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Why does my NUC Skull freezes often suddenly?

LKok
Novice
3,722 Views

Why does my NUC SKull freeze so often suddenly after a few months?

I have to press the start/ restart button on my machine to reboot the system.

Then it works but after a few minute doing stuff, eg. browsing internet, working on a software, etc it freezes again - everything, keys and mouse and all, stops working!

It freezes when one of the CPU is reaching 100%. See my attachment below:

It never happened before.

Any ideas what might be causing this? Is the machine breaking down? Or am I being hacked by viruses that eating my CPUs? Is it a hardware issue or a software issue actually?

I am using Skull Canyon solely on Ubuntu 16.10 - Kubuntu Plasma 5.8. I have 16GB RAM. If it is a software issue, should I re-format my system?

0 Kudos
25 Replies
idata
Community Manager
416 Views

Hello teelou,

 

 

Thank you for contacting the Intel community.

 

 

I'm sorry for the issue you have experienced with this unit, in this case, we can try the following:

 

Update the BIOS to the latest version; you can download the latest version here:

 

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/26698/BIOS-Update-KYSKLi70-86A-?product=89187 BIOS Update [KYSKLi70.86A]

 

 

Please see http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/boards-and-kits/intel-compute-stick/000006039.html F7 BIOS Update Instructions for Intel® Compute Stick

 

 

Once the BIOS is updated, update to the latest graphics driver, it can be downloaded at the following link:

 

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/26669/Graphics-Intel-Graphics-Driver-for-Windows-15-45-?pr... Intel® Graphics Driver for Windows* [15.45]

 

 

Also, make sure Windows® is up to date and if the problem persists, I suggest you to try with different cable, if you are using HDMI from the NUC to HDMI on the TV/Monitor try replacing that cable or if you are using any adapter try straight connection instead of using the adapter.

 

 

If this does not work try to access your system in safe mode, once you are in safe mode try to do something with your system and if freezes, most likely there is a hardware problem, at that point, if you have two memory RAMs installed use one at a time on each of the DIMM slots and restart the system to check the behavior.

 

 

Unfortunately it is hard to tell if there is an issue with hardware unless we start testing components to check if one of them is defective.

 

 

Please let me know how it goes.

 

 

 

Best regards,

 

 

 

Ivan.

 

LKok
Novice
416 Views

Now my Nuc has become even worse. I can't boot into my system anymore. What I get is a boot screen showing 'Intel Nuc' and it keeps restarting by itself. Constantly stuck at this page for a few minutes then reboot by itself. No response anymore if I hold down f2 key.

What is going on? How can fix this? Please help!

idata
Community Manager
416 Views

I'm sorry that you are still having problems with the NUC. Does this happen after you tried the troubleshooting steps I posted above or you couldn't try these recommendations?

 

 

If this is happening after you tried my recommendations then let's try turning off the system and unplug every component connected to the NUC, power adapter, keyboard, mouse, any USB device, and remove the RAM and SSD from the system if it is possible, leave it as it is for at least 30 minutes to one hour, then install the SSD and one memory stick, turn on the system, if the system starts fine you can start adding the rest of the components.

 

 

If that does work, you can try the following:

 

Disconnect the SSD and start your PC without it. If you are able to access the BIOS settings then your hard drive could be damaged. Something wrong happened to your SSD and the motherboard is stopping all kind of operations as protection to all devices. At that point, I would suggest trying with different SSD to confirm the SSD as the culprit.

 

 

 

I hope this can help.

 

 

 

Best regards,

 

 

 

Ivan.

 

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
416 Views
LKok
Novice
416 Views

I can log into my system as before now after waiting for the machine to cool down. why?

Does this happen after you tried the troubleshooting steps I posted above or you couldn't try these recommendations?

I haven't tried your recommendations yet because I was trying to determine whether it is a system/ software issue. So, I decided to reformat and wipe out everything and reinstall a fresh copy of Kubuntu/ Ubuntu 17.04.

But it still freezes occasionally, just not as bad and frequent as before. I think it is a hardware issue. I have scanned my memory with memtest that included in Kubuntu/ Ubuntu system and found no error after a few hours of scanning and testing.

