7 Replies Latest reply on Nov 22, 2016 11:13 AM by Intel Corporation

    Skull Canyon (NUC6i7KYK2) - freezing and reboots


      What happens:


      I am experiencing some issues with my brand new Skull Canyon NUC. This manifests in either a full reboot with zero warning, or the display freezing and the last couple of milliseconds of audio in the buffer endlessly repeating until the system is manually reset.


      Some browsing around these boards indicates that there are a lot of users with the same configuration that are experiencing the same problems, however for the sake of completeness here is my setup:


      • Skull Canyon NUC (NUC6i7KYK2)
      • 2x 256gb Samsung 950 Pro SSDs (configured in RAID 0) - firmware version on both drives is 1B0QBXX7
      • 1x Corsair 16gb DDR4-2133 SODIMM (part # CMSO16GX4M1A2133C1) installed in the first SODIMM slot
      • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit


      Upon bringing the system back up, there are no bugcheck logs or anything else in the Windows event viewer to indicate that anything went wrong, other than a generic error noting that "The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding, crashed, or lost power unexpectedly". From this I can infer that whatever is causing the problem is fairly low-level (thermal overheating, RAM or something else outside of Windows' control).


      Diagnostic steps I have taken so far:


      • Updated system BIOS to the latest version (0042).
      • Re-installed graphics drivers (also tried a clean install of the latest Beta driver).
      • Adjusted CPU fan curves to kick in at a lower threshold.


      One step I haven't been able to take is to update the firmware on my 950 Pros. This is because Samsung Magician is unable to see past the Intel RST array and thus can't access the drives directly, at least from Windows. If anyone knows of how to work around this (e.g. via a bootable disk image), please let me know.


      I'm also going to run memtest86 overnight and see if anything looks iffy, but based on reports from other users on these boards I have a feeling that this is probably not the cause of the issue. Will report back with the results when I have them in any case.

      (Edit: ran memtest overnight, no problems found.)


      How to reproduce:


      This seems to happen fairly often whilst gaming, although I have also seen it happen once whilst just sitting at the Windows desktop. The games I've been using to test include Grand Theft Auto 5, and I've also seen the same problem with Half-Life 2 (which is a bit bizarre given that it's a ~12 year old game and really should not be taxing to run on modern hardware). The problem usually occurs after about 5-10 mins of gameplay (although adjusting the fan curves seems to have extended this to anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour before symptoms manifest).


      With that said, I've also used the system to watch multiple-hour long movies without any problems. General desktop usage (light web browsing, word processing etc) also does not seem to be a problem.


      So, what's the deal here? Is this a thermal issue, part compatibility issue, or a firmware/driver/BIOS issue?

        • 1. Re: Skull Canyon (NUC6i7KYK2) - freezing and reboots

          I have the same problem and there is nothing you can do other than build a DIY case to cool down this "beast". I have this powerful computer for about one month, Balance profile, Win10, HyperX 2133 and 500G Samsung. connected to 2 x Dell U2515H (2k each) on mDP DaisyChain. there is heat even when the system is idle (50C) with fan @ 2800rpm. starting Firefox and it jumps to over 3000rpm, only for opening the browser!!! this is unacceptable. It NEEDS a bigger case and a video card cooling system(more heat pipes), the little fan not doing much cooling. having said that, lowering the temp in BIOS and keeping the fan at 3000+ rpm this little PC is a "beast", but only if you can accept 4000 rpm blower noise.

          • 2. Re: Skull Canyon (NUC6i7KYK2) - freezing and reboots
            Intel Corporation
            This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

            Thank you very much to ChrisTD for the comments above.
            To Rookeh:
            Do you have the option to test the NUC with a different memory stick?
            For testing purposes, did you try to test the NUC just with one SSD?
            The troubleshoot steps you tried is what we recommend for this scenario, another thing to try will be to back up the information from the RAID, then test the NUC with a single SSD, and try the firmware update on both of them in order to try to fix the problem.
            The NUC supports the RAID configuration, but by testing the NUC just with one SSD we can also rule out a possible problem with one of them.
            As you mentioned the problem could be related to overheating, we do have a tool to test the NUC, it does an overall test on the processor including a temperature test, if the processor passed the test, then it should be fine, second option to the left to install it:
            Any questions, please let me know.

            • 3. Re: Skull Canyon (NUC6i7KYK2) - freezing and reboots

              Hi Alberto,


              Unfortunately I do not have any other DDR4 SODIMMs to test with. My next step was in fact going to be a clean re-install without the RAID in place. I will do this and get back to you to see if the situation improves.


              I also ran the load test tool you provided. On the first attempt, the system froze around halfway through the test and I had to manually reboot it. (Note: temperature did not exceed the max threshold whilst the test was running.)


              After rebooting, the issue occurred again just after reaching the Windows desktop, causing me to have to reboot the machine a second time.


              On the second attempt, the machine passed the processor test and stayed below the target temperature.

              • 4. Re: Skull Canyon (NUC6i7KYK2) - freezing and reboots

                To follow up: I have now removed the RAID configuration and performed a clean installation of Windows.


                The instability issues remain, and even seem to be getting worse. At one point the system even fell over during Windows setup. I was, however, able to verify that the firmware on the SSDs was in fact already at the latest version.


                At this point I think my only recourse is to RMA the unit to the vendor. I will follow up once this is completed and report back if the replacement unit shows the same problems.

                • 5. Re: Skull Canyon (NUC6i7KYK2) - freezing and reboots
                  Intel Corporation
                  This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                  Hello Rookeh:
                  Thank you very much for providing that information.
                  Yes, at this point it seems to be a hardware problem with the NUC itself.
                  The NUC has 3 years of warranty, if you are interested in the replacement, please get in contact directly with us through chat, email, phone or online support, you just need to select NUC on product type and you will get those options:
                  Any questions, please let me know.

                  • 6. Re: Skull Canyon (NUC6i7KYK2) - freezing and reboots

                    To give my (hopefully final!) update:


                    I arranged an RMA for the NUC and also its RAM and SSDs with the vendor last week. They tested the whole system in their lab and confirmed that there was in fact a hardware failure on the NUC - but they also flagged up a problem with the RAM as well. So it looks like I just got very unlucky with the hardware lottery.


                    My replacement NUC and RAM arrived today, and - not to jinx anything - so far, so good.

                    • 7. Re: Skull Canyon (NUC6i7KYK2) - freezing and reboots
                      Intel Corporation
                      This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                      Hello :
                      Thank you very much for letting us know that information.
                      Excellent, it is great to hear that you were able to replace the NUC and now the new one seems to be working fine.
                      Any other inquiry, do not hesitate in contact us again.