10 Replies Latest reply on Aug 15, 2017 12:20 PM by Intel Corporation

    NUC5PPYH - experiences and problems

    Martin-ppyh

      Hello,

       

      here comes a critical experience report about NUC5PPYH with a few questions and recommendations to Intel:

       

      HARDWARE:

      I bought the NUC5PPYH in october 2016, installed Corsair Valueselect DDR3l 1x8GB 1600Mhz, no hard disk, all OS-installations I tried used either USB3-readers (SanDisk or Kingston with fast SD-cards) or a USB-DVD-drive (Samsung).

       

      OPERATING SYSTEMS:

      Ubuntu 14 LTS and 16 LTS run well.

       

      OpenBSD 6.0 does not run well (installation is more-or-less possible, but when the system starts it has graphic problems, screen flickers already in command line mode on both HDMI and VGA, graphic mode doesn't run at all).

      (interesting: the same USB-SD-card that has problems in the NUC starts and runs perfectly when I insert it in an older Compaq Notebook from ca 2011 with Intel core I3 M370 cpu)

       

      Suse 42.1 and 42.2 boot and run extremely slow (boot takes some minutes), show graphic problems (mouse pointer traces), and behave quite instable. Not better on my other machines.

       

      Debian 8.6.0 can be installed, but crashes completly after short time (probably graphic problems).

      (interesting: the same USB-SD-card that crashes in the NUC starts and runs perfectly when I insert it in an older Compaq Notebook from ca 2011 with Intel core I3 M370 cpu)

       

      Fedora 25 runs well and uses all 4 cores.

       

       

      PROBLEMS:

      The system worked well for several months, sometimes I used the Ubuntu-stick, sometimes Fedora.

      The problems started in June 2017 when the system began refusing to boot, no matter if an OS-USB-stick was installed or not. Sometimes, I could reanimate it by temporarily disconnecting it from power and repeat the boot attempt. Things deteriorated, and then the system crashed with frozen and distorted screen (content mixed with green pixels). The NUC could not be started again.

      I drove to the vendor, gave him the complete NUC package as I bought it (blue box, power supply, Vesa-bracket, no RAM), and they sent it to an Intel Service Station. 4 weeks later I received a new NUC with the comment that the old one couldn't be repaired, however, I got it without power supply, bracket, etc. After a short mudwrestling, the vendor opened another NUC-box from the shelf and handed me the missing parts. Back home again I installed the RAM and this time an SSD-harddrive WD Green 120GB Sata 2.5.

      Then I booted the NUC and entered setup (F2): RAM and SSD had been recognized and I made only 3 changes: Boot USB Devices First (active), OS-Selection (Linux), Supervisor-PW.

      I saved the changes, booted again to see if the changes were active, and everything was fine.

      Then I shut down the NUC and disconnected it from AC-mains. Some hours later, I plugged it in again, this time with the DVD-drive in the lower front USB-port - and nothing happened: all devices dead: keyboard dark, mouse without light, dark screen, no noises/signs from DVD-drive, no boot, just the power lamp and fan were active.

      The next days I tried all tricks to get the new NUC back to life: BIOS-jumper, power-button-menu, AC-disconnection. After many attempts it suddenly started and I updated the BIOS from version 57 to the latest version 62.    

      I started the NUC again, without any drive, just to look into the BIOS-setup. I could enter it with F2, the BIOS was updated, and the 3 old changes were still in place - and then out of the sudden the BIOS-screen froze with distorted content and green pixels again. Could not leave the BIOS properly, just power down. Boot is not possible anymore, tried again all tricks, this time I even disconnected the battery (tried it 3 times, waited ca 3 minutes), no improvement, just power lamp and fan become active. So, the life of the 2nd NUC was quite short!

       

       

      QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, AND SUGGESTIONS:

      1) Is there anything more I can try? (besides BIOS-jumper, battery connect/disconnect, power-button-menu, AC-connect/disconnect)?

      2) Can the problems be caused by disconnection from AC-mains? (even the 1st NUC had boot problems when I left it disconnected for some weeks)

      3) Can the NUC be permanently damaged when the user plugs devices, that draw more current than a normal memory-stick, in the 3 weak USB-ports? (the DVD-drive starts immediately running when I plug it into the upper/charge port, but stays quite when I plug it into one of the other USB-ports). No hint in the documentation. I used Kingston-readers with the first NUC even in the weak USB-ports, and saw that those readers got hot under operation (means: they draw some current).

      4) When Intel makes the next redesign of the NUC-boards, please, locate the battery connector on the component side (where the RAM is), so that the customers don't need to disassemble the whole device when they try to reanimate a crashed NUC.

      5) I don't like to drive back to the innocent vendor and have long/angry discussions (they would probably throw the NUC away like the 1st one and maybe send me a new, but what's the benefit? I have no reason to believe that the 3rd NUC would work better than the others. And then, what? Complain-and-warranty-loop until the end of the warranty-period is reached?). Hence, I would prefer to send it directly to the responsible Intel-NUC-development/quality department so that the engineers can analyse it and learn from this case (and send me a new and improved NUC later on, maybe next year). Is that OK for Intel? Can Intel give me the correct contact/shipping address, please?

