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Shot in the dark but any idea why my htpc wont reboot sometimes

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
God this is frustrating, i set my htpc up and everything is going well. Except i have one issue, maybe 1 out of 10 times the pc will not reboot properly.

I hit the reset button on the pc itself and then it always boots properly.

I have no idea what this is or whats happening, basically everything is spinning, but no picture, and i also cant access it through vnc, my vnc software cant even see it or make a connection, so i dont think its just an intergrated graphics issue.


Its never not started after i hit the reset button manually on the machine. When it happens it will basically reboot and then before the windows loading graphic comes on nothing will happen, the pc will be on, fans spinning, lights on, but no way to access the pc until i hit reset.

I am wondering if its my usb mce IR receiver causing the issue, i had this pc professionally put together and had it installed by ncix, and made them hook up the CIR thing or whatever on my motherboard so the remote can boot up my pc from S5, is it possible this CIR thing or whatever is causing issues and getting out of sync or something? I unplugged my usb ir receiver for my remote today but I am not sure if that will do anything. I really have no idea what this is....

My specs are

Silverstone Milo ML03B Black

Cooler Master Elite Power 400W

AMD A10-5800K APU Quad Core Processor Socket FM2

ASRock FM2A75 PRO4 ATX FM2 A75

Kingston HyperX KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1600 XMP Dual Channel Memory Kit

Crucial M4 SSD Micron C400 64GB 2.5in Solid State Disk Flash Drive SATA3 6Gbps
post #2 of 30
When the PC doesn't boot, does it complete POST?
post #3 of 30
Thread Starter 
When it doesnt boot I believe the picture just cuts out before windows loading. I never see a bios post maybe because my hdmi switch/tv is to slow to display it. Then the screen stays black, pc is on, but you cant vnc into it.

Tonight it hapepned again, i noticed its happening more whenever i have a scheduled reboot in task scheduler, but i need to reboot daily to keep things running good. I stayed up the other day to watch it reboot late at night when i have it scheduled, it shut down, rebooted fine right on schedule, next day i checked the logs it shuts down and then this error occurs, everything is on, everything is spinning, but the pc is not accessible. I could not vnc in either. SO i hit reboot on the case and everything is fine.

Tonight i looked again, and it was stuck, the blue light was on, everything is spinning but the computer cannot be accessed.

Now here is the important hint that maybe someone can solve.

When this occurs I hit reset on the case windows loads.


Typically with improper shutdown i get the bios screen notifying me the pc didnt shut down properly, in this instance im battling currently, i never get that, it loads like it should.....like nothing went wrong.,,,,

I have seen this happen the odd time awhile back (not lately) and when i watch it happen it seems to occur right before the windows loading screen, and windows never loads. Whenever i hit reset on the case, it always loads properly, and like i mentioned, like nothing went wrong.

I did a check disk also last night, it came up with nothing, i have not came across this manually rebooting myself for over a month now either. Is their a chance its the scheduled reboot? Why would that matter though?
Edited by Murilo - 2/28/13 at 7:37pm
post #4 of 30
Thread Starter 
The fact that I dont get improper shutdown screen does that mean this is happening before windows loads, and its not even loading into windows?

I would start worrying now but again, why is it so rare for this to happen? And why everytime i hit restart on the pc itself does it boot fine the first time?

I just changed the reboot timers again so i could watch what happens and it seems to load fine whenever i watch. Do not understand whats going on.
Edited by Murilo - 2/28/13 at 7:58pm
post #5 of 30
I think you need to do some more troubleshooting as to exactly how far it gets in the boot process when it does not boot.
post #6 of 30
Thread Starter 
How can I tell, it just shows a black screen before windows loading and nothing, no windows load screen just black....even though the pc is on and everything is running. I cant even vnc into it, and every time i hit reboot on the case it immediately launches and works.

I guess I can hook it up to my monitor and try to get a quick glimpse but i have no idea when its going to happen...it happens maybe 1 out of 10 reboots.