Could it be the a SSD problem or the NUC itself? How can I determine which is the problem?

N.Scott.Pearson what is clearing CMOS for? Does it help determine what is causing the freeze?

Note that I don't use Windows. I am solely on Linux/ Ubuntu.

If I have to get a new SSD to isolate the problem, can I go for https://www.wdc.com/products/solid-state-drives/wd-blue-ssd.html WD Blue PC SSD - Solid State Drive | Western Digital (WD) WD Blue PC SSD 250GB 2.5'' / M.2 2280 ?

This is my current SSD info:

$ sudo smartctl -i /dev/nvme0n1

 

smartctl 6.6 2016-05-31 r4324 [x86_64-linux-4.10.0-20-generic] (local build)

 

Copyright (C) 2002-16, Bruce Allen, Christian Franke, www.smartmontools.org

 

 

=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===

 

Model Number: INTEL SSDPEKKW256G7

 

Serial Number: BTPY64540VX7256D

 

Firmware Version: PSF100C

 

PCI Vendor/Subsystem ID: 0x8086

 

IEEE OUI Identifier: 0x5cd2e4

 

Controller ID: 1

 

Number of Namespaces: 1

 

Namespace 1 Size/Capacity: 256,060,514,304 [256 GB]

 

Namespace 1 Formatted LBA Size: 512

 

Local Time is: Sat Apr 29 04:45:55 2017 BST

And I checked the health of this SSD following this https://askubuntu.com/questions/325283/how-do-i-check-the-health-of-a-ssd answer:

$ sudo smartctl -a /dev/nvme0n1

 

smartctl 6.6 2016-05-31 r4324 [x86_64-linux-4.10.0-20-generic] (local build)

 

Copyright (C) 2002-16, Bruce Allen, Christian Franke, www.smartmontools.org

 

 

=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===

 

Model Number: INTEL SSDPEKKW256G7

 

Serial Number: BTPY64540VX7256D

 

Firmware Version: PSF100C

 

PCI Vendor/Subsystem ID: 0x8086

 

IEEE OUI Identifier: 0x5cd2e4

 

Controller ID: 1

 

Number of Namespaces: 1

 

Namespace 1 Size/Capacity: 256,060,514,304 [256 GB]

 

Namespace 1 Formatted LBA Size: 512

 

Local Time is: Sat Apr 29 04:49:32 2017 BST

 

Firmware Updates (0x12): 1 Slot, no Reset required

 

Optional Admin Commands (0x0006): Format Frmw_DL

 

Optional NVM Commands (0x001e): Wr_Unc DS_Mngmt Wr_Zero Sav/Sel_Feat

 

Maximum Data Transfer Size: 32 Pages

 

Warning Comp. Temp. Threshold: 70 Celsius

 

Critical Comp. Temp. Threshold: 80 Celsius

 

 

Supported Power States

 

St Op Max Active Idle RL RT WL WT Ent_Lat Ex_Lat

 

0 + 9.00W - - 0 0 0 0 5 5

 

1 + 4.60W - - 1 1 1 1 30 30

 

2 + 3.80W - - 2 2 2 2 30 30

 

3 - 0.0700W - - 3 3 3 3 10000 300

 

4 - 0.0050W - - 4 4 4 4 2000 10000

 

 

Supported LBA Sizes (NSID 0x1)

 

Id Fmt Data Metadt Rel_Perf

 

0 + 512 0 0

 

 

=== START OF SMART DATA SECTION ===

 

SMART overall-health self-assessment test result: PASSED

 

 

SMART/Health Information (NVMe Log 0x02, NSID 0x1)

 

Critical Warning: 0x00

 

Temperature: 42 Celsius

 

Available Spare: 100%

 

Available Spare Threshold: 10%

 

Percentage Used: 0%

 

Data Units Read: 1,388,326 [710 GB]

 

Data Units Written: 1,573,290 [805 GB]

 

Host Read Commands: 23,376,158

 

Host Write Commands: 20,635,596

 

Controller Busy Time: 264

 

Power Cycles: 390

 

Power On Hours: 1,185

 

Unsafe Shu...
n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
416 Views

Re: "...what is clearing CMOS for? Does it help determine what is causing the freeze?"