      6) Concerning the OS-installation issues above:

      If an OS-USB-installation runs on an older machine (e.g. Compaq Notebook from ca 2011 with Intel core I3 M370 cpu), is there any BIOS-configuration possible that makes the NUC compatible to the older Intel-computers? (Example: virtualization features that can be switched off).

      Would be great to have compatibility switches in the BIOS (product suggestion).

       

      Many thanks for Your response in advance.

       

      Best regards,

      Martin

      New Unhappy Customer

        • 1. Re: NUC5PPYH - experiences and problems
          Intel Corporation
          This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

          : Thank you very much for joining the Intel® NUC communities. We are sorry to hear the NUC is not working as you expected and that you are not happy in regard to the performance of this device. We will do our best in order to try to fix all the problems you described above and to provide all the information you are requesting.

          In regard to your inquiries:
          1- There are no more troubleshoot steps that we can try. Those are the troubleshot steps that we recommend to do for this scenario, besides the BIOS update to the latest version that you already installed as well.
          2- No, in our lab we have NUCs that we disconnect for weeks or sometimes even months and when we use them again they work without any problems. There are different situations on this regard, for example, if you have different devices connected to the NUC, like a speaker, and you turn the NUC off but the speaker remains on, then it will draw the power from the NUC and that may caused booting issues.
          3- It should work just fine on any USB ports. Sometimes, in very rare scenarios, if the USB stick is defective for example: if it has humidity due to water or any other liquid it can cause this type of damage, so what we recommend is to try a different USB sticks to rule out that theory.
          Please provide the model of the USB stick, DVD player and any other device you are connecting to the NUC?
          4-We will take that under consideration, Intel respects and appreciates all the feedback provided by all the peers in our communities.
          5-We completely understand your comments and we apologize for any inconvenience. We are the fist point of contact for technical support of the Intel NUCs, so if a replacement is needed or if we have to do further research on this matter we will do that in order to try to resolve those issues.
          6-We really appreciate all the feedback provided on your thread, and I will send it to the proper department so they can be aware of your suggestions to take them under consideration.

          Any further questions, please let me know.

          Regards,
          Alberto R

          • 2. Re: NUC5PPYH - experiences and problems
            Martin-ppyh

            Hello Alberto,

             

            thanks for the reply, here come the details of all devices that I connected:

             

            KEYBOARD:

            Logitech Illuminated Keyboard k740 from 2016

            (I tried also a 10 years old apple keyboard without illumination, no difference)

             

            MOUSE:

            Deltaco MS-772 rev 4 optical mouse from 2016

            (I tried also an ASUS UT250 MOUSE/BK/V2 optical mouse from 2016: this one caused blue/white error messages in the command-line-mode under openBSD 6.0, which didn't appear when I used the Deltaco MS-772)

             

            MONITOR:
            ASUS PB278QR from 2014 on HDMI

            (I tried tried also an older Philips Brilliance MWX1220I from 2010 on VGA, no difference)

             

            SD-CARD-READERS:

            KINGSTON MobileLite G4 USB 3.0 Card Reader (FCR-MLG4) from 2016 (looks like a small metal connector), often 2 of them (1xOS, 1xData, both in the front ports)

            SANDISK Image-Mate All-in-One SDDR-289 USB 3.0 from ca 2015

            I used only fast SanDisk-cards from 8 to 64 GB (both SDHC and SDXC)

             

            DVD-DRIVE:

            SAMSUNG SE-208 Portable DVD Writer USB 2.0 from 2015

             

            to point 2: I used to leave the Kingston-readers, mouse, and monitor plugged in their ports when I disconnected the NUC from AC-mains

             

            Regards, Martin

            • 3. Re: NUC5PPYH - experiences and problems
              Intel Corporation
              This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

              Hi : You are welcome. Thank you very much for providing those details. We will do further our research on this matter in order to try to resolve this problem. As soon as I get any updates, I will post all the details on this thread.
               
              Any questions, please let me know.
               
              Regards,
              Alberto R
               

              • 4. Re: NUC5PPYH - experiences and problems
                Intel Corporation
                This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                : I just received an update from the research we are doing on this matter, and we just wanted to check if you have the option to test the NUC with a different memory RAM stick?
                 
                Any questions, please let me know.
                 
                Regards,
                Alberto R
                 

                • 5. Re: NUC5PPYH - experiences and problems
                  Martin-ppyh

                  Not yet. I ordered a Crucial 4GB DDR3L-module for another computer, and as soon as I receive it, I'll carry out a test in the NUC (delivery is scheduled for end of next week).

                  Just performed another test without any RAM: The fan runs and the power-button blinks 3 times, waits ca 2 sec, blinks again 3 times, waits again, and so on. All external devices sleep.

                  With RAM installed, it's still the same result: Power lamp on, fan on, everything else dark.

                   

                  Regards, Martin

                  • 6. Re: NUC5PPYH - experiences and problems
                    Martin-ppyh

                    Not yet. I ordered a Crucial 4GB DDR3L-module for another computer, and as soon as I receive it, I'll carry out a test in the NUC (delivery is scheduled for end of next week).

