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lesha_n
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:38 am    Post subject: Spontaneous power offs when using USB devices Reply with quote

Hi,

I've got a problem with my box spontaneously powering off pretty much every time when I use external USB hard drives. I have 2 external 2.5" USB-powered hard drives that I use for backup. Almost every time when I use the disks, the system powers off at a random moment. Sometimes it happens when just booting up with the disks plugged, but not mounted yet (they are not mounted by default), and sometimes after I mount the disks and start copying files from one to another (with rsync) -- usually within 5-10 min max.

Other than when using the external disks via USB, the system is stable, going through a large emerge job without problems. My motherboard (Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H) has USB ports (2 and 3) via both the system chipset (Intel Z77), as well as the VIA VL800 chip -- as far as I can tell, it does not seem to matter whether the ports are controlled by the system chipset or the VIA chip.

My power supply is 550W, which should be more than enough for my box (no overclocking, on-board video, two SSDs and an older Seagate 300 GB SATA drive). I have not finished configuring lm_sensors, but it seems overheating is unlikely, given that the box has no problems running emerge for hours.

Perhaps it's a kernel configuration issue? Would appreciate any advice or pointers on how to troubleshoot this.

Best regards,
Alex
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tomtom69
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like hardware problems with the +5V power rail.
If you load your system (e.g. emerge) most of the power is taken from the +12V rail, so system load has not a big influence on the +5V rail.
Can you supply power to the hard drives externally, so that they do not load the USB port power? If the problem disappears in that configuration you can be quite sure your 5V power is the problem.
In most cases you will not see any overheating, but the +5V power supply suddenly drops. Besides loose cables worn out electrolytic capacitor in the power supply could be the cause.

tom
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lesha_n
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the idea. Unfortunately, the 2 drives are 2.5" USB powered, so no external power, unless I invest in an enclosure. I do have one other external 3.5" enclosure which is powered, I could try using that to test. I recall that when I used that before, typically with at least one of the USB powered drives to copy data, it caused similar crashes; I'll try using it by itself.

I'll check all power cables and look into info on the +5V rail. Is there a way to test the +5V rail specifically to make sure?

Best regards,
Alex

tomtom69 wrote:
Looks like hardware problems with the +5V power rail.
If you load your system (e.g. emerge) most of the power is taken from the +12V rail, so system load has not a big influence on the +5V rail.
Can you supply power to the hard drives externally, so that they do not load the USB port power? If the problem disappears in that configuration you can be quite sure your 5V power is the problem.
In most cases you will not see any overheating, but the +5V power supply suddenly drops. Besides loose cables worn out electrolytic capacitor in the power supply could be the cause.

tom
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tomtom69
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Unfortunately, the 2 drives are 2.5" USB powered, so no external power, unless I invest in an enclosure

If you have an externally powered USB hub this could also be an option.

Quote:
Is there a way to test the +5V rail specifically to make sure?

Not an easy way, because the drop is too short to measure it with the sensors tool and probably even too short for a multimeter.
If you had an oscilloscope it would be easy...

tom
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