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Random computer reboot

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Random computer reboot
« on: October 27, 2014, 06:09:07 PM »
 

Monkeyman

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Putting this in the Off Topic section because I don't think it's LL related.  If it turns out to be, someone can move it.

I never turn my computer off (ever, other than a reboot once in a while).  In the past month or so, I've sat down at my desk only to find that, at some point, the computer's rebooted on it's own.  Unfortunately, when it does this, all I get are blank monitors.  The computer was (over) built my me about 3 years ago, it's as cool as it's going to get without water, the dust was blown out about 6 weeks ago and I only installed LL about the same time.  No issues when it's running and (so far) it's never happened while I've been sitting in front of it.

I've gotten the occasional Blue Screen of Death (on other computers) back when I was running Windows but there's just "nothing" there when this happens now.  It's like the monitors are turned off.  Memory is correctly seated (although I guess it "could" be dying) and there's nice cool air blowing out of all 3 exhaust fans.  If I hit the reset button on the computer case, she boots right back up (although a little slow).

What do ya'll think?  HDD?  RAM?  mobo?  Linux?

ASUS M4A89GTD PRO mobo
AMD Phenom II 965 Black Edition Deneb Quad-Core running at 3.4Ghz (not overclocked)
4GB (2 sticks) HyperX DDR3 1333 RAM
EVGA GeForce GTS 450
Corsair 650W PSU
all wrapped up in an Antec 1200 case

Everything but the PSU and case were new in '11.  The PSU and case were new in '09.  If there's a hardware issue, I don't mind replacing a part but I can't afford to build a new computer.  If it's Linux related, I don't mind reinstalling it other than losing all my Firefox/Thunderbird data.  I CAN'T lose some of that.  With nothing like Mozbackup to back that stuff up, I'm screwed.  (One of the reasons I haven't ditched Win7 on the laptop for LL.)
 


Re: Random computer reboot
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2014, 08:39:04 PM »
 

bitsnpcs

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Hello Monkeyman,
you can test RAM using memtest - http://www.memtest86.com/download.htm

 

Re: Random computer reboot
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2014, 09:32:53 PM »
 

rokytnji

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It is probably hardware related. The part that throws me off is it has been fine for a long time.
A computer I dug out of a dumpster and turned into a Linux testing and media center.

Well. It would turn on when I was not there. I figured it was bios related to wake up after a period of time.
If no bulging capacitors or the ram check checks out with the  memtest link.

I'd be afeared the power supply may be the culprit. Since it is intermittent.  I would reseat 20 or 24 motherboard connector (the big one) in case a loose
connection over time is causing this. I will also mention heat causes electrical mechanical contacts to expand. Like a female socket expands when mated
with a male connection pin. My fix is to dig into the connector with a thin blade jewelers screw driver and try and compress the female socket a little tighter.

The green wire and the black wire are the 2 main connector pins I would be concerned with on 20 or 24 connector. They are the main power pins going to your Mobo to power the board.  (Black is ground, Green is power).

I don't envy you as I have a dead mini atx shuttle box under my desk that is not worth fixing anymore iMO.
It has bigger problems than your desktop pc.

Edit: Just to explain myself a little better. The pins I am referring to are dc power. Think of it like the battery cables on your vehicle getting loose and you tapping them to make good contact. My suggestion is non destructive. Requires no parts replacements. Just reseating the plug is all I would do 1st and then see if the reboot pattern resumes. Then work my way further from there with trying to compress the female pin socket to get a better grip if the reseat did not work.
Last Edit: October 27, 2014, 09:46:36 PM by rokytnji
LL 3.6,2.8
Dell XT2 > Touchscreen Laptop
Dell 755 > Desktop
Acer 150 > Desktop
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Re: Random computer reboot
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2014, 10:04:05 PM »
 

Monkeyman

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Thanks, guys.  I'll burn the memtest disc in a bit and see what that says.  I assume I run that with the computer ON?  If the PSU is going bad, I'm ok with that.  It's 5 years old so I've got my money out of it.  This computer has been on almost constantly for the entire time so it's probably a bit worn out.  The only thing that bothered me was that I don't know that it completely powered down.  When I reboot (or when I lose power during a storm and it reboots itself when the power comes back on), LL completely reloads.  The only way I know that it rebooted is because I have to remount my HDDs.  With this, it just goes blank.  The only way to do anything is to manually reboot.
 

Re: Random computer reboot
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2014, 10:51:39 PM »
 

shengchieh

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I wonder if the power gone "blink".  If so, the computer would suddenly halt and reboot.  Try plugging a radio clock on the same power outlet and see if the radio clock goes blink too.  If not,
then it is possible that you have a hardware problem.   Personally I like to give my computers overnight rest, i.e., power off before bed and power on after bed.   I doubt that is the problem,
but it may help.

Sheng-Chieh
 

Re: Random computer reboot
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2014, 12:05:46 AM »
 

bitsnpcs

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Thanks, guys.  I'll burn the memtest disc in a bit and see what that says.  I assume I run that with the computer ON? 

Hello Monkeyman,
you burn it as a bootcd, or usb, you boot the pc from it.
When I used it I put the memtest cd in and restarted the computer it then booted to the cd, (your BIOS needs to be set so it checks for cd/media on boot before hdd), like when using a Live Distro.
 

