Shuttle XPC won't boot!

Posted on 2006-12-01
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I've got a new Shuttle Barebones system that just won't boot! I've built loads of PCs in the past but this is the first time I've attempted a barebone/small form factor machine.

Spec as follows :

Shuttle SK21G XPC
AMD Sempron 3000+ (Socket 754)
1GB Crucial Memory (2 x 512MB Matched Pair)
160GB Maxtor SATA HDD

When I power it on I get the "Shuttle XPC" splash screen but it goes no further. If I hit "Del" I get the "Entering Setup.." message at the bottom of the screen but nothing more happens. Sometimes I don't get the splash screen at all it just remains black, but still responds to a "Del" key press. The sytstem hasn't completely frozen as I can Ctrl-Alt-Del to make it reboot. But no amount of resetting has made any difference.
Should I be seeing results of POST or anything?

So far I have...
- tried removing all non-essential components, down to one stick of memory etc but no change.
- tried resetting the CMOS following the procedure described by Shuttle -> still no change
- removed the cooling unit and re-seated CPU, applying new layer of thermal grease -> nothing!

Tearing my hair out with it! From what I've seen on the net the most likely cause is a CPU problem. I haven't got another one I could swap it for at the moment but I'm pretty sure I've got it installed right and it is listed in the compatability list provided on the Shuttle website. So unless it is faulty....!

Anyone got any other ideas? apart from trying a different CPU? Anyone had Sempron 3000+ working in this model?
Question by:petez5
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Accepted Solution

irwinpks earned 250 total points
ID: 18052749
Seems like without a known working CPU or motherboard, you're stuck.  Perhaps a local computer store can help you out by testing at least your CPU. If it works, then your mobo is gonners.  Else, the CPU is bad.

But let us not rule out that both of your memory boards could be bad.

Expert Comment

ID: 18053511
I would take the cpu and stick in another board and see if that happens in the trial board. Dont have one get one off Ebay real cheep. Good thing to have around too for testing..! Is the video built in ? if you have a video card pluged in i would check that. Try another video card see if it changes ? If you hook the speaker up to the motherboard if you have one you should get some beeps. If your getting some beeps then most likely video or memory problem. Try the one stick of memory but ake sure it's in the first bank.
Hope that helps..
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 18054546
Another very real possibility is the Memory is not compatible with the Motherboard or Processor.

Compatible Shuttle Memory:

Your Barebones System Specs:
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Author Comment

ID: 18055298

Well I've had a little bit of success.

Started with the memory - replaced the two 512MB sticks with a known working stick of 256MB - no change.
Unplugged the SATA cable and powered it up again.....and....I got the POST screen and it booted!! but obviously with no hard drive.

Put the 512MB stick back in keeping the SATA unplugged....still working. So memory and CPU definately OK. (I'm sure I had tried this yesterday...but never mind!)

Soon as SATA back in problem returns. I tried a different SATA cable - no different.
Tried an old IDE drive - still wouldn't boot. I know that the IDE channel is working though because DVD-RW was plugged in on previous test when it did boot.

Might be coincidence but both drives were Maxtors. I'm going to try and get hold of a non-Maxtor SATA drive and try that, and also try the Maxtor SATA in my working PC to see if it is faulty. Any other sugestions?
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 18055627
You should go into BIOS settings, look at or change the Boot Order...I have both 8 SATA 3.0 connectors and an IDE, some Motherboards will recognize the IDE Master first, you could also change the IDE to the Slave Jumper and the second 40 Pin connector the the Drive.

I am using:

SATA Raptor 150GB 10,000 RPM (Drive 0)
SATA 3.0 320GB 7200 RPM (Drive 1)
IDE 500GB 7200 RPM

To get it to see the SATA Raptor first, I changed the Boot Order.

Expert Comment

ID: 18059773
You should also check the molex connector to the SATA HDD and make sure it is getting power.

There is a different SATA connetor on the board, have you tried to use that one (SATA1 rather than SATA0)

Testing the components out of the problem PC is the correct way to test them.  If you have a copy of PowerMax by Maxtor, I would give that a run, to test for any problem with the drives.  If they test ok, then you know it's not the drive.

Whats left:  SATA cable, SATA connectors on the board.    -   If you have one, use a PCI SATA Controller device and use the PCI's channel to control the HDD (an IDE one will work as well), even to just check the functionality of the drives.

Being the Shuttle PC, the biggest problem with them is going to be heat.  The CPU, memory and graphics card all push out a lot of heat and to keep them cool is a real challenge.  Ensure all your fans are working properly, no dust is on the heatsinks and vents, and keep the PC in a ventilated area.  (Don't stick on a shelf with books all around it).

With that said, the problem does sound as if the board may be having a problem.  Not uncommon, as I change about 3 a week in my business.  (All different manufacturers, I did not mean to imply all Shuttle PC's).

Good Luck!!

Author Comment

ID: 18312931
Sorry for leaving the question abandoned.
The unit turned out to be faulty. How do I requst that the points be refunded?
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 18312941
I pointed out faulty components in my first comment based on the conditions
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 18326434
cool. thank you

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