Problem 770 inoperative


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    Unhappy 770 inoperative

    I have a PCNC 770 mill. It is suddenly unable to boot, and I have not been able to identify the problem.

    When I first turned it on today, it froze with an on-screen message instructing me, as I recall, to contact my administrator. When I rebooted, it omitted that message but got only as far as showing one of the splash screens, then froze. A power cycle gets me to a text menu offering the options of re-attempting PP (no luck), a Tormach-only option, and an option to reload an older version of the software.

    I concluded (probably erroneously) that the software must have been corrupted. I have copies of everything, so when I was offered the option to scrub the HDD and restart from some earlier version of PathPilot, I took that. The system rebooted normally under PP 2.0 (I think), and I started the process of upgrading to 2.7.1. After the obligatory power cycle, it got part way into the PP boot, then froze while showing one of the splash screens. The Controller LED on the panel never illuminated.

    I have tried to follow the troubleshooting instructions in the manual. The troubleshooting procedures of Table 2.1 refer to a button on Contactor C1, but Figure 10.9 identifies the left-hand, larger contactor as C2. The smaller, right-hand contactor has no button. I here follow the nomenclature of Figure 10.9.

    When first powered on, there is a single beep, then two beeps, and then the text menu screen appears, on which the first option is to start PathPilot. If I choose this option or let it be chosen by the timeout, the screen proceeds to the splash screen and freezes as before.

    Inside the cabinet, at this point there are no illuminated LEDs, and the C2 Contactor button is out. Disengaging the E-Stop has no effect.

    When I push the Start button, the Machine LED is lit on the panel, the LEDs on the stepper drivers are briefly red and then green, and the LEDs on the Machine Control Board and on Contactor C1 go on, too.

    Finally, pushing in the button on the C2 Contactor causes the display on the VFD to light up with "rd 00". Nothing else improves.

    I followed the troubleshooting procedures of Table 2.1 without finding anything suspicious:
    • I found wall voltage between wires 102 & 100;
    • Fuse FU3 has essentially no resistance.
    • Both contactors have essentially no resistance across their presumable (vertical) current paths.
    • I couldn't find any loose wires.

    I am dead in the water here. Does the story above sound familiar to anyone? Any suggestion will be appreciated..

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  2. #2
    Member soofle616's Avatar
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    Default Re: 770 inoperative

    Without going too deep, if it boots normally on 2.0 I would go back to that and see if everything is working properly. If so, that would point to an issue with 2.7.1 at which point I would be contacting tormach to report the bug and see about getting a copy of 2.7.0 to run with for now.



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    Default Re: 770 inoperative

    2.7.1 works fine here, I downloaded a couple days ago.

    I would reseat the boards, cables and memory, sounds computer or mesa related to me......

    Last edited by popspipes; 11-30-2020 at 11:54 AM.
    mike sr


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    Default Re: 770 inoperative

    Thanks to @soofle616 for the suggestion. Unfortunately, I have made further investigations here, demonstrating that the problem is unrelated to 2.7.1.

    • The first few failures occurred when I was trying to reboot into 2.7.0.
    • After the HDD scrub, when PathPilot came up in 2.0, I thought I might as well do the first thing I had been planning to do anyway, which was to upgrade to 2.7.1. PathPilot said that the upgrade had been successful, but then after the required power cycle it froze with one of the splash screens (for what it's worth, it's the split-screen one, with a disk being faced in a lathe on the left, and a long endmill working a pocket on the right).
    • I did a new HDD scrub and got back into PP 2.0. I successfully copied a bunch of files from a USB drive to the mill's HDD. Then, I tried to upgrade to PP 2.6.0, which is the oldest tgp file I have on hand. The process was identical to the 2.7.1 failure, and it got back to the same freeze, with the same splash screen.


    During the HDD scrub, several pages of text fly by, and a few options are offered, mostly along the lines of "Do you really want to do this?" I don't know how to capture the text, or, if I did, what to do with its content. A few times, I caught fleeting reports of read failures of some kind, but these may only have been reports that it couldn't find a file whose non-existence was appropriate.

