Pred's Big Summer PC Upgrade Adventure! *UPDATE* It's Dead Jim

EDIT: Irrelevant due to recent events.

Eezy_Bordone wrote:

Pile on Shuttle!

Heh. Heh-heh. Heh-heh-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!

Oh man. Oh man, you've got to laugh. You've got to laugh because otherwise you'll end up crying. I've got to stop celebrating victory ahead of time.

The linked article's problems mirror mine. Let me explain my troubles.

I though, because i'd gotten a new card, i'd solved my problem. And lo and behold, earlier this evening everything seemed fine.

EDIT: Well, not really. The problem I talk about later, happened earlier in the evening. I'd turn the PC on, and get no video signal, no boot up, nothing but the sound of fans spinning. But after a few tries, it worked like it should.

The PC restarted fine (not a turn-off-turn-on thing, just a restart, more on this in a bit) and everything seemed gravy. I installed WindowsXP, and began to put stuff on. Then, I noticed that any video I was playing seemed reddish and washed-out. I thought it was just some Codec problem, tried to download some new ones, nada. So, I opted to do the only thing that I could think of...

...turn the machine off, and then turn it on again.

Simple enough, right? Well, not apparently. You see, the "hiccup" i'd had previously was that i'd turn on my Shuttle, and it wouldn't even boot. Oh, stuff would turn on and all, the fans would spin, but none of the front dashboard lights would turn on, and occasionally the CPU fan would ramp up to a jet-engine like sound. But no lights, and no signal to my monitor. I tried rearranging wires, I tried disconnecting and reconnecting the power dongle for the graphics card, I almost took the thing apart and reassembled it, thinking that it was just an error in my own build.

But this same problem continually appeared, always the same way. I'd turn off the PC, try to turn it back on, no signal to the monitor, no lights up front, not even the sounds of the PC booting up normally. Nada.

Here's my favorite part though. After some serious cajoling (Read: Cursing), out of nowhere, it finally boots up! But now, it's asking for the System Boot Disk. Now, while i'm annoyed that apparently it's forgotten that I JUST INSTALLED WINDOWS XP MCE THREE HOURS AGO, I figure, "whatever, i've got the time", format my HD, and reinstall windows.

Lo and behold, it boots again. I go through the process of updating drivers, Anti-Virus, Utilities, etc. But I can't leave it on forever, so I want something, anything to make me feel safe. So I turn it off, and try to turn it on again.

Again, fans spin, electricity courses through it, but apparently not the right parts. No lights, no video signal, no joy.

Oddly, when I turned off the main power switch at the back of it and unplugged the power cord, then reattached it and turn the switch back on, I would at least get the power light to turn on. But no signal, no booting, nada.

At first I thought it was the graphics card, then I thought it was me, but now I fervently believe that Shuttle are, well, to quote Gabe and Tycho, sh*tf*ckers. I should've known something was up when it took my forever just to find the list of video cards compatible with my Barebones kit (some of which didn't exist) and when it took even longer just to talk to ANYONE at Shuttle.

Baseline? Apparently, i'm out $1400. I know for the rest of you, that's chump change, but on a college student budget, that's basically an entire summer's savings blown away on a sh*t PC.

What frustrates me most about this, outside of just not having a new PC, is the fact that, my current tower, the one i'm writing on, a friend and I built literally from scratch. I ordered all the parts piecemeal, from the case to the power supply and so on, and it's been hammering away for about three years now. Unfortunatlely, it's finally reaching the end of its years. The fan on the graphics card can actually be heard laboring during start-up, and it's having a hard time running more than three programs at once. And it's giving me more consistent performance than the Shuttle. Now i'm left to hope it won't die outright before I can finally get a new PC.

Frustrated and dissapointed, I guess. I hope this turns out to be a eight-page warning to anyone else to stay the hell away from Shuttle. I, meanwhile, am probably stuck with a slowly-dying PC until August.

If any of you think you have a workaround, let me know, but my experiences with Shuttle Customer Service's Mirror the article's, and frankly, i'm really, really reluctant to even chase them down at this point. I've spent some $1400 on a cube that's sitting on my desk. A fantastically technological paperweight. Feh. Even if I cannibalize it for parts, I have to buy a new tower, power supply, CPU, CPU Fan and motherboard. Oy.

Wow, that sucks, Pred. I'm sorry to hear that you're having so much trouble with your shuttle.

you've got a bad part somewhere.. sucks.. but you'll have to start replacing parts one at a time until you can figure out whats causing your issue. It sounds like your getting corruption of some sort.. so I'd probably start with the easiest thing thats your Ram.

Sweet wounded Jesus, Pred! You have me knocking on every available piece of wood I can find before saying that I have had none of the problems you are having.