Tonight i scheduled 3 reboots and manually rebooted it myself another 4 times, everything went smooth.
post #7 of 30
My experience is that these types of issues are the hardest to diagnose. It could be a variety of things. It almost seems that there is something that is failing, but not quite failed.

One question I have is why you are scheduling to reboot nightly?

Try the following 1st: Download CCleaner, http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner and run the analysis/cleanup, and also run the registry cleaner until all problems resolved (It may take more than one pass)

Secondly, Download memtest86 http://www.memtest86.com/, and run that overnight to see if any errors show up.
Alternatively, run your system with one stick of RAM at a time (figure out the primary slot from the MB manual). Try 1st module for a while, if problem persists, try the 2nd module.

Third, try switching the SATA port that your SSD is connected to.
also check the SMART status, and because you have an SSD, it wouldn't hurt to download and run Crystal Disk Info http://crystalmark.info/software/CrystalDiskInfo/index-e.html.
Check firmware version of your SSD as well.

After that, you may have to start swapping out parts.
Try swapping the PSU 1st. That should be easier to come by.
2nd, swap the memory
3rd, if you can, try to find someone else with an FM2 socket processor
(you'll need to have some thermal paste handy, as you should wipe clean the old and apply new)

If you can't get another proc, try opening a ticket with AsRock on your MB, and explain what you've done to troubleshoot. It could very well be the board itself.
Hopefully you are still under warranty with them being a recent board.

Another thing to possibly try is a clean install of windows, or attempt a repair of windows. With all that rebooting, the possibility of the OS being corrupted is possible.
Perhaps a failed update that may have altered the shutdown process.

Does the problem ever happen after a shut down and restart?
post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murilo View Post

How can I tell, it just shows a black screen before windows loading and nothing, no windows load screen just black....even though the pc is on and everything is running. I cant even vnc into it, and every time i hit reboot on the case it immediately launches and works.

I guess I can hook it up to my monitor and try to get a quick glimpse but i have no idea when its going to happen...it happens maybe 1 out of 10 reboots.

Tonight i scheduled 3 reboots and manually rebooted it myself another 4 times, everything went smooth.

Pull the HD and see if when it fails to boot, it stops at a disk error, or doesn't go that far. Try an actual monitor also.
post #9 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wiley165 View Post

My experience is that these types of issues are the hardest to diagnose. It could be a variety of things. It almost seems that there is something that is failing, but not quite failed.

One question I have is why you are scheduling to reboot nightly?

Try the following 1st: Download CCleaner, http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner and run the analysis/cleanup, and also run the registry cleaner until all problems resolved (It may take more than one pass)

Secondly, Download memtest86 http://www.memtest86.com/, and run that overnight to see if any errors show up.
Alternatively, run your system with one stick of RAM at a time (figure out the primary slot from the MB manual). Try 1st module for a while, if problem persists, try the 2nd module.

Third, try switching the SATA port that your SSD is connected to.
also check the SMART status, and because you have an SSD, it wouldn't hurt to download and run Crystal Disk Info http://crystalmark.info/software/CrystalDiskInfo/index-e.html.
Check firmware version of your SSD as well.

After that, you may have to start swapping out parts.
Try swapping the PSU 1st. That should be easier to come by.
2nd, swap the memory
3rd, if you can, try to find someone else with an FM2 socket processor
(you'll need to have some thermal paste handy, as you should wipe clean the old and apply new)

If you can't get another proc, try opening a ticket with AsRock on your MB, and explain what you've done to troubleshoot. It could very well be the board itself.
Hopefully you are still under warranty with them being a recent board.

Another thing to possibly try is a clean install of windows, or attempt a repair of windows. With all that rebooting, the possibility of the OS being corrupted is possible.
Perhaps a failed update that may have altered the shutdown process.

Does the problem ever happen after a shut down and restart?

It failed tonight again on a manual reboot.

I mentioned why I scheduled a nightly reboot, keep things running smoothly, xbmc can slow down and run slugish until a reboot as many people have reported with resource heavy skins, also xbmc is set to update the library on startup, this is all very nice feature that keeps my htpc running great and keeps my library updated daily, no reason why this should not work.