    I can't think of any more experiments to do. I am waiting to hear from Tormach.

    Last edited by Fenichel; 11-30-2020 at 02:25 PM. Reason: clarify to whom responding


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    Default Re: 770 inoperative

    Quote Originally Posted by popspipes View Post
    2.7.1 works fine here, I downloaded a couple days ago.

    I would reseat the boards, cables and memory, sounds computer or mesa related to me......
    Good idea, but done without improvement.



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    Default Re: 770 inoperative

    I've had a similar issue on one of my mills . It's happened a few times to the point that it seemed a full recovery was the only option . Usually what happens initially is that a warning about the files will pop up then it'll load to the splash screen and stay there . All other reboots afterwards won't show the same warning and will only boot to the splash screen . This mill is running 2.15 .


    First time it happened I started a full recovery to the point that it said all my stuff will be overwritten , then I chickened out and aborted because I didn't want to lose all my setting . The computer booted up again and went straight into pathpilot and all was good . I'm not sure what it was but firing it up into recovery mode then aborting seems to fix this problem . Same thing happened again last week and the same thing fixed it .


    It's not a solution to the problem but it seems to be a repair to the problem



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    Default Re: 770 inoperative

    Quote Originally Posted by metalmayhem View Post
    I've had a similar issue on one of my mills . It's happened a few times to the point that it seemed a full recovery was the only option . Usually what happens initially is that a warning about the files will pop up then it'll load to the splash screen and stay there . All other reboots afterwards won't show the same warning and will only boot to the splash screen . This mill is running 2.15 .


    First time it happened I started a full recovery to the point that it said all my stuff will be overwritten , then I chickened out and aborted because I didn't want to lose all my setting . The computer booted up again and went straight into pathpilot and all was good . I'm not sure what it was but firing it up into recovery mode then aborting seems to fix this problem . Same thing happened again last week and the same thing fixed it .


    It's not a solution to the problem but it seems to be a repair to the problem
    Thanks; I'll try that. Unfortunately, I didn't take note of what caused the system to come up with that 3-choice text screen. Now, it goes straight to the splash-screen freeze every time. Are there keys to hold down during the boot to get to the text screen?



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    Default Re: 770 inoperative

    I think it was shift alt that brought up the 3 choice menu .
    I kept trying to boot up into the os so that I could save my setup on a flash drive and I'm pretty sure thats how I got that menu .
    I really wish the computer would boot straight to the os then have a desktop icon for pathpilot . it would make things so much easier



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    Default Re: 770 inoperative

    Quote Originally Posted by metalmayhem View Post
    I think it was shift alt that brought up the 3 choice menu .
    I kept trying to boot up into the os so that I could save my setup on a flash drive and I'm pretty sure thats how I got that menu .
    I really wish the computer would boot straight to the os then have a desktop icon for pathpilot . it would make things so much easier
    Shift-Alt doesn't do it; neither does Shift-Ctrl or Ctrl-Alt.

    Alt-X, entered at the frozen splash screen, triggers a text torrent but does not lead anywhere useful.



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    Default Re: 770 inoperative

    escape button ?
    I'm pretty sure shift alt did it but I held it down immediately upon power up



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    Default Re: 770 inoperative

    Quote Originally Posted by metalmayhem View Post
    escape button ?
    I'm pretty sure shift alt did it but I held it down immediately upon power up
    I've tried the various combinations held down through booting, or pressed from the frozen splash screen, Esc triggers a text torrent that is similar or identical to that elicited by Alt-X. It is in any event similarly useless.

