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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » What causes the screen to go green and the server to crash? (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: What causes the screen to go green and the server to crash?
Amanda Mundin
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 122
From: Belper, Derbyshire, UK
Registered: Sep 2005


 - posted 05-15-2014 04:51 PM      Profile for Amanda Mundin   Email Amanda Mundin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We have an NEC NC800C and Doremi DCP-2000, they're both around seven and a half years old now, tonight while running Noah the screen went green, not a green cast over the image but a complete bright solid green and the server crashed, the server was completely unresponsive so we had to turn off & back on using the power switch, when it rebooted after a minute or two it started itself automatically where the film left off. The film has been running fine all week without problems, the projector and server have been running fine too, is this likely to be something on its way out or just a random crash without reason?

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2583
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 05-15-2014 05:07 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There's nothing obvious in the diagnostics?

Maybe you just ran into a once-in-so-many bugs. But the first thing I would check is, after seven and a half years, if all the fans are still working and nothing is overheating. Other easily fixable contenders are defective memory banks.

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Marco Giustini
Film God

Posts: 2543
From: Reading, UK
Registered: Nov 2007


 - posted 05-15-2014 05:40 PM      Profile for Marco Giustini   Email Marco Giustini   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Have you had your server serviced regularly? If so, then you should check the logs, looks like the decoder crashed. It could be content or hardware.
If the server has not been updated and cleaned regularly, call an engineer [Smile]

Which software are you running?

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Joe Elliott
Master Film Handler

Posts: 497
From: Port Orange, Fl USA
Registered: Oct 2006


 - posted 05-15-2014 09:52 PM      Profile for Joe Elliott   Email Joe Elliott   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Have you tried turning it on and back off again?( from IT Crowd)

Seriously though, how long had it been since the server had been rebooted? I see many odd and rare errors on servers that I find have not been rebooted in 6 months to a year.

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8304
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 05-15-2014 11:23 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Usually, it's a common practice to do full server/projector shutdowns once every week to keep stale memory from happening.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16185
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-16-2014 01:03 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yea, and when that stale memory begins getting moldy... well... them you'll have to put the projector in the garbage! Phew!

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Amanda Mundin
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 122
From: Belper, Derbyshire, UK
Registered: Sep 2005


 - posted 05-17-2014 04:07 PM      Profile for Amanda Mundin   Email Amanda Mundin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for all the advice. Nothing obvious that we can see in Diagnostic Tool. We haven't had the server serviced in a good while, in the past problems have occurred shortly after the Server has been out and moved around for Servicing etc. so we tend to think while everything's working fine it's best left alone. Apparently it has crashed once or twice in recent months when not running films and needed rebooting. We're currently running 2.2.3-0 software.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3750
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 05-17-2014 05:41 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That's a pretty old software version. And a .0, which mostly is not a good idea to keep longer than necessary ;-)

As the NC800 is a series I projector, there are potential issues when updating the Doremi to DCI compliant current firmware, you should get an experienced tech in to do the upgrade, he could give the server a cleanup etc. as well.

- Carsten

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Marco Giustini
Film God

Posts: 2543
From: Reading, UK
Registered: Nov 2007


 - posted 05-18-2014 02:55 AM      Profile for Marco Giustini   Email Marco Giustini   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What Carsten said.

And what firmware are you running?

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Dave Macaulay
Film God

Posts: 2119
From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 05-18-2014 07:49 AM      Profile for Dave Macaulay   Email Dave Macaulay   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In diags/hardware check the cpu temperature and that the cpu fan is turning OK (~2500 rpm). Also worthwhile to open the server and clean the fan and heatsink (air blower can or compressor, small toothbrush). What you describe is what I've seen when the cpu overheats and turns itself off. They will usually run ok with just a stalled cpu fan because the other fans move a lot of air around in there, but a dirt clogged heatsink and slow fan can cause shutdown when it's working hard playing a movie - they don't generally shut down when just idling.
After 7 years you may find a severely clogged heatsink and very dirty fans. Just be very careful with the black block Dolfin card. And the Dolfin battery most likely needs be replaced by now.
While it's open, reseat the memory sticks and the SATA connectors.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 7001
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 05-18-2014 11:38 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Might also be worth replacing the thermal grease between the CPU and the heatsink, too. It does go stale over time and lose its conductive ability. I find with PCs that it's a good idea to have a good clean inside the case (while compressed air is good for nooks and crannies, my usual plan of attack is a soft artists' paintbrush followed by a hoover) every six months or so, and then to replace the fans and grease and clean the contacts of the memory boards, terminals and PCI cards (with a lint-free cloth and rubbbing alcohol) every couple of years.

PC case fans at least get gradually noisier over time as the bearings wear, but it's boiling the frog syndrome - you don't really notice until you replace them. Maybe the ones in DCP servers are of a higher grade (e.g. with better bearings), but for such a mission critical application as that I'd want to replace them reguarly as an insurance policy against failure, anyway.

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Marco Giustini
Film God

Posts: 2543
From: Reading, UK
Registered: Nov 2007


 - posted 05-18-2014 05:35 PM      Profile for Marco Giustini   Email Marco Giustini   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Also remember that brushes and hoovers are good friends with static. Professional cleaning companies have special static-free brushes and hoovers.

Most of the time nothing nasty will happen, I know. But every now and then you just kill the electronics.

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Kevin Markwick
Film Handler

Posts: 43
From: Uckfield East Sussex England
Registered: Sep 2004


 - posted 05-18-2014 05:51 PM      Profile for Kevin Markwick   Author's Homepage   Email Kevin Markwick   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We had the same issue some years ago with the same DSN combination, AA never really got to the bottom of it and after the DSN period was up I insisted on a swap out before I bought the kit. We've had no further problems thankfully.

My only real advice would be to have the equipment given a good service and the software updated on the server and the PJ, if that's possible.

If you've already done that then I'm sorry I can't help further!

The lamps on these things are becoming prohibitively expensive now. We are ditching ours very soon.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 7001
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 05-18-2014 10:49 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Marco - point taken; many thanks. My dislike of air duster spray is that you're simply moving the crud to somewhere nearby, not getting rid of it. Antistatic brushes and non-conductive vacuum nozzles are a sensible precaution, though.

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Marco Giustini
Film God

Posts: 2543
From: Reading, UK
Registered: Nov 2007


 - posted 05-19-2014 01:04 AM      Profile for Marco Giustini   Email Marco Giustini   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When I use air duster i always make sure I put the end of the vacuum cleaner nearby so most of the dust is sucked away. Not sure that removes static risk though. Not saying I have an antistatic kit, mine was just a word of caution to recommend professionals to open a server: if they break it, they pay for it!

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