Re: Random computer reboot
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2014, 08:47:00 AM »
 

rokytnji

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Yes. I second what   shengchieh said before trying my suggestion. The wall outlet could be the culprit also.
Thanks   shengchieh , I kinda over thought that one.
LL 3.6,2.8
Dell XT2 > Touchscreen Laptop
Dell 755 > Desktop
Acer 150 > Desktop
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Re: Random computer reboot
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2014, 02:11:58 AM »
 

Monkeyman

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I understand the possible power issue but why wouldn't the computer just....reboot?  I've had the power (entire house) flicker before and the computer (Windows and Linux Lite) reboot to the desktop.  When this happens (whatever it is), it's like it shuts down (even though, by the time I notice it, it's powered on).  The monitors are blank (black) and nothing will get things going without hitting the power button (moving the trackball, hitting keys on the k/b, etc).

I only have a single clock.  It gets it's time signal from the atomic clock automatically so, even when the power goes out, it resets itself.  Wouldn't do much good in this situation although it's a great idea.
 

Re: Random computer reboot
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2014, 09:54:57 AM »
 

Scott

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+1 For Shengchieh's reply #4
I've been bitten by "invisible" power issues and this is an excellent, simple test.

From reply #28
Quote
I understand the possible power issue but why wouldn't the computer just....reboot?

No, the computer will not necessarily reboot. It may not even cause an alarm clock to reboot. If you can test this make sure to remove any backup feature in the alarm clock, like a battery, if has one.


 

Re: Random computer reboot
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2014, 10:13:21 PM »
 

N4RPS

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Hello!

The BIOS settings have a sort of 'alarm clock' feature to turn on/off at a set time, but it is usually disabled by default. Also, most BIOSes let you decide whether or not to reboot after a power failure...

73 DE N4RPS
Rob


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Re: Random computer reboot
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2014, 08:36:00 AM »
 

Monkeyman

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After a power failure, it's always completely rebooted both with LL and when I had Windows.  This is something different.

Apparently, it's not memory related.  I ran memtest and it didn't show anything wrong.  I think I'll start by replacing the PSU.  If the problem persists, I'll replace the CPU, mobo and memory (only because a new mobo will require faster RAM).  If a basically new computer doesn't fix it, at least I'll know it's not hardware related.  :)
 

Re: Random computer reboot
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2014, 09:56:23 AM »
 

Scott

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Hi Monkeyman,

If you're willing to spend the money to replace the parts you mentioned above my vote is to consider buying a ups first. The filter feature is what saved me.

Years ago I had strange issues with a PC and all the troubleshooting in the world didn't help. By luck I had a ups from another project and when I connected it the unit would alarm in fast chirps every few seconds and then go quiet for a few minutes. Strange. The cause turned out to be "dirty" power.

I thought it was a joke but it turned out to be a real thing. It easy to Google, here's a link - http://www.emersonnetworkpower.com/en-US/Brands/SurgeProtection/Pages/WhatCausesDirtyPower.aspx

There's no guarantee power is an issue or that this will help but it's probably worth a try.

Note. The "filter" feature I mentioned above may not be what it's actually called in a ups brochure but what it did was smooth out power anomalies like spikes, lows, and noise. I'm just playing back what an electrician told me or I read on the 'net. I know very little about this stuff.
 

Re: Random computer reboot
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2014, 09:43:13 PM »
 

shengchieh

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First narrow down what the bug is (hardware, software, power outlet, etc).  Then if problem is power outlet, consider buying an UPS or APC.  Then you will never have to see your
computer turning off abruptly.

Sheng-Chieh
 

Re: Random computer reboot
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2014, 10:14:50 PM »
 

Monkeyman

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First narrow down what the bug is (hardware, software, power outlet, etc).  Then if problem is power outlet, consider buying an UPS or APC.  Then you will never have to see your
computer turning off abruptly.

Sheng-Chieh

That's what I've been trying to do.  I ran memtest to see if the RAM was wonky (it's not).  It "could" be the outlet (old house, old wiring) but I really have no way to test that.  My only other computer is a laptop.  I can't even tell if there's been a continuous power outage with that as the battery kicks in when the power goes out.  Since I can't check the power, I'm down to replacing parts.  I'm NOT made of money by any means (I generally live flat broke) but my computer is important to me so I'll buy components piece by piece until 1) the problem is fixed or 2) I've built a new computer.  I'd much rather find the problem and "fix" it for free as that's pretty much what my budget allows.

Are there any programs that will test the PSU, mobo, CPU like memtest does for the RAM?
 

Re: Random computer reboot
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2014, 10:18:47 PM »
 

Monkeyman

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Hi Monkeyman,

If you're willing to spend the money to replace the parts you mentioned above my vote is to consider buying a ups first. The filter feature is what saved me.


I understand the "filter" feature (in the most basic sense).  It's not as much "willing" to spend the money as "needing" to spend the money.  The computer/internet is ALL I do outside of work, especially during this time of year.  I'll probably buy a PSU first as mine is 5 years old and it's been run pretty much continuously during that time.  MTBF is supposed to be 100k hours and (if I did the math right), 5 years is only about 50k hours but that's still quite a bit.  It wouldn't surprise me if it was going out.  I'll add a UPS to my next build whether that's this winter or a couple years from now.
 


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