Tonight it happened again with a manual reboot, so its not the scheduled reboot causing issues.

The pc is brand new put together by ncix professionally and supposedly stress tested for days to check for errors and problems... I paid 50 extra dollars for this, i always buy pc's from them and they always test the equipment and assemble it themselves for errors.

I guess i can try all that but i dont have any extra parts, I would take it to a repair shop but i have no idea what to tell them. Will see if i can do some of what you mentioned, but I am unsure i will find anything.

This problem is so stupid and random i cant believe its happening, if their was any sort of consistency or message whats happening it would make this alot easier.
post #10 of 30
Thread Starter 
I checked the smart status of my SSD speedfan and that link both reported 100% also ran a diagnostic in speedfan which also claims its working fine, everything i thrown at the SSD keeps reporting its in perfect shape.

Will try the memtest yet.

Im somewhat wondering if this is not happening when i have any usb device plugged in. I have an xbox 360 wireless receiver for PC and my mce remote, i unplugged both, going to see if this happens then. If that is the problem i have no idea what to do about it, because i need those devices plugged in at all times.
post #11 of 30
Two things:

Why do you have to reboot? If it is XBMC that is getting sluggish can't you just kill XBMC and restart it without going through a whole reboot?

This is some interesting information about Crucial SSD integrity checks that can take the disk off-line for a long time after a weird shutdown - note that what the SSD considers "weird" may not necessarily be what any other part of the computer considers weird. Perhaps this is what is happening to your system.

http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3508071&cid=43050293
post #12 of 30
Thread Starter 
As mentioned previously, I just like the reboot, it updates my library daily, keeps my pc running fast..... no reason this should cause an issue, and again its not the issue, it happened during a manual reboot a few times now to. The reboot is all about hands off automation and this is something simple that keeps my library updated daily every morning and when im not at home, and pc running great, im away often and have wife and kids who use it and dont know much about it or updating the library.

Can we forget the scheduled reboot, frankly im surprised more people dont automate a reboot daily and its not the problem. Literally im convinced i have the perfect build for me, everything runs so incredible, except for this one rare error that occurs randomly 1 in maybe 10-20 reboots. I have a scheduled wake of my pc when im sleeping, my pc then reboots, xbmc library updates on startup all my music and movies, a few xbmc scripts run (clean library, extra artwork downloader).... then it goes back to sleep, this all works great and again their is no reason why a scheduled reboot should cause issues and its not the reason. It has happened three times now manually rebooting so its not the issue.

Thanks for the info. Very interesting, but when it happens like last night when it happened during a manual reboot, i hit reset on the case itself right away and it booted instantly......The link says it takes it off line for 30-60 minutes.


Since unplugging the mce ir receiver and wireless xbox 360 receiver i have not had this issue, i rebooted manually about 20 times the past 24 hours since connecting it to a monitor and also hooked up to my avr as was previously trying to reproduce the error and notice something. No issues to report yet.

If it is an issue with usb devices connected i dont know what im going to do. I need them, and i have no idea what this means or how to fix it.
Edited by Murilo - 3/2/13 at 6:46pm
post #13 of 30
My HTPC has a nightly reboot. I recommend not using CCleaner, BTW.
post #14 of 30
Quote:
If it is an issue with usb devices connected i dont know what im going to do.
There is an old saying - Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
If this were a problem that happened only a couple of times a year, it would be tolerable.
post #15 of 30
Scheduling a nightly reboot is a little difficult if a plugged in USB device is causing a problem. This is a bit more than letting perfection get in the way of good enough.

