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Time for a new desktop

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Time for a new desktop

Postby Music Wolf » Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:58 pm

I've had my old desktop, an off the shelf PC World job, for a few years now and it's been adequate for my needs. I'm in the very bad habit of leaving it on around the clock (if everything is working - don't touch) but I've been away for a few days so powered down (which also meant installing updates).

I switched on yesterday but the screens didn't come to life. Power button illuminated but not booting up. I flipped the panel off, checked all connections, fan working but nothing. A couple of trusty on / offs and it came back to life. Updates were installed, Cubase booted up and no need to re-install AI drivers (which sometimes happens after a Windows update). Everything working last night and again this morning.

Sometime during this morning, when my back was turned, it's shutdown. No loss of mains power but further investigation has revealed that the external power supply isn't doing the one job that it's supposed to do - i.e deliver 20v DC. I've ordered a new one from Amazon but I'm thinking that it's too much of a coincidence and that there may be bigger problems.

Hopefully I can get the thing up and running long enough to do a latest backup (just looked at the label on the backup drive and it was longer ago than I thought) then it's a great excuse to go for a new Scan model.
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Re: Time for a new desktop

Postby Random Guitarist » Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:10 pm

Have you checked the CPU heatsink/fan for dust? They can clog up and trigger thermal protection shutdowns.
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Re: Time for a new desktop

Postby ef37a » Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:28 pm

Not that it is saying much but I have never seen or heard of a desktop PC with an external PSU?

Seems a bit pointless since it still needs 5V at monster amps, and +12, -12 etc?

But yes, let mssrs Scan do the heavy lifting! With the advent of W10 and the loss of PC Notes, rolling your own is for very smart peeps only if you want a killer, no hassle machine.

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Re: Time for a new desktop

Postby Dynamic Mike » Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:55 pm

Scan told me what I needed but more importantly they stopped me spending money on what I didn't. Obviously Mrs Mike had already agreed a budget so I spent the same amount but spent it better.
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Re: Time for a new desktop

Postby Music Wolf » Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:59 pm

Random Guitarist wrote:Have you checked the CPU heatsink/fan for dust? They can clog up and trigger thermal protection shutdowns.

The fan will be getting a thorough 'hovering' whilst the side is off (I had this problem with a laptop which was restored to full health with the aid of my trusty Vax).

The power supply is definitely on the blink. Hopefully it's coincidental but I was already considering an upgrade so this is most likely going to tip the balance. I just couldn't face all of the re-installing / re-authorising. It'll be a good opportunity to get all my folders reorganised and archive the older stuff.
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Re: Time for a new desktop

Postby wireman » Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:39 pm

If Windows shut it down then Event Viewer might give clues.
If the supply went down then you are on the way to resolving that.

I don't know how easy it is to test supplies using a voltmeter if that is what you did, I have a tester from CoolerMaster that you plug your power supply leads into but have yet to use it in anger.
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Re: Time for a new desktop

Postby Trevor Johnson » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:06 pm

Not that it is saying much but I have never seen or heard of a desktop PC with an external PSU?

Dave, I suspect it's an all-in-one PC, iMac style, but running Windows.
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Re: Time for a new desktop

Postby ef37a » Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:44 am

Trevor Johnson wrote:
Not that it is saying much but I have never seen or heard of a desktop PC with an external PSU?

Dave, I suspect it's an all-in-one PC, iMac style, but running Windows.

Oh!

UGH!

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Re: Time for a new desktop

Postby Arpangel » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:15 am

If it comes to it, and you have to buy something else, these people are very good. I bought a high spec PC from them and it's been great. They aren't the cheapest, but customer service is excellent, and you can customise your build.

https://www.powerc.com
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Re: Time for a new desktop

Postby Music Wolf » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:57 am

Trevor Johnson wrote:
Not that it is saying much but I have never seen or heard of a desktop PC with an external PSU?

Dave, I suspect it's an all-in-one PC, iMac style, but running Windows.

Actually it's an old style desk top (Lenovo) but it has a laptop style power supply. I'd never encountered this before. PSU output is 20V DC 3.25A. I've ordered another from Amazon (£14) which will hopefully be with me within a few days.

This may be absolute coincidence but, whatever the result of the new psu, it's all pointing to a new pc sooner rather than later. If I can last until Christmas then I'll be retired and migrating from one machine to another could be a great first project (I'll link it with a studio layout tweak). If the new psu doesn't fix things then I'm not sure that I can last 3 months.
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Re: Time for a new desktop

Postby Music Wolf » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:11 pm

Bugger!

