View Full Version : Dying USB controller or power supply?

22-07-2012, 07:22 PM
There's this in the groove cabinet at Timezone on Queen street, it's an arcade cabinet, but it's got a debian based linux PC in it that's having issues.

A bit of background:
It allows people to bring in their custom songs on USB sticks, and saves their score data and song catalogue at the end of the game.
For a number of years, it's had issues saving the catalogues when two people are using the machine, because the USB speed of the machine is just that bad (slower than 1.0, 2.0 is disabled for stability, it hits a hard coded program timeout first), but it's always been able to read data and save screenshots with one or two people on it, and save catalogues when one person's using it.

As of late, however, it's been acting up. For a while now, it would occasionally 'noname' a USB stick, being able to mount it but not read the catalogue data from it (and sometimes just ignore the rest of the data completely), but that would be resolved by rebooting the cabinet.
Now, though, it's not only nonaming more frequently, but it's also giving mount errors (as in mount error at kernel level), stopping reading data during play, disconnecting drives when accessing them (for example, if you take a screenshot, it makes the noise, disconnects the drive, and then reconnects it with either a noname or card mount error), and even sometimes bricking the drives (not even formatting them with 3rd party software or linux can recover them)

Our current theories are that the USB controller in the PC has died, or is dying, or the cabinet (or the pc's) power supply is dying.

The issue is, while we're able to maintain the cabinet to a degree, it still doesn't belong to us and is in a commercial environment so we're trying to amass possible causes and solutions before we go shooting randomly in the dark and destroy the relationship/trust we have with the owners that literally took over a year to build.

So, what do you guys think?
Dying controller, dodgy power supply, or another potential issue?

22-07-2012, 07:46 PM
Clean the contacts on the USB socket with Isopropyl alcohol and a fine point childrens paint brush.

22-07-2012, 10:08 PM
Depending on how invasive you want to be, you could look for bad caps on the mobo and within the PSU.

Otherwise, I'd lend a lot of support to the first reply... given that it's had who knows how many sticks inserted, which have been carried around in pockets, along with pocket lint, coins, confectionary, tissues, and all manner of filth... there may be loads of grime partly shorting or obstructing the contacts within the USB slot. The challenge will be to look right up to the limit of the slots depth to assess the grime and get rid of it all.

The other possibility is that the tracks within the slot have been worn bare.
I've also seen a slot where one of the 4 gold tracks had lifted off the board and was getting shoved against the outer shield (earth) whenever a stick was inserted.

23-07-2012, 12:13 AM
Well, the hub is relatively new. The one it shipped with, the plug literally fell off the player 1 side a short while ago, they took it out of the case to open the other 2 slots (it's a 4 port hub) but because the game has a preference called p1usbOSmountpoint: it requires hacking the machine to change what ports can be used.
I suppose it's possible though given that it's been used alot since the pads were fixed a few months ago.
(long story short, we had a guy who kept it running, techs didn't know, manager got fired for unrelated things, shop refurbed, nat managers paid attenton, couldn't maintain it as a result, players bitched publicly at length on the FB page because machine broke/crappy to play, got attention, we had meetings, slowly have built up rep by fixing the machine, just recently got permission to add more songs to it)

Cheers for the suggestions, we'll certainly pay heed. The less invasive we have to be the better, but if it's necessary to get it fixed then we'll hear anything out.

Oh and the specs for the cabinet are circa P4 2.0ghz, 256-512mb ram, either an integrated radeon 4200 or discrete fx5200 low profile. Haven't seen inside our particular boxor so not 100% on it, but they're all from around 2006 era, prior to Konami suing the makers of them.

23-07-2012, 02:41 AM
Being that old, the PSU could well be an issue, especially if it's cheap.

A physically worn-out USB socket is also quite likely, if people are plugging things in all the time.

23-07-2012, 11:10 AM
I believe it's a Seasonic PSU, they shouldn't be cheap given that a full cabinet cost around 20-30 grand when they were released, and an upgrade kit (with the PC and I/O boards) cost around 6-8 grand.

Will certainly keep it in mind though, thanks.