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Shuttle XPC now shuts down spontaneously after taking a fall

Posted on 2006-11-05
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
I supplied a Shuttle XPC to a client around 2 years ago, and a couple of weeks ago he brought it back, as it had taken an accidental fall off the back of its shelf.  The fall could have been up to 18 inches, he is not exactly sure.

Anyway, now the PC shuts down after around an hour.  It shows all the signs of being processor temperature related.  Once it shuts down, it takes a while to get it going again, but when it does, it is fine for a while once more.

When you look at the logs from within the control panel, there is absolutely nothing, so I can rule out software or HDD issues.

I removed the processor heat sink, removed the processor and reseated it.  I did notice that six of the processor pins were slightly bent, so I straightened them out and put some fresh themal paste on and put it all back together.  Still no joy.

I also removed and reseated all of the other removable components (memory, graphics card, cables, etc).  Still the same problem.

I am now suspecting that there is maybe some kind of hairline crack in the motherboard.  I cannot see anything, but I cannot think of what else it could be.

I have spoken to Shuttle support, but as it is out of warranty, they have said it is a back to them job if they can help at all.

I want to exhaust all possible options before that, as I think it will be cheaper to get an Asus SFF unit at £70, than start messing around returning kit that is two years old.

Hope someone can help.

Justin
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Question by:JustinByrom
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16 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 17879569
did you check the cpu temperature in the bios? do it after  some time, or each time an hour later.
i would test it by swapping out components, one by one or in pairs : power supply, ram, add-on cards, cd drive(s) even disks.
>>  to get an Asus SFF unit   <<  you realize you'll have to do a fresh install ?
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by:JustinByrom
ID: 17879613
Nobus,

Temp is okay.  I have it on quiet setting also.  I have been keeping a regular eye on the temp, but have never got closer than 5 minutes of when it goes.  You will appreciate that watching the CPU temp in bios is a pretty unexciting task !!!

PSU cannot be swapped out, as it is built into the Shuttle.  It only gives 200W of output, and the lowest PSU I have is 350W.

CD drive has been disconnected, graphics card has been swapped to check.  I have also removed and subsequently swapped one of the two RAM sticks, so we are left with the HDD.  As I stated in my original post, it doesn't report any errors in the Event log, so I am assuming the HDD is okay, but it could be an issue.

I do know that it would probably be a fresh install with the new barebones.  My point with that was I didn't want to go incurring costs of £30> to send a unit back and get some checks done on it, if I can get a new Asus barebones (which I have one of myself) for £70.  It won't be worth pursuing repair if it is gonna cost more than that.

Justin
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by:
nobus earned 250 total points
ID: 17879635
try speedfan then, to monitor it from windows :  http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php      
>>  PSU cannot be swapped out, as it is built into the Shuttle  <<  if it has the same pinout as the standard ATX PSU, you can connect another temporarily without mounting it, no?
you can test your disk with any of these :
http://www.disk-utility.com/hard-disk-low-level-format.html
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Author Comment

by:JustinByrom
ID: 17879682
Cool.

RE PSU - can certainly try a non-mounted one, but am concerned that a 350W PSU might cause damage if replacing a 200W PSU.

I will try the two links and post reply later today.  Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 17879706
>>   RE PSU - can certainly try a non-mounted one, but am concerned that a 350W PSU might cause damage if replacing a 200W PSU.   <<   WHY ? if it has the same pinout, it CAN only deliver more power, it will NOT FORCE more power to the board.
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by:JustinByrom
ID: 17879726
Okay.  Cool.  Will try that first then.

Cheers.
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by:Mark
Mark earned 250 total points
ID: 17881050
You may also want to try a live cd like knoppix or Ubuntu to run the computer outside of the operating system. Run it with and without the hard drive, if you suspect the drive has been given a heavy shock from the fall. Try accessing files on the hard drive,if it fails with the hard drive running then the hard drive may have been damaged.
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Author Comment

by:JustinByrom
ID: 17881169
Sparkmaker,

The weird thing is when he first brought it over to me, I was doing windows updates, virus scans, spyware scans, etc, and really using the PC.  It was fine.  It does seem to be more when it is sitting doing nothing that the problem occurs.
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Author Comment

by:JustinByrom
ID: 17930152
After eliminating all of the associated hardware (PSU, HDD, memory, graphics card, CD drive), I have now purchased a replacement Asus barebones unit and transferred everything into that.  I have had it running since 8.30am this morning and so far - everything seems okay.  Only thing I didn't eliminate was the processor.

Further to that, it quite happily accepted the change of motherboard.  Didn't have to repair or re-install XP.

Could be a good result all round.

If all seems okay, then I will ask for points refund.  Thanks.
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by:JustinByrom
ID: 18011235
All does seem to be fine now.  Got a problem with the graphics card, but when using the on-board card, all seems fine.

May need to do a rebuild to remove previous graphics card drivers
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 18011250
>>   Got a problem with the graphics card  <<  did you delete the old drivers?
go to device manager>view tab, click show hidden devices, and elete all- then install the new one
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by:JustinByrom
ID: 18178823
This question has not been abandoned, but my client is working with the on board graphics card.

We have removed all the drivers for the previous graphics card, to no avail.

It will have the OS reinstalled in the new year, which will definitively tell us whether it is a driver conflict/issue, but until then we have to wait.

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