New psu arrived this afternoon - is kaput. Maybe it's repairable but not by me and therefore not economically viable. HD and RAM salvaged, the rest off to the recycling depot.

Now I just need to see when I can get up to Scan (or arrange delivery) then find some time to start re-installing and authorising all the bloody software. Data recovery can wait.
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Re: Time for a new desktop

Postby blinddrew » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:40 pm

:thumbdown: You have my pity. Good luck with the software.
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Re: Time for a new desktop

Postby Music Wolf » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:37 pm

cheers

It's really about having a free day to sit down, undisturbed, to tackle the job methodically. Looking at my diary that's not going to be before this time next week.

Cubase is usually straight forward and the Toontrack stuff has their product manager software. I've got all my log in details for those two and Native Instruments. Kemper, Helix and VoiceLive should be straight forward, the Garritan stuff is on disc and there's a Hammond type VST for which I should have the details in my email. I seem to remamber some beggaring about with paths to get Superior Drummer to work in Cubase and then there's the fun and games installing drivers. If I recall correctly you need to be stood on one whilst facing East for it to work.

I think that the learning point from last time is not to try and download it all over wireless. A good stout piece of copper wire is called for.
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Re: Time for a new desktop

Postby Music Wolf » Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:59 pm

Trigger pulled on a Scan model after much messing around as I was away and I couldn't make a card transaction through our network nor get 4G signal. In the end I had to resort to speaking to a real human being via a device called a 'telephone'. It'll never catch on.

Should be arriving tomorrow along with a new bath tub (not from Scan, that's just a coincidence). I'd better make sure that I've got some wine to dull the pain.
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Re: Time for a new desktop

Postby blinddrew » Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:48 pm

Erm, that's not what 'liquid cooling' means...
;)
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Re: Time for a new desktop

Postby Eddy Deegan » Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:54 pm

Music Wolf wrote:Should be arriving tomorrow

Nice one! They'll put stickers all over it to tell you but just in case, be aware that they often (always?) put packing inside the PC case itself to protect it from jiggling in transit so be sure to remove any of that before you power it up!

Enjoy :thumbup:
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Re: Time for a new desktop

Postby Music Wolf » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:03 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:
Music Wolf wrote:Should be arriving tomorrow

Nice one! They'll put stickers all over it to tell you but just in case, be aware that they often (always?) put packing inside the PC case itself to protect it from jiggling in transit so be sure to remove any of that before you power it up!

Enjoy :thumbup:

Thanks for the tip. It’s always tempting to go at these things like a bull at a gate.
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Re: Time for a new desktop

Postby Pete Kaine » Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:11 pm

Aye, we do always put warnings on there and sometimes people even read them!

I think the record is 9 or 10 months running with the bubble-wrap inside before we got a phone call about random overheating.
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Re: Time for a new desktop

Postby Music Wolf » Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:07 pm

Update;

Computer arrived on the allotted day. All bubble wrap was carefully removed. Booted up and everything worked as it should. Then began the bit that I was dreading;

UR824 - drivers installed, all working
Cubase 10 pro - downloaded, all good
Superior Drummer - tick
Kontakt / Scarbee Rickenbacker Bass - tick
Garritan Personal Orchestra - tick
Midiman 4 x 4 - used the anniversary drivers - tick
Kemper librarian - tick
Helix editor - tick
New Casio digital piano (not tried on previous machine) - tick

The only thing not yet working is the AIR Music Technology DB-33 Hammond Organ VST

It took a long while to download everything but it's all working. Better still, using the kit that I ordered alongside the PC, I was able to rescue all of the data from my old hard drive (a better backup regime will be implemented with this device and I'll be making a system image backup this week).

Already it would appear that the stability of this machine is much better. Boot up time is vastly improved, it's quiet and I can work with much lower latency. This isn't an issue for audio as I employ direct monitoring but it does help when playing VSTs.

The best bit is - my wife watched me at work then said "oh, you've got your computer working. Does this mean that you're not buying a new one?" (one black box must look much like another) - Result :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :shh:
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Re: Time for a new desktop

Postby Pete Kaine » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:50 am

Music Wolf wrote:The best bit is - my wife watched me at work then said "oh, you've got your computer working. Does this mean that you're not buying a new one?" (one black box must look much like another) - Result :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :shh:

I must admit, the number of people in our call centre who's partner's think that they have been using the same system for nigh on 10 years now is probably higher than it should be.
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