Occasional reboot stops at BIOS-password screen without user interaction.

PPU
PPU New Member Posts: 8

Hello,

does anyone else encounter such a behavior? And more important, knows what it causes?

We have build around 80 customer advertising displays with the Up Board. Because it runs Windows, a hardened custom IoT build but nonetheless Windows ;), it has a nightly reboot scheduled. Sometimes the UpBoard, in some systems, hangs at the password screen (before you can enter the BIOS) that shows up after you hit F11 in the boot phase. This systems doesn't have a keyboard attached.

The Problem is that we can't repair that from outside, we have TeamViewer installed but that obviously doesn't work at this state.

Comments

  • Aling
    Aling Guest Posts: 561 admin

    @PPU can you share which BIOS version you have? In newer BIOS version, the watchdog should reboot to resolve it.

  • PPU
    PPU New Member Posts: 8

    Thanks for the answer! After some days I got the Information from one of the Systems where we definitely had this Problem. There wasn't the newest BIOS, it has UPC1DM11. We updated it to DM17 and will do some tests. I report back if I know more.

  • PPU
    PPU New Member Posts: 8

    Hi.
    Now we know that some DM17 Systems our customers have that problem to. I have a Testsystem at home where I have DM17 on it. I tried the following BIOS settings: "Watchdog Function: Enables", "Timer in Second: 90", "Halt Timer: Disabled AND Enabled" (I thought Disabled is the right one, but I don't understand fully what which state does, especially none worked as I thought). In Windows 10 I have the watchdog service running and tested it successfully with a forced BSoD, it takes 10min to reboot. BUT when I forced the Password screen in the boot phase, with Del (for BIOS entry) or F7 (for Boot menu), I tried both with both "Halt Timer" settings, it stays there "forever" (or at at least 15min). It seams at this stage the watchdog doesn't work!?

  • DCleri
    DCleri Administrator, AAEON Posts: 1,190 admin

    By default watchdog settings are correct on BIOS DM17, so you shouldn’t change anything. If you did, please reset the BIOS to defaults.

    If you encounters issues this way, please explain the exact way of reproducing the issue, so that we can look into the issue if any.

    Hardware setup (including connected devices, PSU, etc.)
    Software setup (Windows version, drivers installed)
    Step to reproduce the issue (describe multiple if it is the case, e.g.: BIOS stuck at boot, Windows stuck after boot

    Thanks,

  • PPU
    PPU New Member Posts: 8

    I reset the BIOS to default (but the only thing I changed bevor was the WD Timeout and in 50% of the Tests the "Halt Timer" Variable).

    Yes, the problem persists.

    Hardware setup: UpBoard 4/32 (Passive Version), 4 Ampere PSU, Up WLAN Module, normally I have a Mini-LCD-Touch-Screen on the other USB/Serial port and NO USB Keyboard attached. A Monitor is connected on the HDMI output. Nothing else is connected. For this test I have additionally disconnected the WLAN and LCD module. The only things left are the HDMI Monitor and a USB Keyboard (which normally isn't connected but I can't force the password screen otherwise and the problematic "natural halt" there is very rare, which time wise is bad for testing).

    Software setup (I would say the Software is, for the given Problem, total irrelevant but nonetheless): Windows 10 IoT Enterprice LTSB x64, all the newest drivers from the Up homepage, AAEON Framework, AAEON Watchdog Service running. You can see this in the Screenshot (it was taken with my previous tests, before I disconnected the WLAN an LCD module).

    Steps to reproduce the issue:
    1. Unplug the PSU (and as explained all other devices, except a Monitor and a Keyboard).
    2. Replug the PSU.
    3. Spam Del-Key (alternatively I also tested the F7-Key, with the same result).
    ERROR. The Password-Promt stays there "forever".
    4. Hit Return-Key and exit the BIOS (or the Bootmenu) and Boot Windows.
    5. Test the normal Watchdog behavior by forcing a BSoD (right-Ctrl + 2*Scroll-Lock, which I have activated in the registry).
    WORKS. Needs 10 minutes but it rebooted the PC.
    6. Back in Windows, wait some minutes, execute a clean reboot.
    7. Spam Del-Key (alternatively I also tested the F7-Key, with the same result).
    ERROR. The Password-Promt stays there "forever".

