05-28-2008, 06:43 AM
Join Date: May 2008
I’ve been running into similar problems on my system. I thought I had the problem licked but it seems the ‘freezing’ has arrived again and is occurring quite frequently.
Running XP SP2
Shuttle XPC G2 Chassis
SS30G2 FS30 Mainboard
Intel Pentium D 820 2.8 GHz
1024MB-533MHz DDR2-533 PC2-4200, 240p DIMM
ATI Radeon 256MB (at work, can’t remember the model)
80GB 5400RPM Western Digital Hard Drive
250GB 5400RPM Western Digital Hard Drive
DVD+/-RW Burner (again, can’t remember the model)
200W PSU with active PFC
Let me describe the freeze – you are working normally (not any major load on the CPU/Memory) and the hard drive light will go solid orange and stay lit. The system freezes in whichever process (or none at all) you happen to be in, including the mouse cursor.
Before I begin, initially I thought this may be a Shuttle issue since these cases are so compact and I have a cat in the house that sheds hair. So I have had to clean the unit a few times. I thought it might be a Windows issue so I reinstalled XP twice. It seemed to fix the problem at first but it returned shortly thereafter. I thought it might be a hard drive issue but did several test on both my hard drives and they tested fine. I even had a status screen up once when it froze so I don’t believe the hard drive are the culprits. This lead me to believe it may be a CPU issue. The system by default uses a fan control setting where the speed will increase or decrease according to the computing process. I noticed in the BIOS the CPU temperature was in the upper 50s and bouncing near 60c. After pulling the specs on the D 820, the max temp is in the low 60c range. So I immediately thought with the small casing, the D chip (that runs hot normally) and the cat hair issue this could be my problem. I did several test where I overrode the fan control to ‘full’ and/or ‘mid’ I ended up settling at ‘mid’ as it seem to keep the CPU in the high 40s and sometimes low 50s range. Of course ‘full’ keeps it even lower. I notice my hard drive temps come down as well with these settings as well (to be expected).
SO, as I mentioned, I thought I had the problem licked, when it returned this weekend. The only fix I have come up with is if I leave the fan on ‘full’ it seems to stay up fine. However, if the system freezes and you reset the fan to ‘full’ in the BIOS directly after a freeze it may fail again. The system will need to cool off first.
So my question is, am I on the right track – does this appear to be a CPU problem or have I miss took this to be a power supply issue (something I have not explored much)? My gut feel is the CPU has been damaged some and I should replace the D with a 4 (with a higher max temp and lower operating range). If so, I don’t think Shuttle has done good engineering on these systems to allow such a small case with the D chips (everything you read on these chips say they run extremely hot).
I am tentatively planning to order a Pentium 4 641 3.2GHz and new heatsink and fan. Other suggestions would be appreciated.