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Unknown Crashes

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#26 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 11:06 AM

Sorry, you did indeed show a shot with your voltages. But sadly, that shot does not show everything needed. I suspect that is because it is really a notebook motherboard in a PC case. :(
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#27 OFFLINE   DarkSerge

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 04:13 PM

So are the failed hard drive tests not a problem?

Is another another set of values I should be showing?  Sometime next week I should be able to put in a better power supply. I have a friend at work with spares and a cable adapter ordered.

On another note, I was off work last night and let my system sit on all night with a Linux Live CD and had no issues. May not mean anything though since I've had up to 5 days without an unexpected restart.

Edited by DarkSerge, 29 November 2017 - 04:17 PM.

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#28 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 11:11 AM

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So are the failed hard drive tests not a problem?
I would never say that. The problem with errors reported in drive status reports (when no other read/write errors occur) is they merely suggest potential or "impending" errors. "Impending" does not automatically imply something will happen and that it will happen soon. The drive could fail tomorrow, or provide several years more of service.

But that does not mean you should start making backups now. Why? Because everybody should already have a via backup plan and current backups because catastrophic errors and data loss can happen at any time and without any warning.

IMO, everything at this point is just guessing and speculation - until you verify you are supplying your system (and the drives) good, clean, stable power.
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#29 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 11:39 AM

You cannot troubleshoot hardware issues (particularly intermittent ones) with software testing exclusively. Software tests will consistently show PSUs to be producing voltages in the proper ranges, yet that one instant when a component overheats or breaks down for whatever reason will never be seen by software tests. Unfortunately, the only way to resolve this issue is to install another PSU and time test the system. If no more random failures occur, then you can pretty much assume the original PSU is ca-ca and can be disposed of properly.

#30 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 12:05 PM

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Unfortunately, the only way to resolve this issue is to install another PSU and time test the system.
Right. Because short of swapping in a known good PSU, the only way to conclusively test a PSU is with the supply put under a full range of expected loads while monitoring over time with an oscilloscope, or with a dedicated power supply analyzer - sophisticated and expensive test equipment that requires training to use and expertise to properly analyze and understand the results.

The typical multimeter is not good enough. For one, there's those "full range of expected loads" and "over time" issues. And another reason is most multimeters are incapable of measuring ripple and other anomalies that affect computer stability.

If the monitoring software (or multimeter) shows a voltage is out of the allowed ±5% tolerance range, the PSU is most likely bad. But as Eric correctly noted, such monitoring looks at a specific instant in time. If the fault is not seen in that instant, a problem PSU may not be detected. So we are back again to where the best course of action for the normal user (because EVERYTHING inside the computer depends on good, clean, stable power) is to swap in a known good PSU and see what happens.
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#31 OFFLINE   DarkSerge

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 07:09 PM

I do plan to put in another PSU. I have a friend with spares he can give me and I ordered an adapter from Newegg (Lenovo uses a 14-pin proprietary connector but an adapter wasn't hard to find.)  For now I can only wait and observe until I have the parts to swap. So far I haven't had any issues since Monday afternoon. As a little side observation, on my nights off when the system will be running much longer, I'll throw in a Live CD to see if it has any restarts (which might single out the PSU since a live CD won't use the hard drive or Windows)

This is what tests the hard drive is failing and what software I used:

Lenovo Service Center hardware scan - Targeted Read Test, SMART Short Self Test, SMART Drive Self Test

Seagate SeaTools - Short Drive Self Test, Long Generic, and any attempt to fix fails (two options: Fix All - "Fast" and "Long" both fail)

Whether it's the true issue or not, I'm still going to put in a standard PSU (better than 180W) so it'll be easier in the future to expand if I want to add a drive or a video card.

Also, I have my OS installed on a different drive than where I keep my things (Music, documents, photos, etc.) so if an OS drive fails, I don't lose everything. That drive is backed up to a 2 TB network drive: which also syncs with Windows on my laptop. So I have double backups of all my important things :)

Edited by DarkSerge, 30 November 2017 - 07:17 PM.

