-barred  my taskbar (No control- center hot-key to phone home
The (mouse focus) hidden taskbar > STAYED hidden

Soon remedied :home security defenses were established

Middle mouse-bttn gives same #taskbar features as #start from TB
Rt bttn is fast Bkmrks
Lft must be MT - to a kill any opened options-menu windows
Newly created toolbar has Cntrl center icon

Taskbar will not be hidden - will use slide_to_right feature

Talk about belt/suspenders/nails/safetypins approach

WTH is there critical controls only accessed viathemouse

KDE > power unlimited  ~but controlled by   Undecided whisks  of a rodent's tAle
 
 
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