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Unexpected Shutdown Mode. Please Help!

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October 19, 2008 6:45:27 PM

Hi All,
Have a similiar post about this under motherboards. Thought i might try in a more generalized area. Firstly basic specs:
FOXCONN P4M800P7MA-RS2-Pentium 4 Dual Core-512mb ram- Nvidia FX128 AGP-Current System-PCLinux 2007. Bios- very complicated Phoenix Award V-6.00PG.

This old thing performs faultlessly running either Windows Or Linux, except for this:

It goes into shutdown mode of its own accord! It is not set to do this. It does not just suddenly power off or suddenly die on me. It actually goes through the proper routine-"WINDOWS IS PREPARING TO SHUTDOWN", etc. Linux the same-"heaps of stuff then, unmounting the system, power off, and that's it, its shutdown. It will do this whether in the middle of writing an email or just sitting there with the screen saver running. Some times it happens after only 20 mins, some times 6 hours, 2 hours. According to bios cpu is running at about 30 celcios and hard ware monitor as well. So i don't think its heat related. Cpu fan spinning at about 2600rpm as its running pretty cool without load.
In 12 years its the only machine i have ever struck this on. And i am really stuck!!
If any body can give me a list on where to start, what to start looking for i would be so grateful. If i can get this sorted maybe then i can browse around and see if i can help out some where. Please help all you people. Never know, may be some little thing i have not tried or thought of checking.
Thanks Heaps, Woolyone.
October 19, 2008 11:17:05 PM

Uhmmm that is a bit odd!! It does sound like a ACPI/BIOS problem rather than a system failure (which would lead to an immediate reboot or "blue screen of death" under Windows).

Looking at the BIOS list there are a few fixes for Cedarmill CPU's and problems with sleep state resuming (that might lead to a shutdown I guess??) Have you the latest BIOS (58BF1P33)??

The ACPI and Shutdown temperature settings look the most relevant in the BIOS (from reading the manual). What happens if you turn of the power saving mode completely in the BIOS (minimum power saving option in the ACPI menus)??

Maybe the shutdown temperature is set too low? I see your comment about the CPU temperatures being low (surprising I read those Cedarmills were really hot - my old P4 Prescott really heated up the room - even more so than my dual-Opteron system!!) So seems unlikely...

Interesting BIOS I never seen a full disk partition backing up utility squeezed in one before!!

Your rig would surely benefit from having 1Gb RAM?? I find XP and 2000 struggle a bit on systems with 512Mb (kernel paging, etc.) DDR2 RAM can be got quite cheap these days.

Could of course be the MB PWM circuitry for the CPU showing the strain (since that P4 model must have an enormous TDP).

Bob
October 20, 2008 1:53:58 AM

Hi Bob,
Good to hear from you and very grateful for the reply. Sound like you know a bit about these old girls where as i am mostly an ASUS A8N GUY. Here is what i tried first off, disabled acpi, in power management i have 3 choices-user define(which i had it set to), min saving and max saving. There is no option to enable or disable it, has to be 1 of the 3. Set that to min saving. That then automatically changes the suspend mode to 1 hour, after setting to min as above. If i set it to max it changes it to 1 min. But this is sort of grayed out. Disabled smart cpu fan. Rebooted and an alarm goes off, runs constantly. Back into advanced settings, enabled ACPI AGAIN. Rebooted alarm has stoped and Linux has booted up nicely. Will see how long it lasts. First thing i notice on hardware monitor, Gkrellm-Linux thing is fan is still only spinning at 2600. Don't know much about Pentiums. As i say, experienced mostly in Asus and AMD. Surely should be spinning fater than that!!
Yeah i know it would be better off with a gig but am out of sticks. This board has 4 slots 2xddr2 and 2xddr. Presently just have a ddr400 in it. Has a brand new 550 watt psu. The heatsink and fan. Have another may change it later but it is still running at only 34c with high end screen saver running so its not getting hot so not to worried about that at present. No mate have not downloaded a bios update. That one above is that the one i should look for. Have not done a bios update using a floppy for a very long time. Would have to read up on how to do it again. Been spoilt with Asus Update tool! Sorry i did not get straight back but had to go to the Doc, checked as soon as i got home. Dont know if you had all this info at hand or you did research for me but i am extremely grateful for your help and will let you know what happens. Booted her up at 11.00, still running. Now almost 12.00 here in Qld Australia. But ya just can't tell with the mongrel!!
Thanks again mate, Wayne.
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October 20, 2008 12:50:45 PM

Hi woolyone

I have no experience with that board but I hear that Foxconn make good budget boards. Via chipsets have driven me to distraction in the past but I guess they aren't any worse than the dreaded Nvidia ones (yuck).