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#32 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 10:12 AM

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(which might single out the PSU since a live CD won't use the hard drive or Windows).
That will not single out the PSU. The power consumption of a hard drive and a optical drive is essentially the same - around 3W. And it does not matter which operating system is running. The big power consumers are the graphics solution, CPU, RAM, and motherboard - all of which will be consuming power regardless if you boot from HD or CD/DVD.

And for that matter, when you apply power to the computer, the HD will spin anyway even if you boot to the CD/DVD.
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#33 OFFLINE   DarkSerge

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 03:27 PM

My thinking is, if the restarts are being caused by Windows (say bad driver or something) or running from a bad hard drive (diagnostic tests are failing) then those factors won't cause restart when in a Live CD. If I'm in a Live CD and the system still restarts, then I'd think it more likely be the PSU since I'm not using Windows or the hard drive.

I'm going to replace the PSU, but I can't until I get the parts, so I'm at a pause with that right now and there's nothing I can do about it for the time being. Until then, I have this hard drive that might be bad. I just downloaded SeaTools for DOS so I'm going to see if that is any help.
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#34 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 10:47 AM

If you really want to test your "live CD" theory, reach into your case and disconnect the power connector going to the hdd, then start your system with the live CD. Let it run for days that way and see if it reboots. If it does not reboot, you have narrowed your choices of causes to the OS or the hdd.

You cannot truly test your live CD theory without isolating that hdd. If there is a hardware issue with the hdd that loads the PSU, then it would still do that using a live CD if it's still connected to power. Isolate it and then test. That's a better way.

Luck!

#35 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 10:50 AM

P.S. A Seagate drive that I bought brand-spanking new (my one and only Seagate) was for a long, long time the ONLY hdd that I ever had fail on me. It had an intermittent issue that even Seagate's tech department could not understand. They refunded me my $$$ and paid for shipping so I could return the drive to them. They were very interested in testing it to find out what was causing the issue. I've never used another Seagate since that time.

#36 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 11:16 AM

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I've never used another Seagate since that time.
Why? Because you had "one" fail or just because other circumstances led you to buy other brands? I hope the latter.

No person or company can create perfection 100% of the time. So even the best designed, best made products from the best companies will have units that fail. From that point on, it is how the company handles that failed product and treats the customer that makes a difference. And it sounds like Seagate bent over backwards to satisfy you.

Based on your story, if looking for a new HD, I would be inclined to buy a Seagate next time.
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#37 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 11:23 AM

Nah... it's like the time that I got ptomaine poisoning from a ham/cheese sandwich at Subway. I didn't eat anything there again for nearly 30 years. When I did eat there again, I had a meatball sub because it was cooked. ;)

I've never been a Seagate fan. I've always used WD or Maxtors. Unfortunately, Maxtor got absorbed by Seagate a few years ago. I've had a couple of other Seagates that worked fine, but I didn't buy them. I salvaged them from the computer graveyard in my shop. When I buy a drive, it's always a WD.

The only WD I ever had fail on me was a (very) used 150Gig 10,000rpm Velociraptor that I inherited (two of them) from a friend. Even that one still lasted me quite a few years before it gave up the ghost. Its twin sister is still functioning, though. :)

#38 OFFLINE   Digerati

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 12:03 PM

Well, FTR, I've had several WD drives fail over the years. So they are not perfect either.

I don't think getting food poisoning is a fair comparison. I can tell you 40+ years ago, I was commode-sitting/trash-can-hugging for 2 days after eating Cup Noodles. Just looking at the picture again causes my stomach to churn. I have not touched the stuff since, and see no reason to from now on.

