Originally Posted by xhonzi
The exact text on the screen is:
- System Offline -
As I said, this is the standard "there's power, but it's not on screen" that I'm sure we've all seen at some point in time. I don't think it's an actual "error".
The error itself, however...
I'm pretty sure it's a basic computer problem. Not only can I get into the CMOS setup, I can hold F8 and get into the OS boot menu. However, nothing will boot. Safe Mode, Safe Mode Command prompt, etc...
Once I did get a blue screen of death (usually it just reboots with no indication) and it told me I needed to do a scndsk on f:. But that was it.
Could it be the RAM? Does anyone know how many modular components are on the 340c? The HDD is obviously its own unit, but is the CPU, the RAM, the video card, etc. all integrated onto the mobo?
the 340C originally holds a VIA Epia ML-5000EA Mini-ITX motherboard. After a couple of years in operation the electrolytic capacitors wear out (especially if not disconnected from power completely). I have replaced them on three ML-5000AE boards so far and this restored operation on the units.
The issue with electrolytic capacitors is not unique to D-Box controllers, it is a general problem of the limted lifetime of electrolytic capacitors. The lifetime is specified as hours of operation at a given operating temperature. Having no active cooling, the 340c is running at a higher temperature, shortening the lifetime of the capacitors. If you take a look into the controller you might be able to see whether the top of the capacitors is slightly domed, which is a sign that they are worn out. I have seen pictures from other mainboards where the capacitors have even exploded...
The effect of broken capacitors generally is irratic behavior, i.e. blue screens, not booting reliably, hanging during boot. I had one 340c that booted just fine worked for hours and the next day it wouldn't boot anymore, but it did a last time the day after that...
Long story short: Check your mainboard. If it is the capacitors, you can replace them (if you can handle a soldering iron) or have them replaced by someone who's proficient in soldering. You can exchange the mainboard yourself with another Mini-ITX board (I have done so with a VIA Epia LN-10000EG - you need to change some plugs and use adapters for the HD and DVD drive since the LN-10000EG doesn't have P-ATA ports or replace the drives) or have it fixed by D-Box. The cost of the different options varies... The capacitors are a few bucks, the mainboard is appr. $150 (plus new drives?) and someone reported that D-Box charges around $1,000 for upgrading your 340c to a 4-series controller, if memory serves me right.
If it is not the mainboard... then I don't know.