My boss has this atitude so we fill out paper forms in pencil rather than using something in a data base. This is rediculous IMHO.
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Scheduling a nightly reboot is a little difficult if a plugged in USB device is causing a problem. This is a bit more than letting perfection get in the way of good enough.
I was referring to the idea that rebooting is mandatory. Sure, rebooting ought to work in a perfect world, but if the USB device is the problem then you are absolutely right it is a 'little difficult' to make a scheduled reboot work - time to find another path to get to the same end result of a system that functions for media playback when needed.
Quote:
My boss has this atitude so we fill out paper forms in pencil rather than using something in a data base. This is rediculous IMHO.
I'm not sure what that has to do with the price of tea in china.
post #17 of 30
If a USB device is not allowing a PC to reboot then something needs to be fixed, not ignored.

My boss uses that old saying and sometimes it gets in the way of advancement.
post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

If a USB device is not allowing a PC to reboot then something needs to be fixed, not ignored.

In the best of all possible worlds that would always be an option. But when you literally don't know what to do, it can be more than a little difficult. If you are going to volunteer to fix it for him, then have at it. Just don't give up half-way through, because then, you know, that would be ignoring the problem.
post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murilo View Post

Since unplugging the mce ir receiver and wireless xbox 360 receiver i have not had this issue, i rebooted manually about 20 times the past 24 hours since connecting it to a monitor and also hooked up to my avr as was previously trying to reproduce the error and notice something. No issues to report yet.

If it is an issue with usb devices connected i dont know what im going to do. I need them, and i have no idea what this means or how to fix it.

Try it with the MCE IR Receiver still plugged in, but the XBOX receiver NOT plugged in...see if you can find which it is. If it works that way, reverse it (remove the MCE, plug in the XBOX) and test it again. It could work with only one, but not both, plugged in. If that is the case, plug one of the two into the front USB ports and test again.
post #20 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrsage View Post

Try it with the MCE IR Receiver still plugged in, but the XBOX receiver NOT plugged in...see if you can find which it is. If it works that way, reverse it (remove the MCE, plug in the XBOX) and test it again. It could work with only one, but not both, plugged in. If that is the case, plug one of the two into the front USB ports and test again.

Thanks for the suggestion, I had tested and am positive it definately happened when either one was plugged in. I did this step a few weeks ago, should have mentioned it. I might try each one by one again if this stops occurring when nothing is plugged in to reconfirm it.



So far so good with no usb plugged in, but its going to take a week before im convinced of this, i will have to keep testing and reporting back.

I almost want to send it back to ncix and tell them to figure it out, i paid 50 dollars to have everything tested and the pc put together professionally, the 50 dollar charge claimed to include testing the systems stability and making sure everything works. But then i ordered a noctua heatsink from them and had the local future shop install it because I wanted it done by someone experienced. So they could easily claim the pc repair store did something installing the heatsink.

I have a feeling this could be months before i figure anything out. But so far with no usb devices plugged in, its been working fine.
Edited by Murilo - 3/3/13 at 3:54am
post #21 of 30
Thread Starter 
Someone elsewhere suggested to me a boot issue, my first boot is set as my solid state drive, second boot is set to EUFI shell?

Should i disable that, i dont even know what that is. But need to check with someone before I consider doing it.
Edited by Murilo - 3/3/13 at 4:30am
post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murilo View Post

Someone elsewhere suggested to me a boot issue, my first boot is set as my solid state drive, second boot is set to EUFI shell?

Should i disable that, i dont even know what that is. But need to check with someone before I consider doing it.

It shouldn't have to even use the second boot if the first one works but try disabling that. I don't think it will make a difference though.
post #23 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

It shouldn't have to even use the second boot if the first one works but try disabling that. I don't think it will make a difference though.

I think so to, I really dont think its going to do anything either. The person who made the suggestion thought sometimes the pc was trying to boot from a usb device....I just ran a battery or reboots this morning, and everything has been fine with no usb plugged in. Will keep checking and testing.
post #24 of 30
There's either an issue with the USB header on the MoBo, the connection thereto is wrong, the wire from the USB front panel has a short or the USB devices themselves are no good.

BTW, I have little confidence in any computer seller saying that they'll fully test it for extra $$. That sounds like pure profit to me. Just my two cents.
post #25 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

There's either an issue with the USB header on the MoBo, the connection thereto is wrong, the wire from the USB front panel has a short or the USB devices themselves are no good.