No, nothing like that. For many years, (battery-backed) CMOS memory was used to store the BIOS configuration. There were lots of problems with the use of this memory. It was designed back in the 80's. It was not secure. It can easily be corrupted (during system crashes, etc.). Write operations can be very, very slow. When the transition to the use of flash memory for firmware storage occurred, it was found* that this memory also addressed many of these issues and thus the storage of the BIOS configuration was also transitioned to this memory [aside: actually, it wasn't found, per se; the flash memory ICs were designed up front to address many of these issues so that it could (also) be used for configuration storage]. In theory, these days, the CMOS memory is not supposed to be used at all (well, other than that small portion used for the TOD clock). The problem is that the AMI BIOS used in the NUCs still retains code that has dependencies on the contents of the CMOS memory and its random content can cause issues. AMI has had many years to fix this buggy code but has never been able to do so completely. Bottom line, clearing the CMOS memory can fix many (some would say strange) issues and that is why doing it is recommended (so) often.

...S

idata
Community Manager
416 Views

If you plan to purchase a new SSD, I suggest you to choose one of the SSDs from the http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/boards-and-kits/000020804.html Tested Peripherals for Intel® NUC Kit NUC6i7KYK

 

 

Honestly, it is hard to determine hardware failure unless we start testing components and replace them with another one.

 

 

Now, I can see that the SSD you have is an Intel® SSD and you can try to get a replacement for the unit, you can get it here:

 

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/contact-support.html# @3 http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/contact-support.html# @3

 

 

 

Best regards,

 

 

 

Ivan.

 

idata
Community Manager
416 Views

 

Hello ,

 

 

 

I'm following on this post to ask you if your issue has been resolved or if you need further assistance.

 

 

 

Regards,

 

 

 

Ivan.
LKok
Novice
416 Views

Hi Ivan,

Thanks for asking. I am afraid I am still have the same issue occasionally - it is not as bad and frequent as before - after I have reformat and re-installed my system (Kubuntu 17.04) and all other programs.

I notice that the CPU usage reaches 100% (just as in the picture in my first post) when the machine is too hot or taking too much power, eg. when I watch a film with VLC player, it starts to play up - freezes every 10 mins after an hour of playing.

I am not sure whether I should get a new SSD to test it out as they are not cheap. Have you guys tested on Intel® SSD before? It is not in the list by the way -

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/boards-and-kits/000020804.html Tested Peripherals for Intel® NUC Kit NUC6i7KYK

Also, I wonder if you guys ever tested the Skull and see what happens when it is too hot or when it is in a hot surrounding, eg in a hot weather?

I can see the CPU usage is rising when the fan gets noisy as well.

I only have one 16RAM Crucial DDR4 memory card, so I can't test to find out whether it is the RAM causing the problem or not. I should have gone for 2X8GB RAM!

idata
Community Manager
416 Views

Hello teelou,

 

 

I'm sorry that you still have this problem, at this point I suggest you to get a replacement for this unit, and you can http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/contact-support.html# @5 contact support to request a replacement, you can create an online service request or you can do live chat for quicker response.

 

 

To answer your question about the temperature where this NUC can work or in hot weather you can check the TPS for environmental specifications.

 

http://www.intel.com/content/dam/support/us/en/documents/boardsandkits/NUC6i7KYK_TechProdSpec.pdfPag... http://www.intel.com/content/dam/support/us/en/documents/boardsandkits/NUC6i7KYK_TechProdSpec.pdfPag... Page 47

 

Non-Operating: -40°C to +60°C

 

Operating: 0°C to +40°C

 

 

Please let me know how it goes.

 

 

 

Best wishes,

 

 

 

Ivan.

 

LKok
Novice
416 Views

Thanks Ivan for the info. Will let you know how it goes.

Thank you,

Lau

idata
Community Manager
416 Views

Hardware can be a problem sometimes, but I was hacked many times and I have experienced similar issues on different machines ; hackers are smart...

 

Ubuntu,Windows,OSX,Android,anything is just fine for them...Even AVR and BIOS codes...

 

Ubuntu (or linux more in general) doesn't mean "security"...

 

People think about viruses and malware but it's FIRMWARE what hackers are usually aiming at...

