I woke up my HTPC & was greeted by a message on the Windows 7 desktop. I also had the same message 2 weeks ago. It said:
Windows has recovered from an unexpected shutdown.
Windows can check online for a solution to the problem.
View problem details // Check for solution
Earlier in the day everything was OK. At that time Windows had a Defender update which I did. I also did a Malwarebytes scan & everything was OK. And then did a cold re-boot. When I had the same message 2 weeks ago, IIRC I also did a Windows Defender update & Malwarebytes scan & a cold reboot.
Then I noticed that a recording that took place just hours earlier was split into 2 parts with a few minutes missing in the middle. That same thing that happened 2 weeks ago & I think it was also the first recording after I did the update/scan. But everything since then was OK, until yesterday.
I looked in WMC7 at both of these corrupt recordings. Each portion was recorded with tuner #1 and had the same message.
The first part said: While recording (name): the computer lost power or experienced a temporary failure.
The second part said: Recording of (name): began late on 7/27/13 7:32:17 PM due to a temporary failure caused by either a system malfunction or a power loss and stopped on 7/27/13 8:10:00 PM.
The split recording from 7-15-2013 had the same message but with different dates & times.
When this happened 2 weeks ago I did look at the Events Logs but they're all cryptic to me. However I did see one that said:
ehshell.exe - Application Error
Application has generated an exception that could not be handled.
Process ID=0xf28 (3880), Thread ID=0xf68 (3994)
I Googled & searched but did not come up with anything meaningful. Most results related to not being able to start or run an app. But that's not my issue.
The HTPC is plugged into a UPS so that should be OK. Of course the PSU could be acting up. Or the mobo. Or something else.
How can I determine if it was a system malfunction or a power failure?
Run "Who Crashed', which you can download from http://www.majorgeeks.com and see if it shows anything from the error logs for the Blue Screen. Usually it can be from overclocking the CPU or GPU, RAM going bad, Power supply going bad, etc.. You can also download a iso of the Ultimate Boot CD/DVD from http://www.ubcd4win.com/ which will allow you to run just about every test there is, to check for failing hardware.
How do you have this unit located in the cabinet if you do have it one, and is there proper ventilation? Do you have smokers in the house, pets like cats & dogs? When was the last time the case covers front and sides taken off, and the unit blown out for all dust bunnies?
You can also check with your local library and rent out a "Kill-a-Watt" to measure power and check to see what a device is using. Have you also tried plugging this machine into another outlet that is not on the same circuit breaker, to see if it does the same thing?
The HTPC is in a old Dell PC mini tower case & sits in a corner with plenty of air space around it. When I have checked the temperatures everything seemed OK. No pets, no smoke. It's been several months since I've had it open, but I've had other unscheduled shutdowns over the last year. Something seems to happen every few months. Once I turned on the TV & was greeted by a black screen asking me to reboot the PC.
I have a Kill-A-Watt and the most this thing uses is a little over 50W. It's plugged into a UPS which does work. The power may flicker but the TV does not.
I've read through the event logs before but the most I can get out of them is that there was an unexpected shutdown. Previously I've posted info on a Windows 7 forum but the folks there had no idea what caused my shutdown.
Being that the same problem happened 2 weeks ago after I did the same update/scan procedure would tend to mean something.
I'll try the "Who Crashed" & see what it comes up with.
I did the WhoCrashed & it showed several crashes. One line that appeared on most of the dates was this, but the data in () was always different.
"This was probably caused by the following module: ntoskrnl.exe (nt+0x75C00)"
This is another frequent comment.
"This appears to be a typical software driver bug and is not likely to be caused by a hardware problem.
The crash took place in the Windows kernel. Possibly this problem is caused by another driver that cannot be identified at this time."
"9 crash dumps have been found and analyzed. No offending third party drivers have been found. Consider configuring your system to produce a full memory dump for better analysis."
So it could be caused by a driver, but not a third party driver. What does that mean, a faulty Intel driver?
I'm using an HD6450 video card with AMD's driver.
I'm using a Microsoft driver for SPDIF audio from the mobo.
The chipset driver is from the manufacturer's (ECS) disc. I never updated this because everything worked. Well at least initially it did. Maybe it's time to update the chipset driver.
The WhoCrashed lists crashes on 7 different dates going back to 11-12-2013. I have to spend more time seeing what, if anything, is in common.
In the meantime should I update the chipset driver? I cannot find it in the Device Manager, where is it located?
Now what you can do also is check for "Backstabbed" outlets through out your place, if you have not done so, and check to make sure all connections are tight in the panel, no loose wires. That can cause issues over time, and cause electronics to fail from power fluctuations, due to overheating of the connection, which can cause a brownout effect.
If you look on tigerdirect.com, you can find old leased systems for under $200, some even for under $100.
I don't know your system specs but I had a similar issue a few weeks ago. Turned out that my SSD needed a firmware upate. It was causing my system to spontaneously reboot two or three times a day while I was away from home. The behavior was almost the same as bad memory but MemTest showed all sticks to be good. Power supply tested good so advice was given to update firmware on SSD and sure enough that did the trick. If you've got SSD you may want to consider it. YMMV
I never have a problem while using the HTPC for watching recordings or Hulu, or when doing updates or occasional Internet browsing. I would think that would put more strain on the system than just recording or just being in the sleep mode.
Previously I checked for loose connections & everything seemed OK.
I built this PC so I'm not interested in buying something to replace it. It's my "baby" so to speak.
I have a G620 CPU, ECS mobo, 4GB RAM, 1.5TB Seagate Green HDD, & 2 AverMedia Duet OTA tuner cards.
I may end up backing up my recordings & reinstalling Windows. Not a insurmountable project but it is a PITA.