BTW, I have little confidence in any computer seller saying that they'll fully test it for extra $$. That sounds like pure profit to me. Just my two cents.

I hope your right because it would make sense. Really ncix here in canada is thought of well and they built about 3 pc's for me, they also emailed me while putting it together asking about configuration and stuff, whether they actually did test it im unsure.

I had them connect the front usb ports as usb 2.0 and onto the CIR connection on the motherboard on asrocks thats how it said to configure it in the manual so you can boot from s5 shutdown with a remote, i am wondering if that caused issues. The mce remotes I used (i have tried two now) at least my old one did not function as a usb 3.0 connection.
post #26 of 30
Thread Starter 
Well it finally happened again with no usb devices plugged in.

Going to run memtest this week and rule out the ram.

Any chance my psu is not good enough? I know some people on here will say its plenty for a htpc, but online looking up my symptoms alot of people say get a better psu?

Dont want to waste money though.

Even though the A10 5800k is integrated it is also the highest speed amd integrated chip i found, online looking up recommendations for a psu for the A-10 lead to suggestions of a 430-450w bronze certified....

Was considering this, found a few recommendations for this psu with the A10, but again I dont know if its a psu issue or the likely hood it is. While my psu was well rated on ncix.com where i ordered, looking around newegg, its not getting good reviews especially for stability. This was one recommended instead.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151074
Edited by Murilo - 3/7/13 at 12:39am
post #27 of 30
If the problem is with your PSU, then it is because the PSU is defective, not under-specced. It is unlikely that your system draws more than 175 watts at peak, it probably idles under 50 which means you aren't even close to the levels of stress that would cause "dirty power" in a normal unit.

Newegg's only got a handful of reviews so it is generally inconclusive, but even so, all of the bad reviews there are for units that were cases of infant mortality, not flakiness.
post #28 of 30
Your problem sounds similar to a problem I had with a WHS 2011build that I did with an MSI board and an AMD Phenom II Black dual core that allows me to open up 2 additional cores. My problem got progressively worse to the point where it wouldn't boot without failing with the board blue CPU lights staying lit. I tried everything as suggested above with replacing parts, hard drive tests, memory tests so on an so forth nothing seemed to work.

I kept researching the error codes but everything seemed to come to a dead end. I then came across something on the BIOS which I updated to the most recent during my build. I can't remember entirely but there is a certain part of the bios that deals with multi core aspect of the CPU AGESA code I believe. One poster stated that he grabbed a certain part of the bios that he knew worked and replaced into the bios that was failing. Something like that was a little over my head so I was asking an IT buddy of mine to see if he could give it a shot, but before that I figured let me try to roll back or flash an older BIOS to the motherboard.

I looked up the BIOS firmwares available on the MSI site and rolled to an update prior to their updating the AGESA code. Lo and behold once I flashed back to that BIOS I haven't had that problem since.

Maybe worth a shot to see what happens if you flash you BIOS to an older version.

Good luck.
post #29 of 30
Thread Starter 
Seen a post elsewhere having this problem with the same motherboard, I have no other ram to try, but he said the problem was his ram was bad.

I ran memtest for 2 hours (2 passes) (I know some say run it 12hours to an entire weekend) but i figured this should be good enough, the ram is 2 months old, i guess i can let it run more another night, but it returned no errors.

One thing i noticed is memtest listed the ram as DDR 2, i have DDR 3...


I am running out of ideas, i guess i may take it to a shop but considering the rarity and complete randomness of the issue, i am worried they are going to charge me an arm and a leg to find what the problem is, or even to see the error requires pure luck when rebooting or booting from off.


Couldnt i just get a BSOD or something, maybe a beep code, maybe a pattern even to reproduce the problem!
Edited by Murilo - 3/9/13 at 5:41am
post #30 of 30
Thread Starter 
Also did a sfc /scannow and nothing, everything was fine with windows files.
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