 

You can reformat hard disks,change operating system,or whatever but if the hacker,for example, has flashed your NIC firmware,bios, or other hardware in your system, you're pretty much lost until you reflash the hardware which has been compromised with a new(fresh) binary image since the hacker will always be there.

 

That's probably why the Intel experts have suggested you to flash the bios.

Remote access is a thing and the worst is that hackers are even stalkers.

 

Whenever they can, the modem/router is the first thing that they try to compromise to acquire remote access and to infect the various systems connected.

 

Nonetheless, Linux alone can be a problem on its own and a wrong setup,occasionally, can lead to symptoms like those described by you.

 

I cannot be sure and I don't want to bring paranoia in the argument on purpose but, by experience, it looks like somebody has remote access on your machine.

 

Just a few days ago, while surfing memes, I was risking a lot because on my linux because of a binary executable disguised as base64 image!!!

 

It's that simple! With cookies and javascript enabled for the wrong domains, without a firewall and with many services enabled(like anything different by port 443 for https and port 80 for http , for example), you risk A LOT!
LKok
Novice
416 Views

Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

That's probably why the Intel experts have suggested you to flash the bios.

What do you mean by 'flash the bios'? How do I do it?

Do you mean to upgrade it? I don't have a Windows system to run the update though. The shame is the upgrade programs are made for Windows!

idata
Community Manager
416 Views

Try with a bootable WinPE environment.

 

Or https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=318789 Ubuntu Forums .
idata
Community Manager
416 Views

Hello teelou,

 

 

 

You can follow the steps to flash the BIOS by doing the F7 method that I posted above on post 1, flashing or upgrading is the same technically speaking.

 

 

Flashing the BIOS can help solving issues like compatibility issues with hardware and software or with operating systems, it can solve problem like BSOD when adding new components and software on your system.

 

 

If you follow the F7 method to update the BIOS using the https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/26698/BIOS-Update-KYSKLi70-86A-?product=89187 .bio file, this is operating system independent, this is a BIOS level update and operating system is not important at this point.

 

 

Please let me know if you need anything else.

 

 

 

Best wishes,

 

 

Ivan U.

 

LKok
Novice
416 Views

Hi Ivan,

Thanks for the reply. I have this file - KY0046.bio downloaded.

In the detail description:

  • Recovery BIOS update [KY0046.BIO] - A .BIO file to be used for F7 BIOS Update method or a BIOS recovery process. In the unlikely event that a BIOS update is interrupted, it's possible the BIOS may be left in an unusable state. Use the recovery BIOS update to recover from this condition. It requires a USB flash device or CD.

So, I will just need to copy that KY0046.bio into a USB stick and press F7 during the reboot?

Do I need to make the USB stick bootable as well?

idata
Community Manager
416 Views

No, you don't need the USB bootable and just copy the KY0046.bio file into the USB stick, and when you press F7 just select the USB device where you have the BIO file and then click on the .bio file and it will be recognized.

 

 

Please let me know how it goes and if you follow the instructions step by step from the link I posted above you will not have any problems.

 

 

 

Ivan U.

 

LKok
Novice
416 Views

Thank Ivan!

But after doing that, do I still need to update the latest graphics driver below?

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/26669/Graphics-Intel-Graphics-Driver-for-Windows-15-45-?pr... Download Intel® Graphics Driver for Windows* [15.45]

What is it for actually? But I am not using Windows at all.

Hear back soon.

idata
Community Manager
416 Views

Hello teelou,

 

 

If you are not using Windows that driver will not work so you don't need it, if you are using Ubuntu I suggest you to have the latest kernel installed and if you need assistance with Ubuntu on Intel NUC, check your distro's website and forums for peer assistance.

 

https://www.ubuntu.com/ https://www.ubuntu.com/

 

 

These operating system versions are reported as compatible by owners of Intel® NUC Boards and Kits but Intel hasn't validated these operating systems.

 

 

 

Please let me know how it goes.

 

 

 

Best regards,

 

 

 

Ivan.

 

idata
Community Manager
239 Views

 

Hello ,

 

 

 

I'm following on this post to ask you if your issue has been resolved or if you need further assistance.

 

 

 

Regards,

 

 

 

Ivan.
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