                    Just performed another test without any RAM: The fan runs and the power-button blinks 3 times, waits ca 2 sec, blinks again 3 times, waits again, and so on. All external devices sleep.

                    With RAM installed, it's still the same result: Power lamp on, fan on, everything else dark.

                     

                    Regards, Martin

                    • 7. Re: NUC5PPYH - experiences and problems
                      Intel Corporation
                      This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                      : No problem. Thank you very much for letting us know that information. That behavior is expected from the NUC when it is not using any memory sticks at all. Once you get the chance please let us know the results of testing the NUC with a new memory RAM.
                       
                      Any questions, please let me know.
                       
                      Regards,
                      Alberto R
                       

                      • 8. Re: NUC5PPYH - experiences and problems
                        Intel Corporation
                        This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                        : I just wanted check if you were able to test the NUC with the new memory RAM?
                         
                        Any questions, please let me know.
                         
                        Regards,
                        Alberto R
                         

                        • 9. Re: NUC5PPYH - experiences and problems
                          Martin-ppyh

                          Hello Alberto,

                          received today the 4GB-RAM-stick (crucial DDR3L-1600-SODIMM 1.35V CL11), installed it, and the NUC started!

                          First it displayed 4 warnings, probably as result from many trial and error attemps:

                          Warning: CMOS Battery failure

                          Warning: CMOS Checksum Error

                          Warning: CMOS Time Not Set

                          Warning: Memory Size Decreased

                          I tried to start two different memtest86 Boot-CDs, but they weren’t accepted (media-error); those disks started already in other computers (one disk contained memtest86 v4.3.7 requesting Legacy-boot, and the other memtest86 v7.4 supporting both, UEFI-boot, and Legacy-boot).

                          Entered setup using F2, corrected date/time, and tried several times with UEFI activ or not. The first time I couldn’t leave BIOS, neither F10 save-and-exit nor ESC discard-and-exit worked, just power down. Eventually, after I pressed F10 (Boot-menu ), the 7.4-CD started in 4.3.7-legacy-mode, however, it started without showing any Boot-menu.
                          Result: Memory test o.k.

                          Plugged in the Kingston-reader with Fedora25-SD-card. System boots and runs perfect. Tried several times.

                          Exchanged again the RAM-sticks, and with the old 8 GB Corsair, the NUC still doesn’t show any sign of life, just the fan. Changed RAM again and checked again with 4GB crucial: works.

                          Disconnected the NUC from AC for 3 hours, connected again, and it works.

                          So the NUC is up and running again!

                          Many thanks for Your patience and excellent support!

                          Here come a few suggestions to fix issues that I experienced in the last days and weeks. Would be great, if Intel could implement them to make the NUC more robust and user-friendly, hence, attractive to customers:

                          1. BIOS v62 seems to be stable, but not perfect: see above, strange behavior during CD-boot and when I tried to leave BIOS with F10 or ESC. Furthermore, I saw that sometimes the boot-options F2, F10, etc, just briefly flash and immediately disappear. Only chance to enter setup was to immediately press F2 after power-on no matter what happens on the screen.

                          2. The battery connector should be moved to the RAM-side to enable total reset without cumbersome disassembly.

                          3. Difficult error-identification. If something is wrong, the NUC should provide a short but specific message instead of doing nothing., e.g. RAM-error. Today, the user can only spend days with endless trial-and-error attemps. That means, the BIOS should have some diagnosis functions that run even without any RAM installed, or when RAM is defective. And it should have a RAM-test-option during boot (just a quick one, complete RAM test would last half an hour) and a RAM-test-tool in setup (complete RAM-test checking each bit).

                          4. If Intel wants to sell more NUCs to the non-Windows-community, the NUCs should have some kind of downwards-compatibility-switch in the BIOS. Background: Linux/BSD-teams have limited resources and usually need some time to implement brandnew processor-features into the OS; consequence: When people buy a new computers, their favourite OS doesn’t work due to those features (new cores, graphics-modes, virtualization-features, security mechanisms, etc). So, with a downwards-compatibility-switch, they could, for example, let a new N3700-NUC run in core-I3-M370-mode, or Celeron-mode, and install the OS, and when the updated OS arrives (1-2 years later), they simply deactivate that BIOS-switch and can use the full functionality. To be honest, I have no idea how complicated it would be to implement such a switch into BIOS (or the cpu-chip itself), but I’m sure it would be appreciated by the customers, hence, raise Intel’s turnover.

                          Best regards and thanks again, Martin

                          PS. I’ll keep you updated if should discover further oddities (or problems)

                          • 10. Re: NUC5PPYH - experiences and problems
                            Intel Corporation
                            This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                            : Thank you very much for providing that information and those results. Perfect, we are glad to hear the NUC is up and running again. Just to let you know, Intel really appreciates the feedback provided by all of the peers in our communities that is why I will send your suggestions to the proper department so they can be aware of your comments to hopefully take them into consideration for future releases. Perfect, please keep us updated.

                            Any questions, please let me know.

                            Regards,
                            Alberto R