CommandCNC - Need to replace old Dell Optiplex - BIOS beeps

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Simko
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CommandCNC - Need to replace old Dell Optiplex - BIOS beeps

Post by Simko » Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:18 am

It has been a while since I posted on PlasmaSpider (having 2 kids will do that to you), but I have still been cutting on my homemade table and it has been working great. Lately though I have been been having some issues with the Dell Optiplex tower PC that have me concerned that it is at the end of it's life.

Twice now I have gotten BIOS beep codes when trying to boot up the computer. The beep codes reference the memory and if I open the case up, remove and reinsert the RAM sticks, I can get the computer to finally boot up.

I looked on CandCNC and saw that they have a pre-loaded mini-PC for $475 which would be great for someone who doesn't want to mess around with loading the software. It's not a terrible price, but I would rather save quite a few $$ and load/configure/update the software myself from the USB sticks.

I found mini-pc's that 'look' exactly the same on Amazon for under $200. Has anyone had luck buying a mini-PC from Amazon and configuring it to work with their CandCNC system? Post up if you have done this and what PC you used. Thanks!

https://www.amazon.com/Linux-Ubuntu-Com ... 75&sr=8-12

https://www.amazon.com/Desktop-Processo ... =8-13&th=1
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Re: CommandCNC - Need to replace old Dell Optiplex - BIOS beeps

Post by acourtjester » Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:48 am

there have been other post about using a similar Mini PC here. Search Fanless for others. I have seen other mini PC on Amazon with windows loaded too.
https://www.plasmaspider.com/viewtopic. ... ss#p175716
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Re: CommandCNC - Need to replace old Dell Optiplex - BIOS beeps

Post by robertspark » Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:03 pm

probably want to give it a good cleanout.... in case it has any metalic dust on anything....
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Re: CommandCNC - Need to replace old Dell Optiplex - BIOS beeps

Post by SeanP » Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:20 pm

Still plenty of cheap optiplex units about over here, I just have a spare one on the shelf ready to if needed, I might have been lucky but it's been going nearly every day for the last 5yrs, paid 30e for them, I do give it a blast with the airline every few months.
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Re: CommandCNC - Need to replace old Dell Optiplex - BIOS beeps

Post by dodom » Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:57 am

Keep in mind that the Command CNC Real Time Kernel will not run on just any PC. The Mini on the website also comes with 2 years warranty

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Re: CommandCNC - Need to replace old Dell Optiplex - BIOS beeps

Post by Rodw » Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:41 am

Those PC's run Linuxcnc OK, The J1900 CPU is all you need for Linux. I will say if its a Baytrail chipset like the ones like that I have, there are a lot of BIOS settings to get right before you can get them to boot and run with decent latency. The main things with the BIOS settings i sto disable any power saving features.

If you are a DIY kinda guy, you might like to read the link acourtjester shared and pay particular attention to the posts by thefabricator03 about the Linuxcnc Plasmac config that is part of the Linuxcnc V2.8 and V2.9 distributions. I have not used the system you are using but thefabricator03 has and he says adopting plasmac was the best decision he ever made.

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Re: CommandCNC - Need to replace old Dell Optiplex - BIOS beeps

Post by tcaudle » Mon Dec 23, 2019 1:15 pm

Gee thanks guys for all o the help even though most of it is wrong. This is a CommandCNC forum so if you don't have it or have never used it its less than helpful to answer a simple question with things like "change everything" or just reload the software onto another PC

The easiest way to do this with no hassle is:

Find the same model of Dell on EBAY. Needs 2G of RAM min . Try to get the sick computer to boot one time then go into bios and write down all of the settings . Back up the Linuxcnc folder for good measure. Now pull the boot drive off the old PC and install it in the "new" one you get and see if it will just boot into LINUX and run. Linux, unlike Windows is pretty forgiving on hardware matching.