    Last edited by Fenichel; 11-30-2020 at 04:38 PM. Reason: clarification


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    Default Re: 770 inoperative

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenichel View Post
    I've tried the various combinations held down through booting, or pressed from the frozen splash screen, Esc triggers a text torrent that is similar or identical to that elicited by Alt-X. It is in any event similarly useless.
    CTRL ALT X is what works for me, brings up the terminal screen.

    edit: this can be used from the pathpilot screen

    mike sr


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    Default Re: 770 inoperative

    Have you tried booting to desktop and running PP from there (Ctrl-Alt X then type "mate-panel")?.It might be the PC causing this and not Pathpilot.



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    Default Re: 770 inoperative

    Ctl-Alt-X (held during boot or pressed at freeze) toggles between the splash screen and the text torrent. It never gets me to a command prompt.

    Last edited by Fenichel; 11-30-2020 at 06:17 PM. Reason: clarification


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    Default Re: 770 inoperative

    Quote Originally Posted by popspipes View Post
    2.7.1 works fine here, I downloaded a couple days ago.

    I would reseat the boards, cables and memory, sounds computer or mesa related to me......

    If I remember right 2.7 does a mesa firmware upgrade just about the time you describe lockup.
    I'm with pops it sounds like Mesa card related



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    Default Re: 770 inoperative

    Quote Originally Posted by mountaindew View Post
    If I remember right 2.7 does a mesa firmware upgrade just about the time you describe lockup.
    I'm with pops it sounds like Mesa card related
    I was running 2.7 without problems for a week or so before the boot failure yesterday, so the 2.7 Mesa firmware upgrade was at least initially OK. That recent upgrade might be relevant, if it could have resulted in stressing the Mesa hardware in some way, causing it to break after a few hours of use.

    I am in Tormach's support queue, so I'll let you all know what they suggest. My expectation is that they will send me a new Mesa card to swap in, in the hopes that that will solve the problem.



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    Default Re: 770 inoperative (solved)

    Various experiments had got me to the point where turning power on would give me the splash screen, a pause, and then the screen that says it's safe to turn the power off again. This loop appeared to be inescapable.

    I finally got help from Tormach. They suggested this

    1. Power on, and immediately (before the beeps) start alternately hitting left shift and right shift as fast as possible.
    2. A text screen then appears, with a 3-item menu. choose the 3rd option
    3. Another text menu; choose the first option
    4. A text torrent, twice asking if one really wants to continue; yes, one does
    5. A long HDD-scrubbing process finally reboots into an archived Path Pilot, probably 2.0.
    6. Exit. Once the exit is started, unplug all USB connections
    7. Restart. PP will come up. Reconnect all the USB devices. They will be recognized as soon as they're plugged in
    8. Restart whenever you feel like it.


    That worked, but I don't really understand why. If a failed USB device was the original problem, then I'd have expected the controller to have died again, either complaining in step 7 when the device was reconnected or failing in step 8 in the same way it had been failing.

    In any event, I'm back in operation. I have posted the procedure above in case anyone else has a problem similar to what I experienced.

    Back up your tool table. Wear a mask. Stay safe.



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    Default Re: 770 inoperative (solved)

    Congratulation and thanks for the resolution report!

    A few comments:
    Every time I boot PP I get the 3 item menu that you mentioned in Step 2 but with no need to do the left/right shift thing. It times out after a few seconds and uses choice 1. I have no idea why I have different menus from your installation.
    I
    suspect that Step 6 may be to ensure that no bootable USB devices are connected since it is the same message that is displayed when updating PP to a newer version.



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    Default Re: 770 inoperative (solved)

    Ken
    There's more to Step 6 than that caution, because (see post #1 of this thread) I'd been through all the steps of the process before (but omitting the unplugging), and I then couldn't escape the freeze. There might be a pertinent difference in Windows between
    • booting with a familiar USB device, relying on cached configuration, and
    • seeing a new USB device, and figuring out de novo how to handle it.

    That is, my problem might have been corruption of that (hypothetical) USB-configuration cache.



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    Default Re: 770 inoperative (solved)

    I'm certainly not a Linux expert but I seem to recall reading somewhere that unlike Windows Linux doesn't cache any part of the USB report. Anyway, it's great that you got it working.



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