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Thread: 24/7 PC suddenly not working, clicking noise - any ideas

  1. #11
    Automated Home Guru Vangelis's Avatar
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    Hmmm still sounds odd. Without the HD you should still get to BIOS and your not, so this could still mean an issue with the motherboard

    Ref the PSU, although you say you are getting 19volts that seems a little high to me. Expectation is that you have a variety of voltages at the connector where the PSU cable meets the motherboard, and then you will get the standard 12v and 5v where the PSU connects to the HD etc (the white 4pin connector) - you should be able to find the correct voltages via Google

    For simplicity, check these at the plug without it connected to the motherboard, then try and do the same when it's insitu and under load

    If any of these are wrong, the motherboard will fail POST and could start doing weird things such as not enabling VGA / HDMI for the monitor and spinning up the disk properly (which will initially take the most current)

    Vangelis

  2. #12
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    hmm, agree , it's all a bit odd … and it did start-up (ie: fans got going) without the HD connected before we moved it back to Node0 - IIRC, anyway …

    the external power supply says 19Vdc out on its label, so 19.4vDC seemed OK …

    did try to remove connectors on the internal power supply board, but they wouldn't release - will have another go tomorrow …

    thanks again

    Chris

  3. #13
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    Chris,

    I've only read through quickly so ignore me if I am way out but have you checked the monitor on another computer just to ensure that it works.
    I remember years ago I had strange results like yours until I realised that the monitor had broken as well as the harddrive and that explain why I thought I couldn't get into the BIOS settings.
    Made more sense when I plugged the computer into a spare monitor for testing etc.
    Good luck,
    Brad

  4. #14
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Brad -

    thanks - the monitor's LED goes blue when we power it up then, after a second or two, changes to amber, to indicate no signal - so it seems to be OK ...

    will do some more probing around, with our multimeter, when get a moment, later today ...

    building the PC in the first place was a new experience for us, as is now trouble-shooting it - so we're being quite cautious !

    we're also looking for what to replace it with, if we have to - our set-up keeps the miniITX running at 95+% CPU, so something with more headroom would be good (we've some CCTV cameras that need plugging-in, too) ...

    Chris

  5. #15
    Automated Home Guru Vangelis's Avatar
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    ~95% CPU is always likely to lead to issue (not just with cooling!)

    There are some neat NUC Intel platforms that offer very small form factor at a reasonable price. Oh and SSD plus lots of RAM would be a no brainer (check to see what your current constraints are)

    Vangelis

  6. #16
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    there's space in Node0 for a tower, so not so worried about small form factor ... do applications have to be written to take best advantage of things like multi-threading & RAM, or does the OS take care of that ? How far up the i3 i5 i7 ladder is it worth going ? At the moment, IIRC, our miniITX has 1GB of RAM - more modern PCs often have 4GB, sometimes 8GB, even 16GB, some can go to 32GB ... SSD still a bit expensive, 'though for a 24/7 PC could make a lot of sense, 'though they do need cooling, which might imply potential reliability issues (?)

    Chris

  7. #17
    Automated Home Guru Vangelis's Avatar
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    ahh ok. Apps do have to be written to make best use of resources (RAM / 32-64bit architecture).

    Assumption is (from your boot CD) that you are running WinXP - You will be getting Win7 minimum if you get a new system, for which 4Gb RAM is really base...

    I am a true believer that more RAM equals faster and more stable system - Multi-core setups really depend on what you are doing. This is not a gaming PC so i3 / i5 should suffice. I would go with 8Gb RAM min (I always think Win has memory leaks )

    SSD in my opinion is like night and day when it comes to Windows, on overall speed of operation - plus the added bonus of alot less heat

    You need to have a think of where you want to take any new system, and spec it accordingly, as it's an investment that needs to last several years. Plus if it's a 24/7 system running critical apps, I don't want it to be stressed..

    Vangelis

  8. #18
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    thanks ... we're running with a borrowed 2.4GHz laptop at the moment and, with one camera (its webcam) being used as part of the HA set-up, it's CPU is 40% loaded - this maybe gives some feel for where we should aim ... laptop CPU performance is generally reigned-back, of course, to limit heating issues ... the full set-up will need to cope with six cameras ...

    Chris

  9. #19
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    OK - measured a few more voltages - 10.5V & 5V is getting to the HD …

    when budget allows, will order a new SATA HD drive, to try - we could use it in a new PC, if that's where we end up …

  10. #20
    Automated Home Guru Vangelis's Avatar
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    Maybe a cheaper option (to test) is see if anyone has a disk caddy, or you can get the IDE / SATA to USB converter cables off ebay. Then check the drive in another machine to see if it's really dead

    Or just resign yourself to the fact you might have to buy yourself an early Christmas pressie

    Vangelis

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