Before you call in a broken arrow, try to get shuttle to send you a replacement PSU. It seems to me that you video card is not getting the power you need it to. Again, I haven't had these problems and if you recall from earlier posts my conversations with their techies ended up in their assurances the PSU had the juice to run my card (our card) - and it did.

Sorry to hear you are having these issues.

TODAY'S REPORT FROM THE FRONT:

Our weekly schedule allowed us some time to finally get arm-deep inside of this thing and do some work to figure out what's wrong, unfortunately, that meant giving up part of our Friday night, but like I said, $1400 investment.

I talked to some friends with experience and did manage to finally get some talk from Shuttle, and went to work on the first suspect, the RAM.

Oddly, I removed one stick, turned it on, and Wah-Lah, there she goes. Was running in "safe mode" but was running. Fine. We take that stick out, replace it with the one we already took out, again, seems to boot fine. We're trying not to get ahead of ourselves at this point, so we calm down, and decide to try the "Ultimate Test".

The Ultimate Test is a bit of a anticlimax. I don't switch the RAM now (leaving the one stick in), and try to turn it on again.

Nada. Same problem, no signal, no dashboard lights.

So I try what Shuttle Customer Service reccomended. I unplug everything but the hard drives, the graphics card and RAM. Nada. I try both sticks of RAM in both slots, together and by themselves, nada.

So I take the sticks out, try again. No signal, not evening a warning "Beep" that I was missing ALL of my system's RAM.

In discussing this with these friends, it looks like Shuttle shipped me a sh*t motherboard. What's most frustrating is that every 20-25 times, it'll catch, for whatever reason, and boot. The rest of the time, bupkus.

So we'll be giving Shuttle another call on Monday to try and figure out what we can do, and a call to NewEgg to see exactly how screwed financially we are because of this. We only say we're screwed because, in moving to and from campus, we have NO IDEA where the original box for the Shuttle PC might be, nor all the discs and extras that came with it that NewEgg demands. On the upside, we have two perfectly good HDs, a graphics card, and some great RAM. If only Alienware would let us buy a Barebones PC from them.

FINAL CONCLUSION: Don't buy from sh*ttle. f*ck 'em.

There is a way to test if it's the switch or the motherboard.

Unplug the power before doing any of this.
Disconnect the 'power' jumper from the case to the MoBo and then plug everything back in (including power).

You should be able to use a screwdriver to touch the two pins where the 'power' jumper went. If it starts 20 out of 20 times it's the switch in the case and not the mobo itself.

I hate to play the part of the idiot, but you lost me. Again, for n00bs?

There are cables that lead from the case to the motherboard, these are the cables that control the hard drive light, the power led, the power switch, the reset switch, etc. THe ends of the cables on the MoBo side end in elongated 'jumpers' (the things you use on your hard drive to tell it master or slave).

Looking in your manual (which you can hopefully download since you said you don't have the hard copy) unplug the cable that goes to the power switch it's most likely labeled 'power' (PWR LED will be for the power indicator light). You should then be able to use a piece a metal (a screwdriver works best) to touch the two pieces of metal that the power jumper linked/bridged together to start the PC simulating a power button press.

But if you're not comfortable doing it, don't.

I do believe that's just outside of my area of comfort, so i'll abide.

Since I don't have every last niggling part that came with this thing, I can't return it to NewEgg, so I get to go chasing after Shuttle and their reknowned Customer Service base. Hooray.

Should nothing positive come of this in the next 2-3 weeks, I must ask, does anyone think the parts listed on the wishlist here will by anything other than hopelessly outdated by, say, July?

Your talk of the SHuttle at the start of this thread made me go looking for one of my own.

Thankfully I didn't. And I won't. You've just cost Shuttle a good wedge of cash.

Pred I have the box from mine. Assuming there are no Serial number issues I can ship you the box and everything I have left with it, so you can send yours to NewEgg.

You are, after all, my Shuttle Brother.

Well, I have a feeling there may be some serial number issues, and i'd rather be sure.

I'd just like to mention again that this is freaking fantastic timing, since, seriously, the PC i'm writing this on right now is seriously in its death throes. Just fantastic.

The upside is, after yelling a Shuttle for a few days, they're willing to let me RMA the PC to them. Of course, this means another monetary investment and who knows how much longer to wait, and of course, if they should somehow divine that the PC is actually fine (my f*cking ass it is), I have to pay for the servicing and so on. But at least they'll probably take it back. Of course, now I just have to figure out how to get the damn CPU un-pasted from the CPU fan.

Did I mention the old one's dying? Criminy. I almost wish i'd bought a sh*tty Dell. Almost.

My apologies for committing both Thread Necromancy and revisiting this sad freaking saga, but I need one last bit of advice.