But I am a big fan of Gigabyte motherboards because years ago, during the big electrolytic capacitor plague, I had a mid-grade 4 year old motherboard fail due to leaky caps. I contacted Gigabyte and they immediately authorized a RMA. Now understand there was only a 3 year warranty on that board but they replaced it for free. Whenever I have had to deal with ASUS or MSI tech support, it seems I always have to prove it not something I did wrong before they admit their product failed.

Gigabyte has been my preferred brand ever since. So again, it is how a company handles after-sell issues that makes a big difference in my book.
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#39 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 12:24 PM

Yes, I'm a GigaByte fan, too. The only problem I ever had with one was when a PCIe socket went bad. I still used that mobo in my shop system with onboard graphics, so I don't need the PCIe slot.

#40 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 01:04 PM

I have Toshiba drives in my main Linux desktop - which I believe in the case of the mechanical HDD is former Hitachi/IBM owned storage technology. Toshiba drives were on sale when I was getting the parts to build the machine. They have been fine.
My Acer Windows desktop has Seagate and it's been a decent drive. All things being equal I'd likely go with WD.
I also like Gigabyte a lot when it comes to mobos.
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#41 OFFLINE   DarkSerge

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 05:03 PM

For now there isn't much I can do so I'll try to Live CD test just to see what happens. I've run a Live CD twice so far for about 12 or more hours without any issues. I'll try disconnecting the HDD next time since I don't do much on here when I run a Live CD anyway. Anything I should try from a Live CD like file system checks before I do runs without the HDD connected?

In a previous reply, I listed the tests the HDD was failing. Are these things repairable and workable, or should I be looking into a new drive?
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#42 OFFLINE   zlim

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 11:57 AM

You can't repair a failing hard drive. Plus, as the price of hard drives drops, it isn't worth the headache worrying about a drive that may not spin up at all the next time you turn on the computer.
If you have data you aren't too worried about losing, you can use the drive as secondary storage. But to me, it just isn't worth it. I'd get rid of it.
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#43 OFFLINE   DarkSerge

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 07:45 PM

For now, other than the restart problem, things are working normal. I'm bothered that this hard drive would be showing signs of failure when I've had it less than 2 years. After I get a new PSU installed, I'll look into replacing the hard drive. I'm likely going to replace it with an SSD.
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#44 OFFLINE   zlim

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 11:50 AM

I'm not sure what brand hard drive but it failed 2 different short and long tests.

https://www.backblaz...-rates-q1-2017/
check the failure rate on the Seagate (10th entry down). Some models have high failure rates even in 2017 when hard drives are more reliable.
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#45 OFFLINE   DarkSerge

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 04:34 PM

It's a 1 TB drive, not listed in that article. ST1000DM0032-1ER162 according to my Device Manager.

  I swapped cables to see if it made a difference. Took out the factory cable and put my own in. So far nothing's changed, still failed the tests. It's also been just over a week since the last unwanted restart. Otherwise, nothing interesting to report on the subject. The PSU adapter cable I ordered will be a while. Normally when I order from Newegg, I get things pretty quick, but this time it's shipping from China and I haven't had an update on the tracking # since last Wednesday.
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#46 OFFLINE   DarkSerge

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 11:09 PM

It's been over a week and a half since the last event and it happened again while I was sitting here. Same symptoms, but this time it didn't restart. No errors, nothing in the system log. Just blink and the screen goes black and it's like the system just isn't there. This time, it didn't restart, it was like it went to sleep and didn't wake up. The system was still on, fans running like normal, but no video and no response. I watched it happen.

Sadly, I haven't had an update on the tracking number for the adapter cable I ordered to use a standard PSU. Ordered from Newegg, but it's shipping from China. Hard drive still failing same tests as before. After I get the PSU replaced, I will likely just get an SSD and start from a fresh Windows install.  Hopefully there will be no issues after that.

Update: The tracking number was updated. I should have my adapter by Thursday. So by the end of the week I will hopefully have another PSU installed.

Edited by DarkSerge, 10 December 2017 - 05:09 PM.

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#47 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 10:32 PM

Good luck! Keep us posted on the progress. :)





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