[SOLVED] Is there an "OBD II" equivalent for a desktop

gn842a

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Oct 10, 2016
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Hello:

I have a home build and am wondering if there is something which does a general system check for errors or flaws in the various major components. I seem to remember something like this--but the truth is I haven't messed with this stuff in four or five years. But I'm having a glitch these past few days and thought it would be good if I could get an idea of overall functionality.

Some elements of the build

incep date September 2013
AMD A10-5800k APU
16 gigs DDR3
Mobo F2A85 - VPRO
AMD R9 380 gui (added later, the built in graphics on the chip were not enough)
Win 8.1
Thermaltake PSU

This system probably has 15,000 hours on it (or more).

The SYMPTOM: Hangs up on boot. It does the chirp, the screen comes up (so I am not expecting power supply issue; the power supply was replaced at about year 3, it's a thermaltake, so maybe we're due. But the symptom I'm familiar with is you hear the fans run and nothing happens, you never get to see the screen). It hangs up at the point where the little circle of white dots is chasing its own tail and then it just stays there. Through repeated reboots, I eventually manage to log on. It's not entirely unusual for the system to have difficulty turning an update into a reboot....that problem is about four years old. And it's even the case that when Windows really wants to update it will shut down, even if in sleep mode, and then do its update thing. So this might be that, but the boot up problem has taken a turn for the worse, shall we say.

I have done some manual updates and one of them made the OS a bit more zippy, which was nice. (PC is set for autoupdate). Mostly the updates are happening as they should but I have gotten 6/13 and 6/14 some notices of failed AMD Smbus updates. However, when I followed some net advice and updated the AMD Smbus manually through the Win 8.1 (Device manager > Processors) and clicked for manual update, telling it to find best update available, it comes back with "best driver software for your device is already installed." Since it is Win 8.1 that generated the error log and Win 8.1 which is now saying it's got a good driver, I'm guessing that somehow the update went through.

So anyhow I'm not expecting someone to have an AHA! moment based on this symptom and miscellaneous information here. I do however have a nearly identical build upstairs, with many fewer hours on it, maybe 4,000, so I could swap a few components.

But it seems to me there is always a risk in messing with stuff that has sat and done its job for a few years, a wire pulled too hard, for example, or something gets bent, so I don't like to go pulling units willy nilly, it poses a small but real risk of accidental damage to one or the other system. I did get a hot CPU indication from speedfan yesterday I turned up the CPU fan (I no longer remember why it was 50%) and it went away. I wasn't gaming or doing anything CPU intensive. It's been hot and the AC didn't go on till yesterday, so at the margin, the system could have been running a bit hotter. At increased fan speed it cooled right down.

Since I just got my first OBD II unit for a car (torque pro) I was using it today and I thought "D*mn! This is what I need for my desktop." I seem to recall that some on line site was able to test different components (was it crucial?) but some of the links I have for that aren't working. All I can find on crucial is that it will sniff the system to recommend.

As for my inherent cheapness the argument can be made that it is time to build a whole new computer but that is a lot of aggro and a new OS, and my secret goal is to keep this build going till they pull support from Win 8.1 in 2022. I am one of the few people on earth who actually LIKED win 8. I suppose I have the alternative of just keep using till something totally breaks.

thanks for any thoughts,

Greg N
 
PC that's been running for while don't fail, specially booting, so u gotta remember what happened BEFORE and AFTER? did you add/change any hardware? Give it a good dust-up, replug all cables?

Normally I would blame W10, but you are on Win 8, I don't expect MS making any major update to that sucker.

I wish there was an OBD II for PC, but nope. So hardware above, and if u can't think of anything, Windows functions best with a regular re-install from clean anyway once-a-while.
 
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gn842a

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Oct 10, 2016
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Thanks for the thoughts, I will go to these options listed above. However, after I posted I decided to do some more net research and my symptoms are consistent with these listed by our colleagues over at TechRepublic:

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/learn-to-troubleshoot-power-supply-problems/ My answers are in capitals--

  • Any power-on or system startup failures or lockups YES
  • Spontaneous rebooting or intermittent lockups during normal operation YES
  • Intermittent parity check or other memory-type errors DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS IS
  • HDD and fan simultaneously failing to spin (no +12V) FAN PROBLEMS HAVE OCCURRED
  • Overheating due to fan failure YES
  • Small brownouts that cause the system to restart YES (I thought it was updates?)
  • Electric shocks that are felt when the case is touched (NO - really? Is this a symptom for those $20 psus?)
So I think that in spite of the fact that I don't like pulling things apart it would be in order to try a new psu and see if the problem goes away. I might even have an extra one in the house. I think I have a spare psu in the house, a cheap one, for situations like this. I've been wanting to get a psu recommended by Tom's Hardware for a while so this might be my chance.

Best wishes,
Greg N
 

gn842a

Commendable
Oct 10, 2016
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Well I think I discovered the source of the problem. Although I take care to keep my pcs 6 inches off the ground and I blow them out twice a year, I forgot about one particular vent. The one at the bottom of the case, that is the psu's intake. :(

Greg N
 

John_Doe777

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Oct 25, 2016
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This probably won’t help you currently but many motherboards have a small screen that will throw codes if something is wrong. Closest to and obd II scanner there is that I know of.
 
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doolittle

Distinguished
Ah yes the old POST code status display - love those, you can also get a POST card in case your board lacks one.

As an avid Linux enthusiast, I commonly boot up a Live Linux USB like Ubuntu in Live mode just to test drive new builds, and to troubleshoot / isolate real HW problems and windows-only problems. If you are having problems in windows, but not Linux, possible windows is the problem (more often than not :) )

Edit - just realized OP found the problem, my bad...
 
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