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Random computer restart with occasional 4 beeps


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#1 designlink

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 03:49 PM

So I've been trying to figure out what is wrong with this computer for some time now. I've tried many things, with no luck.

 

The problem:

The computer restarts itself at extremely random times, sometimes a few times per day, all the way up to working for a month or more with no problems.  

 

Symptoms:

- Every now and then, after the restart, there are 4 beeps, which is supposedly a timing issue? The beeps only happen about 20% of the time after restarts. When I restart again, the beeps usually don't happen again. 

- On 2 occasions, there has been an error stating that a fan is not being detected upon startup. 

- It is not over-heating, sometimes the computer will be off for a week and restarts immediately after startup.

- No other symptoms, everything works fine

 

What I've tried:

- Many many diagnostics and diagnostic tools, all of which have came back saying everything is fine. 

- Reset the BIOS to factory default, as well as changing the timing and settings. No changes.  

- I've tried just keeping only one stick of RAM in, and swapping with the 2nd just to rule out it being the RAM. It seems to do it more often with 2 sticks in, but it could be just a coincidence. 

 

Computer info:

HP xw6400 Workstation, Windows 7 64bit, 8GB RAM (2x4GB sticks).

 

 

Thanks in advance.



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#2 dicke

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 06:20 PM

Welcome,

Just for fun, go in and verify that all of the fans are securely connected AND securely mounted.

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/speccy/

Will help you see what temperatures are like in the box and if any are climbing out of the safe range.

Keep us posted


Stay well and surf safe [stay protected]

Dick E


#3 designlink

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 06:30 PM

Yeah I've already done that...unplugged and replugged more than a few times.  The fan is mounted on a plastic piece that then hooks onto the other fans plastic pieces, so there's no way it's a mounting issue. The other possibility is just a loose connection in the cord itself, which I've inspected and can't see anything, but who knows what's going on on the fan side because the wires are encased.  Would a fan connection problem cause something like this???

 

I may try to dig around some more and see if I can find another fan to swap out. 



#4 dicke

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 08:31 PM

A nonoperational fan could cause temps to rise which could cause a safety shutdown

Keep us posted


Stay well and surf safe [stay protected]

Dick E


#5 designlink

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 10:37 PM

That was my very first thought months ago, but as I said in the first post, it does it during the first boot after the computer has been sitting cold for days. that completely rules out overheating.



#6 dikbozo

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 11:49 PM

How old is the motherboard battery? A fresh one is a couple of bucks at worst.



#7 EPDGaffney

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 01:53 AM

Having the same problem myself, down to average temperatures and long periods of time in between as well as thrice in a day (just now for me) and essentially everything you've mentioned, so I'll be glad once you work it out, designlink.  My motherboard is in use for about a month, so I don't believe at least in my case that it's the battery.  I'll be following this thread.



#8 designlink

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 07:09 AM

It's unknown how old the battery is, it's a used computer we have only had less than a year, but the computer was made many years ago.  It very well could be the battery, so I will look into that.



#9 JohnC_21

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 08:48 AM

Does the power led flash red when you get the 4 beeps? If you do check this.



#10 EPDGaffney

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 04:43 PM

You may want to check your cable management and for dust.
It happened to me a couple times as I was starting up about an hour ago, so I turned it off and had a look inside to check the connexions and all that, found there was loads of dust.  With the light in this room I never seen it until I took some things out to-day.  It's obvious one reason was poor cable management, or rather middling cable management.  I've just rerouted all the cables behind the motherboard tray and done my best clearing the dust.  We'll see what happens.

How would a person know if it is dust?  Diagnostics say everything's grand, and I don't believe there's a diagnostic for dust, so it may be leading us in the right direction.  Any thoughts?



#11 dicke

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 06:11 PM

Dust, like change is a constant. If the box is on the desk you might be able to go several months without a good cleaning. On the floor, more often.

Trying to write a diagnostic for dust might be like trying to carry an elephant. Not impossible but also not practical. Some dust may not be conductive, others might be. Some is more thermal insulating that others. Lots of dust insulates well. In fact if you can get enough, hot enough, you might produce a real problem.


Stay well and surf safe [stay protected]

Dick E


#12 EPDGaffney

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 06:42 PM

The box is on a very dusty desk.  I've never seen dust like this in all my life.  The dust of one day is ten times what I'm used to.  I hadn't fairly realised how well it was getting inside owing to the poor light where I am.  There's filters on every hole in this thing, but that sure isn't stopping it.
Any recommendations apart from compressed air?
I'll be more dilligent cleaning dust from now out, but how do I know it was the dust?  If it wasn't, what's even left?  Designlink and I are in the same position, having tried the standard recommendations for this sort of problem.  Or, is it possible the dust has done some damage already?  Thanks.



#13 dicke

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 09:03 PM

EPGaffney

Be careful with compressed air. You can move things with it. A vacuum and compressed air might do a better job - with less of a mess to clean up after.

Maybe in the process of cleaning up you will remove and reinstall all of the various pieces and parts so that you know that they are correct and tight. Post back then and we'll have another go at it.

Keep us posted


It's unknown how old the battery is, it's a used computer we have only had less than a year, but the computer was made many years ago.  It very well could be the battery, so I will look into that.

I'll be looking for your next message


Stay well and surf safe [stay protected]

Dick E


#14 EPDGaffney

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 09:51 PM

Thanks.  Sorry but I've no hoover, actually.  Never replaced it as I'd a broom here.  What sort would I buy?  I've read it can cause static shock damage.
Nor have I ever used canned air.  I've read that one can avoid using it on 'full blast' and therefore circumvent the sort of damage you were talking about.  Any truth to that?



#15 dicke

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 09:59 PM

Thanks.  Sorry but I've no hoover, actually.  Never replaced it as I'd a broom here.  What sort would I buy?  I've read it can cause static shock damage.
Nor have I ever used canned air.  I've read that one can avoid using it on 'full blast' and therefore circumvent the sort of damage you were talking about.  Any truth to that?

I wouldn't buy a vacuum just for the computer unless I had dozens to keep clean.

Yes, you can cause damage with static. If you don't have a grounding strap, keep one hand on bare metal all of the time you are playing inside the box.

Yes, a full blast from a fresh can of compressed air can do damage. Keep the can several inches away from the parts. If you use a pipette, the straw you can connect to the nozzle be careful as that can concentrate the stream.

Keep us posted


Stay well and surf safe [stay protected]

Dick E





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