So I RMA'ed the system. They diagnosed it, supposedly replaced the motherboard. I get it back, slap everything together, and encounter the same goddamn problem I had in the first place. I fork it over to a friend who runs a crapload of diagnostics on it, encounters the same problem I have.

From my friends over at the campus's Tech Office, opinion seems to be pretty heavily on the side of Shuttle having sent me another faulty motherboard, or (less favored) that i've got a faulty CPU (we didn't have a second X2 processor to test). We've tried it with all the parts, without the video card, the memory, the hard drives, the DVD-ROM, hell, we tried it without the CPU, and all got the same frustrating result.

Shuttle's response for this was for me to put the whole PC together, and send it back to them to diagnose. Frankly, I think Shuttle can eat my ass if they expect me to pay for shipping AGAIN to send what looks like their mistake back to them.

So here's my question to the GWJ braintrust. I feel like i'm pretty much done with Shuttle, but I want a few more opinions before I blow any more money on this. My options, as I see them, are currently...

1.) Do as Shuttle says, and send the whole shebang back to them. Perhaps it is actually the CPU, see what Shuttle can do.

2.) Keep the Graphics Card, Hard Drives, RAM and DVD-Rom, scrap the rest, buy a new case, power supply, motherboard, start from scratch again.

3.) Save up a assload of cash, try to buy a pre-assembled PC.

Like I said, it's all been a bit frustrating. On the "New CPU" front, I was advised to go on eBay and look for a cheap, new CPU to toss in and see if it makes any difference. But like I said, i'm not sure. Anyone have any advice?

Wow. We're having the same kind of problem (starts up fine sometimes, won't start other times) in a PC I built for Logan. None of the "forgetting" stuff or video glitches, but just weird inconsistencies between powering on and not powering on. I'm going to spend a week with it and see if I can suss out the issue. We're hoping it's not a problem with the CPU or RAM, but...

Well if the only thing that hasnt been replaced is the CPU, by process of elimination, you should test the system with another CPU. Of course this is difficult since most people wont have a spare laying around.

As for the CPU coming unpasted from the fan, I would certainly hope that you used thermal grease instead of a paste when attaching the CPU fan to the CPU. If so, the fan should just come off with minimal effort. Although I must admit that I have never had to remove the fan from a CPU before.

Oh no, we did. I'm giving consideration to just trying a new CPU, since that'd be a helluva lot cheaper than the other options, and Shuttle's test with a AMD2 3400 says it DID pass.

Try the new CPU. Odds on getting 2 busted MBs are pretty high

I'll second Swampy. (So when he dies a terrible death on the dueling field, I can tell the missus and 'comfort her'.)

Hell, I'd even send you the AMD64 3000 I have laying around, except its socket 939.

Alright gents, i'll take your advice. Follow-up question though, do I get the sh*t-fast awesome processor I want, or a cheap one just to test it?

Does any of your tech friends have a comp you can put your current CPU in? That would be the first step.

If not go with the cheapest at a place that gives you credit for return purchases. Then if the cheap CPU works you can trade it in towards the ultra fast CPU you want.

Most places won't take returns on Processors, be very careful.

To answer your question, it is a gamble. Maybe you can have a nearby shop "drop in" a known working one - the quid pro quo being that if it works in the shuttle you'll by a "sh*t-fast" one from them?

Goddamn, that is a good idea. I gotta say. I am f*cking impressed with meself, here.

Which socket mobo is it again? AM2?

If it's 939 I have a 3500+ I'll send ya for free. If it is indeed AM2 I'd try out Swampy's suggestion. You're not out anything if it doesn't work and if it does.. well then problem solved.

Quite frankly, even as a computer guy who fixes them as part of his job, if I don't have the parts lying around to test against, I'll drop my computer off at local computer shop and then them the processor is messed, replace it and make sure it sticks. If you know what you're about with computers, you can usually navigate any "extra cost" replacements they may try and throw at you.

Dear god, this thread's about to hit the 1-year mark. That's just retarded.

Anywho, so I had a friend here take a look at the thing, he thinks it's the processor too. When I sent the Shuttle back in the first place, they apparently ran tests on it and it worked fine with the CPU they put in, so maybe it is the processor.

Anywho, i'm tempted to get a new processor for thing thing. Thank the lord, I'm not paying for it this time (Graduation Gift), and am just debating whether or not to just try something easy and cheap, or splurge and get a 3.0 GHz processor. Ideas?

I am very happy with my AMD dual core 4600+.

Runs BF 2142 and everything else wonderfully.

Good luck, bud!

Nobody. Move.

I hope this is a good thing...

EDIT: I know it was a couple of weeks ago, but congrats on graderatin', Predders.

Nobody. Move.

Someone dropped a contact lens!