[nSLUG] sudden shutdowns

Bill Davidson billdavidson at eastlink.ca
Mon Feb 11 12:28:14 AST 2008


Hi:

You say the system shuts down as soon as you plug in a usb flash drive.
Does it always shut down when you plug in that usb device?  What about
other usb devices?  Have you ever plugged usb devices into that usb port
before?  Does the computer shut down f you don't plug in the flash
drive?

The reason I ask is that I once came across a system (not a homebrew but
one somebody had bought pre-assembled) where the front-panel usb ports
were connected backwards.  The typical motherboard usb header has pins
that go +5V,D+,D-,Gnd.  If you plug in the cable backwards you can
connect +5V to ground creating a dead short.  On the one I saw the usb
driver chip was rather warm (i.e., burn your finger if you touched it).

86F is not hot for a cpu temp, so I doubt that is the problem.  Power
supply is always possible, but again, if the shutdowns only happen when
you plug in a usb drive, then I would say that rules out the power
supply and points to a problem with the usb device or the usb port.

On Mon, 2008-02-11 at 09:36 -0600, Vikram Chhatre wrote:
> nSLUGers,
> 
> It seems like I am destined for hardware problems this month. 
> 
> This weekend my home computer suddenly started shutting itself down 
> without any warning or signs.  This is a AMD XP 2200+ machine that I 
> built 4 years ago when I was a student at Dalhousie.  It has served me 
> well over the years.  Last month I upgraded from Slack 10.0 to 12.0 and 
> things were working great until this problem started. 
> 
> About the time when I was planning the upgrade, I also opened up the 
> machine and cleaned up all the dust that had collected in the box.   
> There was a lot of it.  I should have really serviced / replaced the cpu 
> fan/heat sink but I just cleaned as much dust as I could without taking 
> the heat sink off.  Now I am wondering if my CPU is overheating causing 
> the system to shutdown.
> 
> Since I was still tweaking my new Slackware version, I was in runlevel 
> 3.  I thought I should be able to quickly copy my working files to the 
> flash drive without having to start X, but the system shuts down as soon 
> as I plug in the usb flash drive.  The BIOS shows cpu temp at 86F.
> 
> Tonight, I plan to take the heat sink and fan off and replace it with a 
> new one thats been lying around.  Perhaps that will make the problem go 
> away.  In the meantime, it would help a lot to hear what you guys think 
> the problem could be.   I will also open up and take a look at the power 
> supply and test the voltages.  From what many of you said before, its 
> quite likely the PSU is failing.  But would that cause problems like this?
> 
> The /var/log/messages has no relevant information about the sudden 
> shutdowns. 
> 
> Thanks
> Vikram
> 
> 
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