Yeh you can't disable ACPI completely (I hope I didn't suggest that). I wouldn't be too keen to leave it on MIN saving for ever (unless you have very cheap electricity down under). The dual-core Smithfield was (and still is) one of the highest power-draw single-socket CPUs. Try a BIOS update (if your board doesn't come with the newest one) for an ACPI fix...

Check out the Foxconn website mate they have the full manual for download and lots of software goodies including a tool that has a Windows BIOS updater built-in (which theoretically searches for the newest one online).

The fan RPM required depends greatly on the size fan (therefore why most folks try to stick to slower 120mm fans)... Is that an 80cm fan, blowing "down" on the CPU heatsink+motherboard??

Yeh I would get 2x 1Gb sticks of DDR2 for that baby. Most folks would clammer for you to update to a Core 2, etc. but unless you are gaming or x264 video encoding there is little point!! Whats the pricing like for RAM in the ol' AUz?? Here in the UK its like silly money compared to what it used to be... I remember buying 2Gb Geil PC3700 DDR RAM for like 140.00GBP!! - ouch!! Now it's like 30GBP...

Bob
October 20, 2008 8:23:10 PM

Hi again Bob,
I can get ddr2 1gig sticks for about $35.00au. It ran from about 11.00am till about 3.30pm yesterday and did not go into shutdown before i actually shut it down. So itlooks promising but i'm not getting too exited just yet. It runs PCLInux no worries even with quite a few apps running and in 3d desktop mode but it realy should have a bit mor juice. Booted her up this morning 5.30am changed that bios setting to max saving. Will see what happens today. One thing though it will not fully shutdown the comp. Power off with the changes i've made in the bios. Bloody ironic aint it! It fully unmounts every thing, halts the system, "system halted " but i get no "power off signal". No drama i just hold in the power button and it powers it off. Its not hurting anything as the system is fully halted. Cant remembe if it did the same with XP on it.
Only reason i set it up in a case was to try to sell it. May get into a deal with a shop, Put PCLinux on display(most people often think its Mac system), if people like it i can install it on their computer on its own or dual boot with the full Synaptic repository installed as well. No downloading from the net! Great for those with limited downloads or dial up. May be even build whole new machines using Linux. A win for the shop as well as me. I do pc work at home. Failing that would just like to sell the thing. Get some money into the household. I have 2 Asus boards with AMD'S. An A8N-SLI PREMIUM DELUX AND A8N-PREMIUM. Love em! One has a dual core the other single. Can overclock the #&*# out of them as well as the Graphics card. Makes Need For Speed run with the highest settings beautiful and fast and faultless. Only done it on the odd occassion though. Friends of mine who have a business seem to be throughing out a hell of a lot of Gigabit boards, fairly new ones so will ster clear of them. I am happy with my 2 Asus dual boot machines. They don't make em like they used too! Any way later mate, thanks again and will post back on how she goes today. Wayne.
October 20, 2008 10:25:15 PM


Hi Wayne!!

It did occur to me that you could of course wade through the PCLinux logs because they are so much more useful than the stupid Windows logs. Might give you some clue what APCI setting is causing the machine to power down. I can't see the point of those Windows Event logs - it's like the blue screen of death (OS designed for toddlers, blah, blah)...

OT warning ***************************

Ah all good stuff. My favourite distro just now is Ubuntu. Its a bit sad I know!! But damn it's nice not to have to d*** about too much with it out of the box (it installs real fast from a CD base of "useful" core software). Like I just switch a few GUI switches I have SPDIF sound enabled. Mandriva was always a lot more hassle in that respect. I love the way if wait long enough issues get resolved in the Linux kernel... Like port-multiplier support for the SATA driver was added (which I use) and my sound card is now supported. The ATI GPU drivers have improved a lot.

The installer/live boot loader is bit broken on the 8.04 Ubuntu/Kubuntu releases which requires a few simple command line boot option work arounds. But the support of course is really good given the popularity of it. My flatmate likes Ubuntu because it isn't "blue" and plays the "Battle for Wesnoth" 24/7!!

I started with a P4 laptop and desktop myself however I have build-up about 6 AMD based machines (Athlon XP and 64's) for other people. But one cannot ignore the efficiency of the Core 2 architecture and I have built-up a machine with a E2180 with a neighbour - which was an interesting project. Currently using an dual AMD Opteron rig with a rather dodgy Tyan server board (hmm stick to Supermicro folks!!)

I have mainly stuck with DFI and Gigabyte boards myself. In my opinion DFI are one of the best and certainly the European support is second-to-none. (Trying asking for a MB I/O plate from Gigabyte or Tyan and you will see what I mean!! They even threw in the audio riser module all for free...) I think Gigabyte still have a good reputation but I guess if you buy from the budget end perhaps - I don't know??

OT warning ***************************

All the best - sorry for rambling on so much!!

Bob
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