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    Skylake i5 suddenly died

    jamespetts2

      I bought a Skylake i5 in April of last year and had been using it regularly ever since. I had installed Ubuntu 16.04 on it and used it a portable desktop computer at work (a BYOD sort of place) and when I visited my parents.

       

      This evening, I was using it at home and it suddenly powered down and would not power on again. I tested the 19v adapter with an electric meter, and that seemed fine. I had made sure to update the BIOS to the version that did not have the known problem for this sort of device (and then again to the one that supported NVM). It had worked without any significant difficulty until it suddenly failed this evening.

      Happily, it was within warranty, and Amazon are collecting it on Tuesday for a warranty replacement. Has anyone else experienced anything like this? It is very odd.

       

      The only thing of which I can think is that the HDMI cable that I was using to connect it to the monitor had worked intermittently in the past, but there was no problem with the monitor signal this evening, and the monitor is still working fine when connected to my normal desktop. This sort of failure couldn't be caused by some sort of shorting in the HDMI cable, could it? Ought I to dispose of the HDMI cable as a precaution?

        • 1. Re: Skylake i5 suddenly died
          N.Scott.Pearson

          While there is circuitry to protect against certain kinds of issues (small power surges, etc.), there are still all sorts of ways that a bad cable could cause problems - and indeed damage. That said, a cable that just appears to be intermittently connecting is usually not the cause for such failures. It is possible for cable connectors (or the connectors in the NUC itself) to be physically damaged (i.e. bent), such that connections are loose and become intermittent. This is usually the result of unnecessary or accidental perpendicular force being applied to the cable while it is plugged into the NUC or some other device. What I would say is that, if another cable is plugged into the same connector and the connection is obviously better (tighter), then the original cable should be (permanently) replaced.

           

          Hope this helps,

          ...S

          • 2. Re: Skylake i5 suddenly died
            jamespetts

            Thank you for your reply. I am not aware of any unusual forces being applied while it was connected, and the connectors did not seem unusual or loose in any way. The cable was, however, routinely carried in my bicycle pannier to and from work, as was the NUC itself.

            • 3. Re: Skylake i5 suddenly died
              Intel Corporation
              This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

              N. Scott Pearson, thanks for your assistance.

              To: jamespetts2

              Hello jamespetts2,

              As per your question, at this moment a similar issue to what you have faced it has not been reported, although for sure we will take special care of what you have reported.

              The comments provided by Scott are correct. Once that you receive your NUC it is good that you try to use another cable to connect and confirm if the issue persists.

              As you have mentioned that you like to travel with your NUC, please bear in mind that this equipment offers you the reliability of a small computer, although for an equipment that provides you with more stability if you need to travel very often you can choose a laptop with an Intel processor.

              Please do not hesitate to let us know if the issue persists after the replacement.

              I am looking forward to hearing from you.

              Regards,
              Angie

               

              • 4. Re: Skylake i5 suddenly died
                jamespetts

                Thank you very much: that is most helpful. I shall see if I can get a new HDMI cable in due course in case that was the problem.

                 

                As to travelling and laptops, I bought the NUC specifically because I do not like to use laptops, as I find their ergonomics unpleasant: I have an Android tablet for when I need somethign really portable, but I like to use a desktop computer, with a full-sized mouse and keyboard and multiple full-sized monitors when I am at work or visiting my parents.

                 

                Perhaps I should find some sort of padded carrying case for it to go inside my bicycle pannier (which is already somewhat padded)? If anyone can recommend a padded case for this (it is one of the smaller, flatter NUCs designed for M.2 SSDs), I should be most grateful.

                 

                Also, when replacing my SSD in the new NUC, is there any particular thing that I need to do to make it operate correctly in light of the fact that it was encrypted, or will entering my password on startup as usual suffice?

                 

                Thank you again for all your help.

                • 5. Re: Skylake i5 suddenly died
                  N.Scott.Pearson

                  Well, I hope you don't have a (spinning) HDD in your system; that sounds like you are putting it through a lot of commotion (padded case or not).

                   

                  I bet one of the padded cases design to carry a 7" tablet would fit the NUC fairly well.

                   

                  When replacing the SSD, I would recommend removing the password beforehand and then reestablishing it once it is in its new home...

                   

                  ...S

                  • 6. Re: Skylake i5 suddenly died
                    jamespetts

                    Thank you for your reply: I will see if I can get one of those padded cases.

                     

                    I do not have any other computer that will accept an M.2 SSD, and I do not think that it is possible in any event to decrypt a fully encrypted SSD created under Ubuntu, is it?

                     

                    Edit: And, yes, I definitely did not have a spinning hard drive in there: all components are solid-state.

                    • 7. Re: Skylake i5 suddenly died
                      jamespetts

                      I collected my replacement to-day (Amazon were very prompt about sending it), and the hardware appears to work (I am using a new HDMI cable just in case), but I cannot get it to boot.