    1-3 shows the problem.
    4-5 shows that the WD is indeed active.
    6-7 shows the problem even if the WD needs to be triggered by the WD-Task one time after a power loss to work in the boot phase to.

  • DCleri
    DCleri Administrator, AAEON Posts: 1,190 admin

    Hi @PPU

    Thanks for your feedback.
    We are looking into it.

    Can you please also provide information about the Board S/N, Board model (including ram, eMMC size) and eMMC type (you can get that from the BIOS menu)?

  • rogertsai(AAEON)
    rogertsai(AAEON) New Member Posts: 303 ✭✭✭

    @PPU said:
    Hi.
    Now we know that some DM17 Systems our customers have that problem to. I have a Testsystem at home where I have DM17 on it. I tried the following BIOS settings: "Watchdog Function: Enables", "Timer in Second: 90", "Halt Timer: Disabled AND Enabled" (I thought Disabled is the right one, but I don't understand fully what which state does, especially none worked as I thought). In Windows 10 I have the watchdog service running and tested it successfully with a forced BSoD, it takes 10min to reboot. BUT when I forced the Password screen in the boot phase, with Del (for BIOS entry) or F7 (for Boot menu), I tried both with both "Halt Timer" settings, it stays there "forever" (or at at least 15min). It seams at this stage the watchdog doesn't work!?

    The watchdog timer is used to protect the system against runaway software or hardware failures, and does not affect the normal operations of BIOS, e.g. DEL key to begin the BIOS Setup (password screen), F7 to boot device options (password screen) or any BIOS hot key. So this is normal.
    But if the system has failed to boot or eMMC storage undetected, the system will enter BIOS mode (password screen) and keep on waiting for your action

  • PPU
    PPU New Member Posts: 8

    Of course.
    Board S/N: C18419842
    Board Model (as I wrote): UpBoard 4GB/32GB Passiv
    eMMC type: Hynix HBG4a2 52919445

  • PPU
    PPU New Member Posts: 8

    The Problem is that I can't test it in a reasonable time without my interaction. First, not all Systems hangs (from time to time) at the Password promt, in fact only 5-10 from around 80 (but we don't know it exactly because we don't get called all the time (eg. if the customer reboots the Board itself)), and thees also only occasionally. And when you unpower and repower the Board the Problem is gone... till it comes back.

    So I have thought from the answer from Aling "In newer BIOS version, the watchdog should reboot to resolve it." that thees problems should resolve it self. But how, or why not for us, is the question?

  • sresthag
    sresthag New Member, Administrator Posts: 12 admin

    @PPU did you purchase the board from the UP-Shop?
    I could find any order related to your email id here.
    If you purchased the board from the UP-shop, please open an RMA against your order and we will take further steps.
    Below you can find the RMA policy.

    https://up-shop.org/content/5-cancellation-and-return-policy
    https://up-shop.org/content/7-warranty-rma-policy

  • PPU
    PPU New Member Posts: 8

    Hi,

    Since the Pandemic not much is going on with the development BUT nonetheless we have figured it out :).

    We have, as I described before, a Mini-LCD-Touch-Screen in the customer systems on the USB/Serial-Port. In the boot phase this port produces some ... random jitter!? Occasionally this triggers, if the pattern is "unlucky", a reaction from our Touch-Screen and this stops the boot phase at the BIOS prompt. This happens because the BIOS has a "Console Redirection" Option, which by default is enabled. If we disable this option the problems go away.

    BUT from time to time this option turns it self back on, I don't know why, maybe because of a crash or a bad BIOS battery!? So, my question: With this information, would you consider to disable this option by default? Or can we have an BIOS with that setting disabled by default? (Side note: We can't disable the Touch-Screen reaction for this/a special pattern completely, because we uses a two-way communication for our own display-software-watchdog.)

    PS: Additionally I would have the Watchdog designed to also reboot from BIOS prompt if no key-press happend for a long time!? But maybe that's a POV :).