You should have gotten a set of recovery USB Memory sticks with your system and one will let you boot a computer into XBUNTU (linux) and format the HD and load the correct Linux and RTK and do all of the tweaks . It won't fix all of the BIOS settings though. Then the Installer stick puts it back to the version that came with your system . If you have gone any of the multiple updates you will need to redo them. If you have a SheetCAM license its going to have to be transferred to the new PC. Its on the old HD . If you can't find it then contact us if its a Bundle that included SheetCAM . It too probably needs to be updated

Anyway there are several ways to get your PC working again with the hardware.

You can also call Tech Support (yes we have humans that will talk to you) or join out Support Forum and get specific answers to what you have. We are not going to try and shove a new mini PC (which is the Shuttle N03 with better specs and runs 18.04 with a new RTK really nicely.) down your throat. We don't do "up-selling", no one here is on commission and we support out hardware ans software.

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Re: CommandCNC - Need to replace old Dell Optiplex - BIOS beeps

Post by robertspark » Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:38 am

I did suggest first....
robertspark wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:03 pm
probably want to give it a good cleanout.... in case it has any metalic dust on anything....
I would have then asked how many beebs Plus what is the beep sequence is it giving you when you boot it

https://www.dell.com/support/article/uk ... es?lang=en

The beep codes can tell you what the problem may be... And the easy fix. (if you have time..... Or you're not losing money playing with the problem)...

Next port of call would be Tom's + SeanP's advice advice.... Try to find the same spec of pc and swap the hard drive and see if it will boot...... If time is money... And if it ain't cutting you ain't earning go with toms advice.... Plus when you get it all setup I would get a second pc and clone the first onto the second and keep it in the cupboard this time for a quick fix backup.....
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Re: CommandCNC - Need to replace old Dell Optiplex - BIOS beeps

Post by Simko » Wed Dec 25, 2019 10:31 am

Thanks for the help everyone. I feel like the mini-PC is the way to go rather than another Optiplex, but I will probably get another Dell in the short term just to make sure I don’t have any downtime. I am back running since pulling and reinserting the RAM, but past experience has told me that when computers start doing stuff like this, it’s time to replace.
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Re: CommandCNC - Need to replace old Dell Optiplex - BIOS beeps

Post by tylerd » Thu Dec 26, 2019 12:16 am

I bought the same PC off of Amazon and plan on doing this in the future, will use the dell as the design computer in different location of the shop. I think I got the 8GB ram version, not that it needed it just for the hell of it. All we need are the bios settings that C&CNC uses on the mini, and hopefully it should work
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Re: CommandCNC - Need to replace old Dell Optiplex - BIOS beeps

Post by Simko » Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:25 pm

According to Tom above, they are using Shuttle mini-PCs now.

The model N03 doesn’t pull up anything, but Shuttle does make a NC03 in a few different flavors. NC03U is a Celeron, NC03U3 has an i3 processor, NC03U5 has the i5, and the NC03U7 has the i7.
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Re: CommandCNC - Need to replace old Dell Optiplex - BIOS beeps

Post by tcaudle » Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:07 pm

We went to the Shuttle for several reasons:
1. Mini PC with J1900 was from one mfg in China
2. They had a pretty high failure rate {almost 10% ) typically in the first 90 days
3. Warranty replcement was virtually non-existant. We sent back 20 units to China and got 15 back about 2 months later of which only 10 were fixed
we just scrapped the others/ I have a whole stack of dids that will make a nice sculpture.

The Shuttles are imports but the seller/distributor is in the US abd warranty is done here. We sent in three units and they were back in 5 days and they ALL worked.
They use later versions of processors that are faster and work better with the XUbuntu 18.04 we use now.
Video section is better and has more choices of resolutions
Although more expensive to buy the Shuttle actually costs less if you factor in the cost of warranty and support.
Units have 2 year replcement warranty. The old mini warranty was all on us.

They still need BIOS adjustments to run the RTK but virtaully ALL PC's need that While the Shuttle is not fanless that is a good thing beause the old minis got real hot if they did not have forced air external cooling and that contributes to failures .

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