                       

                      When I try to boot, the BIOS simply tells me that there are no bootable drives. I have tried:

                       

                      (1) updating the BIOS to version 54;

                      (2) checking many different settings in the BIOS and boot menu to see whether it will boot under various configurations (it will not; this system uses UEFI);

                      (3) manually editing the GRUB configuration file to refer to the correct UUID for the SSD in the new system;

                      (4) running boot-repair from the USB booted Ubuntu;

                      (5) running boot-repair from its own boot USB drive; and

                      (6) running boot-repair from its own boot USB drive in failsafe mode.

                       

                      Boot repair running under Ubuntu purports to work but has no effect: looking at the logs, what seems to be happening is that it is performing the repair on the USB drive and not on the SSD, which error messages claim cannot be accessed because it is busy.

                       

                      Boot repair from the bootable USB drive fails: on launching it (after the menu selection to choose a language and start the process), it shows scrolling text in the style of an old-fashioned Linux startup and then hangs with a black screen (and sometimes a flashing cursor in the top left). On restarting, the system will still not boot from the SSD.

                       

                      All of the important data on the SSD are backed up, so I could in principle just reformat the SSD and start again, but it would be very helpful if I could just allow it to boot and pick up where I left off without having to reconfigure everything from scratch again.

                       

                      If anyone could suggest anything that might remedy this, I should be most grateful.

                      • 8. Re: Skylake i5 suddenly died
                        Intel Corporation
                        This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                        Hello jamespetts2,

                        In regard to your concern, could you please run the following testing tools, and provide me with the full results that you get:

                        Intel® Processor Diagnostic Tool

                        Intel® System Support Utility

                        Once that you reply I will continue with the investigation of your concern.

                        Best regards,
                        Angie

                        • 9. Re: Skylake i5 suddenly died
                          Intel Corporation
                          This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                          Hello jamespetts2,

                          I do apologize for the mistake on my previous message.

                          In regard to your issue, please follow the steps described at the following link:

                          Troubleshooting No Boot Issues on Intel® NUC Products

                          Please do not hesitate to let me know if your issue persists, or any important detail.

                          Please let me know how it goes in order to further assist you if required.

                          Best regards,
                          Angie

                          • 10. Re: Skylake i5 suddenly died
                            jamespetts

                            Angie,

                             

                            thank you for your reply. This wizard appeared to be relevant to the original problem (that with the defective unit). I have already returned that under warranty, and am now having a different problem with the replacement, to which that wizard is not relevant (see the above discussion). I did find and use that page when I first had the original problem and before posting here.

                            • 11. Re: Skylake i5 suddenly died
                              Intel Corporation
                              This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                              Hello jamespetts2,

                              I am really sorry for my misunderstanding.

                              Could you please provide me, one more time just the description of your issue?

                              And I will try to continue with the investigation of your case.

                              Thank you for your valuable time.

                              Best regards,
                              Angie

                              • 12. Re: Skylake i5 suddenly died
                                jamespetts

                                Thank you for your reply. The problem is and remains as follows:

                                 

                                "When I try to boot, the BIOS simply tells me that there are no bootable drives. I have tried:

                                 

                                (1) updating the BIOS to version 54;

                                (2) checking many different settings in the BIOS and boot menu to see whether it will boot under various configurations (it will not; this system uses UEFI);

                                (3) manually editing the GRUB configuration file to refer to the correct UUID for the SSD in the new system;

                                (4) running boot-repair from the USB booted Ubuntu;

                                (5) running boot-repair from its own boot USB drive; and

                                (6) running boot-repair from its own boot USB drive in failsafe mode.

                                 

                                Boot repair running under Ubuntu purports to work but has no effect: looking at the logs, what seems to be happening is that it is performing the repair on the USB drive and not on the SSD, which error messages claim cannot be accessed because it is busy.

                                 

                                Boot repair from the bootable USB drive fails: on launching it (after the menu selection to choose a language and start the process), it shows scrolling text in the style of an old-fashioned Linux startup and then hangs with a black screen (and sometimes a flashing cursor in the top left). On restarting, the system will still not boot from the SSD."

                                 

                                It has been suggested to me that this might be caused by a corrupt UEFI bootloader, but it is not clear how this arose or how to solve this problem. Please note that it is Ubuntu 16.04 that is installed on the SSD.

                                • 13. Re: Skylake i5 suddenly died
                                  N.Scott.Pearson

                                  Hhmmm, busy all the time? That sounds like the bus is locking up. Is the M.2 drive SATA or NVMe type? It may have failed...

                                  ...S

                                  • 14. Re: Skylake i5 suddenly died
                                    jamespetts

                                    I should note that I was able to get boot repair to launch when I tried it again, although it did not fix the problem.

                                     

                                    The drive is of the  NVME type, and I do not think that it has failed as, when I run Ubuntu from a USB drive, I can mount the drive and read the data on it.

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